Gullible, Insensible, Irrational World

These few days (Local Spelling: បុណ្យភ្ជុំបិណ្ឌ) is Pchum Ben festival in the country, an occasion where people mostly return to their hometown to meet family and preparing offering to bring to pagoda to pray and pay tribute to their ancestors. Since, I’m pretty much a city boy I don’t really have a hometown to go so generally I come along with my wife to her hometown. It’s probably one of the few occasions that we get to visit.

For my wife, this is a rejuvenating break where she is geographically away from work and get to spoil herself with food and sleep. Her simple version of escape is to get away from complex and hectic city life back to her root where things are simplified and people are simplified. Every time she comes back her mood turns cheerful, her skin turns fresh and her mind is at rest (well at least not until people start criticizing her weight, her life etc.).

For me, that was probably the only good thing of coming here. It makes her happy. The time here for me are mostly reflection time because every time I’m here a lot of thoughts never fail to cross my mind from things I hear and people I observe. It never fails to provoke me into switching on my laptop to write. Even after I’ve just recovered from heavy flu and about to pack up and go back I do not want to leave the thought hanging without penning it down.

Frankly, I don’t even know where to start or how to best describe without showing vindictive intent. 🙂 Well not exactly, but some time it really upsets me to be just a powerless bystander. There is a saying that you can’t teach an old dog a new trick. But this is more like a next level old poorly educated deep culturally rooted stubborn dog so much so that if they were reading this text they would probably stop right here and make an angry takeaway that I’m comparing them to a dog. Even when all I did was just adding more descriptive adjective to the metaphor in the idiom. Even as we were having dinner yesterday, I was telling my wife when I come here it always remind me to question myself again why did I return to this country after working so hard to leave this place and continued to stay out of it.

When we come to the province, it’s always the same routine where we go around meeting all the relatives, showing our courtesy, and endure through the repetitive generic conversations and questions. Why are you so fat? Why don’t you lose some weight? How much are you making now? The son/daughter/nephew/niece of this uncle/that auntie is making $XXX? Why you still cannot afford a car? When are you going to have kid? Why you keep so long? it’s not good. My first few encounters were excruciating. Then eventually I just learn to listen from left ear and let it out through right ear filtering for content that is worth listening to. I’m probably not the best person to rant about family value and making human connection. But I’m pretty sure that family are not supposed to be agent that apply social pressure and status quo on each other. Or probably I wasn’t brought up that way.

I understand that people here love making connection and keeping in touch. Personal relationship and friendship rules over everything. I have also observed that underneath all that is a thick layer of gossip, status quo comparison, hypocrisy and lies. This is the culture and way of life here. I can tell it’s not something that can simply change by logical reasoning. What I know is that it’s definitely something that I do not want to be a part of. However, it’s also not something I can easily distant myself from. Sometime, I don’t even know if I’m angry, frustrated, upset, sad or miserable. Probably all once. All I know is that I’ve been overseas for a very long time, I’ve trained myself both personally and academically. I have seen progressive society. Then when I have to come back to a society where majority of people still so gullible, insensible, irrational and corrupted. I just felt hopelessness. People go around throw big words about patriotism, national progress, blah blah. But in actuality, everybody is like a starving dog who would selfishly do anything to survive and keep its family alive.

I’m not a country changer, big talker and any political leader material. I know that for a fact. I’m an engineer in profession and an artist, designer, casual photographer and gamer, anime lover, movie enthusiast, book lover, board game hoarder in hobby. I’m passionate about what I do, what I love, and the people I love. I know my place and my role in society. And I believe that’s how society progresses. Everybody knows their place and play their role passionately, professionally with honesty and integrity. That’s exactly how it is when I was back in Singapore. And everything makes perfect sense. Everybody lives in harmony. But here? People want high position, bigger title, more pay, less work. And I’m not going to start talking engineer (for my area which is software) quality. It really doesn’t make sense to me at all. The logical thing is that if you’re not good enough, you be looking for opportunity to learn and grow to fulfill your role. And if I meet someone who’s smarter and full of knowledge, I would be delighted because there would be so much things I can learn from him/her. But here from my experience in working environment so far, it’s a complete opposite.

With all that said, I have also met and known truly great people. I really admire what they are doing to try to change whatever I’m complaining about in the generation to come. I really sincerely pray for blessing to their endeavor from my heart because what they do is selfless and will pave way for many people children including mine. I’m also grateful that I have known and befriend them because only the thought and connection with these group of people that keep my candle of hope for this country up and keep me grounded in this God forsaken country. And of course my most beloved family and wife.

Advertisements
Gullible, Insensible, Irrational World

Perfect Gift

After like God knows how long, I manage to squeeze time to post some long overdue post.

A perfect gift. This occurred to me when I was trying to find gift for my brothers, parents, and my sweetie before I return home. I was having a lot of trouble and headache trying to find my so-called perfect gift for them. That’s when I really get to feel how hard it is to find a gift for your love ones. Now I can understand why people are happy to receive gift from their love ones. It’s not that they have high requirement and very demanding about gift or something. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. It’s just because you love them so much, so that you want to give something to express that love. Something that you like and want them to have it. At the same time, it also must be something that they will like and want to have. It also something that is meaningful and expressive of your feeling. On top of that, it shouldn’t be something very cheap yet not too expensive to give off the feeling that you’re wasting your money on it.

To look for that for all of them at the same is definitely one hella challenge. Fortunately, things worked out pretty well for me in the end.

Perfect Gift

Belief

Life is very strange thing. I heard/read somewhere that says “The more I know about life, the less I understand it.” I do feel that from time to time. Belief is definitely one of the most puzzling things that life shape in us. It’s what makes life in adulthood complicated and sophisticated.

At this stage of life, most of us have our own belief and perspectives on things that we derived from the our experience in live. Some of us fool themselves into having one. Delusional as it is, it’s how it is with grown-ups. You and I alike, We have preconceived ideas about many. We quickly stereotype things/people at our own convenience base on our so-call “life experience”. However, I have to agree that we are not to blame entirely especially when you are growing up in a society that perpetually echo into your ear that you have to think fast, be critical, and you need to learn to make quick and accurate judgment because the world is moving quickly and changing promptly. Eventually, we’re all distorted. We lose sight of what matters in life and only focus at what matter to us. Some want to conform while others prefer to be different. Ironically, now that the world is encouraging us to be original and different, being different would mean you’re just conforming to the concept. In the end, it all boils down just one simple powerful word – Belief. As long as you believe you are, then you are, no matter what people say.

The problem with this message is that people takes it too literally that they create a tendency to reject others’ belief prematurely. Sometime it become so extensive that we’re unable able to compromise with the difference and engage ourselves in aggressively futile debates to convince one another. “Well, that’s just life.” Well, that’s what most people would say. Simplest, quickest and easiest way to reason it. Sometime it’s hard to believe, but it’s true, the reason is because it’s the way it is. Do you believe that? Well, I don’t. Even if most of the time it’s apparently so.

With everything said, most of the time I still took the more cowardice way out like most of us do. Avoidance. Especially so when I sense the situation is getting hostile. I’m still looking for courage to not only collaboratively compromise my difference in belief with people but also to discuss and debate it. At the moment, it still seems to be a pretty far-fetch attempt. But I believe it’ll happen. Somehow…

Belief

Humans

I don’t get why we can’t trust each other and give each other a chance eventhough we’re all human. Most of us, you and me alike, tend to instinctively judge people and make assumption about different people we barely know. As adult, we even worse than kids, we are so over-confident about our life experience that we believe we can see through and understand people just through observation. How can we truly understand each other, while we continuously rejecting one another.

Humans

Self-inflicted pressure

I don’t get it. I don’t get why we put extra unnecessary stress and pressure on ourselves when we already have too much from society? And the best part is we deny it. We say “I lived a happy and satisfied life”…. “yeah I can see that…. it’s written all over your face.” Seriously, how can you say you lived a happy and satisfied life when you expression look worse than that cat?

I remembered  when I was a kid, everyone, including myself, wants to quickly grow up. And as we grow up, some people start finding their own way and some start to lose it. For those who found it, we put heart, effort and time to reach our desired destination. As for those those who lose it, they put heart, effort and time to find it. At certain point in the future, we all came back for reunion. During the reunion, we realize we are no longer the same. We are all at different stage of life and state of mind. Some of us seem to be having a very bright future prospect. Some of us seem just happy to be doing what they’re doing. A few of us gain some extra self esteem. A few others are getting more irritating than ever. Then there were some of us were just silent amidst the chattering. Some smile grimly. After the reunion, a few of us became closer and still keep in touch but most of never meet again. But what nobody really knows is when did all these differences start to happen to each of us.

See, even as I’m writing this nonsense I know most likely nobody else other than myself going to read it, I still racking my brain furiously for the right things and words to put it across. Why’s that? Honestly, because I feel responsible for what I’m writing and partly, I want to put as undeniable as possible. So if in the worst case scenario, there’s one really damn bored person drop by and read this really boring entry, he/she would agree with me or if he/she question, I wouldn’t be too badly shot at. But why do I care if what people think about what I wrote? I don’t know, because I respect their opinions. “Why?” Why the hell you keep asking me why…. isn’t respecting other’s opinion is a morale thing to do?

From that lame discussion with myself alone, I already can see many constraints we acquired onto ourselves as we grow up. From where? School teaching, parent teaching, friend’s sharing, experience…blah blah and blah. But as to why we oblige to these constraints, I don’t know… I guess different people would have different reasons. Take my favorite fairy tale for example. Study hard and you’ll succeed. I believe in this fairy tale even until teenage age. That’s one damn good fairy tale. We heard this tale more often than any other to the point that we have come to term that it’s not an option to not do well in study if you want to succeed. First of all, it’s not even a guaranteed that if you study hard you would do well in study.

Some says “no, that’s because you haven’t studied hard enough”
“Ehhh!? Hard enough but the fairy only say study hard wat.”
Some says “It’s a fairy tale don’t interpret it so literally. The term study hard is relative. Depending on your intelligence, you need to determine how hard you need to study.”
“huuuhh?? wat..? So you mean if I study hard, I also won’t succeed?”
Some says “No! that’s not what I meant. Aiya! don’t think too much just go study.”

I haven’t questioned the fairy tale till one fine day when I suddenly realize sth very shocking. I don’t know anybody who study hard and succeed. On the contrary, I know quite a number who didn’t study hard and succeed. Then when I share it I got immediately shot with a very expected question:

“how do you know they succeed?”
“Because they’re super rich.”
“Success is not defined by wealth!”
“Then what is success.”
“Success is how happy and satisfied you’re with your life and how much you’ve achieve with your life.”
“Eh? like that means study hard doesn’t make me succeed wat.. you see.. when I study hard, I’m stressed. When I’m stressed I’m not happy and not satisfied because I cant eat properly and don’t enjoy anything.”
“No! That’s not what I meant. Aiya! don’t think too much just go study.”

Why does the conversation always end up like this? Anyway, back to what I was saying. What I am trying to pull out from this example is the fact that a lot of these constraints that we put on ourselves before we say/act sometime are justifiable. There’s no reason for us to feel inferior of people doing better than us in study. There’s no reason for us not to share out note and teach our lousier friends. And it’s absolutely not logical for us to worry and burn our brain to thinking about how bad we performed in exam and what are all the bad consequences are going to follow through. In fact, if we have so much time to worry about all these things, we could use this time to go have fun and find alternatives to the various consequences that we think are going to come by. As simple as that.

Shit! I think I over crapped…. okay to be continued….

Self-inflicted pressure

Ignorance

I don’t get it, why some of us are so ignorant about things that are affecting them and their lives? Better still, they are even ignorant about their ignorance.

I think the saying “Ignorance is a bliss” really gets people going the wrong way, especially when they interpret it literally. Living in an environment full of people different from nationalities, culture and background allows me to observe variety of different type of ignorance. Wait different type of ignorance? Yes. Some people are ignorant about others’ feeling and emotions, some people are ignorant about society, some people are ignorant about things that matters to them, some are ignorant, and some are just ignorant about every damn thing.

You know the “politically correct” adults always tell younger generation that it’s not good to negatively stereotype people. But the stereotype never stop, why? because these very adult only tells us not to stereotype people but never once tell us not to live up with up with our stereotype. It’s difficult for the world not to stereotype (from here on, stereotype would be referred to the negative ones unless mentioned otherwise) a group of people when every damn person from that group is thinking/acting/behaving exactly as the previous ones we know. And why am I suddenly talking about stereotype? Because I think ignorance is one of the biggest factors that snowball this stereotype bazaar.

We often unconsciously assuming that certain things we do or say is normal because everybody around us is doing exactly the same damn thing. We have no idea how different people from different culture and background view or think of the things we do or the way we behave. Frankly speaking, we just don’t care. For goodness sake, they’re just freaking tourists. That’s exactly what they think of us when we are going on holiday in their land. We have never really stop and think that this tourist also talked to the other tourists and eventually when he went back to his country, he would also tell his people. And in this digital age, their opinions spread at speed of light. But again, I think there really not point ranting about this because there’s no stopping it. What I’m more irritated with is the people who are ignorant about things around that’s constantly affecting and influencing their lives. You know what our problem is? Our problem is that we think that we survive till now without knowing or caring about all these craps so why should we even bother to start caring. I didn’t start reading newspaper till I was 20, and I’m still alive and happy. In fact I think I was happier when I wasn’t reading the paper. There were less unnecessary tragedy bother my life that I couldn’t do anything about it, or at least I thought so. Some of my “good-boy” friends said they don’t play game or watch movies or anime or doing any of these wasting time activities their whole and they’re still having fun by doing math problem and reading physics textbook.

However, what we don’t know and hardly consider is what difference would it makes if we were to be less ignorant about it. Most of the time we only realize and change when we meet the right friends who enlighten, encourage and show us what difference would it make to care. Nevertheless, I still don’t get it as to why do we just sit down and wait for that right influence to come and change us instead of dragging our own ass to seek the enlightenment? Are we afraid that we would know too much and nobody would want to hang around with? Maybe. I don’t know. Nature really has a way of make us being able to observe the mystery but not being able to unfold it, at least not with a singly defined answer. Mysterious indeed.

Ignorance

Overrated

Here comes my new topic category – iDontGetIt. Lately, I don’t know why I started to notice many things I don’t get about us people. Maybe I slack my brain too much till it tries to look for sth to think about. So I thought it would be interesting to write them down here for future reference…

So what is the first thing that I don’t get? I don’t get why some people tell me certain things are overrated when they’ve never even use it before. On what basis that they can so outrightly claim that it’s overrated? Because most of the online reviews say so? or their friends say so? or just simply because they tried their friends’ ones and they don’t like it as it claimed they would? No idea but whatever it is, I personally think that unless you own one before you’re not really qualified to claim that it’s overrated.

I started to wonder about this when I was getting opinions from people on whether I should save up for Android, iPhone or Blackberry? And guess what, I have people producing absolute claim for every one of those model.

My friends who use Android said iPhone is just a trend and there are many thing iPhone couldn’t do compared to Android especially in term of customization and personalization. They also say everybody is getting an iPhone because everybody else was doing it. When asked about BlackerBerry? They were like “BlackBerry is not even in the equation here. BlackBerry is for working people. There’s nothing much there.”

On the other hand, some of my iPhone peeps says Android is overrated and iPhone is the only phone you should consider going for. iPhone can do anything you want to do. It can do anything Android can do and more. That’s one very very big and dangerous claim they were making there. And yeah again they also agree with my Adroid friends that BlackBerry is not to be compared with the 2.

So what do my BlackBerry friends has to say? They say no… BlackBerry can do a lot of things, at least more than enough for you to not want to upgrade to either iPhone or Android. BlackBerry can go online, can surf Internet, can do email, can use google app, can use google map, and they also have games and entertainment stuff. So why would u need iPhone and Android? Then I said, “I don’t know. Because they look cooler and more sleek?”…. “No, they’re big. You see the later model of BlackBerry. Their designs are also cool and on top of that, they’re more handy.”…. then I went…” but I think the buttons are too small. My fingers are fat so it won’t easy for me to press”…. then they were like “No la. After a while you’ll get used to it. The iPhone/Adroid on-screen key pad is even harder to press.”

After all that, I think I’m back at square one. Which one to get? But the more disturbing question now is why are these people make so absolute claim about each of these brands when they haven’t even had extensive experience using the other brand, nor do they have any idea what features I need/prefer, what design I like, and what I other things I can or cannot tolerate about these gadgets. They suddenly appear to me like an unpaid salesmen but again even salesmen leave some room for you to consider your other choices.

So there you go. I don’t get it. Why are we being so judgmental about things/people that we don’t really know?

My personal answer at the moment would be because we think we know even when we don’t.

Overrated