Teenage blogger

Today this blog turns thirteen. Yes, my blog is a teenager.

This is when I should be writing about how my life was when I was just thirteen years old. The opportunity presents itself, after all. It's an easy comparison. Teenagers, they say, are difficult; they're finding out things about the world, forming their own opinions, learning how to push - and enjoying it. Somehow I should be able to connect that to how keeping this blog going has been, well, a bit of a chore, about how difficult it has been to write for this thing lately, partly because I demand more of myself, partly because I am spreading myself too thinly, partly because I really just want to sleep sometimes.

But then, I honestly remember little about when I was thirteen.

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Blending in

Despite this essay being about eyes, I chose this photo solely for the hair.

I wasn't staying at a hotel on my first trip to Taipei. Rather, I was staying at a spare flat offered up by our host. It was his mother-in-law's flat, if I remember correctly. It was at one of those apartment buildings just near the city border; it sat beside a junk shop that had a mechanical arm doing all the sorting. We were at the eighth floor - but it was a two-floor apartment - so outside the window you could see an elementary school, and rows of apartment buildings, and a street that never gets busy.

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"Sila pa na binoto para ayusin ang problema ng bayan, sila pa ang nag-aaway-away!"

That was my taxi driver this afternoon - should I call him my taxi driver? But you get the idea. I was in his taxi. We were going to Greenbelt. I was deep in thought about his radio station choice - the so-called station for the new generation, if you're curious - when, unprompted, he started talking about politics. No personalities, no sides, just politics in general, which somewhat underlines this one thing about our politicians that's always swept under the rug: that, ultimately, they're all the same.

That was good news for me, because I did not have to contort my reply to some sort of common ground. Some of you know I can be so passionate - but I did not grab his cab to engage in a fiery political debate (or, essentially, a shouting match). I grabbed his cab so I can get from point A to point B.

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Of value

If the stuff I write here is of no value to you, dear reader, then I might as well make myself useful. I might as well make you clicking this link and reading it more worth your time.

All right, how do we do this...

Shalla and I regularly watch videos on Facebook. It's really her thing; I don't even have autoplay turned on, even for wifi - what a waste of battery, what a waste of data. There can be gems. It can be fun. But I'm always the first to point out that a video uses emotionally-manipulative music so I can feel things about what really is a perfunctory video about some animal being rescued from the clutches of these terrible, terrible humans. It happens often, but you know, they're animals! You must feel more for them!

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No value

I haven't written for nineteen days. It's another one of those stretches, where I do try to write, going as far as composing paragraphs in my head, like I always do - and yet I don't type them down, until they disappear forever.

And they do disappear forever. I haven't written about my trip to Malaysia with Shalla - and that was in November two years ago. I haven't written my self-designated flagship essay about our trip to Seoul - and that was in December three years ago. All they were are plans, paragraphs in my head, never laid down.

Yeah, this is me writing about my lack of writing to fill a gap caused by my lack of writing, again. And you will argue that I have been writing a lot still, but in other places. Sure. I have. I would usually say that is the reason. But for this nineteen-day stretch, something is different. Something else is bouncing back and forth in my head.

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