Flashbacks, Human Nature

Shiny Facades

This Saturday afternoon, I watched a documentary about the migrant workers in Qatar.

Viewers were shown cramped sleeping quarters without working air-conditioning units, filthy toilets, and very basic and dirty kitchens. The interviewed, mostly security personnel (odd…), complained about their work, the living conditions, and their unpaid salaries.

I personally have seen worst conditions at Chinese factories and Malaysian construction sites. Dirty toilets, filthy kitchens and cockroaches; things that are kind of expected when large group of men are separated from their families (mothers, wives) and are crowded together in tight spaces.

There were no obvious mention of migrant workers’ deaths throughout the documentary. No mention of work-related injuries and accidents. I do not recall any interviews of construction workers. And what about the family members back home?

Yes, the work and living conditions of the migrant workers are horrible, unbearable to most Westerners. It irks me that the documentary did not reveal the truly insidious and deadly inhuman practices behind the rich, shiny, glorious facades.

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Flashbacks, Human Nature, Movies, Books & TV Shows, Numbers

Airport Purchase

Someone was interested in the book ‘The No Asshole Rule’, which I placed on the second-hand website almost two years ago. The person wanted to buy it for half the price I asked. D rolled the ball back to the potential buyer, negotiating for 80% of the asking price, plus sending cost. It was a no go.

There was really no loss on neither side. Potential buyer did not want the book enough to pay for what I asked, and I did not need to part with the book that desperately…

I bought the book at SFO, after a business trip to China. Do not make a book worm wait at an airport for hours, for no good reasons.

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Business & Creativity, Events, Human Nature

Ethical Hacking

Yesterday evening, D and I went to the library to attend a talk about ethical hacking. The topic of the talk made me assumed and expected to see a handful of high school geeks. Imagine my surprise when I saw a large turn out of the older generation. Someone must have done some very convincing promoting.

The 90-minute talk was informative and served as a reminder that we should all be wary of our online behaviours and habits. After the talk, D and I had drinks at the café on site before cycling back home.

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Flashbacks, Human Nature, Jibber Jabber

All Souls

Today I think of my grandmothers, grandfathers, uncles, aunts, Catherine, Tony, Kris, Carlos, Shelly and so many more.

My true identity is not formed by how many diplomas I hold, how much money I have in my bank accounts, and definitely not by labelling myself with those boring conventional titles that modern society has conjured up.

I am my parents’ first born child. The granddaughter of a wonderful popo. Nothing can take that away. Nothing.

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Flashbacks, Human Nature, Simplify

Postponed Walk

I got up this morning planning to do my almost-ritualistic walk to the ATM and the grocery store. It would be good to have some extra cash, take advantage of this week’s store promotions, get some light exercise, and to clear my head a bit.

A week ago, one of my uncles from my mother’s side passed away. He was the uncle I knew quite well during my childhood. I have lots of memories of him and his family, before they moved away from Lahad Datu in the late 70s. That move took away my favourite cousin Angela, and I was a devastated little girl for a long time.

Then there is the death of Kris. An ex-colleague that I admittedly do not know that well. The sysadmin. The person who always reminded me of my half-filipino cousins. He was not afraid to say what was on his mind. A friend to many. The most memorable moment I have of Kris is that he placed an electric collar on his somewhat naughty dog, with no intention whatsoever of using it.

These two deaths sadden me deeply. Kris’ death is especially difficult to accept. It messes me up when younger people died!

Lunch time came about, I took a portion of frozen bread out of the freezer, and decided not to do the walk after all. I have enough cash. I have enough food. In the end, I figure that a little less consumption will be more beneficial for all. As for that light exercise, I have enough garden work for that. Maybe Thursday Market tomorrow. Nothing is set in stone.

Rest in peace Uncle MC and Kris…

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Health, Human Nature

Story Or Game?

The following is an excerpt from the article entitled Is Life a Story or a Game?:

The status-mad world that Storr describes is so loveless — a world I recognize but not one I want to live in. Ultimately, games are fun, but gaming as a way of life is immature. Maturity means rising above the shallow desire — for status — that doesn’t really nourish us. It’s about cultivating the higher desires: The love of truth and learning and not settling for cheap conspiracy theories. The intrinsic pleasure the craftsman gets in his work, which is not about popularity. The desire for a good and meaningful life that inspires people to commit daily acts of generosity.

How do people gradually learn to cultivate these higher motivations? To answer that I’d have to tell you a story. 

I agree with the opinion columnist who wrote the above article. I personally chose to live a story of my own making, and will do my very best in not succumbing to the games of status. I have only one short life.

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Human Nature, Jibber Jabber, Simplify

Chapters…

D went for bread this morning and came back with freebies from the bakery. This Sunday marks the last week of business for our baker and his wife. An end of a chapter…

Before lunch, I made a berry sauce using the smaller not-so-pretty frozen raspberries and strawberries. I am in the process of clearing some freezer space for the loaves of bread I will order and freeze next week.

In the afternoon, I buried five baby birds next to my sunflower patch along the fence. As far as I know, two flew out and the parent birds have not visited the bird house for more than a day. I then carried on and cleaned out the bird house with soap and water, have it dried in the sun, and hung it back. It is empty now, but one day it will be filled with occupants again.

Our lives are filled with beginning, in-between, and ending chapters.

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Human Nature, Jibber Jabber

The Human Race

War is despicable! Seeing war refugees fleeing their homes and leaving behind some of their love ones is truly heart wrenching.

While Europe deserves the loudest applause and praise for helping the Ukrainians, I cannot help but feel a bit upset over the whole thing. I did not see that level of sympathy, effort nor awareness when it was war refugees from Syria, Afghanistan or Sudan. And this is because of one face-slapping fact, the Ukrainians are similar to most Europeans, they are white and Christians! It is not crime, helping your own people. But, it upsets a person like me, a person who has a specific racial identity on my freaking face! A person whom now realise that I can be welcomed or turned away based on what I look like. How freaking depressing…

But heck, after a few days of simmering over this confusing unfairness, I came to a realization and conclusion about us coloured people, we have not evolved to the level of helping our own kind. Think about it, have you ever seen large scale help efforts amongst the Asians, the Africans, the Arabs? Hell no, those elites are quite content in keeping the majority of their people stupid and/or poor, so that they shall have full control and remain in power for as long as possible. Yep, now I am upset about that.

Yet, history has proven that the one race method does not work. It never will…

In my wildest dreams, humankind will one day be traversing amongst the stars. But until that day, let us not forget that the ENTIRE human race are on the one and only Space Ship Earth.

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Food & Drinks, Human Nature

Pancakes, Beef Stew & White Bread

On Saturday, I made pancakes. D and I had that for lunch. Later in the evening, we had beef stew and fries for dinner.

Sunday, D went to buy a loaf of white bread. White bread sandwiches for the next few days. Yum!

Yep, we were eating nice things this weekend. One should never stop enjoying the good and simple things.

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Human Nature, Movies, Books & TV Shows, Simplify

Saturday Errand Walk

This Saturday morning, I stopped at the library to return and borrow a couple of books. Then, I strolled to the bank to get some cash because it is good to have a healthy getaway stash… 😉

Lastly, I went to the grocery store to purchase some discounted items I wanted. Normally, I avoid the weekend crowds at grocery stores. But today, I made an exception.

Special times call for special measures.

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