The Museums…

You bet! I am going to talk a lot about my trip to Edinburgh in this blog, so if you really don’t want to hear about it, you can come back next week. You know.. like when you go decide to avoid going to any shopping centre until Christmas is over because you can’t stand listening to Jingle Bells in the background. Yea… more or less the same.

Anyway, Edinburgh… Like I said in my previous post, Edinburgh has plenty of museums. It is with my deepest regret — and I do blame the timing, that I cannot visit them all. I tried to visit those which is located near where I stayed, the ones that I though is interesting, and was open when I visited, and also… without entrance fee. Yes… interesting enough for me to take the walk, and accessible (close, open, and free of charge). Sadly.. it means I didn’t go to the Surgeon’s Hall Museum, and Edinburgh Castle, because they’re not free. I’ll save it later when I go there with Grump, or my siblings.

I visited there five Museums. I only have three days there, and also an appointment in the visa application centre as the priority in my itinerary. So, five museums, I think it is good enough.

 

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It doesn’t look like that in reality, but the panorama mode with me standing in one place makes the photo looks slightly bendy…

The first one, is the National Museum of Scotland. It is a massive stone architectural structure — I deliberately said that because “building” doesn’t cover it. It’s so massive, I don’t think you can finish looking at every single item in it in one day. Note if you want to visit this place, come early and bring something to eat if you don’t want to spend money on the cafe (hey, I am telling you how to have a fun travelling with minimum budget!).

It is like the British Museum in London, but with an awesome Scottish twist in it. There is a section dedicated for the history of Scotland and the kingdom of Scotland. So yes, if you went to British Museum before, you can now imagine how big the place is. If you like this kind of museums, I suggest you allocate a whole day in this place with rest in between. I believe they have a cloakroom, so you can have your heavy rucksack stored while you’re taking your time there.

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The next one is The Writers’ Museum. Of course! We have to go there, don’t we? It is a little bit of an effort to get to this one. The location of this little museum is a little bit hidden behind the crowded shop, just off the bustling street of Royal Mile. You could easily miss it if you don’t have your keen eye… or your trusted Google Map with you. Like I said… an effort.

Having this dream of one day being a writer myself, I made it my quest to visit this museum even before I set my foot on Edinburgh soil. I thought, I might learn something, or get myself possessed by a great writer, or something like that… However, I think it is a little bit cheeky to say that this is the Writers’ Museum, isn’t it? Because, to be honest… it is actually The Scottish Writers’ Museum — mainly three biggest writers Scotland has — Robert Burns, Walter Scott, and Robert Louis Stevenson. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting when I went to this place, but definitely more than three writers (which works I haven’t even read).

My goodness I am rambling again. I think I need to save the other museums for next one, as I do really need to rest my finger to some good stuff with food. See you around.

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Tomorrow

One of my favourite song when I was young — I mean, much younger than I am now, is “Tomorrow” from Annie. Of course at that time I didn’t know that it was from a musical. I didn’t even know what musical is. I came from that kind of world where music, and theatre, and poetry, and fine arts are not as appreciated as maths and science. It wasn’t an excuse, it’s just a reason why I didn’t have any knowledge about musicals — something that I regret a lot.

I knew what musical is when I grew up, but still hadn’t a clue what Annie is. It didn’t matter though… I still loved the song. I even had (still do) it in my mp3 playlist, just for those days when I want to sing my heart out… “Tomorrow… tomorrow… I love ya tomorrow…”

if you buy from this link, it’s going to give me something to be happy about tomorrow…

But who doesn’t?

Really, who doesn’t love tomorrow? It’s only a day away…

Of course we love tomorrow. Not only it gives us the hope of the better future — where the sun’ll come out, and clear away the cobwebs and the sorrow until there’s none, Tomorrow also gives us a reason not to do it today. Isn’t that great? We can always do it tomorrow.

What’s it? Well I think it depends on who you are asking, but it is usually something you can, but you don’t want to do today. Washing up the dishes, hoovering the carpet, changing the bedding, filling the tax report, calling your mum, doing the laundry, researching your dissertation, reaching out to an old friend, writing an entry for your blog… the list goes on and on.

I love tomorrow, we all do. Most of the time, of course… Sometimes tomorrow is the deadline so we have to do it today. Sometimes tomorrow never comes, and we never knew that the call would never happen, and the card would never reach the intended person because they’ve gone forever. But there’s always the next day… the tomorrow after tomorrow, and we love them too…

Ah… tomorrow…

Just out of curiosity, have you ever try to translate the song in Spanish? I did…

“Mañana, mañana… Te amo, Mañana….

The Rules

I like watching NCIS. Grumpy introduced me to this series few years ago, and we’ve been watching it since. The rerun, the new one, everything. Sometimes, I even remember the whole plot just to watch the first three minutes of the episode… but I watch it anyway. The same applies when I watch Agatha Christie’s Poirot with David Suchet as Poirot, or Miss Marple for that matter… I think they’ve done the characters really well.

Back to NCIS, without any intention to spoil anything, there is Gibbs. He’s the main hero of the show — the old guy who does his thing, and does it well. I have to say that if you think about it, Gibbs is just an average guy, he’s not on the top of the pyramid, but he’s still the boss for a lot of brilliant agents. He’s not the one with the ultimate power to make it happen, but he can still tell his people what to do without having to do everything himself. And we like this guy…

One thing about Gibbs that I like the most is his set of “Gibbs’ Rules”. Gibbs lives by the set of rules such as: never ever screw over your partner, or never get personally involved to a case. I like that a lot. I think everybody needs to learn from Gibbs about this rule-making business. I believe that everybody needs a set of rules for their lives — in fact, I have been trying to write down some rules for myself too (but that’s for much later).

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Why, though? I heard you asked, why would you need to make rules?

Like I said just now, I think people needs to have a set of rules. Of course we don’t need to make rules for every single little thing we do in life, but we definitely need some ground rule to follow. Imagine a manual book… Every proper machine comes with a manual book, shame that we don’t when we were born. But we can write one, can’t we?

True that we don’t need that manual book for everything. We don’t always refer to our smartphone manual book every time we turn it on, or make a phone call, do we? We turn to manual book when things go wrong. We turn to our manual book when things are not what they are supposed to be. We use the information in the manual book to troubleshoot, and I think that’s exactly the set of rules should be done.

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Gibbs rule “never ever leave without a knife”, for example. Is a very practical rule that he could always refer to — as a ex-marine, that makes sense. My dad has his own rule too, almost similar to Gibbs “always have cash with you”. Very practical, and have saved us several times from the embarrassment of broken card machine. I am pretty sure these two wise gentlemen have learned from life before coming to these rules.

I am still writing my rules… I believe my father is still revising his everyday too. I can tell you one of my rules, though: “never go shopping with empty stomach”. What do you think about that?

The Princess

When I found out that today’s prompt word is ” Panicked“, somehow I thought of my dad. It is definitely unusual, because my dad is probably the most cool-headed person I have ever known in my life. I don’t want to sound smug or something, but I think there are only few people that can make my cool-headed dad into panicky mode. I am one of them… and the other one is the tax-man (who doesn’t get panicky when the tax-man comes?).

I suspect, it was the latest incident that makes me think of my father when I tried to think of who “panicked” lately. I have a suspicion that if it is not because of that, I might think of my mum instead — I think she fits the profile better.

But I am going to tell you what made my dad panicked last afternoon.

Our little alien family has a Whatsapp chatgroup, and although it is not one hundred percent active all the time, but when it is active the conversation would move pretty quickly from one topic to the other. My dad is new in this technology thing — I am not saying he is a technophobe, but I think he needs more time to keep up with this compared to my mother. As a result, it is still quite difficult for him to follow the movement of conversation in the family chatgroup.

Few days ago, I left an ambiguous message in the group. Yes, I left it deliberately because it was supposed to be an opening gambit for an incredibly lame alien joke. It wasn’t even funny in my world, it would be even worse if I try to translate it to English, as the joke would be completely lost in translation. However, at that time the chatgroup was quiet, and nobody responded to that particular message, so I just left it like that without any further explanation.

my hot water bottle agrees…

I wasn’t thinking, of course, that the message could be easily misinterpreted by anyone who reads it. My siblings have gotten used to my lame, slightly dark and alienly jokes, but not my parents. Especially with my dad, since the joke was half done, and was sent through a technology he is not used to, I think he genuinely though that there’s something seriously wrong happened to me.

So yesterday he made a phone call.

He was never a talker — not on the phone. It is usually mum who’s got the job to keep tab on the kids, and making individual phone calls to make sure we are okay. So yes, I can feel slightly special, that my dad actually made that effort to make the phone call himself. He didn’t sound panicked, but I know he was — thus the phone call. If he wasn’t panicked, he would just tell mum to check.

Actually… I think normally he would just ask mum anyway, if it is about my siblings. But, you see… I am my dad’s little princess. I am a bit older now, but I think unless you’ve done something really-really-really stupid, and you have broken your dad’s heart really-really-really bad, you would never stop being your dad little princess — doesn’t matter how old you are.

Just in case you want to know, the phone call only lasted few minutes. Here’s roughly the break-down of the conversation:

(phone rings)

Me: “Dad?”

Dad: “Hey, how’ve you been?”

Me: “I am alright… What’s up?”

Dad: “No, I just wondered why did you say that thing on the chatgroup…”

Me: “Oh! *laughs and then explains the joke*

Dad: “I see… Okay then… Did you want to talk to your mum?”

Me: “Not really…”

Dad: *sounds like he’s taking the phone away from him, and he’s calling my mum*

Yes. Did I tell you that he’s not really a talker on the phone?

But I feel so happy he called. I know that it doesn’t sound that special in this country, but in my alien culture… it is special. Dads are meant to be the tough, stoic ones, and mums are those who made those panicky phone calls. But my dad broke all that conventions for me, and I know exactly why.

Because I am The Princess.

x

Control

I just learned about this thing called Daily Prompt. I think this is a brilliant thing to have. I think the idea is very similar to word of the day (it is “dox”, just in case you want to know), the difference is that with Daily Prompt, the word is given as the topic of the day, for you to write something. I think it is awesome, as it is not only work as a challenge, but also giving an idea of what to write when you practically have nothing to write.

A couple of days ago, I participated when the word was “yarn”, of course on my other blog where I posted a lot about my knitting projects. I mean, it is almost an insult not to participate in that particular topic, isn’t it?

Today’s word, is apparently ” Control“.

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I’ve struggled to decide whether I like yarn or control better. I think both are in my list of my favourite things — for different reason, but funnily enough could be related to each other. How? Well… Yarn sale makes me lose control, and when I try to maintain control, I would have to let go of some of my yarns… How’s that for confusing?

However, if I have to choose, I will definitely choose to be in control. I have experienced the moment where I don’t have control with things that happened in my life, and it was horrible. However it was also then, when I learned that even when I can’t control the situation surrounding me, there’s always one thing that I can take control over.

Myself.

Maybe it was that time when I started to get a little bit over the top with self-discipline, taking notes of what I eat, keeping up with my personal budget, making plans and making sure that the plans are executed properly… It gives me the sense of safety. Maybe it was why I don’t like it when I’ve been told that the plan is “to go with the flow”, or last-minute cancellation, or someone comes to visit unannounced while I have a plan to be a hermit for the day…

Some might say that I am a control freak. I don’t think so.

I don’t see anything wrong with being organised. I think it is completely logical not to put ourselves in a situation where things could just go entirely wrong. And, really, wouldn’t it give you this sense of victory when you can take an ultimate control of your body and mind

Well… for me it does. AND, if it makes me a control freak, I don’t mind at all.

The Scapegoat

From the place where I came from, I was never considered skinny. It might sound alien to you, but where I came from we have a completely different standard of skinniness than here in the UK. To be fair, this standard of beauty always varies so it is impossible to follow every single one of them. I prefer a standard that can be quantified, something that you can put in number — something that is more universal and objective, not just “in the eye of beholder” kind of standard. In this case, I prefer using BMI as a standard.

I am not going to make arguments about the relevance of BMI, or how this archaic standard should not be used in today’s society. Yada. Yada. I don’t think BMI is perfect, but as a general measurement tool, it is pretty much do what it says on the tin. So, move on…

In the beginning of last year, I found out that my BMI was pushing the end of the green limit, and I didn’t like what I saw on the scale. I can’t say that I was shocked either, because to be honest, one should be able to see the signs when one can no longer fit to the jeans one used to love so much. But as much as it didn’t shock me, it still left me with questions: how the hell I got myself to this bloody point? And I kind of blame it on my contraception pills.

See, at that time I thought contraception pill was the logical explanation of the weight gain. It is logical because I have read a lot of articles, and have met a lot of people who gained weight after taking pills. And it was very easy to explain too. Pills affected the hormones, the hormones affected the metabolism system, and metabolism system affected how your body processed food that you ate. It was reasonable to think that the pill caused the weight gain.

So last year I stopped taking the pills and opt for a non hormonal contraception method. (I don’t want to argue about contraception either, I am not here to preach or to be bloody preached about that sort of stuff… so jog bloody on. ) And voila… with the help of calorie counting, I ditched that extra flabs, and go back to my old fabs.

But few weeks ago, I found out that I might be wrong to blame the pills. I have a written evidence that I was already THAT heavy a year before I started taking the pills. I realised I blamed the pills, because it was conveniently explain how I balooned. It is easier to blame something when you get fat… like blaming the situation: the fat genes (yeah, nothing you can do about it..), the big bones (maybe she’s born with it… ), the change of weather or lifestyle when I first move to the UK (food here are different and fattier…). Or blaming someone else: the government because they don’t give cheap and healthy food, the fast food companies for making food so tasty and cheap and fattening, the media for whatever (people do love blaming the media, so why not?).

The real reason…

Yes, it is very convenient if we always have scapegoat for everything, isn’t it? Failed to finish NaNoWriMo? Well, it is easier to blame it on the hard break up that made you cry day and night for 30 days so you cannot focus on writing than to admit that you actually spending so much time on NCIS marathon… no, tv series marathon, not actual marathon which is probably more productive and beneficial for your health. Can’t get a bloody job? Well, it is easier to blame it on the government and the immigrants for stealing the jobs by willing to do harder work for less money obviously, than to admit that you are actually underqualified for the job, but overestimate yourself, and extremely demanding worker… I mean if you are an employer, you make it very easy for them to make a choice, don’t you?

Losing an election? Blame it on the population, calling them stupid, or ignorant, or gullible. It is easier to do that than to admit how you have ignored their genuine worry about illegal immigration, the rise of the radicals, and instead of taking it in and think about how to resolve the problem you go back to them and call them unreasonable and paranoid. You think they’re going to vote for you when you do that? And you’re surprised you end up with Brexit? Or Trump? Or maybe next week… even Le Pen? It is easier to blame on these so called populists than to realise that you are actually losing touch with your own people, isn’t it?

Yeah… that doesn’t surprise me at all. Blaming others, and scapegoating is pretty much what people do. What surprised me is that I fell on the same pit too. I thought I was one of these special people who “get it”. Knowing how stupid and irresponsible it is to just blame others for something that happened because of our own doing doesn’t mean I couldn’t make the same mistake. Apparently, I am not immune to that, and realising that makes me think what else that I have done?

Pretty heavy eh?

That’s Monday for you…