In my own pace

 

ww“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.” ― Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Super athletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen.

Right now, I’m sitting on my rooftop, writing in a piece of paper, quite old fashioned way, under the  moonlight. I’m about to finish my second attempt on this blog. Since my laptop battery is in an on-and-off mood; my first attempt on this blog took place in the hill on a sunny Saturday afternoon overlooking the sea, on a piece of paper. I did hours of running and crossfit afterwards. Finding my blog note had become unreadable because of my own sweat was a bit head wrecking. See, that’s another type of discovery although had to laugh it out, wouldn’t you! 

I do  enjoy running and while I’m at it, i do discover new stuff. In other words; I like to push my limits and reboot my system for next phase of life, getting ready!....

Did I not tell you before how I scout around and how I discovered my local community?! Lately I was running by the beach in the evening but had to find a different route because of sin city chaos.

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So here are my disclosures on new trail  :

  1.  It’s only ten minutes walk to the big Buddha hill from my building, through local community.
  2.   A mixed community of Arab, European, Rohingya, Thai, other Asian lives side by side.
  3.   As it appears it’s not a hill but hill’s, side by side.
  4.   First hill with Buddha temple, a beautiful Chinese-style sacred area dedicated to Confucius and Lao-zi Chinese temple and gardens.
  5.   I’m really delighted to find Confucius and Lao-zi temple over here.
  6.   There’s a Chinese Gratitude wall with pictured stories of 24 forms of gratitude.   
  7.   Buddha’s image and statue for individual seven days of the week.
  8.   The other hill has local radio station, truth sanctuary, monument of Krom Luang, who is the founder of the modern Thai navy.
  9.   Local people come to pay homage to Wat Khao Phra Bat. So don’t get nervous if you hear the constant sound of firecrackers. That’s also part of the homage.
  10.   There’s an outdoor gym on top of the hill where you can work out on a starry night, overlooking the sea and Pattaya city.
  11.    There are hundreds of homeless dogs in the hill but not scary, not yet anyway!
  12.   There is a pier at the bottom of the hill with hundreds of yachts.
  13.   A Muay Thai training camp.
  14.   Tennis and squash court.
  15.   Plenty cool relaxing spot to read books or lost in thoughts with music.
  16.   I’m saving my favorite spots.

Thoughts in-between beast mood and day dreaming:

  • Stop smoking is easy enough, boosting stuff.
  • Really loving uphill-downhill running.
  • Why am I turned on while working out?
  • Happiness tastes so good, as well as the other elements of my mood. They’re all good, if you know what I mean!
  • Giving up isn’t a thing for me and it’s totally worth it!
  • Sometimes old memories, talks, moments, come to mind and leave me with never ending chuckle.   
  • Is my exercise causing too much attention here?
  • SWOT analysis.
  • Figuring out code, principle, honor, disciple, routine for everyday.
  • My body is my temple.
  • Live, listen, remember, follow, respect, gratitude, water, love, one world!    
  • I’m sluggish sometimes.  
  • Recollecting part of the old talks and understanding them is always significance, also proves that I’m a bit silly dumb.

Interaction while running:

  • Greetings (head nod and thumbs up) for all.
  • Playing with kids and homeless puppies.
  • Bit of cultural talks.
  • Blog notes or ideas.
  • Music as sandwich treatment.
  • Me, myself and I with you.  

Quick glance:

  • Various types of flora and fauna.
  • Fragrance of wild flower.
  • Sunset, Clouds.
  • Moon and starry sky.
  • Homeless dog’s life.
  • Birds
  • Woods in the dark.

Boring, tiring stuff plus no fun but had to do after the run:

  • Manual wash the dirty laundry.
  • Cooking dinner.
  • Cleaning the dishes.
  • Reorganize the mobile kitchen.  

 

I’m pretty happy with my recent breakthrough. Although in a week or two, I will be going there in the early morning as I’ll be back to work, most likely! On the point of a solo traveler, living and working in sin city, isn’t duck soup. Thus finding my own rhythm and pace was crucial.  

 

Because in life, not all treasure is silver and gold, Savvy!

 

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A traveller’s setback

 

I have had this blog idea about hostels since I first arrived in Thailand. Despite my previous travel history I had never stayed in a hostel before I arrived to Thailand. And since I’m back in the same hostel now, it feels fairly appropriate to finish the unfinished writing I started on during a previous stay.

The hostel is called 1Sabai which means ‘Comfortable Stay’ in Thai. It is run by a friendly couple named ‘Nuch’ & ‘Aa’. We became good friends and they helped me a lot during my stay. Nuch has experience in MBA and industrial garments. Aa is a part time supply chain lecturer. They both reside in the hostel and sometime left me in charge.

Anyhow; after checking in, I found myself in a twelve bunk bed room with an international crowd. My dorm mates are mostly backpackers with different accents all around me. Blending in was easy enough as I’m a fellow traveler myself.

During my first stay (This would be my third stay now), I met some really cool people and became friends with few. My second stay was a short one during which I didn’t meet many people. It was a quiet time in Bangkok due to bombing! Regardless of a talkative Italian named Antonio, who kept me company with his fiction like stories. My third stay now is OK so far despite the work paper issues I am dealing with.

I was excited at first to meet all the types of backpackers and to exchange views on world issues with them. Alas, not all brought the insights I hoped for. Some are here just for cheap drinks and nasty neon attractions. I guess they are looking for a fun holiday and world issues might be a deal breaker!

Some people made me prudent. Meeting people who have left their homes for uncertain periods and have no root to go back to. They have some tragic background stories and may be staying on the road is their only cure!
Coming from strong currency economies and being privileged with a convenient passport also makes their travelling more easygoing. None the less some are really good people.

Once I had to say no to a drinking session by my fellow roommates. They had shared their agitated thoughts with me earlier that day, about when they had visited the Cambodian killing fields. They expressed grief and shock about what they had seen and felt there. It was strange to me to see them getting so wasted shortly after our conversation. Maybe they needed it to calm down after their tragic moments. I also noticed some of them played drinking game every evening.

They will most likely go back home with great experiences (!) and share their travel photos on Facebook. Yah right, must be so exciting to do this globetrotting..eh!

Another interesting evening I had was with a group of Japanese backpackers the other day. They want to travel to India next month and asked me for guideline. They thought I must be Indian (At least they didn’t think I was Taiwanese)! Thankfully I have traveled through India and did manage to put together a tour itinerary and shared some of my own travel experiences with them, which was fun despite my headache.

They bought me a huge breakfast the next morning, and even left me a box of Japanese chocolate before they left! Arigatō indeed …

Another bizarre experience I had was with a South Korean young lad here. I met him at late hours while he was talking very nervously with Sam (Indonesian backpacker). First he told us that he got lost and his phone died. But after a while he told us the real story.

Apparently he ran away from a massage parlor without paying any bill.
He had a encountered a Thai masseuse who played her trick on him; offered him her lovemaking service and he couldn’t help but man up (Really ?!..). She also offered him an opened beer bottle and he thought it had been spiked. Any way, he ran away at some stage. And as it turned out, his hostel was next door to that very massage place. So he was too scared to go back, even though his his passport and luggage was still there. So I offered to go back with him and pay the bills he owed with clear explanation. He refused my suggestion due to possible police involvement and was afraid of any other harassment.

Despite his kooky story; we decided to help him out. We inspected the area, waited until every shop had closed and then went in to collect his stuff from his hostel. I even lent him, my t-shirt and cap for disguise. Thankfully everything went OK and we got back in one piece. He checked into our hostel for the day but left later on without saying goodbye! I didn’t mind, he’s probably still a basket case. I was glad to help the young lad despite his misdeed.

But I heard from Sam that he kept visiting other massage parlors, even after that! Some people never learn the lesson, do they?! Nutcase…

As a guest in a hostel you automatically become a member of an unknown family (family you never had?!) for a short time (or may be for good). Sharing the same roof and its facilities makes you unite with your fellow guests, especially in a third country. I found it quite interesting the way my fellow roommates (not everyone of course) opened up with me (I‘m not magus either). Is that because I greeted them first or my monk smile or am I that good a listener?! Good to have some company for sure, especially when you’ve been living real solo, like me.

Staying in a hostel is like a hideout.Staying with twelve other completely unknown people in a same room is thought provoking. Although boarding school life had always introduced me to the lifestyle back in the days. It did make me nostalgic I have to admit.

You meet people, get to know them and suddenly we all go off on our separate tracks.It’s like being on a train junction, waiting for the scheduled train to arrive or hopping on to a train to never land..
We all are in transit points to somewhere, aren’t we?.. .

 

Monk’s footprint

 

 ‘Om mani padme hum Buddham Saranam Gacchâmi, Dhammam Saranam Gacchâmi,  Sangham Saranam Gacchâm

This chant is the sound I wake up to every morning! It is the prayer monks bring to my next door neighbor, who’s a devoted Buddhist. They always keep something for the next morning to give to the monk in exchange for his prayers and blessings.

Although I did spend some months in a Bhutanese monastery in my childhood, monks here are bit different. Seeing the monks walking about on their bare feet always sparks my curiosity as to why and how they do this. My own memories to walking barefoot barefoot are mostly ones of wonder and enjoyment of the textures of mother earth. I recommend it to everyone.

Besides the positive memories and my personal wishes to someday feel ice and snow underneath my feet, there are also more painful memories. A very strong memory I have is one I will share with you now.

It happened when I was getting back from the countryside by train. It was a local train so it was naturally overcrowded and stopping in every single station.

So, during one of those stops I was having a slow cup of tea and waiting for the last whistle to blow. The idea was to jump in at the last moment to secure a space by the train doorsteps. Travelling on the roof of a train is another excitement but that can wait for some another time.

So when the last whistle sounded, people started rushing towards the slow moving train. Oh there were a few other smart heads like me, who wanted to sit by the door. Trust me it’s great fun! I watched the train start to roll and with a sharp calculation I marked my door. As I jumped for the entrance, I felt a woman grabbing me to hold her balance as she jumped in after me. As the train picked up speed she couldn’t hold on to me and fell off!!

I screamed and asked people to pull the chain but nobody listened! As the train was overcrowded I couldn’t get inside to pull the chain myself. Some people even advised me to keep it quiet to stay out of the trouble. Can you imagine how self centered we are?!!

In all honesty, I wrote the following part differently at first. I wanted to hide the truth even from myself! Here’s the honest version, anyhow.

The train didn’t stop; it continued ruthlessly! Everyone acted as if nothing happened. And speaking for myself; I was horrified and lost my senses. What if the crowd point me out as the guilty one in this accident!? There wasn’t another station for hours regrettably, and I knew the train would stop!

I did not hear her screams or sound of broken bones, so I just held on and hoped she was OK…

I don’t really have anything else to say about it. I froze up and and carried on hanging by the train door until the next station, despite the shock. I heard the Ticket checker talking about that a woman been taken to hospital but not sure of her condition.

This collateral inconsolable event still haunts me until this day! After reaching my final destination, I was so devastated that I failed to notice that I had lost my shoes along the way. Therefore, I walked home completely lost in thoughts and on bare foot, just like I had come into this world.

 

I walked barefoot, like the monk did, but was in no shape to give out blessings or prayers. I was the one who needed comfort and release from my conscience.

Footprints in the sand

heading that way as it

leads away it leaves a

tale..

(Footprints in the sand by Robert Roberts.)

Looking back to see forward

22

”I love it when a plan comes together”, a dialog by Col. Hannibal Smith from the ‘A’ Team! I’m walking back home by the sea and suddenly this knock out quote came to me.

May be the constant sounds of firecrackers had to do with this. Perhaps my thoughts on 2015 provoked this. What’s more, I experienced the opposite on several occasions this past year when my plans (especially a plane I had to go to Switzerland) did not come together. But then again, somehow I carried on with the outcomes and found a way forward...

Oh yes today is New Year’s eve and so much preparations are being made here in sin city, Pattaya.

So the year is ending hah! What did we have all year around?!

Now that I am out of the native country, let’s see what has been happening back there..

I’m sure there is more positive news, which didn’t reach the mainstream media.

We have been shocked and horrified by some tragic incidents throughout the year. We also witnessed some powerful movements which restored our faith in humanity!  

I tried to write on the refugee crisis and will bring more input on this in my upcoming writings.

Furthermore this particular news moved me a lot

There is a speculation growing inside me about world refugee issue, which is hard to elaborate.

I want to feel confident that, this crisis will become the new world strength! Let’s look ahead with positive thoughts and hope it will reunite the nations over borders! Let’s put an end to extremist sabotage.

Please, please human of every society, stand tall and say yes, Together!

Since the gulf war, I started to understand that oil prices play a big role in wars! So as I look into the oil prices for 2016, my conclusions are relatively frustrating! But there is always Hope!

Anyhow, let’s not find the answer through my writing here! Or did you get an idea already?

Probably mother earth already has some plan in store for us which will come together nicely. Who knows.

 So now I’m typing my revolution here, though outside of my building there is an entire different atmosphere! People celebrating New Year eve with firecrackers, booze, loud music, drunken brawls, harlotry and what not! No, I’m not annoyed by them; rather I try to understand where they’re coming from.

To be honest with you, I’m annoyed with this Tweak very much. I don’t have TV so thankfully I don’t have to put up with his nonsense, like many of you do (unfortunately). But even without the burden of seeing him on TV, I feel the damn annoyance of him through social media too. Which irritates me to investigate his where abouts.

I understand he is a billionaire businessman, running for presidential candidacy. He’s grasping for more power and probably has some master plan to accomplish this, eh?! He wants to spend only $2m on TV election campaign! How about spending money on real cause!!

Yet again, he’s a politician and playing a high stake poker. He knows well about the outcome of his speech and indications. On the contrary, he kept trying to roll the dice!. Who’s behind him? Who’s in his election campaign team? Who are the major sponsors for him? Who are the supporters? What are the reasons behind his support? What’s the supporters’ background? What makes them support him? I don’t know yet but curious as it is. All I see him as Theo Galavan even the worst version.

It’s comforting in a way that we are still working up to the primary elections, which will be held in three weeks time. General election will be in ten months time, in November. My american friends think it will be either will be Hillary or Sanders. Anyway enough of political bla bla.

 I can’t stop thinking of the fate of the less advantaged of the world. There are people going to bed on empty stomachs, shivering in the cold, in fear of bombing, fear of the last breath…

There are places in the world where it is completely dark, no matter how bright my sky is with fireworks!!

Ohh I feel like, ‘I’m in the crypt of Winterfell and trying to find some solidarity there…

The amount of money being spent on booze to celebrate here, is basically shocking. As a consequence, they’re crawling into the New Year with debts. Is it really worth it?!

At the end of the day, all the new year is is just another digit, right?! But people spend it like tonight is the last day on earth. If that’s the logic then my fellow earth people; you really need to figure out a very different way to celebrate.

Moreover, speaking of myself; I’m being me, inside out. Speaking of plans to come together; I don’t have an alpha striking team standing by. My failures mean I‘m trying and I keep going on even though that’s the only option sometimes. But that’s quite Ok. I’m me with hummingbird. That’s enough for any revolution and to make the planet a better place.    

At the end, I like to finish with the quote from the Col. Smith again. “Give me a minute, I’m good. Give me an hour, I’m great. Give me six months, I’m unbeatable”

I would like to see this type of attitude in the eyes and words or world leaders on the issues the world is dealing with…

Happy 2016!  

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