<body>
Friday, September 22, 2006


Once upon a time, a fence divided people into 2 groups. Group A wanted to climb over the fence to group B. Yet group B were scrambling and desperately trying to find ways to reach the A group. Both sides looked across the fence and were convinced that the other group had a better place.
.
Which kinda sums up life doesn't it? We're never really satisfied. We always look at others and wonder to ourselves, what if they have it better? What if I will enjoy it more if I leave what I have now and change? We all experience breathtaking awe-inspiring moments that mirror those in hollywood movies. In real life, the gaps between these moments are filled with the mundaness of everyday life. Diluted with the normalities, how many of us are guilty of taking everyday blessings for granted and crave for that distorted romantic view of fresh new prospects and adventures?
.
Travel is a good example. When you're sweating, hungry and trying to find a loo in a foreign country where people don't understand a word you say, it's alot better to relive that moment in the safety of your own memory than going through that actual experience. You forget the sense of loneliness wondering across unfamiliar streets, lost, scared, sick, vulnerable. You forget those nights or days when all you want is to be surrounded by people who love you, or that inviting unreachable warm bedroom you have back home, thousands of miles and seemingly another lifetime away.
.
Ironically, one of the most memorable moments during my vietnam trip was that night a guy in our group was feared missing/dead after returning from the summit of Mt Fansipan (Vietnam's tallest mountain). We trekked for 3 days, and my cold was getting worse. It rained so hard that night that I woke at 3 am with my feet drenched in rainwater. In a waterlogged tent, cold, sick and nowhere to go, our group huddled sitting, shivering and waiting for dawn to arrive. We looked out to the relentless rain and wondered how our friend who's lost in the mountains was coping. I tried to sleep because god knows after 8 hours of climbing to reach the summit, I was dog tired. Somehow time passed and I woke up with a headache finding myself curled up in a fetal position at a small corner with a tiny remaining dry part of a sleeping bag partially covering me.
.
The next day, descent down the mountain was another 8 hours. Clouds drifted dreamily across the mountain beneath our feet, moments of transient cold fog and warm sunshine felt romantically surreal and dreamlike. Yet the descent felt way too long. There were too many hills to pass through; and steep pathways where too often I slipped, fell and bruised myself; and branches with thorns that injured my fingers. I just wanted to get to a shower and a bed quickly. Any bed that's flat without a treeroot underneath, and any shower that is warmer than water from a cold mountain river. The idea of a simple thing like that suddenly appealed to me like heavenly luxury.
.
I will never forget that moment when we reached the foot of the mountain greeted by the welcoming glimpst of clear river beds and rolling hills of luscious green paddy fields. I ran like mad and just dunked my muddy, sweat covered body in the clear fresh water. Under the warm sunlight feeling the sweat washed away by gentle stream water, with a sense of exhilaration and relief so great, I couldn't help but abuse my friends' eardrums with hours of happy joyful singing of all the gay songs I could possibly think of.
.
Such contrasting moments.
.
I guess you really appreciate the good and simple things in life after you endure the bad. My job now pays me well to travel and experience Australia. The conditions are great, I get to live in beach resorts for free and enjoy swimming pools, spas and gyms. My job finally feels more and more professionally satisfying. But we're never fully satisfied are we? With freedom and adventure, comes the price of uncertainty, fear and lack of warmth inherant in solitude living.
.
I wonder if I'm still that girl from group A who craves for group B, and wants to return to group A once I've taken the leap over the fence.

xiao ying @ 11:54 PM.

2 Comments