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.

DSC00805Not missing out my deskmate Alexa who has been in love with one of the penguins that our partners have so kindly given to us.

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. 

Palsaik Samgyupsal at Solaris, Mont Kiara

One thing about having a thing for Korean cuisine is that it’s such a difficult journey finding that correct taste here in KL. Everything could pass and come close, but almost none has ever come near. If there was a reason why I am a Uncle Jang Dalggalbi junkie, it’s because it hits closest to the perfect spot. As a person who’s always on a roll trying out different Korean restaurants, I think it’s safe to say that nobody makes that perfect kimchi stew you can easily get off streets in Korea. They say the best way to judge a restaurant serving Korean food is to first taste their kimchi. Indeed, a very wise method that I’ve found to be extremely accurate. There is this one extremely famous Korean diner in Ampang (which I find quite de-appetizing) that serves such an off-metre taste and extremely localised. I’m sometimes very upset that I find returning patrons because I feel like they don’t give Korean cuisine justice, at all. I know, because my family is one of the many loyal customers. Boo.

Recently, I’ve heard Dawn raving on and on about this franchise from Korea that had just opened up. They serve premium samgyupsal (three layer pork) and I knew I HAD to try it. Samgyupsal is one of my favorite dish for BBQ and it holds very dear memories of my times in Seoul. There were days we ate it to celebrate, and others when we were having less happier phases. Most importantly, I feel like I’ve only ever had samgyupsal with people dear to me. We could have coffee with strangers, shared biscuits with an accidental company. Samgyupsal is different. Samgyupsal is bonding food.

Palsaik Samgyupsal is located in Solaris, Mont Kiara. I’ve been trying to schedule a dinner with the rest of the Korean classmates since forever so we decided to come to this restaurant! Everytime we met we had barbecue so this was the perfect place to come and try together. Unfortunately, the girls didn’t seem to have time so Dawn and I decided to just go ahead ourselves. One does not simply contain their craving for samgyupsal! Dawn told me that it may be a little tough for just both of us to finish the whole set we wanted to order so we called Vivien to come along too. Great, because I’ve been scheduling a sit down with this girl since January but she’s always flying off for exhibitions and what-not.

Right before we went, I tried swinging them a phonecall to reserve a seat because apparently they are full-house everyday! Unfortunately, they’ve recently begun to not take reservations on Friday-Sundays so for those who are thinking of heading there during the weekends – better go early or send a soldier to queue for you.

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Hello to Dawn, who’s a real sweetheart. Every morning she drops me off at work cause our offices are at the same area, and asks for nothing in return. I love how we have the same food adventures so we can always go do things like this. Get away from KL to get some good food!

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Palsaik Korean BBQ. Pal means eight, saik is colour. So it literally translates to eight colored bbq, and that’s what we’re about to it! Eight different flavors of samgyupsal.

These are the flavors in one full set. You can order sets in three I think, but since we have three in one setting –  ALL IT IS!

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Menu is in English. Dawn and I came a little early for Vivien who was still stuck at work. Good thing we arrived when we did at about 6.45PM because the crowd juts started flooding at 7.30PM. The queue outside just suddenly build up in a short few minutes.

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Unlike many local Korean restaurants, they served out kimchi on the pan – just the way we had them  Korea! Also had a little surprise when they served us thsi post of seafood soup! It looks like clear soup now but after it starts boiling, ingredients inside just start mixing together and it turns to a red hot pot of yummybunks!

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Long stretch of fresh vegetables for you to serve with the samgyupsal!

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They kept their cutleries in the drawer right beneath the dining table so its cleaner. Almost more convenient than to have to ask for them everytime.

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All eight flavours served!

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Glorious at sight, delicious at taste.  Couldn’t wait to taste all the flavors!

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Food is beginning to work its way to my tummy! EXTREMELY EXCITED!

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I swear that the Kimchi here nearly put me to tears. At some days we come across some people who smell like our past, or hear music that brings us back to nostalgic phases of our lives. But this kimchi. This kimchi gave me Korea. Yes, dramatic like that. It was SO good, and taste was SPOT ON. Hands down most perfect kimchi I’ve had in a looooooooooong time.

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We call a wrap like this a ssam. Double s because the s is strong. Give me ssam. #punintended

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Like many Korean restaurants, you can get yourself ssam cheese fried rice – which was also EXTREMELY good. Cheese was very rich on the rice and wasn’t barely there like some other restaurants.

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One downside about the whole experience is that the place gets extremely stuffy and your face just screams for an instant face wash. Your body will also feel like it needs a shower, pronto. Can you just look at that cheese dangling like a bungee jump gone wrong.

The whole meal costed us about RM 136 with tax included for three person. So that’s about RM 45 per pax. I walked away pretty full, not exactly a budget meal but worth indulging in once in awhile. Especially when you need that perfect Korean fix. The place is a long drive from where I live, so I probably won’t be visiting it too frequently. But oh, if it comes here to KL – it’s going down. I’m prepared to starve a week for just this one meal.

After the meal, the girls felt like some dessert so we went down to Cafe Bene (which is the current dessert hype on social media) to try their bingsu. Bingsu means shaved ice. I was pretty stuffed from the meal and don’t usually have a sweet tooth so both of them chose Strawberry bingsu. I gave it a little try, it was okay. I would still prefer Nabe in Ampang (I think I’ve never blogged about it) because it has alot of red beans and its quite sweet. It’s not bad at all – but I wouldn’t say its worth the queue lining up at their doors. I’ve gotta give them props for coming up so quickly amongst other cafes. Great start there.

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Vivien tried a couple of flavors she found this Strawberry Bingsu to be the best!

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And this is Dawn who looks extremely excited to try little bingsu out. Look at the people behind waiting to get a seat.  Feels so pressured to just quickly finish and have a conversation while they stare you down to vacate a seat for them.

It’s been a long while since I’ve done this and it does feel quite nice to be able to show you guys where to eat. Hope you find the place and if you need more details, you can always look through Palsaik Samgyupsal at https://www.facebook.com/palsaikmy.

That’s all for today! Goodnight :)

All In A Natshell

Hello all.

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 :)

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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 :)

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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.

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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.

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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.