Monday, May 25, 2015

Solitude At Sunset

Whenever in Bali, I always try to experience at least one sunset on Kuta Beach. Despite there always being a throng of people, I find it an opportune time to admire the changing colours of the sky, to do some reflection and to appreciate the chance of just being there. Being amongst the crowd also offers a sense of belonging, an intriguing thought considering it is a crowd of strangers, but with the shared experience of a beautiful sunset a uniting factor.
Although I have witnessed such a sunset on many an occasion with friends, the ones that stand out the most are those when I have been on my own, albeit with strangers all around. Some solitude is good for the soul, especially when enhanced by the beauty of Mother Nature. Often I find myself going through a range of emotions - gratefulness, joyfulness, sadness, melancholy, hopefulness. More importantly, I typically leave the beach with my faith intact, that there is much more good to be experienced in time to come.
Yes, the best is yet to come.
Sunset on Kuta Beach, early May 2015, Bali, Indonesia.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Birthday 2015

The last time I celebrated my birthday with Ken Bin, Cordelia, Ken Lin, Yean Mun and Elsie was during my 21st in Adelaide, when we were in university. If my memory serves me, I think my friends from boarding school, Mike and Ching were also present then. Fast forward to 2015, and in Bali no less, I had the good fortune of celebrating another birthday with the same friends from university plus Ken Lin's wife Sally and their kids Leticia and Lenora as well as Ken Bin and Cordelia's children Brandon and Bryan.
I am not one who typically celebrates with a party and cake, and for the past many years, I've kept it to quiet, intimate dinners with family and friends. In fact, I am prone to being in denial when it comes to aging, something that my close friends will attest to. Truth be told, I had the candles on the cake removed before this photo was taken haha! And although a different version of this photo exists, a version with the candles intact, it shall remain safe in my hard disk drive, away from prying eyes!  
The company of these 'old friends' during my birthday this year was indeed a blessing. We grew up together during some of our most formative years, and have had enduring friendships. For the most part, there is little of each other that we don't know, and little that we don't accept. Here's to longevity of friendships and many more years of celebrations.
At Villa Heliconia in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Reunion Trip To Bali

In recent years, my close friends from boarding school and university have tried to vacation together once a year. A couple of years ago we were in Kota Kinabalu, last year we returned to Adelaide where we first met, and a few weeks back we were in Bali.
Having been friends for more than 25 years, we have become accustomed to our various habits as well as idiosyncrasies and traveling as a group is pretty much a well-coordinated affair. Of course we now have 2 teenagers and 2 kids in the group too, which requires some compromise, but good friends will often make the necessary adjustments.
Spending a few days together on holiday always cements the friendships that we have nurtured over the years. It gives us the opportunity to talk and hangout without the distractions of work and our busy daily lives. It is also a testament to the strength of our relationships that individuals from Petaling Jaya, Penang and Hong Kong can commit to time off, converge in Kuala Lumpur and then head to Bali together. Here's to more holidays in the years to come.
After dinner at Bebek Bengil in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Drop Spectacles

There is this Cantonese saying which literally translated goes something like this 'I dropped spectacles'. Basically, it means that one's perceived good judgement didn't turn out to be that good after all, in my case, particularly in relation to one's relationship with another, be it in business or on a personal basis.
The month of April was not particularly kind to me, though it should have been according to my horoscope. Two persons, one a business associate, the other a supposed friend, were a let down, of epic proportions I might add. I haven't had such bad judgement in quite a while. The optimist in me will take such situations as a lesson to be learnt. Having said that, being taken for a ride can also sting.
In any case, the month of May is a new month. And I shall look forward to better encounters. More fulfilling ones I might add.
Sunset on Kuta Beach in Bali, Indonesia. A new day beckons.