Missing University, Missing Me

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I find it important to take a step back at least every quarter to realize how your world is moving.

Today while thinking about that, I realized one thing. I miss university life.

I never thought I’d ever say that, because 1) uni wasn’t such an interesting journey with all the classes, 2) I never found uni too much of a breeze to get by anyway. But today, I  realize – yes, I do miss university. It gave me a sort of comfort, some place for me to fall back to. It gave me places and corners to just be with myself. Sometimes I had to be, because I was always easily 2-3 hours earlier than my first class of the day. Sometimes I ran as hard as I could to the bus station, only to miss it and had to wait another 40 minutes for the next one. Sometimes I finished papers early and got hungry. Sometimes I would be waiting a few minutes too long for my roti canai, although there was bound to be a bird or two to keep me company. Sometimes I miss the train. Sometimes the carriage would be stuck in a track that malfunctioned and we would be stuck there for ages.

I loved being able to depend on the set of earphones, and tracks in my phone to just trigger thoughts. I loved not needing to speak to anybody despite walking pass all kinds of people. I loved walking up the steps, imagining myself pumping up from motivation.

All these periods, added to hours and hours of alone time for me. I remember. There came a time I had so much. Too much of alone time – it scared me a little. I think and reflect so much, but as the hours added up – I realized I was reflecting on my reflections. But it was because I was given four years to do all of that. Four years, all during my prime and transaction of life – the most important stage of every person’s life in determining their values and principles. All the alone time helped me think, reflect, change, and manage for the better.

I don’t get any of that anymore.

Does that mean I’m not growing anymore?

Hopefully not. Time for a break soon, perhaps.

Two Koalas In A Row!

The title says it all. Two koalas in a row – and it all happened so quickly!

On our third and fourth day in Brisbane, Ginny and I went to Lone Pine that was only about 20 minutes away from Sze Ye’s house by ourselves because Plain Jane had her assignment to finish up. It is apparently the worlds Largest Koala Sanctuary – but the largest, didn’t turn out to be too huge – at all. We still had to wake up early, but it was worth it because I love going to zoos. There’s just something about watching animals sleep, interact and eat that makes the world seem like its moving at a slower pace.

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We were there really early – probably about 9.30! Ginny already had the schedules in her head so we were just going straight for the shows. I got an annual pass and Ginny got her visitors pass that was only valid per day. I remember we were both quite surprised to see that the management was actually quite lenient. Visitors could just walk in without getting their passes checked – it was almost as if we didn’t need to get tickets. Australians must be so honest, because if this was back home – I’m sure there would have been so many trespassers! But people, don’t take advantage of the system – the tickets only cost AUD 33 for daily passes, and AUD 65 for yearly passes with unlimited entries. Sze Ye says they aren’t usually that lenient,  so don’t push your luck. Oh by the way, Lone Pine has WiFi. Hallelujah!

There was a Sheep Dog Show at 10.30 so we walked around the park abit, looking for a washroom. Walked pass some birds that were being fed their first meals. Wasn’t a good place to start of my animal visiting day, the flutter that they make with their wings gives me goosebumps. They were beautiful birds though, here a sneak peek of how they look like. It’s a good thing we didn’t come close (although Ginny was slightly disappointed)  because they came to visit US in Gold Coast! Not these birds of course, but the same lorikeet species. Will elaborate more on that later.

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Just before the show we walked towards the barn and came across some darlings. It was probably the kids area as children were allowed to pet and play with guinea pigs, pat the little donkeys and just feel the animals. I loved the part where the little flurry sheeps were all around us waiting for people to feed. I couldn’t feed them cause I was eating my own breakfast so all I did was watch the little ones feed. So fun to see families bringing their little toddlers and allowing them to touch them animals. Love it!

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The little goats here were just munching off the hay in the cup and this little boy was so happy he chuckled so much! Heart melt alert guys.

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 And this little doll – she was just staring at the sheep trying to feed them and then stopping again to stare. Got stopped by a Chinese couple who brought their grandchildren there and they were trying to get to the barn but didn’t know how. They couldn’t speak English too so we tried giving them a hand. Brought my back a little to my times in Beijing – long time no speak. Not rusty, but just missing it a little.

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 Meh meh time! I never understand how sheep dogs are trained – but still very cool to watch.

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All chased into a small area – not very sure of the objective of this.

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The sheep dog, that is SO loyal and obedient it was almost scary. It’s eyes ONLY looked at the owner with such a longing pair of eyes. It was almost as if it was saying “Give me LOVE! Give me ATTENTION!” This went on for probably another 15 minutes as we were all trying to get photos with it and the sheeps.

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That. Is a real gangstah sheep guys. See the dog staring into the eyes of the owner again.

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With Ginny this time.But look at the dog’s eyes fixated at this owner again!

Later we went on to look for some koalas to see and hug! The eucalyptus leaf scent was so strong, its like we knew we were near! Most of the koalas were awake – to my surprise, probably a great thing we were there early. After seeing them awake, I think it’s safe to say I think they look alot more adorable asleep and curled into a huge grey furball. If you actually observe them abit more, they actually look like really huge version of bear and rats. If that makes sense.

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It’s this little baby’s birthday and her mum brought her here to celebrate her birthday.

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First photo with a koala – and a cute little one.

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Ginny’s version looks alot more gentle!

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Moved on to a bird show later – where they fed the eagles small rats and flew by our heads. Not very pleasant for people with bird-phobia like me.

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This was a really cute bird to come by. So soft and gentle looking – but definitely not gentle in nature. We weren’t allowed to pat it.

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No idea what was going on here.

By the time we finished everything it was already about 12 in the afternoon so we hurried to the kangaroo area. It was my first time seeing kangaroos so I was quite excited! Even more than seeing the koalas. Ginny gave me some tips on what not to do before we walked in so I was so prepared. I prepared with some kangaroo food, and Ginny had her Go Pro. Yeap, well geared.

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 Pedo-Nat on the move. Just eavesdrop and sat infront of these kids looking at them patting the joey.

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Nom nom nom

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Oh yeah. This was the bossiest kangaroo in the house.

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Finally found a small framed kangaroo with her baby. We spent quite a while with her because Ginny says they would be more hungry than the others.

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Spent about 4 hours here – and wanted to spend so much more time here. Forgot why we had to rush back.

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 Got back home right after and chilled until dinner. It was getting a little too cold and I didn’t want to touch the bed cause we were dirty from being outside so the couch was the only option. Check out my company of the day – the fans. Was also waiting for Sze Ye to finish writing her paper so that we could finally celebrate her freedom!

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 Portable pillows everywhere. After Sze Ye was done we went out to get some dinner. Ginny looked up this restaurant Habitat. It’s apparently new and served really good food with great service.

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 Took us awhile to get here. But indeed the food was good.  Food in Australia is quite pricey, and for us to eat in a nice made up restaurant like this – we expected a burn in the hole of our pockets, but this place served pretty affordable food  for Australian standards.

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 Some really tasty beef cheeks. Both Sze Ye and I ordered the same dish, but it was the most appealing and seemed like the best value out of everything else. No regrets!

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 Keep girls full and they shall not be nasty! After dinner, we walked around the city looking for some chocolate to warm our tummies. The weather was getting chillier by the day and when dark falls, it really does quite cold. I was also getting hungry so we all stopped by Max Berner Chocolate Bar that was around town. Wanted to get some more tandoori sandwiches but was trying to save the money. Spend SO much on money the past few days, almost 80% of my money was spent on food and the rest on entrance fees.

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 Looking at old photos I kind of miss my long hair. But I hate how unhealthy it felt.

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Max Brenner suckao and hug mug. Something I’ve heard and see for the first time. For those who haven’t had this before, you put all the little chocolates into that cup to be melted, then you add milk and make it your own little DIY hot chocolate. Pretty interesting!

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 Ginny had dark chocolate, and Sze Ye had the milk

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Walking around streets of Brisbane, was pretty quiet – but just the way I like them Australian streets.

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 One thing I loved about the trip was that it was Go Pro friendly. We didn’t need to always try to get someone to help us take great photos like this. The only challenge was that one person out of the three, that was usually not me, had to pretend like we were prepared to take a photo – but in reality has her mind fully concentrated on clicking on the shutter button on the ipad that was synced.

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Sze Ye is slowly becoming a pro at this.

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Scenary that night. It was breezy and quite cold – but nothing to complain about :)

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Went home to prepare for the next day as we headed to walk around the city to have lunch, then to the Brisbane Botanic Garden. I think I remember dreading waking up this day. The city itself was okay – it was a change from all the nature we were getting. Sometimes I wonder. As much as I appreciate being around nature, beaches and whatnot – I do find a sense of belonging in cities with buildings and bustling traffic. I never noticed this until I made a trip to Shanghai last year while studying in China. Getting to Shanghai from Beijing was a breath of fresh air, and going back to Beijing – made my realise how much I actually appreciate ‘real cities’. As much as I hate to admit, I think I really am some sort of dependant to the facilities of a city and high rise buildings. However, with that being said – I still think I can adapt absolutely fine in somewhere like Australia, that has the best of both worlds.

So anyway the next day, which was the fourth day at Brisbane –  we headed straight for ARIA. It is apparently an award winning restaurant that serves you a true fine dining experience. Ginny also mentioned that it’s owned by a Masterchef judge, so we can expect really good quality food!

 

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Plain Jane doing prayers before food

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Fresh tuna that came for me as I ordered the set. Analyzing my food before I dig in. Then I REALISED.

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I don’t eat raw food! So I gave this to Ginny, who kindly exchanged her tasty dish below

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 Scallops with tangerine to match! I remember liking this dish alot. Scallops were well done :)

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Anyone interested to visit this restaurant during this visit can find it at 1 Eagle St, Brisbane QLD 4000, Australia. We were pretty happy with our food (we had more than the above, but I didn’t have the photo uploaded) except for the fact that Ginny’s ice cream that costed probably RM 50 was very crystalized. Nobody actually came too check if everything was okay and if food was alright, only until when we went to collect our jackets at the counter upon exit. I must say service was good, but not up to what it sets itself up to be.

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Took the subway on this day. Pretty similar to what we have here in KL. How different can subways be anyway – if you know any please tell me :)

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They had a couple of shops we could find back home in KL, but best part about this place was FREE WIFI!

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One of the more peculiar buildings

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Walked pass this interesting corner of the city that marked flood levels. It must have been pretty bad. More than half of Ginny’s height!

Headed to the City Botanical Gardens after that. It was a very cold day, and it got even chillier by the hour. Good thing Ginny always carries an extra jacket in her brown bag (that fits EVERY thing) so Sze Ye got some good cover. The garden was pretty boring I must say. I didn’t know how to appreciate flowers enough to be excited about looking or smelling them. I did see some interesting plants, that looked like toilet brushes – should have taken a photo. Here are some photos from the walk.

 

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Funny chair we found. I wonder who walks by and goes “Okay, lets spend a few hours chilling on this chair”.

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Clearly not a photo taken by me. But I thought this was a cute photo of the little duck

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Fake bats that I really thought was real for a split second. Bats playing guitars – funny. Ngeh.

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Ducks being fed bread by two people – they offered us some to feed but we didn’t. Forgot why!

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While waking we decided to chill by the cafe abit. I knocked out in a few minutes.

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Super good photo in my opinion by Ginny! The colours are SO soothing!

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Pretty coloured flowers I must say. I imagined myself to be in a fairytale and put on on my ear. It fell off 5 seconds later. It was a sweet relationship and memory.

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This was Mount Coo-Tha, a very famous lookout point in Brisbane that overlooks the city. We were pretty lost in the huge garden at this point and just wanted to sit down somewhere for abit. Sze Ye and I was engaged in quite a conversation here I remember so we just sat down  while she tried braiding my hair. It was a good 5 minutes rest until our mamasan Ginny called for us to go explore and walk more. This whole place was HUGE. After some research, the internet tells me that the City Botanical Gardens is 52 hectores huge!

Heading home, we found a spot that was perfect to take photos. We spent a good 10 minutes just taking several photos. Girls being girls, we really take these things quite seriously and its most comfortable doing it when we all understand the importance of getting just ONE good shot. I took the first session, Sze Ye then thought it was quite cool so she popped in, then we put Ginny in as well cause she was always taking photos of us! See which do you like best?

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Natalie Chai photographed by Ginny Yap.

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Sze Ye photographed by Ginny Yap

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Ginny Yap photographed by Sze Ye

 

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Took a bus waiting selfie before we headed back home!

And that wrapped up our fourth day in Brisbane. Pretty laid  back trip I must say – minus the early waking up (yes I must stress this every time!)

Finally In Australia!

Note : Picture heavy post. Of my face. My friends’. And my face. Yeah. 

I’ve always thought about going to this place so many of my friends call their second home. Their photos all look absolutely beautiful, even of those that are casually sitting by the corner of a cafe. It’s a kind of atmosphere that’s so calming you don’t find easy to see here in KL. Maybe it’s a “the grass is greener on the other side” mentality, I don’t know. I have a couple of friends spread all over Australia, but this time we decided to visit Brisbane first. Sze Ye is located in Brisbane, and she was going to leave the place in a year (leaving no one else there) and it only made sense to visit places that we were going to ‘run out of friends’ first!

Ginny texted me about free air fares probably two to three months before but I didn’t want to decide on it so quickly. I always like to have a little bit of extra time to let the idea sink, then when I  decide that I want to go, I still need a bit more time to actually tell myself IM ACTUALLY GOING!

Had about another 2 months before we left for Gold Coast (there isn’t a direct flight to Brisbane) so that was a good sink-in time. You can tell that I’m not up for a lot of spontaneous opportunities and is quite rigid that way – but our friend Ginny here is usually very chill so she’s up for whatever. That’s why she let me set the date of whenever I felt most comfortable leaving!

We talked to Sze Ye (who was an absolute dearie, she sent me a long list of cost breakdowns and top few reasons of why I should go to Brisbane!). We decided to go right before winter comes because both Ginny and I ABSOLUTELY  resent cold weather – we’re just not made for it. And here we go, its a combined post for Day 1 and 2 so it may be abit long!

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That’s Ginny and her Care Bear. We were running a little late and I was very gancheong because Miss Ginny was very chilled eating her dinner when it was about 30 minutes to our boarding time! I always like to check in super early so it gives me a sense of relief so I was quite terrified pfft. We were very lucky however! A buggy that picked up an old woman offered us a ride down the long walkway towards the boarding area from the immigration check in. We zoomed to the departure lounge in no time!

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Ginny thinks I’m quite aunty for requesting the officer to tape my bag multiple times! What do you all think? It’s so safe and it gives you a sense of security, no? At least you know if somebody has tampered with your bag or slip it open to put in drugs pfft.

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Ginny almost prepared everything before we went so she booked Link Transfers to come get us. Service was really good, their schedules apparently follow your airplanes punctuality so you don’t have to worry about missing the bus. They sent us from Gold Coast to Brisbane – and some even had a door to door service, depending on where you stay at the area you were headed to. I think this costed us about 70 AUS.

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My first glimpse of the famous blue skies in Australia

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The van that came to fetch us was really huge, look at how high the top of the car was. 2 hour ride on this was definitely alot more comfortable than my ride on the plane. Did I mention that there were bawling kids – I could barely sleep.

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Just look at my mata sepet and pale face. Ginny did a great job curling into a ball and she could get some hours off the clock.

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We then arrived in Sze Ye’s place. She cooked some warm porridge for us and it was the best welcoming comfort food ever. Missing it already! We rested for abit and headed out in an hour or so.

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Taking the buses in Brissy for the first time. Pretty similiar to our transportation services here in KL I would say. Sze Ye looking very happy here as she brings us to  City Botanical Garden. My first park experience in Australia – was very very excited!

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Be prepared for alot of more of selfies!

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Happy girls on green green grass.

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Took this photo from somewhere – I think saturation is very high so the colour is quite off.

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Three of us – defined by our shoes.

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There was a perfect flare for us to take photos with. It was the first time Sze Ye knew about flares so she was very excited to take nice photos with it.

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Working in our Go Pro skills for the first time

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We found it especially useful. Tried to do a set of photos inspired by Fault In Our Stars then we just didn’t know why it didn’t look as dreamy. Ginny went home and told me the next day it is most probably because our hair was all right under our heads and not spread out like how the posters are. Lesson of the day : Hair makes a vast difference in the atmosphere of your photos.

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Later at night we headed over to San Churros to try out some famous chocolate and churros. Sze Ye was raving over how good their warm chocolate was so we ended up here. Ginny and I love churros (the same kind) so we were hoping that San Churros served it. Ended up being the kind of churros that they typically sell at churros places that tastes like fried flour. We love theme park churros and places should definitely offer it!

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Did not end up going gaga over the stuff there – but it was great to have at least tried it!

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Waiting for the bus in the cold is not the best and most enjoyable things to do – but its our first day, we are happy for all things.  We were heading to Eat Street Market for some yummy food! Sze Ye told us that it was going to a place with loads of food but I imagined it to be a food court. Turned out like a very clean market place that served food from all over the world. Food was extremely yummy but expensive if we kept converting. After the second day I just decided to stop converting. Since I wasn’t a shopper, I decided that my money should all go to the yummy food I’ll probably never get to eat in KL.

You can enter Eat Street Market (Remora Rd, Eagle Farm) by paying 2 AUS Dollars for entry and find the food of your liking! The was even a Malaysian store – but I did not get that of course. Some shops sell candles and whatnot, but 95% of the shops are food, food and FOOD!

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The calamari store’s line was SO long – we just had to try it although it was about AUD 10. That’s slightly more than RM 30 guys.

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The taste was worth the wait (but not the money).

Then again, we can’t just convert. That was the standard price for almost all kinds of food there.

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Yummy! Bought my huge sandwich for AUD 11 or so, with extra cheese. It was SO good. Love meat sandwiches.

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Ginny and Sze Ye were getting some cannolli. There was a store called Jake and Elle around the corner so we sat down at the table infront of it after getting some and started munching away on my food. After sitting for abit, Sze Ye kept mentioning about how the guy at the counter looked extremely familiar and she was pretty sure that she knew who he was. I was thinking maybe it’s just  someone from her university. Quite cute I would say.

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Suddenly when we almost finished, Sze Ye went “Oh my god. I think he’s the guy from the cooking show! Masterchef or something?. A lady who was sharing the table then commented and said he was from a famous TV show called My Kitchen Rules. Everybody on the table was doing a little fangirl moment (although I didn’t know what the show as about) because Ginny recalled shortly after. Here you can see Sze Ye googling about him to check if its who she really thinks it was. Voila – surprise surprise! It turned out to be her favorite contestants out of the whole series – how could she forget! Silly silly Jane.

After spending about two hours in the place we headed back home. Chose to take the ferry cause the walk was a little far (but not like ferry helped anyway). We missed the ferry and it left right when we were about 30 seconds away and could actually see it.

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Reviewing all the photos from the day. Ginny alone brought over 4 cameras (that’s insane!!) so we usually take extremely long to look at them photos!

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View from the ferry deck of the Brisbane city.

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And am wrapping up the photos from this day with a photo of Sze Ye playing with a kendama  I brought over to play with! She’s so good at it – getting the first cups in a few minutes. That joy we all share when we land our first cup.

The next day we woke up at 9AM (Brisbane is two hours ahead of KL time) and visited the Sze Ye’s uni, the University of Queensland that was a 15 minutes ride away from her home. She left for classes even earlier in the morning so it was Ginny and my first time on the bus without having Sze Ye prompt us on where to get down. It was quite worrying at first because the buses there didn’t have any prior announcements as to which station it was gonna be. Good thing we got it right, it was the last stop anyway.

It was exactly how I’d imagine the place to look like – but maybe that’s also slightly because we had previews of it’d look like. Sze Ye sent some photos before we went over and said “You guys will be here!” “This is how the place will look like!” “Are you guys excited to come HERE?”. #salesnumberone

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We found a spot to sit down. The grass wasn’t very green and it was honestly a little muddy. You can even see it in the photos. Sze Ye picked out a spot that didn’t have animal poo so we were sorted out. She also made some sandwiches and bought some cookies in advance for us to bring over in the morning. Extremely great host!

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Quite a  nice spot under the tree, and there was wifi! Out of all places in Brisbane, the oddest place to have wifi!

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The birds came to us in no time. They didn’t come initially then Ginny the animal ambassador started feeding one and the flock of birds came. I don’t like birds and fishes so this was quite a traumatic experience. What was worst – the bird shat on Ginny! Birdie birdie – you cannot shit on the person who gives you food! No! No!

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Hungry and greedy birds disturbing my peace of mind

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When the birds came I THREW everything in the bag and fled.  The mission was the save all the food!

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 Took this accidentally while vlogging actually.

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Hello there Mr Tortoise/Turtle.

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Couldn’t sit down for a good 10-15 minutes – but here’s my attempt in being friendly. I tried.

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I did.

And because we were all dressed PICNIC themed (I had to borrow stuff from Ginny because nothing I had was girly or picnic-y enough), we took loads of photos. Clearly not going to post all of them here, but just a few random ones. Not even going to pick the nicest out of the whole lot cause we really took so many. Not sure if I mentioned this above, but Ginny brought a grand total of FOUR cameras and I had one. That’s LOADS of photos. I don’t even know if anyone goes through all these texts, but incase you do – you know.

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Before heading back after the short and maybe sweet picnic, Sze Ye brought us around to take a little stroll around the campus.  The thing about uni campuses overseas – they’re exceptionally huge compared to the normal ones in KL. And even if we do think of one that has a HUGE space, it’s not as laid back and relaxing as these campuses is designed to be. It’s just a totally different feeling. Small things, big feelings.

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Took this photo because there were alot of insects flying around it but because Ginny was busy taking photos of it saying the flies look like fairies I tried to take a photo too. But we obviously fail to see them “fairies”

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Happy Stone!

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Walked pass and asked Ginny to take a photo of our shadows. And she goes “For what?!”

I don’t know either. I just wanted to.

So that wraps up our tour around University of Queensland

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Hair’s a party here but I cut it right after I went back to KL. Meanwhile, #bustimeselfie.

Didn’t do much on our second day because we had the rest of the activities planned out for other days due to geographical convenience purposes. Stayed in quite a bit, also because our host had an assignment to rush. She had a long nap after our picnic (can’t recall if Ginny and I did too) and woke up and went straight to her assignment. Ginny and I then left for dinner at the mall across the road, which turned out be to quite yummy. At least we both liked what we ordered. Photos below!

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It’s called Harajuku Gyozo and their gyoza – oh boy, that cheese bacon gyoza – had me salivating.

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My little bowl of noodles – I was SO hungry that day. Feel like I could recall the exact feeling. Good thing food was good.

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Didn’t bring my laptop or ipad so every night I come back and just catch up on what’s been happening on the other side of the world.

And THAT – wraps up two of our eight/nine trip to Brisbane! It was a pretty long post but because I took so many photos I just want to share the less of the most of it with you. I don’t usually practice the habit of uploading it in Facebook because I personally don’t browse other people’s albums so I feel like nobody’s going to see it. So I’m just going to share them here, and if you see it you see it. Sorry the photo colours are so inconsistent and I couldn’t edit them all to fit one theme. Remember they’re all from different cameras so if you’re wondering which camera took what – I can pretty much tell you I don’t remember.

Alright now – time to sign out before I hit the sack! On a side note, I kind of miss my long hair now that I’m editing the post.

Goodnight everybody.

 

First Wedding in the Family : Cousin Keith & Christabel

Hello all!

This is a slightly delayed post  - but better late than never. I only got to slowly update and draft this up today, probably a month of so AFTER I have uploaded the photos. Totally forgot that I have already edited and put them up, I just had to embed the codes here and I was good to go! Just to share with you guys the first wedding in my family (of the third generation) cute cousin brother, Keith, whom we affectionately call as Elby (his childhood name) took the baton in Marriage Lane.

We had a simple and humble get-together with the couple’s family members along with close friends at the suite of the hotel they were hosting their reception at. They’ve all prepared for the wedding slowly for about a year now, so we were all pretty excited that the day was drawing so near! When we first heard news of Keith getting married, everyone was saying how it was going to happen in a year. One year flew by, and now he is already a happy husband with is lovely wife Christabel.

I’ve put up a few photos (okay, maybe not a few) so share with you this blessed occasion. Took my photos with my Sony A5000, which I specially rushed to buy for the wedding. I’ve always wanted a new one because the battery from my trusty Canon S90 was konked out and I quickly jumped on that opportunity to excuse myself for buying a new one.

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Rushing over to the gathering in town. Massive jam in KL, as usual and to no surprise. Never ever come to KL during off-work hours.

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My aunty’s a super great cook so she whipped up some of our family staple favorites.

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Brother Nick with what he calls his “Chill-Out” drink.  Bet that’s why he has a funny face.

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Times of silence I really like, when everybody just gathers and pray for being blessed.

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These are the boys in my house. I’ve always been the only girl so probably that’s why I wouldn’t say I’m extremely soft and feminine. I’m sure girls who has a lot of male relatives would relate. However, this time the only other girl in my maternal family came back all the way from Canada for Keith’s wedding. It’s been about more than 15 years probably since their family last came back. It was definitely good meeting everyone again. Meet Amanda! (right below)

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Any similarities among us cousins?

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That’s omoni and the siblings – Amanda and Andrew. You guys should see Andrew work his dance moves – super talented!

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Congratulations Elby boy – you will always be little Elby to us!

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Because we all stayed in the hotel, Keith just had to pick Christabel up from her room across the other building.

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We did the usual tea ceremony that all Chinese will definitely have to do! I think it’s great to still keep up with old traditions like these. Many are very modernised these days and feel like its not a neccessity. I personally feel that it gives off a different vibe to the weddings in general.

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Just seconds before it was our turn to go up for some tea and angpau, my camera lost itself but I couldn’t fix it in time so here’s the best photo of us at it.

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My cute popo who has light grey puppy eyes.

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The bridesmaids – all so colour coordinated and looking good.

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Happy bride – I wonder if women all feel happiest on their day of marriage?

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Waiting anxiously for the bride to enter the hall.

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Cheeky Keith who couldn’t hold in his excitement while Christabel was walking in. He was just tiptoeing up and down.

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This moment of truth, when a dad hands over his daughter to another man. Bittersweet, bitersweet.

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Got to know a really great song on this day. Through It All by Hillsong. Listening to it till this very day.

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Getting ready for the night reception.

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Omoni and brother Nick.

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My paternal side of the family – Grandmama and Aunt Lisa. It’s the only photo of us and them so Nick’s face has to be excused.

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Parents of the couple

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Keith was put on the spot and had to sing a random song for Christabel. I forgot what song it was, was it When You Say Nothing At All?

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This is Dad – who doesn’t really take much photos so you don’t get to see him often.

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My humble family of four.

Everything ended in about 3 hours – it was really nice seeing everybody out here celebrating the joyous occasion with the newlyweds. Their friends from all over the world flew over just to be with them on this day – and even hosted the reception for them at no charge. And was extremely good at it! Everybody was such a sport, taking charge of the dance floor and whatnot. I was also really happy because finally my grandmother got to experience her grandchild’s wedding. I don’t know how that feels, but it warms my heart knowing that it means alot to them.

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And this is why I think he is retarded. He’s not even posing for the camera – I just saw him doing this and had to take a photo.

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And to end this post, here is a glamorous photo of me.

Congratulations  Keith and Christabel once again – and I shall wait for a little baby I can call my niece/nephew.  Only when you guys are ready, of course :)  

Review : Scholl Velvet Smooth Electronic Filer

I don’t know about you – but when it comes to feet I am not so particular in pampering it. I think the closest things that come to the picture is just me painting my toenails, but how often can that get? Honestly, even when there are days when I apply lotion after a shower – I tend to leave my feet out. Then I notice, as much as I do NOT care about getting my feet into its most tip top condition – I actually do notice the feet of others when we sit down indoors with our shoes off.

Not particularly a person who does a lot of body maintenance but I remember getting a manual dead skin filer for parts of my feet that may have hardened up from dead skin. It is quite distracting to feel a part of your skin harden as you keep wanting to scrape it off, potentially ending up hurting your roots because the skin may have turned into a lump. The manual filers were a great help, but I could never use them for long due to hygiene reasons and sometimes I just feel like I can’t be bothered. So what happens to these filers is that they end up in the bin.

A week ago, I received a parcel from Scholl and they sent me one of their latest featured product – the Velvet Smooth electronic filer, to try out. I’ll have to be honest. I love gadgets and electronics, and receiving one for me to own and review was definitely a green light for me. I used to have alot of dead skin in the past because I walked alot, commuting from a train stations to another getting to university. The frequent friction from my thin sole flats may have caused them. After getting the product, I tried feeling my own skin to locate the problematic areas underneath my feet. To my surprise, they have healed a lot compared to my uni days but there was still parts that were hard that I wanted to smoothen.

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My Velvet Smooth

So I tried the product. It came with an insulator to stop the switch from accidentally turning it on – so remove that before first usage.The switch is very simple, and you are only required to lightly shift the ring to the right to turn the product on. What happens is that the roller you see one top will start rotating at a very fast speed, and that is what you’re going to be putting against your skin to exfoliate to its softest state possible.

Just to show you what the product does and is made of.  The below photo is my very own and how it looks like as  awhile.

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I had to firstly identify the problematic areas around my feet. I did this only after work at the end of the day because I feel like my skin would still be soft when I wake up in the morning and it would be more difficult to identify hard skin spots. Here in the photo below I have highlighted areas that skin was harder than the rest of my feet. I’d have to say it didn’t work much for me because they’re not put under as much strain as they used to be. Sitting in the office these days has been doing good to my pair of size 5.

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As I couldn’t be the best person to show the results of the Scholl Velvet Smooth Electronic Foot Filer – I got one of my folks to try it. They have had many many years running on their feet and I’m pretty sure they haven’t had the patience to sit down to do feet filing. I handed the product over and voila – look at ALL the dead skin that we collected on a piece of newspaper! It’s all dead skin from both legs and they’re all very, very fine. This is why it’s always important to put a towel or a piece of paper underneath the proximity around your legs before you start filing.

DSC02214Doing an EXTREMELY good job! Highly recommended for you to get for your old folks.  But because mine is shy, I did not get to take  a before/after post – but this above illustration should do enough justice.

If you’re interested in getting your very own My Velvet Smooth Electronic Filer, click here to find out how you can receive a RM10 discount voucher or follow @SchollMY for more details :) Check out the video below featuring dear Careen and her mom – you can see the before and after effects of the experience! 

Trips to the Dentist & Failed Song Covers

Hello everyone!

Feeling very happy today so I decided to just to a little blog. I wonder if any of you here does dental check up annually? The last I remember visiting a dental clinic was approximately 10 years ago – and that last visit was an extremely traumatic one (although I forgot what happened, so I would say its semi traumatic). I’ve never really had any kind of dentist phobia though, but I think I’ve been somehow blessed with a set of fairly healthy teeth – there wasn’t really a need for me to visit one!

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Two months ago, I got a little worried that I had no signs of a wisdom tooth coming (I know) so I booked an appointment at the dental near my office. My friendJocelyn has had a few treatments there and her reviews have been pretty good so I was quite at ease. Stepped in the place, it looked like a manicure parlour because the decos were of a very soothing pink and they made us all change into cute little sandals. Anyway long story cut short, loved my consultation because the dentist was very gentle and nice. Definitely one of the better dentists among the rest I’ve tried when I was in my teens. Good calling for me to go for the check up because I had a cavity to be filled up. Phew!

I visited today again – which is why I’ve decided to share this story with you! Had a sharp toothache for the past week (two months after my filling) after biting/drinking something. I dare not bite anything from that end of my tooth so I left my left end to do all the food munching. I couldn’t refrain from everything though because I still had to drink water. Even plain water triggered a sharp pain (that lasted for a few seconds). I thought maybe my filling had a little hole that caused the nerve to be exposed to substances so I went make an appointment at the dental again. Got turned away the first time and was told that I had to wait two weeks before I could get it checked. Honestly, I was abit surprised but I thought it wouldn’t harm to wait since I wasn’t going to go to any other dental clinics due to inconvenience anyway. Few days after I made the appointment, it was still bugging me for quite a bit so I decided to go back this morning 10 minutes right before they were officially open in hopes that their first patient of the day was late.

Another nurse kindly took me in as I told her I just needed to know the urgency of my situation. Dentist was also very nice to do a thorough check up for me – he conducted several tests, mock triggers but nothing seemed to be wrong. Right before I went to the place I had a sip of water and it was still in pain – but there I was on that chair and felt nothing! I told the dentist that I would try trigger it by gargling my mouth with the water on the sides. NOTHING! He then offered me something that was colder so that it would be a stronger trigger. NOTHING! I could not point on where exactly the pain was because my week-long sharp pain just couldn’t be triggered. Dentist that suggested that I took an X-ray, so I did. It was my first X-ray (of any kind) so I was pretty excited about it – there’s something about X-ray that makes it sounds so professional and dangerous (?). Now I can walk out and say “I am X-ray certified” pfft.

Anyway after all that ordeal, dentist came to a conclusion that there was nothing wrong with my tooth. It wasn’t even a wisdom tooth (there was no trace of it), nor a second layer cavity, the fillings were exposed and there were no holes. He then told me that there was no other way but to try deal with it on a smaller scale – and start with assuming that it may just be tooth sensitivity (?). So he gave me a Sensodyne toothpaste to bring home. I was honestly a little disappointed because it felt like I had wished that the problem could be rectified and fixed eternally. I hate walking in to a place to fix something and to leave without having problems identified and fixed. Anyhow, damage was done – I did an X-ray and had consultations so we still have to pay up. Good thing that my super awesome company covers my dental fees! However to my surprise, the doctor DID NOT charge me for any of the things he just did for me for the past 30 minute – and even went through extends to explain my X-ray to me in detail. How blessed can you get? I think we all need more dentals like these around and everybody would always have happy trips to have super healthy teeth!

Also, somewhere last week I was left alone in the house – and usually at times like these I like to make covers because it’s alot more comfortable singing to myself. Anyway I think I had 30 minutes to myself, but didn’t end up with any successful ones because everything just didn’t sound good  at all. However, I’ve got footage of all the clips and covers so I decided to put them together in a  2 minute video! I clearly don’t think it sounds bad thats why I’m sharing these bits and pieces with you – but definitely not good enough to make a real cover video.

The song titles are at the video description at Youtube itself.

Alright that’s all for today! By the way, if you’d like to know where this super great dentist is, just send me an email, leave a comment, or you could submit your questions at my Ask.FM ! I’d definitely recommend it to all of you because the service there (except for that nurse who turned me away with no mercy) is really great :)

Till then!

 

10 Days in Brisbane

Hello all!

It has been awhile, I know. I’m still in the midst of picking out all the super great photos that I took from my trip in Brisbane/Gold Coast. Aussie was such a great getaway for me – I loved the place. Didn’t like waking up very early in the morning, but that was just a little thorn among the roses. So while picking the best photos to tell you ALL about the trip, here are some vlogs I have put up (all shot by my latest Sony A5000, and lousily edited by Windows Movie Maker).

Sze Ye was our host while Ginnny and I were there, and was an absolute awesome one. Felt so at home and it was just as if I was actually living in Brisbane myself. It’s been awhile since I last went to a white country (does this sound abit racist?) so it was quite refreshing. Does that make sense? I mean, I’ve always been exploring Asian culture and countries so getting  a taste of something different was absolutely needed! This makes me sound a little white culture deprived, but I am not – I’m sure those who have gotten a taste of both sides would get what I mean. Not even about preference, its just a feeling.

First video is mainly for when we were in Brisbane :-

Second video tells tales about when we landed in Gold Coast, and a little bit of Brisbane :-

Hope this will suffice till I come back!

Also, I’m not sure if you guys noticed but I set up an Ask.FM account with a widget at the sidebar – I’m getting alot of Korean related questions so I figured it’d be alot more convenient to keep track with them there, and am not sure if I can get to all but I’ll try :)  

See you guys till then!

June Catch Up

Hello!

Was just toying with the dashboard and just realized its been a month since I last posted anything! What’s most pleasant to see and know is that there are still so many of you around to read this blog. I’m sure the ones who are around have been sticking to the blog for many years now to be so loyal! Actually I don’t post much anymore because my life revolves so much around work – and I barely go out. Saturdays are a good day to get out and look for some friends but most of the time I really just opt to sleep in until early afternoon instead of getting myself up and going.

Also extremely gungho because I’m going to Australia next week! I’ve always longed to pay Aussieland a visit as there have been so many stories about how the place is so beautiful, how the air smells so fresh and how grass is so green. I’ve been there once when I was younger but I can barely remember anything except for the apple farm at my uncle’s and a record store that he owned. Would have loved to visit the main cities like Melbourne and Sydney – but I’m doing Gold Coast and Brisbane first for now. Also in plans to meet up with some friends that I haven’t seen in a long while, so I’m really looking forward to the trip!

Cousin Keith had a beautiful wedding last weekend – I have loads of photos that I will be sharing in the next two days. Most of you here are probably not on my Facebook so maybe that might be some visual entertainment for you. He is the FIRST in the family for our generation to get married and as the second eldest, you know it gets a little awkward when the golden question comes. “Who’s next?” – and they all look at you. Weddings should be about the lovely couple of the night – matchmaking and all can be left for another day.

Bought myself a camera just in time for Keith’s wedding although my previous one was still working fine. The battery’s a little konked out at can only last about 30 minutes before it needs another recharge. Definitely not bringing it to Australia with me. Could have just replaced the battery but I thought it was time for me to get a camera that could capture videos in at least 720. I have a little OCD about videos being square shaped on screen (when it doesn’t fill up the space) so my previous Canon S90 could only serve me up to 640 – and that was a problem. I usually like vlogging when I’m away from home, although almost none of them get up online, so I was hoping that a new camera could motivate me to start editing some videos to share with friends and family. Tons of footage sitting around in my hard drive waiting to be cleared out. I shall make a vow to get to it for the upcoming Australia trip! I need to show the world that I am Koala and Kangaroo material. They WILL like me! They WILL!

It was quite nerve wrecking getting the camera. I took a few days to just go do some research and came down with a conclusion of two different models. Couldn’t decide on one so I reached out for opinions on social media and personal friends to ask friends. Got my pick, and just decided to buy it ON the day I decided! I usually need some time to do market price research over a span of at least two weeks – but because I wanted to rush it for Keith’s wedding I took two lunches of to just go and ask for pricings everywhere. Thank god I work in an I.T friendly area and there were loads of shops for me to ask from, especially at this I.T haven/mall nearby. The only thing about it is the place is always full of dodge.

I didn’t want to withdraw a huge sum of cash from my workplace to carry a 5 minutes walking distance away from the mall – so I decided to just settle stuff there, only that they didn’t have the bank machine I was looking for. I’m usually quite paranoid when it comes to these things. It’s also a terror to just carry a sum of money from the machine to the shop in the same building. I don’t think I was born to be match-made with money. It incites some sort of fear in me, literally and figuratively. So anyway, I don’t know how to end this story, I’m just going to say I didn’t get robbed and got my camera safe and sound. Also one thing to note is that I realized I bought it from the shop that did the LEAST pushing and because he spoke in a very soft tone. I think I just have this ridiculous (or not) mindset that those who don’t try hard are those who are most likely not out to cheat your money. He was the cheapest of all shops too – gave me an extra battery to boot (although I discovered that one battery had less mAh then the other). Still better than nothign!

Just going to upload some photos that I took while exploring the functions of my new camera.

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Testing it out on Mei Fenn who has nice smiley eye.

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Was also studying tutorials online very intensively that I never realized I elbowed my little cactus (that is  now a single stem) down.

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I deleted alot of the photos in the camera that was taken during the “beta test” period  - now I wished I hadn’t so I could share more photos with you. It’s an amazing camera so far, doing a much better job than my good old trusty S90. Will update soon when I can – with photos from Keith’s wedding.

Till then (hopefully in a few days!)

Will you bring spring back?

Some people have it so easy, others have it tough.

Many times you feel like you hold something so dear, that it only belongs to you, only to find out that many others share that one thing you value and thought was truly yours to call special. It’s not about being selfless and sharing or caring – it’s really just that ray of sunshine you shine upon yourself. You feel so much warmth from it, nobody else could tear that away from you.  Something you thought nobody else could set a foot near, but time passes and you realize its always been everywhere. The only reason why you felt special was because you just never bothered living outside your own head.

Sometimes I feel like the world is too overly populated to have one special thing to be only owned by you. Sure, there’s love. There’s always love. But millions of couples there feel that same kind of love. It’s still yours, but not unique. That attention from that special someone may possibly be the only thing you fully own that others may never have. But how do you know for sure? We just know, and may claim to be sure – but some things don’t just easily add up to definite answers. Answers vary depending on time, people, unavoidable change of sorts.

Then there’s also the complete opposite – those who knows nothing about what’s in front of them to appreciate before it was gone.It’s almost like when Mr. Photographer waits at the park during spring for the sakura to bloom to its fullest for the perfect photo. He only has one shot to spend. There was never a day suitable, it was never today. The sakura teased him at some days, there were moments when he almost got shots. But he always says.

“I’ll wait one more day, the flowers will bloom even more.”

“Tomorrow they will be stronger in colour.”

“Tomorrow they will be more dense, I’m so sure.”

“Tomorrow is when I’ll do it. It’s going to be the BEST day”

Little does he know that spring only lasts briefly. He parked himself under the tree, ready to take that photo when it’s best to. Today he is confident,  he should take it today. He wakes up to a balding tree. Spring goes by at a glance – you don’t even see it coming. You can’t. The only time you know, is when you realise you are that person who just waited for the season to pass by. You waited for the best, with the best intentions, but just because you never knew the right time to take action – it’s gone for good. Spring never comes back for another year. And it’s not even the same spring. What can you tell him?

“If the sakura photo was meant to be yours, you would have been able to take it anyway – so don’t be sad?”

That’s tough – some chances are to be taken, especially these. But so many lack the courage to. Chances in life – be it work, transport, relationships, family, choices, opportunities – all deserve some action being taken. Nobody will ever know if was a chance worth taking, because you never know until you take it.

But there will always be that one who never knows how or just simply never dares to.

So bye bye spring, it is.

The Stroll

Not here to buy anything, she knows it. She strolls through, shelve after shelve, section after section. For a moment, she pretends to be her favorite movie character in a wooden attic in a treehouse. Music plays in her head and she moves her head subtlely to its soft beats. Children here have their nose buried into the books, not sure if they are reading or mildly asleep. “Maybe I should put my kid here 10-15 years later”. It gets a little chatty as she walks into this corner, probably parents of the kids laying against the shelves. Making her way towards the end of the aisle, tip toeing over several little pairs of legs, careful not to trip on them, she finds a huge collection of Harry Potter. The series were never really her type of thing, but she stood there – just pondering about if her visions in life would be any different if she started reading it. The movie series were great, but going through the few inches thick collection felt slightly dreadful. It was tough painting a picture of herself doing something she knew she didn’t enjoy from the core. She walked away.

Characters that always spoke with grace and wit always left an impression. But it wasn’t about finding any book, or any kind of story. Everybody deserves to publish their story, any story. They needed to be heard anyway. Thirty minutes after a trail of slow footsteps in the area, she concentrated harder for herself to dwell into character. Most of the time, she suspects its just  herself wanting to appreciate and celebrate some Alone Time that she finds the need to seek time for. She pulls out that set of earphones that usually helps do the job. This goes left, that goes right – she places them into her ears. Now finding the perfect music for The Stroll was always tough. Sometimes it was upbeat, sometimes it was jazz. The biggest problem wasn’t genre though, it was finding the perfect emotions of the particular genre she was feeling. The music list displays a long list of a playlist she put together at work she was so sure would fit any situation. The Stroll wasn’t going to be therapeutic without the perfect background music her inner head failed to play. She wasn’t there to buy anything, she was ready to be enveloped. Enveloped by that feeling one only gets when they step into a bright cosy space of alphabetically organised books. That feeling you get even if you don’t pretentiously run your fingers across the paperbacks.

On better days, The Stroll is done in just 15 minutes. Some other days, it takes more than an hour. Before it’s achieved she gets interrupted by a call from her friends telling her they’re almost there. From then onwards, its a mental battle. A countdown. It’s almost as if there was a communication portal between everything in the space and her inner self. “Speak to me. It’s now or never”. She holds a position, standstill, grabs a book and pretends to be really into it so she doesn’t have to explain her awkward stance. Tick tock tick tok.

Time freezes. She doesn’t hear that pair of heavy clucking boots two aisles away, lights dim down, music in her ears completely shut out, that magical peaceful aura from the surrounding books are slowly making its way into her soul. It’s the Lockdown. Inch by inch she feels herself healing. Her sore legs from that pair of 4 inch, knee bones aligning, skin building a mild glow. It’s almost like a metamorphosis. It’s only been 30 seconds, but it’s working. Lockdown is working. Her body takes up everything it has been thirsting for – peace. Just right before she feels her soul to be fully recharged – she feels a second buzz at the back of her pockets.

Everything breaks. She hears the kids, a snoring dad, that pair of boots, vigorously flipped children storybooks, that high pitched ring from the cashier counter. She unplugs the pair of headsets and reaches for the device.

“We’re here!”

Lockdown Complete.