Friday, June 30, 2017

Nostalgia Grand Tour Pt.2

Managed to request for a picture this time, of friends that we never met for 7 years, or more.

What's special is that we were all in the same class in the first year of middle school, in 2005. It was a new environment, exposed to new things and making new friends which happens to be each other. Together we talked about PS1 games and soccer, among other things that are of utmost concern to the 13 year old kids at that time. But because of the school system, classes get rearranged every year and we did not get to be in the same class for the whole 5 years of secondary school. Nevertheless we managed conversation quite easily, and I revel in the sense of familiarity that was created through our banter.

One of them is my anime grandmaster, and the one who made me watch anime in the first place. For better or for worse anime kinda defined my school life from 15 yo through completion of A-levels (made obvious by my anime blog posts of old). Naturally much time was spent on discussing the anime shows of new and old, using it as a medium to transport ourselves back in time to the days where all we cared about is what's going to happen in the next episode of Shakugan no Shana.

We also used to talk about many other things, such as games and culture and life. However we lost touch over the years after graduation happened, despite being such close friends throughout school life. That is why I am so glad to see him, we haven't met for the past 7 years, and I have not heard from him until recently. I can only wish you good health and smooth sailing, and I am also at peace knowing that you are doing well.

Among this gang there is also a budding businessman and also a piano maestro trapped in the shell of an accountant right now, which means that they are also heavily busy wading through their lives and I greatly appreciate them making time to meet a fellow former classmate and friend who is climbing the formidable mountain of the PhD. I can only wish them the best of chances and the strength to push on when the eventual challenge arrives, for it would only make the victory much sweeter.

To all the other people whom I've crossed paths with in life and haven't had the chance to rejoin this time, I am deeply regretful and I do hope that somewhere in the unpredictable future, we have the chance to meet up once again and support each other on this journey. From this tour I realized that I am in fact blessed to have so many true friends, and for that I can only thank you from the bottom of my heart.

"If you get stuck in the memories of those times, you won't be able to appreciate all the fun that's happening right now. So don't be thinking "that time was fun", because you should be thinking "that time was also fun" ... Being able to find the fun that's happening right now, is the best way to enjoy the present."

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Nostalgia Grand Tour

In the barren wastelands of the blogspot, some quick updates on my nostalgia grand tour.

At first it was the pink house gang, where we exchanged many updates about friends and reminiscences about spending many winter days in a certain magical snowy place over a hot pot dinner. Picture is obviously not mine.

Then, the high school friends came along. The first night, there were two others, and we were talking about going on trips to Bangkok and inevitably also about the days in high school. The second night, there were more, and the trash talking commences, but it was infinitely more meaningful now compared to the mindless banter we used to do in high school. Then, I suggested going for alcoholic goodness at my house the third night, and that was the day we did not sleep.

Many stories have been exchanged that night, including how we probably ruined a chance for one of us to have a fulfilling love life, to discussing of how biased we used to be in high school towards society, and also our adventures in high school that are memorable (and some that were undesirable). How goals and dreams were pursued, albeit doggedly, constantly facing blows and setbacks from society and the unstoppable flow of time. This was also where we talked heart-to-heart and stumbled upon some wise realizations, some of which I have inscribed in the bottom of this post.


Immediately after, another meeting with pink house, this was the only picture I have which was the beer that I drank. Hopefully this is enough prompt for me to remember the conversations we had when I read this post many years later. Found out that two different friends work at the same area under the same umbrella project, that was a very useful coincidence. Started playing a game towards the end, but the restaurant was closing so we were kicked out. The silence was strong at first, but pretty soon conversation flows smoothly just like this pint of Kilkenny.

I have also met up with a friend that I haven't seen for a very long time - in the order of 10 years or more. He goes way back to the days where we lived in a house right next to the beach. Sharing the same engineering research background as I am, we discussed lots about work and less about the past, my memories being slightly hazy and needs some jogging anytime we mentioned someone we knew from the distant past. That was a highly fruitful trip deep down memory lane, and pictures just don't do them justice.

There might be more stop for this nostalgia grand tour, or not, depending on the availability of everyone who intends to meet one more time before I depart this Saturday. Also, I'm very bad at remembering to take pictures, and I really should do that for the remaining meetups because god knows when I will ever see them again. But it is the conversations that I somehow have to etch into my mind, and I have plenty that I would like to keep. Maybe I'll inscribe some down here:

"Live life with no regrets. You chose your path based on the knowledge you had at that time, and you chose what you think was best for yourself. There is nothing to blame and to be resentful of."
"If the two choices are hard to decide, it's because they're both good."
"In the end, it's you yourself who you can rely on the most, and if you know that you are reliable you will get by no matter what."
"Cuddling is a slippery slope that leads to a salty surprise."
These meetings gave me a chance to look back without a tinge of regret, and even learn new things about myself and each other in the process. I treasure every moment of these gatherings, and look forward to many more.

Friday, June 23, 2017

On this day

Almost 10 years on Facebook, and the most useful feature so far they can give me is the "On this day" function. I wait for the clock to strike midnight everyday just for the sake of viewing what I did on this day, one year ago, two years ago,...

However, as I said my Facebook only goes back to 2010 at most, when I actually started using it. The days before 2010 are a black hole of time, an insurmountable darkness of hazy memories of my high school life (not that it was horrible, but I just can't remember anything apart from family trips). That is, until I found my journals from 2006 through 2010, in my old bedroom, hidden inside a cupboard from prying eyes.

These journals are national treasure to me, the most important written records of my high school existence. For some time even I religiously wrote in every day, so I can actually do an "on this day" on some years like 2007. Looking back 10 years ago I was infinitely more carefree and hopeful, the issues of those days being nothing else other than games, classes, crushes. My brother asked if I want it disposed, but I'm just glad those journals lasted so long. Reading those journals bring me back to a time, where I can smell the dampness of a sweaty secondary school, listen to voices of people I haven't met in years (almost a decade for some), and relieve my state of mind back then, a cheerful and optimistic 15-year-old.

Further back, I once had a comic series that I drew for my primary school classmates and siblings that went from 2003 through 2006. It's not a true journal per se, but the stuff I've drawn in reflected my experiences​ during that time, as well as the general Zeitgeist of those bygone days. Most importantly, 2003 is the last year I lived in my hometown of Kerteh, and reading those comics brought me back to the days where me and my family lived in a big house by the South China Sea. Beyond that, I would have to rely on memories and family picture albums, which is kind of a luxury when you live reallllllly far away from your parents' house.

This blog goes way back to 2008, and likewise I have no intention of removing anything I wrote since the early days of this blog. If you would like to be amused, it's all yours to read.