Monday, 30 December 2013

everybody who looks Asian

One day, as we were walking to Tokio Hotel..

Me : So, are you going back to Malaysia for Chinese New Year?

L : Er, nope.

M : Why? Is your family here?

L : No, they're in Hong Kong.

M : Eh? What are they doing in Hong Kong?! Holiday?.. Or did they move there?

L ((gives me strange look

M : Wait.. Are you from Malaysia?!

L : Nope, I'm from Hong Kong, actually.

*vomits blood*

And when Kw introduced another friend to me, I racked my brains trying to figure out what race in Malaysia would name their some 'Dat'.

Maybe he's Kadazan, I decided.

'Oh, by the way, I think he's Vietnamese,' Kw supplemented.

*vomits blood again*

I somehow think everybody who looks Asian is from Malaysia! Why?

Sunday, 29 December 2013

how often is normal?

On Christmas Eve I had lunch with Kate at CentraPark. I haven't seen her since Kit's birthday party in October, and somehow our conversation steered to how often we catch up with friends. 

'I see my friends once every 2-3months. That's normal!' she said.

'Really?' I'd asked sheepishly. 'I see Kw almost once a week.' 


'Before that I saw S almost on a daily basis.'

When I saw Dips and Kw I mentioned the conversation with Kate to them. 

'Do we meet too much?' I asked.

'Yes!' Dips said. (And then that night Kw came to borrow my Roses de Chloé perfume, so Dips' OS must be omg I have to see Min once a week because she's a close friend of my girlfriend, and now my girlfriend comes to bed smelling like Min as well! There is no escape from that woman!)

I still haven't figured out how often is too often, but in general I try to work with other people's schedules by responding instead of acting. If I like you, I accept invites to play (now depending on whether I can afford it) but I hardly make the first move. This way I can fit in with everybody's definition of normal.

Not sure if it's the realisation that I'm actually settling in Sydney - I still can't quite believe it somehow, or reading Happier at Home, or my nightmare last night that Dad was trying - and failing - to marry me off, but I'm paying more attention to building relationships with people. 

What I'm attempting to do more of -

1. Instead of saying 'hi' to my housemates, I ask 'how are you?' or 'how was your day?'

2. Instead of responding 'good' to my housemates' 'how are you?', I'll try to add another sentence about my day

I talk so little because I think, people can't be interested in this shit. I'll spare you the details. But often when I listen to conversations around me, I find them to be about seemingly meaningless crap, like -

Oh, I had to reschedule my hair appointment because the salon only had 1 hairdresser..

.. And then I spoke to my mum this morning, and she asked me to pick up this and that..

So I figured.. there must be some meaning in what sounds like blah chatter.

One sentence about my day provides opportunities to bond, turning a greeting into a brief conversation if the other party wishes to chat. 

3. If something can be done with other people, I try not to do it myself. (I love, love, love, LOVE doing things myself - it's über convenient, no waiting around and I can do whatever I want, whenever I want.)

But at the same time because I'm such a slow warmer, if I don't push myself to hang out with people, I would never get to the stage where I felt comfortable. I'm the sort of person who has to have repeat contact with people to feel at ease with them. Doing stuff together is a perfect excuse to spend time together.

So, I'm going to have a haircut with my housemate Cat next Saturday. It's quite silly, but even this required an effort on my part. 

4. Realign my budget with my priorities. Always budget for experiences over material things. I have the most complete perfume and lipstick collection among my friends, but I also have the least money for going out. If I don't want to die alone with a million bottles of fragrances and a thousand tubes of lipsticks, I have to budget accordingly.

So, er, good luck to myself. I'm sure this will pay off. Already I'm feeling more at home with Kw's group from hours of doggedly showing up and immersing myself in the group. (Not talking much sometimes equates to being able to note the nuances in the groups. I can fairly easily tell who likes who heh heh heh.)

Saturday, 28 December 2013

winter solstice + christmas 2013

en. Despite the fact that my bank account is still winning the who-is-most-broke competition amongst my peers, I had a surprisingly enjoyable Christmas. 

I hadn't wanted to celebrate Christmas for fear that I would be evacuated from my room after (due to inability to pay rent) but my friends were fretful about me spending Christmas alone - if I didn't go on the road trip, I would be expected to show up at Kit's Christmas party. Or dine with D. Or hang out with Y. Or (omg) spend it with my new housemate, whom I have known for all of 1 day.

What I learned about myself in 2013 - if left to my own devices, I would let one day melt into the next and become a hermit with an excellent collection of clothes, skincare and cosmetics. Being alone doesn't bother me usually. I can go by 48 hours without speaking a word. Luckily my friends ensure I don't end up a cat lady before I even hit the age when I start losing collagen.

So my new resolution in life is not just to celebrate holidays, but to celebrate them with actual people. I have a tendency to live in Fantasyland half the time -

So I made a point of going to Soph's for Winter Solstice. 

This is proof of her watermelon-cutting skills. 

Our simple meal of black fungus in vinegar and chilli + watermelon.

Winter Solstice must-eat - glutinous rice balls. I like this version with rice wine as well.

And then.. a Christmas event - watching Love Actually

On actual Christmas Day we went to The Entrance - I was actually thinking it all looks familiar, but it didn't hit me until Boxing Day that I had been here with Dan not too long ago!

We rented an apartment, cooked, ate, drank and devised ways to get our hands on more booze on a day when everything was closed. (We settled on going to a Malaysian Chinese restaurant and ordering wine and entrees).

And here is dear mummy fighting with the dishwasher.

On Boxing Day it turned sunny, which led to more time outdoors, which led to sunburn!

My arms got the worst of it - itching terribly now. But my face aged a fair bit as well. (Actually the photos don't look too bad, but in reality my arms were swollen). 

Still, it was an awesome break. Haven't felt so happy in awhile.  

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Caminetto - Italian restaurant at The Rocks

Friday night - catch up with Dan and Alex (whom I haven't seen since I left Melbourne 3 years ago - feels like another lifetime) at The Rocks.

The Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority had a special night market going over the summer months - Village Bizarre. Basically it's a night market, with free activities (and some which requires payment) like fortune telling, mini performances and bike-powered cinema showing short films(?).

Because all of us work full-time, and were all actually pretty tired, we didn't line up for any of the activities, instead deciding to have dinner after walking a round at the bazaar.

A very helpful volunteer saw us standing around undecided and came to give suggestions. We were planning to go to another Italian restaurant - forgot the name - but couldn't locate it so we decided on Caminetto, which is a bustling eatery right in the middle of The Rocks.

Asian mode ON. Used to be shy about food photography - actually about photography in general - but no longer! Because Gretchen Rubin (I think it was her) said that most of us don't bother recording the mundane everyday life because it's so ordinary, but it will be these exact things that we want to recall in the future. Like, how I lived as a 社会新鲜人 in a home away from home. (How I went out every Friday sweating about money? Not sure I want to remember this part of my life.)

The 500ml pitcher of sangria was super cute! And the fruits were crunchy and fresh! Seriously wanted to sneak the mini glassware into my bag..

For entree, we shared the Prosciutto and Melone ($22.90, Salt cured italian ham with seasonal melon). I first tried the prosciutto + ham combo in an Italian restaurant in Bangkok (I know, I know) and I must say this one at Caminetto is better! Though I'm still not a fan of cold cuts. I like my food hot. Cold foods for me are limited only to desserts.

I had veal as my main. Didn't take a picture because it looked kind of grotesque. Chunks of veal and mash smothered in bolognese sauce. Portions are HUMONGOUS! Sharing recommended.

Food was good!

Christmas decorations are up!

Ended our night out with a walk to the Opera House to aid digestion.. Wanted to capture the birds (or bats?) zipping around above the Harbour Bridge but couldn't. 

So.. this is how I spend a Friday night in Sydney.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Roses de Chloé and All My Roses!

Chloé has did it again with another amazing perfume! ((Chloé fan mode ON.

Roses de Chloé had a roadshow at Pitt Street Mall. I first noted their promotion while going to lunch. They have pretty girls dressed in that particular shade of nude/pink (floaty chiffon dresses), wearing pale pink roses in their hair, and carrying a basket filled with roses, samples and free-gift-redemption cards. Quite a vision amongst the stark dark suits in the city! Nice marketing.

The fragrance really hit the mark for me again (cannot escape bloody Chloé for the rest of my life!!!) - very apt PR description 'fresh-cut roses'. Smells like shampoo and babies (not sure why, am I hormonal?) and sunshine as well. All good stuff.

All purchases come with free engraving and for purchase of the 50ml bottle, you get a very pretty linen pouch. I'm a sucker for this shade omg. The engraving isn't very obvious, though.

For buying the 75ml you get a standing makeup box.

The free gift is an adjustable string bracelet with a mini silver Chloé plate, which is now in the recycling bin because it's difficult to wear. Also came with a 1.2ml L'eau de Chloé, which is described as 'a delicate blend of rose petals and natural rose water', which baffles me, because the smell somehow reminds me of men and cigarettes.

The first Chloé perfume in this series (tuberose), which somebody introduced to me a couple of years ago, saying that the secret to meeting The One lies in using rose-scented products, and Chloé was the rosiest rose fragrance in the market! Apparently her friend used it and is now dating the son of a major manufacturer. The philosophy was that guys are biologically programmed to find rose scents attractive ((OS: Where did that come from?! If this worked eHarmony would be out of business!)

This 'strategy' turned me off rose products for awhile. As a sign of rebellion (!) and to show how indignant I felt at such stories, I avoided anything rose-scented. Until I tested Jurlique's Rosewater Balancing Mist this year, then I was back in the market for rose products. I love roses now.

This is Jurlique's bestselling product and we did an entire strategy around this item for one of our reports in uni. It lives up to the hype - smells and feels amazing.

The last rose item I own is Sniff Soy Candles in Rose Bud.

Ironically I learned about this brand while reading a Taiwanese blog. Googled it and found out they were made in Sydney! Because they are small and intending to stay that way, it was a challenge to track them down. (But the more I can't have it the more I want it - 犯贱) Finally went to The Health Emporium in Bondi to sniff them.

What's special about Sniff is that you can use the melted essential oil to moisturise your skin. Personally I haven't attempted that. But the fragrance is enough to make my purchase worthwhile - it's not overly heady or sweet, but actually smells very fresh and clean. Summery. I light it whenever my housemates cook. For autumn/winter I think Bella Fig and Sandalwood would be perfect.

Not sure how other people light the candle when it's burned down into the jar, but I use an uncooked spaghetti. Found that nifty tip online - light the spaghetti, then use that to light the candle. Google is fantastic!


Re the roses my client sent me..

My boss saw them and asked, 'Wow, Min, do you actually want them? If not I'd like to take them home to my wife, she will be very happy!'


Monday, 11 November 2013

ramen burger, on ramen

this is totally different from the ramen burger recipe video i saw online, but still.. a good experience. i had pork tenderloins which was full of 软骨,which i dislike. not something i crave for - unlike Korean soups/stews, which i always dream about eating - but interesting enough. worth a try.

the accompanying mashed potato had so much wasabi, my nose stung a bit and i couldn't finish it.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

milestone, Chloé Love

for the first time in my life, i.. i.. i finished using the second bottle of the same perfume!!!

which means i actually used 2 50ml bottles of Chloé Love Eau Florale within a year! that has to be some kind of new record! 

actually perfume has the highest level of carcinogens amongst all beauty products, but i can't resist them. i can't stand people who smell bad. the bachelor-who-stays-in-his-room-all-the-time-with-door-closed is the worst. at least open your door and air your room!

Eau Florale is a 2012 limited edition, so my next Chloé perfume - which is already sitting under my bed, ready to be opened as soon as i finish all my other fragrances - will be the original Chloé Love, which smells like a richer version of Eau Florale, though it's still very subtle and mild.

also feeling very smug that i bought my 75ml Chloé Love for A$40! half the retail price in Malaysia for 50ml! i think perfumes are the secret cheapie that people can stock up on in Australia. i saw the sale at CFD (Cosmetics Fragrances Direct) online while i was still in KL, and asked my friend to buy it for me. sekali when she tested it she fell in love with it too and bought one for herself as well. that's how fabulous this perfume is! and how excellent my taste is. 

Saturday, 9 November 2013


so.. recently i have managed to lift myself out of unemployment-induced misery. no i haven't found a full-time, well-paying job yet - hopefully it's just 'yet'. but feeling less desolate and teary. maybe due to my newfound penchant of cooking with rice wine hahaha.

my new quest in life is to discover the ultimate Sesame Oil Chicken recipe. so far i have trialled one twice to so-so results. will be having another go today - though today's 30+ summer weather is not really inspiring me to cook something this warming.

so that's one thing to occupy me while i remain on self-imposed home-confinement in an attempt to stretch out 'seed funding' given by parents. 

also good that i'm working part-time, though the pay can't even cover my rent, much less my other expenses. and receiving calls, which proves that i'm not a total loser.

photo time!

despite being at uni for 2 years, i only discovered this area during a jog last week! 

my last social outing.

Cafe Ella on a quiet weekday, after the morning rush. The waiters here are always cute, and they serve reasonably-priced yummies.

Friday, 1 November 2013

hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy: kamikaze mice

When I was younger I saw a book titled Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and thought it was a wonderful name for a book. I don't recall the story now, only the shock and delight when I read about mice actually being in control of the world by letting human beings think we are in charge and sometimes committing suicide during experiments done on them so they can influence human perception!

To this day I'm still amazed by how different some human brains are! I'm certain I would never have thought of that crazy idea!

Or maybe.. it's the truth?

Sunday, 27 October 2013

chrome fest

on Saturday, dan and i decided to go for a day trip to take our minds off job hunting.

we decided to go to Lake Macquarie, with a stopover in The Entrance. there was a festival going on when we got to The Entrance - Chrome Fest, basically 'a tribute to classic American autos, hot rods and rock & roll'!

it was a perfect day for going out - sunny and cool. i'm not a car person but i thoroughly enjoyed all the cars which reminded me of Gatsby and Grease.

the water is amazingly clear! i kept ooh-ing and ash-ing about it and my friend was like, 'but all the seawater is this clear in Australia!'

i mulled it over and decided what he said was true. perhaps i've been holed up in my room staring at my laptop for too long.

most of the vintage cars had the windows rolled down so we could have a good look at the interior.

look! cars for hire! i'm so gonna get married in this! (although who drives a vintage car to town hall to get married anyway?)

i love looking at logos through the ages, and the different brands.

in the afternoon we continued on to Lake Macquarie, passing by areas which have been affected by bush fires.

((pardon the reflection of my jacket

my housemate's family crashed with us to escape the threat of fire - not under official evacuation orders, but just because.

i may sound horrible, but i do not have a shred of sympathy for them. no matter what happens, i violently dislike people who are rude and dirty - who uses up other people's food without asking, do not bother replacing them, and never washes up. let's not even talk about them putting plants in my food bowl. am filled with disgust - both at them and at myself for being so lacking in intellect and abilities that i cannot afford a better place and have to share with such cheap people.

Lake Macquarie is basically a big lake. not as big as Lake Michigan, though. ((is anything as huge as Lake Michigan?

we got a free map and a suggested route for a day trip at Swansea, then had a scenic drive through the quaint and charming suburbs surrounding the lake.

back in Sydney we had dinner at Fratelli Paradiso, a popular and slightly artisan Italian restaurant with a wine list 10 times longer than the menu. should have taken photos but didn't because it was dim from 'mood lighting'. the risotto was to-die-for, and my scampi spaghetti was good too. yummy in a delicate-balance-of-flavours kinda way.

and as if that wasn't enough indulgence for one day, we made a final stop at Gelato Messina aka Best Gelato in Sydney for dessert.

gula melaka! 
Gula melaka (palm sugar) gelato | Rosewater praline fudge |
Hazelnut feuilletine | Raspberry gele

golden bluff
Coconut gelato | Coconut praline | Coconut sable | Gold leaf

i loved, loved, loved, loved, LOVED my Gula Melaka! it has 2 things I love - gula melaka, rosewater (speaking of rosewater i now having a craving from the watermelon rosewater cake from Black Star Pastry - dies). Want to run out and catch train to buy it again but
1. am broke
2. am stinky and sweaty from run
3. will exceed recommended sugar/fat intake.

instead, will shower and try out my new Nivea In-shower Body Lotion.