The Return of eLf ideas

ideas of an eLven being in Canada

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Travel at Your Own Risk

April 26

Dear Diary,

My trip to the Philippines is a longer one--from Winnipeg (Manitoba, CAN) to Edmonton (Alberta, CAN) to Vancouver (British Columbia, CAN) to Taipei (Taiwan) and finally to Metro Manila (Philippines). It's about 300 dollars cheaper this route.

Inconveniences and Nuisances
On my trip to Edmonton, the guy beside me had a b.o., and then the young couple in front of us were yacking with the young guy adjacent to them--on the entire trip--they were even engaging one of the stewardesses in their conversation. That was really annoying--because those passengers were really loud.

It reminded me of the English-language-only policy at our work.Most of the times, it's not really about the language that you use in speaking but rather it should be more about how you use whatever language you are speaking in:

Don't be too loud in public places, especially in enclosed areas like the inside of an airplane where there are many people who are tired of the travel and just wanted to take a rest or even a nap!

Be discreet, sensitive, and considerate of the people around you.

Dragging and Lonely
Of course I'm excited with my going to the Philippines, especially because of the music-related activities that I plan to do there: watch the concert of the bands Modern English and The Alarm, play a few gigs with my former bandmates in Half Life Half Death, and particularly recording at a studio some original songs with them. However, because I am alone in my trip, the journey is lonely and dragging. I have no one to talk with.

Inna and Evawwen saw me to the airport in Winnipeg. If only they could go with me. As much as we'd like for all of us to go on the vacation together, we could not; it's too expensive. Next planned vacation we will.

As I kissed Inna and Evawwen goodbye, Evawwen said to me, "I will miss you, Daddy!" I was about to shed a tear when he followed it up with, "Daddy, don't forget the toys I like when you come back--Voltron and Voltes 5 toys!" It made me smile.

Reading Books Again
Admittedly, in the Internet age, when learning and entertaining one's mind may be fulfilled simply by spending time on the Internet, reading a book has become a challenge. Well, at least for me. Yes, I still read books regularly; but my speed in finishing a book has become slower compared with how I read books years ago. This is the reason, when I was debating with myself a few days ago if I would bring a music player on my trip to live time during the travel, I eventually decided not to bring any media player. I chose to bring a book instead. I knew that my boredom in this trip would compel me to read without any distraction. The next issue for debate was what book I should bring. You can imagine my dilemma, just staring at the hundreds of books in the shelves.


I picked up Dostoevsky, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche & Kafka (1997) by William Hubben. This is one of the countless books in my collection that I haven't read yet. Just like any bibliophilist (book collector), I am yet to read more than 50% of the books in my personal library. I don't even think that I could ever read all of those books. At least, I have an idea what most of these books are about, and that should suffice for now.

Every time I'm driving, music is always on. On our way to the house of one of Inna's uncle, where we would be parking our vehicle while I'm away, music was playing. The last four songs that played were "Never to Forget You" by The Lovers Speaks, "Young Manhood" by The Wild Swans, "Love Scattered Lives" by The Desert Wolves, and "Braveheart" by Vermont Sugar House.

And now I'm still here at the Vancouver airport. I arrived here at around 9 p.m. (Vancouver time), and my next flight (to Taipei) is not until 2:00 a.m. That means a five hours' wait. Good thing, there's free WiFi here and many plug-in stations.

When I put in my backpack the book I was reading, to check my mails and write this blog entry, I realized that I am already halfway through the book. Hmm. Maybe I should go on long trips more often, so I can read more books again and at a faster pace.

I hope I can get a good sleep in the plane, considering that Vancouver to Taipei will take about 12 hours and 30 minutes.

"Is it possible to become a saint without believing in god?" asked Albert Camus.

Well, it depends on one's definition of saint.

If 'saint' simply pertains to a "very compassionate and responsible person--whether that person is religious or not, or a believer of God or not," then one could be a saint even without a belief in the existence of a god.