Tag Archives: moving on

Goodbye, Sydney

Today I wave goodbye to my solitary lifestyle, and go back to the sunny island I call home.

There are so many memories and stories which have been accumulated here – experiences which I feel immense gratitude for.

The stories which still percolate within will be told in time – the remaining ones from Sydney as well as the recent ones from Melbourne 🙂

They will come, slowly.

For now, let me Breathe, and take in the Beautiful Present Moment of Goodbye.

Saying Goodbye

No one told me leaving would be this hard.

I guess being too caught up with the preparation of everything else overshadowed my actual emotions about leaving the school, the friends, the familiar environment, the sense of togetherness…

And above all, the memories – the walking opposite to get bubble tea, the buying lunches for each other, the long meetings, the early days, the never-ending days, the no-need-to-teach-yay! days, the performances, the music, the words of appreciation, the small successes, the disappointing failures, the what-am-I-doing-this-for days, the I-could-do-this-forever days…

Everything just came together in a flood of memories and emotions. As a colleague very encouragingly put it (while offering me tissue): “It’s been a tough 4 years, but its been fulfilling, hasn’t it?”

“Is it possible? To feel this way? Happy and sad at the same time?” I asked, exasperated at my inability to control my outward display of emotions.

“Yes,” came the reply. “It is possible. And I’m glad you feel sad as well, because if you only felt happy about leaving, that would be really sad!”

I guess it’s also just me being me, rejecting change, yet wishing to embrace new opportunities, leading to such inner conflict and turmoil… and tears. Oh, the tears.

I need to learn to accept change quicker. After all, farewells are part and parcel of life, and change is the only constant. Nothing stays the same forever. People come and go, and to ask for life to stay as we know it would be denying ourselves the opportunities for progress and new experiences.

May I move on. Quicker.

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

Another depressing-but-must-see in the city of Phnom Penh. We initially planned to visit the museum and the Killing Fields on the same day, but now I’m glad we got to split them up. 2 depressing spots in one day would have been too much.






The tour guide who brought us around (for USD6) shared about how her father, brother and sister were killed under the Pol Pot regime, because her father used to be a soldier under General Lon Nol. Her mother and her only managed to escape because they went to live in the refugee camp in Vietnam. Her mother is still reluctant to visit the S-21 Prison Museum, and when she herself started working as a tour guide she remembered crying everyday.

Today in Cambodia, it is not difficult to find anyone who has been affected by the regime. Numerous families have lost at least one member during the war – missing or dead. Hearing her say such words made me look at the Cambodian people differently. What are the similar yet unique stories behind each smile, gesture, and service? What do they tell themselves such that they can move on from their recent and gory history?

Like plants that can grow out of cracks in cement, will they be able to harness what they have left, and build themselves up again?