Category Archives: Scrawl

How to reach a conclusion

The problem was I can’t seem to sit through anything to the end anymore. There’s a feeling of restlessness and frustration that makes everything so unsatisfying. Others in similar place as me are encountering the same problem but in different ways. One of them described it as “Read 10 books in a year but barely got 2~3 sentence of new information worth remembering.”

With that in mind I begin travelling again, not looking for the journey to give me an answer, but using the escape to actively ponder this problem through forced meeting of others with different perspectives.

My hunch is that this frustration came about due to my expanded abilities to foresaw possible outcomes and predict the most probable ones. Results of all the efforts I put into understanding human natures of different culture and the valuation of things. As a result, it gets harder and harder to find something that I cannot foresee, robbing me of pleasant surprises. It reminded me of an incident where an ex of mine gave me a present and I was able to guess what they were before I opened them. The act of gifting itself was a surprise to me as I had misjudged her level of interest, however the fact that “If she were to give me a present now, it’d be socks” was in my mind foreshadowed a bit of the future that is in store for me.

I’ve written many drafts before, but never published them. They felt more like bragging, like a presentation of what I’ve done and upon a review, seemed so irrelevant because I don’t think it is anything special. Mostly because I understand that the average Joe ain’t interested in it. On top of that, I couldn’t talk about a lot of the interesting (and boring to most) things I did, but that restriction will soon be lifted and irrelevant. And the most important consideration is that, in this day and age where people get butt hurt so easily, the way and reason I use to arrive at a conclusion will be offensive to many. Social bullying for a different opinion is a real threat.

The result of all these fun projects are probably boring to read, but I do believe that how I arrived at them and the internal debates might be interesting to some and write about. After all, I believe it was exactly this cluelessness about this world and the headstrong way I go about trying to fit in that interested most of my original readers. With that in mind, I’ve decided to pick up the keyboard again.

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The Curse of the Traveler

When it is just me thinking about an explanation, I just laugh it off as my own failings. But then, you encounter someone who echoed your exact thoughts. Lightning struck as something murky before became known as the truth. I will soon be taking on a new journey after having secured the empire at home. Can’t help feeling like Stilgar at the end of the galactic conquest in Dune from a humble beginning at a sietch in a sea of sand.

An old vagabond in his 60s told me about it over a beer in Central America, goes something like this: The more places you see, the more things you see that appeal to you, but no one place has them all. In fact, each place has a smaller and smaller percentage of the things you love, the more things you see. It drives you, even subconsciously, to keep looking, for a place not that’s perfect (we all know there’s no Shangri-La), but just for a place that’s “just right for you.” But the curse is that the odds of finding “just right” get smaller, not larger, the more you experience. So you keep looking even more, but it always gets worse the more you see. This is Part A of the Curse.

 

Part B is relationships. The more you travel, the more numerous and profoundly varied the relationships you will have. But the more people you meet, the more diffused your time is with any of them. Since all these people can’t travel with you, it becomes more and more difficult to cultivate long term relationships the more you travel. Yet you keep traveling, and keep meeting amazing people, so it feels fulfilling, but eventually, you miss them all, and many have all but forgotten who you are. And then you make up for it by staying put somewhere long enough to develop roots and cultivate stronger relationships, but these people will never know what you know or see what you’ve seen, and you will always feel a tinge of loneliness, and you will want to tell your stories just a little bit more than they will want to hear them. The reason this is part of the Curse is that it gets worse the more you travel, yet travel seems to be a cure for a while.

None of this is to suggest that one should ever reduce travel. It’s just a warning to young Travelers, to expect, as part of the price, a rich life tinged with a bit of sadness and loneliness, and angst that’s like the same nostalgia everyone feels for special parts of their past, except multiplied by a thousand.

Hard to contain

Inner peace was easier to achieve when nothing was going on with my life.

I find that the hardest thing to do nowadays are my attempts at controlling my mood swings from having to contain my excitement. My joie-de-vivre. So many things that I cannot tell people, things that will bring problems if I did. Not being able to brag about them, about things I am proud of, is somewhat damaging to my psyche. Like some form of masochistic punishment.

Meditations nowadays are always about bring myself back on earth, coaxing myself back to normal as opposed to trying to convince myself that life is great. I have outbursts of joy from time to time you see, as the control is not absolute.

I don’t know the consequences on what will happen if I stop controlling myself only stories of  mentors and ppl before me that have definitely happened. “Enjoy the relative peace for the moment while you can.” A moment in the future will come when you cannot hide anymore if you keep going the current trajectory.

So clamp down the lid of the pressure cooker and soldier on. Prepping for the inevitable day. Maybe that day will never come, but all I can do is prepare for it. Oh god, but the mental control I expand. It is almost unbearable.

Conscience

I have a crisis of conscience.

There was a deal I negotiated that ended up collapsing a while back. I negotiated it in good faith, believing that both parties really wanted what they claim they wanted.

On paper, I have no involvement in it since I own neither any share or hold any position with either party, however, I was the name and trust with which the deal was negotiated based on.

My conscience is saying to make it right, but my knowledge of both party is that they both acted some part on bad faith.

My experience in the past says that “No good deeds goes unpunished.” Of which, the act of making things right is one of those good deeds.

So I am here looking back at my life, reviewing all the good deeds that I’ve done which ended up screwing me. Also, making things right will not make any difference in either party’s situation.

But it’s what made me who I am today and the experience taught me how the world works. Which might have inadvertently contributed to my success because I no longer do good deeds.

So why is my conscience telling me to go ahead and do the good deed?

On housing

The last two decade saw the invention of the ex-pat lifestyle which advocates a minimalist lifestyle that shuns possessions and a permanent residence. I went full retard on it, hook, line and sinker.

That was when I had no choice because I had to optimize for only one lifestyle from a cost perspective. Also, I knew I was leaving for at least 1 year, so the cost analysis really favors to just sell everything and terminate all ties before going on the adventure. Well, after 5 years of wandering and finally getting a bit wiser, I now favors a hybrid approach.

The reality of long term traveling is that there will always be big issues that require in person meetings back at my home base at the rate of around once every 6 months. Especially so, if someone is sustaining this ex-pat lifestyle with a business that throws off passive income or a remote work gig that doesn’t require the physical presence in the office from 9 to 5.

So from a time and cost perspective, it takes about one month to move out and one month to move in while still expending the time and energy to generate that income. Which means, 2 out of 6 months is basically thrown out of the window to redeploy the previous lifestyle.

The solution I am trying out now is a one bedroom rental at the least expensive option with the inside kitted out in the most outrageously lavish fashion. On site manager, security key fob entry, and maid services on bathroom.

It is also a good place to display the trophies of my travel while simultaneously gave me something I haven’t felt for a long time. Comfort at home. The feeling of a space designed solely for myself and fits perfectly. Which is why I went lavish with the interior. Previously I’ve always thought of it from a cost on investment perspective, so things never fits just right.

We’ll see what happens once I am done with the place and start traveling again.

100 percent life

What if instead of reducing tasks and things that needs my attention, I increase the amount of the things I can handle?

What if instead of optimization for efficiency on cost and time, I instead go all out creating the setup I need using the best tools available no matter the cost?

These are the basis of operation for my new life. Taking into consideration what I am good at; tech, travel, finances. I’ve decided on having a home base and distributed cloud services. It’ll cost me about $10 000 per year, but well worth being able to access 100% of my ability anywhere in the world.

To date, I’ve been hindered in my technological and financial ability due to the fact that I am doing anything online through a Samsung Galaxy Note 4. It just doesn’t make financial sense to rent a place and have all the utilities still running while not physically living in it. But what if, the cost doesn’t matter? How would I have done it and set it up in order to be functioning at 100%?

Definitely a difficult transition as I still catches myself thinking of the cost efficiency of things instead of just maximizing my abilities to do. But I believe this is how the average Canadians function, judging by their spending habits and how much waste I am seeing everywhere.

On Racism 2

Everyone’s been looking at it wrong because everyone is looking at it through their own perspective. What I thought of as racism in Vancouver, the kind that dismisses Asians as a joke permeating all of America, is actually fear.

Ze German

It takes a lot of work and luck to develop these type of connection with travelers. A connection that can surpass the racial line so that you can freely discuss issues knowing that there’d be no judgement from the other side. Time, patience and certain type of curiosity to how the world works. German guys are particularly interested in these things. The benefit for me, is getting answers on questions that people will not answer honestly if I was the one who asked the question.

Fear

It took me a few second to process this new fact as F recounted his run-ins with local Canadians. White-people-venting-their-frustration-to-their-visiting-European-cousins type of encounters he had. They didn’t outright say they fear Asians, it was F’s innate sense which made him conclude it as such. As a tourist to our country from Germany and more used to another kind of norm, this contrast was obvious to him. Fear of foreign invaders, I would expect the Germans to understand best what this fear feels like, but apparently, Vancouver fears Asians even more.

The fear, is that of Asians buying up all the land and taking over Vancouver. The fear of being replaced as the dominant and ruling class. The fear of being excluded, an outsider in their own land, because the Asians were not able to meld into the society nor speak English.

Language

Everyone who comments on an immigrant group who does not integrate almost invariable mention that they are not trying to learn the language. The reason why it is the way it is was so obvious to me that I never gave it a second thought. That is, until F said in a matter-of-fact manner that anyone can learn a new language at age 40 and not integrating is the immigrant’s fault.

I went “Excuse me?” Give me an example of anyone learning a new language and speaking it fluently past 40… 30 even. Then I realized that they are thinking of learning a new language based on their own experience between the Latin based languages; English, French, German, Spanish, Dutch etc. Whereas I was thinking in terms of Mandarin, French, Arabic, Russian where the roots are completely different and there are no basic common ground between them.

Herein lies the real meat of this particular debate. Most people of white races experiences learning a second language with another language similar to theirs whereas the Immigrants-who-are-not-integrating experiences learning a language that is completely different. When you think about it this way, anyone from these problematic self segregating cultures are doing so because there is no way for them to ever be completely fluent in the host country’s language. Between a friend circle where you can express yourself fully and a friend circle where you are limited to an IQ of 80 because of the limited ability to express yourself, everyone will pick the former circle of friendships. Leading eventually to self segregation.

If you want to experience this as a person of white race. You have to go to Singapore. The most prosperous country in Asia where a bunch of white people are trying to get into the financial industries and running into trouble. The frustration that they experienced at not being able to speak Mandarin is palpable. Still it misses a big part of the experience, Singaporeans will not resent you for not integrating as Asians are pretty mellow about other cultures minding their own business and being in their own cliques.

End

As the world continues its globalization, real world studies like these will become increasingly necessary in order to ease tensions. I realized that I am probably doing the work of a PHD research on race, because of my lifestyle. An academia researcher will most likely not be able to engage in physically being in different places to do research and stealth interview people the way I do. Yet these are the people our government rely on to make policies on the matter.

Racial differences can only be experienced and felt.