I’m not quite sure how to put this into words.

It’s getting really hot in Singapore lately and I’ve been itching to travel- off to my next destination- Japan. Yesterday, I stumbled upon a picture of the forbidden city in China on the net:

IMG_3436Forbidden City is a place I’ve really wanted to visit not because its nice or popular or anything like that, but because this is the only place that I’ve never been to that gives me the chills. Seen it from the movie Karate Kid many years back and that scene at the entrance to the forbidden city in the movie just gave me major chills. It’s normal to have the chills when you’re at someplace majestic, to be in awe and have chills down your spine, but to shiver in amazement and somewhere I’ve never been-now that’s something that I surprised myself.

I don’t think anyone would ever understand. I mean, I could do without visiting China, but I cannot do without visiting this place. Did a bit of research and found out that forbidden city is actually the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty—the years 1420 to 1912. Maybe it has something to do about the fine line between my imagination and those dramas I watch. Sounds very cliché but if I was born in that era, my dream job would be to play guzheng for the royalties in the palace. Nothing else. I think it’s a pleasure and great honour to serve and reverence and awe of some King so great, to be part of a great history and culture.

I was telling LiangKuang I have fantasies of being born in the 1940s in GuangZhou. “Are you mad?! That’s the worse and craziest times in China.” Sounds silly but that is precisely why I wanted to be there—amidst the war and suffering. “Why would anyone ever want war?” “No, I want to be there because I’m curious of how I would react in the worse of times. Would it bring out the best in me or the worse in me? Would I flee or protect my country? How brave can I get? How many children can I save?” I wanted to know. Don’t get me wrong. Nobody should ever hope for war. “Even better,” I continued, “if my friends are there with me in that era. I would love to see how would they react.” Liangkuang almost slapped me in the head. “I hope I’m certainly not one of them,” he joked.

I don’t expect people to understand and I don’t think I’ll ever understand myself. I just think it is a very romantic and brave thing to fight for a great cause, to die for someone you’ll protect no matter what and what it means to have unconditional love. In the worse times, no one would know what would happen tomorrow—unrest, bombing, war, persecution—many which are happening in many parts of the world today. I wonder what it means to have this sense of nationality so strong no one could beat. We don’t have that now, and I do wonder if different eras had something to do with it.

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Yesterday, something amazing happened too. Guess who called? PASTOR CHHUANA from Myanmar! And guess who did I get to talk to, after one month of searching and waiting anxiously? DINA!!!!

For those of you who didn’t know, Dina is this little boy which was at my Myanmar Camp in April this year. He’s the only kid that could communicate with me because everyone speaks Burmese and he’s the only kid that could speak Chinese. I wrote more about him & backstory in my Myanmar post HERE.

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After the phone call with Dina which lasted about 15 minutes, I grabbed the nearest pen and notebook and penned down everything about the conversation—I did not want to forget it again. The phone call totally made my night. When I returned back from Myanmar, I left the camp without even knowing Dina’s chinese name and it soon became my biggest regret—not getting to know him more even though I sensed he needed help (he had no parents). I was worried if he had education, given that there are many child labourers in Myanmar and it’s not going to be surprising if he’s one of them. Asked around and nobody in my team knew his name and which church he goes to. I was devastated. Thought I’m never going to hear from him ever again.

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Waited about 2 months for this. Dina lives in Chinatown in Yangon. I was so surprised and happy when I heard his voice over the phone telling me he attends school! And a Chinese one in fact. I hope he learns well and grow up to be good. That’s all I hope for.

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This is so precious!! First chat tgt.

And also, I visited an office yesterday for some work matters (contract is involved so I’d rather not reveal much) but this company is basically the merchandising company to produce merch for Warner Bros, Barbie, Disney etc and couldn’t resist taking this picture because their office is literally a paradise for adults. The people there are really nice and they told me these goods displayed here are not for sale anymore. “You’ll probably find something in here that you used when you were younger.”

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True enough, most of the stuff there are even older than me. These old designs (1990s, 2000s) are not selling in the market anymore. Look what I’ve found! A powerpuff bag that I used when I was younger. It was my favourite and I remember that it was bought by my mum, initially as a birthday present for my friend Tiffany. However the minute she shown the 6 year old me this bag, I cried and cried and begged for my mum to give it to me instead.

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In the end, my mum DID GIVE IT TO ME hahhaa. She had to buy another present for Tiffany. I have no idea where it is now.