I think, therefore I write. (我思,所以我写。)

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Saturday, July 30, 2011


Ok, i've been thinking about posting some details of my trip so far, but instead i need to rant; otherwise i think i'll probably lose my temper very soon.

(Anyway, the trip update is gonna be short and quick, as there is nothing much to tell really.)

Seriously, i do not know how to deal with my brother. I am putting up with him for the sake of my mom... he really pisses me off, and seriously, i'm now just taking this trip as the sole purpose to make my mom happy (which does not really seem to be the case either, which i will relate it eventually in another post).

I think not seeing each other for more than 15 years and to hardly keep in touch have really made a very deep negative impact on our family relationship. Let's not talk about how my brother is now or my opinion of him, for that's probably gonna be a long post. For now, i just need to get this off my chest.

So far, i've not really been to anywhere except to the factory outlet mall for a few hours this afternoon. I feel that if i still don't do anything about it, i'd probably just end up spending 14 days at my brother's place doing nothing (or work) everyday.

LA is a place where you are practically handicapped when you do not have a car. The public transport is near to non-existence and the cab fare is expensive. My brother does not stay near LA downtown area and there is nothing but just town houses within walking distance.

As i do not have a driving license now, i could not rent a car or drive my brother's car. He needs his car to go to work everyday anyway (even though i do not really see him working hard at all, and again that is for another post). So my mom and i ended up not able to go anywhere without him.

So there are three options for us now:
(1) Join local tour
(2) Stay at hotel in downtown
(3) My brother drops us off and picks us up at our destinations

After more than 2 hours of research just now, i decided to do a combination of the three.

First of all, i decided that mom and i should stay in a hotel at Hollywood area for maybe two nights so that it is near to various attractions. There are also shuttle bus to and fro this hotel, with a pass that we could buy to enter over 40 different attractions at cheaper combined prices. This will also cut down the time for travelling and we won't be so tired.

When i told my brother about this plan, he immediately rejected it and said he could drive us anywhere. Yet, i do not think that is a good idea and i'm kinda tired to have to tell him where i wanna visit and then be judged by him. I did not reply him though, and decided to talk to my mom in private tomorrow and seek her opinion.

Secondly, i found a multi-lingual 5½ hour tour of LA. It is just a sightseeing tour of Hollywood, Beverly Hills and downtown LA with some quick stops - yeah, the touch-and-go kind with a tour guide. I figure that this is good with mom around and when my sprained ankle does not permit me to do excessive walking (even though i have done so today at the outlet mall).

I will need my brother to drop us off at the pick-up point and so i told him about it. He then told me not to waste my money on whatever tour, as those are just rip-offs on tourists. He said there is nothing much there at all, and if we really wanna see that area, he can just drop us off there and we can walk around on our own.

I was pissed and told him that we do not know the area at all and it is dangerous for us to walk around on our own should we wander into any dangerous neighbourhood. Then i snapped at him, "well, we ARE tourists". He then said (to stop the argument), "ok ok, whatever."

Actually i know and agree with his statement about joining tours can be a rip-off, but he gotta consider my mom. If i were to go with my friends like i did with LF and PT, we would have no problem go exploring on our own. Yet, with my mom around, he can't expect her to do the same. Furthermore, i'm not sure if LA is safe no matter where we go; i'm sure there are places that are unsafe and we are not aware of it at all.

His comments about "there is nothing there to see" also pissed me off. He has forgotten that, unlike him who has stayed here for years, this is our first time here. Will any tourists who come to LA go home without at least seeing the Hollywood sign at all?! It is just like one going to New York and did not bother to see the Statue of Liberty, or going to Washington and did not check out the White House or monuments.

(And seriously, what else he expects us to do here for 14 days if everywhere is also "nothing to see" to him???)

Then he also disapproved me of taking pictures of the food or things i saw. On the first day i was here when i took picture of our first meal, he told me not to do that. Then on the second day when i took out my camera to take picture of his car, he again said to me, "can you please don't do that", and then murmured something, which i know that he felt embarrassed or something. He said he does not understand why i wanna take pictures of the food and everything i see. I was unhappy and told him, "what's the big deal? I am a tourist." But then, just out of respect since he does not like it, i have stopped taking pictures.

There was also this thing about coffee. I gotta take my daily dose of coffee and i have an headache today because of the jet lag plus missing my coffee. So just now when my brother picked me up at the outlet mall, i told him that i would need to stop by Starbucks to get some coffee powder, for i've bought a coffee filter to make coffee.

My brother does not drink coffee at all. He then again did not agree with me buying coffee from Starbucks. He said he did not understand why i wanna buy coffee from Starbucks since it is so expensive. I did not answer him but mom told him that i gotta have coffee everyday and i like Starbucks coffee. He then murmured something disapprovingly again, which to that i almost wanted to tell him, "So what if it is expensive? I have lots of money (老娘我有的是钱)." Of course i did not say that out loud.

Here's another one - before i came here, i've also briefly checked out what the free things i can do here. I found out that for the month of July and August, there are free Shakespearean plays at Griffith Park. I've marked it as one of the activities that i wanna do here and even checked out the schedule on the play that i wanna watch.

Yet, the play starts at 7pm and will end late at night. I don't think his place is near Griffith Park and don't feel right asking him to pick me up in the night. So just now i casually mentioned this to him and kinda wanted to find out if it is far from here. His first reaction to me is that Griffith Park is a dangerous place and i should not go there. I was puzzled and did not really believe him, for i've read that Griffith Park is huge and there are different areas in tha park for different activities. If the drama organisation can stage a free performance there for arts lovers in the evening (and there are even drama workshop for students that starts at 5pm!), it can't be that dangerous.

I told him this thought and he said to me, "i don't understand why you wanna watch a play." I was pissed and told him, "why not? I'm here and i wanna experience everything that i can." You see, i don't blame him for not knowing that i love Shakespearean plays, but i an not happy at him for belittling anything that is not of his interest. To him, only watching movies are real entertainment and anything else is just plain pointless.

As for his various negative or contemptuous comments about Christianity (because mom and i asked to visit a church on Sunday), i would just keep quiet and not say anything. He is obstinate in maintaining his opinions, values and way of life that i do not think it would make any difference to say anything.

Three days have passed and the trip has so far been nothing but disgruntlement. I just gotta keep telling myself that even if we end up going back just like this, at least my mom has finally gotten to see his precious son whom she missed so so so much. And frankly, i do not know if the next meet up will be another 15 years+, or if my mom will still be around or well enough to travel so far.

Nonetheless, i think i really ought to do something about this and not let it becomes the worst and most wasted long trip of my life.

(This post was written on 29-Jul-11, 11.47pm)

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uh oh, just the first day and already there is rant. i could imagine if he knows you are a blogger and blogs everything you have come into, and catch you for this, he might be super super pissed then. it's also quite a waste you were unable to polish up your skill in snapping photos with your SLR :(. sigh, if only your bro is a good listener and understanding person . anyway, to put it in another perspective, you brother (might) concerns about your well-being, i.e:
1) drink coffee is detrimental to health.
2) he doesn't want you to spend unnecessary and rant later because he's been through it (you know lah you always rant).
3) he wants to be big brother to make up for the family (including the transport, especially the misfortune days before the trip!) after so many years not seeing each other.
4) he doesn't want you as one "stranger tourist gal" alone in the theatre and technically that is "unsafe".
5) being critical to you as he wants you to be resolute gal.

cool down, cool down, these were just some the initial setbacks and misunderstandings. after some cool off period, hopefully not very long your brother learned about this shortcomings (especially with your mom's local dishes as peacemaker), things would turn to better. of course, probably induced by the jetlag, you have to play a part to control your temper (you passed one since you didn't bloat the "money" thing). many things can happen in 14 days just like in the movies :). on positive note, brother-sister arguments could strengthen your relationship, and it won't take another 15+ years (you're exaggerating) to see each other. hmm, i think i've overly kepoh here.... if you got angry, chocolate and/or icecream might be indeed helpful ......

hopefully thing would improve days ahead. don't ruin your holiday just because your brother is being inconsiderate. you might treat this as one of the anger management and diplomatic training lor. is there anyway that could turn your brother to be one good listener? worse comes to worst, if you think your decision is the right one, you should go ahead with it, e.g move to hotel in hollywood. actually reading this makes me feel guilty coz i've told my friend who wants to bring her family for singapore visit that there's nothing much to visit in universal studio, chinatown, etc etc ... oh, if you are being forgetful to turn off international data roaming on your mobile. cheers, look forward for some good postings from the trip :)

My condolences! It is frustrating indeed! Does he knows all the sacrifices you had made to realise this "reunion" trip? If not he should hear it, or else, sorry to say, there wont be a chance anymore.
I hope all these can contribute to a wake up call for everyone, i.e. your mum, yourself and your brother. Seeing is believing!

Pin, I know that you are a bit "shocked" with ur brother's reaction and you are angry.

Time to accept that this is how he is. At least this is the "real him" ya . Time to accept that he is like that and see how to make the best of your holiday, for your mum and for your brother. For the past 15 years, he is living in different part of the world and definitely his thinking will be different from yours. Your mum's happiness is the key for this trip, and the starting point is you must make yourself feel happy before anyone else can make your mum happy too. have fun! ym

Hi Pretty Pin,

No point getting up sad, your priority of this trip is to make your mom happy right?

Your brother has been in USA for many years, you never know how hard he started his life there, he may have gone through a lot of difficulties and finally settle down. So his way of thinking is different considering maybe he is just someone who love saving instead of spending.

Cheer up and don't be up sad. It is unfortunate that you lost your wallet and hurt your leg. Be positive, ok? :)


Aiya! My dear, I think u r just still not use to having a brother to argue with you lah! No matter how, he had been missing from your life for the last 15years mah! I have been "fighting" with my sis for more than 30years still tak biasa lah!
Try to talk to him nicely, tell him that you'd been taking photo & sharing your life with your fan. Many people can't understand why r we doing so. My sister also always complain me why whatever also want to take photo, why anything also want to share on FB.
Maybe there's some DO & DON'T in US cultural leh! althou he should also talk to you nicely on it, but you know he's talk like that one mah! We also always tend to be nicer to outsider lah!
However, hope your holiday mood wouldn't be dampen by this small matter. Be Happy!!!!

Share your cogitation

Wednesday, July 27, 2011 @ 5:31 pm: Transit at KLIA
Wednesday, July 27, 2011 @ 3:25 am: All set to go
Tuesday, July 26, 2011 @ 1:09 pm: More lousy services
Tuesday, July 26, 2011 @ 5:24 am: Horrendous customer service
Tuesday, July 26, 2011 @ 3:56 am: Obstacles
Monday, July 25, 2011 @ 3:57 am: Diagnosis of my sprain
Saturday, July 23, 2011 @ 4:55 am: Update on the sprain
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 3:23 am: Sprained ankle
Monday, July 18, 2011 @ 12:36 pm: Flight delayed
Monday, July 18, 2011 @ 12:07 pm: At Senai Airport