[chinese blood, irish heart] - DEFUNCT: November 2008

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Cambodia, here I come!

I can't remember the last time I've posted some reasonably good news. But anyway, I'm holding my brand-spanking new (and improved) Irish passport and am fully booked for Cambodia. Before that I had been tearing my heart out not being able to run the Angkor Wat marathon because I really wanted to do it - to achieve something I've never done before. I've had no goals or ambitions since coming back from Beijing and knowing that leaves me kinda stuck in a rut. And I don't enjoy that feeling. Another core reason is when I'm completely shattered after finishing the run, collapse on the grounds of Angkor Wat and stare up at the sky, I hope it will offset those feelings of love-forlorn melancholy that his plagued me since Beijing. Yes, for a third time I have been beset by these seemingly childish but excruciating feelings of why must my love is always doomed to be unrequited. Sounds melodramatic I know, but instead of feeling shitty about it I've finally acknowledged that it's just the way things are with me - fate and destiny don't mix well when I'm in the middle.

I have big aspirations in achieving many things in the field of journalism and if I have to walk this path alone in vagrancy then so be it. It's bittersweet to say that but also consoling in a way. Because every time it happens it leads me onto bigger things and changes - with good results in the end. This Cambodian trip may be my latest venture because of that. I do admit it is one of the reasons why I'm going there, because I knew it might offer me some respite.

And also as a bonus, I've learned that Angkor Wat will be hosting its first ever concert! And a rock one too with Placebo headlining it! On the same day as the race!! I'm just so stoked right now, really. Be happy for me.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Home is where the heart is... but where is my heart?

First of all, check out my Irish friend's awesome electronic band Le Galaxie, their latest album's been out for over a year, and the album cover's is of Hong Kong's very own Lippo building! Also taken by another Irish friend. But yes, I'm a little late in promoting it but I had just been reacquainted with their music since that very guy emailed me out-of-the blue today regarding a video featurette I did of the band ages ago.

Anyway back to the title...

Many people ask me if I'll ever return to Ireland and I always shrug in return. And if I'll stay in Hong Kong? I also shrug back. Truth is, I'm starting to wonder if I'd truly consider both to be 'home'. Naturally my place is birth is the obvious choice but I just don't see myself back there in the forseeable future. I think I lost a lot of friends since I've left (especially the acquaintainces, so to speak). And three years ago I had such a yearning to leave sometimes I feel in a perverse way that my skin condition was a good thing because it gave me the stimulus to come and stay in Hong Kong. But now fast forward, I'm beginning to feel a sense of detachment. There's a Cantonese term I've recently learned and it's pronounced as 'saw ley', meaning lonely or detached. But it's a term exclusively used in urban life and is especially apt for a metropolis like Hong Kong. That is, despite the vibrant social life and you bump into people every where, you still feel somewhat alone or isolated.

Perhaps it's because I have no sense of 'home'? Stuck between both worlds? I've actually had this conversation with a few expat-Chinese and they feel the same - the 'home' part anyway. I always thought I had the best of both worlds considering I'm well versed in Chinese traditions and speak the local lingo. But now I don't know where I stand. If I can't call Ireland or Hong Kong home, then there's no real other choice is there? Perhaps I'm destined to be a vagrant.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Confronting my inner demons

For quite a while now I've had these recurring imaginations in my head where I'm getting injured in hostile situations - be it getting shot as a war photographer, knocked down by a car while saving someone or getting struck by a baton at some protest. I realised early on I wasn't being masochistic or sadist, but probably is a deeper symbolism for my yearning to be feel 'alive' as it were. Bleed a little here and there; to be in a situation where your life is in danger and all that. I think I need more reflection on these thoughts. It can't be healthy.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Going awry

I have been putting so much hope and anticipation into running this Angkor Wat marathon in December. Not only it would've been a great way to celebrate my birthday, but accomplishing my first marathon at such a magical place was my one way to get me out of this lull. I feel by achieving this feat I would be re-energised somehow. I've been out running about 10km every 2-3 days and it feels great as my endurance is improving. Running also gives me great clarity: in other words, I don't think about anything else other than my breathing. That clarity is in fact, blankness, voidness, or to put it more romantically, peace. I've also been actively avoiding any social outings that'd require heavy drink or smoke. I had been banking it as a pseudo-remedy for my recently unfounded lethargy and creative lull.

THAT, and I've always wanted to see Angkor Wat.

But now my hopes have been utterly shattered by the fact that I won't be able to get my visa due to my passport's looming expiry. The fact had completely escaped me. I even bailed out of work apply for my passport renewal yesterday at the consulate but it'll take at least 4 weeks to get it done, i.e. I'll have it back on December 5th at the soonest - the race is on the 7th. But fuck it, I'll still pay the registration fee because the deadline is coming up. So if in fact I do get my new passport before the race, hopefully the Cambodian embassy has one of those express one-day visas available.

I initially wanted to leave on the 3rd to get acclimatised etc. I even got my boss to write a letter for me urging the authorities to process it quicker so I can go there on a 'news assignment'. Apparently it works according to the nonchalant woman at the consulate. But I don't know, it just looks highly unlikely my plans will go... according to plan. I shall be obsessively scouring my post box in the coming weeks.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Latest musings

Hello cyberworld... I find myself updating less and less these days. It can be seen as a good thing really, i.e. less moaning, heh.... ugh.
Still have that yearning to get out there and do something spectacular and resounding. If it means travelling to the ends of the Earth then so be it. I'm ready at any moment, just like a cougar pouncing on his prey when the opportunity comes.
But at the moment I'm concentrating on training for the half-marathon at Angkor Wat next month. So much so I've developed a special playlist for when I run. Some best examples include: 'The Boondock Saints Theme', 'Bombs - Faithless', 'Clubbed to Death - Rob D', 'Phat Planet - Leftfield', 'Right Here, Right Now - Fatboy Slim', 'Motown Liar - A Roller Control' (awesome new Hong Kong electro band) and 'Keep Hope Alive - The Crystal Method'. Not only do these songs get my blood pumping but their pace & rhythm keeps my breathing at a regular pace too. I do doubt I can run 21km at the given average time though, yet I'm well aware I always do things the hard way, or as in learn the hardest way. The mode of thinking being that since this is my first marathon, I should start with say, 10km. Actually, 15km would be perfect but if you're going to aim then aim high I say.
My friend from Ireland is starting to shoot his beloved pet project short film tomorrow and of course I've volunteered the whole weekend to help him out. It's good to see someone's doing their 'grand project'. Makes me think about what mine would be. I guess I'm still shopping around. To date, I haven't single-handedly produced my own feature, photo essay or documentary. I really don't attribute it to lethargy, but I really, really don't have any inspiration! Perhaps I've been too stupefied by 'working' too much. My interest in video is waning thanks to that. Some say it's naive to 'wait till something comes by' while others say 'trying is the first step to failure'. Well, what ever I'm waiting for or hoping to try, I shall indubitably give it my best.