Monday 31 October 2022

Month of October 2022

Life gives you little surprises now and then. This month, there were four.

The first was an encounter with a friend not seen for almost five years. We have known each other for ten years and she was at a high level management role, working almost everyday and reaping the fruits of her effort. We met at a business event that she hardly went, opting for fashion shows over economic seminars previously. Through our conversation, she revealed her activities and showed me many pictures. In them, she was dressed in slacks, wore jungle boots or wrapped in a head scarf, sometimes with her younger sister. The background typically consisted of beautiful blue skies, mountain ranges, waterfalls or dirt tracks. She had taken time off work to avoid burnout, starting from a week to two and then to months, now it's the fifth adventure year! What sparked this was an incident at work where she felt helpless and frustrated. She needed peace and found it in nature, aided by teachings of zen and meditation. One takeaway she constantly shared was to think of how work is defined and its meaning. In her view, she's on a learning journey and will return to work when she's experienced enough life to lift her thoughts from a singular angle. I was part impressed, part inspired by her transformation. This was not the same person I knew.

A friend offered free tickets for my family to attend the Singapore F1 and we duly obliged by attending the Friday event. We watched the practice sessions from the flyer capsule, getting a bird's eye view of proceedings. There was lots of walking and crowded streets brought a sense of relief that life is indeed getting back to normal. I'm glad we avoided the mud baths created by the heavy downpours on the weekend spectacle.

Last month, I made a business trip since Covid. This month, my wife and I went on a leisure trip to Vietnam! It's our first experience and was a very pleasant one. Two weeks before departure, her friend mentioned she was also going with her husband and we had a couple of overlapping days. So we planned to stay at the same hotel and went together on a full day sightseeing tour along the Mekong river cruise together with a visit to Coconut Island. This trip was relaxing as I just tagged along to wherever they planned. I enjoyed the Viet, Jap and French food plus the wonderful cafe settings. Also did a few business shirts and bought some sports attire. The weather was accommodating and it's nice to let time drift by, having a massage or just sipping coffee.

Finally, the last one was the most unexpected. I was at an exhibition when a friend called me over to introduce someone. There was no need to. As soon as the stranger pulled down his face mask, I immediately recognized him. He's not changed much except being unshaven. This was a dear neighbour whose family used to live at the unit below mine. We lost contact more than 30 years ago after I moved and they (brothers and sisters) went separately for overseas studies. Over the years, I only heard from the grapevine that someone met one of the sisters but nothing much. So I was absolutely delighted to recount our many years of wonderful memories and to know his family members were all well. What's even more amazing is that his brother actually stays at the same unit now. This encounter reminded me of an episode on a TV show called Super Sunday where the aim was to look for long lost relatives or friends. I'm so glad that life has arranged for us to meet once more.

Reading the above as I post this out made me feel so grateful and humbled.

Tip: Haneya Junmai Ginjo Nama Genshu, rich and flavorful, a little sparkle, full bodied


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