The drawn-out tale of the mildly-interesting coffee mugs

Posted: September 15, 2019 in Life
Tags: , , , , , , ,


It took me 3Hrs to write this post, of which 45min was reading-up on what differentiates a coffee cup from a coffee mug.

Fun fact: A mug is a cup but a cup need not be a mug.

Funner fact: Coffee tastes better out of ceramic mugs since ceramic being a solid and neutral material, neither absorbs nor imparts flavours.

With that out of the way, I can get on with what seems to be an annual post on here (the last post was published 364 days ago, so technically bi-annual).

Back to the coffee mugs… So I’ve never quite been into collecting souvenirs but around 3 years ago, a couple of things changed that:

1. I read a story about an Enlish girl meeting a Norwegian traveller in Greece who would give his new-found friends a coffee mug, with a picture of his face on it, as a souvenir.

2. I had the image of having an old rustic wooden bookcase in my “mature years” that would house little souvenirs from my travels, among other things like my favourite books and photos, and be an anchor to some lovely memories.

So I figured why not coffee mugs! Although I did want to be cognisant of them being pinned to a place in my head that took me down some memory lane. Not quite warranted by something like a transit via Moscow for a few hours.

Some of my key boxes to tick while overseas have been to converse with a local, to taste the local food & to hear the local tongue in use. While my friend, Dan, and I were travelling through the UK earlier this year, it irked me a fair bit that we were close to leaving Wales and I hadn’t heard much of Welsh. I did the next best thing and turned the car radio to a Welsh radio station and we enjoyed some incomprehensible Celtic goodness that put me at ease.

This week I also (finally) unpacked a world map I received as a gift last year from my friend, Astrid, and pinned it with some of my traversed spots. The first thought that crossed my mind was the majority of the map being empty! SO MUCH OF IT!

Growing up, I used to casually wonder what growing up in a “first-world nation” would be like. Not from a feeling of missing out, but more from a nonchalant and innocent curiosity. Also not focussed on comfort or luxury, but more so on the differences in societal norms. There were little things fed from the American movies, like having a “prom night”, or owning a car in your teens, or taking a “gap year”, or even going on a date, that were all an alien concept to the life I knew to be the norm.

I’d like to think that my 8 years in Australia have satiated that curiosity to a fair extent, albeit with some anticlimactic sides. Like the closest I’ve come to the college gym locker image has been the lockers at the pool with less “cool kids banter” and more strangers’ flaccid willies.



But what seemed to be a fairly narrow curiosity seems to be expanding pretty rapidly with the world now so much more easily reachable. This feeling of so much out there being dramatically different to my idea of life and wanting a taste of it all.

Japan – To experience living in a Minka (traditional Japanese house) with sliding wooden doors and short tables, sipping on some tea while wearing a Kimono and sleeping on tatami mats.



Chile – To be completely indifferent about earthquakes that would make breaking news in most other countries, and to have surfing, snowboarding and the best hiking a stone’s throw away.



Eskimo/Inuit – To hunt for lunch, live in an igloo and scare the young ones with stories of the Qallupilluk (mythical humanoid-like sea monster).


and the list keeps growing..

It’s probably also why I’ve been quite inclined to dating people from a disparate background to mine, geographically and ethnically. That sheer difference in perspective, but with a matching passion for new experiences, can be such a beautiful thing to be a part of.

Although that being said, I do wonder if this ever-expanding curiosity has a balancing point with acceptance of not being able to experience it all. Lately, I’ve aso started exploring this well of thoughts further with a psychologist, and it’s been fascinating to try and not see ‘urge for a new goal’ & ‘contentment’ as polar opposites but rather parts on a flexible band. To be conciously curious and associate fulfilment with more than the conventional ideas of achievement.

But that’s an essay for another day… For now, the search for those treasured coffee mugs is on, albeit with a slightly tweaked lens, and I’m curious to see how their meaning in my life will waver with the coming years.

So after all that, you might wonder, what’s the point here really…. To be honest, the point was for me to simply put some thoughts to “paper” and let it take me down a rabbit hole.

It’s been a pleasure.

  1. KB says:

    Brilliant. I finally made time to read this (sorry for the delay mate) and loved it. It is a nice reminder of my dear friend Freddy whom I don’t see nearly enough in part due to both our lives and as you themed below, the time and nature of trying to do a lot. I laughed at the flaccid willies for all their truth and enjoyed your reflections on that tension between experience and contentment, one I too have grappled with at times.
    I know it takes time to write these but I sure love them and am grateful to have you in my life Freddy. Even If we can’t sit around all day and ponder the world and its happenings.

    KB 🙂

    • Fred says:

      Mate that’s such a nice comment to read!! Well you know I’m always a call or message away; we might always be trying to get that next big thing done, but there’s always time and space for you, brother! 🙂
      Glad to have you around!

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