Benefits of coffee ground

Coffee or caffein is controversial. As a favorite drink of the world for thousand years, it addicts us with velvet aroma and boost in energy (or cortisol level). At the same time, people who are against it blame addictive consumption habit and added sugar among other reasons why people should quit coffee once and forever.

Nevertheless, coffee drinking has been an unseparable culture and among various way, filtering coffee is one simple and effective method to maximize its aroma and health benefits. What we might forget is after filtering coffee, the ground left should not be tossed into trashbin. In hotels and Airb’n’B accomodation like Little Cat Ba, we keep these organic “waste” to turn it into organic substance, health and beauty enhancer. Here is why.

Scientifically, coffee ground is high in acidity level, contains numerous organic chemicals. The caffein in coffee ground is a natural antioxidant. How can that be applied in daily lives?

Coffee ground for gardeners

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Coffee ground will add organic materials into the soil and help the trees absorb more nutrions. The caffein in the coffee helps scare away some kinds of pests and bugs. Chemically, coffee ground adds more introgen into the soil and it is ideal for soil which is low in acidity level.

For your loving furry pets

If we add water with coffee ground, the result is a liquid that helps moisturize and make the fur of your favorite friend much more healthier. Some harmful vermin that live inside the thick fur will be scared away as well.

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Even if when your pet’s fur is as spiky as this hedgehog, coffee ground will do ^^

To mosturize your hair

After all, what’s the difference between out hair and that cute hedgehod’s fur? Well, maybe the main difference is just our level of attention. Recently I use cold beer as a treatment after shampoo but after finding out that we have a substantial dose of coffee ground everyday, I thought “Well, why not?”

Coffee ground is only suitable with dark color hair, used as a mosturizer to help it glow. We mix it with hot water and rinse over the head for around 20 minutes.

For a better skin

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With skin there are three main reasons why coffee ground is good. Caffeein acts as an anti-oxidant element – helps neutralize the effects of free radicals, which can damage the inner layer of skin. It also helps to remove dirt more easily so can be used as face cleaner. In massage places, coffee scrub is very benefitial for skin with cellulite by squeezing it to  release toxins and fats held in the skin.

An odor super solution

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The pleasant aroma in coffee beans make them perfect to put in small bags and used as gifts or hang in front of taxies.

After being filtered, the srubs (or ground) of these beans in turn absorb bad smell and therefore often used as a super odor solution.

Double function

Sated

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I woke up feeling super empty then just took the bicycle to ride uphill. Push myself so hard to sweat it all out. I did it all – went to best places, discovered stories of many people from all walks of life, solved mysteries and broke illusions. No place can attract me and one can longer draw my attention. As if dumping face underwater and let wide eyes open for salty water to fill all coners and overwhelms oneself with uncertainty and lack of control. Sated curiosity exhausts me like a melted jelly. There is no sense, no directions, just messy pieces in an expressive painting of life.

Sometimes conversations with people came back to me like some random waves.
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“- This is my website“, she said. “Do send me an email & keep in touch“.
– “Yeah, definitely“, I told her, which I did not bother. I just turned around and that moment marked the forever separation.
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– “I have this project. Let’s give me some ideas“.
Me – Yeah“. Actually, your project makes no sense to me.
***

It feels like the moment I went back to Sapa and get to Valley cafe just to be informed that my friend is dead in a ridicukous cable project. Sometimes I think of Ha, the curly hair mischievious girl from secondary school. A stupid classmate brought her on his back of a high speed motorbike and that night Ha was dead. We came to her house, gathering around her coffin. People cried, I did not, yet once in a while her image fleet across my mind, strikes me with a question “What if she were not dead, how would her life be? Will her life be interesting or boring? Meaningful? Meaningless? Absurb?”.

What if she were not dead, how would her life be? Would she feel what I feel? Why am I still here and that angel is not?“, I put the book back to my backpack, reached out of the speedboat window and immersed my face in that wild salty current, got soakingly wet and screamed out loud. People in the same speedboat got excited and cheered out. I turned back, hair wet with an incredibly bright radiant smile then laughed out loud like a stupid dog. They thought that I was estastically happy. No, I wasn’t. Exhausted and burnt out enthusiasm combined with high curiosity in sated state left me with nothing but an incredible apathy. Whatever, wherever, whomever, nothing really matters. Since nothing matters, I can do whatever I want, inluding charming people to piss them all off, building things up and destroy it in a moment of impulse, doing incredibly amazing things or stupid things. In that vast spectrum of new found freedom, I am alive.

Be warned that I will be wet and sick, I still rode in the rain and stayed still for hours. Like standing under a waterfall, it is a sated sensation of being conquered and exhausted with nothing left to feel. And though there is nothing left to feel, you still need to hover and move on. You spread your arms and lie down on the sand, waiting to be washed away while still love the raw feeling of that beach on your cheek. Until it washes you away.

Carry me. Or maybe we can sing for the moment.
(C’mon), sing with me, (sing), sing for the years
(Sing it), sing for the laughter, sing for the tears, (c’mon)
Sing it with me, just for today, maybe tomorrow the good Lord’ll take you away…

The sand of affection

My roomates are packing to leave (again).

Feel so freaking hollow even though I never talked to any of them this time. My turn is coming soon. Like marching to hell. Constantly in 4 years straight, my life is full of people come and go. I cannot count. These roomates are no way special but they remind of my come-and-go affection. I accumulate affection just to see it slip through my hands like sand. Bit by bit, the sand is slipping through my fingers. With visual memory, my head flashes words and images of people like a movie.

A guy recently asked me in surprise when I shut down my emotions after our intimacy.

Are you a robot?

I remember I used to cry in a normal tour for some normal guests. A few years later, some people cry for me. Now, I rarely cry for anyone. Like a dam, I open my heart for it to flood all over then close the gate so nobody can hurt me anymore. Like a chapter of a book, I am willing to be vulnerable, get scars and move on like nothing happened.

How can I be a tour guide again? I don’t know. I don’t want to smile anymore. I don’t wanna even talk if the person does not trigger in me any curiosity (and I have met enough people that now only very special/ sensitive ones can trigger curiosity in me). To put in another way, I have learnt to adapt and protect myself by building a good defense mechanism.

Like an ADHD person, I went freaking crazy then turn cold as ice.

“May, I am leaving”
“Okay”
“See u in Vietnam”
“Okay”

No, we won’t. I will not see u again. I don’t want to. Let’s just get out of my life and leave me alone. Do not talk to me, or ask me anything. Do not promise anything.

On freedom

People talk a lot about freedom. Actually, there is no absolute freedom, forget about it.

We are limited physically and intellectually by what a human being is able which increases then decreases and vanish as we age. Then we have to follow certain life code of the culture and society we live in. In a closer level, we are bound by politics in a nation/ organization/ family. We depend so much on each other. Thinking there is an absolute freedom is an illusion and maybe, maybe freedom is not that good after all (regulations are there to maintain a healthy stability of an entity).

Sometimes we rebel, thinking we are getting closer to “freedom” just to realize that we are never out of that limit. Rebellion is never the key, and more often than not, will lead to despair and cognitive dissonance.

However as a human being, expanding the ability to think/ act within that limit is satisfying. One of the first step is realizing who we are trying to impress and how much we change to impress others. We may like or love somebody, but that’s it. How much should we trade off to impress them, and should we do so in the first place?

We can also expand our freedom by being more aware of the politics going on. Who is controlling our nation/ organization/ family? What are they doing? How is that affecting us? What is the dynamics? Can we do anything about it? Well, we can exploit it if we want to.

We should try to be more beautiful/ more intelligent/ more considerate because we want to, not because that will impress anyone. Ironically, in the process of doing that, we attract others as well. How easy & simple.

“Dear John”- when Tatum was kept in a cage

A perfect looking brown hair guy with the shape of captain America (just that he is better, the well known Chaning Tatum of Step Up) fell in love with a perfect blond girl. They do not kiss even at the 2nd date because they need to wait to a rain to fall in the middle of no where to maximize its cheesiness. She does not smoke nor drink (and of course never sleeps around), charms his dad and basically everyone around him. Above all, she is altruistic yet possessing the eyes of a seducer.

The day before he went back to army is the first time they argued with each other. Not really, he jumped furiously over the difference between the word “autistic” & “retarded”. Together they form a pink and romantic passive aggressive couple.

Here is one of their conversations

“Do you have any fault?
Well I do curse.
I never heard it.
It is in my mind” =)))))

How can it be worse? One of the most boring films I have ever watched =))))

Channing oi u r born to be wild, not to be cheesy !

Circle of influence and circle of control

Right now I am sitting on the bunk bed of my hostel typing.  My younger sister just sent me a video of some bubbling Korean young dancers, insisted

Sister, you must watch this. And do not forget to design a new profile pic for me to post in Facebook

At the same time, Millions of people are devoted to the flood disaster in Central Vietnam- where I was born.

 

50 meters away the Wat nearby is woken up after nap with chanting sound of monks stretching longer than usual. Nearly 60,000 people in this town have their heart put in the big Light Festival this evening. Together with outsiders like me, we are gonna be soaked in an incredible  holy, zen atmostphere.

 

My close friend is happy in his trip to Quan Lan island. Beach is clean, nature is inviting. He is screaming in tranquil and happiness.

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All of those images come to my mind nearly at the same time. Different nuances of a big mosaic, broken pieces of an incomplete big picture. People are sad or happy depending on the extent of our concerns. I am sipping coffee, listening to music while hundreds of km away some relatives or friends of somebody I know are crying for having their house washed away in the disaster which gets worse every single year due to complex reasons.

This is just my little version of the world. There are some other people who feel much more. I will elaborate.

If right now I am having a cold, I will be lying deadly in bed, coughing, thinking about hot soup. Whatever happening in the world does not matter nor move me a little bit.

More than 1000km away, professor/ teacher Bui Van Nam Son was in a coffee talk with his student. Both are in a sad contemplative state, thinking about big questions, probably big questions related to Vietnam.

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He is a pioneer in translating important philosophy books into Vietnamese and wrote his own book that can be considered Sophie’s world of Vietnam.

At an international level, anthropologists like Bill Gates are focusing on battling AIDS in South Africa.

What does all of this mean? Does that mean I should not be happy and excited for what is happening tonight? Does that mean I have obligation to care about people in Central Vietnam? In Vietnam language, we have an idiom saying

“ăn cơm nhà, vác tù và hàng tổng”

Roughly translated as “Soaking your nose in others’ business“.  This is a very shallow way of interpreting things, yet most of the time our ability to deal or affect all chaotic happening all around us is very limited.

Even though we do not live in a world of vacuum and everything is intedependent due to butterfly effect or ripple effects, our immediate acts can only influence a tiny part of it

Circle of influence and circle of control

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To put it visually in a simple way, we can imagine our world as 2 circles. The big one is what happening around us, of which some are more aware than others.

But look closer, only the small circle inside is what we can influence. Right now, when I am typing this, 3 backpackers from Netherlands are coming and when they ask me wifi password, that is my immediate circle of influence.

I believe we should focus on our circle of influence but try to expand our circle of concern.

In his classic book, 7 habits of highly effective people, Stephen Covey puts it this way

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Amazingly this time when I dig to read again, I realize there are so many things I missed. And this is just an easy to read book I have buried my face into many times. When things are relevant, it speaks so loudly.

 

The best route for cycling in Mekong Delta

Sorry but…cycling mood. I just wanna scream out loud and cycle straight for hours. I miss the feeling when I used to work for Grasshopper Adventures ^^

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This is a charity bridge in Tien Giang, one of the most scenic provinces in Mekong Delta for cycling. The feeling is still very vivid , something I can recall anytime. Embraced by water coconut sprouting from gentle system of rivers in the Delta, it is the route leading to sensation. Something, of course, I did take for granted while I was doing it. Feel like missing an ex lover.

When u cycle your calf is gonna be big as mine. Just kidding, my calves are always big, cycling will make it toned and leaner and maybe a bit longer cause u need to stretch.

Motorbiking is another experience. You will need a badass bike with great mountain/ coastal route. Cycling somehow is less demanding.

A friend of mine said “I would rather spend time doing exercises than playing music”, but I disagree. If possible, a human should strive to do both. If you can be creative and active at the same time, u have the power to change your inner world in an immense way and even feeling a sense of bliss without much twist from external environment.

Next, if u can dance…ok I shall stop here.

So, happy cycling/ exercising friends !

The frame

14597295_1065065116946468_3141465433937281024_n1Saymon took me to his farmstay in Luang Prabang . We sit on a chair sipping water while his carpenter was singing loudly and terribly after a Thai song (Thai and Laos languages are similar).

What kind of music do you like?”, I ask.

Ah, Laos people often listen to…”

I smiled. This is a tour guide being considerate, thinking I am just exploring Laos culture.

No, I mean, what kind of music do YOU personally like?”

Ah, I like countryside music. I like to stay in a farm when I don’t work. See that mountain top over there? There is trekking route leading to the top, and this area has no traffic noise“.

This reminds me of Mai Châu of Northwest Vietnam or even my home in the central. The window opens up a landscape that looks like a painting, absolutely lovely in a poetic way. Everything is so far yet so close, so strange yet so familiar.

“Do you want to come to a waterfall today?
Waterfall? I have been to another waterfall the other day.

This one is different.

But…

It is okay, I am free today anyway”

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Kuang Xi waterfall

When we reached Kuang Xi, standing at the foot of that roaming current of water, a grandiosely refreshing feeling overwhelmed me. I closed my eyes, absorbing millions pieces of water dust soaking my face and shirt, totally let it dominate.

At that moment of being 100% loose, I smiled when I remembered a short conversation we had at lunch with a random person when he commented

You are lucky to be with him and experience local things in a different way

To which I did not answer. I feel the same level of luck at that moment as if I were riding in Saigon rain or when I am typing words in the cafe of the low end hostel I stay. But one thing I know for sure is that I want to talk with that random person again.

“I used to be a tour guide too”, he said.

“What made you stop?”

“Because it limits my creativity”

“What are you doing at the moment?”

“I am a chef”

I stopped eating right at the same time he was about to leave.

“You are leaving now?”, I ask.

“Yes”

“Do you come back here?”

“No, I stay in Luang Prabang town”.

“I want to talk with you more. I think you are interesting. Where do you live in Luang Prabang?”

“Blue Lagoon”

“I will come there to find you”

“Okay”

So I gotta write the last words of this weird post to come to that Blue Lagoon and talk to the chef and finish our abruptly cut conversation, while thinking this must be one of the most incoherent thing I have ever written. A post that makes no sense because the writer never has the intention to.

Blue Lagoon. I will parkour over there in imagination ha ha.

Lust

That feeling surged again. In Kuang Xi- a waterfall full of people in Laos, I soak myself in cold running water and after around 20 minutes, I stared at him.

Him here is a random person standing around 10 meters away from me. Muscular, tanned, tall and tattooed, with a small beard and looking at me almost at the same time. My heart started to beat fast.

Almost immediately my head is vividly filled with the image of that stranger pulling me closer and us making out under water, behind and in front of arrays of wild trees in the area while resisting the strong water current flowing towards. In public and passionately.

We will breath hard, tongues twisted, excited by the overwhelming chemistry and an immense guilty inappropriate feeling when all other swimmers stopped to point and gossip at the wild scene in front of them just to be turned on at the same time. In seconds, every freaking one of them will be itchy and about to turn into vampire.

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The thing is…it did not happen, yet the visualization was so vivid that the aura around us changed forever. Right there, at that waterfall, I can smell and touch that strong sensation.

I am losing grip babe. I am losing my poise.

In mainstream psychology, lust is defined as such

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Aside from the surface pleasure that lust triggers, I deeply believe there is correlation between lust and vulnerability. I have never felt such an immense level of vulnerability in my life recently, and the desire for attention/ connection increases with the same rate.

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After writing for 30 minutes, the receptionist came behind my back and when I turned around, I can felt that look again. I better not disturb her, I think and sigh.

” What are you writing?

-I am writing about yesterday. I went to a waterfall and wanted to kiss every freaking person there.

-Ha ha, really?

-Yeah, maybe it is hormone, haiz.

-It happens to me too, ha ha.

-What? Really?

-Yeah, sometimes when customers come in, it took me some minutes to be calm and professional =))

– So you can control it. I can’t. Damn.

Where will this lead and for how long? Is it purely biological or psychological? Let’s see. Maybe you can let me know.

When Avril loses her grip, she can fall over her fans and the audience will take her with all they have. When I lose my grip, hmm, when I lose my grip, maybe I will come and find you and kiss you, right there.

Y.O.U (Why. Opressing.Us)

A fuss with 23 “I”

The pure intentions in my head and the actions I take are conflicting, creating an unbearable cognitive dissonance. Being honest with oneself is freaking hard, telling oneself to admit and accept the person one currently is to move on is unacceptable to the standards I set for myself. I want to be beautiful, generous, brave, open, meet the demands of various people. I want to have it all – a nice sister,  a good daughter, a great considerate friend, a great stranger, while being creative, spontaneous and conquer places. I wanna be a supergirl. I want to be the female version of Cloud Strifle.

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I want to look that great, and settle for no less without any efforts. The kind of super person that does things easily like a light feather

(Well, I could, if I had the ability to clone myself into 10 people, or 100 =)) ) Naruto can do that.

My actions are not in accordance and I refuse to admit it, feeling bitter. I cannot open my mouth to apologize anyone because it makes me feel weak. I am not who I want to be.

In that process of self denial, one also denies others. When I hate myself, I will inevitably hate others and squander the rapport that matters. It is purely a projection to the world.

I want to change the world but cannot even be honest with myself. How ironic. If I don’t fix it, I will have hallucinations soon (like the drug takers in Requiem for the Dream)

I can’t be everything to everyone but I also refuse to trade off. By refusing to trade off, I lose all. Now I have to act soon to save the relationships I destroyed in the process of trying-to-have-it-all.

And looking back, when I try to have it all, it is totally selfish. It is fed by building an image I wanna be proud of, without considering the facts and necessity or the motives.

If you die and I come to be a savior, it is because it feels good to be a savior, not because you matter to me just a little bit. This is so freaking crazy.

Can one have it all?
What is “all”?

Can you see the problem?

There is 23 “I” here, in this short expression.

It is a good period to study Freud, Carl Jung and the so-called “ego”.

I feel like I want to have a tattoo soon, a proof of existence burnt in this lump of meat before the tattoo itself loses its meaning.