Monthly Archives: November 2008

Confessions of a Latte Activist

I confess. I am a Latte Activist. That means, I care enough to want to make a difference, but I am not willing to take an effective action that would create results. 

I would rather have someone else take the lead and drive the change. Then I would support from afar and pray that things would change for the better. I would share my frustrations with my other Latte Activist friends while we sip hot latte over brunch at a coffee bar on a Sunday morning.

I care about my country, my community, my environment and my fellow countrymen. I care enough to feel for them. I care about stuff I read in the newspapers.

When I see more good news than bad news in the newspaper, I am inclined to blame the government for the country’s lack of press freedom and freedom of speech. Being the wary Latte Activist that I am, I would assume this is just another public relations exercise by the Government to make the powers that be look good.

But then again, on the other side of the green grass though, I become fearful when I see too much of bad news all around the world.

Yeah, politics, sex, war and crime move the newspapers at the news stand.  

Politicians are openly scandalous and scrupulous. Snatch thieves are becoming more rampant, committing crime in broad daylight.  People are being murdered every day, by robbers, by money lenders, by strangers, by scorned lovers, by enemies, by spiteful friends, by family members. Newborn and unborn babies found dead in garbage bins or dumped from some apartment upstairs along with other garbage.

Sodomy, incest and rape cases are becoming our society’s daily piece meal. The other day I read about this monster dad who raped his teenage daughter twice. To add salt to the wound, his teenage son followed in his footstep and raped the poor girl too. Man has turned into animals!

Talk about animals, some people is far worse than animals. Recently, I read about city hall’s dog catchers who were ill treating the stray dogs and one was reported for cruelly beating a dog until the poor animal’s ear fell off.  Catch the stray dogs if you have to, but please be more humane in treating animals. What happens to humanity?

This borderless world is getting restless too. As if our impending financial crisis is not enough to complicate this world. I was just about to digest the news of the unrest in Thailand, and boom, just this week militant terrorists have taken hostage innocent civilians in two luxury hotels in Mumbai. The terrorists killed 143 and wounded 288 of them before the siege ended yesterday.

Looking at mankind’s cruelty to man, animals and our environment, I would be angry if I were Mother Earth. So, is it a wonder why we are experiencing natural disasters every other day – earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, forest fires, tornados and volcano eruptions?  

Come to think of it, this Latte Activist is tired of reading the newspapers. Ignorance is bliss, right? Hmmm…I wish!


Love, unexpectedly


I think I found love today.

When our eyes found each other for the first time that afternoon, it was really déjà vu for me – as I felt like I’ve known him before, like in another life. It’s a wonderful, beautiful and joyous feeling.

Tooot toooot tooooot!!! My alarm clock went off. Darn! It’s just a dream!

Right vs. Wrong

I confess. I like to be right. Sometimes, my desire to be right brings me a lot pain. This is especially so when it comes to men, and my man nonetheless.

I have an ideal of the man who’s right for me. He has the right look, height, level of intellect, personality, academic and social background. He must have a good sense of humour. He is very loving, caring and romantic. He is a good kisser and is great in bed.

Having just turned 20 (plus 18 years) 10 days ago, and thus leaving my giggly teen years behind (hehehe), I’m no longer naïve and innocent. This idealistic girl has grown into a realistic woman.

I hate to be wrong. Nevertheless, it is very clear to me that I have been wrong for many years about the “right man”.

Being idealistic, I was misled by my ridiculous ideals of my youth. As Homer (Greek author of Iliad and the Odyssey) puts it, in youth and beauty, wisdom is but rare. Opportunely I landed on earth before I start to drift away aimlessly into outer space.

Humbly, now I confess my ideal man doesn’t exist.  This explains why I keep ending up with the “right man” who treats me wrong, and the “wrong man” who treats me right.

As my German yoga teacher, Anna Kaster always told me, the mind will play tricks on us.  The mind will rationalize everything we feel, and hijack our intuition which comes from the heart. 

My failed marriage was an example of this intuition hijacking. When I was young and foolish, I followed my mom’s advice to marry a man for his future. I picked one of the best in my college; he was intelligent, articulate, good looking, tall and charming. He was not rich but his future looked promising. So yes, I married a man for “his” future and not for “our” future.

Before our wedding I had this strong intuition to not go on with the wedding plans because something was terribly wrong. I was right about my intuition; The Ex-Hubby made a woman in Sandakan pregnant, he found out just a month before marrying me.  He kept it a secret from me for seven years.  My disillusioned mind was far from fetching this intuition, so I ignored that sinking feeling and carried on with the wedding. The wedding cards have been sent out after all.

Now that I’m older and wiser, I’m going to listen to my heart and follow my intuition, especially when it comes to my man.  I won’t marry a man for “his” future, because how would I know what he’d be like in the future and what his future would look like. Who can really tell what the future looks like? 

I’ll marry a man for “our” future, a man who is willing to build a future with me. Whatever that future is going to be, we will stick together and build it. Till death do us part, I hope.

Deserts & Roses

How does one grow a rose in a desert?  

Let’s think out of the box, and be a little outrageous and unreasonable to create this possibility.

It is possible to plant a rose and grow it, if one builds a greenhouse to shelter it, and use the right technology, methodology; fertilizers and lots of water and nurturing for the rose grow.

Perhaps the rose will grow if the planter continues to provide all that the rose requires for it to grow. The planter will need to invest her time, effort; money and lots of nurturing to make sure her rose will grow beautifully.

Despite her best efforts, the rose couldn’t grow to bloom as roses should, because the desert, being a desert, is a harsh environment for a rose to grow.

The desert sends many cruel storms that the greenhouse fell to the ground. After enduring it for some time, the planter is thinking, is the effort worth her tears and pain to keep growing the rose, when there is a better soil elsewhere for her to grow her rose. Perhaps the rose will grow better in a lush garden where the soil, environment and the rose can co-exist symbiotically.

When I think of the content vs. context of my long standing, long distance and stagnant relationship with Abang Iman, I realise, it is just like growing a rose in the desert.

Like the planter, I put in a lot of content into this relationship – I built the best greenhouse, I feed my rose the best fertilizers and lots of water. I poured in a lot of love and nurturing for my rose to grow and bloom. My rose didn’t bloom, as the desert is being harsh to it. The desert feels that the greenhouse is invading its space, as the desert doesn’t want to share.

I realised now why it’s not working out well between Abang Iman and me. Although my content is right, the context of our relationship just isn’t right.

Love is a many-splendored thing. But, wake up and smell the coffee, Nel. Love alone is not enough to build a relationship, I realise that now.

There is no common ground between us. We want different things in life. I’m ready for a commitment, and he’s not. We lead two very different lives. He wants me to be what I’m not, and it stifles me not to be able to be myself. I want to settle down next year, and he wants to settle down only in two or three years. He won’t compromise, and I over compromised.

The saddest part of it all is I’m not factored into his life’s equation. It is what he wants that counts, not what WE want. That leaves us with nothing much to talk about, at the end of the day.

Just like the planter, I’m growing a rose on the wrong soil – and in a DESERT, of all places on earth.

So, I bid you goodbye my desert, for I must find a lush garden for my rose to grow…

Working like a dog?

Just thinking aloud, when people say they are “working like a dog” what do they really mean?

Really, I have never seen a hardworking dog in my entire life! Have you?

If you mean hardworking, perhaps working like a cow is more like it?

In any case, I’d rather work like a dog, because dogs are smarter than cows!