Fusion Cuisine

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Bruce, 1980-

“After that, she no longer put me out of the kitchen. As a matter of fact, she let me participate in her cooking. She started teaching me how to cook, her and my dad. From that point on, cooking has become one of my passions.”

Growing up, there were a lot of things that I loved to do that I want to turn into my dream now. One of them is to open my own restaurant. When I was a little boy, I told myself, ‘When mom and dad cook, it smells so good, I bet I could do it myself.’ So, I got to the stove, I had to get a stool, and then I put some Ramen noodles into the pot, but to be honest, I didn’t even open the package, he laughs. I just put it in the pot and turned the stove on, no water. When my mom got home, she was furious, super upset, but she was more upset at herself than at me, because she always pushed me out the kitchen, ‘Go away until food is done.’ So, after that, she no longer put me out of the kitchen. As a matter of fact, she let me participate in her cooking. She started teaching me how to cook, her and my dad. From that point on, cooking has become one of my passions, ever since I was a little boy.

I like breaking rules in the kitchen. I remember one time, when I was a lot older, my brother walks into the kitchen, and he says, ‘What are you doing?! You can’t put that in there!’ And I told him, ‘Well, looks like you will have to watch me.’ What happens is my brother ends up eating the food that I cook so fast, I can’t even get my hands on my own food. He laughs.

I like a lot of the Asian style cooking, and I love fusion. I love the idea of mixing different styles of foods, and I love putting things together that never been thought of, and there’s nobody stopping me but me. If I was to open up a restaurant, it wouldn’t be for financial reasons. I would do it for the flavor, for passion. . . just so somebody can enjoy the flavor.



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Positive Distractions

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Bruce, 1980-

“All these surroundings [of ordinary people] are positive distractions. They are all anti-drugs, anti-depression, they keep you out of harm’s way. But if you are homeless, what have you?”

The music that I love listening to keeps me out of harm’s way. I wish there was more positive distractions. I think one of the problems with homeless people, drugs and alcohol, is that there’s not enough distraction. Teenagers have drug centers. A drug center you can do all kinds of stuff, that’s your positive distraction, that’s your positive activities to occupy your time, and on top of that, you have your friends and family, and video games. You have all these things to distract you, and they are all positive. Adults have their 9 to 5 jobs, adults have college and such, adults still have friends and family and video games, if they like. All these surroundings are positive distractions. They are all anti-drugs, anti-depression, they keep you out of harm’s way.

But if you are homeless, what have you? If there is another homeless that is negative and they are trying to bring you down with their drugs and alcohol, what have you as a positive distraction? I just got a phone, got it really cheap, which has my music on it, and this right here, he points at his cellphone, is a distraction from drugs and alcohol, or anything else that is negative. It’s very difficult; it’s a challenge, but I don’t want to stay homeless.



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Invisible

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Bruce, 1980-

“She was a 19 years old Caucasian. She committed suicide, and they found a note on her body. The note said, ‘Thank you for the acknowledgment, it feels good when you’re invisible.’ That’s all the note said.”

It is a big challenge to think positive, I guess in anybody’s shoes. But I will say, in going through what I’ve been going through, when you’re down and out and you’re doing your best to think positive, being acknowledged makes a huge difference. For some people more than others, but it can help to push on and move forward. Well, with that being said, thank you for stopping, he smiles.

So, starting around 6 a.m., moving around, and as traffic walks by me, trying to get a complete stranger’s attention, saying ‘excuse me’. I didn’t get any response, I didn’t get no sign of acknowledgment; barely any eye contact. Nobody said ‘good luck’, nobody said ‘hello’, or ‘I’m sorry, I’m not able to help.’ Between the hour of 6 a.m. and 11 a.m., I felt so invisible. On my part, I give space and comfort, I live and let live. If somebody goes by, I don’t pursue, I say ‘excuse me’ once, and I let it be. But nobody looked over their shoulder to see who said ‘excuse me’. If someone said, ‘I don’t want to be bothered’, I’d have said, ‘Sorry, I give you your space and comfort, thank you for saying something’. And I try to think positive in return, but I wish there was more open-mindedness. I was hoping most people would have the same upbringing as my parents’: treat others as you want to be treated.

Let me tell you a story, something that happened to a female in San Francisco, earlier this year, February 21st, I believe. She was a 19 years old Caucasian. She committed suicide, and they found a note on her body. The note said, ‘Thank you for the acknowledgment, it feels good when you’re invisible.’ That’s all the note said.

If I need to ask for help from a stranger, I would rather be hungry than be invisible, any day, literally speaking. Think if the tables were turned around. I wish I could give a reminder, like on a billboard, instead of advertisement for products to be sold, it will be a reminder for the public to treat others how you want to be treated, or it would say, remember to acknowledge your surroundings. But I don’t want to talk just from the homeless point of view. If there’s any discomfort, it is OK to keep your distance, smiling or a nod of the head; some sign of acknowledgment, but don’t totally ignore.



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The Mastery of Love

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Bruce, 1980-

“I dare you, I dare anybody to read these books. He inspires my life, he gives me hope, he helps me get a different outlook. That’s your homework. ”

From books, to movies to music, to favorite foods, I am very diverse. I can’t say my favorite, I can’t even do a top 20 list because it is hard to squeeze them all in. But I will say, my favorite book, one of my favorites, is by don Miguel Ruiz. I’d say he is my favorite author, some of his books are: The Four Agreements, The Voice of Knowledge, and the Mastery of Love.

I dare you, I dare anybody to read any of these books. He inspires my life, he gives me hope, he helps me get a different outlook. That’s your homework.


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Pride, Joy, and Regrets

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Bruce, 1980-

“Even when I’m dancing, I’m entertaining somebody, I’m putting a smile on their face. Or if I’m cooking, and they’re enjoying my cooking, I also put a smile on their face.”

What am I most proud of? In my past, homeless or not, it was just helping others. I don’t know, but for some reason, what makes me happy is if I put a smile on someone else’s face. If they’re happy, I’m happy. I don’t know why I feel that way. If I have to sacrifice certain things of my own, if I sacrifice my own wants and needs, I will do it, I think it’s worth the sacrifice. One of my dreams is to help others who are struggling. I think that is the meaning of life, it goes to waste if it is not lived happy.

Just the other day, I had some money leftover, cleaning somebody’s backyard, and I went to a Thai restaurant and ordered Pad Thai. I started eating and a homeless guy and girl, a couple, came up, and they said, ‘Hey, sorry to bother you during your meal, but can we have your leftovers when you’re done?’ And I thought to myself, ‘There’s not going to be any leftovers,’ he laughs. But I said, ‘You know guys, just give me a second’, and I took another bite and gave them the rest. They said in return, ‘We wish we could show you our gratitude’, but I thought, the fact that you’re smiling is enough gratitude for me. Even when I’m dancing, I’m entertaining somebody, I’m putting a smile on their face. Or if I’m cooking, and they’re enjoying my cooking, I also put a smile on their face.

My Biggest regret? That’s a hard one. If it was up to me and if I can turn back the hands of time, but still have my state of mind, I would do everything different. But if I changed the hands of time and I’d do everything different, but I’m a whole different person, then I have no regrets.



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