Of sleepless nights

We all know life isn’t an utopia and it’s never going to be but most of us still fear those tiny (or big) bumps we foresee ahead of us. We fear having to be upset, angry, heartbroken or stressed out. They’re not satisfying feelings and if not dealt the right way, it can demotivate us for a while.

2015 was an emotional roller coaster for me. All the emotions that one could possibly experience; I felt them all last year. One month it was all great and then another, DANG, unpleasant news. I was emotionally worn out after the cycle repeated itself mercilessly a couple of times.

I constantly reminded myself about one thing though: ‘You’ve to move forward. Keep going.’ And in order to keep going, I always had to acknowledge my circumstance, view things from a distance and then come up with the most realistic way out. It was a trial and error process. LIFE is a trial and error process.

With a bit of time, any problems or difficult situations I faced were either minimized or went away completely. That’s the best part about life—no matter how tough things are, you can get through it all with the right mindset paired with hard work. It’s quite hard to see the silver lining in every situation, because let’s be real, it’s always easy to pout and cry about it.

The problem with me is that I’m impatient. Like…it’s a chronic disease. I want something and I want it fast. Now don’t go on lecturing me in your head about how good things take time. I know they do. I can’t help it. I just feel it. One more thing that I’ve learned in the past few months is, nothing ever goes according to your plan. Things can turn upside down in a second and it’s not necessarily bad for you. Although things hardly go according to my plan, I know it is exactly how it’s intended to be.

The plans I had for 2016 have already been thwarted very early on in the year but after some reflection, I came to the conclusion that it’s GOOD to not always get what you want. There were a lot of things I didn’t get last year due to circumstances I didn’t have the power over but when I think about it now, my life is exactly the way it should be. The way God intended it to be.

Every time I take a look on past events, I understand that not getting what I wanted was indeed a blessing. Every time I thought I was being deprived of something great, I was in reality being led to somewhat better things. I was given other opportunities, met interesting people and gained new insights.

I’ve set such a high expectation of myself that every now and then I forget that everyone’s voyage has different starting points and as long as I bear in mind to put in the time, work and effort, I should be heading on the right path.

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p/s: It’s amazing how light my heart (and head) feels after I’ve penned down my thoughts here. My brain really does function better in the middle of the night as it was 12am when I wrote this.

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when Gil came to Malaysia

I was told recently that I’ve some loyal readers here (HI..you know who you are!) and I’ve to update consistently. So here’s a little update on what has been going on with my life right now. Nothing much, actually. I’m basically home every day since I work from home. I go out on the weekends for brunch and movies with my friends. That’s about it. I know I know…so exciting, right?

Well….

A few weeks ago, my friend Gilbert from the Philippines came over to Malaysia for a visit. I first met Gilbert at Delhi during the Asean-India exchange program. Was so excited to have him over!

I spent a whole Saturday taking him around and exploring my own city. I took him to Batu Caves, Museum Orang Asli (which is close to my place but I’ve never bothered to check it out before). After that, I took him to my favorite Indian restaurant for a South Indian lunch because he requested it. My friends would know where I took him 😛

It was exciting to see my friend devouring the food and he thanked me for taking him there; food was delish as usual. We later went to Tugu Negara and KLCC before going off to Publika to meet with our 2 other mutual friends; Suffian and Agyeeta, both whom I met during the same exchange program.

All in all, it was a great day spent catching up with them all after years.

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Pictures from Gilbert’s blog. THANKS Gil for allowing me to steal your pictures!

Till next post!

xoxo

thoughts

There aren’t enough pages and ink for me to scribble down every one of the thoughts and feelings I’ve. When you glance back at all that you’ve written before, you have an inclination that you’re perusing the composition of another person’s on the grounds that whether you understand it or not, you’re never the same individual that you are in 12 months’ time. A few qualities of yours may remain yet your interests, the way you see things and who you like and aversion will definitely change.

I recently had this discussion about relationships with my friend. I realized I sounded like a true dreamer in that conversation; when I’m actually not. And then I realized; I am a realistic dreamer. I blame my love for books for this. I’ve read countless numbers of novels, short stories, real life stories, biographies etc over the years that it has made me believe that some dreams of mine actually exist in this world. I believe and relate to most of the characters I watch on TV or read about. Why? Because if someone didn’t see/experience someone behaving like that, how would they know such expression exist? When you get deep down to it, it’ll make you think…think…think…and lose sleep. I know I did.

If you know me well, you know I’m a sucker for quotes. And this specific one by Sadhguru speaks to me: “You should always be effervescent, balanced and a bit extreme.”

I would like to believe I’m a mixture of all these. Life shouldn’t be restricted to the ideas only in your mind. Open up your world, have a little wild dream. Isn’t it strange, and perhaps weird too, that so much of world’s wealth is poured in educational models every year for the last so many decades, to educate the people and in making them learn the logical way of looking at things, which ultimately does not help people to “experience” the life in a “real sense”? But probably this is to be expected since we are living in a topsy-turvy world, anyway.

Conclusion is, let’s not categorize ourselves into these labels. Dreamer, realist, idealist, minimalist, extremist etc. A dreamer can also be real about certain things. A realist can dream. An idealist is not always a perfectionist. Remember, it’s okay to be balanced and a bit extreme at times.

Peace out.

xoxo

 

 

wonder woman

I wonder sometimes. No scratch that. I wonder all the time. About the places I’ve been to, the people I’ve met, the people I care cared of. Cos’ I’m a true Wonder Woman. hahahaha
 
So this morning I was doing my usual wondering about random things and I wondered about the receptionist I met in Jaipur’s Marriott Hotel. Don’t ask me why/how/ etc. I can’t explain it either.
 
He was an MBA graduate who was working as a receptionist at the hotel in 2012 while waiting to get a better job. He’s also kinda the first guy who’s ever given me his business card and said call me
 
Why I remember this incident because that was probably the first and last time I ever went that close to flirting with a guy. I usually just do this:




He was good looking and I knew even if I screwed up, I wouldn’t be seeing him again. So I tried. I don’t know if you can call it flirting, but here’s how the conversation went on the last day when I went to return the room key and he was at the reception.
 
Him: Hi, how are you today?
Me: I’m fine. Excited for our trip to Delhi. 
Him: How did you like Jaipur?
Me: I loved it. Every single bit of Jaipur. And the food in this hotel is amazing!
Him: Yeah..I know. *smirk* I’m going to miss this job when I get another job. 
Me: Oh..? What job? 
Him: I’m an MBA graduate. I’m doing this while I waiting for other job offers. 
Me: wow. (in my heart i thought that was sexy. Hardworking guys are sexy)
Him: So, what did you study for? 
Me: Studying Psychology. 
Him: So can you read my mind…? *with a cheeky smile*  
 
Did I mention he was really good looking…? I started melting….
 
Me: Yeah of course. (I was actually being sarcastic)
Him: So can you tell me what’s in my mind?
Me: That I need to pay my laundry bill? 
Him: Ahhh…you’re good! hahahahaha
Me: I know *flips hair* (yes I flipped my hair)…
Him: Handed me my receipt together with his name card…
Me: Umm..your card..? 
Him: Yeah…call me and keep in touch. 
Me: Sure! Bye! 


So that’s how the flirting it ended. With a raw bye. I gave him my Facebook ID in return. He added me a few weeks later. He’s still there in my Facebook friends list but he hasn’t been active since 2014. Probably married. HAHAHA! 
 
Some people come into your life for a season and go. Do you ever wonder where these people are today and what are they doing? People from your past? An ex, maybe..? I wonder. I wonder what happened to him. Oh well, it was good while it lasted 😛 

Siem Reap: The Grand Finale

The sucky feeling started sinking in on our last night there. It was a horrible feeling but we didn’t let that feeling stop us from having more fun! hahahaha
 
I’m a huge fan of massages, manicure and pedicure but sometimes it can get too expensive in KL. When it was offered at a dirt cheap price in Siem Reap, it would be foolish to refrain from doing it. After about 2 full days of walking and exploring, we decided to pamper ourselves with a Khmer leg massage. (I did pedicure too!). The one hour massage was amazingggg and we wanted more. 
 
We had a lot of time to kill before dinner, so we hopped from one massage place to another for a FULL body massage. That’s a first for me. Man oh man, was the massage amazing. I felt so “loose” after the session. They used jasmine infused oil to massage us, we came out feeling really fresh. Two thumbs up for Khmer massages! 
 
We had dinner at Triangle BBQ restaurant and the food was alright. The restaurant is located at Pub Street and gets quite busy at night.
 
We shopped for a bit (my friend Hajar is a badass in bargaining, while I stood there like a chicken and ready to pay full price). hahahahha In the end, we bought so many stuff for a really good price and went back to the hotel feeling really satisfied. 
 
The next day, we just relaxed at the hotel, felt really depressed about having to leave and get back to reality but such is life. Everything comes to an end. 


With that, I conclude this post with the thing you MUST try/see/be careful of in Siem Reap, Cambodia. 

1) Visit as many temples as you can at the Angkor Archaeological Park. 
2) Take a tour to Kampung Phluk and Tasik Tonle Sap
3) Explore the small hipster cafes at Pub Street. I recommend Cafe Central (best club sandwich – sadly, non-halal). 
4) Be prepared mentally as you can see poverty everywhere. It gives you a reality check and you think twice before you whine about petty things. 
5) Shop, shop and shop for pretty arts and crafts. (don’t forget to bargain!)
6) Get a Khmer massage. Leg massage, half body massage, whatever massage you fancy. It’s awesome! We had our leg massage at Namaste. 
7) Try Khmer BBQ. 
8) Go on a tuk tuk ride. 
9) Carry a sweater with you, it gets quite chilly in the morning especially from November-February.
10) If you’re allergic to dust, carry a mask with you. 
11) If you crave for some unconventional food, try their fried insects. *shudders*
 
Cambodia have treated us well and I certainly wouldn’t mind going there again. Left with such a heavy heart and had a terrible withdrawal syndrome, but it’s all good now. If you’re looking for a budget trip around the Southeast Asia region, Cambodia is the place to go. You can enjoy comfortably for 4 days for RM1500-RM2000 per person, depending on your personal interests. 
 
I end this post with some food pictures, just because it’s late at night and I’d like to make you hungry 😛 
 

 

 

 
Till next post!
xoxo 

excursion in Angkor Archaeological Park

On our third day there, my friend and I decided to make a final trip to the Angkor Wat and all the temples around it to make full use of our 3-days pass. 
 
Woke up at 4am to go on a sunrise tour at Angkor Wat. We left the hotel at 5am, and boyyyyy was it friggin’ cold! I’m the kind of person who does thorough research before I travel but no one warned us about Cambodian winter..?! It was 16 Celsius in the morning and a windy morning ride on a tuk tuk at 5am….even my internal organs froze…brrrrrrr…Our hotel people were nice enough to pack our breakfast for us so that we can eat while waiting for the sun to rise. They’re awesome! 
 
The Sunrise?
 
Well, it was disappointing. Like reeeeally disappointing. Probably wasn’t our time. I saw a picture of my friend who went there recently and she got to view the most amazing sunset…hmph! So after sunrise, we decided to walk around Angkor Wat again and camwhore (haha camwhore is so 2009!) before heading to the other temples.
 

 

 

 

yep. A huge crowd of disappointed people. 
The Other Temples
 
Okay so I don’t exactly remember all the temple names accurately, but I’ll mention the ones I know hahahaha. (Okay I remember cos I did my research online cos I’m so hardworking lidat)
 
1) Preah Khan
 
This temple was my favorite because the surrounding was so scenic. The temple is surrounded by swamps. We were one of the firsts to arrive at the temple after the sunrise tour so we kinda had the temple to ourselves for like 10 minutes hahaha

 

 

2) Neak Pean Temple
 
This temple is located in the middle of a man-made “island”. To walk to the temple, you’ll have to cross a small lake where you’ll get to see beautiful lotus flowers! 

 

 

 

 
3) Ta Som 
 
Nothing much to see here. We spent around 10 minutes max in this temple. Oh, I also lost my slipper in a battle with the uneven grounds in this temple. Had to buy myself the fugliest flip flop to complete the rest of our tour. 

 

 
4) East Mebon Temple
 
Candid! 

 

 

5) Pre Rup Temple
 
By the time we reached this temple, our legs had given up on us. So we did not climb up the stairs. Instead, we just sat down under a shade, had a deep discussion about life and how we should get new hobbies and filmed a vlog. (Vlogs that will never see daylight that is 😉

 

Oh ya, forgot to mention that I acted silly too…

6 temples in half a day! Man, that’s an achievement unlocked! After intense walking around temples and all, we were ready to get a nice full body massage…(which we did, in the evening..) *blows nails*
Till next post!
xoxo

 

 

Kampung Phluk

In my previous post, I mentioned that we took the small tour on our second day because we had something else planned for the afternoon. Our kind hotel staff arranged a tour for us to visit the Kampung Phluk floating village.
I think this is the least talked about tours in Siem Reap. Even before I left, most travel blogs I read didn’t mention about this amazing tour. If you have the time, I strongly recommend you to go on a tour to this village. Sure, the journey to Kampung Phkuk from Siem Reap took about an hour or so, but it was a totally worth it half-day tour.
It is advisable that you there with a tour guide because it is about 20kms away from Siem Reap town and tuk tuks do not go that far into the villages.

 

Friendly children waving at tourists and saying “hello”

 

Innocent & carefree Cambodian kids.

 

Houses here are built on stilts to allow them to stay safe during the wet season where the lake expands.
After walking around the village, it was time to hop on a boat to go and see the sunset at Tonle Sap Lake. The lake was shallow (it was the dry season) so we had to split into groups and take 3 small boats to reach the lake. Little did we know, we were in for a surprise!
It’s their playground..

*A short boat ride later*
The boat took us to this little floating restaurant in the middle of Tonle Sap Lake. I was beyond excited to be there. They even had a rooftop area where you can sit, enjoy a nice meal and view the sunset, which is exactly what we did.

 

the floating restaurant

 

 

 

 This was the most thrilling part of the whole trip for me, observing the kids, their lifestyle and how they can still smile and wave at you. I was torn in between feeling sympathetic towards the locals or telling myself this is their way of life. Just different.
More Cambodian series to be continued….