In middle school, I found out that I really enjoyed writing. My Indonesian grammar teacher thought I was good at it (he enjoyed reading my stuff in writing/composition class). My mom, of course, did too. So I thought, that’s it. I’ve got it figured out. When I grow up, I’m going to be a writer! A writer of fiction! I’m going to be a bestselling author of bestselling books! Or so I thought.
When we just moved to the house where I grew up, the area was still in development. We had an open view of a paddy field to the west and, on clear days, a volcano, Mount Salak, to the north. Unlike regular rice fields, paddy fields are partially flooded. We used to like to take a walk on the walking paths among the paddies and watch the little critters in the water. Mostly frogs and tadpoles, and the odd freshwater fish. It was one of the best memories from my childhood.
The first house I’ve ever lived in was located down a narrow alley. It had a water well in the backyard that we shared with our next door neighbours. To get water, you use a pulley to lower a bucket into the well and then pull it back up with water in the bucket. There was no electric pump or anything. Just that bucket-and-pulley thing and a manual water pump. We also had a big hole in the backyard where we threw our garbage in and burned it when the hole got too full. I burnt my wrist playing in that hole once. I still have the scar to remember it by. The house was believed to be haunted. I lived there until I was 5.
I’m looking forward to seeing the ocean again, the castle ruins and the heeland coos, the munros and the glens, to hearing people speak in charming accents, to driving up and down the mountain roads and along the coasts, to getting myself familiar with new music I’d have loaded into my trusty old iPod with the cracked screen, and to seeing the northern lights more vividly than ever.
I went to the funeral of a relative today and her grave happened to be located right next to the grave of a friend’s sister whose funeral I attended 6 years ago. Both died fairly young and unexpectedly. Both survived by their parents.
One of my favourite non-technical photography tips I’ve picked up is shoot anything red because it’ll make any picture pop. It helps that red happens to be one of my favourite colours. It used to be my most favourite colour but I’ve learned that even my most favourite colour has a tendency to change.
Did you know that a swan could break your arms with its wings? At least once a year there’s news about such incident in the local paper. They may look all docile and graceful, but they can be mean jerks. I always try to stay a good distance away from them because I just don’t trust them.