Yesterday I found my diary from 2016 and guess what: I’m trying to get rid of this horrible sugar addiction for years now. It’s all logged it in that diary.
Apparently, I do manage to motivate myself to start changing this stupid habbit but I fail before the addiction is completely gone, so each time I relapse and start eating sugary food again.
The worst of all – it’s totally clear to me that eating sweets is bad for my teeth, I’m aware that I’m overweight as a direct consequence of sugar consumption and in the long run, cancer cells love sugar and I definitely don’t want to be diagnosed with cancer…
This time I’m trying to quit with a help od hypnosis (self hypnosis/ Youtube video). I really hope it will help change my diet for good. So far I’ve been sugar free for five consecutive days already, so… whooho! 👍😀
Today I went to see the dentist because my beautiful, super expensive full ceramic crown broke in two. Oh, man. But, never mind. That’s life. I’ll get a new one. My mother always says: “problems that you can solve with just a handful of money are in fact no real problems”.
On my way back from the dentist, just a few blocks down the street, I witnessed the following scene: a delivery guy left some big and heavy looking boxes on a pallet right in front of the house entrance where a young woman stood and shook her head in dispair: “how am I going to carry this upstairs, mister?” But mister delivery guy didn’t say a word. Shoulder shrug was his only gesture which signalized that he understands the situation.
I was passing by exactly at the moment when the young lady started getting really upset. So I went back a few steps and asked her: “can I help you carry those boxes upstairs?” And she reacted as if she couldn’t believe her ears: “would you? Really?” Of course woman, otherwise I wouldn’t have offered my help… So we carried the boxes upstairs and when we finished she said: “thank you! Thank you so much! How can I repay you?”
And I thought to myself: “you already did, my dear. You gave me the opportunity to add a good deed to my Karma account.”
The power of giving is so strong. Being in the position to help someone feels so good…
I feel that, as a father, I’m somewhere between the father figures as presented in the movies “Captain Fantastic” and “The Glass Castle” (only I’m the opposite of an alcoholic)… oh, yes and Brad from “Brad’s Status”. And perhaps a touch of Kevin Spacey in “American Beauty” (only, I’m totally not into smoking pot and falling in love with teenage girls). And if the protagonist of the movie “Into the Wild” had kids – that be me, too. A mixture of all of those…
And… This is the first in series of my super short micro-blog posts. Since I’m not an English native speaker, writing long blog posts always takes much more time than I can currently afford. So I decided to write these micro-posts. Like tweets, only published on the blog. 😀 By doing so, at least my thought of the day gets logged. Otherwise, I’d be postponing and postponing and in the end never get to actually sit down and write and publish all those wild thoughts that are currently flying around my head or write about stuff that’s going on in my life…
Yes. It sounds silly. Semi-vegan. That’s almost like being half-pregnant. Like joining the NoFap movement but still fapping from time to time. But believe me, it works. Nah, I don’t mean fapping. Semi-veganism works! Look, adopting a plant based diet is a big step in any person’s life and I consider it a part of my life changing, self improving, personal developing, world saving, truth seeking process. It’s in the ranks of those big moments in life such as quitting smoking, starting a new relationship, finally writing a good blog post after a really long time, etc…
I’ll be honest with you – the whole point of becoming a semi-vegan is to postpone becoming a 100% vegan indefinitely. Why? Let’s keep this a secret between us, okay? Because this way you get to enjoy the best of both worlds! You get to eat plant based food as well as meat, while still being conscious about the issues of the industrialised farming. The best of all – you can claim already now that you’re vegan. Hihi. How cool is that, ha? You just cannot say “I’m vegan” because that would be a lie. Therefore “semi-vegan”. Because, the moment you become a full-fledged vegan, you’re not allowed to eat animal products anymore. Of course, everybody knows that. This is just to illustrate how ingenious this plan is… 😊
Let’s imagine becoming a real vegan instead of a semi-vegan. I mean, just imagine the following scenario: you’re being offered a piece of a juicy steak or a nice cheeseburger and you’re saying: “Sorry, I’m vegan. I don’t eat meat.” You raise your hands in front of you, as if you’re defending yourself and those poor animals : “Sorry, I’m vegan. I don’t eat meat.” Ok, for them poor animals on the plate it’s a bit too late but you might be saving the coming generations!
And this becomes your mantra: “Sorry, I’m vegan. I don’t eat meat”. And you totally don’t give a fook if people give you the weird look. You just keep repeating your mantra: “Sorry, I’m vegan. I don’t eat meat”. Just BTW, as a semi-vegan, if you say this mantra, you have to say it as if you actually mean it. Otherwise real vegans will see through your semi-veganism. And they usually don’t tolerate non-vegan style of life. Vegan veterans are like detectives, they can’t be easily fooled: “So you say you had that hot-and-sour soup the other day?” Uhm. “And those sesame bars? Don’t they make them with honey? You did remember to check the list of ingredients, didn’t you?”
Luckily, the food industry has been taking care of us health-conscious vegans and semi-vegans lately, by substituting real honey with glucose syrup. Thank you, food industry. You’re making our lives so much easier! And you’re keeping food prices stable, despite the inflation. Thank you, thank you!
Afterwards, when you feel ready – you can take your mantra to the next level: “I’m vegan. I don’t eat meat.” Notice how you’re not ‘sorry’ anymore for being a vegan. You’re breaking out from your ‘I’m-not-sure-about-this’ role and standing proud in front of the world: “I’m vegan. I don’t eat meat.” Before you know it, you’ll have the guts to stand up in the middle of a restaurant or at a dinner party and proudly announce: “I’m vegan. I don’t eat meat.”. Of course, this period of coming out as a vegan will last only until you have no more non-vegan friends and you notice that you’re not being invited to parties as much anymore.
In the final step, the mantra changes to: “I’m vegan. You should be, too!”. At this stage it becomes a part of your life purpose to educate the world about the suffering of animals and industrialised factory farms where hens are forced to lay eggs and a heavy burden is imposed upon bees to fly out and produce more and more honey… And if people don’t listen to what you’re saying, simply start being cynical and start making condescending remarks until they feel really bad. Because, animal well being is important. And vegans need to make sure that everyone understands this.
But hey, all of the above would just be an issue for those who wish to become real vegan. Semi-vegan don’t have such problems. Therefore… 😊
Now that nobody is travelling because of the stupid Covid-19 virus pandemic, I decided to finally deliver on my promise and write about travelling from Bangkok to George Town. So, here we go…
For those of you who don’t feel like reading the whole blog post, here’s the summary:
There is a comfortable and relatively inexpensive overnight sleeper train service from Bangkok to Padang Besar. At Padang Besar station you cross the Thailand – Malaysia border and catch the regular KTM commuter service to Butterworth on the Malaysian side. From there, board the ferry to George Town on the Penang Island and Bob’s your uncle. It’s really as easy as it gets.
And here’s the whole story…
From major travel forums across the Internet I understood that getting from Bangkok to George Town was relatively easy and not very expensive altogether. In all these forums you can also read how you don’t have to go crazy planing in advance and purchasing the train ticket online because this train service is rarely booked out. And I totally relied on this information…
I landed in Bangkok on May 15th, intending to to stay until May 20th. And the very first thing I did after checking in and leaving my backpack in the hostel was heading to the train station to purchase the ticket for that overnight train service for Monday, May 20th.
Quickly reached Hua Lumphong train station, found the ticket booth, asked for the ticket and…
“Sorry sir, all booked out”. WTF? Why do such things always happen to me? “Ok, ma’am, if 2nd class is booked out, I’ll take the 1st class ticket”. Me, a smartass. 😀 “Sir, this train service is fully booked”, she repeated. Duh… “Ok, and how about one day earlier, May 19th?” “You’re lucky, there is one last bed in the lower berth available on this train. Please enter your name” She turned the computer keyboard my way, so that I can type in my name.
After paying 960 baht (ca. 26 euro) I got a printed ticket with my name on it. Whoooha! Mission accomplished. But… this experience proved once again that we should never believe everything we read in Internet forums. 😀 So… while it is apparently true that you don’t have to plan too far ahead, buying a ticket for a specific date only five days in advance could be risky…
On the day of the departure I arrived at the station almost one hour before departure (which was scheduled for 15:10 h). Honestly, the whole experience doesn’t differ much from taking a train in Germany or any other European country. The station itself is very orderly and clean.
Found the platform and boarded the train, which departed exactly on time. Shortly after departure, the steward came to ask me if I wanted to order anything from the on-board restaurant. I haven’t ordered anything as I was on my “one meal a day” diet and I had already eaten.
During the day, the cabin features regular seats:
Towards the evening, these seats are then converted into beds by the cabin attendant:
I slept really good and in the morning when we reached Padang Besar Station (Thai), the cabin attendant came to ask me where I was travelling to. I said: “Butterworth”. He then said: “Please stay. Next stop. Padang Besar”.
As in every station so far, all kinds of street vendors boarded the train and offered food, cold beverages, souvenirs, etc. Suddenly an older, apparently local guy, sat on the seat across me. He had no food, no drinks and no souvenirs to offer. “Change money?” he asked. And I thought: “Yeah, I should exchange a few euros to Malaysian ringit because I didn’t have any at all, but I’ll probably be able to get a better exchange rate on Padang Besar train station, when I get off the train.” He wasn’t pushy or anything but never the less I thanked him and didn’t exchange any money with him.
When we arrived at the last stop – Malaysian side of Padang Besar, all the passengers hurried across the train platform and through the main hall, towards the immigration checkpoints. And I followed. First we queued up at the Thai border crossing to get an exit stamp and then queued again at the Malaysian checkpoint to get an entry stamp in our passports. And that went rather quickly.
After clearing the immigration everybody again hurried upstairs to get the train ticket for the KTM commuter train to Butterworth. I reached the ticket counter in no time, but surprise, surprise: cash only. Oh, man. The lady at the ticket counter was really nice and immediately told me that I can exchange money downstairs, in the immigration area.
So I ran downstairs to exchange money in order to buy the train ticket to Butterworth (11,40 RM / 2,6 euro). What I found there was not an official exchange office, but rather some woman who seemed to be just sitting there and doing business. The exchange rate was a bit worse than the exchange rate which the guy in the train offered, and when I pulled out a 10 euro note, she said: “20 euros minimum”. But that was ok. Because I didn’t have any alternative, anyway… 😀
By the way, KTM trains are super modern ‘bullet-type’ commuter trains. If I remember correctly, we reached Butterworth in less than two hours. Ferry terminal to George Town / Penang is located just across the train station and it’s really easy to find.
It takes ca. 30 minutes to get from Butterworth to George Town by ferry and it costs only 1,20 RM (0,25 euro). And that’s it.
After 24 hours on the road finally I was at the destination: George Town, Penang Island. Yes, I hear you saying: “I would never…” but believe me – this was a very nice travel experience and I met some really nice people along the way (some of whom I even met again in Kuala Lumpur a few days later).
And in the end – what matters is the journey, not the destination. 😀