Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Bangkok On A Whim

Somewhere in mid-September, I decided that life was getting a bit too much for me to bear. As I was driving to work one morning, I thought to myself - I need another holiday.

I'm not one for running away from my problems. I'd like to think that I'm the type of person who handles and manages stress quite well.. but things got kinda overwhelming and I, as usual, was yearning for a getaway. But my favourite travel companion; my boyfriend was bogged down with a lot of work. I know I would go insane if I didn't get out of this place and instead of just waiting and wishing, I booked flight tickets for one to Bangkok and an Airbnb apartment for the following week, and called it a day.

Remember in this post I mentioned that the time spent by myself was one of the best time of my life? I love the freedom and exhilarating experience of walking in a foreign country on my own, listening to conversations I don't understand and deciding (or not) when and what to eat.

It was my second time in Bangkok this year, third in total. The places I went were new yet held a hint of familiarity. Though a short trip, it was needed for me to isolate myself from life back home and recharge. I didn't take that many photos - I made it a point not to be on my phone so much. Those with a timestamp are taken on "film".

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I like how these photos evoke a sense of loneliness but believe me, I was anything but that. I know it's not hardcore backpacking across the country for a month but it's still some much-needed 'me time' away from it all to think, to reflect. And in case you're wondering, yes I am proud of the fact that I can drop everything behind for a while and travel somewhere on my own on a whim.

Instead of always harping on it, just do. Just go. Sometimes, you just gotta put yourself first.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Ici à Paris

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I've been in sort of a funk lately.

Could be the drab weather we've been having. Maybe it's the inconsistent work/off days that had me on a stop-go-stop-go mode.

Either way, nothing has made me miss Paris more than now (so far). The thought of being away, in a place which I am not familiar with and where I know no one, and no one knows me: it's safe to say that being there for a week by myself was one of the best moments of my life.

Back story: I was actually there on work assignment to cover the Paris Air Show and Skytrax Award (the Oscars of the aviation industry) and which right-minded person would not extend the trip? Naturally, lots of pictures were taken on that trip, which I will not cram them all in this post.


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I'm not gonna be all poser and stuff and say that I wasn't impressed or blown away by this place. Man, every corner I turned was a feast for the eyes. Funny how it never crossed my mind to visit Paris or France yet there I was. The universe works in weird and wondrous ways. Having lunch on the Eiffel, sitting in parks, strolling aimlessly.. looking at these shots makes my heart feel full and immediately transports me back. One day, I shall again.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Hello, for the nth time

It's been a little over a year since my last post. I've once again abandoned my blog (are blogs still relevant?) and again, harboured thoughts about reviving it. I have a few drafted posts that I never got around to publish and the top of that list is my graduation. Yes, after five long years, I finally graduated.. last year.

And I just came back from Paris. Yes, a lot of things went on without being documented here. I will get around to it.

Promise.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

What's Cooking, Chef Wan?

If you grew up in the late 80s or 90s like me, chances are, you grew up watching Chef Wan. Who else remembers plonking themselves before the television at 1pm on weekdays (or was it just me?) to watch him whip up delicious-looking local cuisines peppered with his unique and bubbly personality. As cooking shows come and go, Datuk Chef Wan is our very own chef personality that made a name for himself that actually stuck through the years. Even until now, he is still very much in demand. Recently, he was in town at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel as part of his cooking tour to promote the best of his versions of the Malaysian cuisine and I jumped at the chance to attend! It was actually my colleague Kathleen's assignment to cover him and though I was on leave to complete my university papers, I did some turbo typing to complete the 2,500-word essays just to go out that evening. Talk about determination. And boy, was it worth it!

I was kinda starstrucked seeing him before my eyes (imagine what it would be like seeing Jamie Oliver). How he is on the telly, how he is in person! Every the bubbly and funny guy, it was a nice surprise to see that he made sure to say hello and shook hands with everybody in the room. Even after he started his cooking demonstrations and some of the audience came in late, he made it a point to say hi and even snapped photos of the guests haha! He cooked 3 dishes: Kari Laksa Bibik Neo, Nasi Ulam Diraja and Ayam Panggang Madura.

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Here we were all complaining of hunger and he cheekily grabbed a cloth and fanned more of the smoke our way. "Ha, lapar? Nahhh bagi you all!"

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Ayam Panggang Madura. Tastes like yam perk but 26x better.

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Nasi Ulam Diraja

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All I can say is, the moment the mixture of spices hit the wok, the room was instantly filled with wafts of hunger-inducing fragrance. He shared nostalgic snippets of his childhood, growing up with baba-nyonya heritage and his journey as a chef in Malaysia and abroad over the years. After a good few hours, the food was ready and my, oh my the smell was just crazy. After the demonstration, while all the excited (and I mean super excited) makciks and kakaks rushed to snap photos with the chef, Kathleen and I headed straight to the food for a sample. BOY WAS IT DELICIOUS. Probably because we were all starving by then but I mean, I knew it was going to be delicious, but whoa it was so delicious. Totally didn't take photos of the laksa because it was gobbled up before I even had the chance to do so!

In the end we managed to sneak a photo with him, even got a selfie out of it! The hotel instantly printed out the photos for us, which we got him to sign! Now it's attached to my fridge whee!

I feel that he is such an accommodating person, honestly. Because one of the many kakaks AKA Super Fan, took group photos with him, single-person shots and then whipped out a friggin monopod for selfies. A smiling and joking Chef Wan was a good sport throughout and just layan je. I guess he is used to all the attention after countless shows and interaction with these women over the years right? Later, he even uploaded a photo with me and Kathleen in it on his Instagram (ma, I made it lol)!

He was very chatty throughout the whole event as he is on his shows and watching his antics while he cooked was a joy. He had the room in stitches the moment he came in, right until the end, and more. Despite his obligations, he sat down for some Q & As with us reporters and he gave us all the answers that we didn't even need to ask questions for. :D Definitely an event to remember.

And just because I am missing his nasi ulam so badly today, here's a photo of him tasting the food before serving.. as he should.

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Signed,
Your Super Fan.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Reset

Not even a month into 2016 and I'm already requesting for a reset. Seems like it was just yesterday that I tried to set my priorities straight but now I am feeling a slight loss in direction. Where to next? I am not only talking about the next lunch spot but where I should head to as a person.

When you're no longer sure, it is difficult to look beyond the smokescreen that is your comfort zone and take a leap of faith. What if it's not worth it? What if the jump leads to worse things? How do I do it? These questions plague my mind.

I wonder how it used to be so easy for me to take a step back and just.. reset. Now I am left wondering how and where to start.

We'll see.