Thursday, January 28, 2010

Shortage

It is 2010, and Lebanon has no 24 hours electricity! Can you believe that? It is 2010!

This is what a typical Lebanese will tell you. While as a tourist you hardly notice that they don’t have 24 hours electricity as everybody/ house/ shop has its own generator. The hours without electricity varies across cities and days, in Beirut, they have 3 hours cut per day; other places they have more hours without electricity.

The below picture shows what I happened to see on one fine day, while I was walking down the street.. the street light was turned on at noon! In a country that has shortage of electricity.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Made in Malaysia II


I passed by this shop selling plastic model in Beirut on the first day I was in Lebanon. I asked for permission to take picture because this is the first time I saw this.

Where are you from? The owner asked.
Malaysia.
Oh, Malaysia. Come here, this is from your country.

Shocked.

26/01/10

I wanted to write something else, but what happened an hour ago shocked me!! I received an email from my ex-colleague, telling me I am too amazing to be able to travel in these countries, and asking

"How do you get internet access and electricity? I am very surprise"

OH MY GOD!!!


Do you know that Afghanistan has fast internet connection? Do you know even it is in war, Baghdad still has hotel which get blasted one day ago? Do you know I drink water from the tap in Syria because the water can be drank directly? Do you know that people I met (particularly after Asia) are much more aware of the world situation and intelligent in every single discussion? Do you know how ignorant we are, not knowing others are in front of us, self-satisfied?

Received an email from a friend at the same time, telling me the Johorean are not aware of Haiti earthquake.. I think the ignorance is not only about Johorean or Malaysian, as long as it doesn't hurt you, you don't even bother to stop and look. But guess what, people in the Middle-East talk about what happened in the world in their daily topic! Someone told me about Haiti earthquake, someone told me about the snow in the European countries, someone told me about other thing.. so I assumed, perhaps it is Asian that made the different. Do we care about ourselves more than the world? Or it is because of South-East Asia? Or it is because of Chinese?.. I wonder..

It is winter here, very cold. I wear 4 tops, 3 pants, 2 pair of socks, scarf, sometimes gloves and wool hat even in my friend's house. It doesn't snow though.. I just realized that Damascus is the oldest capital in the world that has continued inhabitants. And I went to Malaysia Embassy this morning to ask for a new passport.

What? The officer told me I need to fly back to Malaysia to get a new passport?! Are you silly or what? Are you talking or singing? Arghh I found it a total awful. What if I lost my passport? I asked. Same, you will be given an emergency notice which allow you to fly back to Malaysia to get a new passport.

Siao.

Or you get a residence permit.

Arghh... damn it I don't want to talk to him. And I don't believe him. He is an officer, not even a Malaysian I don't feel homey. By the way XiaoHui and AKeong were stuck in Sudan with their car because they can't get an Ethiopian visa, making me reconsider the trip to Africa..

But it is for sure too silly to get a new passport back in Malaysia. The officer told me, who asked you to travel so many countries? I said 'come on, this is what passport is for!!' So who has relative who work in Malaysia Embassy in Syria? Help me.. or who know what is the right chemical to remove visa without stain from my passport?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Good Life

24/01/09

It was a good decision to stay with Diala. It had been almost a week since I stayed with her in the suburb of Damascus and time passed easily. Each day we will wake up late, almost everyday get invited to someone’s house for lunch, watch some TV program at night and that is called a day.

Today we were invited by her mother in law for lunch, yesterday we went to her aunt house, day before yesterday Diala cooked for us, day day before yesterday her sister invited me for pizza at home, day day day before yesterday I ate at her sister’s house too. The sisters are all good cook, they cooked traditional Syrian food and usually stuff me to dead. I always want to have two stomachs or four stomachs, not really care if I am a cow.

Most of the morning we have some chat. We talk about everything, religion, politics, Lebanon, Syrian, European, Malaysian, Chinese, money, life, relationship. She was born in a Muslim family but not a religious one; she herself is a religious Muslim. I enjoy staying with her, she knew what she is doing and what she wants, so positive and energetic all the time. The most important thing is, she is real and genuine. Oh yea, I knew her in Deir Mar Musa. A muslim who spent some days in the Christian monastery. Nothing wrong here.

I learned a lot on cooking these days, from her as well as from others, I think I can be a good cook one day when I returned home.

Learned to love vegetables in traveling is a great change in my life. In fact I just realised that traveling has changed me extensively, inside out and upside down, especially Middle-East. From daily life, I changed from one who doesn’t like olive to one who loves olive; from one who doesn’t know what is bread other than Gardinear to one who appreciate good bread; I learned to eat pomegranate, avogado, learned to let my toungue experience the different spices that hardly seen in the east. Mindset wise, I learned that to keep one virginity, girls from conservative Middle-East family practise oral sex or anal sex or bisexual before they get married. It is different from Iran, Iranian get married in their early age, for example thirteen in order to sleep together; in Middle East, they look for the loop hole. Knowledge wise, needless to say, too much history and geography lesson to tell.

One fine day I was thinking, how am I going back and work for someone, who doesn’t even know what is happening in the outside world, who only care about the performance or KPI of his/her own section in the company? Anyway, I knew that I should not worry about this because those people wont like to have me in their team, one who quit to travel, how committed can she be.

Some day in the morning, we will have coffee with Diala’s father. The man get married three times, seven kids in total. His current wife is about his first child age. I like to talk with him, he is a well-traveled man who has tonnes of knowledge to share. I love to listen to whom he himself/ her herself a book, Sally who I stayed with in Beirut is just another person in this category. I wish I can tell more but it is late at night now. Will need to wake up early tomorrow morning, going to Malaysia embassy to check if I can get a new passport in advance (slim chance though), then fix my two cavities, go internet, buy chocolate, go to shoemaker,buy headphone. Hopefully everything can be done before 3pm, which is the time we are going for lunch in Diala’s mother in law house. Yea so late I know, they have lunch so late.

After everything is fixed, perhaps I shall go back to Deir Mar Musa for the last time to say bye bye?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A tree

When we were on our way down from the castle to the town, Gabor asked me:
Given a chance for you to choose, what animal do you want to be?
I want to be a human, a girl.
No no, aside from human being.
I never thought about it.
Then think now.
Can it be a plant?
Yes.
Then I want to be a tree.
What kind of tree?
Any kind, but a tree that grows in a place where there is four seasons.
Why?
I think it must be good to stay still and seeing things going around you; and it must be great to experience the different season, the changing of life.

I wanted to be a tree. It surprised me a bit when I hear myself saying so, and this life I am traveling, moving like a tree without root wandering around lacking courage to settle down. Perhaps subconsciously I wanted to stay so much, to have a normal life, to see things as it is, to feel the routine, up and down, day by day. It must be a blessed for those who are doing so. Noticing oneself a third party to himself is something sad to be realized, and it happened to me. I always feel third party to myself due to the belief of everything is arranged, due to the Taoism ideology, which I started to get bored with. I guess it is only when the time I became a tree, I will understand life and being alive.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Love Story

06/12/09

Yesterday came a British lady to our dormitory, her name is Andrea, and I had the pleasure to share her life story.

I guessed I asked if she is married, and she told me she is divorced. And I asked if she mind to share what had happened.

Andrea met her Japanese husband in Indonesia.

It was in a travel agency when he sat beside me. At that time, we both don't know each other. And coincidently, I met him again in Jakarta airport. Still nothing happened, at that time I was going to Bandung and he is heading to somewhere else. The third time I saw him again was in Bali, the day that I lost all my luggage, he appeared.

Like someone from the heaven, I interrupted, like someone sends my God.

Yes It was like a miracle, but I did not want to accept his help because I don't want love to happen. Anyway, he insisted to help.

And?

And after that, I decided to travel with him to South East Asia, and he went with me to England and stayed for two years, and his working permit expired he had to leave; I followed him to Japan and lived for seven years. He was an architect and I was a teacher.

One day, we decided that we want to do something online, setup a guidebook and tips for traveling in South East Asia. We both quit our jobs and went back to the region, we put in the money that we have into the website, we started to travel extensively in South East Asia, at one time he was in Thailand and I was in Cambodia; at the other time he was in Laos and I was in Malaysia. It was a success at the beginning we even recommended by Lonely Planet, but we don't make money out of it.

I was 35, I wanted a baby, but he said wait. He said we can have a baby when we went back to our previous profession, when he goes back to be an architect and I go back to be a teacher. I just wanted to stop the online project and have my life, I cannot wait as I am getting older. We met less and quarreled more. At last, we divorced.

I went back to England and started my new life, he continued the project but the result was deteriorating. We contacted each other for the first few years but I didn't hear from him for the recent years. I guessed most probably he had got married and have children, and he doesn't know how to tell me.

So did you remarried? I asked.

No. I find myself happy without a relationship. Of course I can't have child anymore I am too old. She is around 48 now.

Her story was really interesting to me. How can two who have so much fates ended up divorced? God must have forgotten something in between.

Isn't He?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Stay still

19/01/10

I almost know what I need now. Stop moving.

Back in Syria after 13 days in Lebanon, spent 50USD for 13 days, I salute to myself, what the hell I am doing?! 4USD a day or 5.4USD(including visa fee) a day, damn it am I traveling or what? I cant believe that, confused and more confuse.

Lebanon is the most expensive country in the Middle East excluding Turkey. I distorted the traveling style after knowing how to do it, begged for kindness, abused the hospitality, taking advantage, arghh.. I have thick skin, but too much conscious.

12 nights, among these 6 nights in CS house, 3 nights got picked up, 1 night at an NGO office, one night in hotel paid by someone, one night at the ruin of Baalbek. Hitch hike or walk most of the time.

At the day I left, I decided to take bus because I have too much Lebanese money left. I changed 50USD and I have left over after 2 weeks! Siao.

I hate myself. I think what I need now is stop stop stop and look around. Shall I go back to Mar Musa and proposed that I will help them translate their website into mandarin? Shall I stay in Damascus and learn Arabic in the mosque? Shall I join Astrid in Jordan in the farming thingy? I need to finish the book that I have carried for month, I need to write my diary.

Two Malaysians that I met in Syria already reached Sudan, sound and safe, alhamdullilah. Sally asked me why dont I just go home if I am too tired to move. I cant go home now because I know my unrest soul, will definitely want to come out again once I reached home. And I know I wont be able to set the foot on the road again while I were back home because the distance in geography is too far to continue if I dont want to take a plane.

Let's see what is arranged for me. For the time being will just head to Diala's place, do my laundry, watch some movies perhaps. Need to get my two tooth decays fixed before moving on. Watched Fargo and The Invasion of Barbarians in Beirut; watch The Hitchhiker's Guidebook to the Galaxy in Deir Al-Qamar. Fargo is very much Coen Brother's movie..

Anyway, I have 3 months visa free stay in Syria, not in a rush for anything.

Till then.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Made in Malaysia

'You want some cookies?' I handed over the pack of cookies I bought in downtown Beirut to the two Jordanian guy sitting in front.
'Made in Malaysia?' They asked.
'I don't think so I bought in one of the store here. Chips More.'I flipped over the wrapper and noticed,
'Yea made in Malaysia!'

--------------------------------------------------

'Where are you from?' The dentist in Damascus asked.
'Malaysia.'
'Oh the gloves we used here are from Malaysia. See?' He started to take out the boxes of gloves from the drawer.
'Blue one, transparent one.. see? Made in Malaysia.'


--------------------------------------------------

At Sarba, Lebanon. Sola's mother brought me to the living room. We can only communicate in body language. She pointed at the wood carving piece on the wall, some indigenous stuff and said 'Malaysia.'
'You bought in Malaysia?' I asked.
'No in Lebanon, from Malaysia.'


--------------------------------------------------

'Good quality from Malaysia.' Sola's father said.
'What? You mean the wood pieces in the living room? Yea we have really good wood in Borneo.' I tried to explained.
'No, my father was telling you the part in the bulldozer that came from Malaysia has higher quality compare to other countries.' Sola translated. His father ran a business leasing bulldozers.

--------------------------------------------------

Diala picked me up from the busy Damascus. She has a small car, so small it doesnt fit into this city.
'You know what, this car is from Malaysia.'
Huh I dont even noticed it! I ran down and saw -- 'Kelisa'!

--------------------------------------------------

People always asked me what is the main industry in Malaysia, I feel more and more shameful noticing I am unable to answer a lot of basic questions about my own country, which I lived and love for so many years. What is the population, GDP, how large is the land, economy, mindset of people, politics etc etc. I never noticed how ignorant I was when I am back home, not even knowing how much is a kg of cabbage or chicken. It was really warm when you see product produced in Malaysia, made in Malaysia, including myself :)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hitchhiking Day

16/01/10

Hitchhiking day.

I bid bye bye to Sally this morning.
My destination is Bcharre. I was thinking to take a bus to Jbail (Byblos) and then hitchhike from there. There are too many traffic near Beirut or Jounieh making hitchhiking so hard.

So I took a bus (USD0.6) from Beirut to Dawra.
From Dawra another bus to Jbail. But the bus happened to end at Jounieh, the driver waived go go denoting no money needed.
From Jounieh I hitched on another bus, he was going to Ghizar, a few km distance.
At Ghizar, I peed and climbed on a camion. He stopped at a shop selling gun I was a bit frightened. But he happened to be just getting some paper from there, and the driver wanted to give me 5000LL (3.3USD), I waived and say no I don't need money.The camion dropped me at Nahr Ibrahim.
I wait for a while before someone gave me a lift to the junction to Amion. The guy touches my head and pretend to be silly. I know what he wanted but I am not interested. I react so violently when his hand is about to touch me or just crossed over the seat. He did not do anything of course.
At the junction to Amion someone picked me up to Amion. He was a nice person.
At Amion I got picked up by two Jordanian tourist who is heading to Cedar. I went with them to Bcharre then to Cedar. The view was great. Lebanon is a beautiful country. One of the guy told me he loves me and hit me with the snow ball. I pretended not hearing. Another guy told me that his friend is available if I am interested. Too bad I had married and with a daughter.
The road from Bcharre to Baalbek is closed due to winter snow so I need to go back Beirut to take another road to Baalbek.

I followed the two Jordanian guy, they are on their way back to Beirut. At Batroun they make a turn, I shouted STOP! They wanted to see the sea but I am not interested.
I went off the car and waited again for another lift. This time is another bus heading to Beirut. The young man blinking at me and wanted a hand shake. They let me off at Charles Helou Ave which is so near to the place I stayed but didn't make it clear for me.
So I was waiting for another lift thinking I am still outside the city. One car stopped, I sat in and he said he is looking for a girl to have coffee with. I told him sorry I am not interested as I have family. He dropped me right away and I noticed the landmark in the downtown, I am somewhere near Sally's house. Night is horrible, people takes off their masks.
I walked for 20 minutes or so with my big bag. Finally standing in front of the gate and pressed the intercomm button, hearing the familiar voice 'aywa?' (yes in Arabic) I knew I can have a hot shower :)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Need help badly!

15/01/10

It was dangerous to cross the street when I mentally not functioning well. Today is one of the bad day. Nothing special, I chat with my host about homosexual, visited AUB archeological museum, spent most of the time finding the student hostel equipped with free internet access which I went there before (but failed to locate it), then try to call my friend Imad for a drink but he was out of access, took a walk at Corniche (the seafront of Beirut), it reminded me too much about Penang. I sat on a bench and started to cry. (haha not so dramatic!! )

I felt like crying but I did not actually cry. I sat on the bench and read some history on Lebanon, the wind was so strong and the waves splashed on the rocks, the sorrow came from nowhere and I felt so bad I can't describe it. I think I need help badly. Or perhaps at least I need alcohol badly. I did not get both on the spot, even back in my host house.

She is out for a meeting with friends, I think she left me some food in the kitchen. A nice Palestinian Jordanian lady, wise and hospitable, or else I will be sleeping in some abandoned building in Beirut. She is a couchsurfer, the first one who said 'make it as your home' after I left Iran. Hmm..

Wanted to write more but everything ran through my mind before I can reach a computer, so that's all it left, I mean what you read here.. too bad.

Just to express my feeling, nothing need to be taken too hard. I know tomorrow will be a tough day, to hitchhike all the way from Beirut to Bcharre, the mountain and probably it will be snowing over there, and I need to get myself hosted somewhere in the village. In between wanted to visit the person who helped me in Byblos, he stayed in Chekka, an ex-army in Lebanon. Was so interested to know more about his life in the army but he refused to recall the painful memory.

Take care, till then.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Lebanon

10/01/10

I left Syria. Wasn't sure if it is so clear in the blog as I updated in facebook and the right hand corner of the blog. In Tyre (Sour in Arabic) now, those who are familier with Bible must have read of Sidon and Tyre, places where Jesus preached (I think), but I am sure I saw these two places in the Bible.

Wandering in the street after the day turned dark with my backpack. Went to the church and asked the priest to let me overnight in the church. Just one night, I said. No, the prist replied. So this is a place of GOD? Don't he see someone is needing help? What kind of priest is he?!

Wandering around the seaside looking for a beach to overnight. Or the ruins? I was thinking which one is safer. Met a couple on the street, asked them for the direction to the beach, and ended up in their office. An NGO.. for.. urrh.. dunno what. Too many Palestinian men in this area, they hang around the beach, not safe for you..

Lebanon is EXPENSIVE, a small sandwich costs 2-3dollars, a dormitory bed costs 10dollars, an internet costs ..ahhh I dont know. I sneaked in the student dormitory in American University of Beirut for the internet; and now here in the NGO office I accidentally found internet connection, so havent been spending for internet yet. And transportation.. uhh been hitchhiking so no comment, but for sure EXPENSIVE! And the visa, damn it 17dollar for 15 days!!

And people are not too hospitable though.. they will tell you they are known for their hospitality, perhaps they never meet an Iranian or a Pashtun, or even a Syrian. I was rejected so many times for staying over in one's house, not because they don't have space in their house, but they don't have bed.

I don't need a bed I have my own sleeping bed. I said.
No in our culture, guest don't sleep on the floor.

For the sake of maintening their culture, I was left alone sleeping on the street without shelter rather than sleeping in a house?? What's the logic?!

Okie halas(enough)! Let's talk a bit about Lebanon.

The first impression I left Syria and enter into Lebanon, it gave me an image of a full new country. It is so small and compact, from mountain to sea, from thousands years old ruins to modern city, from conservative chadori women to hot babe with mini skirts, curly hair and seducive look. Lebanese look rich, there are Mercedes and BMWs everywhere on the street, their wearing fancy and fashionate, they are well-known for their night life and parties. In real, one usually work more than one job to maintain the living style they want; one seek help from parent to buy new apartment, one university graduate earned 500-700dollar a month. To survive in Lebanon with such an income and such a high living standard, to me it is a mystery.

And almost every Lebanese experienced war. I was in shocked when the woman told me: we went to Syria when the war happened. Her tone, as if she went for a vacation. Some told me they played with bomb when they were a child, not knowing the danger; others told me their house was bombarded by the Israeli and how Hezbollah use the christian village as military base. Yet everyone looks happy, I don't believe there is no scar left. Everyone in Lebanon has someone loved killed in the war, yet they do car racing and drugging, they smoke and enjoy, they spend and show off as if tomorrow will never come.

While the Lebanese girls dressed so open due to the sea (Lebanon is in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea), they are surprisingly conservative in the society due to their strong family bonding. No staying together before marriage, no premarrital sex, they said, even the sanitary napkin is specially located in a secluded shelf.

For sure Lebanon has its own character, far more stronger than what Syria had, as I am still unable to catch the vibe of Syria yet. Will be staying here for .. I dont know, it really depends if I got pick up from street, but anyway I gotta leave after 15 days. I dont want to spend money sleeping, outside Beirut is simply more than 30dollars per night for a room, too much overpriced.

Oh had I told you the reason I left Mar Musa? My tooth broken while we were on our way to Nabek, the nearby town to online. No reason, just broken. It was on 2nd of January. The day I went back to Mar Musa, Paulo the priest saw me.

"So Tham, would you like to tell us how long you want to stay here? You can stay for your whole life here if you want!" He said.
"No no Father Paulo I am leaving tomorrow."I told him.
(Stay whole life?! I dont want to be a nun!)

At night he wanted me to pray for them, so my prayer goes:
May Lord grant Mar Musa a lot of rainfall, so that they dont worry about the water and the landscape will be greener; may Lord give Paulo good health to do whatever he wanted to do in his life; may Lord let all the pregnant goat of Mar Musa deliver safely; may Lord grant the lonely shepherd a lovely wife.
For my friend Csabi, may Lord give him light and show him the direction in his life. May Lord also give him enough power and strength to overcome all the obstacle.
For my ex-travel partner Gabor Csonka, may Lord grant him a dejavu once in his life time.
May Lord take care of my family and friends back home, give them good health, happiness and stay safe.(these including U!)
Thank Lord for whatever I have experienced for the past one year, traveling. Thanks Lord for every happy and sad moment, all the laughters and tears, all the up and down, thanks Lord for whatever YOU has given me and taken away. Thanks Lord for creating me and making me a part of your plan. Ameen.

I noticed no one had made such a long prayer, I was too much greedy.

And yes, I got my tooth fixed in Damascus, 20USD for the filling. The dentist has a huge tounge, he cant even speak clearly. I asked him, you think anyone will like dentist? He said, even myself hate dentist!

He told me I have two more decay which need to be fixed. I said: let me think! He said, you can think, but remember that it never goes back.
Well I guess it is like life, it never goes back.

And checked out Arabic classes in the mosque, 150USD for 2 months.. not that keen though.. unless I want to teach Arabic back in Malaysia.. haha

It is late, till then.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Last day of the year

31/12/09

Last day of 2009, I decided that I should do some reflections today. I meditated 15 minutes before the bell rang for the morning prayer, washed dishes. I read my diary for 2009 in the church after breakfast, found that nothing much had left since the past one year, except there is one sentence, saying 'perhaps I was a tree in my past life', so coincident with what I wanted to be in my next life.

Yea, I still help to cut vegetables after the breakfast, after I have read my diary, it took me a short time to read it. I don't really want to help but I think it is not good if everyone is busy and you are not helping. I cut the tomato, I cut cucumber and some vegetables that I don't know the name.

I pick up a book from the library - The End of Faith.

We had heavy lunch in the afternoon, as usual we ate too much than we need. Chubby suggested a walk, so we went to the asphalt road after the new monastery. It was about 3-4pm and the sun is setting, we have long shadow, mine was 19 steps of Chubby's footsteps and his was 29 steps of my footsteps. It is certainly because I am shorter than him.

We stayed for a while before he went back to his room for his secret project; I went back to my room and took a nap. Before we said goodbye we saw a large group of tourist climbing up the staircases to the monastery. 342 steps, I remembered someone told me this. I told Chubby I am not going to attend the meditation and mass tonight, there are too many people and it is not for me.

The nap lasted for hours. It was already 9pm when I woke up. I remembered I dreamed but unable to recall any of the content. We talked a lot about dreams these days. Most of them dream at least once about Paulo, or anything that seems to be symbolic. I dream nothing even I try to made a wish before falling asleep; as I always fallen asleep before I manage to make a wish.

The dinner is not yet ready. We must have good food tonight, the last day of the year. I sat in the tent waiting for food when someone waiving at me. She is an old lady, in her fifties maybe. I wasn't in a mood to socialize but still I moved forward. She is from Switzerland, married to a Japanese, ambassador of Japan in Syria. We talked a bit though, not really deep conversation.

The dinner was great. Chicken wings, nuggets from the ambassador, salads, cookies, vegetables, hamas (pea paste), cakes, chips and nuts. In fact too much of food at the time of 10pm. Everyone stuff themselves as much as they can. Fruit afterwards, sweet afterwards. Arhhh! Perhaps for the food I need to leave this place soon, it is killing me!

Today is the day that I get the hint that to leave soon. Lionel is leaving on the 10th, Chubby on the 12th. I was thinking to leave on the 11th but perhaps earlier. Let's see what happened in these few days time.

The church was quite and warm, the fire is burning and everyone else is in the tent. Chubby and I sat down for some talk I don't remember what is that regarding, but while we put our hand near the heater, I told him that Gabor used to put his hand around the shop selling shwarma (donar in Turkish) to warm up his hand. He said this is what homeless people used to do. I remember the day when he did that, he had the carton boxes under his armpit.

Lionel joined us afterwards, just before the midnight mass. People and crowds are not for us, they are singing (may be dancing) up in the tent. Just before the midnight mass started, I pray to Lord for staying with both of them in the coming year, wish Lord always lead them and show them the direction, wish Lord gives them enough power and strength to overcome all the obstacles.

It was full moon. The whole monastery stands up in the middle of the valley, so gorgeous and clear.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Boring

30/12/09
We started to get bored after awhile. These days we were joking about ourselves who stayed for a few days, weeks or months. We are tired to ask the same questions again and again.

Where are you from?
What is your name?
What are you doing back home?
How long do you plan to stay?
Are you traveling?
Where have you been?
How old are you?
What brings you here?

Most of the time I ask not because I care, but to fill up the empty space of conversation. I am the one who is too used to noises and found silence embarrassing; who can't take the quietness between two strangers. I don't like it of course, just too adjusting to others, perhaps they want to tell, so I might as well ask to make them feel better, but at the same time I don't feel good either.

How are you today?
Boring. Don't we want to change our topic? Think out of the box!
So, do you have pet at home?
Oh yes I have nine chickens at home.
What is their name?
They have name but too much to name nine chickens here.
Do you think there is potential for chickens to perform in a circus?
Yes I think so.
How?
...
...
...

Good morning! How are you today, are you happy? This is what Paulo said every morning.
Boring. I whisper to Chubby who was sitting beside me.
So, good boring!

I guess I shall learn to stay quite for a few days.

----

The scenery of Mar Musa changed according to the weather. It was raining this morning, sunshine just after lunch, and the view appeared to be so soft and romantic I never seen it before.

I didn't talk much during the lunch, at least I forbid myself from asking 'where are you from' or 'what is your name'. Chubby suggested we shall go to the mountain and meditate in the morning, he found himself easier to concentrate in the morning. I told him my story, on the day that Gabor annoyed me so much, I decided to meditate under the tree in the desert, but I ended up pee under the tree. Since I peed I decided I should not meditate there. Anyway, I meditated in the church today after the lunch.

Now I am not sure how am I going to stay after Chubby and Lionel left, we have good friendship, a lot of fun time together. I guess perhaps I have left the society so long that I no longer know how to deal with my emotions.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

With faith, anything can happened

29/12/09

We are going to Nabek for internet today. I was a bit late in the morning, missing the morning mass. Chubby and Lionel were in the kitchen washing up the dishes left over from last night when I arrived at the monastery. I asked myself how do I feel today, nothing better, nothing worse either.

My hard disk wasn't working with the computer here, I wish I can finish writing my diary for the past one month before going for the cave, Yes the cave, think I shall go to the cave and live for a few days, me and myself.

Finished reading Matthew last night. It has been for long I wanted to read the Bible but always end up with simplify version for general knowledge. Too many parables that I don't understand. Talked with Lionel on the way walking back to my room, he was telling me about the bishop he met in Paris, the bishop told him that superpower or miracles is so common, but human being shrink themselves making themselves not receiving it. I believe with the absolute faith, anything can happen.

Chubby went mad when he noticed his nargileh (water pipe) was disappeared from his room and it was taken by a monk. He lost his bacon and camera in his room as well.

Bought some chocolates from Nabek, we will need it during the bad days.

At night, after the evening mass, Father Paulo stopped me half way before the supper. We had some chat. I knew he would talk to me seeing me not doing quite well these days. I told him what I thought, I always believe in GOD, I believed that the best has been arranged for me.
Since when? He said.
Since two years ago and it gets stronger when I travel.
That's what keeps you traveling? To feel GOD?
No no. I already know how to get the energy I can feel it anytime anywhere I want.

And he asked me about the marriage, to him marriage is a part of the universe, he loves that topic.
So if GOD is the one who arranges everything, do you think he arranged marriage for every single normal person? I asked.
No, that's his answer.

We prayed for each other before we went for supper. I did not eat much, I think I shall cut down the intake of food even though the meals are good, we don't need that much of calories here.

About the parables in the bible that I don't quite understand, I seek advise for a book to refer to. No, explanation in books are what other's get from GOD, may not be for you. Just take what that comes to you right now, it is a cycle and it will go deeper when it is the right time.

I slept early that night. Nothing special to add.