Caught a great opportunity to sub-in for my B&B friend Chiu-Fan. She and Nans have “gone surfing” at the Philippines for 2 weeks, so this allows me to experience what’s it like to own, run, and live in a Bed & Breakfast, old (Taiwanese standard, 60+ y.o.) pre-WWII house style.
The chores are quite simple: feed the cats, water the plants, and clean the house. Things that requires little mind-power; exactly what I need to rest my overworked brain. It’s also a refreshing change to the fill-it-all-up day I used to have: either staying in the lab or running like mad.
The house has no TV. Instead, there are books, CD player, and a guitar. If you need something more dynamic, there are 2 ex-stray cats sufficient to keep things interesting. It may sound boring, but it’s very, very, very tranquilizing.
The surrounding is so calm and peaceful, it allows the mind to settle, and to think, often without purpose. And so, the mind begins to recall, that piece of memory, that interaction with someone, somewhere.
I started to recall a few things related to slowing down, taking a break. I remember that sign I saw at a coffee shop hidden in the alleys of PuJi St, “Slow down, so your soul can catch up.” I remember reading that sign, giving it a nod of approval, and then looking at my watch and counting how much time there was until I had to leave.
And then I recalled that time when I first suffered from Ménière’s disease. I was telling Nans how I had used my weekends smartly in the wilds to unleash my stress from work, and he refuted by saying maybe what I needed the most wasn’t more triathlon tournaments or crazy 3000+ M hikes. He suggested “complete emptiness.” The idea seemed understandable, but not practical because I simply just had too much work and things I had to and wanted to do.
Thus for someone that’s been living with such a tumultuous schedule, this B&B sub-in is certainly a timely change of pace. and style. Comparing to what I used to have, this much of “empty” time is almost meditative. Zen-ish.
More importantly, it allows the sentiments to breath, and to foster. I could sense the change in my feelings towards “the sorrows” world. I can understand, and personally relate to, why such thing as hipster exist. It’s hard not to try it, and then like it, at least for a little while. Because it’s just so comforting. soothing. and easy.
And I haven’t even made coffee yet.