Sunday, December 27, 2015

Letters 456: Of Ukulele & Imperfection of Life



Benjamin Franklin once said: 

"One today is worth two tomorrows."

 To you whom I haven't met yet,

          I believe learning to do nothing now & then is very important to us as much as the sleep for our body. Many people, unfortunately, do not believe in 'doing nothing'. There are some who feel that that if they 'do nothing', they may come across as being lazy. Over the years, my life has taught me a lot of about 'slowing down & do nothing'. It is certainly not a bed of roses, but I learned that it is actually not so bad after all. 

          Dear you, my life is indeed imperfect. But I still choose to celebrate my life in full. Anyway, today I was in George Town to buy something for myself. I saw plenty of instruments such as ukuleles but they had no tone so yours truly didn't buy. They were certainly very nice looking being inlaid with colorful design but I wanted the tone. I was offered a ukulele for RM 450.00! I am not joking. I don't think he was very pleased when I told him it was an instrument I wanted to buy & not his shop. 

           Still I won't do any grumbling as I am in good mood as the weather is being kind to me lately. Just think of a nice weather, not a cold one, no sweating, etc. Certainly that is the most healthy weather in recent months. Because my mind is empty at this moment, I will finish this letter which means another one less to write before the New Year comes. 


p/s 

Always another day nearer to the end of the year & always another day less to be with you. Until then, have yourself a wonderful life, wherever you are hummingbird.



Yours truly,

The Half Moon Serenades.

27th of December 2015. 

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Letters 455: Windows to the Soul

Richard Bach once said:

"The best way to pay for a lovely moment is to enjoy it."

To you whom I haven't met yet,

             I have read many status update by my friends in Facebook about how horrible 2015 was & the sense of disappointment that 2016 may not be that different. Not just this year, in my life, I have observed that many people do not know how to say thanks to God & such common gratefulness are close to extinction.  

             Some of us that took the road less travelled are able to enjoy the richness of life. Day by day, we may wish for a better tomorrow. But aren't we thankful that we do not always get our prayers answered? I walked out on my previous relationship despite praying almost every day that she can be 'the one' because I knew her heart & love isn't for me anymore. Love certainly not a bed of roses. But what's the point of pursuing a girl that could not share moments of joy & embrace our imperfections right? I am pretty sure I will not regret my decision because I took it with my heart & not with my anger. Dear you, I wish I could say yes but the reality is every love story is different. You can put two lovebirds together & the outcome can still be different. 

             Those moments pass when I remind myself that it is possible to get through even the darkest love when one has the light of courage within to say 'yes' for one more time. My hummingbird, I am thankful that there is this silver liningin the form of 455 letters that made my pursuit of happiness a joyride. Until then, have yourself a meaningful end of the year celebration & remember, there is always a way to be good again in 2016 if you open your windows to the soul.

p/s

You will shine my life & chase the darkness far, far & far away.

Yours sincerely,

The Half Moon Serenades.

5th of December 2015.  

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Letters 454: Of Appreciation & Midnight's Love

Voltaire once said:

"Appreciation is a wonderful thing, it makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well."


To you whom I haven't met yet, 

            Year by year, we may wish for a lot of things. But aren't we thankful that we always get our prayers answered? I gave up the comfort of sitting in high-end office building to venture into a job where richness is definitely not measured by material possessions. For me, we should not constantly seek material possessions as we march to a different drumbeat to accomplish the things that truly matter.

             I wish I could say yes but the reality is every journey is different. You can put a guy & a girl together, with the same love & the same passion, but the outcome can still be different. Whatever it is, we should take the ride together & help to enusre that we are one. 

             Dear you, if you want to walk fast in pursuit of happiness, you can walk alone. If you want to walk far, we will try our best to walk together. That is the love that we will share together one day. Love can be quite interesting when we do not know what is coming next. In my life, there are heartbreaking ones. But those moments pass when I remind myself that it is possible to get through even the darkest midnight's love when one has the morning hope shining within.

             Anyway my hummingbird, my mother always said that I got to put my past behind me before I can move on. I think that's what my 454 letters was all about. I had wrote for nine years. If you ever read all the letters, you should know, I won't be far away. Until then, have a wonderful life.


p/s

Time. It is priceless.


Yours truly, 

The Half Moon Serenades. 

27th of November 2015. 
  

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Letters 453: Of Faith, Love & Hope

Rumi once said:

"I once had a thousand desires. But in my one desire to know you, all else melted away."

To you whom I haven't met yet,

          Today, I was stuck in a gridlock at North-South Highway (PLUS) because the traffic lights were out at the Juru Autocity Interchange. It was raining at the same time. There was chaotic moment when everyone honking & getting freyed nerves. 

           I am sure we are all familiar with this situation day in & day out. Each time I use the First Penang. Friends, mom & relatives always ask why I was so calm even though the jam went on for more than one hour. You see, everyone's concept of time is unique even though we all have the same hours, minutes & seconds in a day. When people was in their teenage years, courting a girl, they want every minute to be an hour but I bet one day, they will wonder why a minute with their wife can sometimes feel like a day.

           Dear you, in our life, we often do not have full control of our own time. But I am sure I can find a time or two for you in the future no matter how busy I am in my hectic life. But difficult though it may be, I can & I must, protect our time.I believe that the time I am going to share with you, for the right reasons, is precious. I am thankful for the time I had in my life. 

           Today letter for you is a short one because yours truly here need to pack his bag & go for a backpacking holiday soon. I was teary-eyed as I browsed through all 452 letters that I wrote for you for the past 9 years because each reminded me that time is not about seconds, minutes or hours, but truly it is about love. Promise me you will be strong no matter where you are in this world. I will be here for you, forever & a day, Until then, live your life my hummingbird.


p/s 

Life is indeed about choices. I am very sure I am not the most good looking guy out there. If I need to queue for you, I am very sure I will be the last of the bunch. But, I will never give up. Faith, love & hope is what really count.


Yours sincerely,

The Half Moon Serenades.
21st November 2015.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Letters 452: From Japan, With Love

Khwāja Shams-ud-Dīn Muhammad Hāfez-e Shīrāzī once said:

"Stay close to anything that make you glad you are alive."


To you whom I haven't met,

     
                 There's an awful lot you could tell about a person by their journey around the world. Where they've been. Where they're going. I've been to many countries in this beautiful world. I bet if I think about it really hard, I could remember each thing that I did in those 27 countries.

               When I was on my backpacking journey in Japan, I was glad to make a short trip to the island of Kyushu (Japan's third largest island). Anyway, did you know anything about Kyushu Island? Just for your information, this beautiful island is closer to South Korea compare to Tokyo. Believe it or not, I found myself hiking the rim of the world's largest caldera, taking a lonesome walk in the forest (tracking down moss-coated cedar trees that predate Mesopotamian Civilization) & being showered with ash from a live volcano (Sakurajima). Talked about being in a near death situation right?

               While in city of Nagasaki in Kyushu Island, I went to this old-style Kojigoku Onsen (one of the nicest Unzen a.k.a public baths). Did you know, most of the Unzen in Japan is actually unisex? I found myself sitting (yes, sitting on a wooden chair in the pool) with people from all over the world & of course the locals. Thank God, they didn't required us to stripped naked. After the refreshing stop, i went to Suizenji-jojuen, considered to be one of Japan's most beautiful stroll-gardens.The garden is at its best with an-early morning mist over the crystal-clear, spring-fed lake with multi-coloured carp swimming across the bridge.   

                  Dear you, like I was saying, I had a lot of company went I traveled in Japan. Some of them become a good friend of mine (they even asked me to return to Japan one day with you to visit them). Traveling across the world on a budget is fun. For no particular reason, I just kept on going whenever I can have a long holiday.Once, I went through the country of Russia using Trans-Siberia railway system, from Kunming to Moscow for 14 days. When I reached Moscow, I figured since I'd gone this far, I might as well keep right on going. When I got tired, I slept at the bus station with fellow backpackers just like in Phnom Penh (Cambodia). When I got hungry, I ate (sometimes, the food is kinda weird like rotten cheese in Kunming north of China). When I had to go poo-poo, you know, I went.

                    My hummingbird, journey was & still a part of my life. I sure wish it will be a part of our life too in future. I happened to believe you make your own destiny. You have to do the best with what God gave you. I guess that's what my life is all about. Each time I managed to struck off one country from my bucket list, I just said to myself, 'that's good, one less thing'. Until then, wishing you all the best in your life, wherever you are.


p/s

This sky where we live is no place to lose our wings, so love honestly & may our hearts can be like an old friends, forever more.
  

Yours truly,

The Half Moon Serenades.
13th November 2015.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Letters 451: Of Love, Time & Birthday

Loretta Young once said: 

"Love is something that finds you."

To you whom I haven't met yet,

             I have not owned a diary or planner for the past ten years. But I am super punctual typed of guy. My colleague said that I am crazy to be there early (let it be at work place, breakfast, lunch or dinner, public function even dating). You see, there was a popular Malay proverb which stated 'Masa itu emas/Time is Gold'. For me, it is more to 'Masa itu Kehidupan/Time is Life' if you ever asked.

             Anyway, talking about time, I guess the secret of my happy life in a busy world is to slow down, make time for myself & people around me. Recently, my mother was admitted to the coronary unit in Penang General Hospital because of the same problem that haunted her for the past three years (arrhythmial fibrilation). She was confined in a small room in CRW Unit for more than three hour to undergo a minor heart surgery. In that three lonely hour, life took on a different meaning to me. One of the nurse (quite pretty) asked me why I did not take out my Microsoft Surface 3 Tab to surf my time away. 

            Dear you, the answer is simple, my mother is on the surgery bed & what kind of person I am if I surfed Facebook while she fought for her life there?

            So how did I pass the time? By reflecting about our life & pray.Well, I guess God listened to my prayer because few hours later, the doctor said my mother condition getting better & they can reduce her medication intake. Talk about counting the blessing right?

            My hummingbird, there is so many people that said time is not important, but love is more important. But I believed in both. I believed both is important at the same time. I believed that if we managed both in a proper way, life will be more meaningful as time goes by. 451 letters for you & still counting, still cannot describe how beautiful this life can be. People said I am crazy for writing this kind of junk. Well if this junk can led me to you, this junk of letters is my everything, just like you.

p/s

Yesterday was my mother 56th birthday. I brought her to a very wonderful ala carte buffet restaurant at Penang Times Square for birthday dinner. She was happy & smiled all the way back home. On the way back, she asked me about you, but I told her to be patience & relax because I haven't met you yet. I asked her to imagine, how beautiful it will be when the right person comes along in my life one day. I hope that person is you.

Until then,

The Half Moon Serenades.

7th of November 2015.  
                

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Notes 450: Like the First Time

Laura Ingalls Wilder once said:

"Have courage when things go wrong."

To you whom I haven't met yet,

              Yesterday, it was my turn to be a volunteer at the old folks centre. At the same time, I saw an old lady, 84 years old, petite, well-poised & proud lady, who is fully dressed each morning with her hair fashionably styled & makeup perfectly applied even though she is legally blind, moved to this old folks centre. Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary.

          After many hours of waiting patiently at the corridor of the old folks centre, she smiled sweetly when I told that her bed was ready. As she moved her walker along the corridor, I provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the curtain that had been hung on her window. 

         “I love it,” she stated with the enthusiasm of a small kid having just been presented with a gift. Bu, the problem here, she haven't seen the room.

          “That doesn’t have anything to do with it,” she replied to me in fluent English. 

          “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged, it’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do. Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away, just for this time in my life.” she said.

            For her, old age is like a bank account, she withdraw from what she have put in. So, her advice to me would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories.  

            Dear you, live your life to the fullest. I hope you will free your heart from hatred, free your mind from worries & live simply by giving more & expecting less. Rarely I talked about my personal life, but I hope one day, when I finally met you, we can share this beautiful journey together, forever. Until then, have yourself a wonderful life.


p/s

In the next few weeks, I will be on my annual journey around Malaysia & the world. Will you share the same passion with me about travel? I hope so, because if not, I will make sure you try your best to enjoy it one day, like the first time.

Cherrios hummingbird,

The Half Moon Serenades.

1st of November 2015. 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Notes 449: Of Coffee, Toast & Love

Anne Frank once said:

"I don't think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains"


To you whom I haven't met yet, 

       Few days ago, after my meeting with people from Tan Lok Heah, I went to the coffee shop near Bukit Mertajam, the one that I mentioned to you in my previous letter. There, I saw a homeless old man singing on the side of the road & counting the coins donated by the public. 

       Eventually, I saw him stroll into the coffee shop. As he was counting his change to buy something, I noticed that the waiter didn't really want to take the order from him since he had maybe RM 1.00 only. So I thought, why not I bought him a cup of hot coffee with toast & asked him to sit down with me since the coffee shop quite full with customers. 

        He told me about how people usually avoiding him each time he went into the coffee shop because he is homeless & how divorced turned him into different person. This lovely old man was one of the most honest & sincere people I met on that day (better than the lawyer).  Of course, me being talkative person, I told him about my life, my travel, my stories about love on how I never giving up on finding you & my family.

         Dear you, after realizing I really need to return to the island side of Penang, he asked me to wait & slowly he whispered at my ears (in Malay language of course):

'I wanted to jump at the bridge but because of you, I want to return to my village at Pokok Sena tomorrow.'

           He smiled & left me shell-shocked. Well, the reason why I told you this story is because I want you to have no doubt, whatsoever to help people in need.I want you to know that kindness can change everything, kindness can change the life of a person. 

            Hummingbird, I know there was an awful lot of letters I wrote to you for the past 9 years. You learned where I've been, what I was doing & many more. I bet if you read all of those letters, you gonna fall asleep. But that's my life. One day, I wish we can share all the ups & downs together, still loving each other unconditionally. Until then, live your life to the fullest. 


p/s

Lately my cooking skills dropped completely. I put salt in a cup of tea instead of sugar & I put sugar in the cooking instead of salt. But I guess, home is where I can make a mistake & still act like a professional chef. Please be patience one day with the food that I cooked. Thank you.


Yours truly,  

The Half Moon Serenades.

24th of October 2015.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Letters 448: To Where You Are



Maya Angelou once said: 

"Nothing can dim the light which shines from within".

To you whom I haven't met yet,

           Late in the evening of Friday, 11th of March 2011, my mobile phone rang & rang. Someone in Penang were trying to contact me because they were worried. That fateful day was the last day of my backpacking holiday in Japan. 

           My friend from Keio University was visiting & after a heavy lunch near Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, we were having a fiesta, which is why the phone went unanswered at first place. But my colleague in Penang thought we had gone to the beach are as it was the festive season. They feared the worst when the phone went unanswered. 

           As I hailed a taxi & heading to Kansai International Airport, I took out my mobile phone & saw at least 20 plus missed call from my colleague, close friend & mother. What was the concern, I asked. The worst, apparently there was an earthquake occured few hours earlier near Tohoku (the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in the history of Japan, so powerful it moved the main island of Honshu by few metres). The earthquake triggered powerful tsunami waves. So even as the information sank in, thousands of people in the Iwate Prefecture had already perished. Homes & property were destroyed, the nuclear power plant becoming a sea of floating radioactive debris, the destruction was of unimaginable scales as I learned about it when i reached Penang few hours later. 

            Dear hummingbird, I am a lucky man. There but for the blessing of God, I am still here in one piece, writing a letter to you. Until now, I  believed God really care for me, because it only happened on the last day of my backpacking trip. Maybe I'm still too close to it. Maybe I'll just have to wait & one day, the gravity of this event will go away from my mind. But right now my dear, all I know is this incoming holiday season in November, I'm feeling extra lucky to travel into many new countries again. 

            448 letters in 9 years, looking to the new horizons, I hope the writing has been just as, if not more, illuminating for you, the one whom I haven't met yet. One day, when we finally met each other, I hope you will read this letter with a smil, knowing that God save me on that fateful day, so I can be here to love you, for one more day. Maybe for forever, & a day. Until then, cherrios hummingbird,

p/s 

Twice in my life, watching someone walk out of my life does not make me bitter or cynical about love. But rather makes me realize that if I wanted so much to be with the wrong person, how beautiful it will be when the right person comes along. I hope that person, will be you.

To Where You Are,

The Half Moon Serenades.

17th of October 2015. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Letters 447: The Power of Thank You

Charles Dickens once said:

"I have been bent & broken, but I hope into a better shape.” 

To you whom I haven't met, 

          Yesterday, while waiting for my friend at KOMTAR here in Penang, I bought a bottle of water from a small kiosk selling chips & snacks. It was a hot afternoon so I stood inside while waiting for her to arrive. There was no door, just an open wall to the street. 

           The friendly old vendor chatted to me in broken English which I can only partially understand. She told me that her name in Nancy (or Lian See?). She gave me a small Hacks (a type of sweet) the moment she heard me coughing non-stop. We chatted for awhile & she told me she was looking forward to eating when she finished her 12 hours shift but she did not know what to eat. 

           She was rubbing her tummy & she said she was so full of trouble & anger that her spirit & body were hurting. Well by now, you should that your other half here is quite a busybody person (hahaha) so I asked her why. She said two days ago, a man came into her shop & stole some snacks. It was out of sudden & he was gone. She has to pay the owner of the kiosk for the loss. 

           My hummingbird, you might think that your guy here will say 'I'm sorry to hear that' but I did not. I told her that why not she just forgive the man & take it as a blessing from God. I even offered RM 5.00 to replace her loss if she needed that money badly. I said 'please take this RM 5.00' & you know what, she burst into tears.

           She came around the counter & hugged my arm. Still crying, she issued a stream of prayers, blessing me & my whole family. A little embarrassed, I said to her 'it was not from me, it was from God'. She smiled & said something that truly made my day.

            Dear you, you want to know what she said? She said 'THANK YOU'. 
      
            Thank you is a simple word that most of us took for granted in life & yet for me, this is a blessing from God. I believed that no matter the size of the gift, receiving graciously is truly a form of giving. 

             By the time you read this letter (one day), I believed you are now a part of my life, my other half of the sky. I just want to say thank you for accepting me when no girl even bother to look, I just want to say thank you for being patience when reading all my 447 letters to you, BUT most importantly, I want to say thank you, for being brave enough to say that you loved me unconditonally, THANK YOU.

p/s

You might not be the prettiest girl out there, but deep in my heart, you will always be the most beautiful. 

Until then,

The Half Moon Serenades.

24th of September 2015.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Letters 446: To Destiny

Anais Nin once said:

"Throw your dreams into space like a kite, & you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, or a new country." 

To you whom I haven't met yet,

        This morning I found a purple rose after a long search, so I thought that instead of pressing it, I would try to keep it as it is by waxing it! I shoud add that I had heard of this idea & as I like to try anything at least once, I thought I'd do a spot of waxing.

         I melted a candle in a Milo tin & dipped the purple rose into it. The funny part  was that the purple rose just disappeared. Maybe I didn't do it right. (hahahaha)

         Still, I am pressing some other flowers right now, by the simple method of sitting on them. If they do turn out, I will keep them at my office, in a frame. But if they don't, please forget my dear, that I ever attempted this funny hobby.

          Dear hummingbird, before I ended this short letter to you, I want you to know that I am now having a taste for foreign food, as such, I am learning to cook Korean cuisine. What is meant by the words 'daekgalbi'? Bing it for the answer if you want to know about it.    

           Until then, put it your heart the fact that 446 letters still couldn't describe how much I wished you can enjoy my beautiful life together with me. But I know, I just haven't met you yet. Rest assured I am here, forever more, for you.

p/s

Did you know what is the wedding gift that Napoleon Bonaparte gave to Josephine? He gave her an enamel medallion with the words 'To Destiny'.


To destiny,

The Half Moon Serenades.

12th of September 2015.