Monday, June 23, 2008

Religious paths

I discovered this article from BBC, and it is really interesting. Click on the link to see it. Point to ponder.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Inspiring Article

I discovered a very inspiring article from 'The Star' and I would like to share it with all of you. Here it is.

Stalked for my blog

Blogged out By NICOLE TAN

HEY, are you Nicolekiss?” a girl, looking excited yet terrified, squeaked as she tapped my shoulder.

“Err ? yes?” I replied.

“Hi, I read your blog! Can I take a photo with you?”

After obliging her, she shook my hand eagerly and trotted off, giggling, with her girlfriends. I stood rooted to the spot where she had left me, dumbstruck. Wow! All of a sudden, I feel like a star. But I’m not!

I don’t know about you (bloggers), but I have been approached quite a number of times in shopping malls, by strangers who had that “star-struck” expression on their faces, as though they had spotted Andy Lau. In fact, it is getting so regular nowadays that it has become a reflex for me to smile back, shake their hands and pretend that we are long-lost friends.

The unfortunate thing about being a blogger (with a substantial traffic) is that you have your whole life revealed to the world. Everyone has access to information on your life, your past, your current status, what you do or where you have been. Which can be creepy at times ... believe me, I know.

The upside of it, however, you can save your breath and skip the whole “how-do-you-do; I-am-fine” introductory part of ice-breaking.

A typical conversation with a stranger can go like this:

“Hey, you are Nicolekiss, right?”

“Yes, I am.” I am taken aback, but smile back amiably

“I read your blog. I love what you write.”

“Why, thank you; that’s very sweet of you.”

“How was your Indo-China trip? I thought you were still somewhere in Thailand?”

“Oh no, I’ve finished Cambodia and have been back for two weeks now, though I’m still writing about Thailand (on my blog).”

“Wow, great! I look forward to your next entry. How is that guy doing? The one you met in Thailand?”

“Oh, he’s fine. He’s in Thailand. We still keep in contact.”

“Fantastic. Okay, I hope to see you around. Nice meeting you!”

“It was nice meeting you, too.”

And I wave nonchalantly to this stranger/reader whose name remains a mystery to me as he/she walks away. Creepy? Yes. Normal? Most definitely not! To the point I get paranoid when I spot passers-by staring or girls giggling and whispering to each other.

Everywhere I turn, I feel like I’m being watched, and someone is going to jump out from a corner, catching me by surprise. The last thing I want is to be caught by a fan and asked for a photograph when my face looks like it has not seen daylight for years and my hair resembles tumbleweed, and I’m wearing my faded old T-shirt, wrinkled short pants and a pair of worn-out flip-flops.

Speaking of weird, nothing beats this email I received from a reader in the United States. It was in the morning when the reader declared that he had had a nightmare about me and felt that it was a bad omen, and requested that I send my clothes for dry-cleaning immediately. And, the icing on the cake – he would even send me the money to pay for the dry cleaning!

There was also this other reader who offered to cover all my travel and lodging expenses as long as he could be my travel partner to any country I visit. Tempting though the offer was, I think I work better when I travel solo.

Not all encounters are hair-raising, though. I remember this occasion when I had blogged about my father’s surgery and how helpless I had felt to see the old man so weak and frightened on his surgical bed, instead of the man I had looked upon as a hero for as long as I could remember.

In the days that followed right after I published that entry, I had heaps of email flooding my gmail, conveying personal regards and encouragement to stay strong; as well as phone calls from friends and friends of friends, declaring their concern and consoling me. It made me feel appreciated and cared for, but most importantly, it made me realise I was not alone.

Even now, months after the operation, I still have strangers coming up to me and wishing me and my family well. My blog had not only served as a space for me to express my emotions, it had acted as a medium for the world to communicate with me. It was a heartwarming period, and I grew closer to my blog.

I have had many encounters – funny, odd, rude, scary and heart-warming – as a blogger that have brought tears of joy and pain – to my eyes. The mysterious world of blogosphere never ceases to surprise me, and despite the eerie tales that come my way once in a while, I enjoy the thrills and delights my blog has brought me.

I always thought something like this would be good. Nevertheless, things seems to be more complicated than that. It is hard to predict. Blah. Cheers! Take care!