Hello my dear blog, it’s been a while.
You’ll be glad to know that I’m not writing to bitch today.
I’M IN LISBON!
Yes, it’s yet another one of those crazy chocomon escapades whereby this chocomon sees something she wants to do and then goes out of her way to achieve it.
Basically, I flew all the way to Lisbon for the Monocle Better Living Conference.
Anyways, this is going to be a long post, I will try my best to structure it but it’ll probably just come out as one undigested rant.
It’s 8+pm here, I’ve been on the plane for most of the day, and I’ve been awake for almost 20 hours now, thankfully I’m not jetlagged cause:
-I’m basically nocturnal
-My bioclock is capable of suspending itself in limbo while I’m in transit
Back to the topic,,,where should I start?
I guess I’ll start small, with myself.
After walking around Lisbon all by myself today (mind you, by chocomon standards, I hardly did any research on the place), I’ve come to feel quite proud of myself. Here I am, this small asian girl in this European country that she knows nothing about and doesn’t speak the language of and getting around, seeing things, meeting people and experiencing life! And also getting lost in a sea of connecting flights in Swizterland, all by my lonesome.
It reminds me that I am an independent person who is perfectly capable of doing well outside her comfort zone. And I think I deserve to be proud of myself for that, how many other people can say, truly say that they’ve gone travelling solo to all these places?
Of course, the downside of being a lonewolf is that you don’t have someone to share the magic with, Taking photos, texting friends, it helps. But the INFJ in me just really wants someone with a deep connection to share all these wonderful experiences with.
Which leads me into, WHAT WONDERFUL EXPERIENCES DID I COME ACROSS TODAY!
Looking at the people of Lisbon makes me wonder, what are we doing wrong.
In my short few hours here (most of which were spent at the park), I’ve seen same sex parents who are happily with their child, more fathers than mothers taking their kids out, playing with their children and making playdates with other dads and kids (albeit, wine in hand), children who play ball and hold serious discussions simultaneously regardless of gender, random college students practicing tight-rope walking in the park and a arts and craft fair/bazaar thing.
These aren’t things I looked up to hunt down and see, these things are just part of Lisbon’s everyday life.
So I ask again, what are we doing wrong?
Weather and architecture aside, I believe we are capable of cultivating a fulfilling culture much like theirs where there is more to life than objects and grades.
The only silver lining I can think of in this situation is that because Singapore lacks all these little things, you appreciate all these moments that much more when you do encounter them in Singapore.
But back to the experience.
I love people watching, to me travelling isn’t just eating the food or taking photos or visiting attractions, It’s watching the people and getting a feel of how they live their life. To see the world from a range of perspectives, from high above in the plane, to in-person.
Strolling down the cobbled-streets of Lisbon, it made me think about all the theme parks I want to make that draws inspiration from all these places I’ve been, and watch people live and make memories in them. It’s funny, when people think theme parks, they think attractions. When I think theme parks, I think of a mini-city.
Travelling always opens up my soul, so much so that it makes me really want to DO something. But as always I don’t know WHAT to do. Thankfully this time around I have the TEDx event to pour this energy into. I just hope that this flame won’t die the moment I return to SIngapore.
I almost feel bad that I feel more alive and at home, despite the lack of familiarity, here in a foreign country that I know nothing about. It’s exciting, the unknown and uncertainty, I know for fact that next time I come back, I won’t have this same excitement, it’ll be a different sort of excitement, kind of like watching a sequel to movie rather than the first movie in a franchise. But I digress, What I really wanted to say is that I feel so bad that I don’t speak the language of the people here.
I don’t know why, I always feel bad, borderline guilt in fact, when I visit a country and don’t speak their language. Because I shouldn’t visit their country and expect them to speak my language…I think that’s why I ended up multi-lingual,.
FYI, when spoken, Portuguese and Spanish are nothing alike.
Speaking of which I ran into a solo female traveler like myself, in the park, from Spain. We conversed a little in Spanish, well she did all the talking, I just said Si a lot, but OMG I ACTUALLY UNDERSTOOD HER. All that hard work feels so worth it in little moments like this.
And that’s kind of the end of today’s rant,
Because complimentary hotel Wi-Fi is slow everywhere except in South Korea, I’ll only be able to edit and upload photos when I’m back in Singapore.
I’m sort of, just a teeny weeny little bit dreading going back now.
It’s weird, despite it’s complete lack of Asianess, Europe seems to sit pretty well with me.
I also realized, rather amusedly, that certain parts of Japan actually has a rather European look to it, hence my sense of comfort, except in Japan, there’s that Japanese vibe everywhere you go.
OH and one last thing, I feel like if someone imported Taiwanese aboriginal things here, it’d be a huge hit. Tribal things seems to be quite popular here.
And that is all from the Chocmon today! I shall go crash now…after I brush my teeth and wash my face.
To think that I wanted to finish a chapter of my iron man fic today. *conks out*