The Snows of Kilimanjaro

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To be frank, I don’t understand half of that short story. “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” by Ernest Hemingway, barely 24 pages, yet it took me 2 days to finish it. It’s a story about a writer who didn’t like to write, and lived his life with rich women whom he pursued just for their money. The writer got a serious gangrene up on the mountain of Kilimanjaro. As he was going to die, he thought about the story plots he had in his mind but didn’t managed, or wanted, to write out. At last, he died while sleeping and he dreamt of being transported by a pilot up to the peak of Kilimanjaro.


My house has recently installed a swimming pool. Now I can have poolside party with friends and crazy with them. It’d be darn fun, you know.

By the way, do you know that there are actually two types of germ-killing methods which can be used to sanitize the pool water? The first is the common chlorination method. The second method is to add salt. My pool uses the usual chlorination method, aided with an automatic chlorination device.

Does it wonders you then, how the pool water gets sanitized by chlorination? We know that chlorine exists as gas molecules in normal temperature. It doesn’t dissolve much in water, too. So how exactly it sanitizes the water?

Few days ago while I was walking around my house compound, I saw some curious objects beside the pool. They were 3 large containers with the word “HCl” on them. Immediately I understand how it worked. Apparently, we don’t pump chlorine gas into the water. If we’d do so the chlorine will escape the water and poison us. Instead, hydrochloric acid (HCl) is added into the pool. The hydrochloride compound will dissociate into H+ and Cl- ions, thereby achieving the chlorination. I suspect that the water is sanitized due to the presence of Cl- ions which, when neutralized, is harmful to our us (and to the germs).

This is the same for salt water method of sanitizing pool water. Well, as salt (NaCl) is an ionic compound, it will dissociate into Na+ and Cl- ions in the water, and the Cl- ions work the same way to kill germs as it’s with hydrochloric acid.


Earlier today my grandmother, along with my mother and sister went to renew her passport because our family will be going to Thailand on 10th of January.

After a few hours of waiting in the immigration office, they were informed that the passport will be ready in one month’s time. One month! We couldn’t believe it. Some time ago when my grandparents renewed their passports it only took a few days before they were done and ready for travel. Shouldn’t we expect a far better performance in today, with vast improvements in computer technology, which shortens processing time and eliminates most of the labour work? And yet, things turned the other way round. The processing time gained a near tenfold increase, and our plan to Thailand may well be cancelled due to this.

I can’t stop wondering, are the officers at the immigration department fulfilling their duty? Why is it that such a simple task would take them one whole month to accomplish? Is it a chore so complex that with all modern technological aids it runs less efficiently than back then? Then, why are the taxpayers paying more of their hard-earned money for far less efficient work?

I can’t tolerate such failure of our government.

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