How Watching Tintin is Changing Me One Step at a Time!

“No Tintin! Don’t go that way!”

Said I, whilst on the edge of my seat this afternoon, engrossed in the latest episode of “The Adventures of Tintin”.

The plot line was about one of his associates, a lady opera singer – who had lost her extremely valuable Emerald.

Of course, like all Tintin stories – there was a happy ending (not that kind, it’s a children’s show for goodness sake).

The lesson I got out of the episode, is if you ever lose a precious gemstone the size of your fist – don’t investigate your personal maid, or your gambling addict pianist.

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Emeralds are created when rocks are soaked in Absinthe. Beware fake emeralds which are soaked in Sprite instead.

Don’t investigate the acquaintance you barely know who’s house you invited yourself into.

In fact, don’t bother with the wandering gypsies roaming the lands who’s motto is “finders keepers”.

Nah, don’t bother with all that – just look for the tallest tree instead.

Because the tallest trees house the real culprit.


Yep, the moral of the story is that birds are fucking thieves.

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Pure evil.

No wonder eating KFC is so darn delicious – Tintin brain-washed me to think that I’m ridding the world of evil.

But try as I might I’m pretty sure when I was 10 years old and watching this episode for the first time, I wasn’t so cynical.

I’m pretty sure that the moral I got back then – is that, never judge people based on who and what they are.

When did this all change?

When we grew up…

…venturing into the big bad world.

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“Sir, it’s puberty – come out with your hands up!”

We started seeing things, noticing things, aware of things – things which as a 10 year old, we never realized existed.

Assignments turned into exams which then turned into job interviews.

Formal classrooms turned into voluntary lectures turned into the school of hard knocks.

Fearing cooties turned into awkward interest turned into being rejected (again and again).

Through all that – we start developing and forming our opinions about the environments around us.

We understand when it’s “OK” to lie – consequently we ourselves are lied to (“No, you don’t look fat in them jeans”).

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“Tell me you measured this properly?” “O…of course I did…”

We start to realize the “importance” of money – hence we prioritize events which creates more “money” (I would love to, but I have to go to work).

We follow the social norms and conventions – why “Keeping-Up-With-The-Joneses” is so prevalent in modern culture.

Here, look at the below and tell me it isn’t the path most of us are on?

Go to school -> Find a job -> Get married -> Buy a house -> Have kids -> Work for 40 years -> Retire -> R.I.P.

No wonder a lot of my peers are so stressed these days, they are inevitably on this great wagon wheel of life but like a good movie spoiled, they know the ending without anyone telling them.

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Life is like a box of chocolates.

So what’s the alternative The Frugal Samurai? Should we just pack up and leave? Go into another cinema and watch whatever is screening there?

It needn’t be as drastic as all that.

Watching an episode of Tintin as an adult, I realized I didn’t become so cynical over-night.

No – change came from little steps at a time.

Similarly with our own plot line, we can insert a twist here and a scene there one small step at a time.

Feeling unhealthy? Why not get up and walk around the block for a few minutes each day.

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“Walk around the block” – you’re doing it wrong.

Need a new job? How about logging online and reaching out to your networks for a fresh start?

Addiction problems? Don’t be a lone wolf, be open and listen to the ones trying to help – even the greatest among us have demons, everyone is human with human flaws.

Burnt-out? Be open and tell the truth to your employer, or if you’re self-employed, be open with yourself.

Itty bitty tiny little steps at the beginning.

Nothing crazy, nothing substantial and nothing dramatic – it can be done.

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Not with all those Bunga Bunga parties, of course not.

But all what I said are nothing but words without you first acknowledging that you see, notice and are aware of the things that exist in your life which need to be changed.

What about you The Frugal Samurai? What do you want to change?


Well, I’d say that sometimes I need to be more of a bottle half full type of person.

Funnily and childishly enough, why TV shows of my youth are making a renaissance in The Frugal Samurai household.

It puts life in perspective, back to when heroes saved the day and little white dogs saved the heroes.

Here, Snowy – good boy Snowy!

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