- burma travelogue published
just published a mini travelogue for my episode in myanmar. pictures only. words are at a standstill at the moment, so they might or might not come later. ming kla bah and ti zu beh!
- 50 days
公 kung, fifty days came and went quietly. fifty days without the reassuring smile that is always present on your face. time flies 公 kung.
i flew back for your 49th day prayer. we gathered to serve you some food, then said some prayers. i stoically held back my tears. fifty days 公 kung, the healing hasn’t begun. i’m still learning about the depth of my love for you.
i miss you 公 kung.
p/s: i will take care of the little ones over here 公 kung, i know you are worried about them and i haven’t been much of a big sister to them. that has changed 公 kung.
your grandchildren, your children, your wife, vigilantly stayed by your side day and night. every breath was an obvious struggle, an effort that took every bit of your will, every bit of your strength. 公 kung, you were fighting death’s grip. and in the last moments of your life, you still manage to show me how strong you are. you are a true warrior of light.
night became day. your survived the darkness which i thought would swallow you. there was a moment of respite - you looked as though you can finally take a small nap. my anxiety went down a notch. and just then - you took your last breath. although i have mentally prepared myself for this moment, although i have accepted that your end was near, although i was ready to let you go, i was in shock. you left so quietly.
i found solace in knowing that your last breath was a serene one. and that you are no longer struggling so painfully to keep death at bay.
we had five days before your funeral. i spent almost everyday close to you. all of us made sure the candle that guides you never diminished. we chanted the words that would help you find your way. you were surrounded with our constant chatter - there was so much about you to share. we retold your jokes, smiled at stories of your jovial character, recounted the last moments of your life and realised you even told jokes on your deathbed to make us smile. stories about you filled the air and the empty spaces. talking about you soothed the weight that was in our hearts. we also had our quiet moments, pondering about a world without you.
monday night. the entire clan stayed over to accompany you on the last leg of your journey. the twins, the one that had a heightened sense - he said he felt your spirit in the middle of the night. you visited us and was happy to see how cohesive we were.
tuesday. we were all very emotional. it was more than obvious how well loved you are. we placed your favourite clothings into the coffin, we laid flowers, we verbalized the words in our hearts. we walked with you to the crematorium. and the burning began.
we placed the plaque at the temple of your choosing then returned to the crematorium to collect your ashes. one urn is not big enough. 公 kung - you cannot be contained. and we - your grandchildren, your children, your wife, we are embarking on a journey to set you free.
we gathered at the dock. the monk led us onto the boat. we took you to calm spot. it was a beautiful day, the sun was bright, the skies were blue and clear, the sea was sparkling. there were islands to our right and left, the city was at a distance. to our back was the open sea.
the monk chanted to bless the water, while we scattered flowers into the ocean. 公 kung, a sea of petals surrounded us. it was so beautiful. then we began our poetic send-off. every family member had a hand in scattering your ash on a sea of floating flowers into the ocean. we sang. you are free 公 kung, not trapped in a body, not confined in a coffin, not enclosed in an urn. you are one with the ocean, you can wander around the world. 自由自在，环游世界。
when the scattering was done, i, your eldest grandchild, and two other grandchildren, we jumped into the ocean to accompany you on the beginning of your journey. we were swimming with you 公 kung. this was our poignant farewell to you, our final parting.
every time i look at the ocean now, i think of you and know you’re there. we miss you dearly. you’ve always been a sun in my life, and your light still lives in my heart.
- storybird’s featured author
i’ve been addicted to storybird for a while. it’s a site for storytelling, you use their art from 13 artists to inspire you into spinning tales. here’s some of mine. view it on full screen mode to fully appreciate the beautiful art.
the adventures of mikael on Storybird
wild at heart on Storybird
letter to my ethanby, with so much love on Storybird
how ira found out the answer to everything on Storybird
the whimsical poet on Storybird
on why sharing is more than caring on Storybird
- t minus four days
why am i so restless? it’s been barely a month since my return from melbourne and already i am itching to up and go. my next destination is only four days away…excited! it will be a good one, with good food and great scenery plus awesome treks. will bring a good book.
that’s all i came here to write :) ta!
- but you just came back!
woot! am making a quick trip to hanoi end of this month! i’ll be spending halloween’s among the rice paddy fields of sapa. whee! am excited. it feels like homecoming, finally - travelling in asia again.
we’ll be flirting with time a little bit - on our last day there, we have two hours to get our butts from the train station to the airport. if the train is delayed….. halt! no negative thoughts!
will be back, with pictures!
- rambles about travels
13 countries in 4 years. 14 if you count the land i call home. though i am not travelling in the manner that i want to, i am quite pleased with what i have accomplished.
i have changed, as i must. i feel as though i have crossed over. see - there is thick line of difference between travelling with companions, and travelling alone. i flirted with that line for a while. then i took a taste of the thrill of solo backpacking. and i am hooked.
i will not lie to you - it’s not fun all the time. mostly, it’s tolerable. mostly, it’s me, alone. and i am fine with me, alone. i like being with myself. it gives me time to grow, time to know what i want my next phase of life to be, time to understand the language of my soul. hours can stretch by without me hearing my own voice. the need to speak evaporates, and in that stillness i am one with myself, i am at peace. it is a feeling i miss when i am back home, when i’m going through my familiar routine of work and play.
again, i will not lie to you - when it was fun, it certainly was damn good fun. i am astounded time and again by the inherent goodness in the people that i meet. when you are out there, alone, there is only so much you can do to protect yourself from the evils of today’s society. you rely on the kindness of strangers to bridge that gap. i either have very good travel luck, or there are many good souls out there who without hesitation, will extend their hand in kindness. and of course, i believe the latter to be true. angels walk amongst us.
which taught me what i deem, the most important lesson i have learnt from the road. open your heart. yes, it’s a vulnerable state of mind; yes, you are open for hurt. however, if you travel with a closed heart and mind, you might as well be back home watching the travel channel.
twice i opened myself big and wide - twice i was rewarded with the adventures of my life, and collected a heartful of stories that i will tell till the day i lay upon the ground.
but i digressed, and now i backtrack to my original topic - i have crossed over. i now see how much adventure is before me when i go solo. i am hungry for it. no longer am i afraid of the perils that might befall me, though i am keenly aware of them. and i must add that i take all the necessary precautions to keep them at bay and equip myself as best as i can to deal with them if they come to be.
13 countries in 4 years. riding on the roof of a bus to changu narayan in kathmandu, biking the back alleys of ninh binh in hanoi, jumping out of a kayak into the waters of koh railay in thailand, searching for land mine safety marks on the dirt path of phonsavan in laos, watching wild whales at warnambool in melbourne, sipping hot spiced vino while exploring a christmas fair in prague. so many moments that made me feel truly alive, so many memories burnt in my heart, so much to be grateful for.
the travel bug still pulsates in me. wanderlust is the blood that courses through my veins. i have a rough plan. i have goals. in the next three years, i want to :
- travel to Burma and complete my South East Asia circuit
- experience loy krathong in Ayutthaya
- watch the sunrise over Borobudur
- learn to surf
- ride a horse in a country side
- play with snow
- be in India
- see the many shades that colour Uluru
- camp in a jungle
- be in kiwi land
- go WWOOFing
- take a long train ride
i foresee my return to australia, repeatedly. so charmed am i with the outback, and the land down under. tassie, adelaide, the sunshine state, perth. i can see myself going back very often, for my heart feels at home there.
i end my rambles with a paragraph from paul theroux that eloquently describes how i like to travel. namaste.
“to me, travel was not about rest and relaxation. it was action, exertion, motion, and the built-in delays were longueurs necessitated by the inevitable problem-solving of forward movement; waiting for buses and trains, enduring breakdowns that you tried to make the best of.”
- paul theroux
- great ocean road travelogue
a quick shout out to announce that i just completed the great ocean road travelogue. good nite!
- new travelogue - sort of
i travel a lot; i hate having my live disrupted by routine
seems like i only write when i’m on the road these days. anyway, i’m here to say that i’ve whipped up a simple travelogue in case i feel like updating whilst i’m exploring the great ocean road. depending on availability of free wifi, time and mood - updates will be intermittent. upon my return however, pictures which will say what my words cannot, will be uploaded.
i hope all is well. namaste.