Barrelled Thoughts #55 – Balcony Baloney

Friday, June 19, 2015

It’s Friday, the third last day of the week and the final day of a productive work week. I’ve successfully adjusted my working hours to a day that begins at 6 a.m. and ends in the early afternoon, from which I grasped that a routine is easy to plan and even easier to execute, but it’s consistency that really counts.

If a habit takes 21 days to form, then it probably takes a tenth of that time to break it.

During Arsene Wenger’s 19-year tenure at Arsenal Football Club, the one word we’ve hear over and over in his pre- and post-match press conference is “consistency”. The man known as “Le Professeur” values above anything else the ability to achieve the same goals over and over again—consistently.

Despite what many view as almost a decade of failure for an obvious lack of silverware, Wenger’s overseeing of the construction of the Emirate Stadium—Arsenal’s new home since 2006—as well as his impressive record of bringing the best out of the players he has are immeasurable achievements, unquantifiable and impossible to correlate solely with the number of trophies he’s brought home.

Continue reading

Photo of the Week – Jun 19, 2015



The Hungarian Parliament Building stands stoic during a mid-summer breeze in the middle of June. It was inaugurated on the 1,000th anniversary of Hungary in 1896 and opened eight years later in 1904.

The awesome structure that is this historical landmark is worth seeing from near and from far. Up close, its majesty humbles even the most impassive of tourists, while from afar, its colour, shape, and sheer dominance adds to Pest’s prowess as a welcoming yet exigent tourist city.

Barrelled Thoughts #54 – Grand Budapest Hospitality

Saturday, June 6, 2015

I was told two things about Hungary before my arrival—both were wrong. By non-Hungarians, I was told that I would be arriving in a country filled with old-fashioned Eastern European ideals, and that the land of the Magyars was nothing but a landlocked, recluse of a state that generally kept to itself.

I wondered why Hungary gave off such an impression, despite my intention to stay in Budapest regardless, but then I realised that most of the people sharing these opinions had not visited the country.

While the country does indeed stand out in terms of its unique language and culture, being the only one amongst its neighbours to speak a Finno-Ugric tongue, which is one of the only languages I know that doesn’t use truckloads of borrowed words; however, it is by no means old-fashioned or outdated.

The university communities in Budapest are perfect for visitors like myself, who arrive with little or no proficiency in the Hungarian. The staff of cafes and restaurants communicate comfortably in English, which goes a long way to help newcomers settle in the country.

Continue reading

Barrelled Thoughts #53 – In-flight Thoughts

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

I’ve been lucky enough to have experienced flying ever since I was old enough to understand what the word meant, but I don’t believe I had ever seen a more majestic sight than the one glimpsed while en route to Istanbul from Taipei.

My Turkish Airlines flight took off just after dinner time in Taiwan’s sleepless capital, and by the time we reached the South China Sea, it was nearing midnight and I had already stuffed myself with the in-flight meal.

After a short nap—a routine procedure after a bottle of Chardonnay and my usual post-take-off Bloody Mary—I found myself looking across the empty seat to my left and out the open aeroplane window.

Continue reading