Wednesday, 20 January 2016

2016 - Year of Surprises

I don't believe in New Years Resolutions.

If you want to do something new or different, why must you wait until the New Year to do it?

However, that being said, it was around, or perhaps just after, Christmas time when I randomly thought to myself:
"I am going to do something different. I am going to do something people won't expect me to do."
***

By way of example, I hate leisurely reading. Or I hated it. Maybe I still hate it.

There used to be a time when I would read all sorts of fantasy novels.

However university readings dulled my brain to the point where I loathed reading..even if it was leisurely reading.

I would tell myself:
"Sure, I'll read at work or for uni (because I have to), but not when I'm supposed to be relaxing..."

So while we were in Cambodia and Vietnam, I thought to myself: I'm going to surprise my sister Chloe and read a book series she has been bugging me to read.

To add a bit more context, my sister had, over the years, accumulated massive amounts of disappointment upon disappointment regarding my refusal to read books - in particular she was quite annoyed that I still have not (and don't intend to) read the 7th Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows or the last Keys to the Kingdom book, Lord Sunday (despite me reading all the other books in the series!).

She called me names and could not believe that I would not "finish" the series.

I even started to read A Game of Thrones but when the sexual descriptions became too rampant I decided to stop.

So, to make it up to her, and to surprise her with something COMPLETELY unexpected, I've decided to put aside my stubbornness and read A Song of Ice and Fire, starting from A Game of Thrones. All just to prove a point!

The first book has started off quite well, just as I knew and expected it would (given all the hype) but as I've mentioned I don't really enjoy the vivid descriptions of sexual encounters. In that sense, ASOIAF reminds me of the Belgariad and the Mallorean series where sexual descriptions were rife. I think a book can be enjoyable without those things, but I suppose I cannot blame George R Martin for trying to paint a crude, cruel and rough image of the world.


***

My parents have always lectured me about the 'wasted opportunity' I spurned by not learning 'Mandarin' (PuTongHua) in the past.

I can speak broken Mandarin to my grandmother. But in all fairness, it really isn't good enough.

So I thought, OK, I will prove them wrong and I will do something unexpected. I will take up Mandarin lessons with my friend Roy weekly.

I will ALSO make an effort to learn some basic Cantonese as a BONUS.

I said to mum:

"Alright, if you REALLY want me to learn Cantonese, you must promise me these things: 1) You must not make fun of me 2) You must not keep reminding me of the fact that I wasted the opportunity to learn Cantonese over all these years and 3) You must be patient with me."

She said: "Ok, fine."

How long will this last for?

Who knows.

But it feels nice for a change.

Andre Lim

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