Never try, Never know

It was two days before our supposedly “futsal” training on Tuesday when Christine texted me.

Do you have proper football shoes?”

“Yea. Futsal right. You also have, the green Nike one right?” Still pretty oblivious to what she was referring to because we have been playing futsal together some time back so she has definitely seen me playing with my futsal shoes.

“Haha, those are futsal shoes though, different. But my shoes are so old, not worn it for the longest time”

“WAIT. ARE WE PLAYING FOOTBALL?! NO RIGHT… OMGGGGGG THIS IS FOOTBALL?!!!!Read More »

Just like 4 years ago

Looking at this picture makes me so happy, dear Marc. It has been a crazy year (ok la, few months only) trying to do this wedding planning stuff but despite all that, I am so so glad that we could still talk like a new couple who just got together!

We felt that we got lost in time because nothing else matters. Not the food, not the environment, not the wedding prep, just the company – YOU. We talked about stupid things, things that doesn’t really matter, talk about deep stuffs – just like 4 years ago.

4 years on, I still find you the same charming, funny guy that you are. 

Except maybe I know your nonsense a little bit more and you about mine. Haha. Best part is, we still choose each other despite the crap we put each other through. Marriage is gonna be so much hard work, but it will be oh so worth it with you!

Counting the days till I call you hubby! Love you! ❤

Conversations with Luka

I met Luka, an Italian surfer dude who stayed in the same hostel as me in my Philippines trip a week ago. When he first arrived, he was so courteous, with him introducing himself and stuff. That was probably the nicest he has been to me throughout my stay because hours later, he began with his funny jokes, poking fun and laughing at me (and other pple too) but it’s all good, because it’s all FUN!

He has this amazing personality, one-of-a-kind and he is sooooooo funny!! Like really funny, funny! Nina can vouch to it. The Italian accent contributed a major part of it! Sometimes, I just burst out laughing from a normal conversation between him and other people because of how he string his sentences together with his thick Italian accent. Once, he told me that he understands English, I do not need to slow the pace of my speech just because he is an Italian. HAHA. And, he’s so cool about it! 🙂

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Because he is SO FUNNY, there are a few conversations that I can remember till now and reckon it’s good to put it here for memories sake. I know right, one blog entry just on this.

#1 – Cooking Dinner

The hostel crew decided to cook dinner instead of eating out and so everyone helped out in the kitchen. Being the only Asian, I was tasked to boil rice using a rice cooker (how tough can it get, right??! I do it at home all the time anyways!) because you know, I’m the expert. Only except that I’ve never boil rice for so many pple before. So yea, you guessed it right. I messed up, it was too watery.

Me: Oh no, the rice is too watery! 😦
Luka: NOOOO… it’s too cooked!!
Me: No, Luka.. it’s too watery! How now?
Luka: *shakes head* How can you not know how to cook rice?! You’re an Asian, that’s what you know best! It’s like saying, Italians can’t cook pasta! You’re a Malaysian!!!!
Me: Thanks Luka. I’m feeling better already.  -_____-

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Clare’s 2015 Reading List – I am Malala

When I saw this book on Marc’s book shelves few months back, I knew I had to borrow it! Heck, it’s MALALA! The ever famous Malala who got shot because she wanted an education for everyone.

I first knew about her story through ZenPencils (you gotta check his work out, so brilliant!) and I started reading the book in my Hanoi trip. I don’t know if you share my sentiment, but reading has this magical power to bring you out of your reality into this new world of imagination shaped by what the author writes. You can be in different eras, different social backgrounds, different careers – all in the power of imagination. Of course, for this particular story – It’s real.

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I imagined myself being Malala, in her world in Pakistan and all the things she went through as a teenage girl. It really brings things into perspective. Her people have to deal with suicide bombers and terror attacks daily, women are not allowed to be educated. Yet here, we are living life in our comfort zones – no fear of getting killed the next morning, access to education, house to live in, a job that we can go to everyday and we find it hard to be thankful.

I’m so encouraged by her life, so young and yet, achieved so much. How she is so fearless despite real threats from the Talibans and she was only 15+ when all that happened! In her book, she described how much she loved reading and going through her books, that to her is gold. She even asked her father to bring her books from Pakistan to Birmingham when she was recovering from all the surgeries! Crazy!!

You know, all the buzzfeed and other list articles that you read in social media on how you should listen to your heart and pursue after your dreams? Yeah, Malala is ALREADY doing that in her teenage years, living her dream and I don’t think she will stop anytime soon.

Makes me think, what am I waiting for? Why am I always procastinating?  

I’ll leave you with one excerpt from the book that I feel worth sharing because I know how it feels to lose certain functionality of your body temporarily. You begin to appreciate.

“We human beings don’t realise how great God is. He has given us an extraordinary brain and a sensitive loving heart. He has blessed us with two lips to talk and express our feelings, two eyes which see a world of colours and beauty, two feet which walk on the road of life, two hands to work for us, a nose which smells the beauty of fragrance, and two ears to hear the word of love. As I found with my ear, no one knows how much power they have in their each and every organ until they lose it.”

Do I really have to post that travel picture up?

After a long day exploring the city, we were all exhausted. We plopped ourselves to the couches in the common area and that’s when it all started. My travel buddies and I began to play with our phones (not cool on vacations, I know!),  checked for emails, replying Whatsapp texts and what not. Checked social media, lo and behold, my buddies have uploaded pictures of our most recent outing an hour ago.

Why so efficient this people? -___-

So, I felt a pressured to also post something online to show that I’m on a holiday too, having as much fun or maybe more than my friends back home! At least people should know where I am, right? I skimped through my pictures on both my camera and phone to pick the most breathtaking capture I’ve taken so far. I couldn’t choose one, so I kept asking for opinions.

“This one or that one?”
“This sunset at this angle or the other?”
“Or this picture because better lighting?”

I was doing that for at least 10 minutes until I stopped and gave up.

Then I asked myself – Why am I stressing myself up to post a travel picture just because everyone is doing it? Is it actually okay not to inform social media that I’m away somewhere awesome for a holiday? Am I missing out on my travel milestone for not posting a picture up in Instagram?

I put both my camera and phone down, continued reading my novel and don’t give two hoots on picking the best picture to put in Instagram. I guess I’m still learning how to enjoy the moment, balancing between capturing memories in a camera and in my heart. Some moments, no matter how beautiful can never be captured with a lens.

That’s what travel taught me. To live in the moment and it’s okay to not post a travel picture up for the sake of it.

Fine. Just maybe one picture 😀

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p.s. – Don’t get me wrong, I’ve nothing against posting pictures during travel, it’s just that I shouldn’t be absorbed into peer pressure just to prove something that isn’t worth it at the first place! 🙂

xx

Cheong Hong & Michelle : Beach Wedding in Avillion, Port Dickson

Michelle got marriedddd, FINALLY! YAY! ❤ 😀

Michelle was my ex-colleague in Deloitte and she has been dating her then-boyfriend, now hubby John for 10 years before getting married last weekend. In fact, I have always used her as my “defence mechanism” when people in office keep asking me when is it my turn to get hitched.

“Going away for the weekend with your boyfriend? He’s going to propose is it?” “No la, not so fast. Michelle first!” “….okay..”

HAHAHA. Always work!

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A day in Putrajaya Botanical Garden

Hello February! It’s a 4 days long weekend for (most) of us – FT replacement holiday on Monday and Thaipusam on Tuesday! Gotta love the public holidays in Malaysia.

Since Marc hardly have his off days, I applied for a day off on Monday so we can hang out. When we get opportunities like these, we try to date the non-mainstream way! So today, we chose to cycle in Putrajaya Botanical Garden 😀

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Clare’s 2015 Reading List – Book #1 and #2

So, I read 2 books in January 2015 and I had to amend my resolution list to 1 book per month. I realised that I am an excited (read: crazy) book reader because the moment I come home from work, I reach for the damn book. Read it till dinner time and then read it again till I sleep. The next morning, I feel exhausted for work. Repeat cycle for 2 weeks.

Or maybe the books have very interesting plots. Haha. Yea, I think I it’s the plot! 😀 Here are the simple reviews I’m gonna do for the books I read. Enjoy!

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Going Solo by Roald Dahl

This is a sequel biography of Roald Dahl. Everyone knows him as the legendary kids author, just like Enid Blyton or JK Rowling but not many know his past as a RMF Air pilot fighter in WW2! He was also one of the very few survivors of the war. His comrades all died fighting. It was all just pretty..surreal! Light hearted and easy to read, Dahl was able to keep me interested throughout, he made me imagine what driving the fighter plane was like plus all the adrenaline and intensity! Pretty cool, man! Actually, I love it. It made me so curious that I googled about WW2 and how did Dahl fit into the pieces of puzzle right after I finished it.

Rating : 4/5

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Five Star Billionaire by Tash Aw

This is the very first book I read from the BBW sale. There were mixed reviews about it but heck, it was only RM8 and the author is a Malaysian! Gotta give some support man! The story was about 5 migrants from Malaysia trying to make it in life in Shanghai but somehow all these 5 characters are linked. What made me go, “Wow, what a way to write a book!!” was how Aw got into the climax of the story in the last 30 pages of his book out of the 435 pages. Like what man! The ending was pieced perfectly at the last 2 pages!! This was one book I couldn’t stop reading, page by page I wanted more, I wanted more details and I wanted to see how it would all make sense. Yeap, all at the 30 pages or so! Haha.. crazy! It’s true – just like all the other reviews, it’s either you like it or you don’t! I ❤ it!

Rating : 4.5/5

How to make reading your New Year resolution

That’s right. I’m telling you how.

…by splurging like me. wpid-20141220_140138.jpg

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Then, you’ve no choice but to START reading the books you bought.
A total of 70++ books in the Big Bad Wolf sale.

An average of RM8 per book, some can go as low as RM3 per book.
How can I resist man? I even spent 1 to 2 hours shortlisting them.

Yea, go figure.
At least I can use the receipts to claim my tax deductions! 😀

Currently reading : Five Star Billionaire by Tash Aw

// Big Bad Wolf sale is a 24 hour book sale that lasts for a week and a half (extended to 2 weeks in 2014) in Malaysia. They claim that it’s the biggest and most affordable sale with over 3.5mil books in stock. An experience every Malaysian should try.