The Great Wall

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”

I’ve climbed The Great Wall of China twice now. Once in the summer of 2016, almost exactly two years ago, and once today.

And, I’d like to think that I’ve learned a little something about both experiences and I’d like to share some insights.

  1. The Great Wall’s steps are uneven. They are sometimes steep, and then suddenly short and narrow. It keeps the hike interesting and keeps you on edge, or else you’d just be climbing stairs. Life is the same.
  2. If you try to climb the steps fast, you’ll end up not even looking where you are going because you have to focus on the steps and not trip. Sometimes, when you are living life too fast though, you forget to enjoy the view once and a while.
  3. Not everyone makes it to the very top. In our class, only 4 of us did (though, we ended up being very late for the meeting time… sorry!)
  4. If you ever come across any of the world’s wonders, take your time and enjoy it. These experiences are literally once and a lifetime moments.
  5. The view is best from the top for a reason. The successful people have the greatest view because they’ve climbed the most stairs.

 

Advertisements

Story to tell

Daily post 280

We are all story tellers

We live life in unique perspectives, and because so, there are always 2 sides to a story

Or maybe even more sides

And each side is a unique story

By nature, all of us have stories to tell simply by living life

In those situations, it’s important to listen

And when you are telling your story, make sure you tell it well

Stop complaining

279

“Chinese people are so rude”

Look, if you willingly go to a foreign country for 6 weeks, you are not allowed to spend those short 6 weeks complaining about the host country.

You just aren’t.

Don’t like Chinese culture? Too bad.

Think Chinese food is “gross”? Well, if you were the most populous country and lived in poverty, you’d probably eat the entire chicken too, including the feet. (and the occasional dog…)

Hate the pollution? Look, I do too! But guess where your shoes are made from?

And this is the worst one… Getting mad at a Chinese person for not understanding your English.

One bad encounter with a Chinese person doesn’t give you the right to condemn the other 1.3+ billion Chinese.

It’s actually scientifically proven that your opinion on society more often reflects your own persona, rather than the actual reality of the world. Something interesting to ponder for those who think the world is out to get them…

I am not perfect. Of course, I’ve complained (a lot) in my own life, but the only reason I am writing this post is that I see the fault in complaining. It just doesn’t help anyone. I’ve personally seen myself fall into this pit of pessimistic attitude. I used to think that you needed to be an asshole to succeed in business, all the while I was complaining about how I hated the fact that you needed to be an asshole to succeed in business…and then I realized that I was setting myself up to be an asshole just so I could succeed. But that’s not how life works, sorry.

So please, if you are a visitor to another country, whether for work, travel, leisure, vacation, out of respect for an entire nation, keep your complaints to yourself.

Yes, you can think Chinese food is gross. Emphasis on “think”. You can dislike the culture. I can’t force you to change your opinion. And yes, if you really hate “Chinese people”, no one is stopping you.

But sometimes, voicing your complaints isn’t necessary.

To quote a Drake lyric, “you know, a wise man once said nothin’ at all”

 

 

Saying goodbye

278

Tomorrow we leave Shanghai and go to Beijing

Goodbyes are always hard

When you’ve grown to know someone, when you’ve spent time with someone long enough to miss them, and yet you have to say goodbye.

But you only ever say goodbye to people you want to see again.

It’s like a reassuring “perhaps we’ll meet again”

You say goodbye to your family and friends.

And make sure you give them one last tight hug.

Because even though we only say goodbye to people we will miss and want to see again, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your paths will ever cross again.

Goodbye Shanghai

Goodbye to the people

Goodbye to friends I’ve made

Goodbye to the streets, the restaurants, the culture

I’ll be back one day

I love dancing

277

I don’t drink

I don’t smoke

I don’t do shots

But when I go to a club, I will dance my heart out

I didn’t even realize how much I loved dancing until this trip to Shanghai. In Singapore, I’d often opt to stay in my bed and read a book or watch Netflix while my other friends frequented the nightclubs.

In Shanghai, I’ve looked forward to going to new and exciting venues and dancing with my friends.

What is great about dancing is that there is essentially no proper way to do it, there are just different ways. Every time you move your hands and feet and hips a certain way, it’ll always be different than any other person who might even be doing the same move. You could be inventing a new popular dance move without even knowing it, or you could just be swaying from side to side to the beat.

Am I good at dancing? Well, probably not really, not compared to real dancers.

But I have fun. And that’s what dancing is about.

 

276

276

My visa got extended to the 14th

Originally it expired on the 9th which was bad because my flight is on the 14th, and I planned to use the extra 5 days to visit family in China

So thankfully I won’t be deported for overstaying now!

Anyways, no poetic writing here. Just wanted to give a quick life update… 🙂

See you tomorrow

Blind test

275

When Abbie Conant auditioned for the Munich Philharmonics, she played a masterful piece on the trombone in a blind audition.

The judges could only base their decisions on what they heard and felt, not what they saw. And what they heard and felt was so magical that they stopped the auditions halfway, with the head executive chanting that he wanted this particular musician.

Yet, when the curtain was revealed, the judges were shocked to see a woman behind the scene.

Years went by and Abbie struggled with sexism, often getting demoted from her positions and receiving a pay gap, despite her being, objectively, the best trombonist in the orchestra when judged fairly for her music capability in a blind test.

What those judges couldn’t get over was the fact that they allowed their unfounded bias to get in the way of something that is magical.

If you do a blind test, you need to accept the results, whether you like them, wanted them, or expected them or not.

If you have a certain opinion on something, but statistics and science prove you wrong, you need to accept that your opinion is also wrong.

If you can’t look at life fairly, then life won’t be fair back to you, and it never is.

So yes, a lot of parts of life isn’t fair. But when you can do a blind test and let the world hear the beauty that can come from a female musician, then you need to do that blind audition.