We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls. ~Mother Teresa

the keukenhof in lisse. it is easily the most un-macho place on the entire planet and i absolutely adore it. the moment i enter the park, i am encapsulated by the perfume of nature. it is intoxicating and lovely. you guys know i hardly use that word at all. but that is really what it really is. lovely. just lovely.

i have moved from travel writing professionally for some time but i need, absolutely need to shout out about this place. could this be the catalyst that brings me back into that media world? who knows? but if the initiation is by this magnificent fragrance oozed by this park then i am in, man, i am so in.

this place really is nothing shot of magical. i want to go there again and again if not for the fact that it takes me two busses to get here, passing through quite a number of towns along the way. and the crowd. oh my god, thousands by the bus fulls. but you know, people find their space ad did i and after awhile, one is able to just take one’s time and luxuriously stroll through the park. oh, and the park opens for only like nine weeks a year. like a true diva it is, naturally.

Living is like tearing through a museum. Not until later do you really start absorbing what you saw, thinking about it, looking it up in a book, and remembering – because you can’t take it in all at once. ~ Audrey Hepburn

so here is a brilliant idea. museum weekend! a weekend in the netherlands where majority of the museums here open either for free or give discounts to visit all the cool stuff inside. how awesome is that? they actually make an effort to get people to come an appreciate their art, history, culture, literature… all the stuff that enriches life.

oh yes, i know this lot of you out there who really cannot appreciate simply looking about other people’s collection of stuff and mostly old stuff at that. and i also know a few musuems that i have been to that really function as nothing more than glorified dust collectors. oh i am not ust looking at you, museum di tanah air ku yang tercinta, there are loads of other museums that are guilty of this.

but sometimes, you do find museums that are passionate about their collections and showcases them with pride. they take a long time to select and preserve their pieces and make a real effort to tell the story about them. and oh what a joy to find these places!

We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. ~TS Eliot

so can we say that the realisation is that we have found a new home? and if we do say that, does it, in any way, mean that we have lost our old one? what is the definition of a home? where the heart is? and could one appreciate a new place while leaving the heart behind? what kind of experience would that be – to travel without the heart? and if you bring your heart with you, and you open your chest to the infinate marvels that the world has to showcase, and you let your heart rejoice in the adventures and the experiences, does it find a new home? and we come full circle to where we began. does it lose its old home?

discussion with teenee and friends about a sense of familliarity that becomes more than comfortable. a home. you travel somewhere and you come back… home. but not to where you are from. but to a place where you heart can rest. and if your heart finds such solace in a new place, how does the mind digest the fact that you have now a new place called home? how do you reason with the mind that it means to disrespect to where you are from, not in the least bit at all?

some people say that home is where you have a sense of belonging. but does this sense of belonging need to come from people? can it come from a place? is it possible to stand with eyes closed as the winds of this… place… envelope you in welcoming embrace?

i sit on a train, close to midnight… i am on my way home?

It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership. ~Nelson Mandela

news flash, all those people who think you are weird – they think that you are the insane one. so if you are gonna dish it, you got to be prepared to be on the receiving end as well. and i really don’t care what your political orientation is. god knows that i really and honestly am the most uninterested person where it comes to politics and what these politicians do in their private moments. come to think of it, i am rarely interested in what they do in their public moments as well. believe me when i say that all those mock cheques and ribbon cutting and tours are things that do not advance me in my life at all.

but what they say, that matters. and all politicians i know – not personally, obviously – have big mouths. of course, i believe in the liberty that allows people to speak whenever and whatever they please. i am not going to stand in the way of that. cakap lah apa-apa. i really tak kisah. mungkin ada orang lain yang nak ambil kisah and i say good for them, because the way i see it, they all memang ada audience so woohoo to you.

tapi jangan nak gatal nak kecik hati when someone throws back something at you in exactly the spirit you dished it out at them on. i don’t care if you are in the heat of the moment ke, or tengah emo ke, or are taken out of context completely. sebagai someone who dares to talk – politician or not – you have put words out there. and budak hingusan freshie doing a degree in any field of social science will be able to tell you that speech is irreversable, irrepeatable and irretractable. therefore, be careful about what you say. i am looking at you, politicians. i am looking at you too, journalists.

You must be the change you wish to see in the world. ~ Gandhi

i have had enough of being doped up and caged in my four walls. that, and the promise of magnificence by a colleague, dragged me out of my drool stained bed and onto a bus. two hours later, i find myself standing on a dijk. across from a neat row of windmills. wind blowing in my face. the sky above me changing from grey to blue before my very eyes.

windmills, i found, are very cool. i think to few of the rest of the world realise the water management precision upheld by the dutch. i guess they have to. without it, they lose half, if not all of their country. which evidently ups the stakes, but you gotta admire the resiliance of these people. we don’t have much of a country, but we will make it. like, literally. as thus they did.

the heart says yes but the body says no

sick as a dog and far away from home. not fun. not fun at all. more so when i am dead sure that the climate has something to do with it and my biology does not agree.

i am frustrated because i know that deep inside that i am far stronger than this. i look back to the adventures that i once found myself coming out of. all the insanities that i have subjected by heart through. oh but most of all, all those triumphs that sing choirs of my name upon such feats accomplished. how magnificent the pride that swelled upon telling of such stories to wide ears and much wider eyeballs.

and yet, here i am. sixteen hours and still trying to sweat the chills out of my stubborn pores when i should be out there immersed in life.