I have to admit: I have a certain fascination with park benches. Blame it on films such as “500 Days of Summer” and “Forrest Gump”.
It is the fantasy that, when you sit on an isolated bench by yourself, a (attractive) stranger of an opposite gender will come to take on the bench’s other half. As you start talking with the person, you realise that both of you get along really well. Some magical conversations ensue.
Of course, such things are called fantasies for a reason. These things don’t always happen in real life, but they can occur from time to time.
Of the bench encounters I’ve had, only one has been memorable thus far. It occurred two years ago in Prague, Czech Republic. The bench was on the hill of Schoenbornská Zahrada. I was resting after a long walk, while the man was taking a cigarette break. The park provided us with an escape from the urban life. We spoke for close to an hour about life in general. After our descent down the hill, we came back to the reality of Prague, and we parted ways. We didn’t even exchange names the whole time.
Here’s to many more interesting bench encounters in life.
Botanics Garden, Singapore.
“When the tides of time turn against you,
And the storms of life sink your boat,
Don’t cry and scream and holler,
Just turn on your back and float.”
Quoted from American sitcom ‘The Honeymooners’
Nha Trang, Vietnam.
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of toast and tea.
— T.S. Eliot
Nha Trang, Vietnam.
It is interesting to see the different manifestations of divine powers that humans have come up with.
A week ago while in Vietnam, I visited the Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh, Vietnam. The Cao Dai religion is a culmination of a few religions, including Buddhism, Christianity and Confucianism. In their prayers, the worshipers faces the Divine Eye, which represents God.
I believe that most, if not all, religions lead towards the same path. The question of religion should then become whether one believes in the existence of God.
A few years ago, I came across a Japanese saying about water. It commented on how water could represent both life and death. One could not live without water. Yet, one could also easily lose his life to water. Such is a paradox of life.
RIP Prof Winston Koh 1963-2013
Nha Trang, Vietnam
Somewhere, the gods are laughing at us humans. “Hooray! Hooray! The end of the world has been postponed,” as the creator of Tin Tin comic series would say.
If doomsday did occur, my last day on earth would have been lame. I wasn’t saying my last prayers. Instead, I was singing along to One Direction songs with my colleagues.
How did you spend your supposed last day on earth?
As the saying goes, two is a company, three is a crowd. But, hey, I have to admit that the three can pack punches!
Consider if there are two little pigs rather than three. Or, only two bears to scare Goldilocks away. Would the stories have worked as well? I doubt so, though I could still picture the two bears kicking Goldilock’s butt. Using the rule of three, one creates tension, builds the tension and then releases it.
Rule of three is one of the easiest writing tool. Admittedly, at times I can get too carried away with it! Time to start breaking the rule…