Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Back to the grind or What have I learned? Written with the help of a Lama

I'll try to put the last few weeks into terms of the Dalai Lama's 20 tips for a good life:

#16 As often as possible, go someplace you’ve never been before
My favourite rule !!!!
#5  Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly
That's why I came back 4 times with an already expired PR card last year ;-) There should be a subclause to this point of Lama advice:  Know when they CHANGE the rules. LOL

#14 Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality

I'm writing a blog that maybe 20 people around the globe actually read. On the other hand, there are probably millions who watch CNN around the clock just to catch the latest Trump Twit Morosity.    'nough said, LOL

I'm back in Vancouver.  Regina at Denny's again comes across the restaurant to give me a hug because she is happy to see me again.  Grandma lets me know what I did wrong.  Regina is from Asia. Grandma is from Europe.  See #20 below. No wonder I want to, nay MUST, go back.

Denny's seems to have a new menu on their senior's menu: Grilled Tilapia (It's that frozen white tastless fish that they breed in the millions of tons in fish farms somewhere in Asia).  I'm eating it today for the first time and I LIKE it. 
Add to that picture a large Cesar Salad + Garlic bread to complete the menu item and it's so much food that I don't want to finish it all.

The only other place that I have discovered (besides Indochina) where people still act normally (# 18 below is a hint to what I mean by that) is Turkey. Maybe that's why I get along so fabulously with Eda.

#18 Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it

This is an example of the price people pay for success.
Who has the time or luck of location to watch sunrises like this?
Unfortunately that's not the total bill.  Yesterday I had lunch with a friend whom I've known for 20 years.  He's making the BIG BUCKS in Vancouver.  I don't know the exact figure but knowing him I'm guessing around 300 k before taxes.  He always had that smile in the corner of his eyes and felt sorry for the world's innumerable fools. Kind of like me 6 years younger.  I'm tempted to say that yesterday he looked older than me.   The smile was gone from his eyes. All he said was "I HAVE TO quit my job". He felt damage to his soul and health were imminent.  At least he can see it coming.  It's not the physical damage that is the problem; it's your head and your outlook on life and other people where most damage takes place.  OMG, this leads us right to NUMBER 20, LOL.

#20 Seek the company of positive people

The average person in Indochina is dirt-poor by Canadian standards.  But the smiles of these people warm my heart every single time I'm there.  And then my heart is subjected to freeze-drying again in Canada. Yes, that is a price to be paid too.  Too high for my taste.
What are these things doing in front of my room?

With regard to the last two points:  I have watched dear friends fall by the wayside in Vancouver.  This city does take its toll on people.  And at some point everyone must face the choice of choosing between the friends that have become bitter and those that have become better.  Yes, that sounds harsh and it is.  But I'm not talking timescales of weeks but rather years.

#4 Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
 I only come to realize when finishing the Dragon's Back post.  Same as I have to be thankful to my crazy landwitch of years past, because without her malevolence I wouldn't have started travelling, I realize that those anal regulations set by those anal Canadian bureaucrats actually led to something positive.  I had wanted to do Dragon's back for years, but had already written it off as one of those things to do in a next life, because I had written Hong Kong off too. But the old Hong Kong, the Hong Kong when IFC mall didn't exist is still there, and I've rediscovered it, and I wouldn't mind getting stuck in Hong Kong for 2 weeks again ;-)  On the other hand, this whole episode also taught me something about Canadian mentality.  Careful: This is highly opinionated but that is why you read this blog, isn't it, eh?
Hollywood North. All Illusion, Nothing Real

One of the major things thing that lets Canadians look at themselves in the mirror in the morning is the universally and firmly held belief that they are indeed BETTER than their American neighbours.  Now take my recent experience of trying to enter Canada and entering the USA.    NOW, extrapolate from that, LOL.

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