April 27, 2017

What is happening Shiek?


Recently someone whom I have not seen for a while called and asked me ...”What is happening Shiek?” He was asking about what I have been doing since I retired. He continued ... “Hey Shiek, come on, you can be more 'happening' man”. And from there onwards, there were a few lines in the conversation where he suggested that I should make my life more interesting ... more “happening” as he put it. A simple conversation but the tone and manner of his words more or less implied that there were really nothing much happening in my life.

So, I am not 'happening' ...  I guess that is quite true. Well, let’s see what I have done since I stopped working.

The very first thing I did was trekking ... quite a fair bit but I did not go trek the great mountains of the world, did not experience any tough jungle adventures, did not summit any high peaks and I will never be able to trek ABC or EBC trails at the Himalayas. Just managed to trek a few small mountains, some short jungle trails, a few waterfalls and some easy forest paths.

So, nothing much really ... old uncles like us are just recreational trekkers. We are small timers in the trekking community ... very small, so much so that a self professed super “geng” seasoned hiker branded old uncles like us “Wawasan and Gasing Hill trekkers” ... meaning, we are only able to trek Wawasan forest and Gasing Hill. In his opinion, that is how good we can be.

Then I traveled a bit but I did not go very far. No back packing around the world, no exotic cruises across the oceans, no exciting adventures in big countries ... only a few budgeted holidays to nearby countries ... nothing to shout about.

Some days, I worked on my recycling wood hobby ... again, petty things really ... made a few simple household items, a few wood art pieces, some simple table and chairs ... no big deal!

When I am in the mood, I put up an apron and cook ... no expensive recipes, no fancy cuisines, no chef styled gastronomy challenges ... just simple home cooked meals and local hawker food ... food that everyone can cook and can cook better.

I spent quite a bit of time with my wife but no romantic outings, no honeymoon trips, no lover’s getaways ... we spent time at hypermarkets, wet markets, shopping malls, day trips, family dinners and a lot of time at home ... nothing exciting, simple day to day routines.

Occasionally I participate in some small social awareness programs and that is all ... nothing to shout about. I did not join Bersih or other street demonstrations, not in any big charity organizations and I am not active in sending and sharing major breaking news and philosophical or motivational videos all over the social media.

In my free time ... you find me in my garden idling to the breeze and sound of birds, sipping a pot of tea while watching “wuxia” dramas, trying to screech out a song on my erhu and sometimes I just do absolutely nothing, letting my mind wander to strange places.

So what is happening Shiek? Well, as you can see ... nothing much really.

I don’t have the resources and energy to be like those very 'happening' people who seem to be everywhere, doing everything, incessantly on the surface to see and to be seen, always have plenty of news and videos to share and have lots of photos to be liked by friends and friends of friends on social media.

Yes, I am not 'happening' at all but that is absolutely OK ... I can live with that. In fact, I like it this way. I am at my best and most happy 'unhappeningly' doing what I like, at where I am most comfortable, with people I love, with friends that are true, in groups that are humble and on relationships that are unpretentious.

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