Disgusted with Bank Charges

I am so very disgusted that it costs AUD $22 to effect an international bank transfer using internet banking! Hey, I’m doing all the work here and it costs $22 for a transfer? What if I’m making a tiny purchase? Right right, I should be using Paypal or pay using a debit/credit card. OMG. I still can’t believe it. $22 for an international bank transfer using internet banking!


A year of learning

This year has been painful. I have been assulted with lessons. Amongst which are:

  • Self worth should not be tied to any thing e.g. work, job, looks, hobbies, friends, family, money, etc. Else when that thing shifts, or changes, you are a goner.
  • Things often don’t go accordingly to what you have planned. Sometimes life throws you a spanner, a good friend, sickness, an accident, a job opportunity. The good and the bad.
  • Fear of the unknown. Or worry over the future. What if I quit this fucking job and I end up without a source of income for the rest of my life? What if I go for this meetup group and can’t find anyone to talk to? What if I remain as an accountant for the rest of my life and thereafter hate myself for being a failure.
  • The more you want to hold on to something, the more it eludes you sometimes. The old adage “if it’s yours, it’s your” may apply here.
  • Focus is critical to achieving goals if you have any. Don’t get sidetracked. Ask yourself if what you have done today brings you a step closer to your goals. If no, it’s time to do something.
  • Being in love transforms how you see the world and your life. But be cautious of point one above.
  • I have met chinese from China that I sincerely enjoy their company and conversations.

Extract from How to Walk a Puma by Peter Allison

These words reasonate with me:

I also fell in love and felt certain enough about the relationship to get engaged. In the next few years we accumulated the things adults do, mainly furniture and debt. For the first time I owned more than I could carry on my back, and even if I didn’t like the sensation, I believed I was doing what I was supposed to.

I was on a work trip to the Philippines six years after meeting my fiancée when I realised that the life we had together didn’t feel right to me. One day I was walking down the street in Cebu and was hit with a sudden shot of wary adrenalin, as though if I wasn’t alert there could be trouble. It was invigorating. It felt like being back in Africa. It felt like being slapped awake from a long sleepwalk. It felt like coming home. Only then did I realise that I’d been turning grey from the inside out, and had become the cliché of the dissatisfied worker bee. I’d spent most of the last seven years waiting for five o’clock, hanging out for Friday, going on holiday only to stress out because I couldn’t relax fast enough. Perhaps some adults aren’t meant to be in one place. It is like being left-handed: no matter how good you become at using your right hand, your nature still insists you are something else. Nomads are the same.

While some people allow the hollowness of their lives to consume them until they are at zero, so blank they merely exist, others rebel. Some men find solace in sports. Some have affairs. Others dress as a woman and insist on being addressed as Gertrude. My way of breaking the shackles is to go looking for animals. As a teenager I had travelled to escape my life; now I wanted to do it to have one. ‘I think you’re being a fool’, my fiancée said with more sadness than harshness when I told her I wanted to travel open-endedly again, with her this time, working part-time as a safari guide. ‘We’ve built a life here!’ She indicated the apartment we lived in, and our possessions within it.

‘I want experiences,’ I answered softly, ‘not stuff.’
‘Stuff? This isn’t stuff! It’s security!’

But what felt like security to her felt like a prison to me. She wouldn’t come with me and I couldn’t stay. It was the hardest decision of my life, but we broke up and, taking little more than some clothes, I left.




Lessons of today

Uniting Church Missions at King Street
Had the urge to attend a church today. Walked past the Missions church today along King Street. Saw a signboard outside which states that they have a service at 6pm. Went for it. Sat by myself. Shortly after, a man came over and introduced himself to me – Sam. Lives in Darlington with his wife and 2 kids. Had a small talk about yogurt in the neighbourhood. The service started. We watched a short clip of a Christian movie showing Moses parting the red sea. It is so much more enjoyable when words in the bible comes to life. My takeaways from the movie are:

  • God brought you/us here / to this situation in life
  • He is with us. Emmanuel.
  • Trust him. He will make a way even when there seem to be no way.

Shortly after, Sam the guy who introduced himself to me went up and gave the sermon of the evening.  There were some homeless guys who attended the service. They had a pungent smell about them. But that’s of course besides the point. I like it that the church is a safe haven for them. There is a man with tattoo all over his body, even on his face. A man was crying behind me, saying that his wife left him, etc. Another person got up and sat next to him on the floor, praying for him. A woman was on clutches and stood up during worship time. I like this church. It feels real and genuine. It’s not phony.

Lessons from my friend
Went out with my best friend in Sydney today. She messaged me that “inspired to invite you” We headed to her favourite spot in Sydney. Which overlooks the Opera House and the harbour. She looked greater than life today (and on most days).

Lesson 0: If you truly want something, you have give everything of yourself to it. Burn your bridges.

Lesson 1: To renovate a house, you need to tear down walls and stuff before you can rebuild. It’s messy business.

Lesson 2: Roadblocks. Everyone experiences road blocks. The rich, the poor, smart, famous, commoner, everyone. Some stop in front of it and do not ever try to climb over it. Some tried, reached the top and died. But they had a glimpse of what laid ahead before they pass away. Some try to go to the ends to take shortcuts but realised that there are simply none. Yet there are a few who managed to make it over the roadblock.

Lesson 3: Some choose to go through the tunnel. It’s dark and scary and can only fit one person. Only one can walk the path / tunnel alone. Her housemate walked halfway and turned back to the entrance. Others, picnic-ed at the entrance, never venturing into the tunnel. If I choose to go into the tunnel, my friend will be at the other end, waiting for me and whistling at me for me to discern the direction. Only if I choose to go into the tunnel.

I was mulling over her words. Her usage of the tunnel reminds me of Susan’s favourite quote “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek”. Incidentally, when searching for the quote which is generally attributed to Joseph Campbell, I came across one of his writings (note 1):

It is by going down into the abyss
that we recover the treasures of life.

Where you stumble,
there lies your treasure.

The very cave you are afraid to enter
turns out to be the source of
what you are looking for.
The damned thing in the cave
that was so dreaded
has become the center.

You find the jewel,
and it draws you off.

In loving the spiritual,
you cannot despise the earthly.

My friend’s words also brought to my mind the image of the rising phoenix. Before the rebirth of the phoenix, it has to be engulfed by flames to undergo cartharsis of its soul, its very being before it can be reborned. Presumably it is a painful process.

Whatsapp message from my sister
Today’s sermon – When Paul and Silas were imprisoned in prison cells. They sang praises and hymns. God created an earthquake and all the prison doors flew open. The guard men thought that all the prisoners took this opportunity to escape but they did not. The guard men were converted to believe in God.

Lesson: when we are faced with adversity in life, do not blame God for it. Continue to give him praises and thanks and God will deliver us. In each situation God will turn it around to our favour. Life is 10% the situations that we face and 90% is on how we respond to them.

Note 1: 1991, Reflections on the Art of Living: A Joseph Campbell Companion, Selected and edited by Diane K. Osbon, Quote Page 8 and 24, HarperCollins, New York, New York

A Ciegas

Here’s a Spanish song from the Mexican group Reik. I attended their Peligro (Spanish for danger) tour in Mexico City earlier this year. It was a great experience.

Translation follows after the Spanish lyrics.


Nunca imagine
Encontrarme aquí
Despidiéndome de ti
No me digas por favor
Que olvidar será mejor
Vivirás por siempre en mis recuerdos

Pero tiemblo solamente con pensar
Que te tengo que soltar
Que recorreré sin ti la vida

A ciegas, perdido
Se detiene mi respiración
Duele ver que tu futuro
No combina, conmigo
Y no quiere comprender mi corazón

Para que fingir
Si sabes como yo
Que este sueño terminó
Somos fuego que se enfrió
El tiempo nos desvaneció
Y se ha borrado todo lo que fuimos

Pero tiemblas solamente con pensar
Que me tienes que soltar
Que recorrerás sin mí la vida

A ciegas, perdido
Se detiene mi respiración
Duele ver que tu futuro
No combina, conmigo
Y no quiere comprender mi corazón
Bésame una vez más
Y nunca mires atrás

Duele ver que tu futuro
No combina, conmigo
Y no quiere comprender mi corazón
Si vivimos tanto tiempo este amor



I never imagined
find me here
Goodbye to you
Do not tell me please
Better forget
You will live forever in my memories

But I shudder to think only
That I have to drop
They go about life without you

A blind, lost
It stops my breath
It hurts to see your future
It combines with me
And my heart does not understand

To pretend
If you know how I
That this dream ended
We cooled fire
Time will vanished
And has deleted everything that went

But tremble only to think
I have to let go
Let me go over without life


Kiss me again
And never look back

It hurts to see your future
Not combined with me
And my heart does not understand
If we live that long this love