Sunday, June 04, 2017

A Chevening Journey: The Purpose

13:26, 21 October 2016 - I was finishing my ham and cheese toastie and Innocent fruit juice in a Costa cafe in Edinburgh Airport. Yes, this' pretty much lunch for the past 1+ years. I wasn't too ready to leave the lovely people and the quality life as such. On the other hand, I also couldn't wait to see friends and family back home that I have not seen since last year. It was complicated. One thing for sure, I wasn't regret of my Chevening journey. 

This post is dedicated to those who has Googled, applied for, been shortlisted and even obtained the final award letter for the Chevening Scholarship but undecided whether to leave a stable and promising career to pursue a year of postgraduate study in the United Kingdom. I think the right question is: what is the purpose of this extra degree? For me, it was a passport to satisfy my intellectual curiosity (i.e. cultural heritage and the law) without being judged and to learn about positive western qualities that I can implement in my personal/ professional life. I can proudly say that both purposes have been duly achieved. For those who think that taking a year off would change things back home when you are back, this' never the case. You should really ask yourself whether the opportunity of living abroad overrides your other pursuits back home. 

You would also stumble upon this post if you are a 'reserved' candidate, just like me. I know you must be panicking and feeling a little down because you have come soooo close. All I want to tell you is to sit back and ask yourself what if you don't get it. It's not the end of the world and you should not lose hope entirely, again just like me. I was eventually upgraded to be a scholar and the rest are history. Do have faith in yourselves.
Sunset on the North Bridge, Edinburgh
As I am typing this, I have just done with my lunch, this time round was nasi kukus, ayam rempah  and air bandung. I have also just talked to my favourite Scottish in Bathgate and hermana (a fellow Chevening alumni in Chile) some hours ago.  Lastly, I am also about to embark on a career journey that is new and unfamiliar and it sounds like a deja vu? I have the Chevening 2015/2016 journey to remind me that life is a constant gamble and wherever it takes, it will benefit one in one way or another.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Life is...

... making the big leap and after that, enjoying the sunshine.


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Far from the White Beach (Boracay!)

To get to know a place, as the saying goes, one has to see the local way of life. Based by the quiet Balinghai Beach (again, in Boracay!), I was fortunate to be able to spend an afternoon learning  a little about the way of life in Malay, Aklan.
The road less travelled  had led us to our villa
Mom, we'll be back by the night falls
The barn on the right side of the road a.k.a.the open-air karaoke
The church on the left
Just like everywhere in the world, there are abandoned projects
There it is - a fancy private property amidst the simple village
A bread shop by the street - you can find many along the main roads
Recycle bin - another specialty of this isle

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Tips: Solo non-Thai-speaking Female Traveler to (some parts of) Thailand

Returning safely from a solo backpacking trip to Trang (Thailand) recently, I have been wanting to write a post like this. As far as I am concerned, I had had difficulty seeking some useful tips for a first timer like me =) Whatsmore, travelling to a town where not many have heard of. I think the tips could be valuable for not just ladies, but everyone who intends to travel to some parts of the land. To disclaim, this post is strictly applicable to travelling to some rather not so commercialized and remote districts of amazing Thai soil. 

Sneak peek of quiet Trang

Tip 1. Equip yourself a Thai language dictionary, or keep quiet

I found that majority locals do not speak English. Local coffee shop workers, hotel masseurs and vendors in the morning markets do not speak English. Worse still, local tour guides do not speak good English. Sign language helps, but not much. Hence, you are most advisable to bring along a dictionary for a fulfilling trip. I am not saying that my trip wasn't  fun but you know, it could have been better if I was warned of this. Many local pharmacists, some shopkeepers and Sri-Trang Hotel receptionist speak English clearly, and succinctly.

Tip 2. The power of bargaining

Everything in Thailand is cheap when it is converted to most of the currencies. Yet, I despise those who bloodsuck us just because we are tourists/ travelers / backpackers. Anyways, save and except for 7-11 and supermarkets and shops/hotels/places where prices of goods are clearly spelled out, I may suggest you to try bargain your way out. Cab or tut-tut drivers would use their best endeavour to overcharge you. All you need to do is to ask how much are they charging before the journey, start bargaining by letting them know the lowest price you are willing to pay and bargain thereof. Eventually, you may not be paying the lowest price you desire, but let me assure you that a fairer price would be paid .
After all,  all of us hope to travel smartly  =)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Culture vulture

When life's trying your, patience, get a henna (or inai) and be artistically charmed =D

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Wait a minute, you don't look like a dork!

I always avoid going for outings after a long day. One of the reasons is this.

This happened during a recent dinner with some colleagues I met during my nomadic journey.

R: Hey did any of you go to this Dogatnon in Univesiti Putra Malaysia?

Everybody : ......

R: There were many dogs and it was very fun.

Me: Dork?

R: Yes, dog!

Me: And you went?

R: Yes yes.

Me: OMG I can't believe that. Wait a minute, you don't look like a dork .. I mean you aren't dorky and stuff...

J: Hey you, he's talking about dogs la babe.

Everybody: .......

I shall always keep to my principles =D

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Kuching/Sarawak Delights along Carpenter Street

"Carpenter Street" was first heard of last year when my Sarawakian colleague YS  happily suggested we going for lunch in a restaurant so named along Bayan Baru. I was made known that it is a street with shops selling lotsa local Chinese delights!

Inevitably, during a recent trip to Kuching, we chose to overnight in one of the fabulous hostels situated exactly 1-minute walk from the famous street.

 We hunted for our breaky on this street on daily basis throughout our stay. 
I have no idea how to relate "Ya Ta Jie" (Chinese) with "Carpenter Street" =(

True blue Sarawak kolomee we had in the so called "Temple".  After having kolomee for 3 consecutive days in Kuching, I still think the one sold in the Palazzo tasted best!

 Sarawak laksa. YS said this' the spiciest food in Sarawak - that's why I love Sarawak so much (The fact that I despise spicy food doesn't make me any less Malaysian!!!)

The "Temple" enriching our gastronomical adventure.  Highly recommended by some locals.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Boots Tea Tree Witch Hazel Anti-Blemish Cleansing Foam

The "Teatree + Witchhazel Anti-blemish Deep Cleansing Facial Foam" is now called "Tea Tree Witch Hazel Anti-Blemish Cleansing Foam". I am gonna miss the liquid foam so much as the new one comes in the form of cream foam and hence, I would have to lather it with water. The effect is nevertheless as good as the old one, if not better.

Boots Botanic Rosewater Toning Spritz 100% Organic

This' the new look of my all-time-favourite since 2011 (as described in this post). 

Not only it has a new look, it is now called "Rosewater Toning Spritz 100% Organic" instead of "Organic Face Rosewater Toner". The present best feature would be it allows you to spritz anywhere and everywhere conveniently <3 .="" and="" br="" in="" is="" it="" made="" the="" uk.="">

After 2 long years, the nearest place to attain this is still, sadly, from my neighbouring land i.e. Thailand. I look forward to the day I could walk into a nearby Boots Chemist and pay for it using local currency.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Hungry Goat Festival

Lunch mates

 This pie used to be sis' favorite

 Poo time

 Something fun followed? Wait for moi, I am taking the stairs!

 Well, technology era

 Goat farm in Miri