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Wednesday, 31 December 2014

I Turned 31

Today is New Year's Eve and day 2 of our cruise in Halong Bay in Vietnam. It is also my first day of being 31.
I had a great birthday yesterday. The holiday in Vietnam and scenery in Halong Bay were enough of a birthday celebration, but there were some unexpected extras.
The hotel in Hanoi (Hotel de L'Opera) had left in our room tarts and chocolates along with a card the night before. The crew on our private boat surprised me with a birthday cake and a bunch of red roses.
Cruising Halong Bay is a beautiful way to celebrate my birthday and NYE. Halong Bay is absolutely breathtaking. The grassy rocks that just rise out of water are incredible, the air is fresh, the sunset is beautiful and the stars are bright.
The quiet and calm out here is an opportune time to reflect on the year that has been and wonder what is in store in the year to come. 
2014 was a challenging year. We had family crises at the start of the year and again at the end of the year. I also did the hardest thing I've had to do in my life - I quit my job.
It was hard because I wasn't ready to leave. I didn't want to leave my friends who are now family. We spent 8 to 10 hours each day, 5 days a week. We laughed, we joked, we grumbled; I shared my hopes and dreams with these guys. We will always be in touch, but it will never be the same.
With 2015 just on the horizon, I can't help wondering what my new job is going to be like and how my path and relationships will change.
I'm a little bit hesitant and there is still quite a bit of heartache, but I'm letting go and I'm moving on. I will welcome the new year with an open heart and with a glass half-full.
Bring on 2015!
Happy New Year, everyone!

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Goodbye

This was my desk. It was filled with a lot of pink, a lot of ambition, a lot of dreams, a lot of laughs, some tears, some heartache, and countless friendships.

Now it is empty.

It marks the end of a chapter to my life. A major chapter.

I'm not sure I really fully understand or realise what this means yet and I'm not sure I'm ready to move on. But I'm moving on.

Goodbye.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

The Pilot Mystery

I'm waiting to board a Malaysia Airlines flight to KL.

The pilot (I assumed he was the pilot - he had wings or maybe he was a co-pilot?) was sitting amongst the passengers, which I thought was rather odd.

I was pretty fascinated with this and managed to sneak a photo.

It wasn't until that he stood up and left that I started thinking...

WHAT IF THIS WAS A SOCIAL EXPERIMENT?

Maybe he was sitting there to be more 'accessible' to people but no one talked to him!!!

People always want to talk to the pilot (ok not all people, but many people, including I, would love to) and in the past, in some instances you could access the cabin mid-flight but as far as I know, that is no longer allowed due to security risks.

And the pilot was sitting right there! Anyone could've come up to him! And he was waiting!

I am regretting not actually saying hello.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Missing Milestones

There are sacrifices when one leaves home and sets up a new home in a different place - away from friends, away from family.

Sisters catch up in Singapore in 2012
  The hardest thing for me being away from friends and family is missing the milestones. 

Birthdays. Graduations. Weddings. Babies. 

Veronica's wedding in 2013
I'm grateful that it is nowhere near as hard as what it was in the past, or even in the present in under-privilaged societies or war-torn countries.

I'm grateful that we have social media to keep in touch very easily, and that we have access to affordable air transport to meet up every now and then. 

But, everytime a milestone comes up, it still brings up a pang of sadness, of hurt that I will miss another one

And it reminds me of the non-milestone moments that I've missed and will keep missing.

Parties. Lunches. Shopping. Coffees. Drop-ins. Movies. Laughter. Everyday life.

Sisters back in 2001/2002

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Perth Food Truck Rumble

Perth's first food truck festival, FOOD TRUCK RUMBLE, is on TODAY!

The Rumble brings together 17 food trucks, vans, and carts at the Perth Cultural Centre. DH & I are not usual fans of crowds, but decided to head down and have a look! We were going to meet up with Ninifoodielicious but unfortunately she couldn't make it.

Dessert vans

I was particularly interested in 3 trucks:

Jumplings (https://www.facebook.com/Jumplings)
- Because I've heard so many good things and this is as good as a time as any to try them out!

Jumplings

The Merrywell - Dude Food on Wheels (https://www.facebook.com/MerrywellPerth)
- Because I love dude food from the Merrywell!

The Merrywell - Dude Food on Wheels

Kustom Cupcakes (https://www.facebook.com/kustomcupcakes)
- Because it's pink! :P

Kustom Cupcakes

Kustom Cupcakes


We got there about 12pm and there was already a long line at the Jumplings truck. While DH obligingly stood in line, I went around taking a few photos. There wasn't a line at the Merrywell truck so I thought I'd come back later (mistake).

While still in line at Jumplings, Kustom Cupcakes started their cupcake eating competition at 1pm.


Kustom Cupcakes - Cupcake Eating Competition

Kustom Cupcakes - Cupcake Eating Competition

Kustom Cupcakes - Cupcake Eating Competition

After placing our order with Jumplings, we proceeded to The Merrywell, and oops, there was now a massive line. Should've ordered earlier when there was no queue! And unfortunately, by the time we got to the front of the queue, they had run out of most items including the Mac & Cheese Bites. :( (They were replenishing supplies throughout the day, but I think their supply guy was having trouble finding a parking spot. :P)


The Merrywell - Dude, Order Here

The Merrywell - Dude Food on Wheels

We found a park bench in the shade by the pop-up Cocktail Gastronomy bar area and whilst the food took a while, we enjoyed the atmosphere. When we got the food, it was worth the wait. There is a certain romance I find with eating food from a truck on a park bench. :)

Just Jumplings

Mini Burgers from The Merrywell

Mini Burgers from The Merrywell


Om nom nom

Yes, it was hot, the queues were long, and the trucks couldn't keep up with food orders, but it was the very first festival and no one probably anticipated the demand. We still enjoyed ourselves and thought it was well done (and we hate crowds, so that's saying a lot.)

The Rumble is still on right now til 8pm, so head down to have a look! (https://www.facebook.com/FoodTruckRumble)

I wish

I wish to be tall, skinny and beautiful.

Tall:

Well, I can't really do anything about being short, so the only way for me to be taller is to stand on a box wear heels. I can do that. Though, I haven't quite mastered wearing heels for 20 hours straight or running in them so more practice required there.

Skinny:

Ok, I'm not fat but I have a lot of flabby bits. And as I'm not tall (see above), every fatty bit just makes me look chunky.

AND I used to be skinny, so I just want to get back to that.

Young skinny me
I only have myself to blame for all the fat though - I love food and I'm not obsessed enough with being skinny to starve myself.

But, I'm started running. Or should I said, trying to run. I've only just started and my goals are:

1. to be able to run 5km nonstop by June; and
2. to be able to run 4km in 30 minutes by 11 May.

Hopefully this will help achieve skinny me! Regardless, it will increase my chances of outrunning a zombie in the event of an apocalypse. Ok, maybe a bit far fetched, but it will certainly help me outrun a villain and evade capture. Touch wood none of those things actually happen but I wanna be better prepared.

Beautiful:

Everyone wants to be beautiful. I wanna be beautiful. Not this healthy-self-image beautiful-inside everyone-is-beautiful deep stuff. I'm talking about the shallow stuff.

I wanna have a pretty face, gorgeous looks, great hair. I want people to see me and think she's alright, she's beautiful.

I don't think I'm ugly, but I don't think I'm beautiful either. I've never grown up thinking I was beautiful. I think I'm better now, and some days I feel pretty good, but I still don't think I'm beautiful. I think I can do better.

I want to look after my hair more, use makeup better, have better skin, wear great clothes, and be beautiful.


I wish to be tall, skinny and beautiful.

Work in progress.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Bedtime & Alarm Clocks

There are 2 very annoying things in my life:

1. Having to go to bed while I'm not tired.

2. Waking up while I'm still tired.

Why can't we just sleep when we want to and wake up when we've had enough sleep and work when you're awake, refreshed?

I get it that some stuff has to be scheduled, e.g. meetings,  events, etc. But on a normal workday with no pressing deadlines, I can see myself working from say, 10am to 6pm and that it shouldn't be a problem.

Hmmmmm....


Sunday, 2 March 2014

Oven Cleaning

Our oven needed a clean. Pink gloves on, armed with the super duty oven cleaner, I sprayed the (beep) out of the oven. After about 40 mins (instructions said at least 5 mins in warm oven), I got on my knees and started wiping and scrubbing it.

It wasn't clean enough and so I reluctantly warmed up the oven again. Pink gloves on, can shaken (not stirred), I started spraying. However, my insides decided they have had enough toxic fumes and refused to let me breathe. Not deterred, I grabbed the closest thing, i.e. the pink apron, covered the nose and mouth, and kept going.

After an hour or so, I attacked the oven again with paper towels and sponges. There is a stubborn blob that just simply won't budge. DH came around and had a go with a bit of Gumption. Also, at this time we discovered the heating elements came away from the roof at the removal of some clips.

So, DH sprayed the oven AGAIN, concentrating on the blob and the roof while trying not to poison himself with the fumes.

And then we trotted off to Bunnings to get washers to install a new sink and because I haven't had enough of cleaning and decided I need more cleaning stuff. Fun.

Sigh. So that is how I spent the Saturday of my long weekend. Still gotta clean that oven.

On the plus side,  see what I found at Bunnings. Hahaha..


What are you up to for the long weekend?

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Comments on Comments

I like social media. I like blogs, Instagram, YouTube. And I like browsing comments and occasionally leaving a comment or two.

All too often I come across:
- people promoting their own blog/page/site/video
- negative comments that don't even make sense
- trolling

And then the conversation goes on in an absolute tangent and it no longer has anything to do with the original post! Especially in cases of trolling, then it becomes a full blown war.

I don't get trolling or any negative (non-constructive) comment. There is so much on the Internet;  go find something you like! It is so unnecessary to say you don't like something or someone.

Why can't comments be just comments? Sigh.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

P.S. I Love You

O.m.g. I did not think that any movie could make me cry as much as The Notebook.

.... until I watched P.S. I Love You. Ho-ly Gua-ca-mo-le!!!! I was crying at every scene / act!!!


Coincidentally I watched both at times when I was emotionally fragile sensitive. I watched The Notebook when my then-boyfriend/partner was away overseas for work for a year. And I just watched P.S. I Love You on the flight back to Perth after being away for a week. Maybe that has something to do with all the crying.

Or maybe it's just because I cry at any scene that is even slightly sad. Or happy. Maybe I just cry at any emotional scene. For instance I cry a lot when I watch Grey's Anatomy. :x  And I guess every scene in P.S. I Love You is filled with emotion. ^_^

Kuching Eats: Sarawak Food

I was in Sarawak (Malaysian Borneo) for an unplanned family matter, specifically in the capital city of Kuching. ("Kucing" is cat in Malay - indeed the city is littered with various cat statues, monuments, a museum, etc.) My parents grew up in Kuching, and I was actually born there, but I mainly grew up in Miri (another city in Sarawak).

Made the best out of the unplanned trip to spend time with my parents and sisters; and also my relatives, whose house we stayed in for the duration of my trip. I haven't been to Kuching in years (maybe 15 years!?) so I haven't seen those rellies for that long.

Of course, I also took the opportunity to savour local Sarawakian food. As with any locality within Malaysia, each place has its own quirks, cultures and food. I suppose this is due to the flocking of migrants in the past to certain areas and them developing their own unique food and culture in that particular area. I'm not sure this is 100% accurate but a lot of settlers in Kuching were from Southern China, particularly Fujian / Hokkien or Teochew. Most Kuchingites speak Hokkien regardless of their race / heritage.

Sarawakian food is becoming more available in Australia but is still a rarity. These are some of the dishes I had in the past week:

(Photos taken with Samsung S4)

Sarawak Laksa

This is different from the dish commonly known as laksa in Australia. In Australia, laksa usually refers to curry laksa, which has a coconut milk base. This is also different from the asam laksa, which has a tamarind base.
The Sarawak laksa, instead, has a shrimp base. It is usually served with thin rice noodles, bihun, and not the yellow Hokkien noodles like curry laksa. It is also served with sambal belacan, a shrimp paste and half a lime, which again is unlike the lime found in Australia. It is a lot more tart and lends a unique zing to the dish.



Kueh Chap

This may make a lot of you queasy so you may want to skip this. This is one of my favourite meals for breakfast. Kueh Chap literally means "Mixed Noodles". The "noodles" are made out of rice flour and are the same stuff as flat rice noodles (Kueh Teow) except they are cut into squares / rectangles.
Ok here comes the queasy part. This dish is also known as "Pork Spare Parts Soup". This is because it is also served with every single part of the pig. Meat, intestines, ears, stomach, tongue, etc. etc. Yup.
I LOVE IT!



Cha Kueh

This is a fried radish dish. It is commonly fried with egg and tauge, bean sprouts. This is quite common in Miri too, but the ones in Kuching taste better. Also, Kuching also sells the 'sweet' variety which is not found in Miri. The 'sweet' version is not fried with egg or tauge, but is fried with a sticky sweet sauce. Both are quite different from each other.




Gu Bak Mee

This is very uniquely Kuching. This dish is quite scarce even in other parts of Sarawak, e.g. Miri.
It's noodles (much like kolok mee) served in a beef broth and served with slivers of tender beef. I had this in the old Kuching open air market and I believe these guys may have been there for 50 years or more! (I'm only guessing but it's been there since my dad was a kid.)


Ah, I ate plenty more but the ones above are more uniquely Sarawakian. Give them a go one day! :)