Archive for the 'Outside World' Category

When in York

I remember when I was in York for New Year, I and my friends met an old Chinese (ethnicity) man. He thought we were from Malaysia. I immediately noticed that his accent was very Malayan peninsular with probably 10% Hong Kong/Cantonese part. He initially didn’t want to say where he was originally from, but later on he admitted that he is Cantonese who was born in Penang and grew up in Singapore, before moving to UK around the independence of Singapore (I don’t know if it was the independence from UK or the separation from Malaysia).

I don’t know how it feels like to become an overseas Chinese. My impression is that Chinese people are everywhere, you are all travellers who once reach your destinations you settle down there. Everywhere you go, it is quite likely to meet somebody who speaks a similar language, culture, and that same vision*. But that old man seemed to express that, loneliness, and remorse. Singapore was a new and underdeveloped country back then, so he decided to go to the UK. But he seemed to regret that as the rest of his family is still in Singapore. BTW he also quite fancied Lee Hsien Loong, repeatedly saying “The Singapore PM studied in Cambridge.” Something that I feel many Singaporeans friends don’t share perhaps haha.

*(A little side note: My people, the Javanese people, are rather at the other end of the spectrum to me: if I meet a random Javanese person on the street here, and that is already quite unlikely, I would guess 99% of the time that s/he is a student; and s/he will probably go back home after finishing her/his study. That, or a diplomat. But they will be in bigger cities probably. A tourist? Nah, who would think to go to Cardiff.)

Anyway he said that there is only a small Chinese community in York, so every year he travels to Manchester, about 1-2 hours away, to celebrate Chinese New Year. Manchester has probably one of the biggest Chinese communities in the UK and the celebration is much merrier there. He even compared to the Gregorian calendar new year celebration, which I agree with him is very humble: no fireworks, only people gathering in front of the York minster and the church bell ringing a few times. That’s it. Anyway he recommended us to go to Manchester on CNY as it would be much much bigger.

Well I don’t know how I should close this post. But I felt a little bit strange as my story is a little like him. Three weeks and a few hours before that I was still in Singapore, where I had stayed for more than 8 years.

(originally a Facebook post)

I Read The News

I read the news yesterday oh boy
The mail’s readers are enraged for the slaughter of conscious animals
But as it happened far far away from me
I was rather amused that it is a non-issue here.

I read the news today oh boy
That the educated is holding a black mass
with non-consecrated hosts
And though it happened far far away from me
I’m rather sad that the fight has been going on
for hundreds, thousands of years

I read the news today oh boy
That a boy who came back from heaven
described one form of heaven that he saw
But I read somewhere else oh boy
Another boy who came back from heaven
described a different form of heaven that he saw
And though one of them is clearly a satire
(not so sure of the other),
I’m rather depressed seeing the extent of responses.

I read the news today oh boy
That someone who is running for presidency
is a minority ethnic, of minority religion, and is dead
and though the news is fake
I feel sad that this always happens before elections.

I read Facebook today oh boy
Online petitions are rampant for causes far far away from me
While I have my cynicism and skepticism,
I keep everything to myself,
as I hate to repeat myself.

I finished my meal and went out
through the door held open by a guy
who was apathetic to my gratitude.
It was raining outside
I looked around
Everybody was returning from lunch

The Recent National Strike and Me

Yesterday in Indonesia, many doctors (as in medical practitioners) were on strike to show sympathy towards one of their peers who was sentenced for imprisonment due to malpractice accusation…or something like that. One of the consequences was that many patients did not get immediate treatments. People in social media, I believe, talk about this issue, as noisy as what can be expected from social media (although I am quite lucky for my decision years ago to only select a few whom I will view regularly, so the noise I received is reduced to some extent). But that’s all that I know. Actually, to be honest, I do not in general have any interest on the issue, since [it has little to do with me], and even if so, I cannot think of how I can contribute to solve the problem.

Except for one thing.

My mother is a psychiatrist, and somehow I have a little feeling that those who cursed the doctors yesterday also cursed my mother. I was thinking of calling her, but my father called me first, so I used that occasion to talk to my mother, whether she and her colleagues joined the strike, how it was doing in the hospital, etc.

Well, I don’t want to write too much here about what she said, but I was glad that she was OK. 😛

Familiarity Re-explained

Have you ever had moments which you feel you have been familiar with and often experience, but once you give a bit of further thought, you realise that you actually have not been, and the explanation seems to surprise you? I had it a few times in the last few years. Here I want to share how I re-understand two songs, oldies songs, which as a child I heard quite often from the radio, but didn’t really comprehend.


“My Way”

I used to think that this is the song you want to sing when you are making resolutions, that this is my way, who cares about your way. But that might be more appropriate for [this My Way], while this My Way is about getting old and having peace with your imminent death, that while you had regrets in the past, all in all you feel satisfied with your life. It has that feeling to be a song for the final victory, a calm victory, that you have overcome all the obstacles in the life when you were younger. This is the kind of song which I want to sing  meaningfully when I am old. Now that I mention it, I have been listening to this song a couple of times in one day, and I feel like I am 75.


“Green Green Grass of Home”

At a glance, this seems to be about how beautiful your hometown is, the nostalgia you experience when you reminisce your village and the green grass in your yard. Well this song does say about those things, but with a twist: that it is impossible for the singer to visit his home again, as he is about to be executed, and he could only wish that after he dies, his remain is to be buried there. Come to think of it, while my hometown is just right here, I have never been to the city I grew up in for over 15 years now, and I am looking forward to seeing it again.


I’ve been closely following badminton tournaments for two years and a half now and I realised two things.

  1. Good western players can have very long careers. Peter Gade played regularly until 35, Robert Mateusiak is still active in 37, and I was shocked to see that Charmane Reid is 40 and still keeps on marching!
  2. China dominates badminton with [a twist], but that is another story. However, Chinese athletes often have very short careers. I used to see Chen Jin in top tournaments just 1-2 years ago, but now not anymore. I fail to witness Wang Lin’s golden age, and I just realised that there were top young players named Lu Lan and Zhu Lin, who went out of radar probably around the 2008 Olympics.

lambrtz looks like this


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March 2023
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