I stole this from Marko who stole it from someone else. Very interesting! I am still not one of the 150 million-plus users. Looks like I better get moving.
I had an especially weird experience on Friday in one of the train stations in Hong Kong. Taking my time walking from one appointment to another I meandered up the platform to catch a short train ride from the station I was in to the next when I passed a woman that looked remarkably similar to my grandmother. But here's the catch: my grandmother (affectionately known as Nana) has been dead for at least twenty years. My memories of her are limited but this older lady I passed by made me think Nana was back from the dead! I did a triple take, but by then she was past me. The three takes were not necessarily to see her face again, it was more like making sure the woman was actually there and not some mirage. She was real.
Isn't it fascinating what can suddenly capture our attention and send us spinning back decades? And we don't know to expect or anticipate these moments, they just happen. Many a person has met monumental change in their lives this way. On their way to some appointment, minding their own business, caught up in the normalcy of a Friday afternoon when suddenly it all changes. Some have even met their Maker this way. My how we never know that each day will end normal. My mother's Mom could not have been further from my mind on Friday morning, but by 2PM she was almost all I could think about. Isn't that strange?
(By the way, my same grandmother died on this very day decades ago - St. Patrick's Day. This was appropriate since she was Irish.)
Are you an impulse buyer? I am! Some years ago when I was applying for a job the company did a full work-up on me with some experts from some outfit to see what kind of worker I would be and to evaluate just how crazy I was. One of the "tests" they ran was used to determine who impulsive I was. And when the results came back it wasn't pretty. I am an impulsive person period, and it is often reflected in my shopping habits. Please tell me some one of you out there can relate!
Am I in the middle of a perfect Saturday? This morning I woke up well-rested and ready to roll at 6.45AM. I like to wake up early on the weekend days even more so than on weekdays because I wake up with a sense of excitement over the adventures I have planned. Monday through Friday is work with all its challenges, but weekend days are play with all of their joys.
But, on my way up here I stopped into the grocery store to do an errand for my wife when I was about to checkout and saw my favorite Mini-Eggs on sale right there by the cashier. I grabbed two bags. What a nice little surprise. Previously I had to go across town to Olivers at the Prince's Building to find my all-time favorite chocolate. Now, they are right downstairs! Yikes. Overall, this is bad. But I have renewed discipline and I can only eat a handful now before putting the bag away. This is a miracle in itself and proves that once a person has the discipline to workout, their diet also improves. Still, this find adds on to make this an even more perfect day.
Yesterday, today, and tomorrow I am supposed to be hunkering down here at the computer to write a series of speeches I will be giving mid-April just before Easter. The reason I need to get these written is that the organizers of the event I am speaking at want to prepare a little handbook for the weekend and they'd like to include discussion questions for the group to use as a response to what I say. That's nice, I have been thinking, but that actually assumes I have something to say. And right now I've Got Nothing. My brain has a general idea of where I want to go, but my fat little fingers cannot seem to take those seedlings of thought and make them into great, big trees. So here's what I do when I set aside time to prepare but nothing's flowing:
Yesterday afternoon Ling and I had lunch at Nha Trang, a very popular restaurant on Wellington Street. The food is affordable and tasty and as usual the place was packed. We got great seats in the back corner with no one to our left but a big wall. This meant we could look out across the place and mind everyone else's business. To our right was a large party, but they soon left and a young Chinese couple came and sat beside us. Since we were practically sitting on each other's laps (anyone who has been to this cozy Vietnamese nook will know I am not exaggerating) we could hear practically every word these two folks were sharing with one another. It's not like we got all quiet, stopped moving around our chopsticks and shuffled right a few feet to get a clearer listen. We just sat there and picked up on one fascinating chat.
I ate lunch by myself today at a Subway Sandwich store. As I was sitting in the back corner munching on ham & cheese I observed two women shifting along the sandwich bench shouting out their orders to the busy ladies behind the counter. These were two sharply dressed customers who looked more like they were spending the night on the town rather than packing away tuna on parmesan oregano on a Friday afternoon. But as they pushed their way down the counter I noticed how slowly they were moving mainly based on how picky they were being and then I had this thought: Subway would be a great place to watch your significant other in action before you propose marriage or accept a marriage proposal.
Is it time? So many people have been harassing me about not having a Facebook profile that I am starting to feel like my mother at her computer: e-mail is fine, but she dares no more. There are many good reasons why I have avoided Facebook, not the least of which is do I really need another mode of communication? As it is I have a hard enough time keeping up with my e-mails, text messages, and phone calls. And, as someone who enjoys communicating with people - all people, do I have the discipline to put boundaries around my time if Facebook becomes a reality? I doubt it.
Saturday night through Sunday morning this weekend my beloved and I joined with two other couples to spend the night out at sea on Asia Star Cruises. It’s a 15-hour ride that most people take for gambling, drinking, and dancing. We took it for the pleasure of spending time together and as a way to do something different with our weekend. Oops. The time, as usual, with our friends was great, but we wouldn’t recommend the cruise if our lives depended on it. The boat, the crew, the food, and entertainment were awful. Boo!
That being said, I woke up early this morning and walked out onto the balcony in our sea view room. The view was breathtaking, nothing but open seas and the sun rising in the sky. I observed what I call upside-down clouds because they look like they’re hanging in the wrong direction staring up to heaven rather than (like most clouds) down to earth. Here are two photos and then a short poem I wrote this morning:
Yours is the face of the upside-down cloud
They act as a two-way reflection you see
One is to me – the sun to govern the day
And one is to you – Creator, pleased with the work you do
They speak of Heavenly glory, not earthly blessing
There’s too much of that “bless me, bless me”
Upside-down that is You now redirecting “bless Me, bless Me”
And that is the gift of the morning on the balcony
In reflecting the sun not to me but to you
A reminder that while you make all days new
Some things are constant - they’re always true
The sun, the clouds, and me, and you
Ten years ago this week I arrived in Hong Kong to live and work. It’s hard to believe the time that has been dropped on history over the last decade. My hair is grayer, my waist size is bigger, I am significantly more mature, but I am also more secure, happy, and satisfied and I am hopeful as I look to the future. I love this city and the people I have met here along the journey, none more special than my beloved. So, at the end of this week, raise a glass with me to Hong Kong and my unanticipated, but joyful sojourn that brought me to this place I now call home!