Tuesday 28 December 2010

Boxing day in Athens

Took a walk yesterday on Boxing Day downtown in Athens.

Most shops were closed, but there were lots of street vendors and performers, together they created a bit of carnival atmosphere here.  Loads of people on the streets. Families with children, lovers, and groups of friends.  I am the lone Chinese man......

Ever felt alone in a crowd?  I guess holidays do bring out the "missing home" feeling in me.  It's a bittersweet feeling.  I miss mom (OK, I am a mama's boy.  There, I've said it!)

The good news is that soon it will be Chinese New Year in 5 weeks' time.  Have been saving my vacation days for my longest vacation to date: 4 weeks for my home leave in Singapore.  I will also take 5 days to visit my brother and sis-in-law in Guangzhou, China.


Anyone out there like me working alone overseas; away from friends family?  Do share your thoughts with me.


  1. Hi SMOL,

    I can fathom the image of you walking alone in the cold street of Athens seven years ago.

    How did you manage to overcome the long duration of your overseas stint? Any confidentate roomate to ease the homesick feeling?


    1. Ben,

      The 4 years of Shanghai were easy.

      I had 2 live-in-sin partners over there - one around 6 months; the other about 2 years?

      I always tell my career ambitious Singaporean female colleagues to never to let their husbands go to China alone for job postings.

      That's if they value their husbands over career ambitions.

      As for Athens, I soon found out Chinaman weren't that "hot" over there... LOL!

      But it was a quiet and meditative 3 years of taking long walks in the parks and streets of Athens.

      A lot of my spiritual readings and contemplations were done over there. A guess that's my "training up in the mountain" equivalent?


    2. SMOL,

      Appreciate your effort in sharing more details of your lifestyle.

      I believe that you have gained valuable life experience in living in China and Greece. It must be a intriguing experience for you.

      Theses overseas work stint has enabled you to quit the rat race at the tender age of 44. Kudos to you. I believe that you must have the marvellous six years in Singapore till to date. I can see that you will continue to enjoy such sabbatical lifestyle with part-time weekend employment.

      I myself do not have the similar experience. At times, I was tasked to work overseas in Hong Kong, Australia and Malaysia as required in my full-time employment. The longest duration was for two weeks. This is just a sparkle as compared to your years long overseas work stint.

      Guess this is life work experience.


    3. Ben,

      You're welcomed!

      We all have our own paths and karma.

      Just as long we are true to ourselves, and have the freedom to seek the lifestyle we desire, how not to be happy?

      Peace be with you.


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