021 Afterthoughts of Vacation (1)

  • The Things We Chose To Remember And Forget

I’m not adept at taking vacation,
coz I think too much.

My mind is always filled with thoughts.

About things and people.

The good thing is I get to reflect and learn more about myself.

The bad thing is I get lost in my own thoughts.

And miss out those that I also value.

Do you have the same problem?

Some people return from vacation feeling revitalised.

Others return home feeling more lethargic than ever.

Where does their difference lie?

I think it lies in what you have chosen to remember and forget.

If all you remember is your bodily gratification, then all you do is probably to eat, shop and play.

But have you forgotten about your spiritual and emotional needs?

Do not forget to empty your mind.

And to let go of your emotions.

When it’s time to take a pause,

stop for that moment.

Think of nothing else.

Allow the beautiful sight

that comes before your eyes

to etch into your heart eternally.

I halt when I caught sight

of the Melaka River

in this gloomy rainy weather.

Don’t you find it melancholic yet


The next moment,

I heard my wife exclaimed,

“Look! A big crocodile in the river!”

Wow! There, it is.

Suddenly, the same river no longer

look the same anymore.

How’s interesting!

Very often,

people rely on cameras

to capture memories.

Yet memories only stay

in our hearts

when emotions are stirred.

In many homes,

people display pictures

to keep memories.

Sadly, so often

memories have faded

even before

the pictures turn dull.

Always keep in mind,

Listen to your heart

When it comes to

people and things

that matter.

William W K Tan

30/11/2017, Thursday

Personal Notes

I’ve just taken a vacation in Melaka.

A place so near,

Yet I’ve never been there before.

Found this place has a strong

atmosphere of humanities, history

and culture.

There is no short of

local produce,

boutique cafes and

delicious cuisines.

Immediately I developed a liking

for Melaka.

In the next issue, I will continue to

share my thoughts about taking

vacations. And I will be introducing

you to “The Geographer Cafe” in

Melaka that my good friend and an

excellent Kumon Instructor Ms Loo

had recommended me.

012-E Morning Run Discovery: Pang Sua Pond @ Bukit Panjang

I always wake up at about 5.30 am for morning run. Before 7 am, the sky remains dark. But there is this long timber boardwalk nearby, suspended above a pond, which is always illuminated for early joggers. It has become one of my favourite spots because of its unique charms as a wetland attraction.

Even at such early hours, you are unlikely to be a lone jogger. Pang Sua Pond, originally a tired-looking storm water collection pond, has transformed itself into a picturesque location that attracts people from all walks of life to engage in physical activities together. Some people jog while others walk, and there are also those who chose to do work-outs as a group.

By 7 am, you will find many elderly folks gather at the park. It is particularly heart-warming to see people of different ethnicity coming together to engage in synchronised movement of dance and physcial activity.

I am enthused over their work-outs, but still I prefer to run laps around the pond on the boardwalk, which is akin to an upgraded version of running around a track and field stadium.

In case you cannot imagine how is it like running across the water, here is a majestic view of running on the long boardwalk suspended over the Pang Sua Pond.

My usual routine is to do 5 laps of running around the pond slowly, enjoying the scenery and the freshness of morning air as I run. Then, I complete the routine with some simple muscle training.

Just right in front of this small fitness corner, you may be delighted to spot an idyllic view of two petite-looking boats, one yellow and the other white, resting quietly in a miniature dock.

Near the dock, you will find a floating wetland. Visitors will be first drawn by the fragrance of wetland plants such as the leather fern and fragrant pandan even before they can catch sight of these plants.

The wetland plants create a natural habitat for dragonflies, crickets, frogs and fishes.

On the land, if you are lucky, you might even chance upon some monkeys. Of course, you should refrain from feeding and keep a safety distance. Just a couple of months ago, a monkey went rouge after being disturbed by human activity. But no worries, it is a remote possibility.

Anyway, do you think you would fall in love with this place? If so, join me at Bukit Panjang for a run. After that, we can go for breakfast at the Bukit Panjang Plaza, which is just across the street or the Hillion Mall which is situated above the nearest Bukit Panjang MRT station. 

And to my many friends in Johor Bahru, Bukit Panjang is just 20 mins’ drive from the Woodlands causeway. Bring your family here and join me and my family for a healthy morning exercise!

William Tan

28 September 2017

Personal Notes:

I did not do a translation this time, but wrote two different articles on the same topic in two different languages. That takes twice the time, which explains the delay of publication to Thursday.

For those who read both languages, please don’t tell me again that my Chinese proficiency is superior to English. I know that. What I constantly need most is validation for my efforts to improve English proficiency, you know?

For a predominantly Chinese speaker, you perhaps have little idea how much toil and sweat I have put in to polish my English writing skills over these years (laughs). I hope my efforts to be effectively bilingual will set a good example for my children.