Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The view from up there

I just returned from Kota Kinabalu. There were 115 of us who joined A Climb Beyond Disabilities organized by Rotary Club Bandar Utama, Malaysia. We conquered the highest mountain in Southeast Asia - Mount Kinabalu. The view was breath-taking!

Will update more details soon. :)

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Inner peace

It's been a while.

I couldn't get myself to sit down in front of the computer and write something. Work has taken most of my day time and when you spend so much time in front of the computer typing stuffs (not blogging, of course), to repeat the process in your personal time doesn't sound so relaxing. Besides, I felt there was not much to talk about.

There wasn't a particularly good or bad day, if you ask me. Everything seemed to pass by in a steady pace, not too fast, not too slow, nothing so memorable. I wonder if I'm trying to keep my mind from experiencing intense feelings. I wonder if it's inner peace I'm longing for, or if I'm only running away from real emotions.

I joined a beauty contest for the first time in my life, celebrating my 25th birthday showcasing my more glamorous side on stage alongside 19 other beautiful girls. It was something different. It was hard work, intense competition, and a lot of stress. But at the end of it all, I found the most important thing that I've known all along: self-confidence. Sometimes, you need to go through a different path to realize what you've already had or known and appreciate it more.

A connection was ended, just as suddenly as it was formed. Intense feelings as there were, I thought I would be hurt. But I wasn't. I faced my feelings, then let them go. There is no point hanging on to something that has passed.

I attempted meditation, cut down on pointless social events, late-night partying and drinking. Health benefits aside, it also gives me more personal space to figure out what I want and I don't want, who I am - as opposed to what I should and should not do, or who I should be. I don't want to run after social superficiality not knowing my identity. You can buy all things designers, dine at the most expensive places, impress everyone with your seemingly perfect life, but all those are meaningless if you do not know yourself. You will still come back home feeling empty.

Having money isn't bad. Having ambition isn't bad. But not knowing yourself is bad.

Pachelbel - Canon

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Out in Saigon

Saturday, KLIA - Tan Son Nhat airport.

There's something about going home that always feel so good, so soothing. I haven't traveled much in my 25 years (what a shame), but nothing so far can compare to the feeling of going back to my homeland. I remember clearly the eagerness and excitement I felt 5 years ago when I was a somewhat innocent 20-year-old having landed in Malaysia for the first time, or the times that I've been to Bangkok or Singapore but without the warmth that spreads inside of me whenever I touch down in Ho Chi Minh, or Hanoi, or Hai Phong.

That being said, it felt great to be back. Having made a "date" with my parents in advance, we quickly headed to a Japanese restaurant... what's the name again? Ah, Sai Gon Sakura. My first impression - this place was empty! Then I knew why once I took a look at the menu - it's pricey. We were greeted in typical irasshaimase, you know, you hear this every Japanese restaurant you go to - they would bow, saying the line out loud and sometimes only mase which doesn't really mean anything. Or does it?

Which reminds me of The Sushi Bar (if you must check it out:, where staff shout out irasshaimase when you enter and thank you when you leave - I find that amusing.

Anyway, back to this place. We ordered a sashimi moriwase which arrived in a huge boat. I wish I had taken a decent picture to show off here, but unfortunately, as soon as that boat surfaced on the table, I just got right to it. It was... irresistible. Then again, I could have never said No to fresh seafood. I just love it - the sweetness, the freshness, the texture that melts in your mouth - it's divine.

Here's what's left of that boat after my hunger attack...

And ikura... need I say more?

The night drinking with my closest dearest girlfriend Helen that followed was good, too. We met up at Martini Bar at Park Hyatt, our go-to spot for drinks whenever I return to HCMC. The place had a strange mix of foreigners (young and old, many of them bald), Korean girls that looked like they were annoyed by the crowd, some well-dressed gays (oh I saw this guy with absolutely lovely red shoes, I wished I had told him how much I like his style), aspiring models, Vietnamese who prefer speaking English (I might be one of them). I kinda like Martini Bar - it's happening, although I think the drinks are a tad bit overpriced.

Sunday and Monday, more food and more drinks. It was good to be back in touch with things you're so familiar with, faces you've known for years. It brings back memories of a time when you were still sweet and innocent, unaware, unpretentious. I was happy.

In a blink of the eyes, I'm back in KL. Back to life on my own, back to working. Back to evenings alone on the sofa with a good book, to cooking for one person with such big appetite yet tiny stomach.

I'm missing HCMC right now. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Food talk

Hello hello...

I feel bad that I've left the blog collecting dust for quite a while. Sometimes I don't really have anything interesting to talk about, really, and plus I've been a bit lazy (and busy and other reasons) :">

I finally moved to my new place in the city center, settling down with work and learning to be better at what I do, which, by the way, is advertising. I'm still a newbie to this game, so if you're an expert and you would like to guide this little girl, please please please do!

This blog was not the only thing suffering. I've been neglecting my diet for the past few months, resulting in a visible weight loss and lots of breakouts (trust me, when one breakout appears on my face, it invites the whole family to come as well!) So starting June, I've added multivitamins, calcium and minerals supplements to my daily intake, and start cooking again. 

And... tadah! 

I'm going coco-nut in this :)
A simple dish of stewed chicken in coconut & tomato stock, accessorized with carrots, onions, and shrooms.  

I love making stews, they're the easiest thing on Earth to make, tasty and warm you up - they're called "comfort foods" for a reason. It would be perfect to have a hot bowl of meat stew in the winter. Tropical weather makes it slightly less enjoyable; nevertheless, it is still my go-to dish on days I'm feeling uneasy (rainy days, for example).

The experiment was shared with my housemate, and in return, I got to try the famous Alphonso mango. And my, it was the best mango I've tasted in my entire 5 years in Malaysia! 

He told me that to preserve the mangoes, the pulps are taken out, squeezed, put in a container (a box, a plastic bag - use your imagination here) and frozen. So when you want to eat it, just take it out and leave to defrost for 15 - 30 minutes, and voilĂ ! Ah, this is genius! You may laugh at me, but in Vietnam people don't preserve mangoes this way, although we do make fresh ice creams out of fruits and eat them FROZEN. 

Great dinner. I'm all smiley now. :D

Sunday, April 10, 2011

On a lazy Sunday

A lazy Sunday.

I haven't left the room since 4:00am. Not a single step. This is one of those days you just feel like doing absolutely nothing, snuggling up on bed watching boring shows on TV. And not care about what the world is going through outside.

Okay, F1 race was on in Sepang track today. Everybody suspected it would rain, but it didn't. Vettel won again. Well done.

I fell asleep after the 12th round, and woke up to catch the last 2 rounds of the race. Not so much of a Formula 1 enthusiast, hey?

I don't know those good looking, talented racers in personal, nor am I linked to them in any way (not that I know of), so I won't pretend it was deadly important to me to follow their every steps, to know who's hero or zero.

You know, when you're so busy carrying on the loads of the whole world, you risk forgetting what really matters to you.

Did you wonder how your family is doing today?
Did you call them and ask how they are?

We can be busy, get promotions, run businesses, create more money and more money and more money. We think we're ok, until the little "busy" bubble burst and we ask ourselves, "What the hell?"

Many successful people are happy not because they are rich, but because they find great pleasure in what they do, in what matters to them.

Just my simple thoughts. :)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Pray for Japan

To people who read my blog

My dear,

Today I'm a happy girl. I've been up to the moon since last Saturday, and oh life suddenly seem much more beautiful.

Anyway, I could be blogging about couple love, or attractions, and be a totally ignorant girl. Instead, please bear with my thoughts about something else.

As we know, news of the horrible earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan yesterday (Friday 11/03/11), taking away thousands of lives, shook the world. And that's not the first nor only time we've heard, seen, or experienced natural disasters. Devastating.

Picture courtesy of BBC News. View more pictures

Today I  received an email from a stranger, I'd like to share it here. The sender has a point, we MUST take time out to appreciate life.

"You woke up 2day - did you say THANK YOU God/Allah/Yehovah/Elohim/Ishvara, Thank you LIFE??????

When certain events transpire in our world, we are saddened by the plight of those affected. We are quick to share sentiments of grief - but do we really understand the pain; do we take time to grasp the sorrow, or do we momentarily ponder on the tragedy and immediately become absorbed in our own glorious day? Do we not often lose interest in it by the next week?

 Yes, we express sadness for those affected, but do we really try to imagine the scope of their sadness.COULD YOU IMAGINE THEIR PLIGHT? Yet, how often are we TRULY thankful for what we have ourselves. Take the time to place urself in others' shoes and imagine what they are going through. Take the time to APPRECIATE that which u have - those who have much, and those of us who have little.

The current earthquake and tsunami events sparked from Japan 11March11 and spanning the Pacific region, have been described by Dr. James Thompson as "a great experiment in psychology". Undoubtedly, this will be a great experiment in HUMANITY. How will WE respond? How will YOU respond?

With the spate of the "earthquake phenomena" affecting our earth in recent years, many have called into question the divine nature of our existence, and the end of the world. But yet, how do you respond? How does it affect you?

Many of us are spared the horrors of the world; We are spared the sufferings that others face abroad, and in our own countries, and even in our homes, and so we have a seemingly nonchalance about our own lives. We bask in our own good fortune. But remember, today it may be me, but tomorrow it may be YOU in misfortune.

So, TAKE THE TIME TO STOP AND THINK! Not just today because something is happening today, but always; everyday. Take the time to stop and think of your past, your now, your future and your after. Take the time to feel the sorrow of those in distress. Feel for others, while appreciating your own. AND always, take the time to THANK!!!


Monday, January 31, 2011

And I love her so...

 Winter time
It's cold and dry where I am
Amidst the warmth of family love
I called my little sister
Knowing she would neglect to moisturize
As she hates the stickiness of Vaseline
So I put my face cream on her pink, slightly flaky cheeks
She said it hurt, of course!
I felt a sweet tenderness
Her chubby baby face lightened my heart, even though she was complaining
Then I dabbed lip balm on her lips
Warned her in advance, "Do not lick it"
She commented, "It smells so nice", then licked it anyway
"Sweeeet", she said
I gave her a half-scolding look, pinched her cheeks
Then off she ran, back to the other kids
I smiled
Happiness is so simple.

Haiphong, 30th January 2011

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Random thoughts over a cup of latte

Hello world! :)

Do you enjoy chilling in a café with your favorite cuppa latte and a sweet, delectable piece of cheesecake?

Well, that's what I'm doing right now.

Not the ideal way to spend a Saturday night, but since all the love birds are being, well, love birds, I guess I can take a little Me time. :)

I like the way cheesecakes melt in my mouth. Whoever invented cheesecake must have been a genius.

Conversations... Sometimes we talk just for the sake of conversations.
When words have no meaning but to be spoken and listened, not discussed and heard.

Like diet coke is supposed to be healthier.

We do things, thinking that we are fully conscious of our choices, but then somehow in the end we realize we were only dream-walking.

Life loses its beauty when we live in doubt
For fear of dishonest people
And so we give dishonesty in return.

Can you live true to your heart? 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Acidic Love & Nothingness

I found this beautifully sad post from Daul Kim's blog.

Daul was a supermodel who killed herself at the age of 20...

You may find this a bit depressing, nevertheless it is something to think about. "Past is heavy, but past is past"

She also said "but when people grow together, its something that is not easy but is nice". It's true, isn't it? We all long for that special someone that we can be with for as long as it matters... 

"how can you be smart

when its love

i already accepted that i relate to nothing

past is heavy but past is past and

i can only try to understand


too much self importance 


luxury of time 

perhaps just series of bad events which were only beautiful

the irony

the facade we put on

penetrating time.

but not egoism.

it is relative but different.

i just know

the more i gain

the more lonely it is

but when people grow together

its something that is not easy but is nice 

and that is something, 


staying relative is hard

staying honest is hard

i know i'm like a ghost

i have nothing

but myself

and potential, to me is the question of will

thats why i am present to you"