Monday, December 31, 2012

Journey to Egypt: Promise fulfilled

Dear Mai and Milano,
I am not sure if you remember me at all.
By chance, we met in Egypt in March 2009, twice! I remember meeting both of you for the first time and then again in a caravan heading to Abu Simbel where you saw me sleeping in one of the vans that were passing by.
As far as I recall, from the remnants of the tickets and photos that I have, I got your contacts and promised that I would send you an email after coming back to Thailand.
I never forgot the promise but, to be more precise, my laziness overcame my sense of duty and I set aside all the tickets, notes and diary about Egypt on my desk, telling myself that someday I would sort them out and put them all together in my diary.  Sadly, that day never came... well, at least, until now.
I am cleaning my room, to welcome the New Year and now I came across a note in which your email addresses are written.  So, I fumbled through the photo vault and I found this photo where both of you are in!  It is not clear but I hope that you can recognize yourselves!
By the way, it’s virus-free! don’t worry.
So, I hope that this email doesn’t come too late and that both of you are fine.  I wish you all the best for this coming New Year 2013.
Best Regards from Bangkok,
P.D. I even remember who is who.  Mai, you are the one standing on the stone and Milano, you are the one taking the photo! It’s funny how memory works.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

What makes me smile...

What is making me smile right now are simply chilling and peaceful atmosphere in my partly-lit bedroom, Pink Martini's lighthearted songs and a little cozy working station corner that effortlessly make up a perfect combination of my own personal world. Oh, and there's also one more thing that makes me unable to stop smiling; the fact that I am going to start blogging again.

Just a few days ago, I received a notification from Blogspot letting me know that someone had left a message in one of my columns and so I, for the first time in many months, logged in to check it out. There was a note from an anonymous acquaintance (or a friend?) of mine encouraging me to keep on writing again. That was actually not the first nudge to reality that I have received, a similar form of encouragement was passed to me months (or years?) ago and, although I acknowledged it, I unfortunately never had much chance to continue.

This message led me to another starting point. In the metro, I started reading my own blogs initially written years ago and suddenly found myself unable to stop smiling. Damn, if it is not to say that I am a funny writer, I'd dare say that I so damn like what I have written!

All the past events came back to me like an unstopple flow of water that, blocked for so long, had finally managed to find its way to seep through those tiny cracks of memory and came fetching me these nostalgic sense of longing. I couldn't help noticing that this blog has actually grown up with me and has inevitably become one of the evidences of truths about my life, past, present and future.

Then something caught my attention. The blog was hardly attended to during 2009 and 2010 and then almost completely forgotten from then on until now. The last few columns I wrote about were all about those promises to keep on writing - not for anyone else but just for myself and the sake of this little kid called "A Glimpse of the World" to whom I had given a life by filling him with all my stories and thoughts. As much as I would have wanted to, circumstances were different and getting more difficult each day that I somehow lost my spirit on the way while trying my best to catch up with the frenetic daily working life.

Stresses took over and works replaced what I used to enjoy when I was younger. Fear of failure substituted the passion for success. Pressure mounted, I crumbled on the inside and this child was forgotten.

When I read these blogs again the other day, I remembered those feelings I had when writing them. I remembered how I could be completely absorbed into my own little world and enjoyed putting all my thoughts in words to let the world know what I liked, what I wanted and what I did. I remembered how precious these moments were when I would shut my door, lie down on my cozy bed and let my thoughts wonder aimlessly to find those tiny seeds of ideas which I could make into something greater, something worth mentioning and something thought-provoking or even something funny.

I miss those rewarding feelings. It's been a year or so that I haven't enjoyed this privilege that nothing else would be able to replace. Turning my eyes once again on this little page left alone to feed on nothing but the past stories that I have given him, I know that my spirit was not lost. It was just left here, together with the evidences of my life, waiting to be recovered once more so that we both can grown together, continue the journey and enjoy what we do best.

Now I just can't stop smiling again...

Sunday, May 09, 2010


OK, let me sum it up this way; I have just got a BIG wake up call and realized that I am desperately in need of getting control (again) over every aspect of my life. Some, even most, things are uncontrollable but at least I do hope to be able to have my well-thought plans laid out properly instead of keeping out blindfolded and pray.

My digital absence from this blog was a part of what my life has been about. It was all about time, schedules, duties, tasks, jobs, arrangements, just as everyone else has to busy him/herself with. However, I just notice that apart from the lack of time to spend on the blog to express my thoughts and emotions, it also, more dangerously, reflects my lack of inspirations.

When I first started the blog, my aim was to sharpen my language skills and the like. Then it became some kinds of hobbies and an occasional place of refuge and personal expression from the dynamic world of reality. It seemed like the blog grew up with me and then, suddenly, one day it just stopped when the reality gradually seeped into my own private world. Family, friends, love life, social life, materialism, capitalism, professionalism and so on took priorities in my life and somehow kicked asides my once-intense dreams of old days.

I kept saying that I would do this and that some day or when it was time to do so. I knew that the day wouldn't come easily if I kept on like this but I ignored the fact and continued lying to myself while feeling, as if carefree, deeply disturbed.

It was like, as Thai saying goes, a ball of mud accumulated on the little tail of a pig which grew bigger and bigger until it is too big a problem for the little pig to get it off himself. He wouldn't be able to do it nor anyone else would and he would have to live with the burden during the rest of his life unless he gets the courage to one day find any solutions to get rid of it for the sake of his well being.

I was that little pig but a little more fortunate. I got that BIG wake up call today.

Call it a reality check or whatever terms you may coin, but it is still one of the most important things in my life that really put me back in the right track.

Now that I have chosen to continue along the path I deem adequate in order to get to the goals I have just set, the rest is about how to get there, which will not be easy at all. There will be bumps on the roads or even some moments I want to give up, but at least when I have time to look back, I believe all this written courage would still bring me some smiles and remind me of what I am doing, what I want to do and where I want to get to and, most importantly, continue my efforts as initially planned.

I do hope to count on your support, in whatever forms in might be.

Wish me success!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Belated Repentance

Our relationship reached the point of no return when we decided to go to the cinema on a Sunday's late afternoon.

We were in a hurry, hoping to get there in time, but a car appeared from the other side of the road, taking a u-turn, and my car came to stop before crashing into it. I missed it only by an inch.

I got angry and made gestures to the driver and he in turn, with his passengers, did the same. When I headed off, he decided to came rushing after me, advancing his speed to my left and suddenly changed the lane into mine.

I got furious and did the same. This time, when already in front of his car, I slowed down quite abruptly, waiting for the impact, which never occured.

He got outrageous and did the same. Now we are both running down the tunnel under a monument and he came into my front and pulled over. Luckily, with such incredible speed, I stopped the car right before it would crash.

We pulled over, emotions boiling. After a few seconds, I decided to go on, leaving the damn car behind.

I never heed the warning that Pol was pouring out at that critical moment.

Now it was his turn to get furious. When we arrived the cinema, he got out of the car without a word. The only communication I got afterwards was an SMS; If you don't care for your life, you should care for the others.

I never replied, called nor sent any message to say "I am sorry", for one week. Not because I did not regret what I had done but I needed time to think it over. I didn't want my apology to be just a mere word of "sorry" without deeper, more sincere meaning. If I had to say it, I had to really be "sorry". Sorry for my actions and consequences thay may have followed. I knew that at the moment, any insights, blocked by boiling emotions and prejudice over myself, would not come to me. That was why I preferred to do some serious thinking about me, my actions and the consequences.

Why did I did what I did? Why was I losing control? Didn't I care for the one I loved who was sitting next to me? ... and the most heart-aching question of alls ... What if something out of expectation had happened?

After days of pondering, I was so sure that I really regretted my reckless actions, which should never have taken place to begin with and might have caused tremendously more damage than one could ever imagine, either to me or the adversary. It was a foolhardy decision, full of rage and selfishness; the wish to satisfy one's own inner anger while putting the others' lives at stake.

This couldn't be undone. All I could ever do was took a courage to call and say "I am sorry" and explaning the absence of my communication after the incident. I knew it was all my fault and I regretted it but he said it was too late.

All I needed to explain was already explained to him. It was not in my power to have a final say on the fate of our relationship because, I think, the culprit did not have the right to choose but only to explain the motives of his actions and whether he had repented or not. He, on the other hand, was entitled to the right to making the choices that needed to be made.

So, now, I only sit back, feeling agitated, and be ready for any judgment thay may come.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Love sucks when there is no trust.

I have had a pretty rough love life since the beginning of this year and I thought that all of this would come to an end when I accidentally met Pol, a cute slim tanned Thai guy of pretty much the same age.

As almost every couple, we had a great "promotion" period in our first phase of romance but here came the moment of disillusion when the perfect guy seem to be not so perfect at all. The only exception in my case is that this was revealed just a little bit too early than I would have wanted.

Suddenly I found myself in a situation in which I had to answer to every tiny bit of his interrogation on my daily routines which also include my workout at the gym, my hanging out with friends or colleagues or even my weekly swimming practice.

I am OK with answering doubtful questions with truth. However, I am so not OK with answer all of them every day as if this was supposed to be one of my daily obligation. Actually answering any excessive amount of questions is so not endearing and finally it wears you out.

Things turned out that when I decided to let out my feeling, I was seen as someone who tried to shield himself by reflecting these interrogative arrows elsewhere so he could avoid revealing the unspeakable truth (which, of course, is always "speakable"). I wish I could express my feeling verbally better than in writing so that he could grasp the idea I tried to convey and learned to trust me once and for all.

Sometimes I just can't get the idea of how people can always say that they are deeply in love with one another while, in practice, they just keep their eyes on every move the other part makes.

Can we just stop destabilising the foundation of love and start building trust by putting more faith on our loved ones?

Sunday, August 02, 2009


Okay, I promised you the one last chapter about my Egyptian Odyssey four months ago! Obviously I'm that sort of guys who keep their word seriously, heheh. Sorry for that! Well, before putting an end to the unforgettable experience in the Promised Land, I'd love to share a tiny bit of time to mention about my 26th birthday.

Now I have officially reached the first milestone of what I call "Life as a serious adult". Lots of things to think and worry about; the unseen future that is to come, the unretrievable past that was fully lived and the challenging present that never stops flowing.

I have just realized that I am a conventional, traditional, under-control kind of devoting white collars. My financial and career plans keep bouncing in my head non-stop lately. So much so that sometimes it crossed my mind that I couldn't let go. Why so? I really don't know.

Probably spending too much time in the professional rat race has magically teleported me into this egocentric world I used to hate. I was so focused on my goals that once I slipped or erred a bit, I became overstressed, which affected my physically and socially as well.

A day before my birthday I had an unexpected lunch with a bunch of old friends which sadfully reminded me of how far off I was from their circle. I could hardly catch up on what they were talking and had to put myself up-to-date immediately. Then it occured to me that I had rarely gone with friends and they just started to get too bored to ask me out.

That will be different from now. As a birthday present to myself, I will reward me with a little less time in the rat race and spend more of it hanging out. That's what life is all about after all; enjoy it while you can, but moderately, of course.

This year I have got nice birthday presents and chocolate cakes from my beloved family, friends and colleagues. I appreciated the friendship that an ex-enemy of mine in the office sincerely offered me. That was a good sign. At least, I learned to let go some aspects of the pessimism I used to firmly grab hold of.

Another excellent present I got arrived in the form of an email. It was not a message that wished me the best nor the colourful e-card. It was just a plan three-lined message:-

happy birthday
sorry for everything

An apology is one of the greatest blessing you can ever receive on your birthday. Especially if it comes from someone who you appreciate, no matter how badly hurt you are.

That wasn't my first reaction at first. Actually, it was the contrary; I was furious. I was enraged of receiving a message that reminded me of the painful past. But one of my best friends, Now, enlightened me with such an insightful perspective; why don't you take it as a good sign for your birthday? It's a heart-warming feeling to realize that to him/her you mean something, that he/she cares for your feeling and wants to apologize.

So, another birthday present to myself is learn to let go. I haven't successfully done it but I promise that I will try my best and that some day in the future I will forget and forgive.

All I need now is time because, the will, I have just got it already.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Chronicles of Mod: My Truths about Egypt (5)

9. How many deaths caused by car accidents are there each year?

The way they turn ordinary trips by car into cranky heart-stopping rollercoaster rides and, even more unbelievably, the fact that pedestrians DARE to cross these streets of madness (successfully!) stimulate my curiosity gland to pour out questions like "Why, during my whole stay, have I never seen any accidental injuries or deaths?!?!?". Did I miss something?

10. Thailand is still unknown!

It's a heartbreaking fact but let's face it, my fellow countrymen. No matter how hard we promote our heavenly islands full of fine white sandy beaches where breezy afternoon endlessly casts a sedating charm on those who seek peaceful hideaways from the outside world, we hardly succeed in giving knowledge of our existance to the world! (Yep! not only Egyptians nor Spaniards!)

Most conversations (80%) went like this:

Local: Hello, my friends, where are you from?
Guest: Thailand. (*Let it be known that it was clearly pronounced).
Local: Japan? Oh! I love Japan!
Guest: No! Thailand!
Local: Ah!!! Taiwan. Nii Hao!
Guest (Fuming): THAILAND.
Local: Ah!!! Thailand...Do you want to buy some souvenirs???

11. Though still in winter, the late-morning sun was blazingly hot and burnt my skin more than in Bangkok. So, be prepared!

12. I didn't see any Egyptian sparrows though.

I wonder where they could be? Will Egypt be one of those few countries where sparrows hardly survive? Not likely, I think. Pigeons, on the other hand, are everywhere, competing in numbers with flies.

13. My haggling skill was reduced down to zero here.

I'm sure my mom would have done way better and would have saved me more than 40% of what I had spent (Sigh...)

14. I had friends everywhere.

You too can have "local friends" practically everywhere in Egypt (especially in commercial areas).

Some of my favourite quotes are the following:

- "Since you are my friend, I will give you a special price."
- "You are a very good friend, you will get cheap price."
- "Hello my friend! Souvenirs/boat ride/hotel/taxi?"


All of these are the most impressive aspects I found out about this charming ancient country. Actually there are more tales to tell but I prefer to save them for later occasions :)

I hope my anecdotes haven't bored you and be of some use to you should you decide to hop on board to Egypt. My feeling expressed here may seem like I'm annoyed by these aspects, but let it be VERY clear that I cherish this unforgettable experience in this lovely, colourful and, most importantly, different country. So, no matter how much I talk about pros and cons of this place, Egypt will still be one of my greatest favourite destination of all time.

Next chapter I will tell you about my fortunate encounter with some interesting persons.