2018 – the Year of “A”s – Action, Adversary, and Advancement


Happy new year, everyone! It’s been a while, I know. The unfortunate hiatus has been a product of my surprising (and at the same time – also not so surprising) employment in the middle of the 2017. I must admit I was caught off guard with the very, very sudden turn of events. Hence, I do apologise for neglecting much of this exercise which I need – spiritually, and all that shit.

I guess I need to give you guys a recap (or a more adequate explanation of ‘what’s up?’)

Best Nine 2017

I went through dozens and dozens of job interviews before the end of 2016. By the beginning of 2017, I had completely given up looking for a job and resigned to my demise of working part time for the rest of my life and being homeless in the next 3 years. For a while, things were actually great. I ate healthy. I was still poor AF, but I managed. I was lonely, but I was freer than I had been for a while. I wrote a book. I did transcription work. I had good times with former coworkers. I pondered on building startups, beyond amazing projects just waiting to be executed, and a whole lot of travel.

Then come July when I received a phone call for an interview for a company that’s been courting me for the past 8 months. I was reluctant, I must admit. Then I suffered an agonizing sabotage, which I overcame fortunately. I took the job. I was hired. I was, once again, employed. I wasn’t sure what to feel during the first week. How could I end up where I started? I refused to resign to my predicament.

I wanted to go back to bumming and waking up at 12 noon-ish. I knew perfectly well that once I began to adjust to the corporate droning, I was going to be minted once again to serve a purpose bigger than myself, but not necessarily better. Ironically, I’m writing parts of this very piece at the office, which means – you’ve guessed it. I’m still employed, m*****f&ckasss.

staycation’s over. back to work. #chill #office #workmode

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Nevertheless, I chose this. I could’ve lived the rest of my life working part time. I was making amazingly enough, but I chose employment instead. I wasn’t going to be arrogant again to assume I knew everything I needed to survive. I needed to learn. I needed to face the truth that the only way for me to succeed was to better myself, and I couldn’t do it alone. I needed others like myself to give me the sense of purpose. The trick is to not get too deep – disillusioned even.

However, I’m at the middle of everything – a crossroads, if you will. I have multiple directions in which I can execute life to the fullest.

I’ve travelled a fair bit the past year. I’ve explored Northern Taiwan and got myself paranoid about eating dark boiled eggs in the street. I’ve seen the kindness of the Taiwanese people as a stranger leads me to my destination with no strings attached. I’ve seen how they felt regarding Duterte, the South China Sea, their thirst for independence, and generally how they perceive their place in the Asian political ecosystem.

Another view to tick off my list… #taipei101 #taipei #taiwan

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the original #xiaolongbao #dintaifung #taiwan

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I’ve gone back to Cambodia and saw marvelous creations I’ve neglected to see the first time around. I’ve seen the Buddhist images scattered over Angkor Wat and pondered how history really favored the victors. I’ve seen polyglot Cambodians speaking my language, identifying inflections from a multitude of strangers around the world and changing tongue to fit theirs – in order to sell me something, in order to survive.

A wonder indeed. #angkorwat #siemreap #travel #sunrise #latepost

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for good luck… #travel #cambodia #siemreap #angkorwat #latepost✌

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I’ve seen Bangkok again in all its chaos. I’ve witnessed Ayutthaya, and the effectivity of Thailand’s tourism campaign. For the first time travelling, I felt lost.

finding hidden buddhas #ayutthayatrip #thailand #travel #latepost✌

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I’ve also seen a new side of Malaysia as I marvel at the overwhelming art of Penang, greeted by seemingly strange but clandestine society that’s discreetly promiscuous. I’m slowly connecting fragments of history I never knew I would learn or that I needed to learn.

I went back to Singapore for the nth time, and even though the dazzles, lights, and pulchritudinous order already numbed my jaded mind, I was still astonished to find new surprises waiting at the top of the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple or the Downtown Line which didn’t exist three years prior. That country didn’t feel foreign at all that I began to question my place in the world.

Was my place in the ethereal gap between immigrations? Was it some place vibrant like India? Or was it in some cold Germanic country like the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland? I was, then, grateful for the privileges to experience such things, to witness such views, and to pass the ASEAN immigration freely without paying visa fees.

However, as I gazed upon the mellow fireworks during New Year’s Eve, I was both weary and hopeful. I felt an exhaustion I didn’t know I had in me – a tiredness that’s slowly consuming the hopeful side which I went to great lengths to ignite. I felt a disconnect with people’s regard of me. I’ve made plenty of awesome decisions this past year, and I just know that I’m going to make better ones this year.

I read the Chinese horoscope the other day and found out that the coming year of the dog won’t be easy for me. Dogs are the dragon’s greatest enemy – at least, according to that obscure article, so I have no idea if it’s legit. But if it is, bring it on, adversary. Come at me, and I’ll show you what being an expert is all about.

Therefore, without further ado (and shameless humble brags about my travels), I would like to wish you a happy new year again, dear reader. I will be flying to somewhere cold and dreamlike soon. Who knows what’s in store for us – for any of us? Till then, this has been your host –

The Man with the Cap

Come away with me… #tokyo #japan #travel #life

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