Pourquoi pas?

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Archive for the category “travels and wanderings”

The Antigel Experience — First week recap

It started with me, as usual, spotting a poster while on the bus. Geneva is the sort of city where event posters are all over the place, and I mean that in a good way. Long story short, I discovered the Antigel Festival. It is an art/dance/music/sport/all-of-the-above festival that prides itself in “the unexpected” and “unusual places”. I got the festival pass (thereby fulfilling one of the things on my bucket list — attending a festival with a pass), and soon enough had a booking for almost every day. Here’s a review of the things I went to in the past week.

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Sunday, 27.01, The Labyrinth
The event took place at the TPG depot, among the buses that were parked in such a way that they form a nice little big labyrinth, and as you walk, you’ll find stages with performances. Concept: super cool. Execution: I got annoyed by the fact that I kept running into empty stages because I was walking at a different pace than others were. Plus the shows weren’t really that impressive, at least not to me. And I’m still wondering how many kids got lost.

Monday, 28.01, Xavier Le Roy’s Low Pieces
I was at lost for words after this performance. It was different, perhaps somewhat strange, and yet at the same time also calming and beautiful. The sensation of darkness caving in on you, and yet somehow you feel safe. The fact that the dancers were completely nude was just not part of the equation. It was, as they said, simply a costume.

Thursday, 31.01, Emily Wells/Vena Ward/Selva Nuda
I went to this one because a friend of mine was a fan of Emily Wells. The two opening acts were okay-ish, not my cup of tea but they weren’t horrible either. Emily Wells, however, was über amazing! The songs aren’t what I usually like and listening to them on youtube was just a bit on the “meh” side but seeing her perform them live was just mindblowing as she does everything — including creating the loops.

Saturday, 02.02, Sous-Moulin in Orbit
Quite possibly the one show that I thoroughly enjoyed, as well as the most “antigel” one of them all. Antigel is after all, about being different and unusual, yet in a creative and inspiring way. An orchestra performing in the middle of a tennis court, an acrobatic dance on the cyr wheel, some mulled wine and a choreography between figure skaters, ice hockey players and the zamboni? Perfect.

Sunday, 03.02, Autour de l’orgue de cinéma
The strangest show I’ve been to so far, I still don’t think I have quite recovered from the overdose of weird, disturbing sounds, lights and imagery yet. Still a week of the festival to go though, so maybe I’ll get over it.

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not all those who wander are lost…

they might just be stuck in a city they didn’t plan on visiting! Well, in my case for today, anyway.

Here’s what happened. I had my heart set on doing what one of my friends called “crazy” and another “badass” — I wanted (despite being only half-healthy) to take a 6 hour train ride to Lugano, spend at most 4 hours there and then go back on another 6 hour train ride to Geneva. Why, you ask? Well, 1. I wanted to have set foot in a city that is in the Italian speaking part of Switzerland, 2. It is a lot cheaper to get a day ticket with the half-price pass I have than to get a return ticket, and 3. my half-price pass is expiring soon so I might as well do it before it expires, right?

So yesterday, I went to buy myself a day pass and this morning at 7:20ish I was at the train station below the airport, sitting comfortably on a train going to Brig. I figured since I had the day pass anyway it didn’t matter which train I take, I’ll just go and find a connection later. So I got all comfortable and read my book and gazed out the window. And the view was mesmerizing as the train stopped at a city called Vevey. Now, I can’t really say why but I suddenly thought about checking my half-price pass for the expiry date — because of course I was being a smart ass and didn’t check it before — next thing the guy sitting opposite me saw was me throwing my wallet back into my backpack going “Oh, sh*t” and running towards the door, jumping out as the train started to move. My half-price pass expired yesterday.

In the next few deep breaths I had to take in order to make my heart beat normally again, I thought: 1. It was strange but thank God there was no ticket check up til now! 2. Ugh, now I’ll have to pay a full price ticket back to Geneva, and 3. Where am I again? Vevey? Oh well, might as well see what this city has to offer. And that’s when I started to wander around.

First thing first, I grabbed myself a cup of cappuccino and a chaussons aux pommes. Not the best one I’ve ever had, but anyway. Since what caught my attention at the first place (on the train) was the view of the lake, I decided to head towards the lakefront. When I saw this, I was perfectly content that I ended up here:

A few meters further down, I noticed a statue of Charlie Chaplin. Apparently, he came to live here in 1953 and stayed until his death in 1977. Interesting, indeed!

I then turned my back and saw the fork!

Apparently as iconic to the lakeside of Vevey as the Jet d’Eau is to Geneva, the fork was installed to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Alimentarium museum, a museum about food and food processing started by Nestlé. The company was actually started in Vevey, BTW. Another important thing about Vevey in the history of the world that I didn’t know before! I didn’t go to the museum, however, since it was a bit on the expensive side. Instead, I continued to wander. Here are a few of my interesting findings.

A visual art project

(side note: There was this big visual art across the city “exhibition” that lasted until the end of September. Kinda sad I missed it, but glad I got to see some displays that were still left behind!)

From the same project, when I saw this I thought of Isaiah — you know, the misquoted “and the lamb shall lie with the lion…”

A massively blown-up image of the Chinese guy who does “camouflage” — there were a couple of them all around the city

I dare say, I agree!

This was really small, just on top of the mural in the previous photo

An Orthodox church

A flower arrangement in front of someone’s door… I wonder if it was an offering like they do in Bali

Saturday was market day too! ^^

I also went into some shops and got pretty cute postcards and went to the history museum (there was a special exhibition on Madame de Warens, Rousseau’s patron, who was born in Vevey) and the Photography museum (did you know that the first ever photograph is French??) and had a fresh panini at the park, looking out to the lake.

At this point I’ve gotten a bit tired and decided to make a move back to Geneva. Somehow I finally decided to ask at the counter if it was possible for me to renew my half-pass card there. Surprise, surprise, it was! Come to think of it I should’ve asked at the beginning of the day and I could’ve made it to Lugano! DUH. But I guess it was nevertheless worth it.

Since my day pass is now valid again, I decided to make a pit stop at Montreux, just because… and got this awesome photo that just describes the day very well. Courtesy of Freddie Mercury, of course…

SO MUCH WIN!

How to find your way in a new city

Disclaimer: I’m not saying that I’m an expert at this, but so far I’ve managed to get my way around Singapore, Chicago, Lexington, San Francisco and I’m pretty confident to add Geneva. These are the cities where I have ventured completely on my own at some point in life.

  • First thing first: have good observation skills. This makes all the difference. If you don’t have it, train yourself. People watch a bit. Copy their (good) behaviors.
  • Familiarize yourself with the place where you’re staying and it’s surroundings. This is important because you always want to be able to get back “home” after your adventures. If you’re not too sure about your memory, write down the address.
  • Be able to read a map. It’s really not that hard to do (and I don’t even know how to tell which way is North): find where you are. Look for important landmarks nearby, this could be a museum, a hospital, a commercial building, a park. These are places you can spot easily and are usually well-marked. Find those landmarks on the map and align the map so that the position matches your exact position. Now find whereever you’re planning to go and go in that direction.
  • Learn how the bus system works. This is usually pretty easy to figure out. If you can’t figure it out, hop on a bus and just ride it until the end of the route. Then back. That’s how the bus works.
  • While inside the bus, notice how people get in and off the bus. Also, familiarize yourself with the stops and what is nearby. This is especially helpful if you’re staying for a longer time and need to figure out where the supermarket is, etc.
  • While I’m at it: always remember to find out the names of the important supermarkets/stores (you know, like Wal-Mart in the US or Migros/Coop in Switzerland).
  • Dare to wander. Don’t be afraid of  getting lost, all you have to do to get back is retrace your steps.
  • IMPORTANT! Google Maps should be your best friend. Play around with it before going to a new city and you’ll just “get it” when you’ve arrived.
  • Last but not least, if you do get lost, dare to ask. As an English speaker, you have a lot of advantage. If you’re in a non-English speaking country, find a police officer, someone who works at the bank, someone who works at a major store or someone who looks like a business person. These are generally guaranteed to be able to speak some proper English. If that didn’t work, show them your “home” address and mimic walking to the place. That should do it.
Good luck and bon voyage!

30 Days of Photographic Memories (continued), day 21. a photo of you standing up

Me. On Alcatraz Island. June 2010.

US Trip 2010 — Revisited: Airports


Narita, Japan


San Francisco, California, USA


Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA


Chicago, Illinois, USA

Apparently, I did not take any pics at the Grand Rapids airport… in fact I can’t remember a single thing about that airport! Huh. Also, no picture of Los Angeles airport as I’m pretty sure the next one is…


Detroit, Michigan, USA


Lexington, Kentucky, USA


Hong Kong

Memories of the GIT & WCRC: Worship Services! (part 1)

Ask anyone who was there and they will most likely say that the worship services were the greatest moments during the GIT/WCRC. Or at least some of the best ones. So here goes, my memories of the worship services… in chronological order (as best as I can)!

June 6th, 2010
The whole GIT went for the 9.30am Sunday Service at the Fourth Presbyterian Church. If I remember correctly, the church is one of the oldest in Chicago. It is located downtown, right next to all kinds of tall buildings. It’s easily the prettiest building there to my standards. The “traditional” designed church’s front walls was covered with leaves… I don’t know what they’re called in English. It’s some sort of plant that grows on walls and slowly fills up the wall 😛

When we walked in we were immediately amazed with the structure and beauty of the Church… very “classic” (and classy). I honestly thought we didn’t quite fit in, being such a loud, diverse group of people amongst these serious looking mostly white congregation. We were given some warnings (regarding bags) and were introduced to the congregation.

Things about the service that I remember enjoying very much were the orderliness of things (like how the elders formed this perfect line and moved with total preciseness as they distributed the communion) and the beautiful sound of the choir. Rev. Dr. John Buchanan was preaching although in all honesty I didn’t know who he was, nor did I remember what he was preaching about. I reckon I took some sermon notes unfortunately I can’t find it. What I do remember, however, and this is important, was the peace I felt while we were worshiping there. It was beautiful, the feeling of quiet, like there was nothing else in the world that mattered except being there in reverence to God.

June 7th, 2010
The morning devotion of the GITs was led by Honnah, and she led us in quiet meditation. I remembered feeling quite uneasy about this but nevertheless appreciated it. And the Cenacle Chapel was beautiful.

I can’t remember the vespers at the moment. Hopefully it will come back to me later.

June 8th, 2010
No clue. Oops.

June 9th, 2010
Morning Devotion was led by Endrei, who presented this extremely powerful mime called “HANDS”. I was grateful and honored to be able to take part in it as one of the actors. The mime is about how God created men and gave us hands to do wonderful things, but instead men use their hands to do awful things, including nailing Jesus to the cross. It was a beautiful script with really good movements (even if I say so myself)… you can tell people were deeply touched by it cause we ended up seeing the mime two more times during the WCRC.

Vespers was if I remember correctly, led by the South Africans. Roelof shared his experience of ministering in Zimbabwe. It was really touching. However, the part I loved most was when we sang Lord Bless Africa (Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika) together. The song was a prayer, and there we were, people from all over the world, praying for Africa. I was near to tears.

June 10th, 2010
Can’t remember either… sorry 😦

June 11th, 2010
Morning Devotion. The thing I remember: we sang an opening song called “Thank You Jesus”, but we sang it in different languages… in Igbo (from Nigeria), Mizo (from Myanmar), Moore (from Bokina Faso) and Chichewa (from Malawi). I think this was also the beginning of us having Bible Readings and Prayers in different languages. I wish I had noted down all the languages we used. It was amazing! We didn’t understand a word of what was read/said, but we were taking part in it. In a way, we “knew”.

Vespers… Indonesian! Hahah. To me, being part of the “serving team”, it felt good to be able to share our culture with the world, and to see and know that people enjoyed worshiping together with us (although we don’t usually sing the hallelujah while dancing in our weekly services :P). Also felt really touched singing The Lord’s Prayer in Indonesian after the intercessory prayer (yes, as I was singing)… it was for me really a moment of reverence. I was singing alone yet praying together with all these people I’ve come to love dearly. The silence, the sound of my own voice bouncing back against the walls of the chapel. As I hit one of the higher notes and it echoed clearly in the silence… it was just overwhelming.

June 13th, 2010
We went for Sunday worship at the Trinity UCC. Compared to last week, this was the exact opposite. We didn’t quite fit in yet again since the UCC is a mainly black congregation. And the service was everything but quiet! LOL. In total, the worship service lasted 3 hours. Yeps. No typo there. We were there for 3 whole hours. Unlike some other GITs, however, I didn’t realize the service was THAT long until we were done. I found the whole experience of being there as an adventure. An amazing one at that. Yes, the music was loud, and yes, people shouting “AMEN!” “Hallelujah!” “Preach it!” etc. and even jumping up and dancing in circles during the sermon was a bit distracting, but it was also inspiring. These people were actually immersed in the service, they were completely there, their spirit were uplifted.

Also of note, and the reason why the service took so long was that they had all kinds of celebrations/ceremonies going on. First there was confirmation. I found it interesting that they had a “test” before the confirmation where the students (?) had to answer all sorts of question about the Bible, Christianity, all the way to the history of the UCC. Then, they had a rites of passage ceremony for the girls. This is cool because it’s a year-long program of mentoring girls to become women and this was the conclusion of the program, where the mentors “return” the girls to their families, and the families then “give” them to the church, no longer as girls but as women with all their responsibilities. Also, there was a Father and Son choir performance (was it Father’s Day? I can’t really remember). Oh, speaking of the choir… the church was so packed that the pastor invited those who didn’t get any seats to sit with the choir in front.

Next, and this was perhaps the most interesting part, the church was celebrating higher education on that day, therefore everyone in the congregation (including the pastor and the elders) were wearing their university jerseys. Yes, we did not recognize the pastor until he started preaching. LOL. The sermon was appropriately mostly about education and how the soon-to-be college students are to deal with their studies. Also interesting was the time of dedication where the pastor directed everyone to hold hands and then as he prayed he asked people to squeeze the hands of their neighbors if they answer YES to the questions he posed. I can’t remember what exactly the questions were, but I think they were about accepting Christ, becoming part of a church and commitment to serve in a ministry at the church. What happened next was that the members of the congregation who felt their hands squeezed brought the person who squeezed their hands in front to receive a special blessing for their commitment. It was a touching moment.

June 14th, 2010
Morning Devotion was led by the Latin Americans… and I loved the songs we sang! Also, it was closed with a communal blessing where we all stood in a huge circle and then blessed each other: touching each other’s heads saying “God bless you”, the put our hands around the shoulders saying “God protects you”, and the held our hands together to say “give you peace”… then say “Amen” and give the hands a tight squeeze. You can tell I loved this blessing cause I “forced” Izett to lead us in the same blessing again during our farewell party 🙂

Vespers was led by the girls from Kenya and Malawi with lots of help from around the world ;). Loved the songs, again… AND loved being part of the dance troupe for one of the songs, although I would’ve loved it even more if we had asked the whole congregation to dance with us instead of performing for them. The dance troupe was especially cool because we represented all the continents in the GIT, and the song was a call to dance with thanksgiving and joy… fill the streets with love and shake this world alive with singing! Beautiful, I tell ya.

June 15th
Morning Devotions. Umm… Err… No idea?

Vespers. INDIA! Loved the use of poetry as prayers, and most of all loved the Bhajan song we sang. Whoa, it was… indescribable. So exotic, so meditative, so… spiritual? It one-of-a-kind.

Now I can’t remember when… was it June 16th when we had the vespers in remembrance of those who didn’t make it to the GIT? This was touching because there were seats reserved for them and we heard their struggle to get the visa but still didn’t get it… It was especially touching for me because I had to go to a similar process. I had been anxious as well. But I made it through. It made me ever so thankful, yet at the same time it made me ever so angry at the injustice of this world.

Next time… the experience in Grand Rapids… and if you GITs are reading this and actually remember those moments I can’t seem to remember… do kindly leave a comment/e-mail/message me on facebook to let me know about those services?

Random Memories of the Global Institute of Theology

– The very cold classroom at the basement of the Cenacle, along with the very practical way we were supposed to beat the cold: just open the windows!

– The very nice chapel at the Cenacle… and all the wonderful services we had. Some of particular favorite: the “Hands” mime, the Tambira dance, and the Indonesian vespers of course ^^

– Oh, and Roelof’s story about Zimbabwe!

– Reading the Bible in Context class, which was just awesome… and the dramatic presentation of contextual reading in Africa!

– The name game we had with Maaike… how stern she was as game master, and how proud Douwe was of his name being written thrice along with Obama, Mother Theresa and Jesus!

– Soccer/Football games!! And that one particular day in Grand Rapids when Peter asked about having a game and everyone said to ask James… and James wasn’t there!!

– Pow Wow… especially the conversation on the bus home… LOL!

– Chicago Pizza Night. And the seriously fun evening of games (and stationery!) afterwards.

– The night trip to the lake with Elijah… and the trip to the Field Museum also with Elijah 🙂

– The ridiculously long walk on the outing to Navy Pier

– Taking our first large group picture… at The Bean!

– Group discussions!!

– The trip to Obama’s house. LOL.

– Suprising Theresa on her b’day/farewell.

– Saying goodbye to Jeung Woon way too early in the morning.

– Eun Ha’s saran heo song! ❤

– Janine’s sharkie song!! And the fact that she can burp at will 😛

– The Unity of the Spirit song 🙂

– Nights at the roof of Calvin dorms… especially when James lighted his fireworks and when… oh let’s keep that one private ;P

– Incidents. Accidents. Richard, Roelof… then Christina! And how we supported each other during those times.

– Speaking of Richard and Roelof… the amount of books they had acquired!!

– Learning that there are many words in Indonesian similar to Malagasy from Brigitte.

– Learning songs from different places in the world or in different languages, and singing them together.

– Turning Merve into honorary Indonesian at the Banquet ^^

– Swimming session.

– Learning Spanish from Izett and having late night soda with a half-asleep Nayeli.

– That song Nayeli presented for the Bible in Context class!!

– Food. Food. More food.

– Our farewell “party”!

– Organizing photo shoots. LOL. “One camera only pleasee…!!!”

– The bus tour ❤ ❤ ❤

– Doing laundry. Hahah.

– Storm warning… and the fact that Matt was the only guy who came downstairs.

– Papers. Papers. Papers.

– The library at Calvin College 🙂

– Peter coming up to my room just to tell me he remembers why he didn’t see me at the soccer game before… he switched sides and they were so busy at the other goal!

– That one day in mission class when we were commenting on a photo on facebook instead… and Annette showed up 😛

– Skype-ing in class *oops*

– Meeting people for the first time… and a lot of them go “Aiko… Facebook!” LOL

– Getting introduced to the WCRC delegates 🙂

– Preparing those flash card thingies for Annette, Douwe and Peter… and reading what everyone wrote for me!

– Singing, singing, and more singing.

– Laughing, talking and dancing too!

– Faleni and his theory of whether a certain kind of food is male/female… and Sat saying that any egg that is hard to open is female 😀

– Saying goodbye… giving everyone a hug… and that sad empty feeling when there were only a few of us left at Calvin.

Uh-huh, yeah… again!

Random Guy coming up the street: Hi, um, I was wondering if you know how to get to Haight… I mean, I drive but I don’t know the way, and you seem like you’re from around here so…
Me: Uh, I have no idea. I’m not from here.
Guy: Oh. Well where are you from?
Me (considering what to tell this particular fella): Um… Indonesia
Guy: Indonesia! That’s cool.
Me: Yeah… well, I really don’t know where Haight is…
Guy: Haight? Oh, it’s right up the corner…
Me: *sigh, that didn’t work well*

(conversation continues with him telling me stuff like I’m beautiful and I have a sexy accent *rolls eyes*)

Guy: So I was wondering if we could maybe go out sometime?
Me: Well, actually I’m going home in two days
Guy: Well, gotta make the most of it then… How bout tonight?
Me: Got an appointment, sorry…
(conversation bout me having lots of admirers thus a busy schedule *rolls eyes again*)

Guy: So when will you be back?
Me (can we get this over with?!): Not in the near future…
Guy: What? Why? You don’t like it here?
Me: Well, it’s kinda cold (it was seriously the coldest I’ve ever been so far)
Guy: Well you see, that’s cause you got nobody to warm you up!
Me: Oh, I got someone alright
Guy: You mean you have a boyfriend? Here?
Me: Yeah
Guy: Well, he ain’t doin’ a good job then… ya see, I will warm you well
Me (mightily annoyed at this point): Oh he’s doing a mighty fine job
Guy (startled): Oh… well, it was nice meeting you then… (goes off to his car)
Me: *takes a deep breath* *let’s not let that happen again*

Disneyland and The Joy of the Christian Life

(this was the short sermon I delivered at Agape Evangelical Church on Friday, 9th of July, 2010. Of course I only had an outline back then and it was delivered in Indonesian so it was probably quite different than this).

I went to Disneyland on Thursday (that’s 08.07.10) and had a real blast. Disneyland claims to be the happiest place on earth and therefore the time in Disneyland becomes the happiest memories on earth which you will see printed in many of their souvenirs. And I have to admit: it was a really happy place! So I tried to analyze why it was “the happiest place on earth” and there are at least 5 reasons I came up with:

1. You are on a holiday when you’re in Disneyland. So no work, no routine activities, no cleaning the house, etc.

2. There’s “magic” everywhere. Unexpected animation, Goofy jumping out of a door that seemed to be locked, Tinkerbell flying above the castle in the middle of fireworks, sudden twist and turns and so on… Disneyland is filled with surprises that make you go “WOW!”

3. Your mind is set to expect happy things! Disney movies have influenced you, you pretty much have a happy thought just by entering the park and seeing familiar cartoon faces. You’ve heard stories, seen pictures… Even a day before (or months before in my case) I was anticipating a happy day at Disneyland!

4. Twists, Ups and Downs! This might be personal preference, but I was happier on rides that had sudden movements than those that was just passing by sceneries. It’s probably scientifically proven though that when your heart beats faster you feel uplifted.

5. Disneyland is a family place. Most people go there with their families. Some would go with their loved ones, others with their friends. In any case if you do end up alone in Disneyland, there will be hundreds of people around you sharing the same happiness. I don’t think Disneyland would be a happy place if you were the only person in there!

So that was Disneyland. There’s a slight problem though… whatever joy we experienced in Disneyland, it is temporary. It was for the moment only. Yes, you do still have the happiest memories on earth, but memories too often fail you anyway.

The joy of a Christian, however, is NOT temporary! Let’s read Phillipians 4:4-9 before I continue.

4 Rejoice in the LORD always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The LORD is near.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.
9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Paul says “Rejoice in the LORD ALWAYS.” And you certainly can rejoice in the LORD always because the joy of the Lord is continuous, ever present, never failing!

Yet we can learn from Disneyland how to rejoice in our lives as Christians, as follows.

1. Just like being in Disneyland is a holiday, we need “holidays” in our lives, a time where we break out of the ordinary, forget about our routine, mundane tasks and just relax and marvel at the beauty of life. The Sabbath, which is that day of rest, is a command of God. God wants us to rest! Jesus himself also often took rests in the middle of all his works. And if you’ve ever gone through an episode of burnout, you’ll know just how much you need to rest (if you’ve never been through it, please don’t try!)

2. There’s magic in our everyday lives too! No, seriously. We take so many things for granted that we forget that God makes REAL miracles happen every single day! The sun rises, the birds are singing, we inhale clean air, our enjoyable meal gets processed into energy, a baby is born, and so on and so forth? Come on, don’t tell me you don’t find that magical? And lets not even get me talking about all those times prayers get answered in amazing ways.
Here’s a little secret… I often envy people in whose lives God seems to have done great miracles. Like the story of a lady who needed money and someone suddenly called her to say that God has put it in their heart to help this lady financially? You know stories like these? I wonder why something like that doesn’t happen in my life! And yet God always reminds me that I have my own miracles happening. Each of us do. Take a look at verse 6 & 7… that’s a promise, and that’s a miracle that WILL happen in your life.

3. Mindset! Now here’s the thing. Whether or not we realize that something is God’s miracle is based on how we think. Mindset is very important and it influences our lives very much. Which means it also influences us in our ability to rejoice. And Paul is very helpful here… look at verse 8, he tells us exactly what we need to think about. Now imagine always thinking about those things… doesn’t that make you happy already?

4. Ups and Downs. “Life is a roller coaster, you just have to ride it” a song goes. And just like the rides with lots of ups and downs make you happy, life has many ups and downs… and that could actually help you rejoice in the Lord. Yes, I mean all those times you felt hopelessness! How does that work? Well, first of all, if you don’t have sad moments, you wouldn’t know what a happy moment is. Your life would be static, without feelings at all, really. Second, it is too often that it is in time of dire need that we turn to God, and truly realize that he’s there! So yeah, the ups and downs of life actually help you rejoice in the Lord! Oh, and here’s another thing… the reason why you’re happy on these rides even if it seemingly plunges you down is because you know it’s safe. You know you won’t crash into that wall that’s coming at you, you know your cart is turning just before that waterfall. It’s all controlled! And guess what? Your life is in God’s hands too… so if you’re about to plunge, don’t worry!

5. Last but not least, SHARE! There’s a quote I can’t remember by whom that goes “Sharing doubles your joys and cuts your sorrows in half”. So share your life with your family, your friends, your praying group at church… share your joys so they can give other people hope, share your sorrows so they can comfort you.

The Adventure Continues… (part 2)

Toy Story 3 was great! And I lovveeedd Real 3D, seriously.

Then… decided to go back to Gordmans and get that Pomeranian! After all, being a stuffed toy lover with 15+ Pomeranians at home, I simply had to get it 😉

So, about 6 hours later, all out of money, hands full of shopping bags I wanted to go home. That’s when I checked the bus schedule I had with me… only to find out it wasn’t running… now here my day takes an annoying turn. I panicked. I’ll have to admit that was stupid really, cause it turns out that NOW, sitting comfortably in my room, I found out that the bus DOES run! DUH. It would make sense that it would run til late, really, seeing it’s this huge mall… It turns out that for this particular service they separate the day and evening service, on a different page! Now I wasn’t used to this, so I checked the schedule I always check… saw that I had barely miss the last bus on that list… and panicked!

NOTE TO SELF: DON’T PANIC!

I didn’t panic THAT much though… cause I did the next logical thing… looked for a cab… by asking the lady at Lifeway for a cab company’s number. While waiting, I managed to found out that I still had $20 hidden in one of my little bags. Yaay for being used to stash money in many places!

The cab came and I told him I want to go to the Transit Center. My logic was… there’s still a night bus and I wouldn’t afford a ride all the way to the hotel. The driver was a very nice guy and we had a great chat ranging from the economy all the way to smoking… with talks about cell phones in the middle. And then I arrived at the Transit Center. Tipped the driver WAY too much but I was happy he got me to a place I’m familiar with so whatever… I’d call it a good deed. He blessed me, which turns out to be very much needed. You’ll find out in a moment.

And now comes stupidity number 2… the taxi moved on and there I was at the transit center… wondering why it was so empty. Sat down on a bench and checked the schedule… AND I missed the bus by 10 minutes!! And the next bus is in an hour! DUH, again. I had no other choice, had to wait. Went to the waiting room and got myself a drink then settled down. In peace.

Until this guy came in.

I sort of thought he was trouble when he came in and asked me in this bad, bad English whether I was a student. Apparently I look a lot like a student at the University of Kentucky cause a different guy told me this the other day. Anyways. Here goes the dialogue between me and this guy… I can’t really remember what his name was but it started with a D. And it’s not really exact but anyway.

D: “are you UK student?”
Me: “No”
D: “Oh. You look like”
Me: “Uh-huh”
D: “My name D… (something)”
Me: “Aiko”
D: “Echo?”
Me: “Aiko”
D: “Oh, okay, Aiko”
(silence)
D: “You engadget?”
Me: “What?”
(this repeats several times until I finally got it… although it still didn’t make much sense)
Me: “You mean engaged?”
D: “Yes, engadget”
Me: “Uh, no”
D: “You have boyfriend?”
(at this point I decided he was creepy and that it was probably safer to have a boyfriend)
Me: “Yeps”
D: “Oh”
(silence again)
D: “am 26, you?”
Me: “I’m 26 as well” (well, I will be by the end of this year)
D: “really?!”
Me: “You think?”
D: “You 26”
Me: “Yeah”
D: “Why you not married?”
Me: (DUH) (Mumbles a long sentence about just finishing college and whatever)
D: “Where you live?”
Me: (OH DEAR!) “San Francisco”
D: “I want to come and visit you one day, can I have your address?”
Me: (EEEPPPSSS!! CREEP ALERT!) “Well, I don’t have one cause I just finished and haven’t found a new place” (does that make any sense? Probably)
D: “No address?”
Me: “Yeah, no.”
(silencee…)

This continued for quite a while… luckily quite a few people where there with us now and there was a police car right outside so I wasn’t THAT scared anymore. He also asked me whether I go to church and whether I sing at church and then told me he goes to the United Church of Christ and sings too. I seriously see no relevance.

D: “Where your boyfriend?”
Me: “Huh? Oh. Umm… San Francisco” (cause it made more sense than saying that he’s in Indonesia or Paris or whatever, I did say I was from San Francisco)
D: “He not in Lexington?”
Me: “Umm… no… not at the moment…”
D: “I want to see you again”
Me: “What?”
D: “See you. This weekend?”
Me: “Oh. I won’t be here this weekend.”
D: “Maybe Saturday?”
Me: “I’m leaving on Saturday.”
(I AM!)
(silence… I was chatting with my mom on Blackberry Messenger)
D: “that your phone? I want call you, what number?”
Me: “What?”
D: “your number?”
Me: (OH, COME ON!) “This? Oh… umm… I don’t know my number… I just got it”
(I really don’t know the number by heart… although if I HAD to tell someone my number, I could’ve easily done so)
D: “that not phone?” (and something else which I really didn’t get)
Me: “well, umm… I have internet on it” (random babble)

That apparently did it for him cause a few minutes later he left. I couldn’t be more happy about him finally leaving! HUFF! I’m safe! Yaay!

The bus came and I jumped in immediately. It was freaking cold and I’m still sort of disturbed by that long weird conversation, but I made it home safe and sound. Again, I was praying the whole time so I was very glad that I have a God who protects me. And that there were people who blessed me to be safe today too 🙂

So yeah… an adventurous day indeed. It was good though, well except for the fact that I lost $20 for taxi and for that seriously creepy conversation, but lessons learned.

Now before I go to bed (it’s about time), here’s something really weird about this hotel: they tell guests to help save the environment by re-using the towels, and as usual to re-use towels you just need to hang them. What’s weird though, is that everyday I come home to a nicely folded set of towels. They’re most probably new. WHY?? Weird.

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