I took this photo while I was on my way to Jin Feng Lu Rou Fan 金峰滷肉飯 to try some of its famous pork lard rice 滷肉飯. To be more specific, I was rushing to  the eatery as I had a meeting back at the hotel in an hour and I was running tight on time.

Even when I’m rushing around or running late, I always find time to stop and take a quick snap if I see something that captures my attention. My reasoning is that this moment will not always be there and it’s now or never.

In this instance, I love how the light was falling on the letterboxes with a bicycle parked on one side and a traffic cone that was knocked over. I also like how the word “慢”, which means “slow” in Chinese, was painted on the road. So I stopped to frame the photo while thinking that I’ll walk a little more briskly the next minute to catch up on ‘lost’ time.

Rewind: Earlier in the day, I had a delicious pineapple tart in the tranquil SunnyHills shop, chatted with the salespeople in Wang De Chuan 王德傳茶莊 while sipping fragrant oolong tea, and also found my way to a cosy tea shop called 小慢 Xiao Man Whole Food Tea Experience @ No. 39, Lane 16, Taishun Street, 泰順街16巷39號. It was such a pleasure to stroll around at my own pace, with the sun warming the cool winter day.

I had read about 小慢 on the internet and was looking forward to enjoying some light dishes alongside some tea in a relaxing ambiance. Alas, when I arrived at 小慢 – which literally means “little slow” in Chinese – I was informed that they only serve tea. Feeling famished from all the walking, I decided to leave. But I hope to return to 小慢 the next time when I’m back in Taipei and that I’ll have time to spend some quality time there, be it with friends or on my own with a good book over a pot of hot tea.

Fast forward: I stayed up until 1am last night to catch up on work, which has been never-ending lately with my Blackberry blinking every few minutes. Sometimes it can be quite frustrating to be in a situation where things keep piling or popping up, with everyone demanding immediate or swift attention. Unfortunately, I do the same unto other people – imposing deadlines, requesting for urgent approvals, enquiring for updates on projects… doesn’t this contribute to the vicious cycle of requests for quick responses or action?

What’s wrong with taking it slow? Does doing things fast(er) makes things better? Could slowing down be better for us?

I hope that you would be able to take 20 minutes to watch this thoughtful TED talk by Carl Honore. Food for thought, if you slow down to digest the message, which was, ironically, quite swiftly delivered by Honore!

I was particularly struck by this quote from him:

Time is scarce, so what do we do? Well, we speed up, don’t we? We try and do more and more with less and less time. We turn every moment of every day into a race to the finish line – a finish line, incidentally, that we never reach, but a finish line nonetheless.

Rewind: As I stood in line waiting for a seat at Jin Feng Lu Rou Fan, I sent a message to my colleague to ask if we could at the hotel 30 minutes later. She replied ‘yes’, so I didn’t have to scoff down my bowl of pork lard rice.

What’s my point? Sometimes it doesn’t hurt to ask if things can wait a little. Slow down. 慢慢来.

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2 replies on “Slow down / 慢慢来

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