Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face

By Jack Prelutsky
Be glad your nose is on your face,
not pasted on some other place,
for if it were where it is not,
you might dislike your nose a lot.

Imagine if your precious nose
were sandwiched in between your toes,
that clearly would not be a treat,
for you’d be forced to smell your feet.

Your nose would be a source of dread
were it attached atop your head,
it soon would drive you to despair,
forever tickled by your hair.

Within your ear, your nose would be
an absolute catastrophe,
for when you were obliged to sneeze,
your brain would rattle from the breeze.

Your nose, instead, through thick and thin,
remains between your eyes and chin,
not pasted on some other place–
be glad your nose is on your face!

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Born To Be With You

Not having yet been blessed with an individual whom I can call my soul-mate, I think the one person I love best in my family is my father. I love my whole family equally, but I would say I spend the most time with my dad.

My father gives me lifts to school almost every day even though he has to travel back from the far west to home again, then back out to work. Sometimes, after he drives me to school, he drives my mother to work then goes to work himself. He loves his car and has been driving ever since he was 17.  Public transport worries him because there are too many people on it and he does not know what to do.

In the car, he will ask me about the events that are going on in my life. Somehow, he always directs the conversation to the friends I have and whether they are boys. I do not tell him that my closest friends are guys because he will treat all of them as potential boyfriends. I get irritated because it seems that he is prying into my life. Boys can just be my friends. They do not need to be anything more. He wants me to get attached as soon as I can. He also wants me to go out and earn money to pay for the house or to help him with financial matters.

It is always pressurising to hear these things from my dad. I sometimes wish that my family was rich and that we did not have to deal with the problems we have now. But I know that it is always so easy to complain but hard to appreciate what we have.

I tell myself that I am already very lucky.

We eat breakfast together at the same place before school. He parks on the ground level and we walk up some flights of stairs to the coffeeshop. One time he decided to take the risk of not using a parking coupon. He ended up getting fined a sum of money and he kept complaining about it. I told him he was setting himself up for a fine if he made the choice not to use a parking coupon. If he did, it would not have happened. He remembers this and has used a parking coupon ever since.

This coffeeshop is 90% filled with old people in the mornings because it is in an old neighbourhood. I observe the old people there sometimes. They sit alone and slowly drink their coffee and eat their noodles, but some are in big groups of 15. They must have met in a community centre or something. It would be nice to grow old with people even if you have to prepare yourself to wake up one day and not see one of your friends at breakfast.

The coffeeshop is somewhere near university and the aunty who sells drinks recognises us now. She does not mind if we do not pay straight away because we are frequent customers. One time, she gave me Teh Peng in an exceptionally large cup and this made me happy. I do not like when the coffeeshop aunties ask me to add up the price of the drinks though. My math has never been good, especially in the early mornings.

Dad used to always buy fish ball noodles for breakfast. But now that his gums are hurting, he opts for Chee Cheong Fun. I feel sorry for him because food is his favourite thing in the world besides his family.

He always drinks black coffee. He says he cannot do without it. Coffee for him and Teh Peng for me.  It has always been like this.

We resume our conversations back in the car. He often talks about financial problems and I constantly feel burdened. I get irritated because I think that I should not have to bear the responsibility of earning for my family. I am still a student. Why do all my friends not have these problems? Why am I the one to have it? My dad always says he is unlucky because it takes a lot of effort for him to get business in his job but the people who work in the same industry seem to get it easily. He says it his destiny to be unlucky. I tell him to stop complaining and that he has the power to change his fate.

But I guess there is more hope for me to change my fate because I am young. But he is old and there are not many options left.

Nevertheless, I am grateful for my dad. He is trying his best and I love him very much. 

4 Thoughts Today

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1. I do not know if my friends understand how much I appreciate them. There is this immense feeling of gratitude and love that I cannot put into words no matter how hard I try, and I am always left wondering if they feel appreciated. I want them to feel appreciated, and I do indeed truly cherish them, but I do think letters of love and presents are even sufficient to make them understand.

2. Sometimes I feel too guilty for relying too much on the kindness of others.

3. It comes naturally to me to impose my views on other people in certain situations. And I always, always end up berating myself for it. Yet, in another time and another place, I do it again.

4. I tell myself to not seek recognition if recognition is not due. I want to believe that if I work hard, recognition will come to me in other ways.

Remember, it’s…

Remember, it’s always better to be at the bottom of the ladder you want to climb than the top of the one you don’t. Be productive and patient. And realize that patience is not about waiting, but the ability to keep a good attitude while working hard for what you believe in.

Europe, I pretty much love you.

I love Europe. I do not know why. But I do, I do.

Maybe it’s the  idea of Europe that mystifies me. The grand idea of Europe gives me this immense yearning that cannot be quenched. No amount of travelling around Southeast Asia would do it. No amount of talking to international students would do it.

Sure, travelling to the beautiful beaches of Thailand might satisfy me for the time being, but it is only for a moment. Just a moment. But my mind will always wander back to Europe again, and I will start googling pictures of London, of Spain, of France again, and I will gaze in wonder at the exquisite images on the TV, and I will wish. Oh how I will WISH that I could be there, that I could live there.

What makes being here harder is that images and videos of Europe are all so easily accessible to me. It constantly reminds me that I am missing out on its beauty, and every second is wasted not marveling at its magnificence.

I still remember how I felt when I was in Europe 6 years back. I could sense that the air was different and within me was a surge of indescribable happiness. Uncontrollable and exhilarating.

How could one want to visit a continent again so bad?

Cue Savage Garden: “I knew I looooved you before I meettt youu…I have been waiting all my lifeeee