Tag Archives: Life/Musings

Going home

He  arrived at the airport with plenty of time remaining, checked-in with no issues, and made his way into the departure gates. It was nearly 2 years ago that he was in this same place, getting ready to leave what was, to him, his home. Not the place he’d grown up in, not the place he was born in – but the place he felt he should have been born in; the place he felt he’d grown up in.

The past week had been a whirlwind on the road. Moving from place to place every few days, never in one place too long. Long days and nights of walking and exploring, chatting and eating. All good things, but they took their toll on him, as he given himself no time to be alone; to be peaceful. But this place he was in gave him energy. It recharged him, revitalised him. The sights, the smells, the people, the food; the colours, the sounds. All at once; not overwhelming the senses but uplifting them. There was never a day that went by that he didn’t appreciated it all. Everything around him. He knew where this was where he wanted to be. In all the days he’d been here, there was never a place he regretted going; never did this place make him feel like an outsider, even though that’s exactly what he was. It simply felt like home.

Now inside the departure gates, he was surrounded by shops and people. Some on their way out of this country. Some on their way into this country. Everyone had their own place to go, their own things to do. Except him. He just stood there for a few seconds, taking in everything. Taking in where he was. And he thought “it’s time to eat that lunchbox I bought”. He’d bought it at the train station right before getting on the bus. Knowing it was his last meal from this place for at least a long while, he had been determined to get a meal which meant something to him; a meal which he had eaten in many different places, a meal which never once tasted the same; a single meal which sometimes had sustained him an entire day. A meal which from the last time he’d been here and learnt so much.

As he wandered into the waiting area with lounges arranged in S-shapes, he spotted a seat at the end of a curve. This was where he was going to have his last meal, and he knew this as soon as he saw it. Settling into the seat, he put down his backpack which weighed down on his body, at once both part of him and a burden; it contained all his memories. Sights he’d seen, places he’d been. He unpacked his lunchbox, and took a bite.

It was then that the tears started welling up in his eyes. Suddenly, he felt so alone. So alone in all of this airport. This city. This country. This world. He didn’t want to go back. It wasn’t his home, he’d never felt like he belonged there at all. Most people around him hadn’t considered these questions; for him, it weighed on his mind every day. He pulled his cap lower to cover his eyes, and continued eating his lunchbox. Mouthfuls of food inbetween sniffles and tears dripping down his face. The food wasn’t this salty the last time he’d had it. But that’s probably also because he wasn’t feeling this way the last time he was eating it either.

Questions ran through his mind non-stop. “What am I leaving behind here? Why do I have to go? Why can’t I just stay? Can I just leave the airport again? How long will it be before I can come back? Will it all be different? Will the roads I walked be the same, will the stores still be there, will the people I met still be around?” There was nothing he could do to stem the flow of tears and thoughts, both pouring as out as one. It had been a long time since he last cried, or even felt an outburst of emotion such as this. He just let it keep going, and he kept eating at the same time. It probably looked pretty silly, if anyone was watching. Crying and eating. Nobody cares, anyway.

As the tears dried up, so the lunchbox ran out too. And then, he felt peaceful. No, it wasn’t all right now. But he knew that he had work to do. Dreams to achieve. And going back was going to help him achieve those dreams. And one of those dreams was to come to this place again. This place which held his imagination, this place which occupied his mind, this place which had captured his soul since he was just a young boy – and had never let go.

Photo credits: skyline at 五分埔, 台北,台灣 (Wu Fen Pu Wholesale Markets, Taipei, Taiwan)

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Twinkle twinkle, little star

Do you ever find yourself driving along at night, and you suddenly notice the sky isn’t pitch black, but rather sparkling instead?

You say goodbye to your friends after dinner and walk back to your car. You look up and you’re greeted by an array of jewels in the sky.

Is there a special place you like to go, away from all the noise and lights, where you can be in peace and quiet and soak up the light show above you?

Sometimes we’re so busy looking where we’re going, we forget to look up.

There’s something mesmerising about stargazing. The name itself – stargazing – evokes many feelings. Romance – sitting there with the person you love. Peace – I can’t speak to the sky, but it speaks to me. Wonder – where did this all come from? Discovery – what’s out there? Sadness – just me, stars and the night sky. Joy – admiring the natural beauty of it all.

The stars – they don’t give us anything tangible. There’s nothing to gain from stargazing. Yet somehow, they still manage to calm my soul, rest my eyes, and bring peace to my mind. In a world surrounded by artificial light, a world where I can turn light on and off – the light of the stars is the only thing I have no control over, yet somehow it has control over me.

And the moon? Do you ever find yourself talking to the moon?

Photo credits: taken by skyline at 富士山,日本 (Mt. Fuji, Japan)

Why I Ride

Riding a motorcycle is dangerous. I could get cleaned up by a car any second. I could lose traction and hit a tree. I could go wide in a turn and go head-on into another car.

But why do I do it? It’s not the negatives that spur me on, because if it was, then I wouldn’t be doing it. For me, the positives outweigh the negatives.

The freedom. The sensation: the wind in my hair (boys and girls, keep your helmets on), the breeze on my face, the smell of the rich exhaust, the rasping roar, the low but rumbling idle, the thrill of going faster than you actually dare, leaning further and further into corners, the realisation that my life is largely in my hands – these are some, but not all, of the many things which make riding a motorcycle an amazing experience.

My right hand controls how long I live for – seconds? Minutes? Hours? Or how soon I come to my end. If I feel lucky, maybe I’ll give it a bit more of a twist. If I’m lucky, nothing bad will happen. And if nothing bad happens, then that means I’m blasting my away from everyone else, in my own world.

I’m yet to come across an apt description of what it feels like to be cruising along at, clear road ahead, beautiful blue sky, warm sun, cool breeze, peace and quiet around except for the exhaust, one with the bike. My head inside the helmet, in its own little world – drifting away, yet at the same time 100% focused on riding, feeling the bike, feeling the road. It’s surreal, addictive and exhilarating like nothing else I’ve ever tried.

The beauty is that I could be rocketing along – or I could be cruising along, it wouldn’t matter. It’s the experience that counts. Not how fast you get there. Not how many turns you took. Not how low you got around the corners. And the best thing about it all?

That’s for you to answer.

Musing: Those moments

This one’s going to be slightly tangential, drifting, and philosophical – A.K.A this might mean nothing to you.

Today, I had one of those moments; where everything just feels right, and there were no worries on your mind, and you were just in the moment doing what you loved. Let me set the scene. I’m a burger lover, and today I woke up with one thing on my mind for lunch: a nice juicy burger (or two). So off I went to the shopping centre and bought all the ingredients; some nice chuck steak, lettuce, cheese – and to top it off, I found brioche burger buns after searching for months. I knew it was going to be good today. As I set off home, the sun was shining, the breeze was slightly cool and very refreshing – i didn’t care for traffic at all, just took my time.

After getting home, I get myself setup. I love to cook – I just love the process of it all, and of course, the result – but sometimes I think I love cooking more than eating itself, and if you knew me then that’d tell you something. I bring out my speaker and attach it to my phone, and choose my playlist. This week, I have absolutely been listening to one thing only – 甜梅號 (Sugar Plum Ferry), a post-rock band from Taiwan (discovered them through KKBOX, which is a story for another day!). With nobody else at home, I turned it up full blast. I love to cook, and I love to sing (I may not be very good at either, but I love both nonetheless), and one thing I love even more – cooking and singing at the same time. It just soothes the soul.

Anyway, I digress, because Sugar Plum Ferry’s songs don’t have lyrics. They don’t need lyrics, because their songs speak to the soul like no words can. And as I was dicing, seasoning and mincing the beef, I rocked out with not a care in the world, not a worry, not a feeling of urgency. Just going at my own pace, enjoying the moment. It was in those moments that I felt peaceful and happy, and content. I’m struggling to fully express what I felt with words, because I just can’t seem to frame it correctly with words. I was listening to music I loved, I was making food I loved, I was looking forward to eating it, I had a full day ahead to do whatever I wanted. After some recent turbulent times, this was exactly what I needed, and I had it.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that we’re often so busy with our work, social engagements, and various other responsibilities and commitments to even sit down and tend to ourselves. You know how sometimes you’re just sitting outside and a bird lands nearby and it starts to preen and clean itself? Let’s take that as a metaphor for our psychological wellbeing – sometimes we just need to stop flying, get on the ground and have a break and get the dirt off, straighten our feathers before we go fly again.

So in the end, what is my point? I’m not sure, because I can’t really sum it up either. I just wanted to write out my thoughts on this day as I haven’t enjoyed a day like this in a while.

Oh I realised I still haven’t finished telling my story. So, I rocked out, riding the symphony in my mind like a surfer rises to the crest of the wave and cruises through the barrel – it was one of those surreal moments. I made my burger, sat down, ate them both, and let the music continue. I sat there for a while, basking in the sunlight with a full stomach, happy ears, and a peaceful mind. There was nothing else I wanted, and nothing else that could be given to me to make me more content that I was at that moment. It was more than that though. I just enjoyed the process of everything I’d just done, so much that even if it tired me out, I didn’t feel it.

And then I returned to reality – I had to wash the dishes. I hate washing the dishes.

Photo credits: taken by skyline at 橋頭海攤公園 (Chiao Tou Beach Park), 台南,台灣 (Tainan, Taiwan).

Start your engines

We thought that it was time to start properly writing. This is a blog about cars, and cars are much more than mechanical transportational objects! There is a whole culture and emotional level to cars which is not often explored, so this blog section will be dedicated to our musings on the non-mechanical side of things. It would be great for people to leave comments and have a healthy discussion as well, so feel free to do exactly that.To kick things off:

Why do people like cars so much? Specifically, why do people care so much? Conversely, why do some people care so little?

Sukairine: Here’s a bit of my background + my take on it. As a kid, I didn’t particularly like cars. I wasn’t really a fan. Sure, I had toy cars, and would race them around my rectangular shaped carpet – but superheroes were more my thing! I loved Power Rangers. Funnily enough, my uncle (in his 20s at the time of my childhood) had a nice EG Civic – not slammed, not stanced, but definitely not standard (riced up, at the least! And later on, he got a Prelude – VTEC!). My dad, also, had an Integra for a short time. Not a Type R, but still, he loved that car. I didn’t really pay attention to either of those cars. Fast forward to my early high school years, and I still did not care about cars. Friends would talk about staying up to watch the F1, and I would think ‘What a waste of time and effort!’. But, for some reason, I now had a ‘favourite car’. It was the WRX STI. Not the Bugeye! I loved its looks. It was TOUGH, but looked slick at the same time. Still, I never considered getting one, it was purely admiration.

Then, out of uni, friends started buying their own cars. One thing I’ve forgotten to mention is that a LOT of my friends are car enthusiasts – some more than others, but enthusiasts nonetheless. An MX5 here, a Prelude there, a S15,  then another MX5, then a Chaser, then an R33…

And, as I’ve mentioned before, it was after that one fateful ride in the R33 which pushed me into the decision to save up for an R34. Months later, BAM. So here I am, now a ‘car enthusiast’ living the enthusiast life.