Hustlin’ and bustlin’ and shufflin’ about

To all city people who are always rushing from one meeting to another, rushing to catch one train after another.

I’ve been so used to the rushing and speed walking of Singaporean lifestyle that every time when I return to Malaysia I feel like I’m moving on fast forward compared to other people. And I’ve only been here for less than 2 years. 

I’ve become impatient. I’m no longer enjoying a cup of tea sitting on a couch or anywhere and just enjoying the nothingness. Do people here even know about this nothingness? They do exercise. The national sport here is jogging. But when they jog, they are listening to music/news/etc. And you see, the act of jogging itself is also a fast forwarding thing.

One day I took half a day off to go to the botanical gardens. Half way through it, I realized I’m walking the same way I always did. So I deliberately slowed down my pace. One step. Pause. Another step. Pause. It’s amazing how these ‘pauses’ can have an effect for someone who doesn’t pause. I felt the world stop. I breath. then I took another step. The kind of steps where my foot plants firmly to the ground. Then there is a rhythm, then there is silence. Even with all the construction going on and cars zooming by. 

And I realized how we neglected the silences by filling our lives with activities, noises, talking, movies, music, and scattered thoughts. Why are earphones constantly connected to the ears? Why are eyes constantly glued to smartphone screens like they contain the biggest secret of life? Why are we constantly pressured to be busy, to seem busy? Why do people always ask: “so what did you do during your weekends?” or “where did you go during the holidays?”


“Being constantly the hub of a network of potential interruptions provides the excitement and importance of crisis management. As well as the false sense of efficiency in multitasking, there is the false sense of urgency in multi-interrupt processing.”

“It is shocking and profoundly regrettable, but, apparently, sales of oranges are falling steadily because people can no longer be bothered to peel them. As soon as I read this,I began buying oranges more frequently and eating them with greater pleasure. Now I peel an orange very slowly, deliberately, voluptuously, above all defiantly, as a riposte to an age that demands war without casualties, public services without taxes, rights without obligations, celebrity without achievement, sex without relationship, running shoes without running, coursework without work and sweet grapes without seeds.”

The Age of Absurdity: Why Modern Life Makes it Hard To Be Happy by Michael Foley


So here I promise myself. I shall sit in the garden or anywhere. Lie on the grass. Until the Sun goes down. 

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