I had very busy weeks lately. Not to my personal commitment but rough working life.  I have a tough job; it is difficult because I am alone. Although I am in a team (literally), I am actually the one who has to get all the job done. To do more harm than good, I am doing dual roles: my job is actually jobs for two business units (sadly, seen as one)! Amazing boss, management and human resource I got, eh?

I had to work in the evening and had to spend my weekend. I survived the first week but I had to do another for the second and third weeks. Now, I am wearing out. I am really at my wits’ end.

I decided not to do anything this weekend. Nothing at all. Sorry that I don’t have time write any post lately. I hope things will get better tomorrow…

Spectacles for focus

I was recommended by a eye specialist to wear spectacles (eyeglass) for eye correction. It is minor but will affect my focus. Without the eyeglass, my eye will be working hard to adjust my focus and this can strain my eye especially after a long period of time. I went to optic store to buy my own glass, just following their recommendation and didn’t pay much attention to the prescription (degree? what degree?). I even lost my prescription paper thinking it was just a purchase receipt.

My eye is also weak to bright condition. I have problem being on computer screen for too long or when driving under bright sunlight. Therefore, I bought a sunglass for driving but I rarely wear them because I felt it didn’t “fit” me (in term of fashion). I think sunglasses are for macho or elegant man. Plus, wearing one while driving can make some annoying drivers felt ‘challenged’ when driving (weird… maybe I looked arrogant when wearing one).

I also requested for a glass that can filter UV light especially for computer screen. Not sure if it works but it does extend my tolerable time period of doing work on the computer. But I only wore it when doing my job alone and I will usually put it away when my colleagues are around.

I often experienced migraine since I was in high school. I thought it was because I may have high blood pressure but after years of suffering random migraine attacks, I realised it was because of my eye. Started in high school, my eye exposed to projector screen and this continued to university and now at work I also have to look at own computer screen. What worse, I spent most of my daily work on computer screen! My eye is strained from too much focusing and from the light of the screen that slowly causing migraine attack. When I got migraine, the pain is always the strongest around my eye, that circling my eye balls. I hate that pain, but I hate people who thought migraine is not a big deal or even think it as fake more.

Here’s the thing: I don’t wear it for the sake of fashion. I am just following recommendations. I am aware of some trends that people wear unprescribed glass just to look “good”. It’s not wrong but I don’t feel comfortable when people think I wear then for fashion. I tried to be open and put my courage to wear one during graduation but after seeing my photos with the spectacles on, it looked awkward to me.

I am conflicting between not accepting myself to wear it and not being me if I wear it. My mum bought me eyeglass (through gift voucher) and my best friend bought me sunglass as a gift. Maybe I do look good when wearing them?

Get my coffee right!

Are you a coffee or tea type of person? If neither, then you must be the rebellious hot chocolate type of person! Personally, I love coffee. I do like other type of drinks as well but a good cup of hot coffee is definitely satisfying on any occasions!

What are the types of coffee that you enjoys the most? For me, I would go for Americano with milk, added with 3 small packs of brown sugar. It’s 20% expresso, 50% water, 39% fresh milk and 1% brown sugar!

In case you are not a coffee lover, Americano is simply grind coffee brewed with boiled water! Yes, it’s that ‘basic coffee’ but no, it is not just instant coffee (e.g. Nescafe) that can be brewed easily at home. The Americano (that I love) must be brewed using suitable blend of coffee beans – a mixture of several types of coffee bean and sometimes with other ingredients such as cinnamon or mint as well as to keep balance in coffee richness, acidity and after taste. I love to keep the blend as mystery so I enjoy trying out unique blend recipe offered by different coffee shops so I usually order brew of the day as the blend changes everyday. It can be quite disappointing that some coffee barista just don’t understand the reason why some people prefer brewed of the day and often omitted this from their menu. Luckily, Americano is just fine because they may use their “today’s coffee blend” to make it.

To be honest, I don’t think I am addicted to “caffeine” – some people claim that coffee-addicts are obsessed with coffee because of the caffeine. False. I love the “taste” of the coffee – the bitter yet sweet and creamy taste of the Americano with milk. I don’t know how to describe the smell of coffee but if you are used to it, you will definitely like the smell that we call as coffee “aroma”.

I get frustrated or irritated easily if people served my coffee inaccurately (Yeah, I can be that bossy sometimes) especially when I have told my order clearly. Is it hard to get the simple coffee done?

Yesterday, I went to my usual coffee shop and ordered my usual coffee. I realised the coffee barista was new but it shouldn’t a problem if I clearly state my order. Besides, most coffee shop especially on most major cities would understand my order as it is common. I even reminded that barista to add milk to my coffee twice but when I took my coffee and rushed my way to the office, I realised that I did not receive “Americano with milk” but instead, a “Long Black” (another term for coffee without milk). I had to get into the trouble of walking all the way back to the barista just to request them to add milk. I did not scold the barista nor make sarcastic remarks to them this time, because this was not the first time. Some baristas just did not pay attention to their customer’s order and only selectively listened for keyword that they know while ignoring the rest.

I took hot brewed coffee for in the morning and afternoon especially when I am stress or require some “threat” while working or studying. If brewed coffee is not available, I have to take Cafe Latte, Earl Grey Tea Latte, Asian Milk Tea or simply Nescafe with milk as substitute.

It’s a beautiful world

And we live in a beautiful world,

Yeah we do, yeah we do

We live in a beautiful world

I am so hooked up with this song – “Don’t Panic” by Coldplay. It is somehow calming and relaxing especially when I was feeling so stress. It has fun but yet sad tune. The interpretation of the song may vary for different individuals, but for me, the song seems to be narrating that even though there are many negativity and issues around the world, our world is still a beautiful world because there are also many positive and nice things around us as well.

This song really suits my thinking at the moment. There are many challenges in our life and we often have hard times but that situation adds flavor to our life. “Life is like a roller-coaster ride”. It is sad for me to admit that there are many unfairness in this world that can make life gloomy if we dwell too much on it. Don’t let that cloud your view because there are many wonderful things around us if we seek it out. It is a matter of opening up our view of the world. This is why I love traveling to other countries: I can see different view of the world and witness the life of other human.

Although the song is very brief, the ending is amazing (yet, can be depressing on some situation). We will okay because “everyone here have someone we can lean on”. No matter how hard the world hits you, please know that there are someone around you who you can talk to. Some may shared similar view as you, so you will feel that you are not alone. You may meet someone that have different view from you but are there to hear you out. I am glad that I have people I can lean on and I wish I can spend more time with them.

Sometimes my friends said that I am pessimist, but I am actually considering all the white, black and gray area of life. I still believe the world is a beautiful thing, but there are times that we all need someone to assure us when we fall or in a pinch situation. Yeah, we do live in a beautiful world.

[Edited: I accidentally published my unfinished draft instead of saving it. This edit is the final version. Thanks.]

Distant relatives visit

Family is great. In Asia, we value family and relatives. As long as you have some family ties, no matter how distant they are, you will still be treated as if you a part of the lineage family. Typically, a family consist of parents and child (siblings). The term “relatives” can be extensive, which may includes cousins, grandparents, grandchild, uncle, auntie, nephew, niece, second-cousin, great-uncle, great-auntie, -in laws, step-family, adopted parents and even foster parents. This close-knit culture is probably similar to clan, tribe, kin or ethnic concept.

I am not good with socializing with people especially strangers and my relatives are no exception. We rarely met so it feels like we are strangers sometimes. At most, I met them once a year especially during festive season. There were several times when I forgot my relative’s name but recognized them from their face. I would be glad if they didn’t recognized me (or acted like they didn’t see me) but most of the time, I am easily recognizable (which is a quirk of mine that put me in hard situations sometimes).

Okay, let’s just go directly to the title. Just a few days ago, some distant relatives of mine visited our home. If you are not an Asian, you will find this weird but yeah, I currently live with my parents (not that I am unable to live alone but it will be sad to leave them behind). The relatives and us never met before so I never heard of them until just recently. They are actually a family of our grandfather’s nephew – so that makes them a family of my father’s second-cousin. They were separated sea-apart during the World War 2 (Japanese invasion). Thanks to social media and the community, our cousins managed to reconnect with them and invited them to visit our country.

Although my cousins have announced of their visit earlier so that we can be prepared. But I can’t be prepared when it comes to meeting people that I don’t know so this announcement gave me a long period of dilemma of whether to meet or just leave a message to them while I went away traveling. It’s tough to be an introvert because part of me really wanted to meet them and another part of me wanted to run away from awkwardness. Many things came to my head while waiting for the day to come: What should I say? Will it be awkward to just sit and smile? What if they are super friendly? What if they are bad people? What should I do if they asked about my job or if I am married? What if the attention suddenly shifted to me? What if I said something wrong that can offend or hurt them? Should I just shake hand with them and then hide? What if they have kids and that kids want to play with me? How to break any awkward silence?

In the end, I decided to avoid the risk of being caught up in awkward situation. Coincidentally, I had to attend other matters so I didn’t get a chance to meet them on the. However, after knowing they are actually kind and sweet family, I felt bad for not meeting them. I regret that I am unable to talk with them about their life, unable to make then felt at least a short period of warmth and care while being our guest, and unable to give some motivation to their life. I was informed that their life was tough especially with our great-uncle health condition. They were not needy and did not even expect anything from us except the feeling if reunion.

Although I wasn’t there, I passed a gift to my parents for them. A unique commemorative of out gift that hopefully will bring sweet memories on their visit here and passed on to the next generation. I wish I am be able to meet them privately without all my family and other relatives around them (I prefer small groups and personal).

This isn’t the first time that I am contemplating of meeting someone. I wish I have the boldness to overcome these awkward feelings – traits that I admired on some of my friends.

Single but free

Yes, I am single and I am cool with that. I am free from all the dramas of being in relationship or marriage. I am the type of person who enjoys traveling so I value my freedom to go anywhere. I have enough work commitments to make me busy even after official working hours and personal financial commitments for my life and passions. I would rather avoid anything that can add extra commitments to my current life. I am fine, thank you.

I do appreciate all the sincere concerns from my family, relatives, friends and co-workers. That has shown me they really care for me. But, it is difficult for me to assure them that it is okay. I have to deal with all the misconceptions of me being single every single day.

1. Sometimes, people think that I am sad and lonely for being single. Please, no. This is totally wrong especially in this modern era. I am not a desperate person that would cry on their bed in the middle of the night for just being single (I would rather cry for people who have passed away). I am fine. Yeah, I do need companion sometimes, but it is more like a free and easy companions (i.e. bestfriends).

2. There are times my relatives and not-so-close-friends thought that I am single because I am unattractive and unworthy of having partner. Some of them are sympathetic towards me but what worse is that some of them are proud that they or their sons are ‘better’ than me for getting married earlier. Is marriage a competition for them? However, I think I am being unattractive is partly true. Although it is magical that people are easily attracted to me as friends (this can be a problem to me, an introvert, because I hate attention), I think I don’t have that charm of the man usually displayed in the media. I have to admit I am overweight and weird. I hate the fact that how media especially movies make a fat or overweight man as the funny and dumb guy. I am okay that I am not attractive, I just love to have close friends around.

3. People would teased me for being gay. Honestly, I am not sure if I am gay or straight (I just don’t care) but I don’t want a relationship with either man or woman. Probably my past experience has made me not trusting both man and woman. I have many bad experiences dealing with woman to the point that I think that “all women are the same”. Regardless of my sexuality (let’s leave it to god and time to decide that), I just want to be single.

4. “You are too choosy”. Okay now this is another interesting misunderstanding in which the scenario is I am the one who are having the upper hand. I am picky or choosy of who I want to be with because I am introvert. I select friends that are trusty to personal level. Everyone is choosy too, or else anyone can just get married with anyone they find on the streets. We would chose for the right person. I admit I want a right person but I am not what “right” even mean. I value my freedom and “choosing” is not even in my mind at the moment.

5. There are times when a friend advice me to have courage to make a move and be a man. I am not a coward, I just don’t want to and I would rather avoid problems, which I have already envisioned in my mind. Please think of courage in many ways. As for being a man, I am already a man. What is the point of proving myself as a man when I am already one. I am confident those people who ask a man to be a man is definitely blind, an alien or has mental issues.

All in all, single is freedom. I know one day I might change my mind but for now, let me enjoy the moment.