Monday, August 7, 2017

In Order to Live by Yeon Mi Park

          Hiya hiya everyone, what's up?!

          And no, I'm not dead LOLOL 

          Fyi, I have started working since more than two months ago, and life has never been so.. um, adult-ish. I can't exactly say it's all fun, it certainly has its perks, for example the ability to earn money and spend it happily (guilty), meeting a bunch of new friends who click (grateful), and more room to grow up.

          By growing up, I don't mean the literal growth in height alright, don't get me wrong. 

          And now I finally understood them when people say, repetitive and bland working life of everyday will extinguish every single fire that lit up in you. My gosh, I sound old fml 

        That's why I was so glad I stumbled upon this book.        

            I don't read a lot of non-fiction books, let alone a biography. But this book, it was so incredible it shook me
           Her writing was so realistic with that kind of "I fool you not" vibe, it made me feel almost every happiness, sorrow and hardship of her growing up. I say almost, it's because I won't possibly understand everything she felt, and she experienced, simply because I was not born in that corner of the world to really embrace it. 

          In summary, this book is about survival and the search of freedom. 

       Freedom is so subjective, it could mean anything to anyone. Well. she could say freedom is when she could shop without thinking about money, he could say freedom is about pursuing the girl without hindrance from his family, I could say..... freedom is without having to work, heh.

            For her whole childhood and adolescence, Yeon-Mi had been trying and trying desperately in reach for freedom. In exchange for that, so much prices are paid. One of the highlights of the story was when she and her mother crossed the cold and deadly Gobi dessert for survival, thinking about death. How ironic. 

          So she said," I learned something else that day: we all have our own deserts. They may not be the same as my desert, but we all have to cross them to find a purpose in life and be free." 

          Upon reading this, I had to stop and ponder. But my mind went kinda blank for a while, because it was such a spot on I was speechless. 

         I personally think I'm in one of my deserts now, still crossing, still thinking of a way to freedom. Not that my life is terrible right now, but I feel so caged up, so lacking, and a bit lost. But someday I will look up and find my Northern Star, my purpose of life and feel confident again. 

       This is a good book that I have first encountered in a while. I just feel so so blessed for the enlightenment, and it kept me firm on what I enjoy very much. 

          Stay tuned for more updates k!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A peek to my long break

           So yup, with March ending soon this year, I keep being reminded on how fast time can go, or fly, in this matter. I have been out of university for six months, and I believe I'm going to step into working life soon, like, very soon.

         This sometimes scare the shit out of me, like I'm forced to grow up and face the world, after months or years of being in the protective cozy shell of mine.
        But well, life is not life when we can stay in our comfort zone forever.

       It's good to be out of my shell once a in a while. Heh.

       This post is to summarize what I did over the long long post-uni-before-work break, for memory's sake.

1.   Time with family
      Of course, I spent a lot of time with my family because I'm here in Sitiawan for most of the break. For the first time in years, I was home during Christmas and New Year, and I was able to prepare for the Chinese New Year this year, celebrate the whole length of it, and watch the festive season end.

      I am really glad for being given this time and chance like this, like the last few drops of freedom.

2.    Time with friends

       Met up with friends for quite a few times and it really brought back those sweet memories. 

Wendy's birthday, a surprise that I thought we would never have the chance to do any. 

Making silly faces at the beach.

A special CNY girls' meet up with coordinated attire hee 

Had a one day trip down in KL for this girl who was on a break from Taiwan. 

University buddies in town! Discovered a different side of my hometown. 

Justin in town. Had my friends out for dinner and a good talk. 

Buddy gathering in KL before convo

A visit to teacher's house during CNY. This funny madam. 

CNY gathering at a Korean restaurant.

3.    Time with Richie

       Of course, with me staying at home for months, I see this boy all the time, except from the days I was our travelling. Glad to be able to spend enough time and grow with him. 
       He is such an annoying noisy thing, but mostly he is just a bliss to be with. Hehe 

So grateful for this beautiful picture captured by Justin.

This boy enjoys his walks too much, way too much. 

He can do modelling too, if he wants LOL

A happy boy in the car. 

4.    Part-time job

       To fill up my time, I took on several part-time jobs, and being a primary school teacher is the most interesting one. I had only one month to finish up their syllabus for their finals, with some other paper works, and that kind of freaked me up a little. 

       Btw I taught PJK too, and guess what, Standard One and Two. Heh. Imagine me blowing my whistle like crazy until I was out of breath. 

      I learned that, to deal with kids, you don't want to use punishment tactics all the time. Do some reasoning with them, and reward them when needed, sometimes it works better. But of course, I wouldn't give mercy if they deserved to stand up for 15 minutes after wrecking havoc in class. Heh.

Spent a good half an hour talking to these Standard Five kids and God, I had my tears flowing from laughing too much. 
And yep, this class only consisted of 10 students, my former school is as petite as this, haha. 

5.     Travelling 

        Oh, one of the things I have done over the long break that I'm proud of is, going around, both in and out the country. Of course, I spent a lot -- in fact, most of my earnings from my part time jobs are spent here. 

        Went to Penang from the MDA Penang Dental Congress. It was eye-opening and the good thing is that, I got to eat Penang food HEHE

        Drove to Kuala Kurau -- my mum's hometown, which is 2.5 hours away-- for the first time. 

Oh the country side is always so beautiful. 

         A trip to Batu Gajah Kellie's Castle and Ipoh with two crazy girls. Oh did I tell you, we spent most of the time doing photoshooting LOL


       Went to Justin's hometown, Johor Bahru for the first time, and I got to visit the Universal Studios Singapore! Blogged about the trip here

        Went to Bangkok in December and the cooling weather was a pleasant surprise! 

Maeklong train market

Khao Yai Jim Thompson Farm, totally worth the effort going. 

Khao Yai Little Italy (palio)

Bangkok Wat Phra Kaew

      Went to Langkawi with Justin for a relaxing vacation. The beach! The sea!

       You can read more about it here!

         Went to Chiang Mai with my ex-uni mates and it turned out to be a super awesome experience. We went there in late February this year, then came back after a week only to receive emails calling us up for interviews, just in time. We were so so lucky. 

        Had 8 days there so we went up to Pai as well, an isolated town at the country border, high up on the mountain, and only accessible after 762 turns. Well, I didn't think meds for motion sickness was necessary but after that experience, I would say, PREPARE THE MEDS!!! 
       I remembered praying for the van to reach faster and having myself glued to the seat because any movements might make me gag. 

       We spent two nights there. Pai is a beautiful place, but unfortunately, February is a very dry month for Pai. We were not used to it. 

Sunrise at Yunlai. 

Temple on the hill

Pai Canyon

Pai night walking street

OMG I miss this so much, Khao Soi noodle salad

Memorial Bridge

Tham Lod Cave

          We then spent two nights in Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai Tunnel Temple

Doi Suthep with beautiful view. 


Doi Inthanon - the highest peak of Thailand, super chilly. 

Doi Inthanon Temple to honour the King Bhumibol's and Queen Sirikit's 60th anniversary birthday. 

Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden

One night in ChiangRai.

The White Temple.

The black museum.

Personally like this photo very much.

Long neck village.

Blue Temple

Hot springggggg

 The golden triangle -- where three countries meet. 

6(and the last).    My Long Distance Relationship

         I have always respected couples running on long runs in a LDR, heck, I have friends as a couple that, one is in the USA and another in Russia.
         I knew its tough, I had just yet to experience one.

         A few months into it and if u asked me, I would admit that there were times I had my doubts, too.

Our relationship relies so much on video calls, line messages, phone calls and repetitions of "I miss you"s. It is held by this thing called "faith", which we firmly hold on to, so strong but yet so fragile I can't see or touch it. 

Many people would say, "Oh its easy, just take a flight or drive down, its just a matter of you wanting to see each other or not." Trust me, those who think like this haven't gotten a hint of how it really is. 

But hey, I'm not complaining here. Because in the end of everything, at least I still have this person by my side, mentally and sometimes physically, and we will continue to cheer for each other. Because I know, when this is finally over, we have overcome a hurdle so big that others don't really matter anymore. 

It is just the beginning of this journey and I guess I will have to embrace and live with it, and enjoy the perk (which I think is the only one) -- seeing each other after a long time. 

Life is fragile and I'm sure you know it. So no matter where your loved ones are, treasure them. If you have them near to you, then lucky you, you get to spend more time with them, ahead of some other people. 

With me leaving uni, my friends including myself will get caught up by life so much, that we would realize that time really gives no mercy. 
But c'est la vie, this is life, I'm sure we will see each other when the time comes, and our trips will be filled with joy again. 
So cya, travel mates.

       Sorry for being sentimental here. I can't help it, I'm doing a summary of my long break after all. I think it's good that I'm given this time to bid farewell to my carefree life slowly, bit by bit, and now I think I'm ready for the new phase of my life.

I'm ready to grow up.