some thoughts

No lives would matter if black lives don’t.

People say oh why do I have to care about the whole BLM thing, I’m not black I’m not white I’m not even American. Sure, you can shamelessly pretend that you live in a world of your own, but you certainly don’t. We are all human and you’re a human too. This world is not divided on the borders of race, ethnicity, and citizenship. We live on this singular planet as a collective; nobody is disconnected from nobody. I wouldn’t be too sad if the entire human society suddenly vanishes someday, but since we still live on today, can we please at least make the world suck less for its members. Injustice doesn’t become just because you are used to it; prevalence doesn’t equal rational. People, as individuals and groups, are undeniably suffering from injustice and negligence, which ultimately is the product of privileged people’s selfishness. Selfishness is an inherent trait of all humans; it’s there and it’s impossible to get rid of. What we should really want is to eliminate the privileges we have given to certain people, not to ask them nicely to stop being selfish.

This is a systematic revolution, not merely a reform.

No reformation would fundamentally change the system that it stands for. We have seen this being proven for too many times, whether it’s in China, Dominican Republic, Iran, Lebanon, Spain, US, or Zimbabwe, whether it’s about democracy, economy, racial disparity, or personal freedom. I’m not advocating for violence; in fact, I believe that violence directed towards individuals is never productive. However, when the problem is the justice system itself, there’s no point to stick to the rules that it laid out. There’s no way to change the system unless we actively repel the system.

I utterly respect and salute all the brave people who take the enormous risk to fight for their and others’ lost rights. You’re the real heroes that advance human society while I’m just someone typing on the internet. Let us remember the people that lost their lives 31 years ago in Beijing and all around China, and the people of Hong Kong who are fighting against the regime to get their stolen freedom back. Let us remember the identities of Tibetans and Uyghurs, the lands of Kurds and Palestinians, and the planet we all share, just to name a few.

*The reason why I am somewhat reluctant to share my thought in this is that I don’t think I am informed or educated enough on this issue to comment on it. But here I am. You don’t have to agree with me on my thoughts and I’m sure a lot of my ideas are premature or biased. However, I hope we can at least agree on that this is an issue needed to be addressed, and silence does not help in this. That’s it.

Lunar New Year and where I am

It’s the Lunar New Year today.

It is supposed to be a important day across East and Southeast Asia – although it might not be the case nowadays. I prefer to call it Lunar New Year rather than Chinese New Year, for two reasons. The first one is, obviously, that the holiday is celebrated not only in China but in numerous countries and communities. The second reason is that some people use the initial, CNY, to refer to the holiday, which accidentally is also the code of China’s currency. Annoying.

Anyway, the Lunar New Year is never a significant day here in eSwatini – and also isn’t to me. From the year 2010, I only spent one Lunar New Year in my home. It’s much better and make much more sense to see other parts of the world than to spend hours chatting nonsense with your relatives that you don’t even know who they are. So I tried to stay away from home, and here’s where I was.

2010: on the beach of Bali, Indonesia

2011: in a friend’s house, Sydney, Australia

2012: in a hut in Maasai Mara, Kenya

2013: in a friend’s house in Kwun Tong, Hong Kong

2014: in a guesthouse in Wēnzhōu, China

2015: at a campsite in Christchurch, New Zealand

2016: in my grandparents’ home in Nánníng, China

2017: the only time in the last 10 years that I spent the Lunar New Year in my home in Sūzhōu, China

2018 & 2019: in Mbabane, eSwatini (although it was Swaziland on the Lunar New Year in 2018)

So… yeah, keep moving.

And happy new year if it applies to you.

My 2018 In The Air

2018 is surely a significant year for me, a not-so-well-devoted aviation lover. This year saw a big increase in both the number of flights and mileages accumulated, thanks to my move to the hills in the outskirt of Mbabane. Totaling 22 flights and 45946 miles, my 2018 may not seem impressive to many frequent travelers, but it’s quite a big leap to me compared to the 6 flights in 2016 and 3 (only 3?) flights in 2017.

This year has witnessed not only my first flight to my new base JNB (and also SHO when I don’t have an SA visa handy) and several new (to me) airports but also the excitement of flying on one of the last 3 An-24’s flying scheduled passenger service and the joy of getting airborne under a big balloon.

Here are all my flights in 2018, mapped with Great Circle Mapper.

map

All the airports but SHA, PVG, and HKG I visited this year are new to me. I’ve flown on Air China, South African (operated by SA Airlink), Emirates, China Southern, Turkish, Air Moldova, Ukraine International, Motor Sich, kulula (Comair), and Cathay Pacific for the first time. E135, A380, B735, and An-24 are also new models to me (though the latter two I have flown on are actually older than myself). Here are some of the highlights and interesting moments of this year: Continue reading “My 2018 In The Air”

If the US flag is designed by the states.

Not bad enough

I’m fed up with US state flags… (well, except New Mexico, their flag is kinda good) Most flags are boring, ugly, and hard to distinguish. So they add their names to the flag, which made them even worse.

So I made an alternative to the flag of the US. I’m not making it any better, however, I’m actually trying to show you how bad most of the state flags are. This is a US flag but imitates the design of the state flags.

Here we go.

If_the_US_flag_is_designed_by_the_states.

I’ve tried to put as many bad designs as I can on this ‘flag’. We have the disgusting blue background, the name of the entity, the founding year (FYI texts are usually the worst things you can put on a flag), the seal (well I put the seal on the original Star-Spangled Banners), and the motto written on an ugly-shaped ribbon that comes out straight from Microsoft Office (literally).

Interesting huh.

Tell me what you think then.