Lockdown… and the Great Big Hamster Wheel of Life

Posted: August 2, 2009 in butterflies, macro photography
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Lockdown

Instead of butterflying, I went off to do some concrete jungling.  Actually…. no I intended to walk miles around shopping centres, eat, shop, drink, shop, eat, eat again, then shop, drink, etc.

But thanks to the excitement that happened over the weekend (see news article above), I ended up walking from 7p.m. to about 10 something p.m. at night from one suburb to the main city central.

Note on photo above: Road blocks caused both motor traffic and consequent rail traffic to be almost impossible.

That's because the roadblocks caused jams right across the entire city.  The cabbie had to drop us on the highway and we had to walk our way to our destination (a mall) across and under highways, small slip roads, and literally across 6 lane highways.

After that I was hoping that by 7 things would have cleared up.  But they didn't.

We tried to get on the subway but we couldn't.  I was horrified to find the ticket counter thronged by upset people.  And even more horrified to see the entire platform filled up with people standing anxiously hoping to get on the small train.

When train security started shouting at people who wouldn't give up trying to push themselves onto the train, I knew it was impossible to get on the train that night.

We decided to walk.

Note on photo above: I think I've just about seen almost all parts of the underbelly of this big city.

We asked for directions and the locals generally had this to say: "What?! You can't walk to Sentral from here! It's too far!"

But we started walking anyway, literally on the highway to get to Sentral, following the road signs on the highway, because we were stubborn b*tches (and yeah, I thought heck it, if I can walk in jungles, I can walk anywhere.  Boy how wrong I was.  I think walking through the city is much harder than jungles).

By nightfall, after running across multi-lane highways, climbing over barriers, creeping under highways and streaking across some slip roads and hoping that we managed to pass ourselves off as locals, we saw the twin towers in the distance.

Note on photo above: By some amazing feat, we managed to reach Chinatown on foot after 2 hours.

But we were too tired and sat down for dinner.

At dinner, we asked the shopowner again how long it would get to the city central.

Again, the shopowner kept saying: "No it's too far! It looks near but it's very far!  You have to go back to the train station!" (when I'd rather that she gave me directions instead of asking us to backtrack all that way to the train station which we doubted we could get on)

I tried to get a cab but they all went pass us.  Everybody else seemed too tired to make a decision so I decided that we would wing it across the stretch of shophouses cos the shopowner refused to give us more specific directions. 

It was now 10+ at night and we couldn't see the city towers cos of all the shophouses.

At any rate, we managed to walk ourselves into a remote little train station and we decided to see how crowded the platform was before deciding whether to keep walking or try our chances with the train.

It was quiet as a grave by this time (I forgot to look at the time cos I was too tired) but could only get us as far as Nenas.

When we got to Nenas, we were supposed to switch to another train which took us to the city centre.  Instead, we were so high on walking (or rather so braindead from walking), we walked all the way from Nenas to our hotel.

The Great Big Hamster Wheel of Life

I arrived a little earlier at a crossroad I knew I would come to but hadn't planned on coming here that soon.  I thought I had plenty of time on my little hamster wheel.  Just hanging on day by day because I thought it was up to me to keep us all going.

Note on photo above: This cabbie had his CD player robbed and his meter re-calibrated.  The taxi recalibration was also a big mess.  According to the cabbie, lots of taxis were still plying the roads on the old metering system and getting one such was like Russian roulette.

I guess I'm confused.  She sounded like a nice lady, with lots of money, a dog and no husband and I guess she'll take plenty good care of Dad.  I'm happy for Dad.  I guess the disorientation is somewhat similar… to a hot air balloon lurching into the air from suddenly getting its moorings cut off.

Note on photo above: My friend had nothing much to do on the bus so she was busy snipping off split ends.

Suddenly, I do not need to care or worry for anyone.  Suddenly, nobody cares or worries about me.

I'm free to quit my job.  Free to hit the road, don't come back.  Free to sleep on the streets.  Free to be as destructive and abusive and irresponsible as I please and no one will hold me back.  Out of concern or love.

It takes all the purpose and fun out of being destructive, abusive and irresponsible. 

Now, I'm destructive, abusive and irresponsible just to get through the days of falling quietly like a tree in the forest.

Note on photo above: This doesn't taste as good as it looks.  Bleah.

Yup.  I now know the answer to that proverbial question.

No I do not exist.  I could flip myself off a building and people'd just click their tongues and roll their eyes.

It takes all the fun and purpose out of flipping myself off a building.

People are so afraid that when they die, they leave nothing behind to be remembered by.

But I don't care for that.  I don't want to be remembered when I die when there won't be anyone left I care enough for to want them to remember me (my boss'd remember me as the most unlikely and strangest and ill-fitting case in his line for as far as he can remember in his charmed, happy and predictable life on his sturdy little hamster wheel after I flip myself off a building because people in his line NEVER EVER flip themselves off buildings).

I do care, however, for what happiness I can make while I am falling silently in my non-existent state.  Someone said that happiness is only real when shared. 

I agree with that.  But that's just so unattainable now.

It's not that there isn't pasture to graze cows.  It's just that for the faithless who don't believe in the future, don't believe in love, don't believe in people, don't believe in hope and generally don't believe in the world, it's nigh impossible for them to put down their guns, stand down from their wars and learn to be farmers again.

Note on photo: Make Love, Not Money… heh.

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Comments
  1. Waterbaby says:

    I enjoyed this lil' adventure (though my knees may be aching from all the walking ;D ) I like your closing paragraph. And am curious what the soup that looks tastier than it was is.

  2. What an exhausting walk. But sometimes walks like that can be a sort of catharsis.I feel big changes looming. I hope, you'll find your good and adventurous road! I am still silently hoping to read your blog from a journey around the world on a motorcycle.

  3. Heh. Thanks! That was Penang Laksa! 😀

  4. I don't know… I used to think that what was what I wanted. But even if I ran away from my current realities on a motorcycle, I realise now… I wouldn't be able to run away from myself in the end.

  5. But maybe it wouldn't be about running away from yourself, but finding yourself and making peace with yourself.

  6. SusanMac says:

    There are your Voxland friends who care. Who would share those beautiful pictures of insects both beautiful and macabre. Who would post almost poetic prose about the deeper aspects of life. There is no substitute for you.

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