All posts tagged: character

Beauty Pageant Q&A twenty-five years later

Beauty pageants was a thing in the days of television. It was fun to watch: the song and dance, ball gown and swimsuit parades, and the Q&A the pageants have to go through. One question stuck for over 25 years, “As a Miss Hong Kong, you need good manners and deportment going about your day. When you are at the ladies, do you need good manners and deportment also?” The contestant fumbled for an answer. What probably was going through her mind and what was going through mine at the time was, “How does one go to the loo with (ahem) deportment?”  Let me fill you in on background. In the heyday of beauty pageantry, TV stations had big budgets to spend hiring experts to teach contestants how to walk, how to carry themselves, how to adhere to certain protocols. Perhaps not unlike what Kate Middleton or Meghan Markle would go through to adhere to – in their case –  royal protocols. After weeks of such training, the contestant’s probably thinking – yes, I need …

Because she did drugs, I told the teacher

Boarding school at age 13, 14 was very much a culture shock. Not just the language, the food, most of all how people think and the way things are done. I was assigned to a large girl’s dorm my first year, sharing a large double room with a girl from NYC. You can easily tell which side of the room was hers and which was mine. We had totally different modes of life.  Cultural Contrasts My roommate sets her alarm for 6am (Classes start at 8, mind you). The loud beeping radio alarm types that I don’t get why people use waking up to scratchy, annoying noise. My roommate takes her morning shower and spends the next hour or so putting together her outfit and makeup (something I didn’t even own.) I – rolled out of bed 15 minutes before the class bell rung. Brushed my teeth, went to the loo, threw on dress code-abiding clothes got there just at 8. If breakfast was had, I’d get up an extra 15 minutes earlier for a …

Thailand's King Bhumibol legacy | Where My Heart Leads

Thai King Bhumibol: Inspiring Nations

On a recent trip to Bangkok, I got a different taste of Thailand. Instead of the shopping and eating, we visited some sites. I visited the huge reclining Buddha at Wat Pho (sounds like “What For?”) with intricate mother of pearl inlays and en route swung by an amazingly well-kept temple site Wat Arun. Walking through the intricately-built and colorful Wat Arun temple grounds just a couple ferry stops from the main commercial area, I was struck by the fact that Thailand, some few hundred years ago, had preserved such wealth of culture, riches, and know-how evident from the well-kept structures and temples at the grounds of Wat Arun. Upon further investigation, Thailand is the only South East Asian country not colonised by European powers. Thanks to their King’s determination and the unity of the country – the royal family and nobles practically emptied their cofers that they had saved over two generations to pitch in and pay up in defending their nation. The Upbringing of a Statesman But my focus is King Bhumibol, the …

Look beyond skin-deep

Are you more than skin-deep?

We got a slap on our hands without an actual slap. I realise that we judged him from how he looked, not how he was as a person. And that was surely not the Way of tea, or the Way of Life in any manner. Big lesson learnt.