I feel like I’ve not been using my camera enough – and when I don’t use it enough, it almost means less material for blogging and ever lesser photo memories. I used to have logs of every month of the places I go to, but this year everything is just in my phone – and I don’t even take photos of any special occasions anymore. Let’s just try to put everything in a nutshell of what’s been missing from the blog.
1) Made a trip to Indonesia for cousin’s engagement
Cousin Keith got engaged and because Christabelle (future cousin sis-in-law) is from Indonesia, they did a ceremony there just for her Indonesian relatives, friends and family. It really is quite interesting to see how different cultures can be. This was an engagement but if you actually look at the scale of the ceremony – it may just be way huger than any normal wedding dinner usually held in KL.
The couple will have to stand on stage throughout the whole dinner to shake hands of ALL attendees (it was about 2000 that night) to welcome them during the beginning of the ceremony. Not only that, just when we thought they were done with the welcoming greetings – it was time for some to leave, so the same crowd had to go up stage to say goodbye again. That’s about 4000 pairs of hands to shake! Extremely shocking for me.
Can’t wait for the official ceremony come June! Extremely happy for the couple
Apart from the ceremony, we took the chance to travel around Jogjakarta abit. Visited Bodobudur and also some interesting volcanic sites (Gunung Merapi). The journey riding into the site was quite adventurous. We had to be put into trucks and ride was extremely bumpy. They gave us helmets – I thought it was just in case we fell off the car but I then realised that the helmet came to good use even during the ride itself. My head kept crashing against the sides of the vehicle. Without the helmet I think my head would have been busted pfft. All six of us had to be squeezed into a four-seater. Quite uncomfortable because if we weren’t positioned carefully we would definitely have been bounced off the jeep. Uncomfortable but extremely exciting though – there were slopes even steeper than roller coasters – almost a 90 degree way down so there were very rough bumps. Loved it!
2) I went to Vietnam
This was back in February. It’s important for me to make it a point to go somewhere new at least every alternate year. I have a few places in my head that I wanna go – but I’m just mentally tied to the grounds of KL. It was a replacement for my Bangkok trip that I had planned long way before it should have happened. Supposed to meet up with my Beijing girls but everything didn’t work out because of the riots so I got my tickets replaced with Vietnam. I’ve always wanted to see Vietnam – we chose Ho Chi Minh over Hanoi because online reviews pretty much steered towards the former. I didn’t like it. It was nice and I appreciated it – but it is definitely not one of my favorite places. Reason being its too much of any ordinary city, albeit still being a little backwards. I like to see more of culture in a foreign place and Ho Chi Minh couldn’t give me that.
We decided to leave the city and travel a little further away from it after Day 2 (it was a four-day freestyle trip). I would have chosen to find ways to get to places with local buses but I guess we didn’t have too much time for real exploration. Easy way out was just to get the hotel to book a seat for us in a tour group and we had the bus come pick us up early in the morning. That was dreadful. I personally don’t like tours. I think they don’t show us enough of the place, and it gets boring. I tend to doze off very easily in cars/buses too so when they tell me stories that I really want to hear, I still can’t help but find myself falling asleep in the midst of a 3 hours car ride to somewhere outskirt. I’m not gonna lie, these stories are boring – but I always try to make it a point to listen to as much as I can. It really helps boost your traveling experience if you understand the place you’re about to visit more.
Back to Vietnam, one of the more interesting experiences was in Cu Chi Tunnels when I got into one of the camouflaged entrances of them tunnels that were made for the small sized Vietnamese soldiers to travel underground. That, and also soldiered on knees for about 100 metres underground with three other big sized tourist. It was horrible, and I sweat buckets – but totally worth it! We were told that we could get out after every 10 metres underground if we didn’t feel well, but there were only about 4 challengers and the guide was just charging ahead. By the time we arrived at the third checkpoint, we asked if that route was the way out – guide didn’t understand us and continued going up ahead. As I don’t usually exercise much it was quite horrible – imagine doing repetitive squats plus crawl in a claustrophobic dimly lit area. I spotted ladders that led to somewhere but because I was the last one in line I didn’t want to be left behind. In my head it was just self prepping. You can do this! You can do this! And I did it! Eating by the roadside in short stools was also very fun. It was difficult trying to order, but we managed to pull through. I also loved the coffee that we found in a roadside shop right opposite our hotel. If coffee tasted like that, I wouldn’t mind having it everyday. Maybe I like cheap coffee – or maybe the Vietnamese just really knows how to work their caffeine.
2) I attended my first “rave”
This was a new experience. I’ve always heard about rave parties, seen partying photos on Facebook, but have never been to one. Usually it’s just because of lack of interest, the music is not my kind of jam and I can’t find myself enjoying the music as much as my other friends does. I think people just have different tastes in music, and that’s okay. I’d have to admit that Future Music Festival (yes, that’s my first) WAS indeed quite happening. Everyone who attended was hip, young, ready-to-party, and definitely super excited to be there. Two days to the event (we all know what happened to the third) – I tried walking into the dance area where everyone was just immersed in Amin Van Buuren’s session. That was quite uhm, overwhelming I must say. Probably it takes some getting used to, but the crowd and hype frankly didn’t make me too comfortable. I tried experiencing it for about 10 minutes by looking for some friends I could trust – and off I went. Back to work, which was alot more comfortable and exciting for me – frankly. Yes, the sole reason I was there was because I was at work. Nice experience – just don’t know if I’ll be back.
3) I did a cover of one of my favorite songs from 2013
Now here’s my jam! I love, love, love Say Something by Christine Aguiliera and A Great Big World. I first heard it when a friend posted Kina Grannis’ cover of it on Facebook. Absolute love – and some lyrics that felt like home. Amidst a couple of conversations online, the project just took flight and my partner in crime was Skyward. It actually became alot more serious than I thought it would have been – initially just thought we would cover it through a simple home recording. Anyhow I loved the outcome – so much effort has been put in this especially from the boys who made this with Xiang from InYourFace Production. Absolutely love it when I do music. It’s not something I’m extremely good at, but as to how those who love music would feel, it really just puts you in this rainbow zone. It doesn’t even matter if you have to take 30 takes of the same verse – it’s making music, and the kind that you like. That’s gold. Check the final outcome here.
4) I took a ride in a hot air balloon
It was a clear no. “I don’t really want a ride. You guys can take it” But at the end, there were no takers. Passes were allocated only to sponsors and they weren’t even for sale. I thought about it on the very last day, and knew that there was no other way I was going to pay for a ride on a hot air balloon anywhere else. So up, up, and away I went. There were some really bad reviews from my other frolleagues from the days before so frankly I was extremely skeptical about the ride. Apparently landing was extremely rough, their basket tilt over, shoes were wet and muddy, weather was not too positive. So many reasons to NOT get on the balloon. Bottom line, I thought of it was a long fetch thing – gave myself to fate, and did. And by blessing our landing was extremely smooth, no shoes were wet, we glided over the calm lake in the early hours of daylight, and the pilot was extremely hospitable – making sure that everything’s okay. It did get pretty hot up there everytime the pilot flared. My crown felt like it was on fire, but definitely bearable. So lesson of the day – hot air balloons can be really an enjoyable ride!
5) Did some team building karaoke
My team works closely with another media agency – we’re almost like family. One may not function without the other. In order to just farm some family love, we decided to call one of the nights out and just go crash the karaoke. Oh boy, did almost everyone go bonkers. As usual we had the loco mic hoggers, some self proclaimed Alicia Keys, and others who just observed the ones gone crazy in a quiet corner. These people are like memory banks. If I was ever drunk and did something crazy, I’d make sure to keep this Party Observer in a bag and never let him/her out. The problem was, I was always Party Observer. Every time after a party, I feel like a bear a responsibility to tell everyone what they did the night before. And I know that’s not exactly always pleasant to hear. Good thing nothing turned too ugly for team building karaoke! Everyone left happy, safe and sound.
6) Went to my first bazaar in many years
This is nothing special – but definitely worth mentioning because I did it Jing who I haven’t caught up with for months! Reminded of years back when I was still active in Nuffnang events with Vivien and Ginny. Bazaars can get quite fun sometimes – especially when there’s food. Headed to Bazaar 365 to give Careen, who was there for her own shop ChiqFliq, a surprise visit!
After that we headed to look for the Core boys – to which all left, so Ming Han had an obligatory duty to bring two lonely girls for some entertainment (and we chose dinner). He brought us to my first experience at a diner, Johnny Rockets! It really was first of its kind for me – my first diner experience was somewhere in Penang but that wasn’t even anywhere close cut to this. Every 20 minutes they had a special performance where waiters would be dancing to some upbeat songs (like Gangnam Style?). It was kind of fun. Distracting for meals, or when you’re having quality conversation over your meal – but fun. Food and smoothie was yummy too – would definitely go back! It turned Ming Han into a little fairy on an excited unicorn – so go figure the power of Johnny Rockets!
7) Celebrated a few birthdays
Sam has always been the type of friend who I almost never see in a year but each time we meet it’s almost like we never went different ways. She works away from the city so when we heard that she was going to do a little birthday gathering with her friends and family, I was a little stoked to just meet everybod. It was really nice seeing her family and her again. As usual she was busy running around sitting with different guests of the night – but was still great to see you.
We will go a long way. Super proud of your latest life journey
On another separate event, it was also Mingalinga’s birthday so we all decided to head on over to Burger Lab for some meat love. It was HALF a surprise, because he kind of knew what was going to happen – but just didn’t know how or who was going to come and make things happen. Some short of 20 people came together that night. It’s been quite a while since I’ve been to any birthday parties. I feel like with age, some people are just too lazy to organize any for themselves, and we all really just need a good quiet day to ourselves on our birthdays.
Ren was a sweetheart because he hosted the whole gathering on the restaurant
The best part was we all could make special special requests for burgers on the menu. Some got a double or a triple of the usual serving – that was a feast. One thing about Burger Lab is that it doesn’t leave me hungry for more. It’s extremely filling and taste is just way too wholesome for you feel like you’re missing out on anything. It got better than the last time I got there. Definitely worth its hoo-haa.
8) Kpopstar 3 & Superman Is Back
Everyone’s been asking me what (Korean content) I have been watching lately. I have been watching two variety shows that shows on Sundays every week – and its quite painful to wait for new episodes to be uploaded online. Kpopstar is an annual singing competition I follow every year (for three years now) and standards of the contestants are just super top notch this year. I love watching the show for the constructive criticism – I feel like I’m learning just by watching the judges speak.
Another one would be Superman Is Back.
It shows the life of four celebrity dads taking care of their kids while their wives spend 48 hours away from home. Absolutely adore it to death because the kids are so cute, and it’s always heart-warming to watch how these dad’s communicate with their kids. You can also clearly see them learning something new about parenting in every new episode. It’s a common sight to see mom with young kids – but definitely something refreshing to see dads struggling and accomodating to them.