Sunday, January 2, 2011


Somewhere in between the 29th and 30th of December, I had a rather monumental epiphany regarding blogging. (FYI)

It started when my Aunt took me for a wander once I'd arrived in the UK. It was the first day I was there, and I was still heavily jetlagged from crossing eleven time zones.

We went for a walk to the 'High Street' - the street with the most shop-based activity in the suburb, where she bought things and I experienced...not much. When you are as heavily lagged as I was, it is as if you experience the world through a haze. Nothing really makes sense and everything is too loud and all you really want to do is find a couch to drool on (which is what I ended up doing that evening).


It was on the walk home that this epiphany began. I took this photo.

And as a result, my half-conscious brain started clocking over one little fact.

My brain is never gonna comprehend all of this.

The more my drooling brain processed this fact, the more I realised that it was true whether I was lagged or not. Human brain is just not built to process every single little detail. No matter how hard I try, my memory of an image like this in real life will be more like this:

Because you can see the original image, you can tell what has changed. But the truth remains.

We can only process and remember a tiny part of the whole image. Even that tiny part will be distorted from reality in some way.

Why was this pivotal?

Most of the time, when we try to write a blog post, it's more about what I did. I went to this place. I ate this food. I saw a cow walking on its hind legs. (I didn't really see the cow, but you get the idea.)

This type of blogging is what I've tried, and it has two fundemental issues.

The first is that, like the first image, I try to record everything that is happening at the same time, or the details occuring during the day. It doesn't seem to work, because talking about an entire day is hard. It'd hard to make every nuiance exciting. You won't want to hear play-by-play details of the Smash Bros duel I had with my cousins because it won't hold much relevance. Even if it does, then it's only an appeal to a minor group.

Therefore, it is much easier to write like in the second image. I can only process and focus on one small part of the image, so it doesn't make sense to try writing about all of it. In this circumstance, writing about the facts slightly differently or exaggerating some bits for effect is also helpful and/or funny.

For example,

Winter in the UK is colder than Australia.

This is true. But wouldn't you rather read,

Comparing winter in Australia to that of the UK is like a joke. A really bad joke that involves llamas. It isn't comparable. It's on a whole different level.

In this case, both statements are true. But the wording in the second phrase is more interesting, more colourful and nicer to read.

The second fundamental issue stems from Rule 3 (The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You'll Ever Need - Daniel Pink) (By the way, I highly recommend finding and reading that book. It did wonders for my final year at school.)

Anyway. There were six rules in it.

Rule I: There is no plan
Rule II: Think strengths, not weaknesses
Rule III: It's not about you
Rule IV: Perseverance trumps talent
Rule V: Make excellent mistakes
Rule VI: Leave an imprint


Way too often it's easier to talk about what I'm up to. But it's more interesting if the pronoun is reduced and I tell you the story the way I'm thinking rather than as if I was telling you in a manner akin to a seven-year-old.

In closing, I wish to offer my impressions of the Parisian subway tubes.

Subways are like the veins of the city. They transport literally millions of people, everyday, from place to place. They are tiled, and have air pumped in a re-circulated until you are pretty much breathing in what you breathe out. Upon exiting the Metro tube, and breathing the relatively fresher air, it's easy to realise how regurgitated the atmosphere is. You know you've been breathing something less than primo when the street smells fresh in comparision.

Because of the high-density population, we saw a lot of poor people and beggars in the interim tunnels. The first one we encountered scared the pants off us, since we rounded the corner and almost trod on his sleeping, motionless form. Honestly, Manik and I were unsure whether the guy was dead or not.

It was partly because of the recirculated air, and partly because of the homeless people, but the tube was rather smelly. It wasn't just your slightly stale smell. The air reeked. Manik took to the urban ninja look in order to ward it off.

The smell was her impression of the Metropolitan tube.

Mine was the posters.

There were posters everywhere. I suppose when you look at it from the perspective of companies, it's a lot of prime advertising space. The rest of us, however, end up with something like this:

Which I found a little disturbing. It seemed to be a small thing at first, until we started catching tube stations en masse. It was like Bob Sinclair and his funky white headphones were stalking us. He was everywhere.

Every stop and Bob Sinclair is ten-feet-high with his gold suit and stupid headphones and chinstrap beard and waxed chest and HE'S LOOKING AT ME.

It honestly got freakier and freakier the more stations we visited.


  1. In my experience, not all jokes involving llamas are bad. For instance, What does Tarzan say when he sees a herd of llamas on the horizon? 'Oh look there's a herd of llamas on the horizon'.

  2. I suspect that llamas act as an intensifying force in day-to-day conversation. So it can make something 'really'. Really good, really bad, really mediocre, really awkward....

    You get the idea :)


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