Live, and let live.

無道德霉體。可鄙。

fake

法新社:林冠華死於親中洗腦教育

這是今天讀到的一個新聞標題。很好奇,就點進去看了。好奇,因為我在英國這裡,有關反課綱的報導只有 BBC,Daily Mail 和 The Independent 在海外新聞版有蜻蜓點水式地提到,雖然台灣自己內部已經鬧得不可開交了。

讀完了,滿肚子大便。

課綱反與不反,都是中華民國憲法賦予的意見自由;本來,每個人因為種種主客觀因素,對於相同的歷史事件,會有不同的解析。但是,硬要扭曲事實來達成自己的政治目的,那是很可鄙的一件事;尤其是看到這些錯字連篇(都不是艱深的國字喔!)的學生,反課綱的理由都答得支支吾吾的,真的令人無言。

我不會說甚麼小孩子不懂事的話,因為大家都有過年少輕狂的時期,年輕人有熱情是好事。我記得自己國中開始就想要當立法委員,因為想去立法院跟朱高正打架,覺得他太不像話了;一直到高中畢業,我對於政治始終都很有興趣,也是因此注意到了當時剛在政壇嶄露頭角的馬總統(又很巧,我高一時候的姊妹淘,爸爸是馬總統從學生時期開始相交的拜把,因此知悉了不少逸事)。從經國先生的秘書,到研考會主委、陸委會主委、法務部部長、台北市市長,到今日的中華民國總統。。。我看到的他,一路走來,真的始終如一。我無法理解那些不喜歡他的人,但那是你的自由,我尊重。我唯一的疑問是:你可以不不喜歡他,但是只因為不喜歡,就要抹煞他所做的一切嗎?不好意思,那是標準的偏見!

令我憂心的是,當這份熱情遮瞎了眼,蒙蔽了理智,就會走上與 ISIS 那些恐怖分子一樣的路。Freedom is not license — 民主不是為所欲為,這也是為甚麼民主與法治必須並存。你要反課綱,可以,但是還有很多人支持課綱啊,為甚麼只能聽你的?

離題了。

總之,帶著一肚子大便上了法新社的網站法新社 AFP 查詢,因為我的經驗告訴我,很多原文報導跟台灣編譯過後的版本都有出入。我懶得去探究這種謬誤背後的動機。

詭異的事來了。。。無論是用 Taiwan 或 Taipei,甚至是這篇民報新聞中的「Chu Chen」,都查詢未果。

又是政治打手瞎掰嗎?我留言:「我想請問這位『編譯』記者,可不可以附上原始新聞的網址?為甚麼我上法新社網站根本查不到???」

結果,才一下子的工夫,這個留言就被噓了好幾次。不單純吧?這些網友(網軍?)為甚麼不是提供原始新聞的網址以正視聽,反而是直接噓我呢?反課綱不是攸關台灣未來嗎?我百思不解欸。

原來,台灣是個不需要真相的地方,霉體也不過是政治打手,「標籤」,才是唯一的衡量標準。

The Accidental ‘Eloquent’ Troublemaker 莫名其妙的 Troublemaker

Enough said.

Enough said.

For the past two years, I’ve been feeling as if I’m no longer able to communicate with others the way I used to… as if my ability to express myself has somewhat disintegrated. Because, it just seems so easy to get my messages misconstrued…

Now, I’m not talking about those situations when some people are just committed to misunderstanding you — They somehow feel the need to assert their ‘one-upmanship’ no matter what, such as the ridiculous religious debates which were forced on me.

I’m referring to pure misunderstanding (I mean, hopefully… I really would like to believe in the good in people, particularly those I love) caused by communication breakdowns which could generally boil down to different mindsets, together with the probable language barrier and culture gap.

Last Saturday, I met Waffle’s stepfather Karl and nephew Sweet Pea for the first time. Falling for Sweet Pea the instant we were introduced, I just couldn’t take my eyes off that permanent angelic smile, which reminded me of my own nephews Winter and Khan who I spent quite some time with when they were small.

When I reached out to Sweet Pea for a handshake, Karl chuckled,  ‘Troublemaker!’

Upon hearing this, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. I caught a fleeting glimpse of slight uneasiness on Sweet Pea’s face. But, it was quickly erased by his angelic smile.

Throughout the time, I felt the urge to talk to him. He just seemed so sweet. And every time I turned, he was smiling at me. I made faces at him a couple of times which made him laugh. Nothing beats a child’s heartfelt laughter.

On the way home, I asked Waffle about Sweet Pea’s age.

Waffle started telling me how the many diseases Sweet Pea’s been suffering from have made him look younger than his actual age. I gasped internally, for I couldn’t tell at all.

Then I thought of this word ‘troublemaker’. I recounted the incident to Waffle out of curiosity.

Like I said, I didn’t know what to make of it as I knew nothing about Waffle’s family and certainly not their family dynamics. It might just well be an endearing way to tease each other, some light-hearted family joke, like how sometimes I would call Beam Beam, ‘You little punk!’ and so on.

The reason I noticed it was merely because of my teaching background and recent studies on narrative therapy and children with learning difficulties (my own godson and another nephew  have been diagnosed with autism), general stuff about the power of language. In short, language is my passion.

Also, growing up in Chinese culture, this is not something uncommon, but because I myself was a victim of the false humble attitude in my culture, I’ve become quite cautious around this kind of language.

Waffle straight away clarified there wasn’t any negativity intended on Karl’s part (But frankly, I was just curious if Sweet Pea was naughty at home). Obviously, Sweet Pea admired his granddad and they did get along.

‘I see. I was a little taken aback. That’s all. I thought it wasn’t very nice to tag that word on a little boy.’ Notice I was speaking in the past tense here — ‘thought’.

I carried on the chit-chat about the reason this word caught my attention, partially because I didn’t want Waffle to have the wrong idea about my intention.

Somehow, it backfired spectacularly, which could well be my own fault for failing to achieve eloquence. Waffle was convinced that I was just being critical and judgmental, trying to behave like an expert, about the child-rearing practices his family, particularly his sister — Sweet Pea’s mum, had adopted.

To tell the truth, I was stunned by this unfortunate outcome. Honestly, I was only chit-chatting about my own interest in language, not a single word about his family that I didn’t know anything of. How could I be perceived as so nasty and mean by someone who I regarded as family?

Stupid and slow as usual, I tried to explain, but it only got worse. Waffle got angry, not just upset, and refused to listen to me.

Eventually, I was beside myself with rage when all failed. I frankly was incensed by my own poor communicative ability. I just couldn’t believe it. And partially, I was baffled by Waffle as well — Just how on earth could I criticise and judge before I even got to know that Sweet Pea was disabled?

I apologised after Waffle insisted on his negative feelings towards my words, believing firmly that I was speaking ill of his family, acting like a smartass. Apologies, because I somehow caused the misunderstanding, not because I did speak ill of his family — I DID NOT.

mayaangelou_quote

This freak accident proved that the real troublemaker is actually me. I’m just so socially awkward — never know how to start and when to end. In this case, I should have stopped the chitchat right there. My passion is not of anyone else’s interest at all.  Parenthood is tough enough, and it’s even tougher to have disabled children. So I can understand why this seems such a sensitive issue. I need to be more careful and improve my language proficiency in order to make myself fully understood.

On the other hand, this incident rather took the wind out of my sails. Nothing survives without trust. I always give people the benefit of the doubt. But, I do like to have some in return from time to time.

I came to the realisation that, after all these years flying around the globe, the only people I can feel totally at ease with, knowing that they trust in me no matter what, are my family in Taiwan with whom I grew up with. Throughout the journey, I did try to create my own family, but apparently, I need to work harder on that — I’d like my trust to be reciprocated.

Unfortunately, the only place makes me feel at home is not Taiwan, where my family still are. It’s England. Need me say more? Everything happens for a reason. This is God’s way of helping me achieve my full potential as a human being. Sigh.

SO ~HELP ~ ME ~ GOD!! Amen!!

I don't think there's anything wrong trying to be who and what I am. So I'm gonna keep on telling it as it is. But, more skillfully and 'eloquently', hopefully?

I don’t think there’s anything wrong trying to be who and what I am. So I’m gonna keep on telling it as it is. But, more skillfully and ‘eloquently’, hopefully?

最近這兩年,對自己的溝通能力開始有了質疑,似乎,無論如何努力,就是沒法讓人明白我想表達的。

我指的是那種純粹的誤會 — 因為觀念、思考邏輯不同,還有文化差異所造成的。而不是那種擺明要刁難、死纏爛打非贏你不可的;例如那兩次被沒品的無神論者打鴨子上架的宗教辯論。

上周六,和鬆餅的繼父卡爾還有外甥小甜豆見面。第一眼看到小甜豆,我就喜歡上這個臉上永遠掛著天使般笑容的小男生了,好可愛,讓我想起了兩個寶貝蛋冬冬和蹄膀。

當我跟小甜豆握手打招呼的時候,卡爾突然冒出一句:「Troublemaker!」

我愣一下,不知道應該如何反應,而小甜豆的表情浮現了瞬間即逝的小尷尬,隨而又回復他的天使笑容。

在那將近三十分鐘裡,我其實很想多跟小甜豆說說話,聽孩子說話是很有趣的一件事,尤其他那麼可愛!但是,我們之間隔著卡爾和鬆餅,我不知道怎麼開口比較好。幾次我故意對他作鬼臉,都把他逗得哈哈大笑,孩子的銀鈴般笑聲最好聽了。

回家的路上,我問鬆餅,「小甜豆幾歲啊?」

鬆餅告訴我,小甜豆其實有多重身心障礙,所以看起來比實際年齡要小很多。我大吃一驚,因為我完全沒有覺察出來!

這時,我想到了「Troublemaker!」這個字,出於好奇,就跟鬆餅提了,原來他當場沒有聽到。我說,我不認識他們,所以這也許是家人間親暱的一種互動,就像我也會叫梅小獸:「You little punk!」

鬆餅否認卡爾有任何負面的意思(其實我只是好奇小甜豆在家有很好動很皮嗎?),他告訴我,小甜豆跟卡爾關係很好,小甜豆很崇拜卡爾。

「那就好。本來我是有困惑,想說如果這是貼標籤,不太好吧?」

我繼續瞎聊為甚麼自己會注意到這件事,部分原因也是希望鬆餅不要誤會我的動機。之所以好奇,純粹是因為自己的教學背景,最近又正好都在讀關於語文學習障礙的課程,還有敘事治療的書,而且乾兒子和外甥是自閉兒。。。總之,我對於語言這一塊就是很有興趣。

另一個原因會讓我注意到這個字,是因為我不喜歡我們的文化裡,那種偽謙虛太多了:「哪裡哪裡!他什麼什麼最差了,他最皮了。。。」

很不幸,悲劇依然發生了,只能怪我自己的表達能力不足吧?鬆餅認為我就是在說他家人(尤其是小甜豆的媽媽)壞話,認為我提到自己的背景什麼的,是在以專家姿態批判論斷他們的教養有問題。

走到這個地步,真的是大出我意料,怎麼會這樣呢?我明明只是在瞎聊自己對語言的熱情,壓根沒提到他和他家人半個字,怎麼就變成這樣一個苛薄又下流的人?

我腦筋一向不夠靈活,反應也慢,所以還傻傻地企圖解釋,但只是加強了反效果。鬆餅氣炸了,不願意聽我說了。

最後,我也火了,被自己無可置信的爛溝通能力惹火的。除了氣憤的情緒,我也無法理解鬆餅的態度 — 根本我一開始都不知道小甜豆的身心多重障礙,是要怎麼批判論斷?!

我最喜歡的作家之一 Maya Angelou 說過一句話:『。。。人們不會記得你說過的話、做過的事,但他們永遠不會遺忘你曾經給他們的感受。』鬆餅很堅持他對這件事的負面感受,所以,我最終道歉了;不是因為我做錯事(說他們家壞話 — 我沒有!),而是因為我造成了這個誤會。

這次意外證明了一件事:我才是那個莫名其妙的 troublemaker!一直以來,我是個不善於社交的傢伙,始終在學習如何應對進退。其實,我幹嘛要瞎聊那麼多?誰有興趣聽?當父母原本就是修行,有殘障孩子更是大不易,所以,我可以理解為甚麼鬆餅這麼敏感。未來,期望自己更加謹慎,並且加強語文能力作出有效的溝通。

另一方面,坦白說,這件事也讓我有點小小地喪氣。無論何種關係,沒有了信任,就無法持續。這也是為甚麼,我總是願意先相信人性本善,除非對方給我足夠的理由撤銷信任。我是做了什麼,讓一個我視為家人的人,這麼不信任呢?

終於明白,這些年來,繞了大半個地球,恐怕還是只有原生家庭是讓我完全信任的,也是最信任我的。雖然,旅途中,我一直都在試著建造自己的家,看來是「革命尚未成功,同志仍須努力」– 我要的是對等的信任,而不只是我單方面的。

只是,我的歸屬感在英格蘭,不在台灣。這無異是 上帝的巧妙安排。我沒有怨言,因為, 上帝的意念高於我們這些凡人的,該修習的課題,就要好好完成才是。

只求 上帝能繼續保守我成長的腳步。阿門!

Children learn what they live 言教不如身教

This morning, finally remembered to pass the stamps to Paul. Almost everyone I know has been collecting stamps for the Big Headz.

Sugar, Momo, Chocholit, Lollipop, Sheepy, Blur Blur, and Marshmellow.

Sugar, Momo, Chocholit, Lollipop, Peach, Blur Blur, and Marshmallow.

Once it was done, Beam and I walked on towards school.

Beam made an observation, ‘You’re very good at collecting stamps.’

‘Oh? Haha ~ I like the way you put it. Tell it as it is. You know, some would definitely make comments like “Wow! You’re rich!”‘ (Note: One stamp for every £5 spent ^_^)

‘Really? ‘

‘Yuh. Remember some of the people we know? They’re somehow forever comparing themselves to others, forever assuming and using every opportunity to make a statement.’

‘Mm, true,’ looking thoughtful, Beam understood fully what I was saying for I’d been talking about everything with her, even my love life.

After our playful farewell routine (Me: ‘See you at Christmas!’ & Beam: *hissing as she walked into school ~*), I headed to Co-Op and couldn’t help beaming all the way. I was touched by the positivity in her words.

Language is not just a tool for communication and expression. Behind a language, there’s always a certain set of values and a specific culture (or cultures!). How you use it definitely reflects your world view and beliefs.

Therefore, I was delighted to see Beam focusing on telling it like it is, positively.

The other night, while I was cleaning the kitchen and getting ready for bedtime, suddenly, there came Beam’s crisp voice, ‘I think I accidentally killed the baby spider.’

I turned, and saw her standing there with an apologetic look on her face, frowning.

She was trying to move the spider, who was strolling on her laptop, to somewhere else, but somehow managed to squash it because the stack of paper bent unexpectedly and hit the wall.

‘Er…’ I was trying hard to be nurturing and looking for some words of wisdom for this unfortunate incident.

‘Oh well, at least he won’t have to worry about being murdered again,’ wise as Yoda, Beam found her conclusion before I had the chance to pretend being smart.

I laughed. This sounded too familiar, ‘Are you copying my “Look on the bright side” philosophy?’

Beam cracked up too, ‘Of course! I know too well this is exactly what you would say, right?’

‘Oh well…’ I couldn’t deny at all.

What can I say? Children do learn what they live!

*************************************************

今天上學的時候,終於記得帶集點卡給人了,最近大家都在集點換大頭毛娃娃。

保羅似乎又驚又喜,看來卡塔沒有告訴這個老公,她早就跟我說好,如果我不集了,麻煩要給她。他那超感激的表情,令人莞爾。

揮手道別後,我和梅小獸繼續往學校前進,一邊延續我們無意義的閒聊。

「你很會集點耶。」梅小獸突地冒出這一句。

「是喔?」這個評語讓我覺得有點好笑,「哈哈~你很會觀察喔,也很實事求是!你知道,有些人肯定是妄下結論:『哇!好有錢噢!』」(貓咪註:五英鎊集一點)

「真的?」

「對啊,你忘了我們認識的一些人就是這樣啊!好像無時無刻都要跟人比較,隨時對地都在臆測論斷。」

「啊對吼!」梅小獸馬上想起來了。我們家從來沒有所謂「小孩子不懂!」這回事,我什麼都跟她說,包括我的感情生活。

學校到了,我們照例擁別,我會故意說:[聖誕節再見啦!」梅小獸就嘶嘶叫抗議,然後一邊走進校園。

我回頭,往鎮上走去;腦海中不斷重複播放剛才的畫面,忍不住開心地笑著。

語言不光是語言,它不只是一個表達、溝通的工具,語言的背後,更是一種價值,一個文化。你如何使用語言,絕對跟你背後的價值信念有關。。。

~【故事的療癒力量】by 周志建

所以,我欣見梅小獸這樣正面取向的談話方式。

某個夜晚,當我正在廚房做最後的清理,耳邊突然傳來梅小獸清脆又帶點稚嫩的聲音:「我好像不小心把那隻小蜘蛛弄死了耶。」

我回過頭,梅小獸定定站在那兒,臉上帶著十分羞愧的神情。

小蜘蛛在她的電腦上散步,被發現了,於是,她拿了一疊紙,企圖把小蜘蛛移到別的地方。人算不如天算,約莫是手拿的力道不平衡,紙張突然往下凹,整個貼上了牆!站在紙上的小蜘蛛,就這麼不明不白地噶兒屁了。

「喔。。。」我思索著有什麼睿智的話語可以派上用場,平常當個笨媽媽無所謂,但是偶爾也會想要裝一下有智慧的樣子。

但是這位年輕的 Yoda 搶先了一步,一點機會也不給:「嗯,起碼,她都不用再擔心死亡這件事了。」

我笑了,太耳熟啦!「你這是在 copy 我的樂天哲學嗎?」(我的口頭禪之一就是「往好的方面看。。。」)

梅小獸也笑了:「那當然!這不就是你會說的話嗎?!」

我認了。

還能說什麼?言教不如身教。就這麼回事兒 ^_*

Lead by example.

Lead by example.

Marbled Cat, MUTO, Godzilla and Humans 雲貓,媽媽MUTO,酷斯拉和人類

Stumbled upon some thrilling news today. That the Marbled Cat was spotted in Yunnan Province (southwestern China) after 30 years of absence!

http://www.china.org.cn/china/Off_the_Wire/2015-03/06/content_34979315.htm

Images of the rare marbled cat have been captured in a remote nature reserve in southwest China’s Yunnan Province, researchers said on Friday.

This is the first time researchers with Gaoligong Nature Reserve, which was founded in 1983, have managed to obtain photographic evidence of the endangered animal.

The discovery was jointly announced by Kadoorie Conservation China (KCC) and Gaoligong Nature Reserve.

Images were captured on Oct. 7, 2014 and Nov. 11, 2014 by infrared cameras installed at the Datang station of the nature reserve, according to researchers.

Wang Yingxiang, researcher with Kunming Institute of Zoology of Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Doctor Will Duckworth with the World Conservation Union confirmed it was the rare marbled cat.

According to Wang, the first records of the marbled cat in Yunnan were a few specimens found in 1976. The animal was last seen in 1984.

“The images captured this time give us proof that the marbled cat is still alive in Yunnan,” Wang said.

Marbled cats, whose scientific name is pardofelis marmorata, has been listed as vulnerable by IUCU. It is mostly distributed in southeast Asia, along the Himalayan foothills and on the island of Borneo.

“We believe the existence of a marbled cat shows the biodiversity of the nature reserve,” said Chen Beile, a department manager of KCC. “It indicates the possibility of discovering more rare animals in the area.”

First, I’ve always had a soft spot for cats, which might have something to do with the fact that I was born in the Year of Tiger (By the way, Maomee means ‘kitten’ and ‘kitty’ in Chinese). Second, Yunnan is where Dad was born and lived until he was forced to flee by the age of 9 due to the civil war.

Marbled Cats (http://www.wildcatconservation.org/wild-cats/asia/marbled-cat/ ) exist in naturally low densities. And the fact that their habitat has been undergoing the world’s fastest deforestation rate due to logging, palm oil plantations, human settlement and agriculture doesn’t help.

Sometimes, I do wonder what the world would be like if humans didn’t exist. Surely, nothing lasts forever, history has proved that extinction is just part of the natural order and evolution. But, when it comes to human-caused extinction, it’s a completely different thing.

I somehow recall a post Beam and I read last night (We were watching Godzilla 2014 with Waffle and got curious about the robot-like MUTO couple), titled ‘Sympathy for Female MUTO‘, discussing the scene in where the humans set off the bombs to destroy the MUTO eggs, and the female MUTO started crying.

I read the post before this happend. Just the description itself was enough to make me avoid that particular scene. Yes, it sounds stupid; ‘No animals were harmed in the making of this film’, and Mutos are not even real anyway. But! I am a mother myself and losing own child is simply heartbreaking.

‘But she’s trying to kill Godzilla!’ Obviously siding with Godzilla, Beam protested, eyes rolling,

‘I am a mother and I know!’ I hissed back. Yes, very childish, I admit.

And when Godzilla sent the female MUTO to hell with the  atomic breath, I couldn’t help but feeling sooooo upset with Godzilla (Mind you, I cried for Godzilla as well when her eggs were destroyed in the 1998 film).

*roarrrrrrrrrr*

*roarrrrrrrrrr*

I know, I know. Silly. Just like how the thread eventually turned into a debate about who you were siding with — Godzilla, or MUTOs? Actually, very entertaining. we did have a good laugh reading the whole thing.

One netizen named Daikaiju Daniell sums it up perfectly, ‘You know human character development is bad when I cry more for the monsters than the main humans.’

Well, let’s not lose hope, shall we?!

或許本身屬虎的緣故,我向來對於貓科動物有難以言喻的喜愛,甚至我的暱稱「貓咪」、「滇貓」都與貓有關。而後者這個「滇」字,也說明了我的血緣:雲南 — 那是爸爸從出生到九歲之前的故鄉。

因著這兩點,今天讀新聞的時候,立馬被這個標題吸引了目光:睽違三十年,大陸雲南再現雲貓蹤跡

(中央社台北8日電)睽違30年,中國大陸雲南再現雲貓蹤跡。

香港文匯報報導,香港嘉道理中國保育部與雲南高黎貢山國家級自然保護區保山管理局騰沖分局日前在聯合記者上表示,在雙方聯合進行的生物多樣性監測與評估活動中,由紅外線相機兩次拍到雲貓的蹤跡。

這也是自1984年12月、30餘年後,雲貓重現大陸雲南。

報導指出,在生物多樣性監測與評估活動中拍攝到的貓科動物影像,經世界自然保護聯盟的專家,及中國大陸哺乳動物專家、中國科學院昆明動物研究所研究員王應祥確認是雲貓。

報導指出,雲貓被列入瀕臨絕種野生動植物國際貿易公約(CITES,又稱華盛頓公約)附錄中,禁止商業性貿易,並被世界自然保育聯盟列為易危(VU)級別。

雲貓廣泛分布於喜馬拉雅山東部、東南亞和印尼婆羅洲,但由於行蹤隱秘、數量稀少,科學界至今並未對其進行專門研究。

真是令人振奮的一則消息!

有時候,我會忍不住想,如果這個世界沒有人類的存在,究竟會是什麼樣?當然,沒有什麼是永久不變的,物競天擇乃至於物種滅絕,畢竟都是大自然演化的一部分,歷史已經一再地證明了這點。但是,當這個滅絕部分摻入了「非自然」的干擾因素,又另當別論了。

這讓我想起昨晚。我跟梅小獸到鬆餅家看2014年新版的酷斯拉,影片進行到一半,我們都對劇中那一對苦命鴛鴦 Muto 很好奇,於是很沒品地開始咕狗;因而,誤打誤撞讀到了一篇名為「同情媽媽 Muto」的帖子,討論的是媽媽 Muto, 在面對辛苦產下的寶貝蛋蛋被炸彈摧毀時,那哀痛欲絕的畫面。不少網友都同感,當然也還是有少數發言是不以為然。

當時片子還沒進行到此,但僅僅這些文字敘述,就足夠我下決心拒絕觀看這個情節。是,我承認這個理由滿蠢的,不過是電影罷了,沒有任何動物受到傷害,更何況還是道具加特效。BUT!我自己當媽媽的,我能夠想像那種失去孩子的椎心之痛呵~

梅小獸聽到我的決定,馬上翻白眼:「她要殺酷斯拉耶!」很顯然已經選邊站了。

「老娘自己是當娘的,所以最清楚!」這個老娘嘶嘶叫著。

當酷斯拉對著媽媽 Muto 噴出原子能火焰奮力一擊時,我又生氣了,你不知道 Muto  只是要保護她的蛋蛋嗎?!虧我1998年的版本有為你掉眼淚,因為看到你辛苦呵護的寶貝們同樣被人類炸光光。吼!

是滿沒營養的啦,就像那篇貼文,最後變成爭論誰支持誰,誰才是真正的壞蛋。坦白說,整個討論的娛樂性很高,讀得我們哈哈大笑。

倒是,一位署名 Daikaiju Daniell 的網友,下了最佳註解:「當你掉淚是為了怪獸而不是人類時,你就知道人類有多可惡了。」

Well, 我們繼續努力吧,希望尚在人間!

I still believe 我依舊相信

Accidentally spent two hours on YouTube, watching Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and David Cameron. Quite interesting, particularly the comments — those words alone, mostly come with outrageous name-calling, certainly give you the impression that they are the worst arseholes since the Big Bang. But if you do watch the whole thing, trying to put aside the ‘inherent label’ you’ve given them for the moment, you might think otherwise. I know I do.

It seems a trendy thing to bitch about politics and politicians. We seem to be always blabbering as if we know best how to run a whole country. Throughout the years, I have encountered a lot of people who proudly regard politics with absolute disdain. I have no problem with that as that’s perfectly within their rights, but I am not at all pleased when my respect for their freedom  is not reciprocated, meaning my opposite point of view inevitably gets taunted as naive and even dumb by these people. (Oh, one ‘fun fact’ — I am usually the only one who votes in the elections. Isn’t voting one of the best ways to make yourself heard? Please enlighten me — You bitch, yet refuse to do something about it… — What on earth does that mean?) I agree that there are a lot of rotten politicians in the world. But, I never lose hope. Certainly, there are still lots of people working hard for the greater good, including politicians. Think about Uruguay’s former present Mr Jose Mujica, Singapore’s founding father the late Lee Kuan Yew and even ROC’s Mr Ma Ying-jeou.

Why am I so sure? Well, I come from a civil servant family. My father and brothers were all military professionals prior to their civil service careers (with two of them being the section chiefs). A few of my other relatives are civil servants as well, including my mother. Even I myself once worked for the municipal government before starting teaching.

Therefore, I have first-hand experience of serving and being served (while most of those who taunted me only have half the experience). I witnessed how difficult it could be to implement a well-meaning policy. First and foremost, you can never please everyone. Second, the rivals and their followers tend to distort the whole thing to suit their own purpose.

Of course, you can have your own opinion towards the person, be it Obama, Clinton or Cameron, as you’re entitled to it, for whatever reason. But, it always puzzles me seeing how some feel the need to deny someone’s everything just because they don’t like that person. Yes, ‘label’ first (No, I don’t like him / He’s not on my side), then ‘deny’ (so he can’t be good or right whatever he does). And because they feel the need to deny the person, they might resort to warped and even fabricated facts so as to justify their viewpoint, together with name-calling. This doesn’t just happen to politics. It can be anything — religion, sports and so on.

Some people just have to ‘win’ no matter what.How sad is that?

Well, glad I’m not one of them. Am still striving to be the change I really hope to see in the world ^_^

democracy

不小心在 YouTube 看了兩個小時的影片,主角有歐巴馬、柯林頓還有卡麥隆。平常都只是片段讀到有關他們的新聞,很少有機會像這樣看完整的談話、演講,也因此特別有意思,畢竟沒有媒體的斷章取義或不同解讀,自己的思慮比較不會受打擾。至於網友的評論部分,就更有趣了;說真的,如果沒有親自看這些影片,或是根本不認識這幾個人物,那些負面留言會給你一種錯覺:這三位想必是自宇宙大霹靂以來最糟糕的蠢蛋。

這幾年,似乎表現對政治、政客(或者單純執政者)的不屑與鄙視,成為了潮流;大夥兒夸夸其談,彷彿個個都是治國專家。我遇過不少人,一談到這個話題,立馬嗤之以鼻,彷彿這是在侮辱他們的蓋高尚。我對此沒有意見,因為那是各人的意見自由;但是,這些人往往對於我的相反意見沒有回報對等的尊重,這一點是我所厭惡的。當然,爛政客從沒少過,可世界之大,我依舊相信真的有從政者是為民服務的心態(例如烏拉圭剛卸任的總統 Jose Mujica,新加坡國父李光耀,還有中華民國的馬英九總統) — 這些人因而判定我就是無知膚淺加三級。不過,很耐人尋味的是,往往,我是唯一一個每次投票都不會缺席的,我無法理解!畢竟,選票不就是最好的發聲方法之一嗎?

為甚麼我依舊相信有好的從政者?因為,我來自一個公務員家庭,包括我自己都曾經在市公所工作過;開始教英文是好幾年之後的事。因此,我第一手見證了政策推動的困難,無論政策本身立意如何良善,你永遠不可能取悅每一個人,總有既得利益者會不滿,也總有民眾會為了只有自己知道的理由、動機而反對。更糟糕的是,在台灣的民粹浪潮下,政策的辯論往往淪為抹黑與無謂謾罵、人身攻擊,絲毫無建設性。

其實,對於特定的人物的喜惡,都是正常的;但,如果把各人好惡轉換為標籤,一切依標籤為判定標準 — 我喜歡的、我同意的,無論什麼都是好都是對;這人我看不順眼,立場跟我不同,無論如何言之有物或者有實質建樹,我就是反到底 — 這,在我看來,跟恐怖分子的行事風格沒什麼兩樣。再說了,反,也罷,無論是什麼理由或動機,這依舊是你的意見自由;可怕的是,往往,很多人為了「贏」,不惜歪曲事實來「證明」自己是對的,或是為自己的主張合理化。

慶幸自己尚未淪落到如此沒品的地步。繼續保持信念,期許自己成為改變的正面力量!

The language of work

Comes in handy!

About Words - Cambridge Dictionaries Online blog

by Kate Woodford
languageofwork
Most of us talk about our jobs. We tell our family and friends interesting or funny things that have happened in the workplace(=room where we do our job), we describe – and sometimes complain about – our bosses and colleagues and when we meet someone for the first time, we tell them what our jobs are. Here, then, is a selection of English vocabulary to help you to speak about your work.

A careeris a job or number of jobs of a similar type that a person does over a long period: I’d always wanted a career in teaching./I wasn’t interested in an academic career. The word professionis used in a similar way, but always refers to work that needs a lot of education and training: the medical/legal profession. Note that ‘profession’ also means the people who do a particular type of…

View original post 500 more words

A Dream Come True

 

Some love one. Some love two. I love one, and that is you.

Some love one. Some love two. I love one, and that is you.

‘Take care,’ I said, hating to part with the love of my life, but trying hard to act as if without a care in the world.

‘Of course I’m walking you home… to make sure you’re home safe,’ he grinned like a content little boy, with that mischievous twinkle in his eyes.

‘Oh. Okay. Thank you.’

I walked on coolly, not wanting him to see through my real emotions deep down, with him by my side.

Suddenly, he reached for my hand, took away the keys it was holding, and put them into his other hand.

‘Huh? What happened?’ I looked at him, baffled.

He smiled me THAT smile which never failed to make my heart flutter. Gently, he wove his fingers in between mine.

Suddenly, there was nobody else on earth but the two of us…and I, was to know the happiness of love!

A dream come true for me, at last.

I foolishly tried to blabber away the awkwardness caused by immense sense of insecurity with some nervous laugh. A dream is a dream after all, isn’t it? However beautiful it might be, there would always come the moment when you had to wake up.

All I really wanted to do was clutch his hand and not let go, but, would it just burst the beautiful dream prematurely?

A very short walk actually, no more than one whole minute. However, time could never efface the impression of that fevered moment of delight which I had yearned for for the longest time. Sadness… joys… There was no more sharpness of edge between the feelings.

When the dream came to an end inevitably, at least, we were both better off for having known each other.

Thank you, my beloved Heavenly Father.

Thank you, Love of My Life.

18-07-2014

Dreams do come true...

Dreams do come true…

Growing issue of ‘disappearing’ and dirty road signs clear to see

I noticed this problem when we first visited England in spring of 2010. I was amazed to see the hidden road signs, thinking how lucky that English drivers were generally rather gracious and civil. Can’t imagine if this was in Taiwan, Singapore or HK, where drivers behave quite differently…

^..^ still amazed…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

andy.russell@archant.co.uk

With plans to cut the number of road signs, some seem to be merging into the background.

With plans to cut the number of road signs, some seem to be merging into the background.

The government recently announced plans to ‘declutter’ road signs and make street safer for cyclists and motorists but I didn’t realise it meant hiding them from view!

I spend a lot of time on the region’s roads and it seems to me that more road signs are increasingly grimy or gradually disappearing from view into overhanging foliage and rampant undergrowth.

The plans, to go to consultation, are designed to make signs clearer and to reduce their number so they are easier to understand.

So maybe these ‘disappearing’ signs are part of a cunning plan to give the impression that action is already being taken to rid us of some ‘unnecessary’ road signs.

That’s the cynical journalist in me.

I suspect it is more about the ideal wet and warm growing conditions — that has turned my garden into a lush green oasis rather than the usual flagging foliage — and highways authorities’ tight budgets forcing cutbacks in general maintenance.

Unfortunately the signs that are falling victim to vegetation include some important ones such as speed limits and direction boards — the ones that actually help promote road safety and make it easier to get from A to B. Not everyone uses a sat-nav and, even if you do, it’s reassuring to know you are on the right road.

The problem is that signs are often obscured by vegetation further along the road so you don’t get an early view of them and some drivers slow suddenly when the sign becomes visible. Failing to keep your vehicle’s windows clear is a traffic offence but I wonder if there is any such regulation for traffic signs?

I accept that keeping signs clean and clear is a huge job but there must be some way of improving the situation.

If you have a tree or hedge at your home that is getting out of hand, and obscuring a road sign, give it a trim. And perhaps some offenders sentenced by courts to community service — how about those convicted of serious motoring offences — could do the rest of the road-users a favour with some soapy water and a cleaning brush. Or would that contravene health and safety?

Unfortunately hidden and dirty signs can also be a road hazard as motorists slow to see what they were put up for to tell us in the first place. And if we don’t really need to know any more then take them down.

Hidden and dirty road signs can be a road hazard.

Hidden and dirty road signs can be a road hazard.

~ East Anglian NORTH ESSEX Times, June 9, 2014

Watch “If I can just get through the night(MV)-黃鶯鶯(TRACY…” on YouTube

If I can just get through the night(MV)-黃鶯鶯(TRACY…: http://youtu.be/Id_GP5z6kIY

寫在爸爸榮返天家週年 Some thoughts on THE anniverary

Dear dear Blanche,

Thank you ever so much for this lovely afternoon *bow*~

Frankly, I was stunned to learn about the “judgment” on me. Because, Janet actually showed great empathy when I recounted my thoughts on marriage in Chinese culture and the problems I’ve been facing.

“It must be very tough…”  she responded. Then carried on telling me how one of her friends went through something similar.

Maybe, really, Panda touched her heart.

But, to be quite frank with you, I don’t understand why people selectively ignored the very fact that I’d wanted so badly for the marriage to work out and tried with all my might throughout the years which unfortunately to no avail as it takes two. When I asked our mutual friends if they’d accept the same abusive behaviour in their marriage, everyone gave me a firm “No way!” However, I’m expected to just swallow it. Human mind, intriguing eh?

Truthfully, I’ve never quite recovered from the past, particularly when my family was involved in his attacks, although I agreed to give it one more chance… twice. (No, no apologies yet.)

I didn’t realise how hurt I’d been until I saw my beloved dad lying in the morgue. It hit me hard — I’m someone’s beloved child, sister, and mother, too, so why should I take all the crap? I hate this notion of how once a girl’s married, the spouse and in-laws “own” her. It’s simply disgusting.

Good friends know about everything in my past, good and bad. But still, some concluded, “You’re just lonely / feeling lost.” People seem to have problem believing that one CAN actually enjoy solitude as much as good company. In this relationship, I’m most of the time alone, but never am I lonely. Not that I think it’s wrong to be with someone simply because of loneliness. We all have different priorities. It’s just not me and I don’t intend to pretend being something I’m not.

However “advanced” or modern this society claims to be, there’s still widespread discrimination against a homemaker cum stay-at-home mum, because our work scope is impossible to define  — People think we’re just sponging off our spouse.

If you ask me, I still believe in true love, of course (That’s why I’m very busy after lights out every night… with my 7 IHs, haha ~) I suppose the best I can do now is keep the faith (There must be a reason for me to stay on), be myself, and see where God takes me to. In other words, just try to make the most of it.

Being trusting and honest can be such a hindrance, even backfires, sometimes, because it makes you the easy target for unfair scrutiny… But hey, God’s got my back ^_^ God sees and God knows. And the truth is I’ve been fortunate beyond measure having met beautiful people like you along the way (Panda can be beautiful, too, if his change’s real). It’s worth it!

One of my all-time favourite actors Joyce DeWitt once said, “Should there be a ‘judgment day’, there were only two things I believed I would be held accountable for. One was how I had treated Mother Earth and my fellowmen, and the other was what I had done with the gifts I was given.”

It resonates.

Thank you so much for bearing with my blabbering. Hope I haven’t scared you off… Or have I? ^_^

Very happy Year of Horse!

Love,

Mrs Roger Federer-Tom Hiddleston-Optimus Prime-David Walliams-Mark Strong-Keanu Reeves-Chester Wong

18-02-2014

Year of Horse 2014 (Lunar Calendar)

Year of Horse 2014
(Lunar Calendar)

親愛的白蘭琪,收信平安:

謝謝你,我度過了一個很愉快的下午*鞠躬*~

坦白說,我十分訝異於珍娜所說的話。當我告訴她,關於華人文化中的婚姻觀以及自身遭遇的難題,她表現出極大的同理心,甚至回答:「一定很苦吧?」接著說了她朋友的類似經歷,安慰我。

也許吧,熊貓感動了她。

不過,老實說,我從來都不明白,為甚麼人們能夠選擇性地忽略事實:多年來,我真的真的很努力,用盡一切我所想得到的方法,試圖修補這段關係;不幸的是,我沒有成功。

我曾經問過共同的朋友,假若今天換成是她們的另一半有這樣的精神暴力行為呢?眾口一致,十分堅定:「當然不行!」那。。。為甚麼我就該隱忍?

雖然我同意了重新開始(兩次。。。沒有,沒有任何道歉),我並沒有完全從過往的創傷中復原,特別是關於娘家親人被牽連的部分。

事實是,一直到了在殯儀館見到爸爸的那一刻,我才曉得,這些年來,自己原來傷得有多重。這是很痛的醒悟:我也是某人心愛的女兒、姊妹、母親,為甚麼我該承受這樣的狗屎對待?在我們的文化中,女孩只要結了婚,就是附屬於配偶和婆家的了,被他們「擁有並掌控」。。。我深惡痛絕。

耐人尋味的是,再了解我的朋友,一樣有可能作出這個結論:「你只是太寂寞了/感到失落。」人們似乎不願意相信,其實有的人就是能夠享受獨處,無論他/她如何享受親友相伴。在這段關係中,我總是踽踽獨行著,但我從來沒有感到過寂寞或孤單。我無意批判那些因為怕寂寞而談感情的人,畢竟大家的優先順序不同;只是,那不是我。

很遺憾,無論這個社會再如何看似進步,全職媽媽依舊普遍受到歧視 — 因為我們的工作內容與貢獻無法具體量化,所以是好吃懶做的米蟲。

當然,我依舊確信真愛的存在(所以捏,我有著很忙碌的夜生活,七個面首哪!哈哈~)。眼下,我所能做的,就是保持信念(如果我怎麼都走不開,就表示還有 天父給的課題沒作好),繼續堅持真我,謙卑順服 天父的帶領。

我明白自己的不輕易疑人還有誠實兩個特點,有時反而讓自己受到傷害,因為容易被人拿著放大鏡無限上綱做得不完美的地方。但是捏,你猜怎麼著?我有 天父罩著 ^_* 人在做,天在看。而且,正因為堅持真我,我才超級有幸遇上這麼多像你一樣的天使(熊貓的轉變如果是真實的,他也可以是個天使)。值得!

我很欣賞的美國女演員 Joyce DeWitt 說過一段話:「假若真有『審判日』,我相信這審判的依據只會有兩個:一、我是否善待大自然和人類同胞?二、我是否善用了自己的天賦?」

心有戚戚焉。

再次謝謝你這麼忍受我的嘰哩咕嚕鬼畫符。但願我還沒有把你嚇跑吧。。。還是已經太遲了?^_^

祝福你有個開心的馬年!

Love,

Mrs Roger Federer-Tom Hiddleston-Optimus Prime-David Walliams-Mark Strong-Keanu Reeves-Chester Wong

18-02-2014

馬年奔騰!

馬年奔騰!

What’s meant to be…meant to be 命定

It's said that you can't look at Tom Hiddleston directly, otherwise *BOOM!* You get pregnant just like that...

It is advisable not to look at Tom Hiddleston directly… You’ve gotta know that he’s not obliged to marry the women he’d impregnated that way… 江湖盛傳,如果直視湯姆,馬上就受孕。。。跟韓國車勝元的「懷孕眼神」有得拼!

Read something interesting this morning, which reminded me of my childhood. It’s Tom, my IL (short for ‘Illegal Husband’) No.2.

Tom Hiddleston: ‘I used to have a double tape deck and I used to have my own radio show, as it were, and I’d be the weather girl, and I’d be guests. I’ve always done silly voices.’

http://www.accesshollywood.com/tom-hiddleston-explains-owen-wilson-loki-impression-thor-3-on-the-way_article_85730

I’m the youngest and my brothers are 9 and 8 years older respectively, so I played alone very often, particularly when I was in primary school. When my favourite TV travel programme began, I just sat next to the television with my double tape deck and started talking to the little recording mic. Or rather, ‘repeating’ (and recording) whatever the host was saying, as if that was my own show.

Once, Brother John decided to hold a concert in our bedroom. John gave himself the stage name ‘Taiwanese Rooster King’ who spoke Mandarin with some very thick Taiwanese Hokkien accent. He played the guitar and sang, while I was the host of course. Once in a while, I did the chorus. And the two of us had to play the very enthusiastic audience (a.k.a. the crazy fans) as well, clapping and cheering… That was one brilliant project!

Come to think of it, Beam did the similar thing during the age of 3 to 5. She would hide under the coffee table in the sitting room with my mobile phone, and started with ‘Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls…’ Then she sang, from Disneyland’s Halloween theme song to The Backyardigans. Glad that I still have those files. Listening to them always brings a big smile to my face.

So!! You know what this means… Tom, we’re meant to be!! *muahahahahaaaaa*~~~😄

http://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/hear-tom-hiddleston-reveal-amazing-2488018#.UnDOIn6WNW0.facebook 

http://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/tom-hiddleston-video-thor-star-2459746#.UnDMAdTpfUI.facebook

BOOM!! Pregnant!! 受孕了嗎??!!

BOOM!! Pregnant!!
受孕了嗎??!!

今天早晨,被一則報導勾起了童年回憶。

我的非法配偶第二號湯姆 Tom Hiddleston 在訪問中說了:「以前我有一個雙卡錄音機,
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Black Friday 黑色星期五

Make sure you come back, okay? You come back!

Make sure you come back, okay? You come back! 記得回來喔!

Woke up to the surprisingly chill morning air. Reached for my phone. Oh, 6°C, no wonder. I walked over to the radiator and turned it on. Time for my yoga session.

While exhaling and inhaling, my mind started wandering (That’s why I don’t meditate. Haha ~). How blessed we are to live such an abundant life. I can’t imagine what sleeping rough is like, and my heart goes to those less-fortunate fellow earthlings.

This reminds me of how I’ve been criticised for my seemingly eternally cheerful attitude towards life by some, particularly those whiners — ‘Of course, you can. You have such a good life!’ In short, I’m accused of being a positive thinker. Mm, actually, I’m more of a doer than a thinker, really.

I don’t understand why people are always assuming. Maybe this is one way to comfort themselves for not owning their weaknesses and responsibility? Don’t they think that so-called ‘good-life people’ (such as us *duh*~) actually work hard to earn it? And the truth is, I count my blessings. I choose to count my blessings instead of whining.

Blessings are everywhere, big and small. The question is: Do you see it? Or rather, do you acknowledge it?

Our Black Friday incident serves as one of the best examples.

Mixed feelings 百感交集

Mixed feelings 百感交集

13 September, 2013. By the time we finally came out from the custom, it was 8:40pm. Unusual, because Chris, our reliable chauffeur, didn’t show up!

I looked around but there wasn’t a familiar face in sight. It could be the traffic as there was pissing rain that night. Or maybe he’s gone to the bathroom.

Okay. A text message went out to him, ‘Hi-hiyee are you there?’

A response came promptly, ‘Hi, I’m here. Hmmm and what happens next?????’

I looked around again, baffled. ‘You are? We’re under the meeting point sign in front of the Tourist Services.’

‘Are you at Heathrow — ’cause you’re not due until tomorrow???’

I gasped, ‘Er… Yuh. Today.’

How odd! Chris is the most professional driver I’ve ever known, so this is not supposed to happen at all. But then again, Boey is the one who reconfirmed the booking with him, not me, meaning I don’t really know what’s in their dialogue. So who knows? Maybe it IS our fault.

Right after I pressed ‘Send’, Chris called. He was willing to set off immediately if I’d like. Just that we had to wait. At first, I thought of just hiring a cab directly from the airport. But then, I don’t drive, so I wouldn’t know how to give directions. Furthermore, there aren’t many lampposts here, even on the motorway. The lights are mainly at the exits and roundabouts.

Heck. Just wait loh. It’s safe at the airport and at least I know I can count on Chris who’s actually a friend as well. He’s the one who took Maisie from Spain to England for us.

Just as I hung up, looking at the time & date on my phone screen, something clicked: 13 September, 2013.

For the past five whole weeks in Asia, this number ’13’ had been showing up repeatedly. Sometimes, number 20 came along as well. Usually, it was the table we dined at at a restaurant. Boey and I reckoned that it must be some lucky number and started having all sorts of billionaire fantasies, ‘We’re gonna be rich this year!!’

But the thing is, we don’t know how to buy a lottery ticket, nor do we know how to do horse racing betting. In the end, we just let go of the crazy thought, knowing too well that we’re the type who just have to work hard and save hard.

Now it finally dawned on me that it’s been God’s gentle reminder of our correct arrival time — 8pm (a.k.a.20:00), 13th.

OH ~ MY ~ SWEET ~ GOD ~~~

Around a week before our departure date, I realised I put down the flight details on the 14th in my diary which left me absolutely puzzled. Because all the way, when we talked about the trip, it was the 13th. This realisation alerted me and I thought to myself that I must check with Chris. However, later on when Boey did so with Chris via Viber, he intriguingly used the 14th as well though he was the one who pointed out the mistake in my diary. Moreover, I made the booking according to the details in my diary… So, no, it’s not Chris’ fault at all.

Annoyed with myself. I didn’t pay much attention to the itinerary this time as Boey is the one who made the bookings with his redeemed points. We could’ve avoided this mess if I were a little bit more careful.

Never mind. Now we know!

To kill time, I bought some sandwich and salad from the cafe as I’m forever on a see-food diet; my Kindle was in the check-in luggage so I read news on my mobile phone instead.

Forever on a see-food diet. 就是愛吃。

Forever on a see-food diet. 就是愛吃。

Suddenly, this headline popped into my eyes: Black Friday, Faye Wong to divorce.

Eh? So… it’s Black Friday today???

OH ~ MY ~ SWEET ~ GOD ~~~

What is wrong with me??? I knew it’s the 13th, and I knew it’s a Friday. BUT!!! This combination never came to my mind at all… Dyscalculia? Dyslexia? Early Onset Dementia? Oh well, life goes on.

Beam sighed, ‘I’m beat. I wish I could sprawl out on the floor right now.’

Feeling guilty, ‘Yup. That’d be nice eh? But think about how lucky we are. It’s safe and warm in here. And we have Chris. Do you remember that miserable rainy night in Beijing?’

Beam nodded, with yet another sigh.

That was more than five years ago. We were living in HK for six months then. Before we set off, Boey had been bombarded with information on how cunning Mainlanders would be by his HK colleagues. So, he was determined to choose the airport bus which he found online over a cab.

‘It goes to our hotel! Er… actually, no. But it goes to that road!’, he announced happily.

I frankly was not comfortable with the thought. He had no idea how big Beijing is and how long that road can be. If you ask me, I would say that 2008 is the Olympic Year and they’d been working very hard for it in almost every way. Apart from this, every time I visited Mainland, it astounded me with its rapid development. I’m sure if we get a licensed cab, there’d be no problem. After all, cheaters are everywhere, not just in China. If it’s about money… well, we’ve been very careful with our money every day, so why not indulge ourselves just once? It’s a holiday for God’s sake. Besides, shouldn’t we put Beam, our 4-year-old sweetheart, into consideration when we plan the trip?

Yes, I’m the one who visited different places in Mainland more than once before. But, for a very long time, my opinions were never really appreciated or respected. In short, I have no say because he’s the bread winner. Guess that’s the sad story of many other stay-at-home mums as well. When so many assumed that I must be the one in charge (which he happily played along most of the time) because of my stern look, what they didn’t know is that I was  the submissive one in our marriage.

When we boarded the bus, it started drizzling. Boey was too thrilled to be bothered, staring at all the fancy cars zoomed past us on the motorway.

‘Chinese are damn rich!’ he proclaimed.

I remained silent. I was worried if the drizzle would have become something else by the time we reached our destination. We never like the idea of carrying an umbrella, not even when we travel overseas. Now this might be a problem.

Just our luck — It began pouring as soon as we started walking. A middle-aged lady cycled past us and slipped on a puddle. I went over to help her get back up.

There was no shelter along the way, meaning we literally walked in the rain.

At first, Beam was excited, ‘It’s so fun!’ But very soon, her bubbly chattering stopped. She just tugged her tiny paw in my hand and walked quietly beside me, with her head lowered in case the rain got in her eyes. Every now and then when I checked on her, ‘Are you okay?’ She looked up at me and nodded with her trademark sweet smile, ‘Just a bit cold.’

At the traffic lights, I turned and saw the rain trickling down her hoodie. Her angelic tiny face was soaked. I felt so terrible inside. What a useless mother!!

Boey finally admitted that taking a cab is probably a good idea. Unfortunately, very bad timing. It was the peak hour, plus in the rain. Now that he was aware of the mistake, he tried to avoid any eye contact with me due to the guilty feeling. I ignored him too, because it boiled my blood frankly, for not standing up to him. I cursed and swore as we walked along.

It felt like eternity. Our hands became so numb from the freezing temperature.

All of a sudden, it dawned on me — Why didn’t I pray? Why did I allow the negative emotions to take over?? What kind of a Christian is that?! Bloody hell…

I started praying silently as we walked on. Please, God, guide us to our hotel and give us a happy ending for the night. PLEASE!!!

Finished. I casually looked up and… Lo and behold!! There stands the neon sign of our hotel, gleaming in the rain. We are here!!

Thank you, God!!! Praise my Lord!!!

As we entered the hall, all the eyes fell on these three drenched creatures. I overheard some whispering, ‘Aww… Poor little girl…’ So embarrassing ~~ And the giant thermometer shows that it is 2°C tonight. No wonder…

We ended up walking for almost one whole hour in the rain and the laundry cost us RMB400+, because water got in both of our bags and soaked our clothes. The irony… But luckily, Beam didn’t fall ill. Throughout the 8-day journey, she remained her chirpy, bubbly self.

I digress. Back to Heathrow on 13 September, 2013.

After two-plus hours, Chris finally showed up. Upon his appearance, Beam and I were so exhausted that we suddenly burst out laughing like two mad deflated zombie balloons (filled with laughing gas, must be). So tired, so tired… Hahaha… All your fault, all your fault… Hahaha… I know, I know… Hahaha… Sorry, sorry… Hahaha…

By the time we reached home (in the pissing rain), it was half past two.

Beam looked at me and declared, ‘I’m not taking a shower tonight. I’m going straight to bed.’

In this house, she can do whatever she wants to long as it doesn’t affect others who are involved. For quite a while, she’s been sleeping with me, instead of in her own room, and so a shower before sleep is my requirement. Shower or bath before sleep is like a ritual for myself. My bed is sacred. So, no shower, no Mama bed!

However, the five weeks in Asia has really worn me out frankly. And this Black Friday incident certainly didn’t help at all…… To hell with the ritual!!

In the end, the two zombies didn’t even wash their faces or brush their teeth. They just charged straight upstairs to the room! To lovely Mama bed!

When I woke up again, it was around noon.

As I entered the kitchen, the first things sank into my eyes were a big bouquet of fresh flowers, a ‘Welcome Home’ card, and a fresh loaf of bread. A gentle reminder in the card: ‘There is milk in the fridge.’

It’s Pat and Stephen.

... but its lights are stronger in the contrast. 相比之下,光明更為強烈。

… but its lights are stronger in the contrast.
相比之下,光明更為強烈。

Aww… I almost cried in the fullness of sheer joy. Such a grand gesture of kindness!

Pat actually rang Chris a few days before to confirm our arrival time. And of course, she got the wrong information. She was shocked to see our scattered bags that morning she came in to collect the mail and newspaper.

She had been looking after my house when I was away. I only asked her to come and open the windows to ventilate the house a bit once in a while. But of course, she’s done far more than just that, as usual. My garden is so tidy and ready for the rest of the year, thanks to her.

John, my lovely neighbour on my left (Pat is on the right), has been taking care of my garden as well. He’s the one who mows the lawn and weeds. He has to drag his mower and go around our house (Pat’s and mine are semi-detached, so are connected directly, but not John’s) to enter my garden. Before we set off to Asia, he kept telling me, ‘Remember to share pictures with us. You have a good time and make sure you come back, okay? You come back! And don’t worry about your garden. We’ll take care of it!’

When I told Mum about it on the phone later on, she was almost choked with emotions, just like me. ‘Praise the Lord! You’re so well taken care of by all the beautiful people there. I shall not worry anymore about you and Beam living in the foreign town alone.’

‘There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast.’

~ 《The Pickwick Papers》 by Charles Dickens

These beautiful people are certainly the lights.

It’s not always that easy to stay cheerful and keep the faith in such a chaotic world. But I always try my best focusing on the lights and on being one as well, because it’s the only way to live on.

Thank you, God, my faithful God, for the lights!!

Be the change you wish to see in the world!! Be the light!!

Be the change you wish to see in the world!! Be the light!!

昨晚上床遲了,所以今早七點半才醒來。開了手機,顯示溫度為攝氏六度… 無怪乎冷颼颼的!

趕緊把臥室裡的暖氣打開,不一會兒,寒意就被驅除了。這兩天腳底似乎有條筋拐到的感覺,所以沒有依慣例健走或慢跑,只有維持早晨的瑜珈。吐納伸展的當兒,不由得感謝起 神的恩典,讓我們溫飽無虞,有棲身之所,我無法想像如果必須餐風露宿,那會是什麼樣的景況。也因此,為那些未能如我們般幸運的地球同胞們持續代禱,是一定要的。

想起了自己似乎常常被一些只會抱怨卻不思改進的人批評:「是啦,你是個好命人,生活很安逸啊,當然可以這麼樂觀感恩囉!」

其實這種人要怎麼唉聲嘆氣過一輩子,跟我一點關係也沒有。但我不懂的是,難道他們以為,所謂的「好命」,竟是不用努力奮鬥就可以憑空得來的嗎?馬的什麼狗屁邏輯啊?自己愛怎麼過怎麼過,但是有必要這樣抹煞人家的努力嗎?說到底,還不是為自己找藉口?我鄙視這種人。

其實,真的,每天都有大大小小滿滿的恩典。問題是,你看到了嗎?或者說,你願意承認那是恩典嗎?

九月十三日從新加坡回英國的旅程,就是個典型的好例子。

在希斯洛出關已經是夜間八點四十分,很反常地,沒見到克理斯迎上前來的身影。四處張望,眼前拿著名牌等人的烏壓壓站了一大群,但沒有一個熟悉的臉孔。也許上洗手間?也許天雨塞車(當晚傾盆大雨)?

發了簡訊:「嗨嗨~你在嗎?」

倒是馬上有回應:「嗨,在啊。嗯。。。所以呢?」

我困惑地抬頭又張望了一遍:「是喔??我們就站在遊客服務櫃檯前的會面點標誌下。」

「你在希斯洛了嗎???不是明天嗎???」

「欸。。。是啊。是今天 :P」

一頭霧水,克理斯向來專業,怎麼會犯這樣的錯誤?但是因為最後一次再確認動作是由熊貓執行,我並不清楚兩人對話內容,天曉得也許真是我們自己的疏失!

剛送出回覆,克理斯來電,如果我們願意,他可以馬上出發,只是我們要等一等。原本想,那麼晚就不要麻煩人家了,直接從機場叫計程車;但再想想,我自己不開車,所以也不認得路(更別提夜裡黑咪摸什麼都看不到 — 這裡即使是高速公路,也沒有什麼路燈,主要在交流道附近才有,何況我們那兒算是比較鄉下,沒有經驗的人很難開車),要怎麼跟司機說?等就等吧,反正在機場沒有安全顧慮,而且熟悉的司機(我們其實還有朋友關係,逃家貓咪梅喜喜就是他帶給我們的)還是讓人安心。

電話剛掛掉,看著手機螢幕上的日期,我突然像毫無防備被潑了一桶冰水般的清醒過來:13 September, 2013.

過去的五個星期裡,在新加坡,在香港,13這個數字不斷出現,有時還伴隨著20,通常都是去餐廳吃飯時的桌號。我和熊貓還傻哩呱嘰得很,以為是明牌,就在今年!開始大作發財夢!問題是,我們都不知道彩券究竟是怎麼個買法,賭馬又是怎麼個下注法,所以也就不了了之。我們安慰自己,本來就是必須雞啵嘰喀印奮鬥的傢伙,還是老實點。

現在,謎底終於揭曉了:那其實都是 上帝給我們的警示  — 13日夜間八點(20:00)抵達希斯洛。

哭笑不得。。。

大約離境一個星期前,我發現日誌上怎麼寫的是14日抵達希斯洛,我還在納悶,因為我們每次談到回程,說的都是13日,太怪了,那得跟克理斯再確認比較保險。結果,稍後熊貓跟克理斯用 Viber 通訊時,竟然說的也是14日(可是,是熊貓跟我說我日誌寫錯了!),加之我當初預約的時候,就是依著日誌資料,所以錯完全不在克理斯。

真是有點懊惱,這次因為是熊貓用點數換的機票,都由他處理,我並沒有細看行程資料。如果我謹慎點,就可以避免這個錯誤了。

算了。等待當兒,去買了三明治還有沙拉,享受美食真是人生一大享受。吃乾抹淨後,因為 Kindle 丟在寄艙行李箱裡(沒料到有這樣的意外),我不喜歡在公眾場合開箱,就用手機上網看新聞殺時間。

不經意讀到了八卦頭條:黑色星期五王菲離婚。

欸?所以,今天是黑色星期五???真的好怪,明明就知道是13日,也知道是星期五,可就硬是沒把這兩項連在一起。不禁失笑。是有閱讀困難嗎?還是計算困難?也許是早發性老人癡呆?Well,人生總要繼續下去滴。

除了奮力抵抗瞌睡蟲的洶洶來襲,我和祥一邊滑手機,一邊攻擊著手中美食,還有一搭沒一搭閒聊著。祥說累啊,真想四仰八叉躺在地板上。我心虛地回應,是啊是啊,不過我們很幸運,起碼可以遮風避雨,還有克理斯來接我們,對嗎?想像一下,如果必須在淒風苦雨的夜裡拖著四件行李走,好像五年前在北京那樣,不是更慘?祥大大嘆了口氣,是啊。。。

那回出發到北京前,熊貓受到一眾香港同事們好心的「諄諄叮囑」影響,堅決不願意從機場搭計程車到下榻飯店,因為「大陸人都不老實,小心被騙!」其實,2008正是如火如荼為京奧準備的時刻,而且那些年我見到的大陸大城市發展,幾乎可以用一日千里來形容,我直覺應該比往日更上軌道了,只要找有牌照的營業車就比較保險吧?奸詐的人到處有,在台灣和新加坡,我們也沒少經歷過。如果是為了覺得可以省錢,我們平日花錢也夠謹慎的,就偶爾大方一次並不過分啊。而且帶著四歲的孩子,是不是要考慮一下腳程?

但是我親愛的相公的個性是這樣的,尤其那些年還沒開竅,我說的話是沒價值的,即便我才是那個去過大陸旅遊的人。他毫不理會,十分勤勞滴在網上看了一宿,然後喜孜孜地宣布,有機場巴士到我們的台灣飯店喔!喔,不,是到台灣飯店的那條路!

我很是狐疑,你知道北京有多大嗎?那條路很可能比烏節路還長不知道幾倍。。。

他不理我。而儘管我總是被誤認為很強勢的太太,我實際上在親密關係裡是個小女人,所以也就遵從了。

上了巴士,熊貓興奮地像個鄉巴佬:「哇!怎麼高速公路上都是名牌大轎車?!好有錢喔,這些中國人。。。」我只是望著窗外的細雨,靜靜在心裡祈禱著,希望下車的時候,雨就停了。

真的是幸運極了。一下車,當時四歲的祥好開心,牽著我的手,說哇!真好玩耶~趴趴趴走沒幾步,雨勢變大了,一個騎單車經過的大媽滑了一跤,整個人「哎呦!!!」跌個大馬趴,我趕緊過去扶她起身。

我們在新加坡沒習慣帶雨傘的,所以到海外旅遊也從來不帶。那一路都沒什麼走廊,所以我們就一直走在雨中。初始,祥還咭哩呱啦興奮得很,越走,她小人家頭越低、越安靜。只是乖乖地牽著我的手,乖乖地跟著走,毫無怨言。幾次問了她還好嗎?她乖巧滴點點頭,就是冷了而已。等紅綠燈時,我看著雨水從她連身帽的帽沿流淌而下,整個小臉蛋都濕透了,心疼不知從何說起,我就是這麼弱勢沒用的媽媽。

熊貓終於決定搭計程車了,但是一路上都招不到計程車,因為是下班的尖峰時間。大概心有歉疚,他不大敢看我,我也不多去理會他,因為多看多氣,更何況我自己當初就該堅持的,為甚麼總是忍讓?我邊走邊在心裡咒罵著。

走了很久很久,我們的手都凍得沒知覺了。罵著罵著,我突然想到,怎麼不禱告?竟然任著這麼負面的情緒主宰自己,不夠格的基督徒!

於是開始了,我默默祈禱著,請 主耶穌讓我們能順利找著台灣飯店,讓今晚有個美好的結束。

祈禱完畢,無意抬頭看了一下,什麼???!!!台灣飯店亮晶晶的大招牌,在雨中眨巴閃爍著,原來我們已經走到這裡了!感謝 神!!讚美 神!!

一進入鬧哄哄的大廳,所有眼睛都盯著我們三隻落湯雞看,幾個大媽小小聲說著,哎呦,好可憐的小娃娃呀。。。我真是尷尬極了。再一看牆上的超大溫度顯示器,攝氏2度。

我們走了將近一個鐘頭,然後兩個旅行箱因為都進了水,幾乎所有衣物必須送洗,花了我們四百多塊人民幣。諷刺呵~熊貓的初衷就是要省錢的說。幸運的是,小獸沒有生病,那八天裡活跳跳如常。

嚴重跑題。場景拉回2013年9月13日的英國倫敦希斯洛機場。

終於,漫長的兩個多小時後,克理斯到了。原本就累斃了的梅小獸和我,突然像兩顆正在洩氣(想來是笑氣)的氣球殭屍,抱著彼此開始無可抑止地哈哈大笑。好累啊好累。。。哈哈哈。。。都是你啦都是你。。。哈哈哈。。。我知道嘛我知道。。。哈哈哈。。。對不起吼對不起。。。哈哈哈。。。

到家已經是半夜兩點半,祥眼睛鼓溜鼓溜滴看著我,正式宣布她不洗澡,要直接上床。趁火打劫啊這是!(她睡自己的床,我就無所謂,只要記得刷牙;但是目前她都跟我睡,我規定不洗澡就滾回自己房間睡)但是捏,這五個星期以來,我的精神狀態一直都累,又經過這一番折騰,我這個睡前一定要「淨身」的傢伙,也決定放過自己一馬,連刷牙洗臉都免了。於是,丟了行李,氣球殭屍以火箭般的速度衝上樓!

衝進臥室!

直接命中目標睡床!

我連感恩禱告都來不及開始,就陣亡了。

再下樓時,已近中午。進了廚房,首先印入眼簾的是一大把盛開的花朵,一張「歡迎回家」的卡片,還有一條吐司麵包;卡片裡提醒了,冰箱裡有鮮奶喔。

剎那間,無以名狀的感動,在心中如漣漪般漾開。這是鄰居奶奶派蒂夫妻留的。

這次遠行五周,我把家裡鑰匙託給她,請她偶爾來幫我開窗透透氣。熱心善良如派蒂,做的當然不只這些,我們的花園被整理得很好。

還有老約翰(派蒂是右邊鄰居,他在左邊)也很照顧我們的花園,草都是他喀喀喀拖著除草機繞過前門來除的(因為我們兩戶之間不像跟派蒂那樣有通道,他得繞到派蒂家的另一頭拐進來)。臨行前,老約翰諄諄叮囑:不要擔心你的花園,我們會好好照顧的。記得多拍些照片,一定要回來喔!一定要喔!

打電話跟媽媽說這些事,媽媽也是一下感動到說不出話:感謝 神!有那麼好的人在照顧著你,可以放心你們母女獨自在異鄉生活了。

後來派蒂告訴我,她特地在幾天前打電話給克理斯,確認我們的抵達日期。想當然爾,是錯誤的日期。。。所以,她周六早上進來收拾的時候,見到被移位的信件報紙,還直納悶自己眼花了嗎?等看到了丟在玄關的行李箱,嚇了一大跳!

『大地上有黑暗的陰影,但相比而言,光明更為強烈。』

~ 狄更斯 《匹克威克外傳》

這些有著美麗心地的好人們,就是那光明。

在這個價值觀混淆的世界,要一直保持樂觀和信念,有時不是那麼容易。但我讓自己專注在這些光明,也期許自己成為光明,因為,這是這才是生存的王道。

感謝我的信實 上帝,讓我們永不缺光明!

Stupid Stereotyping

Stereotyping, stupid, yet still mainstream.

Stereotyping, stupid, yet still mainstream.

Saw this on UPWORTHY‘s Facebook page.

I still remember vividly how my kindergarten teacher (our pastor’s wife) said to me that I was wrong to colour my flower blue (which has been my all-time fave colour) because ‘Blue is for boys and you’re a girl. Red is for girls’. Fast forward… when I was about 11, my uncle took me to a toy shop and let me make my own choice. When his co-workers saw my doctor set and police set, they laughed, ‘Wow! You’re certainly not a girly girl.’

Beam’s been making most of the choices for herself ever since she was born. Family and friends were worried… because she stopped wearing dresses and skirts at around the age of 3, and she’s never into things like Barbie or Hello Kitty (Dora the Explorer is probably the “girliest” character she’s ever shown some interest in… All the way, she prefers ‘boyish’ stuff like Ben10 and Spiderman, and animals).

Meanwhile, she kept her hair long which is regarded as a ‘girly’ thing in this society. When she first decided to have it cut (age of 5), people asked me, ‘How did you make her?’ The truth is I never did, never do and never will. She felt it was too hot; simple as that. And I can’t tell you how many of her kindergarten friends had been so jealous of her being able to decide on her own look, ‘Aww… I wish Mummy would allow me to keep my hair long too!! But she said it’s too troublesome.’ I’m still baffled — Certainly a pony tail is very easy to do, yuh? That’d been Beam’s trademark for years.

When she was in primary school, though PE lessons were her favourite (which often got cancelled for no reason), a school day with PE lesson was quite unbearable. Imagine in a tropical country like Singapore, girls have to wear a skirt outside of their PE shorts still. Beam asked me, ‘Why is it those female teachers can wear trousers while we have to put on a skirt? Why is it they can let their hair down however they want while we must tie ours up or cut it short?’ Well, because, unfortunately, many adults consider themselves superior.

I digress.

I never understand how stereotyping works. Such stupid and counterproductive mindset, but still, it’s the mainstream. We once discussed the differences between men and women in class. I wondered out loud why we must put the focus on ‘gender’ and why we can’t just treat every person like an ‘individual’ regardless their gender. My male teacher straight away responded, ‘Well, that sounds very female actually.’ @_@

Well, just glad that Beam’s finally a Summerhillian where she’s free to be who she is. The best decision we’ve ever made for ourselves!!

Happy? Bother?!

How we perceive the world is determined by our way of thinking and life experience.

How we perceive the world is determined by our way of thinking and life experience.

It never occurred to me that people actually do get annoyed by happy posts.

On the way home from school, with her tiny paw in my hand, I ask Beam, ‘Do you find it annoying to see someone posting happy messages online, say, Facebook, every day?’

She tilts her head with a thoughtful look on her innocent face, ‘Mm… maybe a teeny bit.’

Surprised, I enquire furthrer, ‘Why?? Why would someone’s happiness bother you?’

‘Well, I don’t know’, she shrugs.

I can’t believe it. I mean, being happy is a good thing, isn’t it? If someone I know is feeling happy, it sure brightens up my day as well. What’s wrong with being happy and not hiding it?

I’ve been pondering over this matter since having had the conversation with some girlfriends, which inspired this little dialogue of ours. One is quite against the use of social media. If I got it right, it’s all about being a show-off to her, and also like cheating, ‘How can you be happy all the time seriously?!’ she argues.

But, why can’t one be happy all the time? Just because some people don’t choose to be happy (for whatever reason) doesn’t mean we have to diminish our joy. And how do we know if that person’s truly happy or just faking it unless we get to know every detail of what’s going on in his/her life? Even so, we’re NOT that person, hence different perception and feelings. And, so what if he/she’s faking it long as no one else’s harmed? What’s more, why shouldn’t you show your true emotions? Wouldn’t it be just another form of repression and cheating?

She tells of a married friend of hers, who’s into cyber sex, as an example. Her friend’s reason being that he’s not able to do it (PS. I don’t know what this ‘it’ stands for. ) in reality because of his wife. I guess this belongs to a different category. And truthfully, we never know what happens behind the closed door.

One intriguing factor to me is, of all people and all things, that happy posts (whether genuine or fake) are her focus, not the hate preaching nor the plain negative notes. It really baffles me. Surely they cause more harm, don’t they? On the other hand, I don’t think that fake happiness is the norm really. Like in reality, you’ll find most of the time, people are nice and genuine if you yourself care to reach out sincerely.

I recall a friend once revealed to me how she chooses to post happy stuff and just hides those not-so-happy chapters. Not that she’s trying to be someone she’s not. She just doesn’t feel like sharing them with everybody. I think we all do that one way or another, whether online or offline, and the way I see it — there’s nothing wrong with how you choose to tell your life story.  Who are we to judge?

Back to the little dialogue with Beam.

‘Do you find my posts annoying then?’ I just gotta toss this question… now that I know I obviously belong to the ‘annoying’ lot.

‘Nope!’ she looks up at me, this word from her sounds seemingly earnest, ‘I know you well.’

‘Ah…’, I think for a few seconds, trying to figure out what she’s referring to, ‘because… I’m not cheating, you mean?’

‘Yup’, she nodded, responding in her carefree tone as usual.

True. Throughout the years, we’ve witnessed some people whose online persona can be very different from how they are in reality. But as I’ve said in my previous post Online / Offline , it doesn’t really bother me long as they don’t drag others down by distorting facts to make themselves look good. It just isn’t my thing, but, they’re free to do what they want. Period.

I think it all boils down to our true character. After all, the way we perceive the world is largely influenced by our very own way of thinking and life experience. This is how we define the world around us.

I myself am quite trusting (some call it ‘gullible’ but heck care) and happy, rarely do I suspect others’ ‘happy life’ as I know happiness is an attitude seriously. I never have to compare or compete with anyone or anything else, which, is true freedom to me.

So! Don’t worry. Be happy. And, it doesn’t bother me at all, honest!!

Lucky Happy Day

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Had a lucky happy day!

After dropping Beam off, I went for my walk because I wouldn’t be able to make it for my 10:30 Japanese lesson if I joined my fellow Wabas for morning run. I was thinking about skipping it at first (What a good excuse! XD), but then, I got so fed up by the verb transformations. I said to myself, ‘If I don’t get out of it now, I’m gonna murder the first human I see!’

It went well. This time, no interruption at all. Just Mother Nature and me — the way it should be. Though I love and truly enjoy running with my fellow Wabas, like what many of the test results have revealed, I need joys of solitude in my life as well.

I managed to shower before going out again for my Japanese lesson. As usual, Charleelee greeted me with his dole eyes and friendly furry snuggles when I arrived. Though the newly-learnt verb transformations are killing me, my lovely sensei Hai Ying is kind and patient as ever. However lame I am in class, stuttering the ridiculously wrong answers most of the time, Sensei just laughs in a very caring and encouraging way which really puts me at ease.. though I still can’t help cursing ‘Bloody Japanese!’. I know I’m free to be silly, even dumb, in front of her ^_^

It was very enjoyable to be Sensei’s ‘prop’ for Miss & Mr Lithuania. To be truthful, it’s way more difficult to put what we learn into practice orally. Probably the hardest part of language learning for so many of us. Well, Miss & Mr Lithuania, 我們一起加油吧!(wo men yi qi jia you ba!)一緒に頑張ってみましょう!

After lesson, I dropped by Leiston Lodgings as promised. Ying Zi is leaving early tomorrow for the 100th day of her father’s passing. She invited me over for lunch. I had to decline. I didn’t want to trouble her as I had an appointment with my optometrist at 12:30. So I told her I’d be happy just to see her and have a chat. But Ying Zi was thoughtful enough to prepare lunch anyway. A lovely surprise. Ying Zi, I wish you and BB a pleasant trip back home and a wonderful summer holiday!

It must’ve been more than three years since I last had my eyes checked. However, I didn’t expect it to be so thorough here, which is very different from what I experienced in Taiwan and Singapore. The result: My eyes are very healthy apart from the fact that I’m very short-sighted. (When she broke this to me, I on one hand felt relieved, on the other hand, couldn’t help laughing XD)

I had a great time choosing a frame with the assistance of my optician Bob who’s in his early 60s. It was the very first time I heard about my ‘wide-set’ eyes.  I’m 38 going 39, and I had no idea. Never. All the way, I thought I just had a big head which gave me problem when I looked for a frame that suited its size and shape. Life’s indeed a never-ending learning process eh! Bob told me that this was the funnest (haha funny, not strange funny *bleh*) day for him because of me. Aww… :3

As I was walking home slowly with groceries, someone called me from behind. It was a mid-aged man driving a van. I thought he was lost and asking for direction. But hell no, he was trying to sell me something — The back of his van was filled with osteopathic mattresses. How bizarre is that? And the most intriguing part is that I AAAMMM looking for a new mattress because the old IKEA one collapsed some time ago!

After Maisie soiled it, I’ve been using the cheap single mattress on my bedroom floor. As Sushi Queen pointed out that good mattresses are always pricey, I planned to do more research and get it done only after we return to Leiston in mid-September. But thanks to this bizarre incident, I got a good King-sized mattress for only 220 quid — Actually, I didn’t have enough cash at home so had to run to the ATM machine. I bumped into Dani on my way out.

‘Have you found Maisie yet?’ Dani asked. She and her husband own one of my favourite cafes in town, Simply Delicious. They kindly shared their space on Facebook for me to post about Maisie.

She went on telling me how she heard from a friend that there have been some cat poisoning cases in our neighbouring towns. Frankly, what a daunting thought… But, I want to focus on the positive side — This is a  very kind gesture of hers. People actually care enough to stop and ask. That’s the magic of Leiston!

And while I thought this is the end of a lucky happy day… (I have happy days most of the time, but they’re not necessarily lucky ^_^) God proved that you can never have too  much luck.

For dinner, Beam somehow decided to try the organic burger mix I bought at SD quite a while ago. As she was cooking, I went to the bin to clean the green waste and saw John, who was inspecting his immaculately beautiful garden. He just mowed our lawn for us yesterday afternoon.

‘Helloooo ~’, I smiled.

‘Hello, Ja! How’re you doing?’, John walked toward me, smiling.

‘Good. You?’

‘Good. Good. Thank you. When does Beam’s summer holiday start?’

’21 July.’

‘Are you doing anything then?’

‘Actually, we’re going back to Singapore on 8 August. I’ll fly to Taiwan from there for a 10-day trip. Then at the end of it, the three of us are visiting Hong Kong. We lived in HK for six months so it’s sort of like a reminiscence trip.’

‘Er…’

I saw the curiosity and concern in his eyes which reminded me of a conversation we had last summer (https://maomeeja.wordpress.com/2012/09/02/%E4%BD%9C%E8%87%AA%E5%B7%B1-be-yourself/), and promptly reassured him, ‘Oh, we’re definitely coming back! This is our home and we love you guys!’

He beamed, ‘Good! Good! Make sure you come back, okay? You come back!’

He then went on asking how Beam’s doing at school, telling me that he knows Zoe and Tony very well because he worked on the road surface for Westward Ho. (John is a civil engineer.)

‘It’s essential allowing children the freedom to live their own life, not being pushed by the parents. You know, I’m in my 70s and I’m still working. I enjoy the buzz being around people, but very often, I get astounded by those university kids’ lack of capacity and ability of independent thinking. They may have learnt a lot of theories, but they’re totally ignorant of practical knowledge.’, obviously, the thought of it filled him with dismay.

I sighed, because this is part of the reason I decided to take Beam here, ‘Same in Asia… probably even worse there. Boey is a designer and he teaches design at a polytechnic as well. Designers are supposed to be thinkers too, but more often than not, the students just go to him and ask, “So, what do you want me to do now?” They’re simply used to having the life arranged and managed by their parents and other authority figures.’

John nodded, ‘You know, Beam’s very special. Seriously, she impresses me every time we talk. You can ask Jenny. I’m not saying this for your cakes, honest! She looks into your eyes, she listens and you can tell that she thinks before she speaks. And she’s always so earnest. Coming to Summerhill is really the best decision ever you’ve  made for her… And by the way, thank you ever so much for the Victoria sponge cake! The cream and strawberries… aww… that was absolutely lovely!!’

This cracked me up😄 I accidentally froze the cream and strawberries, and the cake ended up a little bit soggy.

But, John’s always thoughtful and kind, ‘No! No! It was very good! Loved it!’

As I waved good night, I knew I just had to jot all these down. I’d like to remind myself of the importance of being grateful for all that I have, and to always remember how to appreciate all the fine (many times small or even tiny as well) details in life.

Here’s to many more lucky happy days!!

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Live, and Let Live

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Decided to bring my phone along and use MapMyRun for my walk this morning.

Funny though, my workout was stopped twice in the first 10 minutes. Mind you, this is normally quite a solitary journey with only Mother Nature by my side.

One of the pauses was for Katharine, my elegantly quirky Irish neighbour, who was waiting for the bus to Aldeburgh when I passed by. We chatted for about 10 minutes until her bus arrived. She told me how she was talking to a friend of hers about me just the other day.

I grinned nervously and jokingly grabbed her arm, ‘Good or bad?’

She laughed, ‘Good. Of course good. And she commented that you sound like a spiritual person. I said yes, you are. Such a lovely character.’

I gasped. Me? Spiritual? No kidding eh? All the way, I thought, to be spiritual, you have to be a good philosopher who thinks a hell lot. I don’t really think that much to be honest, not even when times get rough.  I just live. Live — accordingly.

When I was in primary school and junior high, corporal punishment was still the norm for all sorts of ‘crimes’, such as failing your test (The full mark is 100 and that was what you were supposed to get. But if somehow instead you got 88, that’d be 12 strokes of cane for you. Most of the time, they landed on your palms; but sometimes, the teacher preferred your rear end for it. I was once hit so hard that only the first stroke made me almost topple over). As we were lining up for the caning, some of my friends would get so frightened and started crying. Or, when it was their turn, some just instinctively shied away from the cane out of extreme fear, which always infuriated the teacher and they ended up getting hit much harder.

Well, I never cried, nor did I shy away. I wasn’t brave or anything. I was scared stiff like everybody else, but I just wanted this to end as soon as possible. So, with my palms facing up, I grit my teeth. However, those teachers didn’t like this attitude, either. They reckoned that was a sign of rebellion and disrespect (because I wasn’t showing enough fear?) and I ended up like those friends of mine. The way I see it — They were simply a bunch of sadists. We defenceless kids were easy targets.

So you see, I just live. Don’t really think. I’m not exactly an intelligent person and living accordingly actually has helped me survive throughout the years.

Another thing is, I guess I’m just not crazy about the word ‘spiritual’. It just so happens that many of those I know who claim to be spiritual are in fact so insecure and unhappy with their own life that they just can’t help being judgemental and critical (in the name of spirituality or whatever bull they say). In short, they feel the need talking down to you so as to make themselves look good and feel good. How spiritual can you be if you don’t even care to live and let live??

But of course, ‘spiritual’ can be a good word if you’re on the ‘right’ track, I suppose, haha ~ Nevertheless, I’m very flattered. Thanks a million, Katharine ^_^

I had to discard and set a new log every time I was stopped. So, here’s another lesson learnt today: Don’t care too much about the workout log. Just enjoy it and whatever comes along.

In short, live!!

Maisie 梅喜喜

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A notification? A gift?

Sunday morning, I woke up to find this pair of socks lying at the hallway outside my bedroom. They are Beam’s, and were next to her bed. She doesn’t wear them any more. They serve as cushions, pillows and blankets for her animal friends.

This mysterious appearance baffled me completely as neither of us had spotted them before lights-out.

‘Maisie-sie?’ This was my first thought.

‘Maisie-sie? Meow ~ Maisie-sie?’ I called out her name. There was only silence.

Who else, right? She’s the only one who becomes so alive and kicking, which is utterly contrary to her life during the day, while both of Beam and me are dead asleep. I just never expected her to roam upstairs. She only zooms  upstairs when she’s panicking, like the time when I tried to offer her a cat toy. She was so offended by the fishing rod lookalike, and simply stormed off.

To be fair, Maisie’s not familiar with us yet, let along the toy, which she probably had never seen before. She’s been an outdoor cat who once lived on the balcony of my friend’s holiday home in Spain. The ex-owner of the house had three cats, and Maisie was one of them. She chose to live on the balcony because she didn’t like other cats. When the lady owner moved back to England, she took the two indoor cats with her, and left Maisie behind. Being big animal lovers, my friend and his wife, Chris and Helen, let her stay and fed her.

It seemed that Maisie was waiting for someone to come back for her, and never wondered off even when Chris and Helen, who only manage to visit the holiday home once every few months, were back in England. The next time they saw Maisie, she had turned so skinny because of starvation. So, they decided to take Maisie with them.

When they told me about their plan to take Maisie back here, I asked if Beam and I could have her. They have got a sweet dog called Pebbles, and a big tomcat called Fred. He was not sure if Fred and Maisie would get along anyway.

They got Maisie a Spanish pet passport so as to avoid the dreadful quarantine when she travels across borders. It’s very cool. She now can travel around in EU freely if she’d like to.

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Maisie’s passport

But, I guess the long journey back to England and the completely different living environment have had a great impact on her, apart from the fact that we sort of forced the move on her though obviously if we didn’t do this, it was likely she would starve to death. Maisie has been all passive aggressive towards us so far.

Tigger was like that, too, when he first joined us with Meeloo in Singapore. Meeloo and us clicked on immediately (he napped on my thigh that very night!) while it took Tigger two weeks to finally allow Beam Beam to carry him in her arms. During that two weeks, I just left him alone and never pestered him. Every time I caught a glimpse of him, I greeted him with my trademark (Ha!) cheerful smile and “Hello Tiger-ger!” Now, this is what I do with Maisie as well, in the hope that she, like Tigger, will sooner or later accept us to be part of her life.

I digress.

So…… Why the socks?? Maybe she just forgot to put them away after finishing her night game?? And she was nowhere to be seen. She was usually under the radiator in the sitting room.

I didn’t dwell on it as I’m never good at solving crimes anyway. Besides, a homemaker’s work is never done. I moved on.

After a while, when I put away Beam’s clean clothes, I made an intriguing discovery — Maisie was sitting in between the mattress and the wall which the mattress was resting against. She looked calm.

Now, here’s my theory. As Chris and Helen were coming to pick up the cat pen they lent us that day, I cleaned the rug and gave her the new litter tray the night before. Perhaps, Maisie sensed that there was going to be some sort of change again, and decided to make her own decision this time. By dropping off the socks, which belong in Beam’s room, at the hallway, she was trying to notify us of her whereabouts, of her moving house!

Helen concluded that it could be a gift for us as well, because we feed her after all.

Whichever it is, the truth is that she has started communicating with us, which to me represents a ray of hope! And  Helen taught us a trick — Squinting is the way cats smile ^_^ So this is what we have been doing every time we talk to Maisie. We must be looking like Laurel and Hardy or Dumb and Dumber to her.

Before this sock incident, Beam and I always spent the first few minutes after lights-out listening intently to her movements downstairs, and wondering what she was up to actually. However, from Sunday night on, she began talking. Talking, not growling. I just wish she would eventually walk into my room and have a face-to-face conversation with us.

Maisie-sie, we are always here, waiting for you patiently ^_^

Image

Gosh. How long must I put up with Dumb & Dumber?!

周日早晨,剛走出房門,就見到一雙襪子靜靜躺在地板上。

那是梅小獸的襪子,早就被淘汰了,現在拿來當其他小動物的枕頭、棉被。平常的時候,放在梅小獸的床頭旁。

「是梅喜喜嗎?」我暗忖。畢竟,熄燈前,根本還沒這回事。

那就只能是梅喜喜了!這傢伙白天靜悄悄地,到了夜裡,我跟梅小獸呼呼大睡的時候,就是她的狂歡時刻了。不過,我沒料到她竟然會上樓來玩。來了近一個月,她的主要活動範圍就是客廳,幾次衝上樓去,都是因為驚慌失措或發火。例如那天,我喜滋滋地要給她看新買的玩具,她很狐疑地瞪著我,我還渾然不覺她的起毛未央,開心地試圖逗她,把她氣得半死,「咻!」地就飛到樓上了。不是貓咪無情,是她大概沒見過玩具,她一直都是隻室外貓。

「梅喜喜~哈囉?梅喜喜~」沒人理我。這是正常的。

反正是她!但,究竟為甚麼呢?

人貴自知呵,頭腦簡單就不要瞎裝福爾摩斯了。主婦的工作永遠沒完沒了,開工吧。

過了一會兒,把梅小獸的乾淨衣物歸位的時候,心血來潮,往立起靠著牆的床墊後探了一下。霍霍~~這不可是梅喜喜嘛!!坐在床墊與牆壁的縫隙中,淡定著呢。

終於理出了(自以為的)頭緒:今天克李斯和海倫夫婦要來家裡收回借給我們的貓籠,所以我前一晚清理了籠裡的墊子,又換了一個新的便盆。想必,梅喜喜察覺到了,生活即將又有改變!那麼,這一次,不如自個兒做自個兒的主人來下決定吧?於是,她選擇了梅小獸的房間,然後留下了襪子,就是告知我們,搬家啦!

他們夫婦在西班牙買了一棟渡假別墅,梅喜喜是前任房主的貓咪,因為跟另外兩隻室內貓合不來,她選擇住在陽台上。前房主賣屋搬回英國的時候,不知道為甚麼,只帶了兩隻室內貓,把梅喜喜留在那兒了。克李斯和海倫都是愛護動物人士,見到梅喜喜,並沒有趕她走,就讓她繼續住,又天天餵她。問題是,他們每隔幾個月才會去一次,住上月餘,這之中,沒人知道梅喜喜是怎麼過的。原本以為梅喜喜會另外找歸宿,畢竟貓咪天性愛自由,沒想到她竟然一直等著他們回來,所以,再見到梅喜喜,她瘦成皮包骨。於是,決定帶她回英國;為了不讓她忍受隔離檢疫,克李斯特地幫她申請了寵物護照 — 有了寵物護照,就可以在歐盟區內自由遷徙,好酷!

克李斯跟我提到的時候,我自動請纓,因為我和梅小獸準備領養貓咪已經好一陣子了。克李斯想想,也好,他們已經有一隻很可愛的狗狗叫石頭,還有一隻胖大公貓福瑞德,他不確定福瑞德跟梅喜喜能不能合得來。所以說,梅喜喜多少有點被強迫搬來我們家的意味。。。真的不能怪她跟我們這麼不熱絡。

新加坡家裡的跳跳,剛來的時候也是這樣;一起來的咪嚕跟我們一見如故,當晚就爬上我的大腿打盹兒了,但跳跳都躲著我們。所以,我也不打擾他,只有看到他,我才興高采烈地揮揮手:「哈囉跳跳!」其他時候,我就放牛吃草。終於,兩個星期後,他讓梅小獸抱著走了。現在,我很希望這一套在梅喜喜身上也能奏效。

周日下午,和他們夫婦寵物、政治、文化天南地北瞎哈拉,海倫猜測,除了是告知我們,也可能是送禮物給我們,畢竟現在是我們在餵養她。

無論是哪一個,對我來說都是一線耀眼曙光!因為,這表示梅喜喜願意跟我們溝通了。

海倫還教了一招,貓咪微笑就是瞇眼睛 ^_^ 所以,現在我和梅小獸都拼命瞇著眼睛,希望把滿滿的善意、愛意傳達給梅喜喜。可能,在她看來,不是像勞萊哈台,就是像阿呆阿瓜吧。

最耐人尋味的是,從那天晚上起,我們熄燈後,她開始跟我們說話了,但都是在房外。也許,總有一天,她會踏著啵啵啵的腳步聲進我們房裡,跟我們面對面交流。

梅喜喜,我們會耐心等著你呦 ^_^

Online / Offline 網上 / 網下

“I’ll never allow my online persona to get mixed up with who I am in reality. So, no way would I meet up with any of them.”

Five years on, yet I can still recall the aggressive tone in her voice when she said these words. That was when I first realised how internet addiction can totally destroy a person (with the benefit of hindsight of course).

Though she’d been acting so warm and welcoming when the fellow bloggers excitedly talked about the possibility of having a “real” gathering, that was what she said to me. She then went on criticising some of them, who are our mutual (online) friends. She even bashed a lady who happened to blog about the same topic as I did, calling her a shameless copycat. I obviously annoyed her to hell when I tried to disagree.

Creating an online persona can be a good creative outlet and I’m sure everyone can be perceived somewhat different from the person in reality anyway. But, if you don’t like a person, for whatever reason, just stay away, whether it’s online or in reality. Live and let live. Simple as that. Why do you have to pretend to be their friends but behave so differently behind their back? When she told me about how she was just “doing them a favour” by visiting their blogs and leaving comments, I couldn’t believe my ears. What had happened to the lovely girl I used to know?

When you tell a lie, surely you’ll need one more lie to cover the first one, then one more, one more, and many, many more… How exhausting is that? (So you see, it’s not always bad being too laid-back and not brainy enough like me. My life is certainly way much simpler — in a very pleasant way most of the time, haha~) What’s more, as Abraham Lincoln put it ever so wisely: “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”

In short, as Peter Parker’s Aunt May says, “Secret has a cost. They are not for free.”

It inevitably came to the point where they turned out to be more and more manipulative and I finally decided to back away. It’s never right if I have to put myself down so as to maintain a relationship. The intriguing part is these people assume (either this or they simply make it up to suit their purpose) you’re just jealous of them if you dare to voice yourself. It’s illogic to me —  A truly happy person would never live a life filled with lies. What’s there to be jealous of?

To be truthful, I did feel sad about letting go because for me, friends are for life. But I’ve learnt that it’s fine to acknowledge that we can outgrow our friends. After all, my choice of friends says something about how I view and define myself and the world.

People are always surprised to see how frank I am about my life, warts and all, particularly online. Well, honesty makes my life so much simpler and easier. So what’s wrong with that?

Insanity

人比人氣死人 玩臉書好鬱卒

中央社 – 2013211 下午12:34

(中央社台北11日電)社群網站真的拉近人與人間的距離嗎?研究發現,默默看著臉書上的朋友遊山玩水、跟另一半耍甜蜜或是叱吒職場,可能會讓自己感到悲哀和孤單。

德國兩所大學的聯合研究發現,臉書使用者嫉妒心蔓延,使擁有10億以上使用者的全球最大社群網站臉書,也成了前所未有的較勁舞台。

研究人員發現,1/3的人瀏覽臉書後,更不滿意自己的生活,而且只看而不發文的「潛水」使用者所受影響最大。

柏林洪堡大學(Humboldt University)資訊系統研究所研究人員克拉斯諾娃(Hanna Krasnova)說:「許多人瀏覽臉書時產生嫉妒情緒,因而感到孤單、沮喪或憤怒等負面經驗,而且人數多到讓我們驚訝。」

克拉斯諾娃說:「就我們的觀察,部分人會因為這樣停用臉書,或至少減少上臉書的頻率。」

洪堡大學和達姆斯塔(Darmstadt)科技大學(Technical University)發現,度假照片最容易讓瀏覽者恨得牙癢癢,約一半以上的臉書使用者會嫉妒朋友發表在臉書上的度假情景。

社會互動則是引發嫉妒的第2大原因。使用者會比較自己和朋友誰的生日祝福多,以及自己發表的照片或文章得到多少「讚」和回應。

研究人員在名為「臉書上的嫉妒心:生活滿意度的隱密威脅」報告說:「被動的查看臉書會引發令人不快的情緒,使用者主要會嫉妒他人擁有的幸福,以及度假和社交生活。」

報告說:「社群網站上的嫉妒不斷蔓延且無所不在,降低使用者的生活滿意度。」

報告發現,35歲左右的使用者最傾向嫉妒他人的家庭幸福,女性朋友則較可能嫉妒別人的外在吸引力。

這些嫉妒感會讓部分使用者進一步誇耀自己的成就,或呈現自己更好的一面。報告顯示,男性朋友傾向在臉書上吹噓自己的成就,女性則樂於展現自己的美貌和社交生活。

研究人員在兩份研究中共訪問600人,並據此發表研究結果。這份結果2月在德國的資訊系統會議上發表。(譯者:中央社張詠晴)

New Kid on The Block?

原發表於 http://maomee.172baby.com/posts/122125.html 2005 年 10 月 12 日

成功方程式的第一要素是:知道如何与人相处。

~ 西奥多罗斯福,美国第二十六任总统

When you were busy job hunting, you probably put a great deal of time and effort into perfecting your curriculum vitae and creating exactly the right impression at your interview.

But just because all your hard work and effort has paid off and you have finally landed that great new job, it does not mean you can now sit back and relax.

A job for life is unfortunately a thing of the past, and the workplace is now an extremely competitive environment.

So if you want to ensure that your new job is secure or that you are in the right position to move up the corporate ladder, you are going to have to prove your worth. And that does not just mean making an effort — it means making sure that all your efforts get noticed.

The first day on a new job can be really intimidating, especially if you feel that everyone is staring at you. Try to turn your new workmates” initial interest to your advantage by introducing yourself, being friendly and getting to know everyone around you.

You should realise that it is not always the hardest workers who make the biggest impact. Often, by working so hard, they concentrate on the task at hand, forgetting all about their colleagues around them. Interaction and sociability are equally essential elements in getting yourself noticed in the workplace.

It is also vital that you take credit for the work you have done, especially if it is something over and above your job description, something that you have gone that extra mile for.

Having said that, it is important not to be too pushy; waltzing into a new workplace and announcing that everyone was doing everything wrong until you arrived will win you few friends. Be prepared to listen to and to learn from your colleagues, as there may well be good reasons for doing things in a way that may strike you initially as being totally illogical.

However, do not be afraid to claim credit for a successful project by presenting, say, a memo or a written outline of your suggetions to your boss, showing that you have put thought and effort into this area. As a result, you will be recognised as a problem-solving employee both by bosses and by your co-workers.

Once you have established yourself as a valuable member of the team, do not be tempted to rest on your laurels. When you have been in a job for a while, it can be easy to start coasting without even realising it, but be aware that other people will quickly notice if you are not pulling your weight.

You can avoid falling into that trap by taking advantage of any training initiatives that are offered by your company. This will show your bosses that you are interested in progressing and learning new skills.

Remember, it takes time to adjust to a new job and learn how everything, and everyone, works. Therefore, do not feel as if you will be facing the sack if you fail to come up with five brilliant new ways to improve efficiency by the end of your first week.

By showing that you have plenty of initiative and enthusiasm and are not just there to do the bare minimum, you will prove that you are a flexible, committed worker who is a real asset to your company — and hopefully ensure a stable future for yourself.

~ IPS, The Straits Times, Saturday, 8 October, 2005

*********************************************************************************

移居狮城的前一个半月,便辞去了工作,算算已有四年半的光阴。两个星期前,定居广州的新加坡老友丹尼介绍加入 Lexxus 的电子商务行列;虽然不是正式重返职场,还是很紧张。感谢丹尼送的两本书,非常有启发性:

B2B Means “Back to Basics” by Bill Quain

The Wellness Revolution by Paul Zane Pilzer

其中 B2B 所谈的,与这篇文章的精髓不谋而合,读了特别有感触。与大家分享!

開心。驕傲。

原發表於 http://maomee.172baby.com/posts/122124.html 2005年10月3日。

今天的心情很好 ~

在美国的时候,一天,小阿姨 (葛洛的娘,娘的小妹妹,也是我的三娘) 对我说,祥祥这个小孩心地很好。我说应该不错吧,天性挺细致的娃娃。小阿姨接着举例,你看我逗豚豚分我吃点心,她只是看我一眼,然后继续津津有味吃完;祥 祥自己没在吃的,但是听到我的话,马上跑去拿了一块给我。可能豚豚毕竟小多了 (祥祥大她九个月) 吧,我谦虚地答道。。。不过,自己的宝贝受肯定,实在心花怒放得很

四 日一大早就要飞澳门了,趁着今天赶快采买一些缺的旅行用品。超市外有个投币式的小飞机,每回等着结账时,祥祥总要去坐坐;不过有时是抢不到的,也许人家投 了币正享受,也可能只是占着位。很多父母是不去管束小孩的霸道行为,反正别烦他们就好,所以常常见到明明还有一个空位,却硬是不让别的小朋友坐;投了币我 没话说,若是没投币,凭什么就是你家的呢?还有那种不投币却在那儿坐老久的,也不理会旁边还有小朋友等着。每每见到这种情形,我就会想,我们到底给了这些 孩子一个什么样的世界?

今天运气很好!我远远见到两姐弟坐在飞机上,原本暗忖大概没希望了。 等祥祥在飞机前停了脚步,那个大约九岁左右的小姐姐说,啊,小妹妹要坐了;姐弟俩马上下来让座,牵着年轻爸爸的手走了。事情发生太快太突然了 (太意外了嘛!),我赶快回过神来对那个可敬的爸爸投以感动并感谢的微笑,他笑着对我点了点头。

祥 祥有点儿害羞地说谢谢,然后就兴高采烈地坐了上去。过了一会儿,我注意到稍远处有个妈妈带着一大一小的男孩,那个大男孩看来是挺想玩的。祥祥也在同时间看 到了,马上挪了小屁股,然后很用力拍拍挪出来的位置,很大方地邀请他一起玩儿。男孩似乎心动了,走了几步,他妈妈不知叽里咕噜了什么 (好像是马来人) ,他很失望地退回远处,垂头丧气的。我怕那个妈妈是担心我不高兴,才不让孩子来,所以还特地对她露出灿烂的笑容,而祥祥依然把座位拍的啪啪响,甚至对他招 招手。为了某种不明缘故,还是只有祥祥单独玩。一会儿,我说轮到爸爸付账 (新加坡说:还钱) 了,祥祥心满意足地下来,学兔宝宝蹦蹦蹦跳到熊猫那儿。

结了帐,我迫不及待跟熊猫分享这份喜悦,我们的宝贝很善良大方呢!他心有戚戚焉地点点头。

善良与自在是处世的良方。但愿我的祥祥小宝贝能永远保有这份纯与真。

 


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