Paulo Coelho's "The Zahir"
Paulo Coelho’s “The Zahir”

No one should ever ask themselves that: why am I unhappy? The question carries within it the virus that will destroy everything. If we ask that question, it means we want to find out what makes us happy. If what makes us happy is different from what we have now, then we must either change once and for all or stay as we are, feeling even more unhappy.”

– Paulo Coelho’s “The Zahir


John Green's "The Fault In Our Stars"

You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world… but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.”

– John Green’s      ‘The Fault In Our Stars’

Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84

Aomame pressed an ear against his chest. “I’ve been lonely for so long. And I’ve been hurt so deeply. If only I could have met you again a long time ago, then I wouldn’t have had to take all these detours to get here.”

Tengo shook his head. “I don’t think so. This way is just fine. This is exactly the right time. For both of us. […] We needed that much time…. to understand how lonely we really were.”

This is the 3rd novel I read from Haruki Murakami‘s works. The first was The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles (which I didn’t like so much), and the second was Kafka on the Shore (which I enjoyed). This novel 1Q84 is, in my opinion, the best one out of the three.

As with the other Murakami novels, there are more questions than there are answers. Yet this world that Murakami created was so attractive in its mystery, that I was truly drawn in. It’s the first work in a while that nagged at me when I wasn’t reading it. And I fell in love with Aomame, the eccentric female lead character. I wanted to know what happened after the book ended. It was fantastic.

Happyland billboard
Spotted on the way from Hanoi to the Noi Bai airport, Vietnam

Our tour guide explained why toilets/restrooms/comfort rooms are called the “happy room” in Vietnam.

“There are four things which make a person happy,” he said. “One, sleeping. Two, eating. Three, sex. Four, relieving yourself in the toilet.”

“Before coming to the toilet, you are very unhappy. After the toilet, you are very happy.”

Life’s simple truth.