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Talking to a stranger

We had a quick chat for the first time after living here for 3 months. One of my neighbour.

It used to be normal to live with 5 different people in the house without knowing their names or talked to them. But it’s something one will do here upon seeing someone. A quick, “Hi, how is it going”, or shorter “Hey mate” will do. But sometimes unexpected need for a conversation put me in a very awkward situation. It was nice, he asked a few questions, how was your day, and the sorts. But having not used to small talks, I was left with short answers to the point of “he seems kind of rude”, or unfriendly.

So that’s why I’m gonna write down 3 reasons why Introverts are not meant to be talking to random stranger.

It is Spontaneous

It’s just not a strength of an introvert to things spontaneously especially when it involves more than himself. I can talk to you given enough time to prepare. But bumping into you somewhere unexpected and being asked questions will end up with short uncertain answers. And to quickly think of questions to ask back is another huge tasks.

Should I ask if he has kids, will it be rude, how about the weather, it’s middle of the night for fuck sake, ok just stay cool and wait for his next question.

We process things slower and in more details, looking for patterns, meaningful pieces of information to be delivered, which bring me to the next point.

Lack of meaning

It has to be meaningful else it won’t be done. Even the meaning if not the truth, it’s good enough.

I understand the reasons for small talks. The search for compatibilities, a simple rule that glued our society together. But it changes with every individuals. Introverts see individuals as unique as themselves, avoiding generalizations. So every new people have to register some level of meaning for the chat.

Fine, it’s totally expected to bump into your neighbour, which happen almost everyday. But I’ve registered that we’ve passed the need for a chat, but a simple thumbs up or “howdy” is good enough. So again, walking passed him and being asked questions bring me back to that zone of thinking “what do I want out of this conversation?”

Lack of commitments

Well, he said that we should have a beer someday. I agreed even though that felt like an empty invite. Where is the when, where and why parts?

Introverts, back to our complicated thought process, make little commitments. But once we’ve made one, we’ll make sure it’s delivered.

When it comes to small talks with a random stranger, it boiled down to the question of “where will this conversation lead into?”. Will he become my next best friend, or else, I won’t be investing too much thinking about what to talk to him.

We make few friends, but stronger ones. We don’t know many people, but all the people are know are close friends. And given that it’s very expensive and difficult to be just an acquaintance, it’s almost not worth doing at all.

Having said all that, I apologise that I didn’t give a very good first impression to many of people I’ve met. And to my neighbour, I’ll prepare enough courage and enough meaning and commitments points so that I have a good enough reason to invite you to my kitchen for a beer or two.

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I made this


I surprised myself sometimes. I am usually very low key, humble, low confident kind of guy, but every time I read my own blog, I’m impressed on how I actually enjoy reading them.

So does that old profile picture of mine. I drew that on a piece of paper a while ago and I put it up as a profile picture. Few weeks back when I look at it again, I’m still impressed. So I decided to turn it into a painting.

Note: it’s my first painting on a canvas. I painted a few other when I was a kid on big papers. 


Those left behind

It’s getting boring because every recent posts I’ve made starts with something about haven’t written anything for a while. So is this post.

Many things have changed. The biggest of all is that I’ve moved down south to Australia. I’d like to talk about those I’ve left behind.

I’m a cold person, trying very hard to keep it that way. I can be very friendly with people, which most often do. But I distant myself from commitments and closeness. You can say that most of my friendliness are more of matter a professionalism rather than my style.

However, there are some special people that genuinely like me ( arguable and is subject to the judgment of time ).

These special people aren’t necessarily kind or caring. But these special people are those who are willing to spend the ups and downs with me, those who cracked through my icy wall and leave me out in the open, left me vulnerable.

I miss them.

Now I’m back in my cold shell in this cold world, wandering around hoping to bump into a new special people that I can melt my frozen wall for.


Singles Awareness Day

It has been a while since my last post. It was 4 months ago and it’s time to visit the dentist again soon.

And also, it’s that day of the year again when love is in the air and all the single people are cursed to avoid the public places to avoid the shame of not having someone to spend the Valentine’s day with.

But for me, it is another excuse for me to write something again.

I’ve been going through my blogs and realised that my blog posts are really personal and honest. Things I wouldn’t have told anyone in real life. It’s a relieve to think that I have some place to talk my life through with a bunch of strangers behind this screen. But also it is so damn scary to put yourself out there like that. What if someone I know find this blog and started to read all the honest things I’ve written about them. I think it will be devastating for them.

Back to the Singles Awareness Day (S.A.D) or the Valentine’s day, there are so many ways to write about it, really. I can be positive about it, taking a chance to appreciate single lifestyle, the special day to celebrate the day by myself. Buy a piece of cake, a cup of coffee and take the time to relax and do things that I enjoy doing by myself. It’s so Introverted thing to do, but when life give you a lemon, you make something good out of it, though the “it” could be a total sour and pain in the ass, you learn to enjoy it.

Another way to talk about it is through rage. Really just the opposite way of the above. I can start complaining about the inception of it to begin with. Why would you need a holiday based on something so freaking sad. As if you’re celebrating the death of newborns, bully day, and what not.

“Ok, take a deep breath, cool down.” said the voice in my head. Well, all of these are voices in my head as I type it. “Stop it, stop typing every single thing that I say”, or was I typing what I was thinking or am I reading my words out back to my mind that created the word to start with? *mind blown*

The third way of talking about the S.A.D day is through consolation, like you’re talking to a Shrink. If you are single, it’s the perfect day to find someone. There are plenty of events in the town designed for single people during the V’s day. Go mingle and maybe you’ll meet someone. Or maybe you can think of it in the good way, like saving the money that you’d have spent on a stupid valentine dinner or buying some stupid flowers that die the next day.

Well, I’ve said what I wanted to say. Let’s call it a day.

Oh and lastly, don’t feel too bad if you’re single on Valentine’s day. It’s just another day and you should feel bad everyday instead.


Sabah day 4: Green

It kind of sucks that everything here is expensive. Five times more expensive because I’m a foreigner. It kind of make sense that they are doing this to preserve the nature. By making it expensive, less people will come to visit. The less people comes, the less damage done. But I’m not sure if that’s true or just my theory because the whole tourism economy revolves around the mountain and its surrounding towns. I don’t think there is a balance between money and reservation. You either make a lot of money out of it or close it up all together.

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This morning was cold. I think I should have closed the windows. But the morning view was great.

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After breakfast I took a short walk to get some sunshine to defroze. A bit while later I shared a cab with some guesses from the lodge to the Poring Hot Spring. Hoping that it would be cooler there so I could soak in the hot spring water and relax. But the whole trip turned out totally wasted.
First of all, and again, everything is expensive, the entrance fee, the food, the charges here and there. Anyhow, we paid for the canopy walk which is not too impressive, and then a 15 minutes walk to the waterfall, not bad, and back to the hot spring under the glaring hot sun. So I didn’t soak in because it’s pointless.

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When we got back to the hostel, there was a guy who was staying at the hostel who just got back from climbing the mountain. It has been a dilemma for me between climbing the mountain or stay chill and relax at the bottom where the view was still great and weather was cool. But he told the story of how he went straight to the main entrance of the Kinabalu park and asked for a spot on the mountain. ‘There are cancelation everyday, you go to the lodge receptions and ask them directly. You can even get cheaper price ” he said.
I was still unsure, excited for the chance, terrified for the journey.
Adding onto that was the 2 new guesses that checked in that day, going to hike the next day. One was an Australian Chinese girl whose parents are Malaysian. And the other guy who is a Malaysian, planning on the same path of cheaper alternative by escaping the agents trap. We came into conclusion that I will follow them to the park and if I get a spot, I’ll hike with them.


Sabah day 2: Water

Today was tour day. I booked the island hopping tour that frankly I was a little unsure of doing. First, it’s expensive. Second, beaches are hot in here. Anyway, the tour guide came to pick me up after breakfast and in no time I’m on a boat to the first island. Sapi island (directly translated to cow island)

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The beach was awesome. Clear water with white smooth sandy beach. It was freaking hot but it didn’t stop people from snorkeling everywhere. The water was cold, so it was fun.
I didn’t bring any swimwear so I rolled up my pants and walked around in the water playing with the fishes.
I could only do that for a short half an hour and there was nothing much else to do other than swimming and talking to your friends if you bring any. But for me, it was time to find a cool spot and start reading.

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The voice of the forest, the sea and the people. It was relaxing.

After a hearty lunch of all sorts of seafoods, we moved to the next island, Manukan.

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Manukan is probably the most boring part of the tour. Though the beach was longer than Sapi, the sand is full of coral shreds. It was painful to walk on the beach and in the water itself. I couldn’t enjoy it. But the view was so awesome that I just sat there staring at the surroundings. Sounds creepy.

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Came back to the mainland hotel, I was torn between taking a sweet nap or go out exploring some more. Guess what, I ended up in the cinema.

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I’m not entirely sure how to make out of that movie, it was like a standard Spongebob movie. Feeling disappointed because it’s not all about the surface after all. The time they’ve spent on land is like only one fifth of the entire movie
And there goes my day 2. Comes the night and dinner with my roommates that I’ve just met and went hunting for a hiking shoes. See you tomorrow on the journey to the foot of mount Kinabalu.


2014 in review

Liking the summary infographic prepared by WordPress. Not too happy about the summary itself, but it has been a great year. Wishing all of you a Happy New Year and hope that I can provide even better reading materials for all of you out there.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 580 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 10 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.