What do you think about when you lie under a sky filled with stars, waiting for the magical sight of shooting stars?
What parts of your life flashes through your head when you are on top of a mountain which is nearly 1000 meters and you can see a whole wide view of Provence Alps and a bit of Italy?
What does your mind and your heart tell you?
I would never get bored of looking up at the sky and seeing all the stars shining up. I recalled in “The Shadow Years” of Hannah Richell, it said:
The lightsglimmering up there in the sky are probablt nothing more than the residual flare out of stars burned out of many millions of years before, beamed at them from light years away. She gazes up at them and wonders how something so lovely can be nothing but a lie–an illusion–a dark deceit.
That is true. But it is still hard to remember about such illusion when all one can see is the sparkling beauty. I and B went up to the mountaines again, searching for shooting stars. It was windy, and colder after staying there long enough. We did not carry tents or sleeping bags with us, except for one cover to lie down on. So, basically, we were partly lying on rocks. But everything was worth it.
Everything else was worth those moments, for you totally forgot about how scary the space out there could be, how stars could actually be just dark deceit; for the only thing you might have was your sense of romance, of poet, of silence and of wonders in being alive.
So, what do I think about during moments like those?
First, I really did not think about anything. I think too much normally sometimes. When these priceless moments come, I simply stared. I kept trying to keep my eyes opening and staring at that vast beauty of the sky. All I had was me and the stars up there.
But the desert is so huge, and the horizons so distant, that they make a person feel small, and as if he should remain silent. – Alchemist, Paulo Coelho.
Slowly later, I was brought back to what happened to me recently. I thought about another adventurous place I was in couple of days ago, and a week ago. I thoughts about me on the frozen lake in Finland months ago too. I always thought about those days, as if I tried to examine myself whenever I was brought back to that past chapters & how I would or would think. How I coped with those memories this time, I would question.
Moments after, I was brought back even further to the past, to the points where I could not get accustomed to the fact they were my memories. They all felt like they belonged to someone else. But maybe, they did belong to another girl.
I sat up, and walked further to the city view in front me, as I knew this could be my very last moment for now to be there, at that exact spot.
Who would one hope to be with in these moments? Who have I lost in life to exchange for these moments?
More than a week ago, I returned to Jyväskylä. It was a returning trip similar to any other trips I had done before. This time, it was a big thing for me. To return to my past and face it.
Being here, my mind wandered back to a life I built in France. 4 months being there appeared as an illusion that I just doze off into in a very long nap. Everything here is the same, yet very different. Walking past the streets here which I took almost a thousand times, I imagined myself as someone with special power, jumping back and forth between here in Finland and there in France. That was what actually happened in my head. The transitional moments are always the weirdest. I always feel like I don’t belong to any particular places when my soul is split.
But before my Finnish soul within the lakes & forests rushes back, I want to be high still with the shooting stars and my crush for France. Just some warming up steps.
That is what I do, and that is what almost every of us does at least once.
Present is what you are told to focus on, but without past and future, your present is not wholly. There are ghosts from the past you avoid, there are uncertainty in the future you cannot handle. My present will not be real if I refuse to wander back or plan ahead.
I know it sounds cliche. But I have done that, I have done my part of avoidance. And I am telling you, no matter how far you run, it will catch you eventually. There is one thing to do is facing it. You might be more prepared than you think.
Surface of water was sparkling. But not that kind of sparking, in which glitters are combined and reflected shining effect of colors. And maybe not that kind of sparkling like “little twinkle stars” on the sky at nights. How I saw it, and would try to express them in non-physical way: was thousands, millions and billions of moves on the surface. Because of the wind, beaches here were not having still surface as lakes in JKL. They always moved. Big waves made those thousand small moves lasting endlessly. One wave after another. One wave touched stones, then bounced back and collided with another wave coming up. Waves came from movements of people on the left. Waves come from me throwing a stone onto it. If one looks further away enough, that’s how the sparkling outlook starts to show.
Water is transparent, but to me, it doesn’t mean you cannot notice its color. Its color comes from beneath, like where I am sitting now, its reddish followed by the stones’ colours. A bit further from me to the right, it looked greenish. On my left, it became brownish as hills standing right up on water are brown. Some other more sun-shining days, water will wear a green-blue jacket. Flexibility, I say. Water does not need to have its own colour identity. The flexibility or such adaptation is its identity.
I started to think about the poem “Small Boy” I posted many posts ago, while throwing one stone after another…”if his hand can just be unclenched and let go“.
I was wearing that dress, the dress on that fourth official date we had. I wore it then, and got compliments by him. He liked it. And I was never getting bored of his adore. I wore the dress when we were standing in center of JKL city. I wore it when he closely placed his hands on my face, pulled me closer. Around us, the sound of church bell ringing echoed. Those moments. I thought they were too good for me to receive. I have never stopped being afraid the moments as such will be stolen from me soon, eventually. I forgot about the dress when I had to think of what to wear today. I opened my drawer to see it lying there. “Well, maybe you need some fresh sea smell as I do“.
I got to run to the sea, or go somewhere new at some point. I mean I was already in France, moving to a new place, I know. But I had figured out new place doesn’t erase my past. They only distract it. If the problem is your head, there is no permanent way to hide from it.
The distraction though, is already good enough. People don’t understand what’s in my head. It’s okay sometimes, because I don’t either. But when people look at me as if this is my choice, I got angry. Maybe I got angry for wrong reasons. But I am anyway. And I give up trying to lean on someone for support. It’s getting more cruel, each individual just have to deal with our own problems for so long, we forget how to become compassionate for others when they need.
We kept thinking to ourselves “I’ve gone through it, you will too. Now i have other problems of my own. I cannot do anymore for you. It’s your choice. Gotta do it on your own.”
Anyway, so going to some new places, even just a new area, give me this tiny bit of excitement, wonderfulness and willingness to win my battles. Such feeling is my drug. Whether it is an addiction, or a wooden piece I hold onto for not returning to bad feelings, I don’t know. I do know I don’t want to feel bad always anymore.
I have not been able to update much here lately. I know I posted earlier a new blog post but in fact, I wrote that piece a while ago. I started the idea on a quiet evening like tonight (if you have read my post about Silence & Quietness, you might have already known my thing for those words). I completed that on another quiet evening after taking a quick dip into the sear at midnight.
Many things have changed during the last couple weeks. In where I currently work, there have just been 2 new interns. More specifically, I have new roommates and work mates entering into my space. It is actually not a bad thing. It is simply a change, a turn into new page. With them around, I am urged to do things with company – things I couldn’t do being alone. With them around, I am faced with the fact there will always be people around me, and I am not sure how to react to. Not so much to dramatize it, but you know, when you have been with yourself for long, it became harder to slide back to socializing activities, not to mention: to living with more than one people at the same time. So, indeed a lot of changes, but I see them as a price to pay for other things. One of the things I have learned from life is that, a perfect package does not exist.
But, they are great people, seriously. I only knew them couple of months ago. We all came to know each other through a common project, which we still carry on. Even so, I loved my time being with them in and outside classes. Recently, since they moved here, I even loved the fact that each of us all had baggage. Don’t get me wrong, I always know people have their own story. As one of the new interns, Emma said, “there is a reason for everything“. The special thing about our bond is we don’t only have our own story, we have our own past baggage.
When I think of the word “baggage”, I sense of negativity. Before I moved to France, I appeared to them as a happy person, the same as how they appear to me. In reality, well, I do have a lot of reasons to be a happy person but that is not the whole truth. Listening to their baggages, I realise we all have our own battle to fight. Some might tell us these battles are not worth enough to fight against whilst many lives in the world fight much more severe battles. But we tell each other our battles matter enough to screw our days, mess up with our heads and aches our hearts. These battles are the reasons we still seek for compasses to direct us where to go next.
Because of their baggage, we connect with each other somehow in a positive way.
It is not all pretty and pinky to live so close with people. For me, it is a real challenge and a learning experience. The last time I lived this close with so many people was in Vietnam with my family, and there was another reason I always strived for leaving that place. Knowing each other’s baggage, we allow others to act the way they might act. We might not understand, but we remember the baggages and remind ourselves.
Three of us, we are now in a shared journey. We came together in this point from different directions.
Being in Provence Alps, Cote-de-Azur, France is definitely not the worst journey to share with. But even with the things which look amazingly glamorous from the outside, it is not the whole scene (I need to keep remind myself about this, although it is not applicable to every single situations). I just cannot imagine to share this journey with anyone else. I don’t think I would trade for someone else if I were given the chance.
Here, time passes by so quickly. Time is short. Days are flown with the wind. Maybe because it’s the summer, and summer is meant to end before one even knows it.
We have done many things together though. We walked to Cannes, got drunk, took many stupid photos together, talked to strangers and being hung over the next day (really typical student life). Wait, before you jump into any conclusions, that is not the only thing we did. We hiked together, we ate together, we talked about all sorts of things, we made jokes, we walked together, we worked side by side, we swam together, we fell asleep on the beach, we discussed working plans, we moved from being silly to being serious. Sure, those all sound little small things, but that is how life should be. Life cannot always be those big moments, just too unrealistic.
A week ago, we even got to have an adventurous day together, thanks to B (remember the guy saving me from spending a homeless night in Grasse?). We were taken to Saint- Cezaire-sur-Siagne, where we blended into its greenness. Emma and Lily got to jump into the lake, off the bridge. It was raining, but we did not need the rain to get us all wet.
Then, we were driven to explore a cave. It was my first time to be inside a cave as well. The narrow ways to pass through just to be inside a bigger space. I have never been a person having phobia of narrow spaces (I think so). Even so, it was such a changing atmosphere. The coldness and the darkness inside the cave, either turned you onto excited or creepy mode.
Speaking of B before, I figured it only suitable to write a bit more about my shared journey with him. I mentioned in another post how I got to meet him. Turned out it was all thanks to his friendliness. He spoke to almost everyone he passed by, and his way of connecting is indeed much different from mine. I usually keep silence because: a) I don’t want to socialize, b) I appreciate their own space. B intrigues in me a different perspective. I haven’t decided yet whether I like his way better, but seeing how he freely talks to other people is truly a thing to learn about, and a cultural thing to know about French people.
Isn’t life too short not to notice about other lives around you? Isn’t the world turning to be cold enough to ignore these small warm gestures between people, to ensure yourself that there are still great things happening in life? Isn’t life too alone sometimes not to start a random conversation with a new person, just to learn something new and maybe, maybe, you have just made that person’s day, let that person know they have people around them? I don’t know yet. I have valued my space so much to let it go, I have valued my own peace so much to change it back to where I was over-excited to start any conversations with a new person. So, I don’t have the answers. Maybe you do.
Also because of my love of space and silence, I have never asked much deeper into B’s life. I know what he does for a living, I know what he is passionate about, I know what plan he might think about and I know he is friendly. But I have never asked for more. There are more about me I am not willing to share, and I only take that as a sign not to invade his story if I have nothing to give back. Despite that, we have shared many great journeys together. All thanks to his planning, of course. We drove up to high mountains, where we lied next to each others and stared at the sky, wished we never had to get back to civilisation. We drove down to the beaches, where we ate pizza and looked at people dressing real nice for parties. We stayed along the coasts, where he (again) talked to fishermen and I looked around of what surrounded me, sky, sea & waves. We drove to one village after another one, walked around and looked at those local lives, or sometimes, the tourists’ lives of people enjoying their summer. Southern France can be very luxurious if you choose to only look at how it appears to the world.
The point is, contrastively, I did not need to know about his background to be his company for adventures. We are certainly different but yet so similar in what we like to see. Without B, my journey in Southern France would not be so magical. Maybe after all, he is the thing life gives me as a reminder to keep walking through.
Recently, I finished for the second time watching How I Met Your Mother (again, I have issues with movies/series addiction). In the last season, Ted said:
“The friends, neighbours, drinking buddies, partners in crimes you love so much where you were young, as the years go by, you just lose touch…That’s why when you found someone you do want to keep around, you do something about it.”
I am never sure if these people will stay in my life. I just figured that the least I could do, is trying to record part of these shared journeys into my writings, as a way of putting “good moments into my pockets” to always remember, those good old days.
Life is a theater. No, to me, living is like acting in a theater. I used to wrap blankets around me, pretending to be queens or princesses. Intelligent queen, I would call myself.
I did my makeup when my mom went to market buying food. I quickly removed all when I heard her coming home.
I watched movies, and sometimes fantasizing about how it felt to be the main female character.
I don’t recall exactly when, but I felt even more as a “main character” on that one night I started to notice, why my head only wrapped my own thoughts and why I only saw from my own eyes, instead of others.
I believed in happy endings. I dreamed of prince charming. I imagined to be rescued by a person loving me, despite all odds. I wanted all eyes on me.
Nowadays, life is still a theater sometimes but a more quiet theater. Life becomes more cruel, and nothing like those movies you used to or still watch. Life is a joke, maybe more as a comedy series, because at some points, you know nothing else to do but laughing and carrying on. Life gives you two obvious and simple choices: will you stop or will you continue to walk?
I was told every single one of us has thought about stopping. There are many definitions of that word “stop”. I won’t tell you how you should interpret it as, but I, too, did think about stopping, not once. Some times, I got closer to the stopping point. But, I backed down at those silent moments.
Okay, so then let me tell you about what silence is to me.
There is something about the quietness of days falling into nights, and I got to listen to it even more these days when I moved to France, to this quiet area, small town.
I remembered about the evenings I stayed up doing homework in high school, and got to listen to the city version of quietness. Those silent moments away from my family chaos. And from me trying to compete with whatever I am still unsure.
In Finland, the winter wears the darkness too often, I can’t recall of such same quietness. It was another kind of silence. Summer days are contrastively too bright, some days are even lasting near midnight. At that moment when brief night vanishes turning to a new day, you can still see those purple sweeps over blue sky. Close your eyes and imagine it, I don’t need to use my imperfect words to make it more romantic than it can ever be. That view.
This quietness, is not entirely quiet. The sky is getting darker, slowly. And I love that part the most. One moment ago, it was still dark deep blue. Few moments later, there are stars blinking. It is partly quiet when I just stand there, look at those windows to others’ houses, not in a creepy way. It made me feel cozy, those shed of yellow lights boil inside me the warmth of a family I do not even belong to. I recently met someone who is also keen on looking through windows. But I have never told him I had slightly the same interests.
It is also partly quiet when the sounds of traffic are echoing until a point when they totally disappear. Then another car or motorbike passes by, all things happen again. When all those traffic sounds vanish briefly, I can hear the insects, or maybe frogs making noises. It’s a song they are singing, maybe.
This quietness reminded of my love for city views at nights, my crush for lights laying over the whole cities. It brought me back to those days where I stood also in a small balcony, outside the apartment I lived in Breda, aching about the good gone days.
Quietness of France includes tonight, when I just came up from a midnight dip into the sea. Above me, the sky had its own lamp, brighter than street lights even. The waves are too soft and shy to touch the shores. I was planning to listen to music, but Southern France’s quietness sounds so beautifully, I always put aside my habit. Silence in Provence Alps is within the lights of villages and cities I am looking at, whilst sitting above them all, really high. My crush for city views at evenings have never been stronger.
Those silent moments seduce me, as much as the nights. Nobody tries to do anything. It is already the end of a day, or the very beginning of a new day. But people are sleep, or partying, or just lying on bed relaxing. I love nights because I don’t have to catch up anyone. I can be slow. I am slow. Nights give me the belief I am cheating, by being given extra times of the day while others are sleeping.
Silence and night is a perfect combination.
They are amazing to me. All I have with silence at nights is me and my thoughts. And that is why sometimes it is really scary. All I have with silence at nights is me and my thoughts.
I have realized though, whatever forms my silence at nights (or even not at nights) is in, whatever surrounding me, is breath-taking. Yes, even on those coldest days standing on that frozen lake in Jyväskylä, Finland. In each view, I think I would never find better moments, but mostly I have found. Nothing lasts forever. It sucks. And it slips off your mind all the times. Nothing really lasts forever, good old days, bad old days, time all washes parts of them away.
So, when I am asked do I want to continue to walk. I gotta say yes, right?
In a lot of ways, I’m reluctant to publish this blog post. It’s not a topic I’m an expert on, and academics are generally cautious about writing on something they haven’t researched, due to the fear of being shredded by someone with a PhD and 20 years’ experience in the field. I’m also worried […]
Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
Write a post to show your award.
Attach the award to the post.
Give a brief story on how your blog started.
Give a piece of advice or two to new bloggers.
Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to.
Comment on each blog and let them know you nominated them and provide a link to the award post you created.
Recently, I was nominated by Suze and it was such a honour to have people liking what I wrote. I have not been writing anything here for a while, I am reaching near those spots of times in life where everything is turning to be hectic. The only difference still this time is me not being fast enough.
Guess what, I am writing this posts again at night time, the only time I imaginatively steal the given extra time of slowness and silence.
As I shared here in quite few posts earlier, I started this blog as another personal online journal with almost everything going through my head but I cannot speak out loud. Even though they are all words, sentences and expression, I have found by writing them down, either on papers or typing onto computers, my head and heart got less heavy. I have treated my blog here as a personal asset I have not yet shared broadly, even with my friends.
Because they know me.
Because they know me as someone I am not sure I still am. So, I am afraid to show them this side of me, at least not yet.
So, I am showing you all, strangers who don’t know me and I don’t know you. But I have recognized it as the best gift of blogging. I don’t have to know anyone to relate to. You might not follow my blog site after reading my posts, but you stopped by, you read something; and I sincerely hope there is a little something for anyone being here longer than 3 seconds.
That’s why I blog. To read and to know there are strangers out there with small connection to me. To not feel as if no one understands. I know I have made it sound as if my life is lonely. Sometimes, it is. That is not the whole truth though. And certainly, that was not why I began publishing my writings online. My blog is where I write.
Advices to new bloggers:
Erm, I am really as new as you are actually. So take it or leave it, but I would just tell you to freely write. Write about your passion. Write about your hobby. Write about any topic you feel like the switch inside you is ticking on. You don’t need to worry about how it sounds, whether the topic would be worth reading for others, whether your writing is good enough. You can worry about that at the end of the writing, before publishing; or when your blog site becomes more popular. Try not to block your thoughts when it comes, that is core point.
Starting from today, I would try find and nominate other 15 bloggers. Wish me luck! 🙂
Yesterday, I was taken to the top of this hiking point, where one could look over Cannes one one side and St Raphael & Frejus on another side. It has been the second time in this week I was taken to witness the great touches of Mother Nature. And I wouldn’t be able to be in any of these places, if not for the guy who also saved me from spending a night “home-less” in Grasse. His name is B. As much of a genuine nice guy B is, B is also generous to accompany me and bring me to the places he loves. All of them, so far, have done a great job in reminding me to feel grateful of BEING alive.
Those pictures were taken from an observation tower, which did not look as if it had been in service any recent time but still appealing enough as a spot to any people who are into good views and good moments away from civil lives. I suppose we sort of fell into the group as well. It was a little tricky to finally get on top but nothing was worth more than these. B kept praising me for still wanting to climb onto the top, and not backing down like he would imagine. The truth is, without B, I would never be able to make it.
Just like, I would never be able to see the sky transforming from day time to night time, from the sweepings of yellow lights to the sparkling dots of stars, without B. But B kept praising me, for nothing that I particular did actually. You might tell me B is trying to impress me, sure, I think you might be right. But B will always be a friend and my savior, and my company for future trips like these. I did not use his real name, not because I wanted to make him a special character (even though he is actually, a special stranger that I luckily meet to share such experiences with), but I’d like to call him B. It sounds sort of mysterious and private.
I included B in this post, as he told me something yesterday, while we were staring at the far view of Cannes lit up with lights at night.
The thing about good moments is, you cannot keep them. They will go away. You cannot even put into a bag and bring them home. Sure, you can take pictures and be reminded of, but this moment, this very moment, will pass away.
B put into words, my fear of every days for the last couple of months.
Yesterday, I graduated officially. And I was lying on top of the hill, looking at the sky full of stars (yup, like the title of music). On the left, I heard an echoed music from a party which I assumed the mid summer celebration. On the right, it was the sound of waves bouncing against the rocks, or could be the wind flowing through trees & shaking them. IN that moment, I was happy. I haven’t felt like this for a while. Or no, actually not true. I am happy this much sometimes, but it is so unreal and too overwhelming, I have to always tell myself to calm down and breath. Because as my excitement is spiced up with adrenalin, my fear for those moments to come and crash is unavoidable. I hate it. I cannot stand it. I cannot bear it—the feeling of flying so high, just to fall so deep.
So, at the very least to do is me writing here. Writing, again, is my only way, my only attempt to place the good and bad moments into pockets, put them in different corners of memory inventory; so that one day I have something to look back.
Nothing lasts forever, they say. There will be more coming good moments to experience and so don’t let yourself caught up in the feeling of losing this one good moment, she says.
Do you remember, when you were a little kid, you kept being told how much you needed to be careful around strangers? For example, not talking to anyone you do not know or receive any gifts without knowing the causes? Plus all sort of myth your parents whisper to you what might happen if you do not follow their advices.
Then we grow up a little more, their advices turn to be “non-sense” sometimes. We thought we knew everything.
Okay, then we grow up a little more, the myth we were told, are shockingly turning to be true. We read all the news, and we hear all the horrible crimes being done in this world. We shout to ourselves, “What is up with that?”. Our voice got weaken while our brain continuously question why, and how human can do such thing to another human, what sort of hatred or strong reasons leading to that end?
I remember all of that. I even remember, during my first week in London, I was so excited of a new environment & a new me which I began to re-shape after months living in Finland, that I spontaneously talked to a strange woman sitting on the bench with me. I was sitting there, inhaling (rather creepily) London’s vibe, and exhaling my fresh youth breath, I was so ready for that new adventure. On the same day, I went to Mc Donald, and after nearly one hour being hesitant, I started a conversation with another woman. She comes from Taiwan. I met her another time after that for coffee, kept in touch still during first weeks there but never met her again later when life both carried us away. I don’t know how she is now, but I will never forget that spontaneous buddy I found. She could have ignored me and walked away with a weird look. At least, that is what I imagine people normally do every time I want to approach a new person.
Boy, how much I loved that word “spontaneous“, a lot back then and still averagely these days. It rises something in me. It makes me becoming alive thinking I can possibly do anything. I was raised in a big urban city, and maybe it is just me, but such environment has not given me the benefit of not suspecting people. I was raised by my parents like that, which is not to say they are wrong, or the news you watch are reporting wrongly. But I hate to see myself like that, don’t you?
I hate my own behaviours when strangers approach me sometimes. Most of the time, I link with the negative purposes as the first thing. I cannot tell you exactly why, as I wonder it myself. It can be the Finnish culture influence onto me, or my own childhood of being taught to avoid contacts with strangers, or those heart-brokenly world news I hear every day. But I am suspicious at people. And I am superficial sometimes too, despite how much I would like not to admit. I silently misjudge people if they dress strangely. I walked away from a group of people standing and talking loudly. I avoided asking help from men, if I can find another women. I possess in me this “unconscious bias” (a term used by my boss), in spite of me studying and working in the intercultural field. You can think of me as a shallow person, I cannot say you are entirely wrong. Even so, I am certain if you dig a little deeper into your own behaviour, maybe you also have such unconscious bias.
And so, I have this special adrenalin boiling up to live when I do something spontaneous—anything I normally won’t do. Don’t get me wrong, I love my own bubble too. I enjoy comfort in something I find familiar with, even if it is only a brand I am pleased with. I don’t jump to the “change” bus whenever every opportunity comes. But I’d like to push myself to jump when the pan to heat up the adrenalin is crying out for being used. I need something new, I need to know I am not wasting my time not doing something, just to reach a point when I wish I could have done so.
These days, that needs of mine has become something even bigger—a force demanding me. The moment I fail to please my own demand, I feel guilty. I share with you this because I don’t want to make my post saying out loud that you should also not sit at home and repeat doing the same thing everyday. Maybe too much of a need is not good, it turns to be a greed. And the thing with being greedy is, it is never enough.
I am doing this again, I wander to other areas too long…
Okay, back to spontaneous topic, the reason for me writing this is because of an amazing night I had yesterday. I got stuck (again) late (yup, again too) in a new, strange city, knowing no one and the worst moment of yesterday incident was knowing there would be no train taking me back to Cannes, from Grasse.
I thought, I was doomed.
I tried to stay calm, I was not sure how much I managed to do so as I walked up and down the hill, looked desperately at anyone I should have approached to ask for their phones to call taxis (but I didn’t). It took me more than 15 minutes to finally speak to a guy, asking for help with the taxi calling. His phone was out of money, so he walked back to the train station with me to talk with the security guy there. Another funny thing was, I noticed the security guy before, but he was talking with two of his friends. Together, they gave me uncomfortable vibe (or I just felt that on my horrible sixth sense); so I didn’t ask in the beginning. When I approached them with another person, the security guy’s friends walked away, they were completely harmless and the security guy turned out to be so kind.
The taxi was booked. While waiting for it (and laughing at myself inside my head), I met another new person. He came to buy candy from the vending machine, and he did not have changes but the 5 euro paper. He asked me if I had any changes, I said no and told him to speak to the security guy. The guy did not have. I only had one coin at that moment and suggested I could give him that if the thing he wanted to buy did not cost more. He laughed, he said it was okay and he would pay for himself.
Then, the conversation started.
And I got an offer for a lift back to Cannes.
You might think how reckless I was to say yes, to a person I absolutely had no idea who, in a place I had no much ideas about except the perfume museums (and hey, I will share some pictures with you later). I was indeed thinking the same at myself after saying “yes” too. It was a risk (someone might say it still is), he seemed nice but one never knows. The moment I sat in his car, I thought, “well okay, so now all my balls are in his court really…“. My phone could not even make a call.
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In such situations when you decide to be spontaneous, there are two scenarios to happen (ok maybe three), a good one, a bad one and eh, maybe medium one (in which nothing too good or too bad happen). I was lucky, another time of me wanting to be spontaneous, its result was good (I sort of already gave you a spoiler alert above though…).
He was genuinely nice. We talked during driving to Cannes, and knowing I had never seen the city at night before, we both wanted a trip going around, stopping at the beach, looking at how the darkness of the sea is lightened up with all the sparkling lights from those luxurious hotels and the rich life this city is conveying. We passed by popular bars, where people all dress extremely nice and I heard rarely French. I used to think Cannes was only in such vibe during film festival, but I was wrong. Cannes’ film festival can be any Saturday nights in the city: nice expensive cars, nice expensive dresses, nice expensive shirts, nice expensive dinner tables and drunk rich adults who want to relax for holidays or weekends. I much wanted such life when I was a teenager. I think some days now, I even want it more because money has turned to be a thing spoiling your happiness even if it cannot bring you one. But, yesterday, when I was looking at all those people, only for moments, my brain whispered out its dream to my ears. Moments later, I started to wonder, how one feels after those glorious moments? What comes after a good-looking party? Another good-looking party?
I think I enjoyed more being in the car, or sit anywhere looking at them passing by, in all of their costumes. No, I did enjoy it more.
After Cannes, he drove me to Peninsula, where the light house was. I got to stand in a point, where you can see Mandelieu on the left, Cannes, then Grasse, then Nice to the right. The light house is lied in the middle point. I felt like I was high on drugs. I needed that sort of new thing more than I imagined. I needed to be reminded there was a reason.
I would not have had such experience if I decided to say no and go with the taxi. I would probably pay even much more and not be able to make a new friend. Of course, I do know things could have been in a whole opposite way. But it didn’t. Many months ago, someone told me: running away is not the option. It is a big “what if” to take, but you will hate yourself for the rest your life if you did not find out what could happen. I know he is right. The screenshot of that message is still on my phone even though looking at it made me bitter to my bones. After all the things going wrong when I took that “what if”, I don’t know who to thank for about yesterday event—one of the rare “what if” going right.
I admitted earlier in one of my old posts that I sometimes was a little ignorant. I did not watch many news, and was almost “blinded” when my friends mentioned some events happening that had not yet arrived on social media (there is no such thing nowadays).
I made effort paying more attention in recent years. It was paid off, I knew much more than the inside of my own protected bubble world.
But, some day I wish maybe I could have just stayed in that bubble. Like today.
Because, the world is moving towards a place or a dead-end (?) which I don’t understand why, and would never do.
I am sure you have heard about the mass murderer in a night club in Florida today. It is deeply upsetting, isn’t it? 50 people were killed, whose lives were ended in their most unexpected ways. You got to wonder how many of them could already say “they have lived their life”, maybe none, and that is scary. Then, there are 53 people were injured, who are most likely going through PTSD for a very long time.
I shared my feelings with the person I am currently living with. Then he said something got me by surprise and wonder even more :”Yes, and the sadder thing is they immediately link it to terrorism“. I was surprised because he was completely right, I mean to me. Maybe he will be wrong, when the police investigate for more information and reveal it is an act of terrorism. Maybe not. However, with the news today, part of our mindset are already set with a bias. This moment of surprise took me back to my recent discussion with a mentor, about the movie Hector and the search for happiness I recommended him to watch. Whether he finishes the movie, I still don’t know, but he did tell me these things:
Why does the Asian girl in the movie have to be a prostitute? She could just be any normal girl Hector thought he fell in love with.
Why does he have to be kidnapped in Africa?
There was another moment of surprise to me. Because again, he was right, I mean to me. I was even more surprised at myself for not seeing such. And that is the reason why I am writing here.
This post is not to defend any particular parties, or offend any particular other parties. Even if this post might be related to political topics, it is not my purpose to declare any political support or building any high relevance/ connection. I am about to write to you what I have learned recently: the sad thing we do when connecting a negative cultural trait to a whole culture.
Given the movie’s case, what my mentor pointed out are indeed what still happen in those parts of the world. But what about other good traits from those parts of the world? What about the successful Asian women, the brave and independent ones, the smart and talented ones? And not all Asians are poor. And not all Asian countries share the same culture or history. In each Asian country, there is even a difference between regions. Then, how about the countries in Africa where economy is developed or developing? And maybe there are even more that I don’t even know of (surely), I am learning but it cannot all be about kidnapping or killing.
I think we forget sometimes. Because the highlight news on top of the page is always something “wrong and big” with the world, not something “good and small” with the world. I think anything we are not familiar with, we tend to hold onto our prejudices or stereotypes or any traits we pick up in our life to reassure ourselves we do know something and know how to handle. I think any strange things scare us because we are not sure what we know are true, and if they are, we should definitely be scared too.
I also think it is a complete normal reaction. I do that too, I am heading towards cultural studying, and saying all what I am saying here, but I do that too sometimes.
Here, is why I think we all need to be aware about differences in our world, and if even better, we should have cultural awareness and understanding. We should know about the other good traits of that culture—the part that are different from what we were told. You don’t have to be a specialist, you don’t even have to “like” other cultures, but you should know there are differences. As you know thing are different sometimes, you at least take a few minutes thinking, before making any conclusions.
You and me, are we different?Young generator travel more and more these days, as a result of globalization that has been happening over recent decades and is still happening within our community. I refuse to think we have come this far here, so that we can retreat to the starting point. We are given easier chances to see the world. We are not forced to lose our root in this mixed pot (you might say), we can choose just to see and know. I personally have never met anyone loving to travel, want to stop their passion. The moment they see and experience, they crave for more. It is tempting—the feeling you have when you discover something you would never know if you have not tried to see it.
As on some days, whenever the person I am living with turn on the news and I might comment “this is going to depress us a little” but he will reply, “Yes, but it is still good to know what’s going on anyway“. I have kept myself not ignorant because of that.
As I am sadly feeling sorry for all the families and friends to people who passed away because of the mass murder, I am in no means of trying to say the attacker is not guilty, or the news are saying anything wrong. I share with you simply what I assume the best motivation for me (and hopefully for you) to learn about differences and the necessity for cultural awareness.
I came across today by accident this post on the blog link below (please check the post out!). Its blogger has a beautiful tone of writing, and I specially shared this post because her words reached my heart at the right time.
Earlier today, I received a lovely message from a friend—without whom I don’t think I’d ever be where I am even though where I am is not perfect. When I was a teenager, I always fancy having a lot friends. Now I am a few years older and standing right at the beginning of adulthood (or I have already been there, I don’t know), I still fancy having a big network for good connections for future, stuff like that. The difference I learnt during those years apart is the big network I’d like to build, I don’t see them as closed friends, as people I run into, cry on their shoulders or show to them my worst form.
Going along with time passing, I have lost touch with many people, unfortunately, I even lost touch with some particular people I wish I had been better to remain in contacts. It bugged me. The way life carried you away sometimes, or the way you used that as an excuse to blame (talking to myself here). It scared me even more, at this time of my life—when I thought I had been through a hard tough time just to find out there always comes worse—I am sucked into the act of isolating. Then I am frightened, thinking, what if there would be no one there when I am ready to step out my own shell?
Today, my friend’s short message reassured me. One is not perfect. One can be really annoying when you get to know one more and more. One can have many bad habits that you cannot stand. One can have this philosophy of life that you cannot even bear to listen more. But for some reasons, one has become your closed friends and one has not left yet. Among all people I have let passing me by, she is still there and I am grateful everyday for it. As much as you crave to be alone sometimes, you also crave for good “open arms”.
Making friends is not hard for some people, but being a friend is difficult for each of us. You surely have your own definition of how a friend should be, but mine is “I just need you to be there. I just need to know you will always be there“.
Friends, we need each other. Live bravely today. Live shamelessly. There are people that will take your invitation. Not only will you find belonging, but most likely you’ll give the gift of it to someone else.