On Mother’s day last Sunday, we ate in a downtown restaurant that specialized on Asian fusion food, ordering laksa – a spicy noodle soup that I used to buy in Tanjong Katong in Singapore. The prices were steep, considering the food did not deserve such a price as one could get a similar and better meal for 1/5th the price in Singapore. The only good thing was the atmosphere, sort of like an Asian chic ambiance with modern design, Buddha figures, dramatic lights and a trendy esthetic, reminding me of those dimly lit sleek bars near the Central Business District that we used to go in the evenings. After lunch, we had a gelato around the corner, watching people in the downtown streets enjoying the day, as it was Artisphere, a local event the promotes local art, walking beside Asian restaurants all owned by a Malaysian chef, cashing in on the Asian craze with restaurants that are a step from the usual cheap Chinese joints. But it was good to be able to get this type of food, authentic in taste and reminiscent of the sexy new bars in modern Asian cities, with dark lights and Buddhist figures, heralding a unique Asian vibe here in the Deep South. So much has changed since we left five year ago, especially the buildings, for instance the new entertainment and casino complex raising beside Manila Bay, a poor cousin admittedly to the government led behemoth in Singapore.
Another hectic week, multiple meetings, email deluge, phone calls, problems in multiple programs, stressed out folks and late nights. I missed a Toastmaster meeting, feeling tired and over whelmed, struggling along despite the fatigue, still able to go to the gym twice, planning to do work at home for an hour everyday just to keep up, something that can be done if I curtail my television viewing, reducing all my library borrowing and focusing on work. I borrowed and purchase some books on how to tackle this feeling of being overworked: ‘Organize you Mind, Organize your Life’, ‘Scarcity’ and so on. I am also attending an online course on irrational behavior, thinking that my own actions are irrational (if not stupid), a realization that one’s own action is the cause of stress. Perhaps it is the feeling of heaviness that must be thrown away, to be light in one’s feet and mind, something that is achieved by indulgent vices and escape but temporary as one return to the grind of work. One is starting to understand the ideas behind behavioral economics where irrational behavior rule, where the body does one thing despite contrary goals in mind, like indulging in carbs when one is actively trying to lose weight, like the body is moving forward of its own volition. How can one breakthrough the daily grind and hypocrisy? Last night I watch an interesting artist that drew mystical paintings hosted in “The Chapel of Sacred Mirrors’, whose theme is like a mix between ancient Eastern beliefs and psychedelic art hyped with LSD. Perhaps this spaced out consciousness is needed to keep one grounded.
Tomorrow I will be travelling to Columbia for my last meeting as Area Governor, after the meeting I will visit the book fair at the convention center and possibly attend some workshops. My term as Area Governor has been hectic, it opened me to new experiences, discovered my limits, given me stress but it was a good experience. It was the twin challenge of this year, coupled with my new role at work, another taxing experience where I am barely surviving, living from day to day, from crisis to crisis. Now the year has gone, rich with experience and again thick into new mind absorbing task like attending online courses. Presently I am enrolled in the following subject: entrepreneurship, leadership, guitar lessons, modern Europe, irrational behavior, business and philosophy. It like new experiences opens up a craving for new knowledge that the tendency is to drink from a firehouse, opening the doors for an influx of data that one can drown in. It is a wonder that one can absorb all these stimuli, but that is one’s reckless nature, like a drunken boxer ready to accept a challenge until someone comes along to deck you with a solid punch. It is again an example of irrational behavior or perhaps a low self-esteem that one unnecessarily undertakes risky behavior. Perhaps that is what one is trying to find out, to discover his nature by opening the doors of untrammeled input, massive stimuli, akin to overdosing in drugs.