Bucket List


We live in a world that continues to emphasize that material possessions do not really matter. All the money in the universe is useless if one does not create an experience out of it. The quote “No man in his dying bed ever wishes that he had more money in the bank” reinforces my point. It is for this reason that I have decided to create a Bucket List.

i) Learn a foreign language. Nothing I want to do more than become multilingual. My interest pushes me towards mastering most of Latin languages i.e. French, Spanish, Portuguese.

ii) Travel the world. My love for traveling is immense and bubbling under the surface. I want to visit Iceland and marvel at the bright cold landscape this country offers. I also want to walk the Great Wall of China, camp in the remotest areas of Northern Canada and Alaska and hike in the deepest jungles of the Amazon. Venice, Prague, Hokkaido in Japan, Bavaria in Germany and Skywatching in Norway fascinate me. Doing this with the woman I love will be moments to cherish forever.

iii) Extreme sport. For an introvert, I dont mind much putting my edgy side to test. I intend to one day go bungee jumping, skydiving, flying a hot air balloon and scuba diving.

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iv) Learn to play a musical instrument. I have longed to be able to play a musical instrument and it’s time I actualized this dream. Guitar and keyboard tops the list of the instruments and I dont mind adding violin to the list. Sadly I cant sing.

v) Go on a meditation retreat. After reading “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari,” I believe in the revitalizing power of meditation. I want to get lost in a Tibetan Monastery for weeks just discovering myself.

vi) Vineyard. As far as farming goes, to me, vineyards are the most beautiful farms you will ever see. I have promised myself to own one and love it with all my heart. I could even make my own wine.

vii) Space. “A man’s reach must exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for” ~ Robert Browing. I have an intense interest in the universe and its wonders, thanks to Carl Sagan’s “Pale Blue Dot.” I want to look at earth from afar and appropriately appreciate the marvel that is the universe. Virgin Galactic better get here quick.

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What Not To Do at an Airport


There are things nobody tells you not to do at an airport. You are supposed to figure them out all by yourself. Unfortunately, making bomb jokes at an airport security personnel wasn’t one of those things to me. As you will find out, it was a bad idea.
In my mind, the rigorous checks that include removing my shoes and belt were enough to assure these mean-looking people that I’m not a terrorist, neither was I carrying any explosive. Just as I passed over to the other side of the metal detector without the damn thing going off (after several attempts), I made a loud BOOM sound looking directly at the tired-looking but still mean-faced lady seated in front of the computer scanning luggage.
I was hauled into a room with six guards all coming off as ready to bust my gonads. No amount of “it was a joke” pleas could calm them down. It was as if this was the first action they were getting in years. My hind quarters were violated faster than you can say ‘colonoscopy’. Damn. That’s all my mental faculties could put together.
Later on, in my flight seat, shaken, angry and embarrassed, I began to ask myself questions; who decides that you can’t make jokes, bomb jokes at the airport? How about riddles and anecdotes? Can they first determine the category my “inappropriate’ utterances belong to before subjecting me to such cruelty? Ask yourself.
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Rite of Passage


For a man, having friends could be the most useful thing and most nerve-taxing in your life, especially male friends. Let’s call them, buddies. Now, your buddies are very important whenever you are in trouble, they mostly help you out in between snide comments of how you found yourself in the shitty situation. They will prank you and scare you shitless. Example ” Dude, you slept with that girl? My younger brother’s friend’s sister confided in him that the girl is pregnant and she’s accusing you”. This is the point you leave town if you don’t have the cojones to not believe them.

Having friends is also mostly overrated. They empty your fridge when visiting, break your gadgets and ridicule you about nearly everything. They laugh at you when your girlfriend dumps you, they tell you to quit your job in order to become a cobbler because your ex is a “kiatu”, they do this gleefully and you are supposed to stifle your anger, revel in the banter and wait upon your opportunity to pounce on any of them who next screws up. They call it a rite of passage. You play along because you pretend to cherish them but mostly because they all owe you money.

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Mortality


O why should the spirit of mortal be proud?
Like a fast-flitting meteor, a fast-flying cloud,
A flash of the lightning, a break of the wave,
He passes from life to his rest in the grave.

The leaves of the oak and the willow shall fade,
Be scattered around, and together be laid;
And the young and the old, and the low and the high,
Shall moulder to dust, and together shall lie.

The child that a mother attended and loved,
The mother that infant’s affection that proved;
The husband that mother and infant that blessed,
Each, all, are away to their dwelling of rest.

The maid on whose cheek, on whose brow, in whose eye,
Shone beauty and pleasure,—her triumphs are by;
And the memory of those that beloved her and praised
Are alike from the minds of the living erased.

The hand of the king that the scepter hath borne,
The brow of the priest that the miter hath worn,
The eye of the sage, and the heart of the brave,
Are hidden and lost in the depths of the grave.

The peasant whose lot was to sow and to reap,
The herdsman who climbed with his goats to the steep,
The beggar that wandered in search of his bread,
Have faded away like the grass that we tread.

The saint that enjoyed the communion of heaven,
The sinner that dared to remain unforgiven,
The wise and the foolish, the guilty and just,
Have quietly mingled their bones in the dust.

So the multitude goes, like the flower and the weed
That wither away to let others succeed;
So the multitude comes, even those we behold,
To repeat every tale that hath often been told.

For we are the same that our fathers have been;
We see the same sights that our fathers have seen,
We drink the same stream,and we feel the same sun,
And we run the same course that our fathers have run.

The thoughts we are thinking, our fathers would think;
From the death we are shrinking, they too would shrink;
To the life we are clinging to, they too would cling;
But it speeds from the earth like a bird on the wing.

They loved, but the story we cannot unfold;
They scorned, but the heart of the haughty is cold;
They grieved, but no wail from their slumber may come;
They enjoyed, but the voice of their gladness is dumb.

They died, ay! they died! and we things that are now,
Who walk on the turf that lies over their brow,
Who make in their dwellings a transient abode,
Meet the changes they met on their pilgrimage road.

Yea! hope and despondence, and pleasure and pain,
Are mingled together like sunshine and rain;
And the smile and the tear, and the song and the dirge,
Still follow each other, like surge upon surge.

‘Tis the wink of an eye, ’tis the draught of a breath,
From the blossom of health to the paleness of death,
From the gilded saloon to the bier and the shroud,
O why should the spirit of mortal be proud?

~ William Knox

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A Weekend in Berlin


They say there is Germany and then there is Berlin. Just an hour flight from Geneva, you could experience the most feel-good city in the world. The largest city in Europe in square kilometers has an impression that every tourist would love; quiet and interesting. With so much to see, the history of Europe preserved in the over 150 museums, the navigable channel flowing through the city, Berlin TV-tower; Europe’s second tallest structure and the unique friendliness of the Berliners; visitors of this city have a thousand stories to tell when they leave.
Indoor activities
The fascinating history of Germany during the 2nd world war can be experienced in the numerous museums in the famously named museum island at the heart of the city. The Jewish museum, Checkpoint Charlie, and Ethnological Museum all have detailed information of the past of Germany, dark and pleasant including the infamous Berlin wall. More about the city in the middle ages can be seen in the Dungeon; a scary comical tour of the 700 years history of Berlin. These activities are appropriate during autumn when the weather outside is not favourable.
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Outdoor experience
Berliners are known to be the most interesting people in Europe; you see this right at the airport where you bump into a man whistling Giuseppe Verdi’s “Va pensiero” perfectly in tune, or in the train where stranger jumps into your conversation like you have known each other for ages. Amongst this kind of people, outdoor activities are fun. The longest portion of the Berlin wall with beautiful artistry on the east side is a perfect place to visit on a sunny day. Here, artists convey social messages such as “Keiner ist frei wenn nicht alle frei sin” translating to “Nobody is free until everyone is free.”
danny

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Self-reflection


Widespread belief of spiritual and medicinal value of hot-springs has been something that fascinates me, mainly because of the personal reflection I would do in there. I was eventually bound to experience it and that day came. An exclusive spa resort located in the bosom of the northern city of Hanamaki sounded like a great plan, perhaps for my dearly needed meditation and self-reflection.
The heavy snow outside and gushes of hot water from the inside of the resort set the perfect paradox for spiritual nourishment I needed so bad. Considering the stress levels of humans resulting from work, I expected quite a number of people in the spa, especially businessmen.And lawyers.
Now, when one comes to a place like this, you don’t exactly come for a chit chat with some strange old person excited and keen to know where you are from and whether you are married, seeing each others “wieners” is enough invasion of privacy already. My friend here did not feel the same way. I had to keep deliberately splashing the hot water (anything really), just to get out of the uncomfortable “naked conversation.”
I learnt my lesson, next time I want to meditate upon life, I will do it in my bath tab, lack of spiritual value found in springs not withstanding.

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Men Talk


On a Saturday evening at a local bar, we meet for soccer. Gone are the days soccer could only be done on the field, men would rather squint at 14″ TVs catching up on the latest of the Premier League. But this is not the story. My friend joins us, lets call him Jose. We slide into what women would call gossip during the 15 minute halftime, the kind that happens only once a year.

Jose has a problem with his pumpkin or “malenge” as we ridicule him. She is reportedly nagging and impossible, as Jose puts it with so much passion, you can feel the pain in his voice. He loves her, hence the pain. Now, we weigh in on the issue with several years of googled experience. “women love men who have a pair, and not of panties” Qits rudely interrupts in a soberly manner despite the sleepy eyes.

A general consensus on advice to Jose is reached, he should go back home and shout down his woman, she will then respect him or even love him more. Sounds sensible if social convention is anything to go by. The whistle blows and we all cheer to welcome back our favourite teams on the screen, and shout at the waiter for a refill of the brown stuff we gulp with so much pleasure.

Well, Jose decides to carry out our advice on phone. Goooooaaaaal!!!! the bar roars when the team in red scores its third goal of the match. The bar finally calms down but Jose is visibly disturbed. Could it be alcohol? Turns out he is now single.

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Rant


So I sit next to this girl in a lounge at the airport eating dried mangoes then an AHA moment hits me. What if I try to hit on her? I ask myself. How do I do it? Another AHA moment strikes. I decide I am going to imitate her every action when I approach her, the words and gestures she makes. This way she will think I am crazy just like her and we belong together. Bingo.
Well, 20 minutes later I am left reeling, actually more of a stinging feeling in my eyes. I am pretty convinced that was her chillie soup she spilt in my eyes or the remote possibility of pepper spray.

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Nothing Like an African Woman


Nothing spells strength like an African woman 

Hardships, challenges, but she’s always won

She smiles when beneath, her tears roll

She cries just to bring happiness to everyone

 

Nothing defines beauty like an African woman

The love she radiates, defies rays of morn sun

It goes deeper, the power of her mental essence

Unfathomable, yet tangible with joyous abandon

 

Nothing brings love like an African Woman

That for her children and passion for her man

Tranquil in the murky waters of hateful world

That settles in the striking calm of a fountain 

 

Nothing brings peace like an African woman

She suffers in wars and other mundane storms

Her goodness bombarded by man’s creation of hell

She’s the stitch to the fabric of reconciliation 

 

None personifies a mother like the African woman

Turning into happiness, worldly forlorn 

A source of eternal hope sent from heaven

The cradle of calm in the face of a hurricane

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A Woman’s Poem


She loves it when he’s quiet
But resents his silence
She always wants him around
But loathes his presence
She likes to be made happy
But all in vain during her menses
She ever wants to be right
Even when it’s clearly nonsense
Yearning often for a gentleman
When she herself, is a ratchet
Complains that he is unfunny
While she’s bereft of humour sense
Well she’s human and a woman
Look at her through a different lens.

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