Category Archives: Life

Happiness Day 1

I’ve been meaning to do the 100 Happy Days challenge so today’s as good as any other day to start!

For Day 1, I’d like to declare that I’m happy to be a unicyclist.

Giraffe Unicycle

I’ve met a lot of people who unicycle and I think the main trait that all of us share is that we’ve probably got a streak of masochism and OCD going on. I don’t know if I like cycling that much but I like unicycling because it’s very technical (we’re also very geeky people). There’s no ready mechanic you can consult and if anything goes wrong, you’re forced to learn to maintain your own vehicle and to seek help from others. I absolutely love having to read about gear/wheel size ratios and pushing my limits for speed and endurance. On a bike, the world blazes by but on a uni, even at your fastest, you’re slow enough to be able to take in the sights of the surroundings.

I think unicycling is a good philosophy for life. There’s plenty of things that seem impossible but you’ll just have to be patient and persevere and you’ll get results. If you can learn something as impossible as what unicycling seems, how can anything else be tougher? There will be people who’d point and laugh and mutter about how silly and stupid your endeavor is but ultimately, it’s about humility. If you set out to do something, why bother what anyone else thinks? It’s about broadening your mind and realising that there’s a lot more to life than just settling for the constants and the norms. I think that’s what I really like about unicycling and I’m happy to have sought out and helped build a community that loves the sport as much as I do.

5 Reasons Geeks Aren’t All That Great

Everyone and their Pokemon these days are sharing these ‘geek love’ posts on Facebook proclaiming why they love geeks. Because I’m a jerk, I’m going to dispel all these fantastic, romantic notions. Before you accuse me of sour grapes, I’m probably as big a geek as you can imagine for the following reasons -

  • I know pi to more decimal places than probably anyone you know (because it’s funny when people ask for pie, hur hur).
  • I juggle.
  • I’ve read tons about quantum physics as a 13 year old (understanding it is separate).
  • I’ve been into coding since probably that age too and I majored in it in school.
  • I’ve been inducted into MENSA (but am still too cheap to pay for membership, I think it’s a huge fraud but only geeks would take the MENSA test so there.)
  • I can discuss videogame history like your neighbor’s bespectacled son.
  • I know how to convert your age to light years (because life is a long journey hehe, see, I make geeky jokes)
  • I actually own an autographed pic of Bill Nye the Science Guy
  • My first (sort of) legit job involves writing for possibly the geekiest company in Singapore.
  • I am Asian.

Anyway, the point is, I KNOW YOU GEEK LOVERS ARE ALL FILTHY LIARS BECAUSE I’VE NEVER RECEIVED THAT KIND OF LOVE FROM YOU GEEKS. Being geeky is cool? Bullshit. I’ve never been told how I should be the mother of anyone’s 42 children because I, like, know how to work my TI-82 calculator and all of a sudden, the internet spills over with 12938934 reasons why you should date/marry/copulate/be BFFs with geeks?

Dear Internet, I hate to break it to you but hey, here’s 5 reasons why you’re wrong about geeks.

1. You’re still superficial but you’re trying harder.

You like geeks because you’re trying to tell the world you see beyond the surface. Tough. Let’s be honest here. Most of us ARE superficial. I’ll tell you that I am in a lot of ways superficial. It’s harsh but at least I’m not a filthy liar. You think that geeks look like this -

jamesandBear

Bet he’s also telling you about the similarities about the DNA makeup between bears and humans

Or maybe they wear these cute little specs like I used to and got zero utility from because they’d steam up when you start eating and then I can’t see where you are and would look into the distance where I think you are and you’d think I’m weird because I’m staring into nothingness. Weirdo.

scarjo

I gained 100 IQ points by donning these hipster specs.

Fact is, we ALL would love people who look like these regardless of how geeky they are. Unfortunately, reality is a bit harsh and hey, these guys are legit geeks too. Come give them a hug.

badNerd1

“I’ll hug back after I overclock my CPU to generate enough heat to cook my cup noodles.”

2. He/She will NOT fix your problems

Cool, geeks are problem solvers so hey, it’s an easy ride out. WRONG. Look, if I’m so smart, then what can YOU offer me that I can’t get elsewhere? It sounds perfect (to dumb people) – date a geek and he/she will solve all your life’s problems. No, it doesn’t work that way. If you aren’t pulling your weight, why the hell would I stick with you? There’s no such thing as a free lunch and that’s why Wendi Deng is still playing the field and why Hugh Hefner got all those playmates, although I have to say that Mr Hefner IS pretty damn hot in his youth.

3. We annoy the fuck out of you.

See this guy?

The Big Bang Theory, Season Three

Well, if you want romance then let’s have romance. Oh look, there’s wine. Mmm, grape juice that burns! Now let’s gaze into each other’s eyes. You blinked, I win.

You think it’s funny when you watch Big Bang Theory and you feel all soft and gooey cos he’s a big geek and you think it’s cute. Imagine that in your life. When you aren’t sitting on a couch with your ditzy friends to laugh at the situational comedy that’s unfolding. Involving you. As the butt of the joke.

Not so funny now eh?

Well on the bright side, you probably won’t understand half the jokes so maybe you won’t be so annoyed… although everyone would still be laughing at you.

4. Surprise! Geeks have other hobbies too!

geekrun

Guy who’s probably not a geek, running.

I remember reading one of these reasons to love geeks pages and nearly died when one of the reasons was that geeks weren’t into sports nights. REALLY. I can list off the top of my head at least 10 people I know personally who can regale you with the stats on the latest sport of their choice. Remember, geeks hate people who stereotype and if you’re one of these people who think geeks can better relate to your hobbies because you’re too lazy to get some sun, well, remember, geeks realise too that we’re stereotyped as these people who’re low on EQ and we have no qualms about just leaving you at home for our soccer sessions because we know you’ll expect that from us. Statistics work both ways.

5. Geeks really won’t make you smarter.

It’s cool to be friends with geeks because you can steal their notes for the next big exam or you can learn oh-so-much from them. Uhm, well no because if that’s true, you’d be learning tons from your compulsory education as it is. If you’re stupid, you’re stupid, period. There might be some mileage from association provided you’re hanging out with the right geeks but take me for instance. If you’re hanging out with me for smarts, well hey, at least you have me for company, no?

Victory of the Little People

VICE has some pretty damn cool shock-umentaries and this is a feature on Kingdom of the Little People, a theme park staffed by dwarves in China. It interviews some of the staff who speak about how they actually like their working conditions because it’s a stark contrast to their rural, poor upbringing where they’re despised and mocked. Some of them have found love and the interviewees generally express fulfilment in bringing happiness to the visitors as legit entertainers.

It’s interesting for me because this is exactly what I’ve been arguing about various hot-topics. It’s easy to get caught up in the political correctness of the developed world and proclaim that everyone should be treated as equals or it equates exploitation. In most parts of the world though, it’s just a way of life and a better alternative than the situations of their birth. I don’t think it’s right for a bunch of enthusiastic activists to campaign for this-or-that without listening to the people involved.

Child labor for instance. If my family was struggling, I know for sure that I want to be out there playing a part in making our lives better instead of sitting around at home waiting for an education that’s never going to arrive at my doorstep. Education isn’t just about going to school and reading books. The argument against this of course is that if you don’t start somewhere to put a stop to exploitation, conditions are never going to improve but why are we forcing such grand ambitions on a bunch of common folk who are more worried about making it from day to day instead of saving the world? If child labor was a necessity, perhaps the solution should be to promote fair payment and work conditions instead of forcing an underground market where they can be further exploited.

Not everyone dreams of being the hero and sometimes, it’s okay.

 

Oh Poop.

Hello.

If you’re a returning visitor, you might find the page a little… empty. I’ve decided to reboot my blog. It’s been some 5 years since I started writing about these little adventures but these past few months I’ve realised I’ve lost quite a lot of the spark that made me want to do it to begin with. It’s not so much I lost interest in exploring but rather that I want to change the tone of this blog. I’ve always been quite reluctant to make it a bit more personal, opting for an objective tone but I feel old enough to do what I want instead of what I should, so there.

I’m not too sure what I want to write about yet but some subjects have remained pretty constant through my life – my love of exploration, of thrills, of unicycling, of performance arts and videogames and of tinkering. They’ll probably feature at some point or other in this reboot.

If I had to pinpoint an exact time where I lost interest in chronicling mere travelling, it would be on a fateful Tuesday in Madrid. Due to a string of coincidences, I had my phone stolen and for the next few days, I just felt really shitty. Really really shitty. If you had ever something taken from you during a really tiny window of opportunity, you’d know what I’m referring to. It’s a material good, sure but it was my main means of getting around town and locating destinations so it was a major inconvenience. Also, it was really my first trip where I didn’t bother memorising maps and I was staying in a completely strange, quiet part of town that was hard to locate if I didn’t have a map so I felt its loss keenly.

After feeling pretty shitty, I thought I should take the opportunity to let loose a little since I had literally nothing on me that’s more valuable to lose (let’s not be pedantic and argue about murder, rape and the like here). I think that period of vagabonding went pretty well and if there’s anything I’ve learnt, it’s that I should learn to do things only if I want to, which brings us to the reboot of this site.

It’s a really strange feeling. In movies, we’d watch a kid go on a hero’s journey where he has a lot of experiences and learns a lot of life lessons and eventually uses them all to promote a bigger Moral and of course, win the day. I feel almost that everything that I’ve learnt so far is leading up to something bigger, just that I don’t know what it is yet.

Perhaps we’ll learn of it in time to come, together.