A Chocolate Sundae On A Hot Day

Coming home from tutoring one of my tutorees (who was being exceptionally distracted by some video games he recently started playing), I rode the usual bus home (11), which was relatively empty that night. After a few stops, I noticed this old man come in, eating a McDonald’s chocolate sundae. He was observing everything and everyone in the bus, almost like he was looking for someone. He got the seat right in front of me, so that’s how I noticed. I’m not that crazy weird…creepily observing people in my surroundings out of curiosity…without them noticing…since I have really good IFOV… Well, anyhow, I sort of started thinking about what the guy was thinking, and I came up with the back story that he was diabetic and that he may have been looking around to check if his nutritionist might be on the bus; he’d get busted for eating a cup of chocolate sundae (it’s been pretty darned hot recently, so I don’t blame him for succumbing to the cold ice cream). But then I thought that that was just too short a tale and I decided to elongate the story line a bit. And what I came up with is as follows.


Ever since he’d moved himself and his family halfway across the globe to Macau decades ago, a lot had change in this tiny, little enclave. He’d also grown old himself and along with the arrival of his golden years, illness also came along for the ride. Not very pleasant for him, of course, since he had to give up a lot of the delicacies he’d always enjoyed. When he got diagnosed with diabetes, he had to give up a lot of his favourite foods. McDonald’s, especially. He struggled with this, of course. Especially at the beginning. He succumbed to his urges a lot, but this proved very bad for him and it got worse. But when he could, he would sneak off to a branch of the fast-food chain and get a delicious burger meal. To top it all off, he’d also get an ice-cream cone to go

On this particular summer day, he had been walking around the Old Taipa area, enjoying the scenery and watching tourists as they snapped photo after photo of their people, the places, and the things. When the day increasingly grew unbearably hot, he got into one of the stores nearby for a large bottle of water and decided it was time to head home.

While waiting for his bus, a very huge yellow “M” sign caught his attention, and he was immediately captivated by it; McDonald’s was less than a minute’s walk from where he stood and he was soon walking towards it in a trance-like state.

He didn’t know what he wanted there, and all his nutritionist’s warnings against fast-food flew right out of his mind. Walking towards the restaurant had him remembering all his good memories with it — the first time he met his wife, the first time his wife told him he was going to be a father, when he received news that his baby sister was getting married, and all those other great memories.

When he got inside, he was greeted by the smell of burgers and newly cooked fries, one of his favourite things entering any McDonald’s. A couple of teenagers walked past him for the exit and all of them held chocolate ice-cream sundaes, reminding him of how hot he felt. And right then and there, he decided on placing the exact same order as those very young adolescents.

Once he had gotten his cupful of deliciously sweet chocolate ice-cream, he walked back out into the summer heat for the bus stop. And he was lucky enough that as soon as he got to the bus stop, his bus came along, sparing him from more of the blazing heat of the sun.

Very few people were on the bus and he took a seat in front of some young Filipino woman. He quickly took a seat, but as he sat, he caught a glimpse of one of his wife’s friends. Or he thought so.

He kept looking at the back of the bus, but every time he looked, his failed to see his wife’s friend. In the end, he decided it must have been a trick of his paranoid imagination, especially due to his intake of something forbidden to him.

Having accepted that neither his wife nor his wife’s friend were present within the public vehicle, he finally settled down in his seat and enjoyed his sundae.

His last one for a long time. Who knows when he’d be able to eat one again.


I am such a busybody *shakes head in disapproval*

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Food, Plastic, and Paper Waste

Back in high school, we were required to do this CAS Project thing, in our two-year IB curriculum, that basically needed to cover Creativity, Action, and Service. It also had to be a group thing, so our class divided into two groups, if I recall correctly. Since I’d been the one appointed by the CAS coordinator to write out the different members of each group during the whole class discussion (writing on the board with everyone looking at me writing always bothered me, so this was quite uncomfortable, even though I constantly had to do it), I got to pick which team to join last, and I went with the one with less people in it.

The topic this group decided to tackle was food, plastic, and paper wastage. I did the research and this seemed like something appropriate to put up here, including the crappy posters I made as well.

Food Wastage Facts:

  • As of 2011, 1.3 billion tons of food (one third of the global food production) are lost or wasted annually.
  • Loss and wastage occurs in all steps in the food supply chain. In low-income countries, most loss occurs during production, while in developed countries much food is wasted at the consumption stage.
  • In US, 40% of food waste occurs at home. In a cross-country survey done among 400 US households, 93% of respondents acknowledged buying food they never used.

Food Wastage A4

Plastic Facts:

  • Our consumption rate of plastic bags today is over 500 billion plastic bags annually, which is almost 1 million plastic bags used every minute.
  • Plastic bags cause hundreds of thousands of birds, sea turtles and other marine animal deaths every year because these creatures mistake plastic trash for food.
  • On average, each household uses 500 plastic bottles each year, of which just 130 are recycled.
  • North Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour.

Plastic Wastage A4

Paper Facts:

  • A typical business office will produce about 1.5 pounds of paper waste per employee a day.
  • The paper industry is the fourth largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions among all United States manufacturing industries.
  • Paper cups consume trees, water, and chemicals, and dump them into streams and landfills (not recyclable). Every year, nearly 900 million trees are cut down to provide raw materials for American paper and pulp mills.
  • Half the world’s forests have already been cleared or burned, and 80% of what’s left has been seriously damaged.
  • Paper accounts for 25% of landfill waste (one third of municipal landfill waste).

Paper Wastage A4

 

Source:
http://personalexcellence.co/blog/how-to-prevent-waste/

Old Blogs

I was just trying to look through all the blogs that I’ve made in the past and I came upon this one from a really, really long time ago. I don’t even remember which email account it’s connected to, but I know it’s me, because of the name and everything. I always have been quite a thinker, just by reading the contents of this blog (which consists of one post, dated December 29, 2008).

Anyway, this is it:

Myrael

To this day, I seriously still dig the whole brown and black thing; my colour palette really hasn’t changed that much. And the voice. It’s still so me.

 

I also found another one and the title of the blog site just doesn’t make any sense to me right now. Who knows what I was thinking of back then:

Tears and Nonsense

And the content. Oh, the content. I don’t know if I should hide from embarrassment or laugh at myself (I think I’ll opt for the latter). I guess the title came from the first and only post on that old thang. But I must congratulate myself on the rather originally conceived title and address though (Parabéns, menina!)

The last post on there is dated December 18, 2008. Judging from the closeness of the dates between the two posts from both old blogs, I must have been on some blogging spree. Just a very short spree though.

 

I still have another blog, but I’d rather keep that one away from this for now — maybe in the future. High school still feels too close to have it associated with this new blog of mine (that is supposed to be a far cry from my high school blog).

Water’s Role In Our Lives

My mom woke me up at an alarmingly effective way today. I was still in my dream world, when I heard my mother’s voice calling me, telling me that our apartment building’s water would be shut off for maintenance the whole day. Hearing this, I bolted right out of bed and ran for the bathroom to check the water, all the while my mom laughs at my reaction as this is the first time in a long time that I woke up extremely early and very quickly.

Checking the faucet, I find out that I’m too late as there truly is no more water. The water usually gets turned back on around 7 pm at night. Luckily, my mom had anticipated it and had left me a bucket of water. Just one bucket. But I was contented enough with that. Needless to say, that was the quickest shower I ever had.

On a side note: I doubt “shower” is the correct term I want to use, since all I’m really trying to do is translate ligo, from my Cebuano mother tongue, to something in English, and the closest term I can relate it with is “shower” or “bath”. But then the act itself doesn’t correspond with the meaning of either English words as maligo basically means washing oneself with water, and not necessarily immersing oneself in water or to pour water over oneself. I mean, I use a bucket to kaligo, for goodness sake, not a bathtub or a shower-head!

After my ligo, I bragged to my mom how well I managed with just one bucket of water, and she said how on any other day, I probably wouldn’t be able to manage it at all. And that shut me up really quickly as she had a good point; I usually take at least half an hour to an hour just to kaligo. But this got me thinking though.

Our present generation has never really been put through as many hardships and difficulties as previous ones had gone through; almost everything has been handed to us on silver platters (and I mean Generations Y, Z, and Alpha specifically). Hearing tales from my mom and dad, they say that water wasn’t as easy to come buy as it is today; back in the Philippines, when they needed water, they went to these public water pumps, like the one shown below.

They’re still used in the Philippines to this day actually, but more commonly so in the probinsya (a.k.a the countryside provinces). A few of these are usually scattered around, out in the open, for everyone in certain parts of a barangay to use (I don’t think there’s an English translation for this word at all…barrio, maybe? But that’s Spanish. Technically, it is considered the smallest administrative division in the Philippines and is considered the native Filipino term for a district or village. In reality, barangays really aren’t like villages or districts at all.).

Clean, running water is a commodity that very few actually have access to, but those who do have it tend to take it for granted and even waste it. Only about 2.5% of water in the whole world can be consumed, but since 1/3 of the world’s water is frozen, only around 1% of water can be used for human consumption. With these percentages known by many, why do we have the nerve to waste water? Conserve water as much as possible since one of the key to the survival of our race depends upon it.

More information can be perused on unwater.org for facts and figures, while a more concise look at how water waste impacts our race can be seen on water.org (it even has an interactive map that shows how many people lack safe water). Water wastage causes great concern, seeing as the homo sapien species — us — relies heavily upon it.

Also, while researching about water waste, I also stumbled upon these really interesting visual statistics:

This infographic I found on water usage between rich and poor countries might also be worth looking at:

I seem to have been lost in translation for the first part of this post, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to escape that since my thoughts come in a jumble of languages. So please do forgive me for any confusion caused.

 

Sources:
http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/talkin-bout-my-label-20110720-1ho7s.html
http://www.benefits-of-recycling.com/waterconservationstatistics/
http://personalexcellence.co/blog/how-to-prevent-waste/
http://www.coolinfographics.com/blog/2013/3/25/the-water-rich-vs-the-water-poor.html

Literature, Inspirations, And Languages: Paulo Coelho

One of the charms behind Paulo Coelho’s works are how inspirational they are. They exude realism in a dreamy sort of way. I know that sounds rather contradictory, but it truly is so. To explain this a little, I’ll take The Alchemist as an example, wherein a shepherd goes on a journey to find his treasure, only to discover that it was already there, by him, at the start.

Within the confines of this book is vast wisdom on many aspects about traversing life. It is presented as a fantasy novel, yet at the same time it addresses basic life questions everyone is bound to encounter at least once in their lives. The answers to these questions aren’t blatantly revealed in the book, but is somewhat hinted at. Open interpretation is allowed in a way, as one tries to fit certain scenarios into one’s own life.

Personally, I took out a lot of life lessons from this one book itself, one of which is that when your dream is real (Personal Legend) and is meant for you, all the world will conspire to see you attain it. Also, if love comes along the way, and is meant to be, it can wait because both parties want the best for one another and will remain loyal to each other until the right time comes for them both to be together, which is quite sweet really. Because, ultimately, the two individuals in a couple are there to look out for one another and encourage each other to go after their Personal Legends. Unselfish sacrifices, if you will. And perseverance despite difficulties.

I really do enjoy Paulo Coelho’s works. Right now, I’ve got BridaThe AlchemistAlephManuscript Found In Accra, and The Devil And Miss Prym. Still building up the collection, just like what I did with my Harry Potter and The Chronicles Of Narnia collection. Oh! And the Middle Earth saga.

Now, all I need to do is learn Portuguese so I can read all of his novels in their original published language. Currently, I’m Level 6 in Brazilian Portuguese. But who knows how accurate I really am with my grammar. But then, Duolingo is a pretty good phone app and site……Anyhow, my progress isn’t bad. I’m jumping between Portuguese and Spanish, so I’m getting really confused right now (plus, I’m also trying to learn German) — Level 6: Spanish & Brazilian Portuguese; Level 1: German.

Well…Tchau! Adios! Auf wiedersehen! 再见! Bye!

Absentmindedness

Today, I got lost. Or rather, I rode a bus on a whim, without thinking things through.

It was somewhat like a short two hour hiatus from civilization, seeing as I ended up in the University Of Macau’s new campus on Hengqin Island, which is quite isolated and somewhat hard to get to. And get out of.

I’m trying this new thing, see, where I try not to think too much, since my tendency to over-think things have just made me miserable for the past 4-5 months. I still think and mull things over (everyday reminders and such. They can’t be avoided. And I’m not avoiding them. I embrace them rather). Sometimes, things past just pop into my head. I remember all the great memories, and then I get dropped back into reality and am reminded of how things are now. It still depresses me, but I can do nothing about it except hope for the best outcome in the end. I’ve got patience enough. And hope. Patience and hope.

Anywho, totally went off topic there. Now, where was I…

Right.

I’m trying out this new thing where I try not to over-think things, but to accept things as they are on face-value. I still comprehend deeper meanings (ulterior motives and such), but I ignore them now. If I don’t, it just hurts. And I really can’t go on hurting myself by thinking too much. But then, I go the extreme distance of totally not thinking properly at all.

Typical me really. I can never seem to find the balance between thinking and not thinking too much. And listening to emotions or not to.

I had initially intended to hurry off to my tutoring job right after class, but depression sort of set in again and I wanted to get away from everything. Once I got to the bus stop, I waited for whatever bus would end up going towards the general direction of Taipa from Macau. Once the bus MT3U came along, I started to over-think again and decided to shut my mind off. I sort of knew that it was heading towards Hengqin Island, but I also assumed since it would pass by Taipa, that there would be a bus stop at Taipa before it headed all the way to UMac’s new campus. So I got onto MT3U. Plus, I’ve always been curious about its route.

Anyhow, assumptions proved incorrect.

But, hey! The great thing out of it was that I got to explore a little bit more of this part of the world. And it’s a very nice place to go to. So much wide open spaces and nearly uninhabited. Nearly. Aside from the small amount of students I encountered (an approximated amount of about 5), plus the 4 construction workers at the bus stop, the place was pretty empty. Or rather, the area I got off at was.

This just goes to show that if one is feeling wanderlust, one does not necessarily need to leave a country. One could potentially quench this desire by randomly catching whatever bus comes along first and getting off wherever one wishes to get off at (from curiosity or from a whim). Tada! A new experience!

Well, I guess I really should do this some time again, when I have the time (or when I feel like just getting away from my own thoughts).