Sunday, September 16, 2007

Fragile and insignificant humans

Hell yeah, I was freaked out.
Hearing stories, seeing from TV of things going wrong; and seeing them in reality is two very different things. Never had I feel so powerless and insignificant in my life before. All those things like trying to succeed in class (being so-called rocket man because of getting A grade), being aggressive, trying to stay under control most of the time, and striving to climb to the top regardless of in the office place or elsewhere - all faded away in a second's time. Seeing someone close get sick really hurts, and as mentioned earlier... made me feel very powerless as well. Spending nearly 17hrs in the hospital was like time spent in eternity.
I had once again questioned myself why did I pursued engineering and not medicine before. Maybe I can help, maybe I can do more, maybe I can avoid this from happening were questions that rang in my head. Well, I do understand that there's no 100% curing medicine, nor are doctors godlike figures who can cure all sicknesses; but I do believe that they make a big difference, and I am truly grateful. I am also not a religious person neither, but believed that there's some higher power who guides insignificant little beings like us to a 'better path' ; and today I truly prayed with all my heart. And in turn, I am happy that I did. Thank you.
(Picture taken from Spanish trip).

Saturday, September 15, 2007

First leg to the trip - Portugal

After transitting through the messy Paris Charles de Gaulle airport where one would definately see the Laisser-Faire style of the slowly French causing missing luggages, communication problems coupled with angry passengers after flights were delayed due to slow customs work (Frenchies had only opened up 2 lines for 2 planes to go through their gate) - the beginning of the trip started in Lisbon Portugal. Portugal was nice, but somehow it wasn't what I had expected - I had thought that the fishing predominant country would feature small fishing boats dotting the shores and there will be lots of sardines, mackerels fresh from the seaside being sold in wooden houses along the golden coast. Well, maybe we didn't go far enough into the rural area. Nevertheless, the people there were nice and helpful (girls had smiles that can melt you away - esp the hotel stewardess when i asked her for map and directions). The architecture was interesting but not awesome but I still had a great time there; catching a glimpse of where Figo mastered his soccer skills to become best player 2 yrs in a row, lots of interesting countryside stories, roosters (depicting a lucky rooster story) on top of many buildings, and definately feeling the Portugese atmosphere where the traditional old man taking his dog out for a walk portraits we see all the time seem to be reality . We spent 3 days in Portugal and headed out over to Spain which as a long bus ride....... but here's some pics from Portugal first :)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

I'm in Spain and Portugal...

Haven't updated my blog for quite a while already now... but latests developments have myself travelling to Portugal and Spain for a highly anticipated vacation. I just got to Barcelona today after touring Madrid, Lisbon and some other smaller attractions along the way. Spain is a very cultural city, and unlike all those fancy lights, glamour, excessive vanity, commercial aspects that one would see if other famous cities like Paris, New York, Tokyo, Toronto, Shanghai, etc... (not saying they're bad, just another style).
Spain boosts a country true to its roots, featuring buildings that one wouldn't find in other parts of Europe; interesting attitude (don't-care style), laid back lifestyle, and very historical architectures that can only be built by geniuses of middle age. The Moorish influence is also very evident and it would take a long time to really understand the historical changes that shaped this city starting with Islamic, Christianity clashes and the start of Crusaders. I couldn't believe how rich in background and relics that this place is... to an extent to more than other parts of Europe that I had toured earlier (England, Germany, Italy, Greece...)
It really got myself thinking once again, sometimes we choose our current paths since we have to; we balanced everything out and compare all the opportunity costs to arrive at our current stage in life. However, is this really what we want? What if I quit my job as a Sr.Design Engineer position; stay in Madrid for 6 months hopping between cities in Spain washing dishes yet learning about all of mankind's history of where a lot of cultures and civilizations originated? Just a thought....