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From this pair of loser shoes to…..

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An object of desire…a must have for every gentleman.

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‘I don’t ever need others to acknowledge that I am exceptionally good at what I decide to put my mind to start and end….I don’t ever crave the approval and acknowledgement of others. Never!

I just don’t.

To me that sort of attitude smacks of insecurity and lack of confidence. I just know deep down, I am the very best at what I do. Many people I notice seem to have great difficulty coming to terms with what they wish to regard as arrogance. That is their right.

But it doesn’t alter reality.

Fortunately for those who are well versed with my wide range of shoe antiquing repertoire, they simply choose to regard my confidence or arrogance as an outward expression of my faith in my impeccable craftsmanship and ability to deliver to spec. That is why 95% of my customers are still Japanese and they choose to remain faithful to me despite the three month wait.

These professionals are a different kettle of fish from the wannabe crowd. For one, they never ever feel intimidated or small by my outward expression of confidence in my craft whenever I share with them how I create la effect. As very often they demonstrate a keen sense to learn, accumulate knowledge and improve their understanding on the lost craft of shoe antiquing. It’s always a pleasure for me to work alongside people who can appreciate my skills without getting personal or having to deal with insecure people. On the contrary, they frequently share with me that’s one reason why they entrust me completely to decorate their bespoke handmade expensive shoes that sometimes run into SGD$5,000 to 10,000…..never be afraid to say to others, you are the best!…never!…you should only really fear if you don’t cut the grade!’

The ego trap

May 19, 2016

Man’s ego is like a glutton with an insatiable appetite, it’s like one of those savage deities that is always craving for blood sacrifices.

That is why when a man doesn’t take the trouble to set aside some quiet time to discover who he is and why he’s born in this timeline. Or even feel the need to interrogate himself on basic questions such as what does it mean to be human…alive…present or what is consciousness. Then he can ONLY end up as a mindless slave to the evil God of his ego – he will always be self conscious, instead of internally whole, complete and secure. Oh, he drives a better car than me. He lives in a better neighborhood. He wears a Rolex etc etc. Once you are self conscious, then one can only be entangled in jealously, resentment, revenge and getting even etc etc. But my point is all these needless preoccupation with the self stems from a self consciousness mind and the perceived need to satisfy our deep seated feelings of anxiety that comes from feeling lesser of a man.

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‘During my last visit to the city. A man strode up to my table when I was dinning and demanded that I take off my sun glasses, ‘I don’t like the way you look at me!’ I told this fellow in a calm and gentle voice, ‘that’s not really YOU talking….it’s your insecurity…search yourself please.’

Within a matter of seconds this man’s resolve began to crumble from deep within…it was as if a spiritual atomic bomb was denoted somewhere between his soul and consciousness. It was if he had suddenly awakened from a deep slumber and now the world was never as clear as it was. Soon he was reduced into a babbling child and apologizing for his untoward behavior. I went on to tell him, I wear sunglasses as I am sensitive to city lights and it has nothing whatsoever to do with disrespect for anyone or any institution. That was when he wanted to justify his actions, but again I disarmed him in a calm voice, ‘please get a hold on your ego!’ And again the air went right out of him. Eventually this man apologized for his untoward behavior…this only goes to illustrate how hopelessly rudderless man really is….like I said, mankind is right mess emotionally, psychologically and spiritually….he’s lost, fumbling in the dark, but what is even worse, is he believes whole heartedly where he is heading…that is the real tragedy of mankind!’

(This is a story of a man who disappears completely from the face of this planet for one whole entire week. The names and places have been changed….they have to be. It all began when the man visited the city recently.)

‘When the man eventually woke up. He found himself in a prison cell. There were about eight other men in the cell. One of them quipped to another,’what do you think he’s in for?’ No one answer him. All he could make out were blurred and darkened figures standing before him. The man’s head was spinning. He had been hit hard. Even then he was not afraid. As he had known this place before somewhere in the depths of the previous chapters of his many forgotten lives that all added up to make the story of so many men in a man….where he was, the man knew only too well, as the story of how he or any man had taken a wrong turn in life.’

(I shall write later when I return from the field)

Tranquility

May 9, 2016

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We may not be able to change the whole world, but we can certainly change the way we see ourselves alongside the world and even feel weightless. We can be serene even in the midst of chaos…this power is in our hand…no one can take it away from us….. If we smile at someone, he or she will smile back. And a smile costs nothing.

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‘A man once stopped me somewhere along a desolate stretch of a plantation road – he seemed very aggressive, but when I asked him why is his heart beating like a rabbit. He looked even more confused and flashed back at his friends. Then I asked him, are you afraid? He did not know what to do, that was when I told him, ‘surely you didn’t expect this to be easy?’

Detente

May 6, 2016

Detente is not peace. No it is not! It is only the appearance of peace premised on an agreement to keep the status quo ante on condition that one agrees to stay within a prescribe limit while the other side does the same.

Detente is only an agreement to disagree while seeming to keep the peace. Nothing more or less.

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‘In life there are certain positions one has to take that is strategic. Those positions may not necessarily be very pleasant or even friendly, but they have to be taken as they pay out a maximum utility in game theory i.e to ensure that things do not go from bad to worse. For example, at times it makes far more sense to say to one’s business rivals…look here, we can spend our time, resources and energy fighting each other. Or alternatively, I take the western side while you stay to the east of the river. You have my solemn word whatever business that falls within the eastern zone is yours and I will agree not to bid for it and you will do me the courtesy to do the same for all businesses that are within the Western zone.

Of course what is seldom ever discussed in detente even the best crafted detente must at some point involve plans to project into the eastern zone without the knowledge of the other side. Both sides will have to craft secret plans to invade the other….in which case a state of detente is usually a prelude to a cold War.

A Cold War is the art of fighting without ever seeming to fight…a dirty war.’

Table talk

May 6, 2016

This morning I had an unscheduled meeting with a couple of landowners – they wanted to know what is my long term plan…one of them told me quite frankly, you are buying so much land around here, we have right to know.

I simply told them. I only wish to live a peaceful and simple life. It was not very hard for them to believe me, as I was wearing a worn white shirt with three holes with a missing button held by a safety pin and wearing only slippers.

When one of them asked me whether I was planning to buy more land….I merely asked one of them for a calculator and started punching away from time to time looking up at the ceiling absentmindedly.

This went on for a good five minutes and at the end of it….I said, ‘no’ in a slow and defeated voice. The words rolled out like marbles on the floor pattering loudly at first…then silence.

They believe me.

I lied of course.

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‘One needs nerves of steel in business..at times. Especially when the stakes are high and there is very little margin for error. Whenever possible one should always strive to be remain on an even keel and very calm. As a calm mind even if decides to do absolutely nothing is already doing what is most needful in a stressful condition – remaining alert and ready to strike at a moments notice.

Do not allow your emotions and fears to get the better of you. They will try. Do fight them. Allow them to pierce thru you and watch it go right thru as it leaves. Beware of greed and how it leads one to impulsive behavior and always rein in your ego and above all talk less to hide your real intentions.

Above all be ready to strike at a moments notice.’

Life

May 2, 2016

I don’t for one moment believe what the philosophers say about life – that one has to find oneself. I don’t believe it’s about self discovery. After all it’s not as if there is a well of wisdom locked somewhere in our head and all we have to do is drill really deep to discover treasure….no. Life is not about discovering yourself as it is the mundane business of creating who you want to be.

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‘It took me many years to find my way out from the labyrinth of autism. When I first got out…it’s like I had somehow managed to do the impossible and recreated a second version of myself that was now looking at the first version who I was – who was still stuck in that riddle. For many years of my life thereafter, there was actually two of me, the man who was still fumbling in this maze and the man who was looking at this other man with two feet in your world….he was me and I was him.

I wouldn’t say, I resented the world in the maze….it’s a world, like your world and I could just as well spend my whole entire life there….but since I was now conscious of your world….it became something that I needed to understand all over again.

I know what I just wrote doesn’t make a lot of sense to you…but my whole point is it makes perfect sense to me. As that was what actually happened.

Thereafter I had to rebuild this second person who was outside the maze bit by bit – like some intricate bridge made up of bits of scraps and leftovers that the world had discarded. At first I got it wrong, but since it was my first attempt, I thought it was right….only to end up starting all over again and again. I spent many years tearing down what I built and starting all over again – you could say, I was like a man who had an image in his head, but every time he tried to put it down on paper it was wrong. So I was like a man in a room covered with acres of strewn paper – I would for instance look at people and wonder to myself, how can I be like him or her. Then I would build it from the ground up.

I know what I have written makes no sense to you….how can it. But that is really how it was.

I created myself with my own hands. No one helped me. I did it all by myself and it was very hard work. As I got it wrong so many times – and since no one really understood what I was doing, if they didn’t help me that was fine, but at times, they just made it so difficult for me to create myself that they kept tearing away at what I was working on.

I don’t blame them…as they know no better. But that didn’t make my life easier either. I had to keep working at it. Even really simple things like being conscious and keeping one’s presence and not slipping back into the maze inner world was something that I had to really work really hard at.

Like I said, I don’t belong in your world. And my natural disposition…my default position is always to revert back into my own world where I stare out into space and do my own thing…but I can’t ever allow myself to do that in your world. As if they catch me….they would know, I don’t belong here and probably kill me….so I am always like Ultraman when his beeper goes off….I know that to function in your world for one or two hours, maybe I need to put in three days of work and a ton of effort.

The good news is I am getting better at it.

I reckon at the present moment of writing this – this second person is as close as I can possibly fashion to anyone that you will ever met in the world that you know as YOUR world….only I want you to understand this…I don’t belong to your world. As there is still a part of me that belongs to that other world that is the world of the maze, that’s where I rather be….that’s who I really am.

I am never ashamed about who I really am.

I hope I didn’t confuse myself and confuse you.’

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When one is autistic. No one wants to see or talk to you. Even parents of autistic kids don’t ever want to be associated with you. As you are a constant reminder of their pain. Everyone behaves as if you are not there, even those who claim sympathy for autistic people do this without realizing it – and they all seem to carry that painted expression that says, I hope he doesn’t come near us….otherwise, we would have to call people in white coats to lock him up some faraway attic.

When I was very young. Many teachers used to beat me up. I don’t blame them. As during my time the technology and knowledge about autism was severely lacking and they could only think…. I was naughty. But there was one very kind teacher who had an unusual fondness for me and she would often protect me like a guardian angel.

One day this kind lady turned to me when we were both sitting down watching trees in a park. She cupped my little face and said to me, ‘you must run…you must run as fast as your little legs can take you. I don’t know where you should run. I wished, I could tell you….but I don’t know. All I know is you cannot stay here. Otherwise they will kill you! Promise me that you will run as fast as the wind.’

I promised her.

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‘When people don’t treat you well. Never get angry. That’s a bloody waste of energy. Instead get even….when all you seem to have is bad memories. Again…don’t fret. Remember. Nothing in this world happens for no rhyme or reason. Just hold on to them and remember why you need to move out from where you are. And should you have any doubt why you need to pick up and leave, just remember those bad memories. Suddenly when you do just that….you find you have wings to fly! Only those who know the secret of bad memories know of this super power….people who only collect good memories have absolutely no idea how to harness this power.

Like I said, bad things don’t just happen without any rhyme or reason…but even if they do. You can always make use of those painful experiences. You can always learn from them to add depth and breath to your character and sharpen your wisdom…experience all things in life…the good, bad and ugly.’

Give Dr Chee a fair run

April 30, 2016

Want to win a by election then do it like a gentleman lah! Don’t be a gangster and dabble in back stabbing, character assassination, rumor mongering etc etc. All this will only make sane and reasonable vote against you!

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‘Everyone makes mistakes in their past. That’s given. But once they’ve paid for it….it’s done and the accounts are squared and the counter goes right back to zero. That’s at least how every gentleman sees it.’

You don’t have a good plan on how to succeed in life. As even if one is not very smart PROVIDING one has a sound life strategy. One will always outperform even the most intelligent person who has either no plan or a lousy life strategy.

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‘Many people have come to me thru the years. They have sought me out from afar. Only to tell me, ‘I am not very smart, but I want to succeed in life. How do I accomplish this?’ On every single occasion I have told them, you need to work on a sound life strategy. A plan on how to succeed in life.

When they follow this plan, their lives are miraculously transformed.’

Who are you?

April 30, 2016

What matters most is NOT who you are, it’s who you will become and this power is at this very moment in your hands. This is not theory, it’s fact as it is reality. What really matters is the choices we make in life. Who we are now and in the past is over…it’s water under the bridge. Forget it! But the choices we decide to make tomorrow , the day after, a week or month from now….that’s what will ultimately shape us all into who we are.

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‘The question of who you are? Is and will always be quite irrelevant to me. The reason why I say this is simply because when I reflect back on my own life – not many people have respected or even regarded me as someone worthy. Truth is they don’t understand what I am doing or even working towards. So I don’t really blame them. That is how life is. As it’s quite hard for them to believe that a man digging a hole under the hot sun can really amount to very much in life. That’s how it is with most people – they draw simple line conclusions that often do not correspond to reality.

What’s jugular is who you will be…as that question is future sense, it’s something that will happen down the road of life….and most importantly is the understanding – this power to effect transformational change is already in the palm of your hands. You don’t have to seek it out from anyone….if you think God is necessary, then go ahead, but to me he’s optional. As what’s important for your understanding is this power is in your hand!

I need to emphasize this point not only once, but many times it seems. As very often we experience feelings of inadequacy, unhappiness and grief simply because we lose sight of this simple reality.

Who we are is not important….who we will become is very important!

This I imagine is why there are so many people who still continue to unnecessarily work themselves up over the question of – who am I? They are so fixated and obsessed by this that it’s so easy to distract, disable and derail them from their life goals. All you have to do is disrespect them a bit and they will take it so personally that it will eat and destroy them from within!

Worst of all. This is a matter that they have left entirely to other people to determine. Hence when others tell them to go there, off they go. If they say turn left, they follow and so on and so forth. So they go around trying to please ‘others’ (whoever they may be) who they think have the power to define who they are…..and most of the time, they end up nowhere!

Why? Because they never do what I consider to be most needful – that is to sit down and think very hard about who they want to be and how to become that person!

I realized I had to do this very early on in life, because I am autistic and when your brain is going the opposite direction from most people. They are bound to think I am odd and peculiar and so I will never be promoted in any organization…unless of course I happen to work for a very understanding boss who takes the trouble to understand why my brain is the way it is. Unfortunately in life, no body seems to be very interested to understand other people, they are fixated on their own problems and their own lives and that is only natural. So I realized that I had to take control and once you reach this diamond realization…YOU HAVE TO TAKE CONTROL…you suddenly have the confidence to do many things – that is why when people talk behind my back and whisper, he is a nobody that has dirt underneath his nails and is going nowhere. I just ignore them and continue to do my own thing. You have a gang, you want me to conform to what you all believe to be some so called norms, guess what see that door…I am walking thru it. Finish. I go my way!

I never follow other people. I am not saying your way leads nowhere. But I have to follow my own path that is all. So don’t take it personally, it’s strictly business for me.

Neither do I empower ‘others’ with the right to define who I am….you can certainly try….only remember the door! As who I am will always be a matter to be defined by only me and no one else. That is my right. I don’t say this causally, it’s a matter of upmost seriousness to me….the business of who I am, that is.’

I know you get rain in Singapore. But where I turn the wheel of life up north – it’s dry. When it rains, it’s Mickey Mouse rain…no good.

I started to implement a series of radical measures to mitigate the effects of lack of precipitation and sharply increased temperatures.

Firstly, the scheduled manuring dosages for the month of April has been sharply reduced from 3 Kg per palm to 2.3 Kg. The selection of fertilizer has also been tweaked to take stock of lower precipitation. To complement this I have also started pruning the excess fronts to limit the effects of trans aspiration (trees losing moisture thru the foliage when exposed to the scorching sun).

Pruning is a very delicate and risky affair. As when too many leafs are removed it can negatively effect the ability of the tree to conduct photosynthesis – but if too little leafs are removed, it may exacerbate moisture loss thru leaf exposure to the harsh rays of the sun.

The balance has to be exactly right.

The way I see it, the last of the rains will begin petering off by mid May and the onset of the South Westerly Monsoon will probably presage the arrival of the dry season that will last from June till possibly early September.

I don’t expect the yield to be spectacular at all during this period – it will most probably nose dive dramatically as we creep further into May.

When silence is golden

April 28, 2016

When everyone expects you to say something and you decide to keep quiet….that is when your silence speaks volumes.

When everyone expects you to say something and you decide to talk, talk and talk…that is when all your talking speaks nothing.

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‘My recent land acquisition has created a lot of speculation amongst my business rivals…it has become the talk of the whole town – they all cannot figure out how is it possible for a wash out to pull a rabbit out of the hat. You see it’s very simple, for the last five years….I have been playing dead. I have been doing such a good job of remain still and keeping ultra low profile…then suddenly this!

I am remind of Sun Tzu’s axiom – when strong pretend to be weak.

To add to heady mix I have spread many rumors in the market – When some people ask me how did I manage to arrange the financing…I told them casually, it’s a donation. Fortunately these days such incredulous fairytale accounts are very believable…since they are occurring all the time (real or imagined matters not). To other groups, I told them, I have created a consortium to call my own….then to others, I told them, I am not the actual owner…I am just a proxy for the powers that be….pointing skywards only to walk away….leaving a question mark in the air.

The goal is to create so much confusion, disorientation and disinformation that it makes it quite impossible for my business rivals to get a handle over the situation – all they have is smoke and mirrors and a lot of holograms galore and this should be enough for the time being to blunt any counter attack.

Nonetheless. A counter attack will come very soon….of that I have absolutely no doubt. That is one reason why I have specifically included so many penalty clauses in the land agreement. I expect a very robust resistance.

Hence it’s necessary for me to maintain this fog of confusion to mask my real intentions while I proceed. This will force many of my business rivals to come to the table and talk peace…either that or they will have send emissaries to explore the possibility of a detente.

Now many of my business rivals are still reeling from this surprise attack. But soon they will recover, regroup and strategize their new course of action.

Meanwhile I must find a way to divide and rule them….the best way to accomplish this is to provision infinite dead ends to waste their time and suck up valuable men and material. Otherwise, this can all turn very ugly as now I have both my feet planted in the boxing ring…the blessing comes with the curse…I have to fight to the very end now. Retreat is no longer possible…..I am too deep…well past the point of no return.’

Experience ALL of life

April 27, 2016

If a man only eats what he desires and avoids that which he is either unfamiliar with or believes to be distasteful…then he will NOT grow well.

Similarly, if a man yearns only be happy all the time, but avoids suffering, hardship, loneliness, despair and all things that push him to the very limits of his sanity, strength and patience….then he will NOT grow well either.

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‘One should where possible experience ALL aspects of life – the good, bad, ugly, painful, dark, light, lonely, shameful etc etc. Experience it all….the whole range…up and down and everything in between…never be choosy, nor afraid or even harbor any preconceived notions as to how it may all begin and end. Never!

Don’t be afraid of experiencing pain, remorse, disappointment and hardship.

The most important thing is never allow others to stop you from experiencing all this for yourself first hand….you will find in life, there will be many frogs in the well who will tell you to stay where you are and be contented with your lot.

Only understand this – if you listen to these frogs, you will go nowhere and experience nothing in life and none the wiser for it. Life will past you by like a meteorite that lights the night skies momentarily only to disappear forever into darkness.

In truth, there is only one reality – the more one experiences all that the discomfort zone can throw out, the more one can only mature, grow wise and worldly…that is reality. The rest is just happy nonsense.

You can be the most intelligent person in the world, but if you don’t have experience or practical knowledge that comes from experiential exposure in the discomfort zone – then you are just a very brilliant theoretician….that is no bloody good! No one is going to listen to you….no one who is a man of substance at least….all you will have is kids looking up to you. As so many things in this world can only be revealed from actual experience.

So do not fear the discomfort zone! Embrace it!’

People who read my blog earn twice more than the average worker…they also feel much more positive and optimistic about their prospects and the future. They are also very confident and have no problems whatsoever managing themselves and others effectively.

That is why we just don’t exist and much prefer to grow from strength to strength…this is the coronet of brotherhood.

Singapore imports most of its vegetables, fruits, poultry and hen eggs from its neighbour, Malaysia. In 2015, official figures show Singapore imported 41 per cent, or 224,800 tonnes, of its vegetables from Malaysia. Singapore also imported 36 per cent of its fruit supply from Malaysia last year.

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‘The drought is very very serious in Malaysia. Having said that, I don’t believe for one moment the decision and policy makers really appreciate how serious the problem actually is and can be…you see there has been hardly any preparation at the grass root level to mitigate the effects of a prolonged drought – as it stands today, the first monsoon of 2016 has either failed to materialize or has been delayed. Hence rice planting has already been rolled back in most of the northern rice belt regions in Malaysia…for how long no one really knows. Now there is talk of the drought dragging on till September 2016. All this would mean there will be a significantly shortfall in yield and it’s very likely this will all translate into increased food prices for consumers in Singapore. Not only greens will be affected, but livestock as well. As when there is no rain, the rivers, reservoirs and tributaries all dry up – the entire ecology is affected.

The problem in Malaysia is many of the policy makers don’t ever believe in forward planning – they much prefer to play the blame game whenever things don’t go to plan. Or try to deflect blame here and there and anywhere else except do that which is most needful – work to formulate a solution.

So it’s fair to say the problem will be very serious.’

O

April 26, 2016

I am very lucky, I reckon. Most people fight and they die. But in my case, I have waged a war against forces that are numerically superior and better networked and still I have managed to carve a small corner for myself…..I will savor this day as it is the culmination of everything that I have done since I came here….after this day. I will be unstoppable….and they all know it!

I have finally come full circle and this fills me with happiness.

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Opportunity or trap?

April 24, 2016

I have been offered a parcel of land to buy…..it’s a sweet piece of land that will double my current holdings. But suddenly I find it so very difficult to believe this to be true. As I have fought for so many years against the consortium that is created specifically to prevent me from expanding my business….all I have ever known is hardship, strife and suffering….and now this….how can this be true….nothing has ever come to me without having to stick my neck out…every inch of land that I have has been paid for with blood and tears…how can it be so easy this time round…how is that even possible….maybe it is a trap.

Maybe I got lucky this time….maybe I am just there at the right time and place….maybe someone upstairs is looking down at me and he’s smiling.

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‘If I can conclude this deal. It would deal a decisive blow to my business rivals. Not any blow, but one that will be so shocking that it will certainly demoralize them completely and divide at least half of them and compel many to question whether it is still worthwhile to continue fighting me.

After all, it will be a very expensive proposition and an awfully dangerous one for any of them to continue to resist me AFTER this….at this level of the game….if they scale it wrong…it’s sudden death.

I would no longer a pocket battle ship. I will have the capacity to take the battle to them and inflict real and lasting damage. I must strike hard. I must strike like a cobra…for so many years I have laid low, remained quiet and so very still like a stone….now opportunity presents itself for the very first time after so many years. I must strike decisively with the element of surprise firmly on my side. I will never have another clear shot as perfect as this…the stars only line up this perfectly once in a man’s lifetime and no more…why it lines up is not for me to know. The only thing is to seize the opportunity and strike now!

Thereafter I will say I am sorry and pretend to be remorseful and sue for peace the best I can.

I do not expect all to come to the table….but enough will and that is all that matters.

I must strike! I must….but why am I delaying?’

Quietness

April 22, 2016

City

April 19, 2016

Since I saw a ghost dog in my plantation. I am scared and got into my car and drove to the city. Now I have to find the brightest place in the city which happens to be a mall under renovation….I will be staying there….there are no shadows here…..it’s the brightest place in the world.

‘My lawyers told the owner of mall…I may be interested to buy the building providing I can sleep there. They all look at each other slightly puzzled and after a while they said, we will arrange for a bed, desk and toilet facilities. Thereafter the whole floor was emptied and workers began to fill the space.’

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