#35: How I made the patchwork princess too? ( 2/2)

Part 2/2 – How I made the patchwork princess too?

names-for-drunk
Patchwork Princess

The patchwork princess from primary school days grew up without anyone telling her the right words to use. She could never really stop the boys from embarrassing her.

The primary school boys never learnt that ‘no’ meant ‘no’. That boy does not deserve girls affection after grand gesture. That there was a fine line between romance and harassment.

Continue reading “#35: How I made the patchwork princess too? ( 2/2)”

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#34- Making the Patchwork Princess (1/2)

Primary school gossip was scandalous to say the least. Paper notes passed up and down grades, between friends – cautious of peering eyes. These were days before the DMs – I am talking about days before mobile phones and snapchat.

Continue reading “#34- Making the Patchwork Princess (1/2)”

#33 Talking Urbanism- Fixing the Heat in Cairns.

I’m breaking a sweat from J-walking across Grafton Street.

For the first time in a few mild months, I am reminded that this is the tropics. 


The feel of humidity rising in the morning leaves a lot to be desired as I get caught in the mid-Friday-morning sun darting into Rusty’s for the ritual coffee and samosa. 


Friendly nods between the frenzied buzz give way to warm murmurs interjected by the whizz-shhhhh of the coffee machine at Billy’s.


Flippy-floppy thongs slap hard against concrete followed closely by the clip and clop of a heal and a shoe.


Someone mentions in passing that it looks like ‘it’s going to be a hot one’. 


But I can’t tell if they were talking about the coffee or sun.


I notice the first signs of redness beginning to show on our melanin-deficient brothers and sisters who have ventured a bit too long without sunscreen. 


The morning streets will soon be a buzz with tropical professionals zipping into air-conditioned hideaways of the next cafe to avoid unsightly sweat patches. 


But the weather this time of the year is temperamental.


The rains do poke through humid blue skies on the odd occasion, cooling streets and shrinking sidewalks. 


Rains Descend
Wet Weather brings a welcomed reprieve from the heat.

It lingers long enough to make us yearn for more sheltered walkways. But it stays away long enough for us to forget we need them. 


The indecisive weather is part of the lifestyle. A short walk from the Esplanade to Cairns Central would attract an unwarranted public baptism by either precipitation or perspiration. 


I call on a thought to distract myself from the rising hunger as I wait in the samosa line. 


How is it that our city stops short of catering to our tropical lifestyle? 


Why does my daily commute to work have to involve navigating patches of sweat from rising humidity? 


We praise the outdoor tropical lifestyle, yet accept, and think it normal to spend the better part of the week inside air-conditioned cubicles glaring through double-glazed tinted panes.


This is the disjuncture of our existence that evades the public forum, but one that concerns us all. 


This may be about to change. 


I bite into my tamarind sauce topped samosa to settle the hangry morning monster in my belly.


James Cook University, under the vision of Dr Lisa Law and Dr Silvia Tavares, have initiated the Tropical Urbanism and Design Laboratory (TUD Lab) – a space to think about these particular issues. 


Taking advantage of JCU’s agenda on pursuing research with a tropical focus, the JCU TUD Lab will pursue important questions concerning the livability of tropical urban environments. A feat warranted by a State of the Tropics report that claims close to 50% of the worlds people will live in the tropics by the middle of this century.


After having the Cairns Regional Council’s Tropical Urbanism vision applauded at the state level, this TUD Lab would mark an important milestone for thinking about tropical planning and urban design in Cairns, if not the world.


The Lab is set for launch at JCU on the 20th October with registrations essential for catering


Maybe there will be some respite from the heat soon.


By

Hanslee

Image Sources

  1. Foodvixen.com
  2. RamblingsOfAGlobalCitizen (blog)
  3. TropicNow.com.au

#32 The Good in Bugandi Secondary

This is a piece I recently got cross-published on the blog mylandmycountry. It is about Papua New Guinean’s celebrating all that is good about our country.

—–

Media attention awarded to Bugandi Secondary School of late, has tainted the name of this pillar of education within the Lae City community. I do not want to dwell on the events that have garnered such infamy, but it would be fair to say, there exists a sense of bitter distrust from the part of the greater Lae community.

But the nature of trust is that

it can also be earned back because bad does not necessarily mean ‘there is an absence of good’. At least that was my experience with the Bugandi Secondary School students on Friday, 6th October. An incident transpired during that day that showed hope and goodness that often goes unacknowledged about that institution.

I am not at liberty to fully disclose the details of the incident, least to say it was a hit and run and I, along with the students were first witnesses. I’ll add though that it was the quick thinking on behalf of the Bugandi students that led to the survival of the victim; the emergency ward named ‘Mr Friday Unknown’.

In a show of spirited heroism, the young men from Bugandi Secondary School gathered the seemingly lifeless pile of aged bones and soft tissue onto my ute. Without time to spare we rushed the Mr Friday Unknown to the accident and emergency ward at ANGAU Memorial Hospital.

There is always a moment of sho

ck that follows accidents so gruesome as that that reminds us humanity is nothing but skin and bones. It is the spirit that connects us to each other.

Seeing the spirit the Bugandi students showed to save a life gives me faith enough to say that the school is raising integral community members and citizens of Papua New Guinea. That lesson cannot

be overlooked. That lesson is more important then any piece of information that can be found in textbooks.

But this is not an isolated event. This act of selflessness is evidently engrained in these students. Almost a month before this incident a head on collision between two vehicles on Jawani Street (next to Bugandi) was witnessed by Bugandi Secondary School students who were unwilling first respondents to the scene, doing what they could to save the lives.

The description of the incident is not important here, but the character

demonstrated by the students is, again, testament to their strength and value as members of the greater Lae City

community.

I would like then to commend the teachers and for their commitment towards their students. For believing in the goodness in your students. To the Principle, Mr Tony Gaul and your leadership team, it takes real courage and strength to believe in your mission with limited resources and the clout of negative media – for that I applaud you and your team.

Bugandi Secondary School has quite the journey ahead of it yet I believe that in the not too distant future, the institution will give the great city of Lae reasons to look upon it with the endearing fondness that it deserves..  

#26: An Opinion – Cairns on the up? Maybe

The winds of change

gather momentum.

Seaward fronds

bristling in the breeze,

leave all trace

of yesterdays behind them.

When cyclone winds

arrive in tandem.

– Hans Lee-

There is a lot to say about change in our part of the world, it happens when we least expect it but faster then we would have otherwise anticipated. It’s the curse of the orchestrated laissez faire lifestyle we enjoy in the Far North Queensland.

Though little doubt can now be cast upon our little city in the north that the winds of change are blowing again. Some may even argue at gale force.

There is just that much happening around Cairns that anyone who wishes for the past would be sourly disappointed that Cairns is growing up fast. Images of the once thriving fishing port are a distant memory as we continuously (re)define ourselves as an eco-tourism friendly region – or perhaps something more.

Flurry of Optimism

Continue reading “#26: An Opinion – Cairns on the up? Maybe”

#23 What playing Monopoly as a child taught me.

I have a confession to make.

I am a sucker for playing monopoly and I don’t mean the type of game that lasts a few hours. No. I am talking about the game that lasts days!

That is probably why I haven’t played it now that I am a bit older, because none of my friends have the time or patience to continue a game for days and days with the same enthusiasm and drive to win.

But as a child, I remember endless pursuits of trying to be the last one standing. Often times, when my cousins came to visit for a weekend, I’d challenge them to a game of Monopoly. My house ,my rule right? To me, those endless hours seemed to whizz by unnoticed as my money and properties built up, then, through some silly role of the dice, leave me dry, forcing me to foreclose on properties and start afresh.

What would happen when mum came to tell me it was time for bed? Well after having a hissy fit, I’d make sure to write down everyones position on the board and record everyones amount, and as if saving or pausing the game, we’d leave it as it was to return at a later time.

I remember being such a sore loser, I hated being broke, but I hated losing and quitting even more. In fact I never accepted I was bankrupt till I had nothing left. I had strategies to make sure that I was always one step ahead of the game, or so I thought. At each pass of the Go, I’d put $100 aside. Each time I raised money,  I’d put a portion of the earnings aside as retained capital. I made sure all my properties were partially developed (never get to hotel status), I tried to negotiate with the banks for leeway and I was adamant about lending finance to players to keep them in the game when they were broke or wanted to quit. The last point is perhaps the reason why our games lasted so long. I realised that in order for me to accumulate more wealth, there had to be players in the game. For me, the goal was to have the bank go broke before me. That was the thrill!

But what did all that adolescent-money- gaming do to my cognitive development. As a child, we become a product of all the experiences we are exposed to, so what lasting scars did the game of monopoly have on me. Well these are a list of things I believe I have gained from it:

  1. Unnerving ability to believe that there is always a way out

    Despite being claustrophobic, I am a pretty calm person. I know that there is always a way out even if that entails facing up to the issue. I remember games where I would lose everything and then scheme my way back into the game by borrowing from the bank or other players.

  2. Deep belief in my own ability to control the board (destiny)

    It was only when I watched Invictus that the words resonated with me “I am the master of my fate, the captain of my soul”. One of my truest of truths is that I can change my circumstances whenever I want. We all suffer from something or rather mentally, I am no different but I just can usually pull myself off the scruff of the neck and get on with life. For some reason, Monopoly taught me that the board doesn’t play the same hand twice and a bad role once won’t always lead to a bad role twice. There is always a way out.

  3. Dealing with having, and not having power

    I love power. I like having it, being around it and messing with it. But Monopoly taught me an important lesson in  respecting power – be humble in victory and gracious in defeat. Learning how to deal with the bankers as money lenders earlier on and showing mercy to those who couldn’t afford to pay you for landing on your highest earning properties was all about courting power. Allowing people to pay me slowly allowed them to be in the game longer, appearing merciful assured me allies and power.

  4. Highly developed Emotional Intelligence 

    If I have earned anything, it is the power to be deeply reflective and empathetic. I call it the God Perspective and this was honed with a few other games too but being able to read people and predict what their reaction was going to be was incredibly important to my own survival on the board. Understanding when to take a break when I could sense a tough phase was occurring ensured that I had a game to play that wasn’t wearing everyone out.

  5. Taking risk and being ok with loss

    Children need to learn how to deal take massive financial risks and experience the glories of winning and lossing. Too many people are risk averse, resulting in not much happening. They sit back and take on a life of average because they are afraid of taking big risks and losing. For them,  loss is equal to death. For me death is the only loss. I loved Monopoly, I didn’t always win and those were tough. When I was really addicted to it, I remember being furious that I’d lose, but it made me want to play it even more. The thrill of taking risks, knowing I could lose it all at the next round of the board was strangely appealing to my adolescent mind. The thrill of uncertainty still remains with me today. Certainty and comfort makes me bored.

Obviously, there must be a more ways that Monopoly defined me that I have not figured out yet. I highly recommend getting your children, or your friends children, inducted into the world of Monopoly. If anything, they may just learn a bit about themselves.

Kind regards,

Hans Lee

 

 

 

#21 Cairns Major Murals Project Info Evening

For all my artistically inclined friends in Cairns.  The Cairns Regional Council are about to launch their Major Murals Project and are opening up an info session on Tuesday 27th June 2017 at the Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre. 

RSVP to Simon Suckling.

Email: s.suckling@cairns.qld.gov.au

Paint it up! 

– Hans Lee