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Monday, August 2, 2021

I know how to live


5 weeks ago, I bought a one-way flight ticket to Spain to safe myself from an undesirable situation. While most people would think it’s because I got dumped, it really isn’t. It’s everything else but that. It’s exhaustion from people taking advantage of me, draining “friends” who pretend to be there, but when I needed a shoulder to cry on, none can offer an ounce of empathy, never mind support. It’s being lost (temporarily) because life doesn’t go according to (my) plan. It’s being afraid that I was a little too late to start having a family on my own. Obviously, I had pissed a lot of people off doing what I did (packed my bags and left). This is not a solution, it’s just a reaction, and this is my way of coping. You don’t need to understand, and you don’t need to agree. Just let me be.

 

I discarded my mobile number at the airport and went to Spain with absolutely no plans. I just needed the sunshine, to get out of my comfort zone, to eat fresh, cheap, and delicious Spanish food (and not to forget the vino tinto), to be in a new environment where no one knows my name, no one to judge me or to tell me how to live. A place that I have a chance to be who I want to be, and where I can have a healthy dose of positive perceptive in life. -This off course is the best thing I’ve decided for myself since I’ve started solo travelling 6 years ago. This is what I’ve learnt so far:-

 

Be true and authentic to yourself

 

People don’t know you, all they have are just impressions based on a few corrupted opinions they formed (depending on your state of life). They’d tell you to live small, “start from the bottom, because everyone else does”. Don’t listen to them. If I had to marry the first guy who flew to Malaysia to visit me, I’d probably be a housewife in Copenhagen. While being a housewife is an honourable and self-less career, it’s just not my dream career. I had other dream; to be a forensic psychologist. People would tell me how to live (their life); live small and take small risk, and be safe, be normal and follow the crowd. I refused to listen. Instead, I listened to my heart and followed my dreams. I’ve applied to other Universities in UK (and received a few interviews and offers). Truth is, the universe wants us to win, all we have to do is try and give our best shot, not give up and live small. Don’t be scared to dream big, only you know your potential and capabilities. Most importantly, don’t listen to others when they tell you to start from “bottom”.

 

Another was people asking me if I wasn’t “too tired” of studying. They made us believe that there is a limit (in age) to pursue your dream, or to continue to strive for higher education. This kind of discouragement is an anchor pulling you down. I have witnessed my mother (a loving independent woman) who is 63 years old and still collecting medical diplomas and master degrees (at least 6 that I know of), -that’s how I was brought up; to keep chasing knowledge, be ambitious and strive for the best. “Each of us has far more choices that what we are aware of. We think we are so limited in life that we have to live and do what we are currently doing” (p.178). Which is not true. Don’t stop learning because some “people die at twenty but buried at eighty” (p. 22).They stopped taking risk in life, and they stopped trying, simply because they are afraid to let go of things that makes them feel comfortable, they want to play safe, they are afraid to explore, so they take small risk and live small, as long as they know/think they are safe “in life”. Life that no longer has meaning because they are afraid to live; take risk and opportunities.

 

Others told me that I fall in love easily. Don’t feel sorry. Being in love is the greatest feeling one can experience. Be in love as many times as you want, because this is how you know you feel amazing and incredible things. Close your eyes and be in love. No rules on earth telling you that you can only be in love ONCE. People are afraid to risk in life, and they don’t want to, so they tell you not to do it, but do it anyway. Don’t be scared to fall in love, to face rejection, to get heartbroken. Boys are beautiful, but you can’t have them all. What you can have, are experiences and memories with them. So be in love and share your love. “The waste of life lies in the love we had not given” (p.51). It’s false to impose the “play hard to get” games on women, because not all women want to play games, not all women want to be treated like a princess. Some of us wants to be equal. To give as much (if not more) than what we receive. And this is the feeling of being in love that others may not be able to understand. They paint a false perception that women must choose wisely, that we can’t give our heart and love easily, because we need to protect ourselves- from what, really? They make other girls feel sorry when relationship doesn’t work- what is there to be sorry about? That’s part and parcel of life, it’s experience and memories- two things these people would never understand because they have only been in love once, and they think that’s how everyone should life their life. I say be in love as many times as you want, with whoever you want, whenever you want!

 

So I learnt to be true and authentic to myself; that I want to dream big, I want to always be in love and I want to achieve my dream no matter how old I am. “No one’s path is better than the other- they just looked different” (p.65), and this is how I choose my path; to dream big and be in love! The world has become “a place where people have forgotten how to dream” (p.56)- everyone wants to be practical, everyone wants to fit in the crowd, not having the guts to be different, be in love and dream big. I say screw the crowd, not everyone starts from bottom, and not everyone wants to be in love ONCE, not everyone wants to stop studying at 24 years old. Be true to yourself because “fear is the number one factor that caused people to live small, inauthentic lives” (p. 54). At the end of the day, you will thank yourself for listening to yourself and be true to yourself. This is your journey, own it!

 

I have witnessed a lot of people who are not true to themselves; claiming to be posh, but have no effort to live like the posh (no money, no education, no property on their own, no manners and take advantage of others), people who pray religiously and have good relationship with their Gods but have no moral compass and belittle and talk poorly about others, people who claim to be so self-concern on Covid-19, but can’t even respect a one-way system. Lots of hypocrites in the world. Don’t be one of them. Be true to yourself. Know yourself, your strength and your flaws, be kind and let others speak highly of you.  

 

Feelings are what makes us human

 

Feelings are real, don’t avoid them. I have met the most affectionate person who are unable to express his feelings through words but does so with his actions. I have also met couple who avoid confrontations at home, but suppressed their feelings, results to silent treatments, and bitch behind each other’s back, and generally not happy in life. This happened because they denied their feelings, and it’s just a matter of time until they hurt someone else- because they live in a very unhappy life; life that deny each other of expression, opportunity to be heard and understood, potential solutions that could save and strengthen their relationship in the future. “A person closed off from his feelings lacks sensitivity, compassion and empathy” (p.114). So don’t feel sorry to what you are feeling, instead, show it and own it. Cry if you’re sad, dance and laugh if you’re happy because “laughter is the shortest distance between human hearts” (p. 115). I now understand why some people were unable to show an ounce of empathy when I was going through a bad patch, it’s because they are not happy; they are closed off from their feeling resulting for them to deny others to express their feelings as well. I hope when it’s their turn to hit rock bottom, people around them would only show love and support. The world is a better place when we are able to feel what we feel without having to explain and justify ourselves. Everyone goes through bad patches in life, it’s kindness that we show that can help make the world a better place. “People who do not love themselves cannot show love to others, and people who do not have any self-respect have no idea how to give respect to others” (p.161). Love and respect yourself and show love and respect to others. Don’t deny your feelings just so you can look cool and macho. Be real to yourself and let your feelings show the emotions you are experiencing, because that’s the closest thing of us being human and showing humanity.  

 

Find happiness in life

“Happiness is our birthright” (p.50). I have met a person who owns a house and a job, and a goal and purpose in life, but still can’t be happy. I have seen married women who is loved and has someone to love, a career and everything I would perceive as “perfect” but are still unhappy. I thought I was unhappy because I didn’t have a job, a house, or a person to love, then I realized that happiness comes from within us. “Happiness is an inside job” (p.183). We attach meaning to life, and we decide what makes us happy. If traveling makes you happy, then to hell with what people wants to say. If finding yourself over and over again makes you happy, then do it unapologetically. Do what makes you happy; solo traveling, being lost in nature, being in love, meeting new people, music, cooking, reading, it can be anything. Anything but money and power! Detach ourselves from material and superficial things in world.  In life, I don’t want to be rich or posh, I don’t want to be right and have the last say, I don’t want to be smart and know it all. I want to be authentic, kind and honest. I want to tell people there are some English words that I still don’t know the meaning to or don’t how to pronounce, because I want to learn- and I want to be honest without being judged. I want to offer help and kindness without having to be taken advantage off. Be who you want to be, as long as you are happy, and you are not hurting others. Don’t let your status, money, power and achievements define you, instead, let your values and your heart speak for yourself. 

 

Travel the world and be a better you

“The world is a great book, of which they who did not stir from home read only a page- St Augustine” (p.126). It saddens me to meet many well-travelled people but are still ignorant and shallow minded- criticize others, lack manners, feel superior. Then I realized that there are different types of traveling; one where you’re are sheltered and protected,  and another where you are curious and want to explore- not only the places, but the culture, the mind, the lifestyle, the differences that separates us from one another- but yet the similarity that makes us one. 

 

Not long after I started my first solo travel, the people I met have tremendously changed my life. People who have been to national parks, had rainy days and slept with wet clothes, and woke up every day since then thanking god for clean and dry clothes -little things in life we have always looked past. I have met people who has worked the same job for 30 years, no experience to share and no one to share with. I have met a girl who has been in a relationship for 15 years, so hurt and broken but still able to offer love and support to the world. I have met a person who became a father at 19 years old, and now is 40 years old and want to start living his life, or a 61-year-old lady still cycling across Europe because that is what her heart desire. Many people with many experiences- all we have to do is open our eyes, pay attention and listen to their stories. These stories are insights that makes us be a better person, to know one’s story without having to go through them, to have sympathy and empathy on things we can’t imagine happening to us, to be humble and realize that we don’t know it all (even if we think we do). Some people told me that backpacking is a “teenage phrase”. It isn’t. I have witness people in 50s still backpacking across the world, seeking the truth and self-discovering. Moving from one place to another, being flexible, taking up challenges, and most importantly, getting out of their comfort zone and getting to know the world. 

 

Good news for ladies, backpacking also helps in shaping your boobies and abs! Try it if you don’t believe me (provided you do it right). I enjoyed it very much. Travel the world, get out of your comfort zone, learn new things, gain new experiences, meet new people! Live your life, travel the world, know the world, know yourself, be a better you. – and share it with people.  

 

Traveling solo gives you the opportunity to get to know yourself, and your desire. We spent too much time listening to unwanted opinions. Opinions that people spend lots of time and energy on our life to prevent us to be ourselves, to always wants to pull us back in the crowd and tell us we’re doing it wrong. Solo traveling means the only opinion that matters is yours. “Find the time to be in silence, stillness and solitude” (p.123), and you will know yourself much better, and you would know to never doubt yourself ever again, and never listen to anyone else’s opinion other than yours. 

 

Friends come and go, it’s okay to cut some loose

 

In life, I have 6 beautiful friends- friends who goes above and beyond for me- and whom I’d do the same. Sure, I will make new friends in the future, but only genuine, authentic, kind and honest people get to be in my crowd/circle. It’s not personal though, and it’s never personal. It’s just self-growth, self-development, and self-relationship. I want to be true to myself, and I can’t have people around who doesn’t want the best for me, dragging me down with their unwanted comments (or opinion they form with other friends), words of discouragement and attitude that are not compatible with mine.  

 

I have experienced knowing a person who barely knows me, but believed the best in me; gave me all the support I needed to nail all those interviews. He believed in me when I doubted myself, he gave me the confidence I lost, walked through the scary moments with me and only want the best for me. U know who you are, thank you <3. I have also friends who lent me money for me to continue travelling because they only want me to be happy. I have a personal cheerleader in life that (no matter what I do), achievements are celebrated excessively, and I also have people who are genuinely proud of me. These are all I need atm. Sometimes strangers are more kind to us than our real “friends”- find those who only want the best for you, and could be happy for you even when they’re not- in life, we need to support each other, not discourage and demoralize people around us. 

 

For those who have been nothing but kind and supportive towards me, thank you for crossing paths with me. Trust your instinct that there are other reasons why we are not meant to be in each other’s life for now. You know who you are, know yourself, keep being awesome, never stop being kind, the world needs you.  

 

So that sums up, what I know so far, and what I have learnt during my 5 weeks (and ongoing) solo travel. Don’t follow the crowd, they fuck you up, they discourage and break you, they whisper negativity telling you that you can never make it. Trust yourself, your guts, and your capabilities. Safe yourself when needed, cut some anchors loose, don’t feel sorry, don’t justify, don’t worry about what people will say behind you (they’d do it anyway), be true to yourself, dream big, give yourself the chance to be the person you want to be. Find that happiness within you, and always be kind!

 

Travel blog will be updated soon. Stay tune! Thanks for reading!  

 

 

All quotes were taken directly from Sharma. R. (2004). Discover your destiny with the monk who sold his Ferrari: The 7 stages of Self-Awakening. HarperThorsons. London – This book changed my life in 2015, and I reread this just to relearn how to be happy and content in life again just like other seekers who have transformed their life.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Break up that doesn’t hurt

Something I have to let out just to confirm that my heart agrees with my head. So here’s my love life drama…


I met a boy with the sweetest smile in the world. His personality is very genuine that it makes me want to be just like him. He’s a really good person and I trust that he’s incapable of hurting me. He’s inability to express emotions makes me want to care for him even more. Though I realize we’re not compatible, but something about him makes me want to try and give my all. And it’ll all be worth it! But if it doesnt go my way, then i know i’ll surrender knowing that I’ve done my best. 

Two days ago he told me he doesn’t see a future with me. Which was perfectly fine as I believe everyone is entitled for their own choices and preferences. I was looking for someone to grow with, but he wants to grow on his own. And because I was such an embarrassment to his friends, he doesn’t see me being part of his circle and future. 

That being said, I still think he is a good person. He was honest and open for the first time, he could have dragged me on for another couple more years knowing I’m willing to give my all, but he didn’t. He could have done it in between my exams, and just destroy me before my final and most important exam, but he waited for the right time. That, to me, is the kindest thing someone can do for me; being honest about not going anywhere and doing it in the right manner at the right time.

I’ve never experienced such a healthy closure. I could only say thank you, for everything; the time spent, the knowledge I’ve learnt, the attention and compliments I’ve received, the fun I had, and most importantly for teaching me that i can feel so deeply about someone, and still not get my heart broken when things doesn’t work out. That’s what happen when you lent your heart in the hands of a good person. They won’t break you, they’ll just give it back and tell you that now is not the best time. 

So I took my heart back and gave it straight to a person who has been waiting to hang out with me since November last year. His forwardness and ability to open up makes me trust that he’s another good person; someone who is honest and could potentially return my heart back unhurt and (possibly unscratched). We stayed up talking and just being open to each other, and that for me is already an amazing start. 

Miracles do happen guys, wish me luck x

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Friendship

Feels like 17 all over again blogging about friendship, but hear me out, I might have different perspectives as I grow.


What is friendship?

Friendship is being with each other through difficult and happy moments. Is creating a story that u would treasure for the rest of your life. To be able to know that you are never alone. I have a high school friend who always ask "what are we gonna do now?" to every personal problems I was facing. The word "we" is so impactful that I felt I never had to struggle on my own. This was the same friend who would crack Maggie mi (instant noodle) into two and share it with me during our broke days in uni because we party too much. That friend had also stood by me even when I was oversensitive, emotional and hot headed. even when I make scenes at every club we went into when I was drunk in those younger days. even when I was a homophobic and went back on my words and dated a girl. when I lost my coffee shop business, when I became a lawyer, when I was heartbroken by love, when I left to Germany, and until now, regardless of where I am, she is still with me, that's friendship. 

Another friendship is with this amazing independent woman who travelled to Australia for better quality of life. She worked her ass off to contribute to every single one of her family members. Her dear mother passed away and she couldn't go back just yet (because she had a target to achieve before leaving back to Malaysia). I was worried as I haven't seen her since 2017 when I visited her during my one month solo backpacking trip. So I visited her again in Australia in 2019. She was lost, and always high, and she doesn't open up. She was betrayed by friends around her (survival of the fetus), and I observed a miserable living condition. I was shock, worried, and sad all at the same time. With all these mixed feelings I call her out and told her off. I said if she comes abroad to get high like a drug addict, she might as well come to Cardiff where I stay and join the druggies on the streets. I know it came off like an ass, and I admit that wasn't the best approach and I wasn't proud of it. We ended up in a massive civil war between us the entire 2 weeks of road trip with two other friends. I left Australia with a huge amount of regret for even caring to fly across the continent from UK just to visit her. I felt under appreciated and under valued. But most annoyingly, I felt that I could have done better. I blamed myself for having the wrong approach, I asked myself if I should have been a better friend, I doubted my values and behaviour, and I almost hated myself for being a terrible friend. She was lost, she lost her mother, she's in a foreign country all alone, she was backstabbed by her friends. The last thing she needed was a friend to fly in from UK just to tell her off. I hated myself for what I did. I was feeling angry at myself and guilty at the same time, until I received a phone call from her 2 weeks later. She apologized for having a poor reaction to my already poor approach. She knows that I love her, and she said what I did was a wake up call for her. She has moved out and shared a house with someone decent, stayed sober and healthy, and now she's back in Malaysia and started a garage business in her hometown Sabah. Everything worked out eventually. Btw, she is a friend who paid for my CLP course registration because I was too afraid to tell my parents I was a year behind and decided to change university. (Off course my parents repaid her back after I eventually come clean). My point is, she is an amazing friend, and sometimes, we have to go through bumps in friendship just to make it stronger. 


Recently I was blessed with a new friend who is turning 21 soon. I met her during an event and we've hit it off pretty well and were close friends since then. We celebrated Christmas in London in 2019 and had a Christmas and new year trip to Lake District in 2020. Last week she made a dramatic exit and a scene when she left a note saying that she was going to hide in a rabbit hole and wish not to be found. She got her housemates and friends even more worried when she turned off her mobile phone. I observed different approach and reactions from her friends. Some of them were crying, some of them were making a logical interpretation as to where they could find her, some of them were looking for bikes and cycled in the middle of the night to check if she was hiding at my place. After they found her, they have mixed emotions of relief but furious at her for causing a scene. After 5 days, she cooked for her friends and thank them for their concern and apologized for making them worry. So what is friendship? Is it cycling across neighbourhoods in the middle of the night? is it making food and amends? is it sending a text to check in? 


Friendship is being able to accept someone's insecurity, to offer reassurance when needed, to give attention and show love and empathy when someone is being vulnerable, to offer support no matter how severe the challenges they are going through and to remind them that they are valued, loved and appreciated, and to forgive and care and keep forgiving. That is friendship. 


If anything I leant from this, is a reminder that people differ from ways of showing love and care. It's because everyone have different love languages. Some show love by flying across countries, some cycled their way for a rescue mission, some share their food with you and be broke and poor together, and some pay for your university fees. Oddly enough, not everyone could interpret the non verbal love languages the same way. To some, all they needed were just a reassurance and reminder that they will be supported no matter what. To some, showing up is enough. To some may be just "How are you feeling today?". And to some, accepting and being accepted for who we really are. So, what's your love language? Do your friends know that they are valued and loved? Are you a good friend?


3 days ago my friend Sid lost his best friend to suicidal. His best friend claimed to have terrible support system and eventually gave up on his life after struggling with BPD and severe depression. My friend Sid had always cross the states to visit him and support him. Sadly due to lockdown, he hasn't been able to do the same. Poor boy left the world feeling no one cared enough. Leaving Sid thinking that he hasn't done enough to be a good friend. Makes me wonder how else do we communicate our support if everyone understand love language differently? This, ladies and gentleman, is why psychology is an important field to explore!


Share your thoughts! xx

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Clearer view

Sometimes u can’t think of a plan when u’re in a messy situation, your mind is messy, and u’re confused and tangled up with probably the only options u think are available. But life is simple. It may not be straightforward, but it’s simple. And all u need is just a vacation or a foreign place to sit down, enjoy the nature/view, clear your mind, and u’ll see everything a little bit more clearer. 


Although this Malta trip is for Al’s birthday, it felt like it was for me. I didn’t realized i needed this so much until i’m here. This is for the broken heart. This is for being alone when both the person i love left me. For the birthday lockdown when i was all alone and scared. For struggling through 2 years of being in a country that wasn’t my first choice. I feel so lucky to be here. This is for me. I owe it to myself. The fancy hotel i’m staying in, the sunsets i was able to watch, the crystal clear water i swam in, the jazucci, the delicious fresh fish, the cheap boat ride, the live music, everything is just.... perfect. I feel happy. I feel content. 

Traveling has healed me once again. Travel far enough to find yourself, and if you’re still feeling lost, recreate yourself. 

Thank you Malta! 

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Another break up

Break up sucks, everyone would've already known that by now. Sometimes it's how you've been dumped that defines how sucks it can be. I've been dumped before, and sometimes it gets more brutal than how I think I deserve to be treated... But I understand. I understand that some people are afraid to deal with it, or they have different levels of coping mechanisms, or they needed more time to be clear.

Last week I was left with a text saying that "we're done", and I was blocked from contacting the person whom I have come to realize that I love so much. Gotta be honest, it wasn't easy. I spent every possible way overthinking and blaming myself for everything that was happening, wishing how I could have done better and hoped I haven't taken him for granted. Was living in a mixed feeling of guilt and despair. It wasn't pleasant tbh, considering the lockdown and staying alone at home. I would usually travel around and give myself more time to digest the situation and understand the underlying principle of romance, and would eventually accept why things don't work out the way I had hoped they would.

The first feeling that I've experienced (besides shock) was feeling scared. I have allowed myself to be co-dependent on him for all those times that I was ditched, feeling low, screwing up my studies, unable to come up with words or ideas. I had confided in him for support, love, trust, companion, and most importantly confidence. He had been amazing and had been the biggest support system I seek as far as I can remember living in Cardiff. So, where do I go from here now? I'm feeling a little lost. and empty. and scared.

Secondly, the feeling of guilt. I've come to realize that I had been focusing too much on his weaknesses and flaws, making it hard for me to compromise things from time to time, and ended up arguing over small and petty things. I've realized that he was everything that I wanted and that I should have accepted his flaws and weaknesses sooner because I myself am not flawless, but then again who is? But loving a person is not just loving his strength. It's loving all he is. and that includes his flaws and weaknesses. The only weaknesses I should have worked on was my own. So yes, I did feel guilty that i was being critical and hard to work with.

I have to admit that the main cause that drove him away was my anger problem, I have been verbally abusive and often said things I didn't mean. And I wish I didn't treat every argument lightly because when it's accumulated, it will reach a limit and will eventually be a turning point for permanent damage. I don't know how many times I had beaten up myself for that. I also failed to recognize that different people have different tolerance levels, there's only so much they can take and what he has taken was beyond what he was able to handle. I would probably turn into a monster during pregnancy and motherhood, so it was best that he saved himself before reaching that point. (for future boyfriend, I'm just joking, I'll be nice, promise, xx)

The most important thing that got me through the rough day is some support from good friends who have known me and were able to remind me of my strengths. Focusing on my weaknesses is good for self-improvement, but there is only so much self-criticism someone should take. Too much of it will result in overthinking and negative thoughts. So, I had a little break and embraced the kind words and encouragement by my friends. Here's some:-

Z: Love you. Don't be so hard on yourself ok. Remember self-care! You're already going through a tough time --be gentle with yourself while you go through this! Cry with a cup of tea (or wine if you must), if you're crying too much that you can't put on a face mask, paint your nails instead. Run yourself a nice bath --use your favourite soap. talk to people. listen to music. stretch. (take a walk if that's allowed). eat something healthy <3

I: Remember you have travelled across Europe all on your own. I haven't met anyone like that. But that again I don't know a lot of people. =D

B: Buddy, u masuk hutan sorang-sorang, travel sorang-sorang. Kene macam-macam dekat airbnb, and dah banyak u lalui sorang-sorang. U tu kuat. sangat kuat buddy.

M: Remember yourself before you met him. You were really strong and remember how you dealt with things. Who you are and where you wanted to go. The situation you have been handling in Cardiff wasn't easy, and you struggled, you have tried your best. So if you slipped out something you didn't mean, don't be too hard on yourself, because it's not easy taking care of others with mental health issues.

C: If we manage to lose weights we will be hot as fuck. I think we will be hotter mentally and physically. Be a savage queen!

A: I know it's harder done than said, but don't lose yourself.

Yesterday he called me and I finally had proper closure from him after 8 days! I had mixed feelings between being relief because I was able to talk to him but feeling sad at the same time because he has made up his mind and it's over. The conclusion I made from this, is that he is selfish, but he is allowed to be selfish, to look after his mental health and well-being. He sounded confident, independent and relaxed. I want nothing else for him except the best, and that was the best I think he has been since I've known him. So in a way, I'm happy for him. I really am.

Secondly, your friends can be biased, but sometimes they say things that you needed to hear. They encourage you and lift you up, and remind you of your strengths and reminded you the best version of yourself. So when I'm feeling scared and lost, remember that I have been lost before, and I had been scared before, and for both times I have managed to find my way out.

Thirdly, I took a step back and try to understand the situation that has happened over a year and a half. Why the arguments happened and why I had lost it a lot of times. I came to Cardiff to look after my beloved brother. Juggling with studies and having to live with my brother is a wonderful thing to experience, but having to maintain a relationship with someone who has mental health issues can also be quite challenging. This is the first time I have experienced in dealing with this kind of situation. May be wasn't the best way, but definitely was my best effort. There are difficult moments that I must admit even I couldn't handle, I may have lost my patience and was stuck with negative thoughts and emotions. I made an effort to see a therapist to ask how should I handle people with difficulties. The therapist said, "you have been taking care of everyone, take a moment to care for yourself and do things that make you happy." Obviously, I was furious because it didn't help me. At least not at that time. Now I understand what the therapist had said was true. I'm exhausted. I lost it. I wasn't happy. I was in pain. So I say hurtful things, and I behave poorly. It's a reaction to my mental well being. I've forgotten to take care of that.

Now that I have put all my thoughts and emotions into words, I think I'm ready to move on. Things didn't work out not because he was difficult, or selfish. Not also because I had anger management problem and need professional help. It's because everything that had happened, had a poor reaction because the situation was a difficult one. And although some people may get through it, some other people have got different levels of coping and handling things. I reacted poorly at some behaviour, choice of words and situation. But I was allowed to react poorly because I'm overwhelmed with challenges that were beyond my capabilities and not everyone can keep their composure at difficult moments. Also, I am pretty sure I have repeatedly tried to encounter the situations in a more acceptable manner before I start to lose it and reached my limit. He accepted my reaction poorly. but he is also allowed to accept it poorly because my reaction has negatively impacted his mental and well being. Over time, when everything is accumulated, it's not healthy for anyone of us. Despite his weaknesses and flaws, he has amazing strengths, and despite my weakness and flaws, I too have strengths. We both have it differently, and one thing for sure is that we both couldn't overcome the situation despite the strengths that we both have individually. Both our weaknesses have gotten the better of us. So I'm saying, that it's okay that things didn't work out. We had tried our best. We persevered with each other for the sake of the relationship. We have had amazing memories. But it's time to call it a day. Take care of ourselves, because no one can love us more than we love ourselves. I feel at peace now.

Thank you for everything. Goodbye Adam. x

Monday, May 13, 2019

JUST FAB UK IS A SCAMMER

On your first item purchased, you will get a 75% discount. This will automatically subscribe you for a VIP member, you wouldn't notice this because they explicitly written it in the the email at the very bottom part in the smallest font and in grey colour so that is not obvious. They deduct 35 pounds from your card every month and will not notify you.

They have successfully deduct 455 pound from me since last April (2018), and refuse a full refund upon canceling the membership.

I see this act as deceiving and manipulating customers. I urge all online shoppers to be very careful. There are plenty of review from other customers regarding this, so before you shop at this website, make sure you know your rights and what they are charging you.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Brazil 2018


Brazil was incredible although I only spent 2 weeks there, but I love everything about Brazil. The language, the food, the ambiance, the music and lifestyle. The Brazilian people are  incredibly welcoming and have undeniably friendly character. I used to think that people who has limited knowledge in a certain language will sound rude/dumb, I had so little knowledge in Portuguese and they didn’t made me feel dumb or treat me badly, never once. In fact, they encourage me to speak their language by guiding me. Some of them who speaks English obviously sees us as a platform to practice English instead. I will share some of experience in Brazil, hoping that you too (if haven’t) will visit Brazil one day and fall in love like I did.

Portuguese Brazilian words

As a start, here’s some basic Portuguese Brazilian words you might want to use there, Vamos!:-

Three ways to say hello: Oi, Olá and Eai (pronouced as E-A-I the alphabates)
How are you/ u’re good?: tuda boa? tuda bem?
It’s fine/good: Ta boa? (short form for está boa? Pronouced as Ta bong?)
Thank you: Obrigada (if u’re female) and Obrigado (if u’re a male)
The bill, please : Aconta, por favour (pronouced as por-fabor)
Chicken:  Frango
Pork: Porco
Shrimp: Camarão
Bye: Tschau (pronounced as ciao) some of them say it twice like tschau tschau!
I: Eu
You: Você
Him/Her: Ele, Ela
We: Nos
You (Plural): Vocês
Them: Eles (male plural), Elas (female plural)

Im not exactly the best person to teach Portuguese here, but so far these words have came up repeatedly enough for me to remember and interact with the locals. The best thing about this language is that you pronounce as you read except for certain letters like:-

ç -is pronounced as “ss” (for example Cahaça is pronounced as ka-ha-ssa, it’s a distilled spirit made from fermented sugarcane juice used in Caipirinha, a traditional Brazilian drink)
Nha- is pronounced as “Nya” (for example Espanha is pronounced as Es-pa-nya, and Caipirinha is pronounced as “Cai-pi-ri-nya and Almanhã is pronounced as al-ma-nya which means tomorrow)
V- is pronounced as “F” just like the German (for example Por Favour is pronounced as Por-fa-bor)
R- if it is single at the beginning or any word or if its double in the middle of any word will be pronounced as “h” (For example Rio de jeneiro is actually pronounced as “Hio de je-nei-ro” and Barrerinhas is pronounced as Ba-he-rin-nyas)
LL- double L is pronounced as “y” like the spanish (for example 
D- is pronounced as “G” (for example boa dia is pronouced as bong gia which means good day)

Those are the basic. It’s very important to know at least the basic because very few of the locals can actually converse in English and it will be challenging to visit Brazil without this knowledge. Also, it’s always fun to learn other people’s languages.

Portuguese Brazilian Music

Meu Abrigo by Melim
Quero que tu vá by Ananda & Joker beats
Favela by Anok & Ina Wroldsen
Largado ás trasças- Ao Vivo by Zé Neto & Christiano

(These are my favourite top Brazilian songs in August 2018, might be outdated if you’re reading this in the future)

Signature food & drinks

Caipirinha- Brazilian local and most significant cocktail which is combination of cahaça (spirit), sugar, lime (limaõ) and ice. You get to choose between Cahaça and vodka and some places replace the lime with other fruits. Limaõ if translated is lemon, but they actually meant lime.

Coxinha- Brazilian typical snacks like a fried dough food which consist of chopped/shredded chicken meat (sometimes other ingredients), covered in dough, battered and fried

Pastel- Brazilian fast food. Consisting of half-circle/ rectangle-shaped thin crust pies with assorted fillings, fried in vegetable oil. Its crispy and looks like a brownish fried pie. (The best and biggest pastel everyone are talking about are the one in Mercado Municipal Paulistano, São Paulo)

Brazilian Airlines

These are some Brazilian Airlines I’ve experienced traveling around Brazil with:-
LATAM Airlines -has a lot of benefit in terms of free shuttle to/from the airport
Azul Airlines -cheap, easy check in and sometimes offer free shuttle
Avianca Airlines- Best flight entertainment, they have all my favourite series, tip top service, very punctual and have my best recommendation.

Places I visit

Sāo Paulo

Sao Paulo is incredibly freaking huge! It consist of 39 municipalities in total and has 13.11 million population as of 2017. There are 3 different airports in Sao Paulo, so if you’re traveling to and from one of the airports, take note that it’s not nearby.

São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport (GRU) -3 Terminals with free shuttle bus, some airlines like LATAM or Azul will get free transfer to Congonhas Airport from Terminal 2 and 3, just tell them you came with these airlines, show your tickets and you will get a free ride to Congonhas which is relatively nearer to then Centre of Sao Paulo.
Congonhas Domestic Airport (CGH) -Which is about an hour from GRU,m and about 20 minutes to the centre.
Viracopos International Airport (VCP)- this is the tricky part. It’s situated in Campinas, which is an hour drive from the centre or 2 hours bus ride. You either get the free bus ride based on the airline company you’re traveling with, like LATAM Airlines, there are several pick up points in the centre but last bus will be at about 20:30, there are also bus that you can pay about R$30- R$35 one way.

Enough about the Airport. My favourite place in Sao Paulo has got to be Vila Madalena. There are plenary of affordable hotel and hostel in that area, but you love party, I suggest Ô de Casa, the next street of O de Casa have various pubs and clubs that open til am. Good music and a lot of cute boys <3 particularly this club called Quitandinha.






Ô de Casa is also 5-7 minutes walk to Baco de Batman where all the walls are filled and painted with art graffiti.








There is a nice breakfast cafe that serves delicious Argentina’s Empanada at Isso de Cafe.





Another must visit place is Paulista Avenue. There’s a huge shopping mall there and along the street you will find people selling different stuff by the street. Also, try to go there on a Sunday where the streets are closed to give ways to then pedestrians and cyclist. There’s a lot of great busking performance along the road and people selling drinks illegally. Haha.





Then there’s this place Pinacoteca where my high school sweetheart dragged me, we were there on a Sunday and there was a Sunday Market with this incredible band and one of them were playing a clarinet. Incredible, I swear I could sit there listening to them all day. So besides, ditching my girl for sitting at the stairs listening to this music doing nothing, some of you guys who’d probably appreciate buildings and design like my girl does, could probably visit here.




There’s this Municiple Mercado that has tons of shops and cafes that serve different dishes, but this place is well known for having the best and biggest Pastel, they had different baguettes and pastel with different fillings, I had the shrimp pastel. De-li-cious!








There is also a bar called Bar do Veloso that serve a wide range of Caipirinha, and although we didn’t try any, but it’s also well-known to be one of the best coxinhas in the city. This place was recommended to us by a local name Mikail, if you’re reading this, thank you for letting us experience this place. 





In Praça da Sé, where you could find the Apostolic Church, the Courthouse, Notary Public and Prosecutor Officer and other government offices. This is the downtown area, which is relatively unsave, but it’s not too bad. You could find tremendous homeless at every corner of the square and they practically have shower at the fountain (there’s a queue, please mind, if you want to join the shower, get in line). They won’t harm you though, there’s police officers around, just be careful and cautious every time you want to take your phone and camera out to take photos.




Nightlife, breakfast, accommodation, food, and other tourist visiting attraction, I guess I kind of covered my whole trip in Sao Paulo. The best part is that we met Marcus Rustiger (A friend we met in Spain about 3 years ago), we crashed his place and showed us good time. We went to Danadinhas Pub for “dinner” that was my first ever caipirinha & coxihna. Has a good time, most working class adult crowd. Then we had breakfast at Itaupu Club, which is about 5 minutes drive from Marcus’ house, having the lake as our breakfast view. It was wonderful. 








Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls are beautiful. There’s two parts of the waterfall, so you’ve got to choose between Brazil’s side and Argentina’s side. I’ve always wanted to go to the Argentina’s side, but due to time constraint, my friend and I did the Brazil’s side. 

The public transportation in Foz de Iguazu is really convenient. There’s a bus from the airport that goes to the centre, and then goes tp the Iguazu National Park straight away, and it cost R$3.80. There’s a luggage store if you’re coming straight from the airport, which we did. We started our day at about 07:45 am, and the day was well spent. There is also a Safari Park there with wild life, which we were not very keen of at that moment. The must thing to do when visiting the Iguazu Falls is the Boat Ride. Worth every seconds and minutes!!










Manaus

Manaus is famous for having the huge Amazonia, besides having the most delicious food in Brazil, the weather there was slightly hotter compared to the south, and there is a huge shopping mall near the Ponta Negra Beach! My favorite food in Manaus is the Tembaqui Fish Soup. I haven't tasted anything like that before. Well recommended!

There is a lot of tours we were able to join for Amazonia Forest. They took us on a boat and see the dolphin, indigenous people where they perform some dance with us and we got our face painted to try to blend in with them, lunch was included, it was a big buffet with multiple choice of dishes, we also visited the big water lily and the two colour water that could not merge.










Coco Bambu was my last meal in Manaus, and it is no doubt 5 star, you could easily find Coco Bambu in almost anywhere in Brazil, compared to the street food, I would say it’s a little expensive, but judging by the quality and service, I would say it’s most reasonable. It’s better to go with a friend or two because most menu are designed for minimum 2 people. 

Sāo Luis

Sao Luis according to some people can be dangerous, but to some locals, Is the  “Jamaican Brazil” where people smoke up and sell weed everywhere. We spent a night there as a stop to get to Lençois, unfortunately it wasn’t as open as Amsterdam, or other tourist cities like Barcelona. However, there were reggae music everywhere, in pubs and at the square, and there’s  a lot of life performances too. We came on a Sunday, so most of the shops were closed. Sao Luis is quite small, and it was really nice to walk around to see the historic centre of Sao Luis.







Lençois

Lençois is my girl friend’s favourite place, the dunes and the natural lagoons are amazingly beautiful. There are many hotels in Atins, Barreinhas or even Fortaleza offering a tour to this wonderful place. As for us, we were staying in Atins and it was a little quiet, but very relaxing ambiance. 









Atins

This part is a little tricky. There is only 2 boats coming in and out of the island, and you have to make booking in advance (not so much for going in) but more of going out, because if you don’t make booking in advance, there will not be place on the boat available for you. Lucky for us, we were friendly with the guy who picked up the passengers at our hotel (it was the same guy who brought us in). He gave us a last minutes place on the boat out (that makes the boat ridiculously full, yet safe, don’t worry!).





Barreinhas

Another tricky part of Northeast Brazil. There’s only 2 buses going in and out of Barreinhas, either to Sao Luiz, Fortaleza, or Jericoacoara. We arrived in Barreinhas on Monday evening about 15:00 and found the nearest agency and told them we were heading to Jericoacoara. There’s 3 ways of going there, by having multiple transit (Tutóia, Paraíba, Jijoca de Jericoacoara), or by going through the beach with an atv or buggy beach that will cost probably R$1500-R$1800 per trip for about 16 hours, and by going on a private car (max 4 people) for $R250-$R300 each person. Initially the car would cost R$1000, but if they have to gather 4 people and fit you in, they would probably take R$50 as an agency fees and you will end up paying R$300 instead. That wasn’t the tricky part, the tricky part was that this agency told us there was another couple going to the same direction and said that we will leave at about 17:00 in the evening. After 2 hours of waiting they told us that the couple had canceled and the next available ride would be 08:00 the next day. So we had to find a hotel to stay in Barreinhas for the night, which was rather annoying as we’ve got accommodation booked in Jericoacoara. So moral of the story is, if you are not traveling in a group of 4 people, make sure you’ve got your ride booked earlier than the supposedly travel dates. There was a German woman who was on a trip with us who arrived at 06:00 in the morning in Barreinhas to go to for the same ride as us. The 6 hours bumpy journey eventually took 8 hours instead, there was a few stops, but we managed to arrive just on time for the sunset in Jericoacoara.





Jericoacoara 

Jeri has got to be my most favourite place in Brazil, although I still can’t work out if I love Sao Paulo or Rio de Jeneiro more, but Jericoacoara is definitely a place to relax and unwind. Jericoacoara is very small, people are very helpful and friendly, everyone knows everyone if you stay there long enough. Hot boys too! Unfortunately for us, because our trip from Atins and Barreinhas was not as smooth, we lost a few days in Jericoacoara. Also is well recommended to go here on a weekend because it's more lively and a lot of beach party going on. 




















Rio de jeneiro

Rio is a lovely and awesome city! It's so lively and happening, a bit too touristy. This is where you can meet people from all over the world visiting Brazil, and you could find people selling all sorts of different things by the street and walking around at the beach. Ipanema & Copacabana is beautiful, off course we prefer Ipanema more. We had a nice apartment in between Copacabana and Ipanema, it was so comfortable we actually felt like home. We visited most places but didn't have much time for Favela.

Cristo Redentor




Mirante Dona Marta






Escasaria Selarón






Maracanā Stadium







Lapa









iPanema





Copacabana




Pesanta Rio Atlântica, Copacabana







Brasília 

Brasília is the capital of the amazing and tremendously huge Brazil after (Rio de Jeneiro and Salvador), they decided to make the capital in the Centre of Brazil, well relatively central. This place in my opinion is more for people who would appreciate architectural design buildings. Off course Brasília is huge, and with limited means of transportation, I would say that I only wandered around the centre, which is walkable and have very good public transportation. They also made Uber, 99 taxi and cabby available in most places. These are indeed the best application recommended. There was a time I was stranded in Pontāo do Lago Sul (very nice place btw for a relax evening, a lot of pubs and restaurant by the lake), btw, as I was saying I was stranded, there weren’t any ride available (may be due to the weather) but if there was ride available it would probably cost about R$9 - R$12, but since there wasn’t any ride, I had to take a normal taxi instead and it cost me triple. (R$35). So moral of the story, get these three apps ready in your phone, and if you’re lucky, you don’t have to spend a lot on transportation. 




A few places I would recommend in Brasília is..

Primeiro Cozinha de Bar, creative different types of caipirinha, live music and handsome working boys. Just a perfect place for me.




Manzuá, in Pantāo do Lago Sul. There is also a seafood restaurant just next to it which looks good too.



Mangai Brasília. They have a few branches, one in the ID Shopping centre which is right in the city centre and another one is near lake Paranoá. I suggest the second one because it has more creative and attractive interior designed, with live music and view overlooking the JK bridge (Ponte Juscelino Kubitschek), there are also a few recommended restaurants nearby like NAU Frutos do Mar Brasília (seafood), Oma Japanese, Otro Parrilla, Mormai Surf Bar and an Italian Restaurant just before the JK bridge. Mangai is a buffet with wide range & variety types of north east Brazilian food, at least 3-5 types of fish, meet, chicken, vegetable etc, and deserts too. In Brazil, a buffet is when you pay the food depending on the weight of the food you take. So price is very reasonable even for a small eater like me. 1kg is about R$74, and I definitely paid less than that. Anyhow, the food are wonderful and delicious. 

Rubaiyat Brasília. This is most probably one of the best steak I’ve had. Rubaiyat is a very high end restaurant, tip top service, beautiful view delicious wine and steak. I had my master beef clássico for R$118. I’m still not sure if this price is inclusive of my wine. However, I have to say that the price is rather fair, I think with that kind of view and service in Malaysia I’d pay relatively higher for lunch/dinner. Definitely a good experience for me, and very much recommended.