Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Snowball


I'm writing this post from a ship in the middle of the Tasman Sea, and will be posted at a different point to be timestamped correctly.

It seems to me that things, really do only get better. For the past 5 years every progressive year has increased in joy, fulfilment and learning. And not by any small means, I mean by a solid progression in each, beautifully eventuated round.

This year was the first year I took upon two real jobs to sustain myself into the workplace. At what wonderful jobs they are, finding your fellow student's problems and solving them to assist them along in their degree to put them on the right academic and career path. Standing as the legal guardians in Australian permanent residency for the IELTS test in passport registration, fingerprint scanning and test observance.

I have learnt, grown, made new friends and furthered most of the passions I've set out to achieve- there are some stray bullets such as game and health which haven't really gone quite as planned but on the whole im chugging along like a standard freight train.

From as early as I can remember into my university life each successive year brings upon it a greater knowledge of the opportunities available, and my subsequent initative to take them up and smash through them all. Law I've come to find out can get quite tough - Torts and Negligence is something that requires careful analysis in how careless someone may be, right off the bat.

Just the other day on this cruise ship I've met a couple charming chaps already; TX and SQ, both from the University of Melbourne in post graduate Law and Medicine respectively. We ate this amazing buffet together and in the most epic of coincidences I met TX over a year ago during my travels to Melbourne as part of my SIFE delegation! That delegation is and will continue to be one of the best memories of my university life I will ever hold, and it was nice to briefly rekindle memories of that in years gone by.


Inevitably waves of nostalgia come quite frequently in this time of year. Things that have happened, come and gone, things that you will never really resurface ever again. But the great traits that you've adopted, the good times that you hold onto, they snowball and build up to greater and greater heights of cheer. Your skills unlock more challenges which unlock more skills, and the virtuous cycle continues. With the sinking of old moments, the lock shut on some doors, new chances to fly emerge.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Kangaroos on George St.

A boy wakes up. He wakes up trepid, wondering what he's going to wear that his peer's are going to validate, his hair is nice and groomed, and that he looks presentable as he goes out the door. On the way there he see's people that he would like to company on the dreary ride to and from school, but every day he keeps quiet as not to feel out of place. He sits and idley looks outside the passing landscape through the window.

At school he hides behind a mask of quiet contentment, where inside turmoil of nervousness and ill fit belonging in his circle is greatly apparent. Everyday he spend his recess and lunch in almost the same way, wasting away in rooms playing cards, talking in trivialities as the days pass by, taken for granted, in a weak, soft state of mind and spirit. He was at the stage to go through puberty but he never acted on it in any meaningful way. His friend's circle stands precariously fragile. His marks dampen, he lives life like a soulless robot, waiting for the days to pass by and things to magically "change" by themselves.

If you haven't figured out already, boy was me throughout the majority of my years from year 8 to year 10. Year 11 and 12 turned out to be amazing for me, but today one of those days that reinforces with with such clarity, through seeing a specific act, to the extent that this detrimental state of mind was destructive. Constantly looking for external validation in those days rendered my personality, curiosity, interests and dreams mute. My wonderful ability to write stories, draw and paint, talk endlessly about my passions were slowly eroded in this new vegetative state which I inadvertantly kept myself in through lack of action.

What act did I see? I saw one of my friends from Germany hopping around George St. like a kangaroo as he approached random girls he found attractive and talked to them.

Sure he looked stupid. What was the point of it? None really, it was more of a spur of the moment kind of thing. Were passerby's looking at him? Probably. How about the girls that he was about to approach, surely they would pre-emptively judge him? They probably would. But the sticking point for me was that he doesn't GIVE A CRAP. Wearing little outside of broad shorts and a jacket he went out there and did exactly what he felt like. Smashing through the ideas of validation, going ahead with his intentions clear and straight. What a wonderful display of what we all should be doing more.

This was a night that I saw, with the two guys beside me, the great extent to which self built confidence, and the fact that they don't GIVE A CRAP can take you. My best friend said that to be successful in the game you have to be Delusional and Shameless. By sheer coincidence I was called that by my ex girlfriend, and I will take on these two traits like badges of honor. Delusional in my self worth and confidence to the point where it solidifies into my being. Shameless in my ability to try things without care for others people's opinions, into the big wide world outside of my comfort zone.

 

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Ideas truly are worth sharing

Today marks 10 days after a culmination of one of the best series of events that I can recall in the past year.

On this blog bullshit is something to be avoided, a cancer that clouds the integrity and point of even having a blog. But this post will, if possible, even more so concrete this unspoken policy. Volunteering for the TEDxMacquarieUniversity conference on campus was simply absolutely amazing on so many fronts.

As a pretext to this, I had participated in the 2013 Student Speaker comepetition for TEDxMacquarieUniversity around a month ago, and in my efforts on my youtube video and written application I had progressed into the top 5 finalists, to be spoken in front of the director of the entire production, as well as the senior youth liason member. I didn't win the competition, but the disappointment was short lived my original place as a brand ambassador was soon proven to be well worth in playing my part in this.

This feeling of happiness pervaded on the very pre-briefing we experienced on the day before. Running around the parts inside of Macquarie theatre that I've never laid eyes on before, initial thoughts of disorganisation were quickly vanquished with  clear directions given to us by our volunteered roles. As part of the two-man unit of the backstage team, we were briefed on our duties and had to stay back in an effort to drill our tasks into us given the difficulty of our particular team. The shirts we received were cool and snazzy, the production value of the stage and props looked amazing, and already I could see the pieces fit in together in my mind and almost in my sleep. The following day did not disappoint.

On arrival we were given such cool lanyards that even to this day I hang it up next to the monitor as a nod in its design. But almost immediately I was whisked away into the backstage hall where I saw my soon to be boss for the day fiddling with lighting, screen production, the giant scrolling screens and the beautiful visual and audio effects used to enhance all of the speaker's presentations. The day was filled with memmries in meeting friends, GM the tall social butterfly and PO my partner in crime was in and of itself great people to work with. But it was the fascinating topics that they talked about which left me stunned. From DIY drones, to statistics to the concept of luck, all spoke with conviction and clarity, and we were even lucky enough to witness a proposal of marriage on stage.

My favourite song from Les Mis was [played, (Do you hear the people sing?), the home grown food, free from GMO's and production scales was some of the most tastebud tantalising pieces of matter than have I have ever savoured, and being constantly kept on my toes in finding the next speaker, in manning both sides of the door, left the day without a dull moment. This will indeed be one of the moments of this year that I will smile upon reflection.


Sunday, 15 September 2013

Younger Progress

On a sunny Saturday afternoon, I was walking around my university during its midsemester break, talking and chatting to high schoolers and their parents in an animated and cheerful fashion to sell the academic and social fruits of Macquarie. I was employed by the Faculty of Business as a student representative as the first point of contact when, on our open day, students expressed interest in coming to study here.

The flashback of my period of highschool could not have been more stark. The 17 year old me had his head in the clouds. I wasn't the loudest or happiest kid around, but I had a solid circle of friends to rely on and talked passionately on the great things that were happenign around the world in Climate change and politics.

But as for my personaly future, I barely gave it any thought at all. I never visited the Open Day of Macquarie, I assumed that despite my poor internal marks that I would score at least enough to get into Commerce at the University of Sydney or New South Wales, and my blissful contempt and ignorance of the student populace outside of my highschool was threateningly naive.

My choices to study the typical Asian subjects; Law, Engineering, Commerce were littered across my preference list. Nowhere did any spark or creativity flow through despite my skill in art-making, design making or of political action. The latter of perhaps Law has in small relevance.

Seeing the year 12 students on the 14th however, in their careful planning and interest to study despite the simply ability to 'let things come as they come" attitude sweep them over as I did, gives me hope for the speed of progress in our younger generation. I and many of my friends are going to change the landscape and social values of this society as we grow, but I can see the generation prior to Y, (W perhaps?) are going to go through this in a greatly forged path.

Highschool is a time in which I will never get back. It was beautiful. I always remind my sister of the great merit in highschool and I do hope that my constant badgering has allowed her to see the precious time that flows from her days, as do mine form my days here. It has always been that I dont appreciate things to their fullest extent that I have had them in possession, but in my awareness I do hope to minimise this gap going forward.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Even magic stagnates

Upon this blog I once wrote on the vigor and determination felt standing beneath the stage of some of the most brilliant youth leaders of our time in a competition for social entrepreneurship. This was of course, the SIFE Nationals 2012, flying off to Melbourne which I believe truly kickstarted my university life in experience and a desire to progress forward.

Alas, a year later, the once new magic has been stifled in a feeling of stagnation and platitudes. While the intentions of student leadership and the business model amongst models of 6 highly motivated individuals may sound incredible to most, the reality is that the experiments run half-heartedly at best. This year almost 20% of the previous universities of the past cohort dropped out, which included great heavyweights such as Monash and the Australian National University. The ideas were weaker, the speakers less inspired, the setting in a more dimly expressed fashion. The members of the community while shiny eyed and filled with smiles knew that their projects were just in their growth stage, and I certainly saw a part of me within conversation.

I guess its all a part of seeing things objectively, without bias as a friend or foe, as an authoritative figure or as an entity. It was the domino that set up who I saw myself as an identity but I feel that it has all but been lost awash a myriad of other experiences that will soon come.

It isn't just a turning point in the membership within this great society either. This half yearly transition has really seen to be a slow change from my understanding of the world. No longer can I hide behind ignorance or comfortable silence in my place as a global citizen. I have learnt so many egregious things that our fellow man has inflicted upon himself that to stand idly by and procrastinate is an offence to yourself in personal growth and to your neighbours.

Form this point onwards a great feeling of ambition has emerged to strive to be the best potential person I can be in this series of universes, so that i will have enough power to empower others, to create small craters of impact and to bring them along in my journey, and mine in theirs.

Goodbye Enactus, goodbye comfortable ignorance, the rest of my life starts now.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

A God for Agnostics

Additionally, it appears to me that many of my great friends who are Christian, for the most part, lack intellectual curiosity. The constant need to question facts, atrocities or wonders of the world, or indeed even issues and events in their life can all be summed up by a single, all-encompassing answer; “Jesus”. It reminds me of the typical response as expressed by a political commentator on TYT; “I have forgotten the question, but I know Jesus is the answer”. It is a right excuse to allow a manner of all injustices to occur in the world, why there is already a higher being who right even the most egregious of wrongs in the world.

I believe you have to suspend a great amount of rational and logic to be able to believe that talking snakes, fly horses and magical fruit actually existed in our world a long time ago. Even more so; a man who can walk on water, is also able to chemically transform said water into alcohol, and is somehow a living embodiment of God requires in my view at least years of indoctrination that no PDHPE program ever could.

It has always puzzled me as to how some of my brightest friends, (albeit the proportion tapers down the more intelligent they are), are still able to find a religious donctrine compatible with their reality. But if it assists them in their trade, perhaps with spiritual assurance or sel-righteousness then I guess  I don't really have an issue with this.

The only problem that really arises is when it affects public policy, which thankfully is a problem seen in greater force in America than Australia. Politics there is marred by 'Judeo-Christian value', ie. An excuse to lower taxes, reduce food stamp and poverty assistance programs, religious education within our schools.


This all comes through the perspective from someone who describes himself as spiritual, but only to the extent that I warm to Buddhist practices of meditation, calmness and stress relief. In the meanime I will just observe my surroundings and the religiosity of the people in my life.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Quantum Mechanics (for the religious)

One central point in my life is my lack of a higher being, a greater force that governs my life, a spiritual sense, if you will. Essentially, I am Athiestic in the most conventional terms, while harbouring some doubt I do not consider myself an agnostic since the delusions of Heaven and Hell simply do not resonate, 2 distinguishing post-life states which are present in almost all modern religions.

A good friend of mine, WL, sent me a card for my birthday. That card has inspired me to submit this fascinating idea for a TEDx talk, in my hopes to win the championships if the student division speaker's contest. Without further ado, here is my speech.

"

When I was 4 years old, the world was a little different. Dialup was the latest technology, the Asian Financial crisis was the biggest monetary collapse on the globe, and Sega World Sydney was just opening up.

I had just started kindergarten, and I wanted to be a lion when I grew up. This evidently was not my future, and even today life twists and turns our reality, with physical advances and emotional issues spliced, discarded and evolving in front of our eyes. Some might say that God, unlike society, is future proof. But is there anything about today’s population, in a new age of reason, that can be considered in this light?

Today, I want to speak in the simplest and clearest 5 minutes possible, how through scientist Michio Kaku’s writings of quantum mechanics, and theorist Everett’s writing on the basis of “many worlds” explanation of the universe, all possible histories and futures are real, and each represent an actual, physical world.

As Kaku states; upon the big bang, an infinite amount of particles expanded, and a few of them cooled to form Earth. In this line of reasoning, if there’s an infinite amount of particles present, because of this, an identical combination had to have cooled in the exact same process, no matter how incredibly small the chances. This means a countless amount of other Earths cooled in the same process. But perhaps in one of them, oxygen particles didn’t cool fast enough, thus preventing dinosaurs, life, and so on. 

Taking this idea further, our world is just one of an infinite number of worlds. It stands at an ever branching tree of human and natural choices, and will continue to do so until the end of time.
With all of these different worlds at hand, in some, my small online toy business has globalised. In some, Im a robotics engineer.  And in others, I am the United Nations ambassador reuniting North and South Korea. But in most, I probably don’t exist, as the physical constants must be of certain values for this to happen.

I know that based on this purely rational view of life, we can take comfort in the fact that ANYTHING is possible, and has, is, or will be happening, somewhere in another Earth in the distance. This non-deterministic nature of the world entitles us to the only thing that is truly future proof: which is our own free will. Our greatest disappointment, in being corrupt, a criminal, an addict, have all been realised in some worlds, and they might even be realised in this one. It is up to us how our lives are played out. The impact of our actions in the world we live, in are OURS ALONE. The FUTURE, is OURS to create. If you want to jump into our world and upstart the next Google, incubate that HERE and create that NOW.

Finally, I feel very privileged to say that in this linear path of choices, I have had the chance to meet some of the most amazing and well rounded people possible.

"

UPDATE: I have made it into the Finalist's division of the top 5 students across Macquarie University. Sadly I didnt make it to win the entire contest.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Stepping stone

Today I held my first ever position of work for a government body. As part of the Univative Program 2013, myself and 4 other delegates of Macquarie University were chosen to work and incubate a project to be funded by the NSW Department of Trade and Investment. It was to create an online portal that would service the future needs of prospective students, as well as maintain the concerns of current international students studying in Australia.

As the elected team leader, I found that I learnt lessons of leadership that were harder to come by in our face paced society.

Things started off rosy, standard and straight-forward. A cocktail evening, with wine and fancy dress talking in warmth to our competitors from UNSW, USyd, UTS and UOW. I met my fellow team members on this day, and they all felt amicable that we could work together well in a strong and unified sense. I volunteered and elected to be the team project leader for the task, and full speed ahead we went.

The first meeting started out in a flurry of activity and drive: our agenda was properly set out, we met in the confines of the computer labs at our university and pitched all of our ideas together to market the state of NSW as a great place for international students to study. It seemed as if the ball was rolling, we found our business proposal template and began work in research and amalgamation of ideas.

As we cemented more ideas into the fold, GPS phone assistants, interactive map in living expenses it slowly came together as a proper business proposal that we could seriously pitch and present to our bosses at the Department of Trade and Investment. It was at this time which I indicated earlier that I would be temporarily be overseas for a week in Malaysia for travel.* And thats where shit hit the fan.

My brief visit overseas led to a particular member, LC to attempt to usurp me as the leader. As the self appointed leader earlier she had taken on our immediate delegate to lobby to take my position simply for the authoritative power in title. Upon asking "If you dont get to be team leader then you will leave. This simply means you have no sentiment for the good of the project or what we have learnt in ideals, it is simply for your sake". After a pause she replied with "Im not staying unless I am team leader" once more. This was a nightmare in understanding and upon my return the remaining members still all held my support, in fact we were still drinking at the bar in complaint shortly after its conclusion.

But it goes to show me that even though I had received complements and compliance from my members you have to understand and see through certain people in how they work, and how you can adapt to get the most out of them.

*On a side note, visiting Malaysia was amazing. It was the first time I went overseas without my parents, and chilling around KL, going through the bird sanctuary, theme parks, amazing food and shopping districts was a week I won't forget. Travelling is the way to see the world that only boots on the ground and an initial immersion into a society can reveal.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Artist

They refine the creativity into clear channels, they spark new designs using existing tools into something appealing and fresh. They move themselves and other people into a new place and position or colour and art. They self empower and are not discouraged by failed attemptes, yearning only to create a bold new Starry night or Mona Lisa. I studied Visual Arts in highschool scoring the highest mark in my HSC results, but this is certainly not where my point lies. Not with a brush, but with charisma. Not with colours, but with dialogue. Not with a canvas, but with people and their social interactions.



I am of course, referring to the Pickup Artist.

I understand the stigma in this, the awkward process of the "approach" the anxiety and perceived shallowness of the whole excercise. But this ideal has excelled me into new height I previously thought were unimaginable.

The process remains with you in your ability to meet new people, new employers, new constituents and the limitless other random strangers in your academic, work or social life. People who once intimidate your very spine are on the same level as you. The same wavelength, the same ability to talk and hold conversation. As you approach the CEO of a company extend your hand and speak in a clear voice "Thank you so much for helping to organise this event. I find it truly informative for the tertiary audience in understanding their responsibilities" lies in the same field as approaching a pretty girl to speak "Hey I noticed you around the corner, I thought you looked really pleasant. I dont like having regrets, so I just wanted to say hi". The impacts are clear, far-reaching and exceptional in their simplicity. All you have to do, is go out and dive.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Fruits of Food


A light post for this month, the start of semester, a good solid description of one of my favourite things in life: Food. We dont eat to live, but we live to eat is one of the frequently passed around these corners of the internet. I cannot agree more. The sights of seeing a freshly basked apple pie, the smell of simmering unagi served on a dollap of egg and broken rice, the feeling of melting gelato on your tongue, and of course: the taste of scallops and squid fried on a beer batter with that always unhealthy side of deep fried, sticks of potato.

What can I say? What I eat can oh so greatly affect the mood I am in. In the depths of disappointment post HSC I can always remember that steaming bowl of beef and broth that woke me up as we went on our way to the United States. In the greatest of times we celebrated friends birthdays, time after time again in Italian and French cuisines, soaring far higher than what our budgets could naturally afford, as that very icing on an already awesome day.


What I want to get at, is how such placebo effects work in conjunction with all the senses we have. I find food to encapsulate nearly all of our known senses in touch, taste, smell sights and sound. It compacts them all at the same time, and while I can definitely say I am not the most accurate foodie around, (I incorrectly separated poor from good quality fries) I can deifnitely say I am a fan of its effects. If we see something that is prepared well, presented finely we excpect the food to taste better. Of a fascinating study by the University of Michigan in the early 2000's, there was a noticeable difference in patrons enjoyment of the food when presenting with a sandwich that was cut diagnoally into trinagles, or cut straight into squares. ITS the SAME sandwich, yet 14% of people enjoyed the traingular sandwiched more!

Drawing away from food, this effect has been monumentally useful for me in known placebos. Not to draw any more from scientific studies, (I personally love them but even in excess they become mind numbingly dreary) scientists in the UK gave two different groups of patients treatment of athritis. One was given no pills, while another were given pills that clearly labelled *PLACEBO: SUGAR TABLETS* on its label. Despite knowing full well that the sugar tablets did nothing for their athritis, the second group marked a 17% FASTER recovery than the former group.   Why does the human mind play such unusual tricks on us?

I find myself exploiting this to the nth degree. My friends would know of a lucky shirt that I own. While knowing full well that it is nothing more than a piece of grey cloth, I tell myself that it is a lucky shirt. the colours have faded, the design is awkward yet I have always worn it into every interview I have ever sat in, post 2009. The results? I have passed every interview I have ever sat for, attained positions in companies I could have never envisioned to join, appeared in society posters and representing organisations far greater than me. I had never gained anything prior to my ownership of this shirt, employment, social ability or otherwise. On a different note, I was explicitly asked out by a girl for the first time in my life. I've received very strong signals in the past but this is the first time its happened. And what a wonderful and charming soul she is, but in a twist of fate I don't reciprocate this strongly enough. But I hope to always be in contact and reach with you, JC.

As a final note, look at your watch, or necklace, earing or tie. Tell yourself that it is a lucky tie. It will definitely sound stupid, and for the most part useless. But the mind wil play tricks on you. Wear this somewhere in which the situation requires more of you than you usually offer, and experience the results.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Double Edged Sword


Networking is one of the most useful things one can do to change their lives. Taking the plunge to open new doors, find out secret pathways, exploring unchartered territories in peoples personalities, their determinations and indeed even their psyche.

Truth be told it has worked wonders for me, and a few of my first impressions have gone a long way in many aspects of my life. I networked my way into new occupations, awesome friends, people that have left me in awe of their prowess and people that have truly let me learn life lessons I would have never made anywhere else. I made my first job for the University at a group assessment where my first impression was so unusual that they offered me an unadvertised position after the advertised one was declined that lasted longer and paid better than the one on offer.

Making friends in all sorts of societies has left my social life warm and content despite the sometimes cold hearted nature of degree, (Money and Finance isn't always the closest thing you want to cuddle up to at night). My life in finding an emotional anchor has been turbulent, but that might be for another time.

At the same time you flip the coin every time you leave a first impression, and you play a deck of cards every time you continue maintaining it. If you network badly or wrongly enough you reach a stage of notoriety in your pursuit to make your own web of reliable and honest people for yourself.


A recent encounter has given me a deuce in my playing hand. A network I have made has turned sour, poisoning mutual friends and calling into question the methods of my communication delivery. My immediate superior in my society has stripped me of my position due reasons of transparency and timeliness. Staying kind and sensitive, to remaining civil in the face of the different personalities can get you further toward a better network that most may imagine.

The ability to network is a double edged sword. The rewards are high, but the risk is even higher. High to the point where every new network has the ability to wipe out previous networks that have come before it. But life's a gamble, I simply love the game I play.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

From here to Mars


I’m starting to write this 20 hours shy of my flight. In my high-rise hotel room sitting in the heart of Hanoi, I see beautiful, stylised, expensive shopping malls sitting directly next to broken flats, discarded rubbish heaps and slums. This land is undergoing a change faster than what my mind can boggle, and the disparity between the rich and poor is akin to the distance between here and Mars, growing larger by the day. This has been one of the first holidays I have ever had outside of the first world. And I cannot understate its memorability.

Bangkok – A Canon of blitz

Not even a day into Bangkok we were treated to a signature act most tourists would have encountered – we were hoodwinked. It wasn’t by much, a meal of seafood similar to Sydney prices but exorbitant to most Thai incomes, that gave us food poisoning and paralysed us for the following morning. It was regardless an experience worth having (at least once). In the later days on our way to shipping malls, and other sites there were always a mix of wealthy and poor outlets, citizens standing barefoot selling yams and fruit, contrasted with young chaps selling consumer electronics.

You come to the realisation that for many of the citizens here and certainly abroad; the mere existence of these people’s lives are essentially to wake up, set up a roadside store, wait for tourists for a quarter day to purchase stock, close up, spend time with their children and sleep. Rinse and repeat. Looking at this, the amount of luck that has been bestowed on me in these past 19 years is mind blowing, bone crushing and an injustice that I have been such a prick. I have been taking my freedoms for granted, the food my parents give me, shelter, education and even enough money for extra curricular FUN. This has to change.


Pattaya – Animal Cruelty 101

The next leg of our journey travelled north of the country into the resort bay of Pattaya. A beautiful landscape filled with beach, surf, friendly people and an unique mix of laid back atmosphere and white knuckle taxi rides; you can only find in this part of the world.

However what was most memorable was one of the “zoos” we visited. This place felt like it was filled with misery. We saw crocodile plantations, great reptiles stripped of their rugged tails and teeth heaped 30 in a tiny cubicle for the purposes of breeding. Bears and tigers stripped of their prized fangs and claws so that tourists can take photos wrapped around their arms in a perverse who of degredation and spite. What makes a business compelled to treat animals in this way? I’m hoping I can find out in my further studies.

Hanoi – Coming out of the Cold

The Northern capital feels like it has been ripped out of the 1980’s reform of the People’s Republic. Communist soldiers ever-present wearing Russian like hats, with pockets of capitalism and industry peeping through the citizens of this hugely significant city. We visited the tomb of the great comrade and leader Ho Chi Minh himself as insightful propaganda blared. Cruising along Ha Long bay in a serene moment of tranquillity and awe. I came out feeling that it was a cold, cold place with a lot of warm people to welcome our stay.

Saigon – Good Night Irene

To date one of my all time favourite cities. Disregarded traffic rules, incredible food, scam artists and friendly folk alike populate this mixing pot of Western (French) and Eastern (Vietnamese) influences. I was lucky enough to have friends I met at Macquarie University return to Vietnam and show me around all the nice places to see, visit and eat. (kudos WT and her charming friends). As the last leg I was still burning with passion and will to explore, and Saigon delivered. I made dealings with friends to kick start our own business explored the city into the darkest hours of the night and into the morning. As a final note of goodwill I recently found out that in my 4 days present in Saigon I was unintentionally photographed into an online Vietnamese newspaper.


Ultimately this trip has changed my perspective in an untold amount of ways. I feel reformed, rebooted to a certain extent and it feels so much better to live in the same old house, the same old uni, the same old family, except to replace this phrase with treasured and EPIC.