It’s happy days like these I wish I could re-live over and over again. This morning, I went to the temple with a couple of friends who really really wanted to try their vegetarian meal there. Although they were strictly Catholic, they did not mind the idea of “eating at a temple” or even being in the presence of a Buddhist atmosphere. I’m not sure how that’d be looked upon, but I know my uncle/aunt who are strict Catholic won’t even STEP FOOT in a temple, near one or anything related to it. We got there around 11:30, just half an hour shy of the start of lunch so we showed them around, the library, miniature tea house, gift shop, etc. until it was time. Since the 1/2 hour did not provide us with a lot of time, we had to go back after. For those who don’t follow my blog or the (lack thereof) interesting life, I’ve had a lot of relationship problems within the past 6 months. I cannot even express the anguish of it, although anyone who has ever felt heartbroken and torn inside-out will know what I mean. Anyways, other than praying deeply for a year of good health, fortune and happiness, I asked hard to be blessed with guidance on how to be a better person and show the girl I truly care about how I felt. I wanted my relationship not to become a burden, but a source of happiness, satisfaction and compassion. I am a simple person, I do not expect monetary riches in life, I want my life to be filled with things you can’t buy in a store – happiness, love and family.
Generally I’m not a big vegetarian food lover – I’d fall apart without meat, lol, but when it comes to the food they make at the temple, it is amazing. They make things with so much flavour and vibrancy that it makes you want to eat it and feel satisfied! The problem I have with vegetarian food is the fact they taste bland and not fulfilling after you eat it, but not here, yummy! So we chatted and ate, I had seconds and I think almost everyone else did too! We went back upstairs and finished the rest of the “tour”…. I was glad to be upstairs again because the temple basement is extremely deep and it kills off any chance of you getting phone/internet reception down there. It was nice to be “in touch with civilization” again.. LOL.
Also, my friends brought a camera with them (obviously – what self respecting Asian doesn’t take a camera on a “t0ur”? haha.) and we took some pictures and even I took some of the decorations. Although we went and took some pics on CNY, it was packed with people that I didn’t even get to see (or COULD see) them but now, with less bodies around, I actually got to take in the beautiful decorations and design! After taking “a few” pictures, they also had a stand for a “wishing tree” where you could hang up your year’s wish for a few dollars and all the donations collected were going to Haiti, so why not? My mom and I bought one and so did our friends and we could choose a place on the tree to hang them up!
We didn’t do any grocery shopping today because everyone wanted to go home… and on the way home, I realized that I should’ve because my friend’s birthday party is coming up on Saturday and I was supposed to get her some “Chinese Beer” – urg… now I have to go to the Chinese stores near here just to see if they have it. When I got home, I started talking to one of my friends and as usual, we talked for an hour or two. She had to take a shower… good thing or else we would’ve never stopped, lol. She always cheers me up (not that it was a bad day or anything) – but what made it better is that BeBe and I are starting to talk again. Really – my life is so much better now, I don’t care whether this is “progress” or anything, just her talking to me made me head swirl with happiness, pure BLISS. Life is grand today – and hopefully “forever after” too…. I’m just so ecstatic right now this feeling is better than being high … not that I actually know what that feels like 😀
This weekend has been busy for me so I really lacked posting any “flow content”… so I’ll try to conjure something up in the next few days on-topic 🙂 Toodles everyone!
Found this before going to sleep.. I didn’t want to include it in my previous “sales” post because it’ll probably be missed:
@Costco …. $3 off on boxes of Always Pantiliners (Box of 160) – valid at participating Western/Eastern Canada Costco’s (Membership Req’d)
I thought I’d write something a bit abstract today, rather than my usual period-postings since it’s a Friday. For the past while, I’ve been pondering something one of my ex’s have said to me. Now, you might wonder why I seem to talk about my ex’s a lot, it is because all my ex’s with the exception of one, I keep in touch with – some, on even a regular basis. I’m a believer that just because two people didn’t make it to the final stretches of a relationship, doesn’t mean we can’t be friends. Sometimes, this connection even helps break barriers because we might say stuff like, “Hey, remember when we…..?” and it brings back a lot of happy memories. I know it is very typical for most people to cut contact with those whom they have broken up with, but I really think that’s just a nasty closure to things, unless we’re talking about break ups as a result of infidelity or abuse. I truly cherish all the girls who have ever been a part of my life, and most of my ex’s can probably read and attest to this 🙂
Nevertheless, today, I’m going to cover how amazing it is to connect with similar people or maybe, even people who you have striking chemistry with. A lot of the people I’ve met in my life, I’ve gotten to know them over time and began to enjoy their company. However, there’s only maybe a handful of people who’ve I met that I could say that I “instantly click” with – and this doesn’t cover just girls, I’m talking about guy-friends as well. This recent summer, I met a friend through a distant relative… they go to the same school and she just happened to tag along. She was outspoken, but not shy, we talked a bit and it was very relaxed, not tense like most “first-time meet” situations. We maybe spoke for 20 minutes at most before she had to leave, because the person she came with had alternate plans for the day and they were dropping by just to say hi.
Through Facebook, I managed to find this new-found friend and decided to take a shot and add her… hell, if she doesn’t accept, there’s no loss – LOL. Luckily for me, she accepted my request and through there, we chatted a bit through wall-to-wall and kind of indirectly got to know each other. I honestly didn’t think either of us were shy at all, we talked like we really knew each other, lol. Since most of you probably don’t know me very well, I’m one of those people who can talk for 3-4 hours without wincing. I decided it kind of got spammy talking over Facebook, as it’d fill up each others pages when it’d be more efficient to talk over IM. She had her email address as part of the FB profile, so I went and sent her a request.
At first, getting used to talking directly over IM was a bit of an ice breaker, but once we go through all of that, messages were flying back and forth. We’d talk about drama series, games, things we did during the day, our friends, life, etc. the list could go on forever. Although we talk every couple of days, we never seem to run out of topics to talk about. She’s busy with school and I’m busy with work and although those both are very mundane things, we never seem to have problems conjuring something up to talk about. You might wonder why I bring this up as a worthy topic, but I remember when my ex-ex girlfriend and I broke up, we were trying to mend things together over a course of 3-4 years. We really wanted to make the best of what we had, remember the happiness of the past, while moving forward with our new lives. I keenly remember asking her, “How can we be friends again?” (we had problems maintaining a conversation with each other without ending up in an argument or the conversation would die out after 10-20 messages) and she replied to me that friends don’t have to look for topics to talk about and they shouldn’t have to think about everything they say just so it doesn’t offend one another. Although I knew the truth, I didn’t want to believe it, but through this friend, she has proven to me that friends don’t need to find things to topic about, rather, conversations flow freely and without worry. I actually believe my ex-ex was a good 2-3 years younger than me, yet her mindset was so much more mature a few years ago.
Anyways, this friend of mind is really fun to talk to and it’s too bad she doesn’t come on every night 😛 When we do talk, I swear sometimes we totally drag each other on and on until one of us calls it quits, lol. Almost every time we talk, we have set a time “when we’re going to get off” but our “bye” ends up in another 30 minute conversation 😀 I don’t think we ever bore each other, somehow we just have things to talk about, whether something serious or something completely informal. Every once in a while we’ll drop each other offline messages and it just brightens up the day. You know how most people have a friend that they look forward to talking to everyday or just hearing something as simple as, “Hey, how are things going?” – she’s one of those types! If you think we know each other really well and that’s the reason why we connect, let me say upfront that we’ve only met in person once, lol. The age gap between us is huge… I think 6 years, yet we get along really well. Sometimes we’re pretty geeky when it comes down to talking, haha, we’re so lazy sometimes that instead of talking online in front of a computer, we’ll actually talk to each other through IM on our phones 8) Last night, she just told me she’s planning to get a new iPhone, so things will be even more geeky when we’re playing iPhone games and talking IM at the same time, lol. Geeky yar?
She’s really nice and easy to get along with and honestly, I think I talk to her more than my distant relative (who I met her through). I’m not sure if it’s because we’re closer in age than my relative (since I think she’s like 1-2 years even younger), but when it comes to talking, we “click”. I’m not saying as if our conversations have never went silent before, but a lot of it has to do with us being preoccupied with something. I remember a few days ago, she kept on sending me Youtube videos while I was trying to practice my presentation… and instead of doing that, we ended up watching YT clips, hahaha.. such a horrible influence she is on me 😉 Nevertheless, last night, she was trying to get her project done and we ended up talking for 3 hours until she was like “OMG, I really need to finish this tonight…” and she mentioned having to stay up – but I certainly hope she didn’t pull an all-nighter! I’m not sure whether it is a good idea when we start talking to each other – lol, although I admit she has a lot more willpower than me to stop…. what can I say, I’m conversationally-addicted! I think we both realize that the only time we should talk to each other is when we don’t have anything pressing to do, haha… or else it is just beacuse we intentionally procrastinate what we’re supposed to be doing 😀
So ya… through something that my ex-ex said to me almost 3 years ago, it suddenly dawned upon me that even between friends, chemistry exists to a degree where there are people who you can talk to and those who you can really talk to and it makes all the difference in a day. I find myself feeling more cheerful when I get to talk to her, she makes me laugh, smile and sometimes even hold my stomach in pain. Sometimes getting to know someone isn’t even about seeing that person face-to-face everyday, it is about effective, engaging and meaningful communication. I feel grateful that I can make friends like these, because with a world this vast, it is not every day you meet a person that you look forward to talk to and enjoy every moment of it. We connect even when we’re not joking around or talking about something we enjoy, but we’ve had serious conversations about matters before that still are enjoyable and is a way for us to get to know each other. These are perhaps, once-in-a-lifetime friends that while you might make many friends throughout your lifetime, there are the select few that you’d trust everything on your mind and speak at-ease.
I’ve found that over the past few months, I’ve been a lot more grateful to my friends, to people I meet and even acquaintances. Life is wonderful when you have people around you who you truly enjoy being with and can relate to. While we both grew up in very separate environments, her – the typical Hong Kong snooty princess and I, the poor immigrant – those things are simply overlooked when we’re talking. It is through talking to dissimilar, yet similar people that we find ourselves, learn about others and merge wisdom by having friends from every background, culture, gender, sexual orientation, race and experiences. She messaged me today and I missed her – I hate that! Now who knows when the next time I’ll see her online will be, lol, she’s a busy bee like that!
But anyways, to close off the night, for those who don’t keep up with my “happenings”, I recently took up Tae Bo, for those who don’t know what it is, see the Wikipedia quote:
Tae Bo is an aerobic exercise routine that became popular in the 1990s. It was developed by taekwondo practitioner Billy Blanks and was one of the first “cardio-boxing” programs to enjoy commercial success. Such programs use the motions of martial arts at a rapid pace designed to promote fitness. The name Tae Bo is a portmanteau of tae kwon do and boxing. 
Blanks developed the routine in 1976 by combining dance with elements from his martial arts and boxing training to form a workout regimen. During the 1990s, a series of videos were mass-marketed to the public; by 1999 an estimated 1 billion sets of videos had been sold on the back of a frequently aired television infomercial. As a result, Tae Bo became somewhat of a pop culture phenomenon in the late 1990s. Gyms began offering kickboxing-based fitness classes similar to Tae Bo. Since Blanks had taken out a trademark on the name they were not allowed to use the term Tae Bo without paying a licensing fee. Tae Bo videos and DVDs continue to rank among the top sellers in the fitness genre and derivative classes are still offered at many gyms.
Tae Bo classes are taught worldwide. Tae Bo includes many of the same punches and kicks as karate, but is not intended for fighting—it was not meant for any combat or self-defense applications. There are no throws, grappling moves, or ground fighting techniques in Tae Bo. Its only intent is to increase fitness through movement. Tae Bo also includes aerobic exercises intended to strengthen all muscles of the body with basic choreography.
The high-intensity workout is intended to increase cardiovascular fitness, strength, muscular endurance and flexibility.
Although I was doing a Quattro fitness workout for about 3 weeks, I’ve found it to be extremely boring and is not as engaging as Tae Bo. Furthermore, while I was working out my abs and legs, I found very little effect when it came to trying to sweat off the weight or help to get my heart pumping. Although I’m less than a week into Tae Bo, I can tell you I’m very pleased with it and it already has visible effects to my cardiovascular strength. I used to get tired very easily doing lifting, running or any type of “heart-intensive” movements. Over the week, I’ve found each day my heart pounds less hard after every work out – I feel energized and refreshed (although a bit smelly… ya, sweat doesn’t smell good). After 30 minutes (of 44 minutes) I’m drenched in sweat, my heart is getting a good work-out and it relaxes ALL the muscles in my body. Besides swimming, I could never come up with an activity that would target the entire body. So far, I’ve still failed to complete the entire circuit all in one go as I start losing strength about half an hour through, but it is my goal that I will be able to do a few minutes more each day until I am able to do the entire 44-minute run.
I have several friends who have done or still do, Tae Bo and one of the best results that came of it was 25 lbs over 3 months. If I’m able to lose 25 lbs of fat I’ll be off to a damn good start! One of my coworkers did say that I should expect to gain some weight at first because I’m now converting this fat into muscles, thus, my overall weight will go up until the fat is burned off. I’m not so much concerned about my weight per se, but I need to slender-down my body and tone a few places, most notably my face. Asian people tend to have rounder facial structures, therefore, whenever we gain “meat on our faces” it tends to show a LOT (one of the things that suck about being Asian). On a regular white male, “fat faces” don’t seem to appear until we’re talking about grossly excessive weight. For instance, my coworker who I just mentioned weighed 260lbs at one point and looking at some old photos of him, even though he was “big”, his face did not show it. I weigh way less than than him, yet I have a terrible “fat face” problem 😐 See, when fat is elsewhere, it can be “hidden” via clothes, but it is rather hard to hide my face, lol.
So I’m really hopeful that Tae Bo will be one of the workouts I’ll be able to stick to and in all reality, my lack of success from these exercises is that I feel disengaged and lack motivation. Because Tae Bo is fun, I’m hoping it will act as a motivator and because Billy Blanks does a good job of keeping his assistants energized that it really adds to the workout and fueling my energy. A large reason why I switched from the previous workout as well is because I started getting pains and I recently even hurt my neck I think. I must’ve pulled a muscle or pinched a nerve because for the past few days it felt like someone was jabbing pins into the neck. Once I finish Tae Bo, that pain actually goes away for a good 6-8 hours! Clearly this exercise even has medicinal effects, lol. Obviously whatever exercises were incorporated into the previous workout was not suited for me or perhaps I didn’t have the right form. Nevertheless, finding something that gets my heart beating, blood flowing and most importantly, sweating like a pig, will help get rid of that fat!
I am soooooooooo tired tonight it is not even funny. I had to visit 2 sites today and go through 3 back-to-back meetings. I’m drained physically and psychologically as there’s so much on my mind! I need to sleep before I wake up with keyboard keys stuck to my face, lol.
Night my valued readers 🙂
P.S Feminine Hygiene sales from flyers are going up tomorrow, not all the pictures were available today so I didn’t want to post them up without it….
For those who celebrate it, Happy Chinese New Years!
It is Valentines day ❤ as well, a very rare and odd occasion for both events to happen on the same day! I’ll have some pictures and videos to post up later on, but it’s awfully late and tomorrow is another day-of-action waiting to happen. I’ll update this post or completely repost it when the content is up or I decide to make some changes!
Of course this blog and my life is dedicated to my sweet BeBe who gives me the drive to be the best person I can be and to be successful in life! Without her, I would never be who I am today.
I might be occupied with guests and new years festivities for the next few days, so don’t expect any updates… although I might sneak one in if I have time 😛
One would like to hope on a day like this, commitment and loyalty would be important 😛 … talking to my cousin and apparently not-so, LOL:
It is in the context of me asking him why he still has his Relationship Status on Facebook set to “Single” when he’s been with the same girl for 1 year… and such is the result. I only threw it in the “God” jab because him and his family are HIGHLY religious, so I would’ve thought he’d be the “act like a saint” personality 😀
Before I begin, just thought one of my friends would benefit from this picture… (in a completely humouristic fashion)… no names mentioned!:
After I said that, I just realized that probably 3-4 of my girl-friends would benefit from this… LOL! Girls these days, psh 😛 I love Carlin & Ross stuff, they always post up the funniest shit. I’m not catholic and maybe that’s why I found it amusing more than insulting.
Anyways, as I was walking into a Chinese restaurant (a real one, not chicken balls and wonton) today, I saw a couple of tables and one table particularly stood out because it was just a girl sitting there by herself. I thought it was rather weird, since eating (that particular type) of Chinese food is not meant for a “one person thing.” I proceeded to sit down and you know, being typical male obviously take a closer look. She was your average Asian girl, nothing special about her, so I looked away. She looked like a banana (for those who are not familiar, it is what we refer to Asians as being banana when they are “more white than yellow”) and spoke in perfect English to one of waitresses. I proceed to order my food since I was hungry and my friends were waiting on me to order as well.
About 10 minutes later, a couple of her friends arrived (also Asian) and began speaking to her in Mandarin. My Mandarin is extremely marginal, so I can do so much as to being able to understand a good portion of what they were saying, but I would not be able to reply (not that I would talk to them anyways) if the need arose. Oddly enough, I have not felt very attracted to listening to girls speak China-Mandarin, but love it when I hear Taiwanese-Mandarin (yes, there is a difference). Well actually, I lie, maybe there’s one girl I’ve heard speak Mandarin that was super-hot, but that’s besides the point – for the most part, I am not attracted to girls who speak China-Mandarin (which was what they were using). None of the friends that came, 1 male and 3 females particularly caught my eye either.
Now, here comes the kicker! This white girl comes walking in and then sits down with them and I thought, “Well, this is just kind of cool.” From the conversation, it turns out that they’re probably students of our nearby colleges or university and they began practicing their languages with each other. The white girl was talk-ing-rea-lly-sl-ow-ly-to-the-chi-nese-boy in English and the Asian girls were teaching the white girl how to order food, ask for napkins, words on the menu (I digress: The white girl did a fantastic job of pronunciation… either she’s into studying the Chinese language or she’s damn good at it!) and stuff like that. For the first time since I arrived at the restaurant, I have not heard the girl (one that was there when I first came in) speak anything except for English and Mandarin. As she called one of the other waitresses over (who happens to be her friend which I found out later), she starts speaking in Cantonese to her and immediately my head just snaps and was like “Wow, that’s so F’ing HOT!” lol.. (oh great, I’m starting to talk to Poh Ching now… ahh ddiiiuuu)
So then I began to take note of the fact that languages are SEXY. Now, this isn’t the first time something like this has happened, but as it happens more frequently, I begin to take-note of things like this. Case in point, I remember the first time I met my dream girl, it was pretty ecstatic. It had been almost 4 months ago and when I met her at her house for the first time, we spoke English. Even though I knew she was capable of speaking Cantonese, all the previous girls I’ve dated (even if they could speak Chinese, they didn’t… thus all the “banana” jokes) didn’t so I wasn’t sure how comfortable she’d be with that… so.. I resorted to speaking English with her. She was super-duper shy (HOLY cute should I mention?) when she answered the door (so F’ing adorable!!) and she let me in. We sat in her room, talked for a bit and then I was trying to “test the waters” to see if she was comfortable with speaking Cantonese (hey, it is a hot language, what can I say? LOL). I still remember the exact first Cantonese phrase she said to me, even to this day! My heart completely melted (not that she didn’t make me go crazy over her already :P) at that moment. If it wasn’t because I didn’t want to make an ass of myself, I would’ve had a nosebleed! (Translation: “Nosebleed” is a common description in the Chinese language indicating that a guy finds a girl extremely attractive)
I know that it is quite common for people to find accents attractive – in fact, I was telling Poh Ching about an Taiwanese-Australian girl I know and how amazingly cute her accent is when she speaks English (but not Mandarin… somehow it skews the sound – now my dream girl on the other hand, she is super sexy when she speaks Mandarin, lol). Of course she always has to be the opposite of me and hates Australian accent on guys, lol. To me, hearing a girl speak Cantonese even when she’s only has moderate-physical attractive qualities immediately becomes amplified beauty. Languages are beautiful and that’s why there are people who know many or strive to study/learn many different languages. To me, hearing my dream girl say those first words to me in her super-duper cute voice totally made her drop-dead gorgeous and my heart turned to mush! I wanted to grab her and squeeze her suuuppeer tight and tell her I want her forever and ever! It is amazing how powerful languages can be!
Maybe this is the case for many people that hearing someone speak a common language is something that causes a very positive reaction. However there are some languages I don’t understand but find that when spoken is like “music to my ears.” One of the girls I met at college one time (was not in a relationship with her) she would constantly speak Taiwanese-Mandarin to me and would just assume I could pick up on every word she said (which I can’t) and the odd time she’d drop a word of (broken) Cantonese in there to help me understand. Her speaking TW-M was attractive or perhaps it was also compounded by her voice. On the other hand, hearing China-Mandarin is a really “rough” language, it sounds shrilling like a girl is being hit and she’s screaming at the top of her lungs. It is worse because many China girls have raspy voices, so now you have a “rough language from a rough voice.” TW-M is very smooth and calm language, so when a girl speaks it, it is with grace and fluidity, making it sound very nice. I remember hearing my dream girl yell (even though she was yelling at her brother to go eat), I thought I was going to pass out at how beautiful her voice was when speaking Mandarin (ok, well she’s completely beautiful in every-way-shape-and-form so maybe that’s a biased comparison, haha). Alas, I live in an area that are not populated by a lot of Asians, so to be able to hear someone speak your language definitely has attractive qualities!3TEB9CX
Before I begin, I just wanted to mention this entry should not be viewed as being a “studied” or “researched” piece but more anecdotal or my own opinion on this matter. Please don’t expect authoritative statistics or anything 🙂
So I wanted to wander into the territory that in Asia, sanitary napkins (herein known as maxi pads or just pads) seem to still dominate the feminine hygiene market of Asia. With that said, I still think it dominates the market throughout the world, but more so in Asia due to the culture of the populace having misunderstandings or even anti-tampon sentiments. I understand that pads were of course available prior to tampons, therefore has a bigger influence, but there are certainly merits to using tampons, most notably, the ability to engage in water activities. Now I’m personally not a tampon lover, so I’m definitely not advocating them, but I believe they do have their value and when writing about them, I should of course give a neutral opinion of them! About 2 years ago, there was this amazing article written up (with actual statistics) by a news writer about pads still being the preferred (and by preferred, I mean highly-used) method of feminine hygiene products in China. Alas, the article is long gone and I can’t even find an archived copy of it. However, unless things have changed a lot over the past 2 years, this is probably still true. Having been back to both China and Hong Kong just last year, I can attest that there are definitely more choices of pads than there are tampons. Furthermore, tampons will also tend to be more expensive (the price gap is larger between pads/tampons) and only offered at your chain-stores. On that note, there are also fewer sales for tampons unless I was simply unlucky while I was there, because for the 5 weeks I was in HK, every week there would be a different brand of pads on sale, but not a single week of tampons being on sale. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t mind, lol.
I must gloat a bit about how great pads in Asia are so that might be a factor as to why not as many girls “convert” to using tampons. You don’t have to believe me, you can just look at the links on the side, choose the pads-brand from Asia and see how intricate the technology is used compared to the “big makers” here in North America. Mind you we also have fewer popular brands dominating the market, therefore, our manufacturers have no need to “make things better” when they have already hold the monopoly. On the other hand, there are so many brand name products in Asia that if you don’t stay on top of other competitors, you’ll lose market share. While Asian pads tend to focus on comfort, thinness, length and efficient absorbption, I think the makers here worry about making it silent, discrete, small and forget that when it comes to a menstrual product, the biggest factor is whether it can “do its job.”
I digress – sorry, bad habit. Many girls take cue from their mother when it comes to choice of menstrual protection. It is true that at some point, a girl will make her own decisions, but for the most part, I will say they follow-suit with their mother’s (or a female-relative/guardian) choice of products. Perhaps a really loose example, but a child who sees her mother smoking is more likely to smoke and likewise, a girl who sees her mom using pads will more likely choose pads over tampons (at start). I know that had I been a girl, my mom would likely never let me use tampons, I remember seeing her throw out a box before (not an empty one) and such is your typical Asian family. There is something repulsive about having to “stick something up there” when it comes to menstrual protection. I believe culture plays an important part of demystifying menstrual hygiene for girls of all backgrounds. In my opinion, your average white Canadian or American family is likely to be “accepting” of tampons than say your average “coloured” family. Out of my girls group, only 1 of them use tampons regularly, 1 uses them to masturbate (hehe) and 2 of them have tried. Of course my fellow flow-lovers will not mind this, but the point is that our upbringing really plays an important part in the choice of menstrual protection and whether that seems to really make a difference, I think it does. Case in point, my god-sister’s mom refuses to let her use tampons and in several instances has even taken them from her room and thrown it in the garbage and gave her a verbal warning (that’s a waste of money by the way, it isn’t cheap :P). I will often buy her tampons with her because she knows she cannot ask her mom to buy it and she doesn’t get let out of the house enough to do it herself. We were able to fool her mom a bit because I had her switch to a smaller sized brand, O.B, which she could easily hide. It worked for a few months until her mom noticed that the pads in the house weren’t being used up (they have a communal stash) and with some searching managed to find her tampons. Even her older sister says, “Those things are bad for you, you should not put anything up there!” and “You should not use them.” so clearly, tampons are still not accepted by your average Asian family. Now you might say this is one case, but this is just the most recent scenario I’ve seen, I’ve talked to quite a few girls who have had simlar experiences because their culture, background, upbringing affected their “right” to use tampons and heck, when your mother continually throws them up, you can’t do anything else but give up.
I have quite a few relatives who send their kids over to study in Canada and I offer (to the daughter) to help her with shopping and very I notice none of them ever buy tampons because it is just not something commonly used “back at home”. They will always stumble staring at the feminine hygiene aisle because it is so different than what they are used to seeing the entire shelf filled with pads and a little tampon section in a corner. Meanwhile in Canada, they stand there looking at a “half-and-half” shelf of pads/tampons and with the pretty designs on tampon boxes, they didn’t even know it wasn’t pads inside. Some had to even ask me about what the “other things” were because they weren’t knowledgeable tampons and a guy explaining it in FH aisle to a girl is always an awkward situation. I didn’t believe it the other day when I thought that everyone was over the whole “tampons causes you to lose your virginity” thing until I was reading a Singaporean forum the other day (in English, lol) and realized there are still many girls who relate the usage of tampons to losing their virginity, ARG! Unless your tampon also has a live penis attached to it, you’re not going to lose your virginity! Tampons are also small, so it is not going to make you loose like a goose either. If they began proper education of tampons in China and Hong Kong, it might allow more girls to adopt usages accordingly rather than perpetuating mis-information regarding tampons.
I’ve been concentrating a lot on those two regions because I’m familiar with them, but this is prevalent in places like Korea and Taiwan as well (from my minor bits of research and talking to friends). One of the links in my widget is actually a girl in Taiwan who promotes the understanding of tampons and is trying to get more retailers to sell them. In Taiwan, pads are a definite market-ruler and she actually has to spend a lot of time importing tampons for herself or to sell because they are not widely available there. Availability certainly plays an important part on market dominance since if you don’t offer them, no one can buy. I have found however tampons have been hard to break into the culture and Chinese mentality. I remember growing up with one of my girls and when she was 12 and got her first period, she swore upon that she’d NEVER use tampons, but then just 3 years ago I started seeing boxes of tampons in her closet and I teased her about it because she was so anti-tampon back then. “Things change” was her reply and sure enough they do! I think that same change needs to take place in Asia with proper information being dispered about it. It is one thing if girls choose to stick with pads (which is really awesome anyways, lol) but it is another thing if girls aren’t being introduced to the existence/usage/information about tampons that they can make an informed decision on what to use, then that’s a problem.
Japan on the other hand is the only Asian country I know of who are really adapting to the usage of tampons and more and more girls are using them there. With that said though, tampon usage proportionally is still lagging behind North America. Again, this really comes down to Asian culture and how we influence the idea of “putting a wad of cotton up there” even if it is a practical form of menstrual protection. I can certainly understand the risk of TSS though, so I’m not downplaying the fact tampons do carry a risk-factor. Funny enough the other day I was talking to Poh Ching and asked her sheepishly whether they sell tampons in Malaysia, haha, and her reply was that whether I thought people lived in the forest there or something! I chuckled because my question was more geared towards whether girls in Malaysia are open to the idea of tampons or whether they are like the majority of Asia where tampons are accessible, but not widely used. On that note, many of the girls in Malaysia I’ve talked to (whether living there or moved away) are all pad users, I have yet to talk to one who uses tampons. Of course this comes down to whether it is just “luck of the draw” who I have talked to or whether or not those girls misrepresented the menstrual-protection stat by all happening to be pad users and not tampon users. However this could also be used to prove the fact there’s a larger populace who still use pads over tampons. For their sake, at least they do seem to know the existence of it, but given what I’ve read from forums, many are still misinformed about them.
Hopefully in time, tampons will become more notable in Asian countries. While being a pad lover I hope tampons will never “take over” but for water sports, it is almost a must. I love a girl who balances both tampons and pads, but hey, a guy can’t ask for too much right? I’m really blessed to have so many girl-friends willing to discuss this with me and take seriously my interest. From the last period my god-sister has, looks like she’s reverted back to using pads (she says on her own accord, but I doubt it, hah), but we went swimming last time when she was on her period so I’m pretty sure she didn’t have much of a choice. I sure as hell hope she wasn’t wearing a pad in the pool! I know a lot of my girls in China/HK just avoid swimming all together when they’re “on” rather than using tampons which is a shame, but I’m not sure the same can be done if they were professionally swimming rather than just casually. Also, it’d suck to miss out on a beach-day just on the account of that. Hopefully the Chinese government will spend some money on promoting proper information about tampons like they do with condoms, lol.
A few weeks ago, an impromptu conversation with a few of my workers really got me thinking about the idea of “wealth” and how a person defines whether an individual is wealthy or not. I think in a general sense, most of us would instinctively define wealth by the amount of money that a person has. I’m not going to get all philosophical or spiritual and all and start defining wealth by non-materialistic means and for the time being, let us concentrate simply on a numeric and monetary value.
Having grown up in a tradition Chinese setting, the use of money has always been very conservative. From day one when I began handling money, I was taught to save-save-save, something that (out of the words of my coworker), that North Americans tend not to do… they spend whatever happens to be in their hands. Looking at people I know, I can definitely say that it goes without saying that there certainly is truth… most of my friends/colleagues who are your general “white Canadian” families tend not to keep money “lying around”. Although I come from a wealthy family, my immediate family (mom/dad) did not arrive in Canada with that wealth. The money that they came to Canada with went to pay for their rent and they had to actually save up over a course of a year before being able to pay back the money for the flight over.
Let’s skip too much detail and jump to ‘now’. Growing up for me was definitely a very “make do with what we have” lifestyle. I can honestly say my parents were the type to give up everything just for me. I was always able to attend school events (in fact, they urged me to) albeit our financial situation. While we were never “poor” – we were certainly not rich either. What prompted the discussion between my coworkers and I was the fact I always mention the word “poor” when I describe myself and they like to make a note that poor should not be the world I use to describe myself because I really “don’t know what the word POOR means.”
This leads me on to the topic of how people perceive the difference between degrees of wealth. Suffice to say, I don’t think anyone in this world has the same definition or “amount” they would label between everything from poor to filthy rich. For instance, I consider myself poor, much to the chastise of my coworkers because I do not feel I “make enough money” and that I “don’t have enough to spend” when clearly, they feel otherwise. Personally, I feel a better has to make > $100,000 before they can consider themselves “rich” – which I currently don’t make, therefore, I class myself as being poor. Working in a unionized, government institution, all our salaries are available to the public (provincially mandated information) so essentially, all my coworkers know exactly how much I make a year. They ask me how given the amount I make, I could actually consider myself poor. After a good 2-hour talk with them, they made me truly reevaluate the money I make and why I feel poor. They started putting things into perspective for me, that the average Canadian generally do not even have enough money to maximize contributions in both TFSA (Tax-free Savings Account for the non-Canadians who don’t know) and RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan) in a single year. Most people are tied up paying off mortgages, loans (student or otherwise), credit cards, bills, car financing and the likes that to be able to max-out contributions to both those accounts is impossible. Yearly, I am able to comfortably pay off all those bills/loans/owing balances while maximizing contributions to my RRSP/TFSA and invest my money into steady investments (such as GIC’s) and even have money to play the stock market. They made a point to tell me to look at my overall assets instead of simply what I keep “liquid” in my Chequings accounts. Surely, I cannot be THAT poor when I still have money to buy food, spend on entertainment (and girls? LOL… by that, I don’t mean hookers/strippers), and splurge on new technology once in a while.
While I’m generally not comfortable with sharing financial information with people, my coworker (who has been close with my family) asked bluntly how much money I had in my accounts all together. I told her and her jaw must’ve stayed opened for a good 2 minutes. I can remember her words very clearly, “You are what? How old? 24? You OWN a house, drive a luxury vehicle, have no debt, maximize yearly contributions, invest into stocks, live comfortably, and have xxx amount of money in your accounts and you call yourself POOR?!!” – that really smacked me in the face.. not as in negatively – but it really set things into perspective with how wealthy in comparison I am to many. Over the past few weeks, I really took some time to think about all that I really do have and that has changed on what I felt is considered “wealthy.”
Of course I am far from being wealthy in comparison to the rest of my family who own billion-dollar computer corporations, chairman of an international organization and CEO of 5-star hotels – but I have a very SOLID footing for someone of my age. I know that at any time, I could be a part of the massive wealth should I return to Hong Kong, but knowing that I will lose my very comfortable lifestyle in Canada… my steady job, my own business, my (lots) of leisure time and standard working hours – which is something that does not exist when it comes to managing a large business. I for one, prefer to simply be spoiled out of my mind every time I return “home” instead, even though I do not get the same luxury here.
How do you define wealthy? What are your expectations and where do you draw the line before you title someone as wealthy? Is it simply by what they make in a year, the job they hold or the materialistic things they have to show for it?
I’ll tell you, my opinion of my status before talking to my coworkers have really turned around…. and that’s why it is always nice to have older and wiser friends who can really set things straight in your mind, because in all reality, I’m just a little boy in a big guy’s body 😛
Thought I’d give you guys a break about listening to my period-rants, lol. I was considering changing the name of my blog to a more generic name so I can sometimes blog some personal stuff on here, but oh well, I rather like the catchy name and I can still put in personal postings whenever I feel like it. So here we are today… the day before I return to work. Looks like it’ll be back to waking up for 8 A.M, arg – although it’ll be my ‘first day at work for 2010’…. it barely feels like a new year. This year, New Years Eve was not very exciting… we stayed at home, although given the chaos during Christmas, we were all burnt out. Last year’s Christmas was much more exciting as we spent it on our balcony in Hong Kong, much more festive and surrounded by family! I can’t wait to go back the end of this year, hopefully I can find some cheap flights.
It is snowing right now… not a lot, but it is ASS COLD – I shit you not. I walked from the car to the entrance of the supermarket and my skin was frozen. When the wind is idle, it is actually pretty warm outside… but once the wind picks up, it feels like ice is being embedded onto your skin! I was trying to find some jojoba oil and sure enough, it costs almost $16 for like 120ml’s… are you friggin serious? That’s like me pissing in a bottle, handing it to you and telling you it costs $50! They really need to make these so-called “organic” things cost less… maybe people would actually BUY them. Recently, they closed down an entire section of “organics” probably because turnover was low and they couldn’t make it worth their while. Do you think your average consumer would pay like triple the price for something that was organic? It’s better to sell something cheaper and be able to sell it, than to sell something expensive and NOT be able to sell it.
So today… my aunt and uncle were supposed to come to visit. We waited for 3 hours and then they called telling us it was too late into the day and decided not to come. I hate when plans fail, it defeats the whole purpose of a PLAN. I’m an organizer, what can I say? I like to plan things and carry things out. I try to avoid being a last-minute person, although my friends constantly like to call me up at the most unsuitable times to ask me if I’m available for things. It isn’t that I can’t be spontaneous, but there are many things in life that work better when it’s planned. It’s fine if you call me an hour ahead and ask me if I want to go out for a snack or something, but it’s not ok to tell me that you’re planning a party, want me to arrange/make things and expect me to be able to do it in 20 minutes.
Having lived here for so many years, I am still not used to the North American mentality of family bonding. I’m 24 and I think I’m one of the few my age of people I know who still do things with their family on a regular basis. I don’t consider myself a Mommy’s or Daddy’s boy, however, I rather like doing things with my parents. Suffice to say, that does not discount me from spending time with friends as well, but NA society greatly differs from your general Asian culture and populace. When I was younger, there was a lot of shame and humiliation placed on spending time with parents. Very unfortunate, given the fact that family is really the one thing you’ll have when all hell breaks loose. I love my parents and I don’t see a reason why I shouldn’t and why in order for me to be “socially acceptable” to not spend time with them, whether doing a family activity or simply running weekly errands such as buying groceries. I think people have lost idea of what a “family unit” is supposed to mean…
I was thinking about picking up a book to read for myself in the next while… called “The Little Red Book” by Rachel Kauder Nalebuff. If anyone has any comments or reviews about it, please feel free to let me know! Speaking of which, I started a new album on my facebook with all the hilarious conversations that I find myself being a part of… quite amusing to say the least. Looks like it’ll be my new hobby for the next while other than reading the book, lol!