Saturday, May 30, 2009

Historic Friday, a surreal moment..........

It’s Saturday, on a plane, almost a week away, now heading home via Singapore. Home sweet home I will be on Sunday morning. The last few days had been hectic yet was fortunate or unfortunate, depends on how you see it, to be in a foreign country experiencing historic events. The death and funeral of a former popular president and the threats from a hostile neighbour (more like a hostile brother in this case). With a room almost overlooking the main square, sea of yellows, sea of people in mourning, watching the funeral live in front of my eyes, at the same time the TV showing live footages of the whole event. The experience started the night before, Thursday evening, when patriotic songs alternating with what I can only make out as prayers can be heard blaring from the nearby square. So so surreal. Woke up on the Friday morning, the scene just got more intense as sea of yellow can be seen building up. Patriotic songs and prayers getting louder and louder. People singing and praying along. A few of the locals we talked to said they never experienced this enormous public outpouring of grief. Needless to say, traffic was on a stand still.

Yet, there we were, a group of people in a room, listening, talking, discussing, sharing, exchanging information and experiences on how to save the world from the dreaded 2 Celsius increase in the earth’s temperature. By all accounts, if this increase is not slowed or reversed in the next 10 to 20 years, it will be catastrophic to us and the next generations. We have to do something, step by step. Do our bit. Little by little but surely, a change of lifestyle we must achieve. Go green we must. Appreciate the blessings our country has with ample cheap supply of energy and water supply other countries found so scarce. Use less energy; reduce our water consumption we all must. This gathering is indeed an historic moment. What is remarkable, a country under such grief and threat did not lose heart. Instead, the spirit of we are all in this together in this endeavour overcame such grief. Saving the world is a far greater concern.

Evening came, funeral done, the streets still filled with people with candles in their hands, gathering, demonstrating. Songs and speeches can be heard through the night as I packed. Morning came, there were still people, a lot of them. Buses lining the streets. Looked like police buses forming a barricade. As we headed to the airport, I can only wish this country the best wishes. Threats of nuclear attack no to materialise, ever.

Back to me on the plane. Watched a wonderful movie, “He’s Just Not That Into You”. The synopsis says “.. the story of an interconnected group of Baltimore-based twenty and thirtysomethings navigating various relationships from casual dating to married life. Each is hoping to be an exception to the “no-exceptions” rule.” Good movie, watched the full length despite feeling so so sleepy.

If I seemed to be rambling from one topic to another, that’s precisely what I want. These ramblings showed how diverse this world is yet so much interconnected. An action from someone somewhere will affect another in a different place. As straightforward and as common sense as that may sound, somehow we always forget that fact.

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