Afternoon stroll in the garden

Whilst living in Edinburgh, I took a lovely stroll at the Royal Botanic Garden on a sunny afternoon. It was so peaceful and calm, and nature was alive at its fullest potential. A chubby squirrel who was happily munching away on bird food encountered a cheeky bluebird who also wished to have some.

This video is my silly attempt at bringing nature to life. I hope you enjoy it. 🙂

The pianist

I often got off at Saint Lazare station on my way home. I would walk eastward on Rue Saint-Lazare then southward on Rue de Caumartin to Bd Haussman. It was a wide pedestrian street paved with ancient stones, and lined with quotidian shops and brasseries. Once you pass Rue de Provence, there’s a small plaza full of street vendors offering all kinds of goods: arts and crafts, flowers, children’s books, grocery, etc. Different vendors show up every day, so you never know what to expect. Read More

“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta

In the past few years, I’ve met many people from different parts of the world. Sometimes, I walked into their lives, and sometimes, they walked into mine. Regardless of how we met, we all had one thing in common, ‘curiosity’. Read More

Despite the misfortunes which have struck Paris in the recent years. It remains a place of beauty and love in my mind, and the minds of many others whose lives have been changed by it. Hemingway’s description of Paris is by far my favourite, “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” Read More

Many people attribute success to ‘good luck’, and therefore think of it as something outside of their control. But let me tell you a secret, ‘luck’ can be obtained by anyone who understands what’s it’s made of. The formula is quite simple. Read More

We often search for the ‘missing things’ in our lives through entertainment and the people around us. Sometimes, it only takes a few steps and glances in a different direction to find the things that are truly fulfilling in life.

Read a good book: Words are not bound by time and space. Only in books can you travel through time and encounter events and meet people beyond your wildest dreams without risking your safety. If you are looking for an adventure or just a calm and relaxing afternoon, why not pick up a good book and let your imagination take flight?

Go for a walk: Get outside and enjoy what nature has to offer. Let your lungs rejuvenate and breathe in some fresh air. Have you ever noticed how quickly the clouds move in the sky? What about the beautiful palette of the sunset? Did you notice how the fresh new leaves grow on the branches? The streets you walk by look the same everyday, but do they really?

Learn a new language: Why not put your mind to the challenge, and the at the same time pick up a new skill. Language is a cultural expression, so the next time your complain about the difficult grammar, remember the joys of being able to explore a new world all on your own. Have you tried reading the newspaper in a different language? It gives you a different perspective on life.

Help the poor: Is your house overflowing with items that are just sitting around and collecting dust. Why not take them to a charity shop so they can go to someone who can put it to good use? Remember, one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure. Your neglected clothes could brighten up someone else’s day.

Travel: Visit a place you have never been before. If possible, try to avoid the touristy areas and get an authentic experience. You would not be able to experience authentic Japanese cuisine in a local restaurant. It’s not just food but the whole ambiance that make up the unique experience. So step out of your comfort zone and experience a different culture firsthand. You’ll also come home appreciating the things you have always taken for granted.

Go star gazing: There is nothing like looking up at the night sky in the middle of a barren desert at the millions of little lights in the vast sky. There is a sense of peace you would never experience elsewhere on this earth. Why not try to hear what the stars have to say? After all, they’ve been around a lot longer than we have.

Eat natural and organic foods: We have all become very lazy with the preparation of our foods. Ditch the microwavable dishes and sugars, and dig into some fresh veggies and fruits. You’ll be surprised at how delicious and juicy they are.

Try these things by yourself or with a loved one. You won’t be disappointed with what you discover.

The best part of Scotland

What is the image you get in your mind when you think of Scotland? Is it vikings, bearded men in kilts playing bagpipes, or the rolling green hills and high mountains?

Before I came to Scotland, those were the images that came to my mind. But after almost a year of living in Edinburgh, my perception of this country will never agree with tourists.

When I move away from here, onto my next destination in life, I will remember the politeness and kindness of the Scots, the relaxed attitude and the natural beauty of the City. I will remember the short winter days when the sun could be absent for days at a time and the long summer days when the sun barely takes a break at night. I will remember the cold frigid winter days and the cool pleasant summer breeze. I will remember the crowded streets of the Royal Mile and Prince’s street during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Yes, I will remember my favourite restaurant, my favourite shop, and my favourite park; although I will do just fine finding my new favourites in a new city. But I will not be able to find a replacement in a new city for the ancient stone castles which have stood for centuries and the ancient alleyways of the Old Town in a new city. And because of that, I will miss them dearly. I moved to Edinburgh with the thought of perpetuating its ancient beauty with sketches and photographs. Sadly, I had done neither and have no plans of doing it at all.

But why? You ask. Well, the answer is simple. The memories of those things have left such an impression in my mind that there is no need to take photos or make sketches. I will take them with me wherever I go.

Quotes from Pearl S. Buck

Pearl S. Buck was one of those authors who always made me think. She wrote about life, culture, politics, human nature, philosophy, religion, and love. I’ve travelled with her through time to unknown lands and met many people from different walks of life. And my life has been changed as a result of her works.

Here are some of my favourite quotes from her that I would like to share with you. I hope it will bring some joy into your life as it did to mine. Read More

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