I had to fill in a form for work today, and it asked me for my residential addresses from the past 7 years. That means from February 2012. Believe it or not, that’s actually 6 residential addresses back in time. I had to dig up old letters and Google forgotten street names.

My room in Oxford

As I typed out the once-familiar addresses, repeating the block numbers and postal codes in my head, careful not to make any mistakes, I recall the people I lived with. I remember getting caught for having N stay over at the dormitory (we were trying to catch shooting stars) right after I sent her off. I remember going on house tours with E and Y and subsequently moving in together, the regular hotpot dinners we have during winter. I remember having a posh experience in the accommodation I was assigned to in the UK – daily housekeeping, y’all! I remember the friendly housekeeper. I remember then moving into the most havoc place I will ever live in, a sharehouse in Tokyo filled with the most interesting characters and also, raging hormones (LOL). It seems like it is true what they mean by home is actually a person – or in my case, people.

But we aren’t supposed to keep looking backward. I hope the person I’m going to find a forever home in, is not too far away from today.

the days are long but the years are short: january round-up

I am so ashamed of myself. I have had so much time in my hands yet I have yet to even begin writing for Medium. Publishing once a week was supposed to be my new year challenge, but clearly the new year’s not off to a great start, resolution wise.

Apart from that, I’d say my month was a pretty decent one. I would even describe it as productive. For starters, I took six (!) driving lessons in this month alone and have learnt almost all the test routes in Ubi. I do have a Malaysian license and it’s supposed to be easier for me to pick up driving again. I’m sure my experience (with a gap of six years, mind you) did not contribute to anything, but I feel more confident in taking the wheel this time. The instructor definitely made a difference.

Funny how I kept saying that I really needed to pass my license since early last year but couldn’t find an instructor, and then at the end of the year Em just happened to introduce one on Instagram! I guess there’s a timing to everything. I’m glad I started after my month-long trip to Aussie. I’ve got so much time to focus on it right now.

Driving lessons aside, I have also been self learning embroidery. It’s pretty easy to start but difficult to master the intricacies. It’s been quite a month of arts and crafts actually. I also made a few lanterns for CNY using old angpaos and my mum’s unused yarn and CNY accessories. I’m proud that nothing new was used in the making of my kusudama lanterns! #sustainabilitywarrior haha

In the same vein, I attended quite a few arts related events this January, namely kllylmrck’s talk at the NDC, another talk about vintage cameras at the national museum, Arts After Dark at Gillman Barracks, as well as Sobs’ performance at the Esplanade foyer.

Which brings me to my social calendar for the month. I caught up with so many people whom I have not met since last November, and these really bring me joy. I walked along Kallang River (idk how far was it, 3/4km?) with Eun, chatting all the way and getting free BTS concert outside of the stadium (lol); had lunch with J who has been sticking around for close to 2 decades now; celebrated K’s birthday – always thankful for a bff who is like family. N’s wedding was an excuse for a get-together for the JC crew; Gaybird’s monthly meet-up happened at Botanic Garden; I met up with S quite a few times to talk about how screwed up everyone truly is when it comes to love (haha) and I also brought a friend from college around SG on her first day of her one-year stint here.

This feels like it had happened a long time ago, but just about 3 weeks ago, I went on a very spontaneous overseas trip. It’s a weird trip to say the least, my travel partner being someone whom I can’t really point out whether is a friend or just a travel partner or perhaps something a little more lol. We went to Bandung in Indonesia. I appreciated the presence of a travel buddy as I wouldn’t do Bandung alone. The sceneries were nice but heads up, 4D3N is enough. Our 5D4N was too dragged out.

I wish I had done more yoga, but I did BodyPump relatively regularly this month, which I hope I will continue or pick up the pace even, this February after CNY. Now that C has also joined the gym, I’m excited to have a gym buddy!

A win for the month is my go at Carousell selling! I cleaned my wardrobe and donated 1/3 of it, another 1/3 of it went into my Carousell. So far, I have sold quite a few pieces and for one month’s work I think I’m doing amazing. I hope the new owners appreciate the items and , if they don’t, that they get recycled in the economy instead of going into the trash. (Going on a trip to Semakau Island next month and I’m actually dope excited for it!)

That’s all for this month’s word vomit. The days are long but years short. May my new month see less of me sitting in front of the TV watching Netflix with GrabFood.

over the australian summer, i got so tanned that

  1. My hairdresser asked if I was Malay or Chinese
  2. My new dentist asked if I do outdoor sports
  3. My aunt, upon seeing a group photo with other family members, commented that she couldn’t recognise me at all
  4. My gym consultant didn’t know that it was indeed me, and had to check my phone number to confirm

But I’m proud of my bronze glow 😂

2019, 52 Medium posts

Happy New Year! For me, 2018 was a tough ride, especially toward the latter half of the year. Nevertheless, it made me realise how much I am loved by my beautiful friends, who were there to give me courage and (emotional) strength, and had faith in me and my life decisions, sometimes more than I do.

Last year, I made a commitment to read at least 20 books. I managed to read 43! This year, I am determined to write 1 Medium blog post a week. I foresee many “missed” posts, but by the end of 2019, I promise to have 52 posts (at least)!

While this blog is a largely personal space for me to write freely, there are times when I feel like sharing some of my thoughts with more people who might care to read. I am encouraged by the most loving friends who do not follow me on WP (because they don’t have a WP account) but still check in every now and then to read my written thoughts. I am glad that some of my word vomits were enjoyable and resonated with you.

I want to use this chance to overcome my need for perfection. I am one of those people who need things to be polished and perfect before I am willing to show it to the world. But I need to remind myself that everyone and every piece of writing is a work in progress and I am allowed to be less than 100%, because only then can I actually learn and improve.

To a better 2019, with bigger goals and a bigger heart (to myself and to others).

travelling at 20 vs at 25

2 ways my travel style has changed since 5 years ago:

Awkward turtle vs social butterfly

I used to be quite shy and anti-social, and in retrospect, I can’t explain it other than low self-confidence. I have come a long way since and have learnt to trust myself much more now.

It’s not that I never say hi to people I share bunk beds with in dormitories back when I was travelling as a 20 year-old. I did, but I never really connect with them proper. Greetings were usually the end of the conversation. Throughout my entire career backpacking Europe, I have only made one friend, a Korean I met in Firenze. Moreover, I tended to befriend only people I felt comfortable with aka people from a similar background as mine i.e. young, student, female, Asian.

But today, I’m getting chummy with people young and old, from Switzerland to Israel, from meditation skeptics to serious alien believers (yeah.) I’ve somehow grown to become the girl who brings other girls to parties and introduces them to new people.. Is this growth? Haha.

Cheapskate vs spending more for quality

The other day, I was having red wine with Mon before heading off to the Brewery for more drinks and dancing. I was finishing up on a Taylor’s merlot that I bought for myself when Mon joined me, and she told me proudly about how she got her wine for $3 a bottle. Mariam (30s) looked at her and asked, “How can you put that into your body!?”

Mine was $17. But at least it tastes good.

sustainable coffee runs

I have talked quite a bit about sustainable living here. It’s just something I have been subscribing to since forever. Right now, I’m trying to reduce my use of just stuff in general and to upcycle things as much as I can, rather than simply recycle. I can’t say I know the recycling industry well, but I am growing a little skeptical of it, you know. Does the waste in my recycling bin actually get recycled?? 🤔

I think everyone has a responsibility to take care of the planet, in ways and capacity one can manage or one’s lifestyle allows. I am not quite willing to give up on meat (although I am slowly cutting down – I only had chicken twice since I arrived in Bello, and that is the only meat I have had!) but I think I can play my part to contribute to a better earth through limiting waste and buying from more ethical and sustainable sources, in the case of fashion.

I went to the community market today and I absolutely loved it! Great music, dancing families, organic produce, beautiful craftwork and simply good vibes aside, I am so happy to see sustainable habits so ingrained in this community! There were people selling secondhand clothes and products for a kinder environment like beeswax food wraps (to replace cling wraps, I got mine from Dorrigo at a much better price and in much better looking patterns!) and eco cups. I also got myself a pair of earrings from a very sweet lady who makes them from pre-loved lace and crochet from doilies and treats them with a glue-like material to make them water-proof to combat rainy days. What a great upcycling idea. Love!

What I observed was the most beautiful and mind-blowing thing today, though, is how it is just a no-brainer for people to bring their own mugs from home to get coffee. Not just the typical reusable glass coffee cups or plastic bottles or stainless steel thermos, but actual porcelain mugs!


Do you see them?? There are also those reusable cups for sure, and paper cups with biodegradable lids. But those mugs??? I love this so much! Imagine if I go up to a barista in Singapore and asked for coffee while passing them my mug. I am quite sure that I will be returned with a WTF look..

There were even sinks at the market, by the way, for (1) rinsing and (2) washing and (3) storing for sterilisation by the waiters. It was meant for you to wash the dishes you eat from – yes, the food stall at the market (a market!) served food in real, porcelain plates. Way to go, really! I figure you could wash your coffee mugs there too.

Anyway, I bought one of those eco cups you see in the photo today (not the glass ones, I like to be different from everyone else) and I can’t wait to bring them on my coffee trips back home!