I think everyone who likes a good ballad will love this.
This is one of them beautiful ones since Shin Yong Jae’s <The Reason I Became a Singer>.
I think everyone who likes a good ballad will love this.
This is one of them beautiful ones since Shin Yong Jae’s <The Reason I Became a Singer>.
It’s not that I’ve been lazy but there haven’t been anything to talk about lately. Work has been great – I like what I do!
The most exciting thing that has happened lately was Grandma’s birthday
Unlike other Gram birthdays, this time we didn’t decide on any themes. We did decide to all come in blazer’s, making the theme the Queen and her Bodyguards but it was only decided a few hours before the dinner. So it turned out to be a failed plan We had loads of karaoke though. Went to this particular restaurant because they had in-room karaoke (staple for family dinners, apart from alcohol) but while we were just getting started and heated up, they switched off all displays at 11PM sharp! We were so angry. I was in the middle of singing my Jay Chou number!
Am also working on something interesting lately. I have been wanting to pick up guitar since a few years back. It jabs me a little everytime I see people sing along to the guitar. It’s been about two weeks since I first laid my hands on one. I was thinking of buying one but there were also hesitations since I didn’t know if I really wanted to do it. Thankfully, Ka Yi offered to lend me her classical guitar that was sitting in her room for months. So I did – and I’m glad she did. Now I know I really will get one, but only after I get used to it. So far I’m just in the midst of mastering the basic chords to play.
The first time I held it the guitar was pretty much out of tune and I had ZERO idea of how a guitar works so I spent an hour trying to figure out how to tune a guitar. Now it’s just an easy job, I wonder why I took so long to do it! I love tuning the guitar – makes me feel happy to see everything be in tune and to see the Tuner’s needle in the middle of the meter (that signifies its spot-on in tune!). If anybody needs any help tuning a guitar (fat chance) you can now consult me!
Here’s my first ever song! I dragged it so much cause I just couldn’t switch in between chords!
Besides the guitar, I’m also in the middle of a pending music project! It’s very exciting for me because its something I’ve always wanted to do but never got the time or determination to sit down and make. This time by God means I was given the chance so I hope everything goes well. Everybody around me knows how much of a big fan of this genre, so this really is HUGE for me. As much as I am jumping to get it done, I’m also worried if it’ll come out the way I want it to. Fingers crossed!
I’ve also been spending alot of time on this game called Everybody! Play. Everybody needs to play it with me. My id is @thenatstory. Or maybe it was @nataliechai. Or maybe you can’t play with me. But be my friend on KakaoTalk and we can challenge each other teehee. I lack competitors now to boost my points pfft. I also need more people sending me sunlights!
That’s pretty much what has been happening lately!
Catch up soon
Following the Legoland trip, we headed to Singapore in the bus the next day to the Universal Studios at Singapore. I’ve been waiting to get there since I first heard about it, so I was really excited! We only had about 6 hours or so in the park, and I was so afraid that we’d not be able to make it. We usually have to wait really long for rides at the theme park so I calculated that we’d only be able to get on about 5 rides in total, lunch hour included!
Before we start, here’s the dinner on the night of Legoland that sent us to bed like sleeping pigs. It was this alley in Johor that had loads of seafood restaurants, probably a tourist spot. The company had an agent to take care of our meals so it was all ready when we arrived.
Then it was already the next day! After breakfast, we were given two tickets. One was the entrance ticket, and the other was a food voucher worth $10. Jocelyn and I were so worried because I was the only one who had Singaporean currency (but extremely minimal). What if we wanted to get stuff? What if we wanted to eat more than $10 worth of food? Things must be extremely expensive in there. Well it’s not like we can pull out anyway, and even if we had to skip lunch from being too Singaporean dollar broke – we must earn the tickets worth by conquering all the rides!
I wanted to take a photo with the globe at the entrance but everybody who just arrived was also standing infront of it. I thought I could do it later when we finish so I didn’t. We walked in and I was already jumping inside. Betty Boop and Marilyn Monroe was already posing for photos infront of stores. There were Broadway singers on stage with a minimal amount of audience. One of them looked incredible like Cory Monteith I just had to pause and stare at him and imagine I was witnessing the awesomeness of the late Cory. They sung so well – I would’ve sat there the whole time but I had no time to spare!
The first ride we came across was the Transformers ride. It said 45 minutes but when we walked in there was only a short line to the door so there was no way it’d take so long. In no time we were already right infront of the door up the staircase and the queue was only beginning to build up beneath us by then. THAT, will take 45 minutes – I thought.
I was wrong.
The door that we were standing infront of wasn’t where the ride was. It was only the beginning of the endless number of rooms that we had to walk through and queue before we got on the ride. I had no idea what the ride was going to be. Initially it looked like it was a 4D motion show with possible water and heat effects. It should be. There wasn’t any screaming or whatsoever even from the final waiting room of the ride.
One of the displays in one of the hundreds of waiting room.
Room after room there were displays for us to look at from the movie. Each time we think it MUST be the end, we get led into another room with a massive queue upfront. This one one of another of the displays. I think it’s the tail to one of the characters.
Finally we arrived at the ride! I still didn’t know what the ride was going to be. A roller coaster? I’ve never been on a 4D show in a moving transport before so I thought it was definitely not going to be it. But we were given 3D glasses beforehand to wear in the ride so I was just playing guessing games with myself. This is a blurry photo because it clearly said no photos but I sneaked one.
The ride turned out SUPER amazing. We were recruits on a mission to fight the other robots. Visuals were super real, as we were transported from scene to scene in the vehicle. I had no expectations of the ride but I was genuinely surprised at how real everything really felt. I even dodged a hit at one time because the robot “got too close” for my comfort. But I couldn’t refrain from seeing how this amazing ride worked so I took my eyes off the front a little bit and managed to look around. I am suspecting that our ride’s transported into a room of three subsections that the ride can rotate in three’s. So imagine the ride to be a triangular rotation but visuals are so real that you don’t even realise you’re juts rotating from room to room.
Ah! Definitely the best ride of the visit – I must ride on this again!
Came out and met Bumble Bee. We wanted a photo with him too but the queue was just too long. We had to save it for other rides. This was the fastest way!
This was another queue for the Jurassic Park wet ride. I asked for one of the people in queue for a photo and I guess they take photos at the count of “1″.
We could buy ponchos for $3 in the middle of the queue, if u didn’t want to get wet. Because they warn rides that we may not only be wet, but SOAKED! Jo and I again didn’t want to spend money on this so we decided that if we get really wet we should air ourselves dry on one of the rides.
The entire ride was really scary mainly because we didn’t know where would the really wet area be. I kept my head on the lookout for the course up ahead. I was ready to get wet, but I wasn’t ready to be soaked. We all sit in 360 with about 8 other people and I was in the middle, so I guess I wouldn’t be that soaked as compared to the rest.
And we slide down the final slope. And it was a huge slop of splash.
But we weren’t wet. This other guy was dripping water of his T-shirt.
I guess you could say we had a pretty safe dinosaur mission there.
While looking for other rides we met Jack Sparrow – who was very willing to take a photo with us.
Jocelyn sending off her million dollar fake smile for the camera person.
“I really don’t want to take photos of myself. With myself”
So we shall take photos together.
Or maybe her of me. I don’t mind.
We then came across the Shrek castle, where we spot Gingerbread Man from far away. This was probably the first time in two days she asked for a photo with one of her favorite characters. Gingerbread man, you steal hearts.
“Shall I take this home?”
No she didn’t. You’ll see why.
At this time we were about to move into our new office in KL so we were looking for things to decorate our desks with. Jocelyn had an empty mini white board that could use some magnets so we stood infront of this pretty long. We ended up walking away and not coming back. You’ll see why.
Finally met the legendary Puss in Boots. One thing I realised about the supervisors of these characters were that they are all pretty angsty about little children or even adults like us wanting to take photos with the character. It’s a theme park, and even if the situation didn’t allow – it wouldn’t hurt to just say that pictures are not allowed at the moment in a nice tone. Supervisors were almost literally shooing people away. Mascots were nice and flexible enough to attend to a few along the way and satisfy hearts.
What if my dream idol was the Puss in Boots but I just got shooed away by some random man looking after my idol. I’ll then grow up to not be able to have met my idol ever again! That will make me a very sad child.
“No more photos, young lady!”
He was actually really just posing for me. How sweet!
This is one of the slow Madagascar rides that take you in a tunnel of Madagascar displays. Pretty cool if you ask me.
We were actually waiting to rush out to catch one of the shows that were listed in the directory. I thought it was going to be one of those sit-down shows where we get entertained for about 30 minutes or so with audience interaction. Turned out to be a dance performance. We stopped by for a while and decided to look for other rides.
Shrek and Princess Fiona were in the middle of a date, probably also hurrying to catch the show at WaterWorld! Jocelyn caught it once in the States but she insisted that we had to catch it again cause she loved it THAT much!
The show had audience section seats. There was the SOAK zone, WET zone and the Dry Zone. Hopefully I got the names right. So the performers (who are essentially part of the play) came out before the show started to interact with the audience for a bit and the Soak zone was already drenched before the show started!
The zones are really no joke! I was kind of soaked on one side despite being in the Wet/Splash zone. It was a really fun show to watch – I’d recommend that everybody come catch this if they ever get to the Universal Studios!
Finally stopped for Churros! I absolutely love theme park Churros and I have almost confirmed that only theme parks can give me the kind of churros I like. The churros here at USS was not as good as I wanted it to be, but closest to what I have been craving for for the past 5 years ever since I feel in love with them in the theme park in Seoul!
When we were done taking photos everywhere, we decided to catch one last show. I think this was called the Special Effects show where they show you how a set is made up for different situations, weather and all. It was a really great sight! I seriously felt like the typhoon outside the windows (plainly visuals) were real and a monsoon was happening right before my eyes. Photos are horrible but the more reason for you guys to go check it out yourselves.
What Steven Spieldsberg work with!
Before we finally left USS, Jo had to walk back into the Sesame Street store to get her Cookie Monster pillow that she had laid eyes on. She had Gingerbread Man in her head, until Cookie Monster called out for her ownership. She never turned back. Here’s a photo of her and her happy with her blue monster.
This was Hollywood.
Where we met Charlie Chaplin.
After we toured the whole place there was about 30 minutes left so we quickly ran over the globe (that still had an endless queue of people surrounding it) for the mandatory photos when you’re in USS.
Here’s 5/6 of us in the team/company!
Just 3 months here in the company but it was still a pleasant and comfortable trip to be at with this group of new people in another chapter of my life. Grateful for this chance to be able to visit the Universal Studies alot sooner than I had planned to! Now the real war comes in very soon!
I recently got back from a company trip to Legoland in Johor Bahru (a city in Malaysia) and Universal Studios in Singapore. Expenses were almost entirely sponsored by the company, so I came back as a really happy 23 year old. I’ve been meaning to step into Universal Studios since forever – but entrance fees was incredibly high for my comfort. I was thinking of finally going there with my family by next year, but since I was granted to opportunity – I guess I could go twice! I love theme parks, so I’m definitely not complaining.
When I first heard that we were going to Legoland before heading further down to Universal Studios (on a separate day of course), I frankly wasn’t very much interested. I’ve heard pretty bad reviews about it by peers (too hot, too expensive, too empty etc) so I wasn’t looking forward to it. Since it was all planned, I just followed with extremely low expectations of the place. I spent so much time in the souvenir shop that was located right at the entrance simply because I didn’t expect there to be too many things to look at anyway.
I was pretty much wrong.
Everything at Legoland had so much detail put into making each display. I wasn’t expecting a Malaysian based theme park to actually be so pretty. I personally grew up with Lego, and we all know how much effort it takes to really work up some masterpiece with those tiny little bricks. They had so many kinds of displays, and some had sound effects that sounded so real it kind of felt like it gave the Lego display a hint of life.
I was personally at awe being there. Frankly, the rides were a little unfit for adults to be on as they’re more designed for child-thrill. Alot of the rides including roller coasters were just okay, and didn’t exactly pursue the screaming factor when they built it. However, I could clearly see that the waterpark is cooking up amidst all the done work so I hope that would bring in more crowd for them. They definitely deserve more visitors for its work done.
I shared rooms with Jocelyn. We’re both dead logs when it comes to sleep. Even before we knew about the trip we already discussed about how both of us should NEVER get a room together because we’ll never wake up (alarms, fire alarms, shoutings etc). So finally when we both had to be in a room, we gave a key to Alexa to safe guard so she can come in and pour water on our faces if we really don’t wake up on time. Good news is, we did! But we still had to eat our breakfast in vacuum mode.
Received our admission tickets right after breakfast before boarding the bus. I frankly don’t know how much it costs per entrance.
Waiting for our bus. Jocelyn and I were put in Bus 3 and it was always the last to come. So others always get 10-15 minute extra to get around the destination areas! Boo.
Considering that Legoland was also in Johor, where we stayed, the drive there was pretty long. I think Jocelyn and I (who I now self appoint as Royalties of Sleep) pretty much dozed off the whole travelling period which took up probably 30-45 minutes. Post breakfast sleep is sometimes very much irresistable.
We also brought Tube along, the KakaoTalk doll. He lost his mind even before entering and got some kids to illegally get him in. Good thing it was so convenient for Jo to bring him around because there was a hole in between his arms, she just tied him up on the sides of her bag. Stay there, naughty Tube!
He was very hungry.
Some of them Lego characters in the souvenir shop. All the vibrant colours hurts my eye abit writing this post.
Mini figure keychains on sale. They were a little pricey, but I guess as Lego’s, it is pretty much what many would call the ‘standard price’. There were loads of characters such as the Harry Potter, Ninja Turtles, Superman, The Hulk, Dark Vader etc. Warning : You might get a little cock eyed.
Say hello to Jocelyn! She doesn’t like taking photos but because I don’t like my photos to just be of sceneries all the time, she was my only victim! Smile, Jocelyn, smile! This chef talks too – I think he was saying something about bread pfft.
Tube getting a little rest with the snoring old man. He really snored. Please look at all the amazing details! I love this place.
We don’t trust Tube’s driving skills – but okay.
Here’s the beginning of our super exciting rides.
Jocelyn and I just stared at each other romantically during the ride.
We also went on this ride that goes 360 sideways. There are button stations for the onlookers to press on that triggers a canon waterbomb from underneath the water to get the riders wet. We got on the ride waiting to get wet but I found myself almost pleading onlookers to press on the buttons.
But there was nobody. Meh.
Tube is a little naughty sometimes. He gets confused who his real friends are.
Said hello to one of the characters at the entrance of one of the rides. This was one of the better rides for adults, but I still saw 10-year old kids happily riding it with no fear pfft.
Well, Tube was a little scared.
Overlook of the entrance of The Dragon coaster ride.
Since Tube got a little shaky in his legs, we said he could sit down and read a fairytale. He fell asleep in two seconds, even before the second page.
I loved the interior design of The Dragon. I took this photo from the side after getting down. The introduction part of the ride reminded me of the E.T ride I took in Disneyland. Everything was so beautifully decorated. I really like effort and details and I give them 11 thumbs of for that (?)
We both then took a rest just a little before call time. Got one of the people there to take a photo but only this one came out clear! /facepalm
“Me wants drink too”
Sometimes Tube likes to role play too. We just choose to walk away.
Jo and I noticed this super chill ride while being on one of the roller coasters (Yes, WHILE riding the roller coaster pfft) so we decided that we HAD to get on this super cool horse.
Only to be rejected at the entrance. Only for kids. Hmph.
Okay, so we started doing adult stuff like sightseeing all around the world at Legoland.
We went to China
We found out Tube was a huge fan of Mao, he insisted a photo with him.
They made this rooftop section on top of the Suria KLCC mockup. I pressed on this button and each instrument popped up one by one playing music! Very cool.
We met Lego, who has super skinny legs.
Someone recognised Tube halfway, so I had to tell them which angle was best to film and interview him from.
Halfway, Jocelyn couldn’t take it so she took over the camera.
We were running out of time because it was only then we realised there were a few more areas we haven’t walked around yet but it was almost call time. Ran into a cop, dammit.
Bad time to run out of petrol.
Halfway getting to the leftover areas, we (seriously) bumped into Legoman earlier and for some reason it was running at thunder speed towards us! I was seriously so shocked I ran away screaming and then I ended up here pfft. He then went missing. Mysteries of Legoland, please don’t scare your visitors like that.
Jocelyn chillin with some firemen.
We had to get pass the security check at one point and got held back because they found some weird boxers in one of our luggages.
TUBE was also identified as a chicken. He’s a duck!
Met this guy with the super cool vest so I asked for a photo!
We were supposed to get back on the bus by 6, but we were already running late so we quicky had someone to randomly take a jump shot expecting it to fail real bad. But we got this!
And that was the end of Legoland 2013!
Here’s a little something fun I did lately!
I know broadcasting, filming and production has always been my passion. It nearly became my major, but things wouldn’t fall in place back. I took it as a sign and graduated with a degree in communications instead, which I am also very happy about. However, the Above still hasn’t neglected my passion and has given me an opportunity to somehow continue doing what I like with some really talented people. Frankly, before doing this I almost had no idea what it all was. Sometimes I get messages from juniors I didn’t know to help them in their videos for assignments. I always said yes, probably nothing bad would happen – they going to be in the campus compound anyway – but for some odd reason things always gets in the way so I never got to help out with many.
Anyway, to cut things short – in compensation of how my Photobucket isn’t cooperating with the bandwith, here it is.
“How To Make A Korean Video”
Subscribe to these guys at The Ming Thing too, they make awesome videos in Youtube.
These days I’m feeling a little more organised and settled down, so here’s an update of what I’ve been doing!
I’m going to go chronologically of what has happened, and only of those I have photos of!
Met Keegan during his break from UK. It’s always pleasant to meet this guy because he is so nice and patient at almost everything! It was his birthday so we went for dinner (where we missed sight of a super cute waiter!) at Pavilion. Went to get a slice of cake for him to blow candles off from, but Godiva didn’t have candles so we walked around searching for candles in Pavilion. Finally one of the cake shops gave them to us for free. I’m guessing Keegan was a little stressed out because birthday songs stress him out and the idea of us just walking around insisting to get a candle was stressful. Haha, because if I was in his position I would be really like “Come on guys. Please don’t do this! T___T”
Anyway we got back up to Godiva and their cakes turned out to be alot more affordable then I ever expected them to be.
Right before we left, Keegan stood up and holy – his butt had imprinted the shape of a heart on the chair teehee.
Just about two weeks ago, I also attended the MTV World Stage 2013 held at Sunway. I tried locating tickets through the website but I’m never lucky when it comes to these lottery contests. Since I was translating for MTV for their interviews, I just requested for two passes so that I can bring a friend along too. Although we got the VIP tickets, we discovered that the observation area was really far from stage so Dawn and I proceeded to the normal area. We were there just when the right side of the Normal Area was about to be opened and ended up being at the first row behind the bars before everyone came in. I didn’t dare look behind to see the crowd building behind me because I KNEW it was going to be tremendous.
Usually during concerts I opt to stand right far behind so that I get to sit down after 30-45 minutes. My back gives me a bad time if I stand up for way too long but since we were caught up ahead there was no chance of bending down to stretch my back at all. Frankly, it was quite dreadful. I had to take chances of the breaks to just stretch back and front. When EXO came, it was a thunderstorm. It was a bittersweet moment. At one side, I was feeling really proud of the group for gaining so many fans in such a short span of time. But on the other hand I thought I was going to just faint from a backache – especially when everybody rushed forward to catch a better glimpse of the boys. I kind of gave up halfway and decided to lean on the bar and support by spirit.
There were also really unethical fans at the section infront of us who brought stools to stand on, and if that wasn’t enough – they held LED boards and blocked everybody’s view from behind. Concerts should really ban stools in future, really bad for audience experience. Everyone was throwing stuff at the lady and cursing her from behind. It didn’t help that the security guards were trying to not see the calls for help.
A few days later, it was Cynthia’s wedding!
Cynthia’s a friend I met in high school. I still remember her first day in school. We all thought she was Japanese because she had such a lolita-style sense of fashion. She didn’t have the school uniform during the first week yet so her choices of clothing were fish nets, tutu skirts and so forth. Slowly, she realised she was spending alot of money for fashion that didn’t suit her – and changed forever! Us girls in high school always talked about who was going to get married first etc. 6 years later after high school, two in the group has already gotten married. One even has two kids! Such a wonder how quickly time just passes.
So happy for Cynthia too because I’ve met her husband a couple of times and he is a sweetheart whom I believe will take good care of her! It was also nice because having a high school friend get married also means a mini high school reunion! I got to meet some ex-classmates and also some juniors whom I haven’t met in ages. So nice to see how everybody has moved forward, but still have that goofiness in them.
There was also the day I attended Zalora’s River Island launch with the colleagues, who are all sweethearts. We’re all going on a short trip to JB and Singapore soon so would be expecting photos from that too! It really is one thing to get the job you want, but another thing to end up with people you can actually work with. It is a new family for all of us. My current company is considerably a start up in Malaysia despite being really big in its origin country – but with all the positive vibes that I’m already feeling for the past month I’ve been there. I can see this thing grow! We can do this!
Collection was actually really nice and sweet. I’ve been out of my head trying to look for outfits that are semi formal and semi casual and River Island’s collection was actually really what I’ve been looking for. Pop by HERE and have a look if you want!
And most recently, it was Mid Autumn festival so my whole family just spent time at my Grandmother’s and had steamboat! We always play with traditional candles after (because we all really cannot take all the digital lanterns with music that loops 54 times in an hour before the battery dies). This year it was a little bit more quiet and everybody didn’t seem too initiative but we still put some up to make the house look pretty.
Before this, countless people have told me that they know I can do this.
But because I always have a thing for perfection, especially when it comes to providing services to professionals – I always take a step back because I lack that push from the inside of me. I’ve always wanted to try, but I can’t risk somebody else’s project just to test run my own capabilities. It just wasn’t fair. Despite being involved in various similar events somewhat doing what I was summoned for this time, I was never assigned specifically as this – because it never occurred to me that I was ever good enough. I knew I was good at it, but never imagined to be even close to being good enough from a professional perspective.
This time when the offer came, I decided to take it as a calling – a stepping stone. I just thought of it as a strange connection of how things have come together in dotted lines. The parties involved were far stretched, and would never have imagined the only contact available to these people at the end to only be me.
I have to admit I hesitated, as usual. But I took it up, and feared later.
I predicted two sides to taking up this job from the start. One, was that I’d be at ease from finding comfort from the relevant parties among the present. I could imagine it as a favor for a friend. Two, was that I’d end up drawing question marks in everyone’s head just because I screwed up from trying to be too perfect, because I didn’t want to screw things up for such a prestigious event. Especially not for rookies in the industry.
It turned out to be three. To be given confidence out of nowhere in the midst of preparation. And everything turned out alot smoother than I had feared it to be.
Then I heard one of the best thing’s I’ve heard in a long while, one that will ring in my head and push me to move on further. It will remind that these challenges don’t knock on my doorstep for nothing.
And so it begins.
I gave some thoughts on putting this up, but I figured I shouldn’t let a small percentage of people hinder myself from writing this memorable life motivation moment up!
Forgot about this space for abit now that I’ve started work. I really like my workplace because everyone in my team – we’re sort of in the same wavelength. And that makes work and communication alot easier. Anyway, I just want to show you guys from of the photos that I have yet to post but will make full posts of. One photo for each missing post so I can also remind myself.
There were just too many things that I have left out and would still want to share with you guys!
Like the time we had..
Our farewell dinner with the Phillipinos.
My trip to the great wall
That time we celebrated Christine’s birthday and made her cry at the best hotpot place in Beijing!
That time we went to Guilin and Yangshuo
And had a roadside accident when I was cycling
When Mike dunked his face into the cake that we wanted him to dunk his face in.
When we stuffed ourself so bad for the 200 kuai All You Can Eat teppanyaki
When we had our super final round of San Guo Sha before Fenny left a few hours later
When we had our final chuanr (skewers) by the roadside right opposite the campus entrance. 7 different nationalities all in one seating
All the wonderful times!
Ah, all the wonderful times!
The first month back in KL here has been very fruitful. Never would I have thought that so much could be packed into one month. I’ve always been the type to lay back, waiting for things to happen. I strongly believe that what’s meant to be, will eventually be. However, I think its time that I got the sign now. Beijing has in a way carved something deep in me, and that is to initiate. Many wonderful things happen when you initiate. I also beat myself up alot for not being able to move around, so I often give in to the fact that its just “not time yet” for me to do stuff. I think I might have lost many great friendships/chances to do many great things. Slowly I began thinking, I am hitting mid 20s in a few years and when it does – life will speed up so much more. I want to be able to reach 30, look back and say “that was one hell of a ride” and be proud of it.
I don’t need a thrilling youth. I don’t need the alcohol, the drugs or anything that will make me do things I’ll regret. All I want is to feel like I’ve met the best people I could meet at that point of time, done the best that I could have done, tried the things I should have tried. People see this differently, and some may think that I should have done this or that at this point of time. Then again, nobody has a guide book on how and when people should grow and mature.
Coming back to life in KL, everything is great.
Many things happened in within just one month of touch down from Beijing. I landed myself a job, met up with a few amazingly nice people, blessed with tickets to a concert and a photography session with one of my long-time favorite musicians, witnessed my cousin’s wedding while visiting the beautiful land of Jogjakarta for the first time ever, and got some rest time to settle down before I start another chapter of my life. All in the span of three weeks. I see this as being beyond blessed. Slowly I have realised the meaning to be given so many chances to explore the outside world. When I was on the plane to Seoul in 2008, I thought I was grown up enough to be travelling alone. Two months after I turned 17, on my way to this place where everybody spoke a foreign language that I have just learnt. Five years later, I look at my brother who is turning 17 in a few months and I think “Holy cow, I was young. How did my parents find the guts to put me on that plane”. Little did I know 5 years later, I’d be on another plane to a similar place but this time three months after turning 22. I don’t know, but just the single thought of me having to be able to live in three different cities of the world by the age of 22 makes me feel very, very blessed. And lucky.
And I wouldn’t exchange with anybody else.
I don’t want to jinx it by saying it, but here’s what I sincerely feel about the people I have met throughout my 22 years and 9 months of life. It is fine to be skeptical, but I just have to say that every person that God has send into my life, has been a gift. This includes family and friends. I always find it a mystery, how I meet these friends by chance and they all turn out to be the type that I always love but never dare ask for. I don’t want to walk into a room, hand pick a few people and say I’m just going to friends with the ones I chose.
But somehow I think we’re always drawn together magically, like magnetic needles. I feel like I’m blessed with the ability to identify those whom I will probably remember for life, for the brief or lifelong encounter I’ve had with them. These people may be from Malaysia, Beijing or Seoul – wherever God has taken me and gifted us with our first hellos. They have been and are still amazing and people who look out for me, and although I don’t really know how to express gratitude or sometimes overdo it to feel less awkward – these friends and family have been there.
I think I’m also learning to be more and more grateful than I am now, and I feel that’s what’s important to keep your head down in anything you do and in whatever you succeed at. Never found the meaning to travelling only until recent years, when I realise there’s so much out there that we don’t know – and that we really are capable of learning so much. I was even more inspired to do serious travelling when I met M in Beijing. M was humble, funny, quirky and intelligent. We travelled together to a couple of places with a few people, but what inspired me to learn about the world was by observing him. I’ve never met anybody who travelled like him, and remember thinking “Yes, this is how travelling should be like.”
He never really took photos. He also never really bothered about “being” where everybody thought they had to be in certain places. For 23 years of life, all I cared about travelling was just observing how people live, eating the local food and taking photos at touristic spots. I sincerely thought that was all to being in a foreign country. While we were all bickering with each other on whether if we looked good in photos, M always walked away to talk to locals – trying to understand how their life was. When we got in cabs, he asked them about how they end up being cabbies. When we walk in villages, he talks to them about their past. When we walk in cities, he talks to the locals sitting at the next table about their families.
And then I realise, that is travelling.
Understanding the place was more important that having photos to proof you have set foot there. That was a golden piece of lesson that I have learnt that he never taught me.
Probably, just probably – the best lessons are those that you unintentionally observe, and not the ones you intentionally learn. I am glad I was given the chance to explore the other side of the world, albeit only a humble few places, but enough to motivate and inspire me to, one day, be a real traveller who learns along her path.
One of the most amazing things I’ve seen from China, was sadly not through experience but through the 22 inch TV in my living room. I remember being at such awe watching the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony. Everything was extremely beautiful, and everyone in my course was rushing to fly over to Beijing from Seoul back in 2008. What I initially thought was a crazy idea, turned out to be one that I have unfortunately missed and hoped I went for. Actually, even if I could turn back time I know I wouldn’t be able to afford to go because prices to fly over and admission tickets were so hiked up, I could afford a whole other semester in Yonsei.
Coming to Beijing this year in 2013, I decided that even if I missed the ceremony – I still had to see the place for myself. That amazing structure that glowed in the dark from that tv screen, figurines hanging on strings, fireworks all around. The Bird’s Nest was the first place that I looked out for upon the first hour I arrived in Beijing, heading towards the university. I remember asking the cabbie if we would pass by the Olympics Stadium, or if we could. He told me we would, but he wasn’t sure if I’d be able to see it because pollution was extremely bad and we might take another way if there was traffic ahead.
As a travelling paranoid, especially when I am alone, I always make sure to have all my valuables kept tight infront of me in a bag. But I was too excited. Too excited for the fact that I would be able to look at the Bird’s Nest with my own eyes. I whipped out my phone and just waited and waited for the stadium to appear.
It took about 45 minutes.
I didn’t get to see it.
For the past months while I have been in Beijing, I think I passed by the Bird’s Nest a total of 5 times in a cab. Probably two in the day, and 3 at night. Everytime we pass by, I get a similiar feeling to what I always feel when I stare at the Petronas Twin Towers right beneath it. Spectacular, spectacular, spectacular.
However, I never got to go to the Bird’s Nest along my whole semester. I couldn’t find anybody to do it with me, and weather was always so bad I knew I wouldn’t be able to take beautiful photos to do the architecture justice. Soon enough the semester came to an end, and I had to leave in two weeks. There were a list of places that we had to go to, but I secretly really looked forward to the Olympic Stadium the most. Fenny and Cris decided that we could all go together, and so we did.
It was a really bad day, weather was smoggy and grey. Clouds were nowhere to be found, not even the slightest shade of blue peeked out from the skies. I was not too impressed, but I knew I had to do it. Living in Beijing, getting great weather is almost like getting free Dominoes pizza vouchers for being delivered late. It happens, but not too often. couldn’t wait all week and risk not going at all.
Thanks to the local Chinese and their amazing photgraphy skills, we have a perfect photo of our proofshot.
The Bird’s Nest from near.
There were at least 50 people selling these kites all over the Beijing Olympic Park. We were just discussing how people would actually walk pass and go “Hey, I want to get one of those kites”. The we walked a little further and realised, almost every family had it.
Okay, the Chinese maybe.
Some Olympic torch statue that caught my eye. The park was huge, and we were heading towards a Salad Bar at a nearby mall for dinner. We were tired from the walking but I had to walk over to take a photo of it. Also remember inspecting it for a good 5 minutes with Cris, wondering it lights came on at night. At the end of our brilliant inspection, we realised there was no wire attached to it or anything for it to light up.
Thanks for coming with us Fenny although you’ve already been here.
We stayed at the underground mall for a couple of hours just enjoying the New York Salad restaurant where the salad bar was only for 48 kuai (if I remember correctly). We were waiting for the lights at the park to come on. Had really long conversations with the girls playing “Kill, Date and Marry”. That took 500 hours and when we headed out, it was already dark.
Man, local Chinese really knows how to do their recreational stuff. We came back up to a whole different environment. There were tons of recreational activities going on in the same park that we walked at. Old people were singing from karaoke boxes, middle aged men were twirling tops, women would be doing rhythmic aerobics and kids would be rollerblading and skateboarding. Music from the old and new was coming from all sorts of directions, and now there were even more kites.
Most importantly, the lights were all lit up by then as it was already 8.00PM. We heard lights go off at 9.30PM so we made sure not to get pass that. It was a really beautiful sight to see, not even bad weather ruined the night. The bright lights pierced through the fog and pollution, and we were just in whoo’s and whoa’s.
All our bags had to be screened before entry. No charges for entrance to the park, but you’d have to pay to get in the stadium. I wanted to check out how much it’d be but we couldn’t find the entrance.
This was the Aquaria
And I like when it changes into blue.
If I could have an idol in the form of a building, this may just be it.
In the midst of taking 600 photos, this man literally jumps in after observing us and asks if we wanted him to take our photo. Man, we’re taking our own photo here mister.
Seriously China, you can try – but you can never take them too seriously. After a few months there, you just have to learn to laugh it off and look at it positively. And that marks the end of our my dream destination of Beijing.