Friday, March 18, 2011

Take time to smell the flowers

Life is busy indeed. It's hard to believe that it's already March. It feels like yesterday when I welcomed 2011. Looking at the list of tasks in front of me, I think I could easily go insane if I don't take time to relax and unwind.

So days like yesterday are good for me. Simply being with the family, taking a lazy stroll in the wildlife park, enjoying nature. Even if I can't really appreciate animals, I definitely can appreciate plants. I stopped to scrutinize every plant by the roadside, to take pictures of those that appeal to me. The little yellow flower that bravely survived amid the withering ones. The dying white flower with long stem (and I don't even know its name). The native leaves that I know my people use to wrap rice in. Everything is fascinating.

Two hours of leisurely stroll did me good. My faith in life is restored. As simple as that. And I remind myself again "take time to smell the flowers".

Friday, March 4, 2011

amazing lesson

I was having my regular foot massage with my favourite masseur, Effa, at her shop a few blocks away from my place. (This lady gives the best massage, gentle but firm, attacking areas of your foot that are problematic. Glad I discovered her a few months ago. I can now say "bye bye" to other masseurs who seem to be practising their skills on one's feet rather than know what they do).

Anyway, while having the massage, I had a headache that had lasted for the whole day. My own cultural diagnosis of it was it was a "cold-headache" or "wind-headache" to be more literal. The night before, after coming back from a friend's bbq on the evening, I washed my hair and fell asleep with my hair wet while putting my little boy to bed. This kind of headache is dull and makes your head feel heavy.

While Effa was giving me the massage, her air-cond guy came over. She told me the guy could press points on the head and make the headache go away. She asked me whether I'd like his help to do that. Hesitating, I looked at the guy. "Seems genuine and sincere", was my impression. I asked him whether he would mind, and he asked me whether I could stand the pain. I said "yes" and he set to work. He put his fingers through my hair on the crown of my head, gave a quick press on certain points, gathered my hair on his fingers and tugged! Something cracked, there was an uncomfortable sensation for a few seconds, then...nothing. And then it happened...I shook my head, and the pain seemed to be less. Seconds later, I sweated profusely, and the headache was totally gone.

Amazed, I asked him how did he do it. He simply replied that he learned from his master 'sifu', a Buddhist guru. I asked him if there's any other thing he could teach me. So here's what he taught me.

When you have a fever, take 7 grains of rice, two slices of ginger (unspecified size), and a pinch of salt. Mix them with a glass of warm water, steep for a while, and drink the water. The fever will soon go away.

When I asked him "why 7?", he gave me a look that said "why do you have to ask so many questions?", so I kept silent. At home, I prepared his 'medicine', had it, and guess what? It worked!

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