He Is (at 32:45)

Old notes taken mostly from my personal time with God. We're moving house again, so, I guess we're back to being, literally, pilgrims on the Rough Roads of Planet Earth. (Photo taken on a road to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, North Auckland, NZ, Dec 2009.)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Gambler Story

Dated 25th Oct 2010

That’s my oldest profile pic above. It was my original
profile pic here in MySpace but nobody really uses family pics for profiles here,
so, I soon took it down and changed it to my favourite Emma anime pic. And
really, MySpace came ahead of Facebook so, although that’s my current profile
pic in FB, it’s just a “transfer” there.

BTW, my younger son was surprised that I still use MySpace.
He said, “You’re cool, Mom, you still use MySpace!!!!! I haven’t really
seriously used it, ever, really.” Haha, I know, I made his MySpace account for
him 3-4 yrs ago when I made mine, and he never actually used it. So, I don't know if he meant that, or was being sarcastic?? So why am I
still in MySpace? Because when I feel like writing something but not wanting
anyone to comment on what I wrote, I find that this is the perfect place! I
just hope it doesn’t close down though, because I have blogged here for years,
so if they do, I’ll have lots of blogs to move, or lose! :(

And then there’s this "Forever Alone" meme my kids are
talking about. My younger son said all of us in the family, except his dad,
would fit into that mould because we’re all "forever online"!!! Bwahahaaa!

Ok, back to my Gambler Story…

My (ex)-profile pic above reminds me of the Gambler
Story which my family and I laugh about, whenever we remember it, and usually
it’s when we see that picture above. Eight
years ago we went to Genting Highlands (in Malaysia) for a
holiday. We had been there a few times before so we were quite familiar with
the place and we have a favourite hotel in that mountain resort. Awana Hotel is
located near the base of the hill and we either take a cable car from there to
get to the top, or drive. One particular time, whether on the holiday when this
photo was taken or not, I am not sure, we took the cable car up. There are two
theme parks, one indoor and one outdoor, on top of the hill, plus a notorious
casino popular to tourists, especially Singaporeans. There are many resorts and
hotels in the area and plenty of things to do – horseback riding, swimming, camping,
hiking, golf, gaming and of course, going through all the rides in the
theme parks, which we usually do.


Taking the cable car can be both exciting and interesting
because of the mountain sights you get to see, but it’s also scary, especially
when it stops in the middle of nowhere and it swings with every blow of the
wind. :( There can be interesting people on board with you, too. One time we
rode together with a group of young male foreigners who seemed to dress and
look alike in terms of height, build, hairstyle, and reserved manners, and they
spoke a foreign language. So we asked where they were from. They said they’re
from Nepal and they were on
holiday from Brunei. Then it occurred to me that they were Gurkhas. The Sultan of Brunei has Gurkhas
for his special guards.

Sometimes there are so many people that the cable cars have
to go full-capacity all the time. One time we decided to come down a bit early
from the hilltop and we were separated into two cable cars. My older daughter
remembers that ride quite clearly and apparently my husband was with our sons
and I was with our daughters. Besides us and maybe a few others in the cable
car, there was a slightly-built, quiet, quite-adult, Chinese male passenger.
The ride went smoothly but somewhere, in the middle of the descent, the car
stopped in mid-air, for quite a long period, until we felt uncomfortable. I
expressed my anxious thoughts and the Chinese male passenger said, “Don’t
worry, this happens all the time. It will start moving again in a while.” So I
asked him if he went there often as it seems he knew the cable car routine
quite well. He said, “Yeah. I am a ______.” I didn’t hear the last word he said
as the thin mountain air makes you a bit deaf, like when you’re in an airplane,
and he also had a strong Chinese accent. So, I said, “Oh, you’re a hiker.” “No,
I’m a ______.” “Oh, you’re a camper.” “No, I’m a _______.” I was already
feeling embarrassed for not catching what he said two times but I still had to
make a guess so, I said, “Oh, you’re a golfer!” “No, I’m a ______.” I probably
heard him earlier but I just couldn’t, probably, quite believe that somebody
would actually call himself, as such, that’s why I didn’t dare say what I
thought I heard. But this time, hmmm, I thought, I better just say it or the
embarrassment would go on forever. “You’re a gambler?” “Yeah, I’m a gambler.”
(Silence.) “Oh.” (More silence.) “So you’re a professional gambler?” “Yeah.”
(More awkward silence.) “Uhm, so, can you actually make a living from gambling?
Do you file income tax?” I queried with a nervous smile. “Well, I have made
some and lost some… I have probably financed a whole stretch of road somewhere in the
developments here - from my losses.” Now I didn’t know whether he was bragging or
telling the truth but I remember we had a good laugh about that. “So, what’s
your secret of success in your profession? I know there really are professional
gamblers but I never thought I would ever meet one. Are you from Singapore? How
often do you come up here?” “I’m Malaysian and I come here two or three times a
week. The secret is discipline. You leave when you know you have to leave. The casino’s only
hope is for their gamers to keep on playing. That’s how they get them to lose
all their money - to keep them playing. That’s why for me, I leave when I have
made my money. That is the secret – to leave when you know it’s time to leave.”
He said many more details that defy my memory now but I remember he talked
animatedly and quite happily about his profession. I also remember expressing
my concern that many people have been “destroyed’ by gambling, so, I said, “You
must be really good in this.”

Our trip down soon ended and we never saw him again but to
this day we still remember that Gambler Story because of the seeming deafness I
had when somebody told me to my face that he was a Gambler! :) Yes, and that is
the joke, my seeming deafness, most likely due to unbelief, that somebody would
actually own up to be a Gambler… uhm, Lame?

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The Many Versions of Love Stories 1. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. They live happily ever after. 2. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. The marriage sours, they part, and live happily ever after. 3. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. Then boy finds out it's more fun to be girl... or girl finds out it's more fun to be boy, they part, change sexes and live happily ever after. 4.Finally, boy or girl meets God. It's love at first sight... The roads went rough, the tides rose high, the strong winds blew and the quake shook the ground... but they truly live happily ever after, forever and ever. 5. Try God's love... it's always happy forever after, and the story never ends. :-D