POSTED ON Friday, October 23, 2015 AT 12:56 AM \ leave a comment (0)

"Just telling Mao that I'm her one-and-only Mama and nothing/no one can tear us apart ever again."

There are some nights when I'm all alone at home with Mao and no amount of Netflix can cure the boredom. Thoughts start to flow. Soon it occupies my night and I'm filled with many whys and whats. There are many times like this when I just want to tell myself: "fuck that, who gives a shit." I just want to lose myself and live like I never had.

I used to dedicate a great deal of time committing to the notion that even if all turns into dust, I would still have a pair of arms to run into, to shield me from the rest of the world. It's difficult to realize that when it's time to part ways, it's equally difficult to accept Life and its mundanities. That's the tricky (and painful) part about loving someone.

Days go by and I start to miss the person I was before. No, not the person I became when I was in love. Life was so vibrant and I was filled with happiness that no stones nor bullets could tear down. The simplest thing could make me laugh uncontrollably and more often than not, I would laugh so hard I would fall and cry. I felt contented easily. I didn't need to go the extra mile just to make myself smile. I still miss being in full control of my own emotions but I know, someday I'll have that again. Perhaps by then I'll be thankful I'm a better version of my 16 year old self - a more matured woman who knows what and who matters to her, is responsible for the things and people around her and who has found what she has been looking for.

Someday, I'll come to my senses and see for myself the beauty of falling, picking myself up again and learning from my mistakes. I love the girl I was 4 years ago but sometimes, change isn't bad. It forces me to adapt in this twisted world and I'm starting to love and appreciate the new me.

Goodbye. For Good.
POSTED ON Tuesday, August 4, 2015 AT 11:19 AM \ leave a comment (0)
It's been awhile since I posted something. For many years, I never believed in Change because I never really experienced earth-shattering changes in my life. Everything was fixed and even if there were changes, they were all really minute ones that wouldn't set me back for too long. At least these little changes weren't capable enough of ripping me apart and changing who I am or at least, who I thought I was.

What was it like to commit to someone ever since you were 16 and giving him your everything? At first, it was the sweetest thing ever and nothing felt so right in my life before. There were moments when we bicker over the smallest (and lamest) things, moments when I wish that time will freeze so we will never have to part, moments when we would give in to one another, moments when he would surprise me with the sweetest acts ever and moments when I know nothing could hurt me if I hide in his embrace. In exchange for all of these, I didn't have the opportunity to learn this one very important thing that I'm still learning today: truly believing that I'll be alright being on my own.

To me, loving someone with all my heart means protecting that person no matter how much he/she hurt or break me. It also means that if I know I can't give that person the happiness he deserves and security he needs, then I've to be selfish and let him go so he can find The One who is able to give him everything that I can't. Will it hurt him? Yes. For how long? Arguably till he finds someone else more suitable than me and I will be happy for him if he does. Will it hurt me? Definitely. How long then? I don't know. The guilt and pain from having to hurt someone you love just as much as the people who brought you up will haunt you everyday and eat you alive. Here's when some mo-fos are gonna snicker and say: "Oh please, really? Does it still hurt when you had Mr. Rebound to run to afterwards?" Lolll, you know what, haters gonna hate.

Duh, of course it doesn't hurt!!!! Not even the least bit. It didn't hurt when I would walk down the memory lane secretly in my head and casually say to Mr. Rebound: "Oh, we used to come here a lot in the past. Me and him." or "That's his favorite food/game/phrase/brand/animal/whatever", and only catching myself after the damage has been done. Why would it hurt admitting to myself that all along I'm just trying to find someone similar to him as a replacement and to fill that empty void in my heart after he left me? It barely hurt when I would browse my phone's gallery and look back at the photos we've taken together in the past. My heart didn't even flinch when I had to delete the photographs. One. At. A. Time. While fighting with the millions of reasons why I shouldn't hit the delete button and then only to have to go through this whole entire debate shit with myself again when "1 item will be deleted. Press Ok or Cancel". Cancel. Fuck that. Definitely, it wasn't painful to have to tear myself inside out to explain to people (who care about me genuinely) 1) what happened and 2) why do I have a bunch of mo-fos a.k.a fake friends saying horrible things about me. Behind my back, dayummmm. Oh right, nothing makes me more happy than going home and knowing that I will never be able to go into his room, watch him play dota/lol/team fortress 2, mess up his game by pressing random keys on his keyboard to annoy him so that I have his attention. It certainly doesn't hurt knowing it's the 21st of the month and having to deal with the fact that the 21st has lost its significance. Well, it's absolutely bearable living with him and his girlfriend for months, watching them interact with one another, cooking meals in the kitchen, laughing and even, to listen to their adventure while remembering that these were some of the things that you went through with him once in that very same apartment.

So, to those people whom I once thought were my friends and were supposed to be there for me, they say sarcasm is linked to intelligence. Well, I guess I'm sorry to have to ask you to find that last bit of kindness in your heart to read the above paragraph again. I'm sorry you had to take it literally all these while, I really am. I don't need to explain to any of you my "side of the story" because I don't owe you an explanation and I never do. Was it my relationship or yours? Speaking of which, you must have been feeling so self-righteous when you bitched about me behind my back. If you actually bitched about the right stuff (provided that you didn't miss out any important "information" on purpose), then fine, I'll take a step back and accept whatever criticism that comes my way. But nope, you didn't. Since you're always so self-righteous, how about you put that to good use? Join the police force, fight crimes and save the world? Stop exploiting others' misery and using it as a platform for you to become the superhero you always wished and dreamed of becoming. If I actually bothered to sit down with you for hours explaining and hoping you'll understand where I'm coming from, you mean a lot to me. Or at least, meant a lot to me. However, life will always be life. Life makes you learn lessons the hard way, be it to your liking or not. What did I learn? People whom I thought were my good friends turned out to be the ones who abandoned me just when I needed them the most. Yes, despite that I was there for them when they needed me. "Sorry, he needed us more than you do". Thank you to whomever who said this to me. When you've all chosen to leave me then, please do not ever come running to me especially not now. Please. Please do not ask me to do things such as holding classes for you, hanging out with you or whatsoever little errands you have. I appreciate the thought and thanks, but no thanks. If you need help from me, please ask yourself where was I when you were having the time of your lives. If you think I'm heartless because I want to cut all of you off, think again. It's just that all of you taught me who are the ones that matter and who don't and I'm simply "returning the favor". Despite all that negative feelings I've for the bunch of you, I'll still be thankful to you all for that lesson.

What's the point of this post, you ask? Whatever I've said in this post are the things that have been bothering me ever since more than 6 months ago. Imagine having a little bit of happiness after working so long for it but what? Some people just can't stand seeing you happy and they wouldn't hesitate to use your past to bring you down again. How sick is that. At first, I was convinced that the only way for this whole nightmare to end is to turn a deaf ear, ignore and ignore. I refused to confront the gossip mongers not because I'm afraid of them or that I'll lose in an argument but simply because confrontation isn't gonna make me happy again. I loved with all I could and with all I have but sometimes, things just don't work out the way everyone wants. He's happy now and as his friend, isn't that the most important thing to you? Can I have my turn now then? Is that too much to ask for? Was I happy for the past 6 months? Yes but only after I tried to let go of all the things and people that were making me unhappy and up till today, I'm still trying my best. As of now, I am happy but I truly believe I can be happier and that I deserve to be. I am not interested in going on an emotional roller coaster with you because I have better things to focus on now. I am sick and tired of all you people's games.  You know who you are, we don't have to point fingers now, do we? So, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. Maybe one day we'll go grab a drink together and sure, I'll be gracious enough to buy you a drink.

How about an "Adios Motherfucker"? Yes, you can read it literally.

Soul Mate
POSTED ON Thursday, November 13, 2014 AT 11:49 PM \ leave a comment (1)
I used to believe that a boyfriend = soul mate. They should be the same person whom I feel comfortable sharing things with without the fear of being judged, someone whom I know will accept me for who I am.

Now, that's not true.

Having a soul mate spells many things: he is the other half of you and you're the other half of him. Together, these 2 halves spell perfection. A geeky way of saying this would be like the active site of an enzyme and substrate. No two substrates can fit into one active site. Just like how there can only be one soul mate in one's life.

Maybe without you, my dear soul mate, the other 1/2 of me is a huge gaping hole, a patch of darkness left behind by the light you took away when we had to say goodbye. And likewise for you.

Perhaps there's no such thing as "one whole" like you said. Perhaps. Yet, how can you still say that I'm your half and together we form one? How contradicting and how ironical of someone who's so good at math.

Maybe the theory of soul mate doesn't concur with the word "permanence". I might be wrong but a soul mate starts getting in the way of having a fulfilling romantic relationship. What happens when you've to choose between a soul mate and a lover? I chose the latter.

Why? Why choose the lover over the soul mate when you know you'll be miserable without your other half, your mirror reflection?
What if I say it's easier to live with the guilt and pain of losing my soul mate as compared to that of losing my lover? Of course, there were no commitments in the first place. It was just uncanny mutual understanding that bonded us together.
What if I say your existence makes me feel insecure? Because you know way way way too many things without needing me to say anything.

Having a soul mate makes a good story for your grandchild. How nice would it be to say: "I once knew someone who understood me so well that I didn't have to say a single word and he/she knows.". How beautiful, how fortunate. Ultimately, we come to a conclusion that this is all a fairy tale, a story.

And there's no happily ever after, my dear 1/2.

4 things people do in the cafeteria that annoys me
POSTED ON Monday, April 28, 2014 AT 8:28 PM \ leave a comment (0)
Since Spring started, I started working at the school's cafeteria as a cashier. It's not like the typical Singapore school kind of canteen. We are not allowed food such as pizzas, sodas, fried chicken, fries etc. everyday in a school canteen. However, in the cafeteria shop I work in, pizzas, burgers, fries, fried chicken, fried fish, soda etc. are the most popular items daily. There's Starbucks opposite us as well as another food outlet at the other side of the cafeteria. 

Working as a cashier wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. Originally I thought it's just a simple job of collecting money and stand there while waiting for another customer. NO! Boy was I wrong. The long lines during lunch break makes the job really stressful at times especially when I'm the only cashier open during lunchtime (Go figure). Having to stand almost 5 hours a day is no joke. Yet at the same time, this job widened my horizon. I meet all sorts of people from all walks of life with all sorts of stories to tell me. Some left a really huge impression on me and made me appreciate the fact that my parents are the ones paying for my education, my rent, most of my expenses etc. Nonetheless, there are still some people who do things that really annoy the sh*t out of everyone (maybe it's just me). Kindly allow me to explain myself.

1) Keeping the beverage/snack in the bag and don't tell me about it
Ok I understand that sometimes they don't have enough hands to carry all the stuff. Textbooks, food, sweater etc. However, the most decent thing they can do is to at least inform me/show me that they took a bottle of water or a bag of chips too. This is called integrity. I have met some people who don't even own up (or maybe they forgotten to) all of the stuffs they have taken. I usually revise what they order, meaning what I see laid out on my counter. Even after I ask: "Is that all for you?", they'll just say yup like there's nothing else. Technically speaking, it's none of my business since I don't get commission or something for the amount of food people buy. What really pissed me off is that it's unfair for the rest of the people who actually paid every single cent for their food.

2) Throwing/leaving the money on the table
It could be just how I'm raised; I put the money/cashier in the cashier's hands. It annoys me a lot a lot when people just leave the money on the table because I feel that it's really rude. Am I expected to pick up the money? To me, it's the same as dumping the money/change on the ground for a homeless; pardon my french but it's rude as fuck. When this happens, I try to keep my professionalism, I continue to smile but it's not genuine because I'm honestly offended. It's the same thing as I don't just leave the change/card back on the table for the customer to pick it up. I hand it back to them. It's a form of respect and some people just have to learn it.

3) Getting free food
First off, I don't despise them or anything. It's ok if they realized they don't have enough money in their card or wallet. Shit happens. However, it bugs me when after I swipe the card and it says decline, they're like: "Oh shucks, I don't have enough money to pay. Can I come back and pay later on? I promise I will come back." It's not that I don't trust them, but what leverage do I have on them to make sure they come back? Also, if I let one do it, everyone can then just take their food out without paying first and never coming back. Trust me, even professors do it. Once, there was this professor who bought taquitos and some other stuff and the bill came up to $8+. After showing me her faculty card and getting a discount, she was still short of $3+. She asked me: "Can I come back later on to pass you what I'm short of? I left my purse in the car. I promise I'll be back, I don't want your cashier to be short of money." And so I did. Trusting her because she's a PROFESSOR. Guess what? She never ever came back and yes, my cashier was short of money for that day.

4) Expecting us to bring the burger to them while they're seated nice and comfortable
When people wanna get food such as burger combo or burgers or quesadilla or any food that are not ready made, they have to pay with me first, then they will receive their order number and wait for the kitchen staff to call out the number when the food is ready. I do tell customers: "Order number ______. Please wait at the pick up area and they will call your number when the food is ready." Most people (and I mean 99%) will wait there according to my instructions. The 1% tend to find a seat and wait for like 30 minutes before they come back to the store all angry and lashing out on us, "What the hell is wrong with you guys? I ordered my food 30 minutes ago and it's not done yet?!" That's when the kitchen staff will explain that, "Sir/Madam, your food has been ready 15 minutes ago but when we called out your number, you weren't around." That's when the customer starts to point fingers, "But nobody ever told me I have to wait here." Guess what, it becomes my fault. Not all point fingers thankfully. But there are really nasty people around who just wanna make it seem like it's not their fault at all. AT ALL.

5) Speaking on phone or talking to friends
I'm ok if the customer is not interested to converse with me. If he/she doesn't want to reply to my "How are you doing today?", it's totally alright. If they want to talk to their friends or somebody over the phone, it's alright, do that by all means. I just don't like to repeat myself when obviously they are not even paying attention to me. It's annoying to people behind the queue and to me as well. It's not like paying takes up 10 minutes. It's less than a minute ffs.

It's fun working in the cafeteria. Although I won't be able to read my textbook or use my phone while working, at least my colleagues and some customers are really nice. Of course, there are gonna be people who makes me wanna quit the job but then again, I guess the pros outweigh the cons. Compared to what a part-timer gets in Singapore, I'm already getting a lot more. Not all the customers I meet will be pleasant and respectful but there are some that will put in the effort to remember my name and remembering little details from previous conversations. These people are the ones who make working in the service line bearable because it actually makes me feel appreciated and it brings a genuine smile to my face when I say: "Thank you, I hope you have a nice day.". 

New York
POSTED ON Friday, December 27, 2013 AT 11:36 PM \ leave a comment (0)
Our flight to JFK was supposed to be on December 22nd but somehow, the two of us messed it up and thought our flight was on December 21st instead. We only realized our mistake on December 21st itself, and thankfully that was in the afternoon so we didn't go to the airport and make a fool out of ourselves.

It was so difficult saying bye to maomao. I was so tempted to just bring her along and the mummy instinct kept kicking in every time I try to walk out of the door. I kept going back to the room to give her a hug, a kiss on her forehead before walking to the door and then turning back again. It was such a dramatic exit for me, clutching the tissue paper in my hand and walking to the car sniffing. I'm just being an overly attached mama.

Pepper spray. It was in my trench coat and I didn't even realize it until I was on the shuttle to LAX. I had to throw it away and I didn't even use it once. What a waste. Subsequently after checking in, the two of us were camping outside Starbucks, waiting for the clock to strike 7 so we can login to Corsair and sign up for Winter Class. I remembered us praying that some idiot will forget to pay for his/her Winter Class and we will be able to snap the position in the class. Then, the website had to undergo some stupid maintenance and only at 4am then will we be able to add classes.

Some mandatory pictures while waiting for the flight.
The wait was unbearable, so was the flight itself. Note to self: I will not take the last row unless really necessary. It was so difficult to fall asleep, especially when I can't recline the seat at all.

We finally reached JFK after 5 unbearable hours. By then, I was too exhausted to even take any photo. All I wanted was just to add my class and take a short nap. And yay, I got my class for Winter!

The first day went by really quick because we slept all the way till 4pm. By the time we woke up, it was too late to go anywhere.

Dinner at Landmark Diner: Grilled Chicken Souvlaki. The portion is so huuuuuge I felt bloated after finishing 1/2 the portion of fries and the grilled chicken.

The next day, we took the subway to SoHo. Kinda confusing but thankfully there were people who could help!

See that guy in the white t-shirt in the pic above? I don't know how he survived. It was so so so cold that we were wearing thick winter jackets within the subway station. I'm pretty sure the temperature that day was around 3/4 Celcius. We actually went into H&M to grab a scarf each to keep ourselves warm.

The rest of the day was spent on shopping, walking around and of course, eating!

Coconut rice pudding with mixed nuts.
We went to Rice to Riches to try some rice pudding and it was delicious! It reminds me of  黑糯米 back home. However, after a few mouthful, we started getting sick of it. Maybe because it was so thick and flavorful. It would be great to have this in the west coast though. I seldom see rice pudding on the menu or maybe it's because I seldom ask for the dessert menu.

We had Ox Tail Soup at a Korean restaurant that night. I queued for almost 35 minutes but it was worth the queue! The soup didn't smell and I actually finished a bowl on my own.

Little Harlan smiling so happily. He was smiling most of the time. He is most likely the happiest baby on earth.

Christmas was spent at home, playing with kids. Tiring but worth the time.

There was snow (though only a little) on Christmas!

We didn't managed to take many photos with Chloe throughout the trip but I managed to get one!

I had difficulty (but so much fun also) trying to decipher her language.

During evening, we went to the shooting range. It was my first time so I was so nervous and worried the gun shots might be too loud for me. Some were so loud it sounded like canon.

I had a great time even though it was so cold in the room or maybe I was just scared lol.

Now that I'm back in LA. I was so happy to see my little baby but then... her excitement upon seeing us didn't last for more than 5 minutes.

Goodbye, New York! See you soon.

POSTED ON Monday, October 14, 2013 AT 2:40 AM \ leave a comment (0)

“I am good at walking away. Rejection teaches you how to reject.”  -  Jeanette Winterson

She reaches out for a kiss, he pushes her away. Waiting a month for an email to tell you you're hired. That horrible douchebag who texts you all day long for a fortnight and then stopped abruptly. 

Rejection. Rejection is embarrassing, depressing and it hurts your ego. Big time.

Back in primary school, I used to be awfully shy. Sometimes (or more often than not) during holidays, I would lose sleep over trivial things like who am I gonna spend my recess with when school reopens, how am I gonna watch my drama series since school ends so late etc. Really trivial and lame stuff now that I'm thinking from the mindset of an 18 year old but to the 9 year old me, that was probably what my world revolved around. Of course, I didn't have many friends back then. Then to secondary school. Time to speak up! Friends friends friends. I made it a point to know someone from every class (if possible). There comes another big word: love. I fell in love but we never get to go out. Is it because we haven't spoke face to face before and I'm afraid I won't know what to say? Maybe but not really. Is it because I'm afraid I'll be judged for wearing an ugly cartoon tee shirt and bermudas? Ummmmm I don't think so. Is it because I'm afraid of rejection? Well well yes.

Let's face it. No one likes to be rejected. Why would I want to put myself out there and face the big NO when I'm not emotionally matured enough to suck it up and walk away like Winterson? But rejection is a word that I'll need to face eventually. It's part and parcel of growing up, anyway. It'll come back to me again and again if I try to escape from it. So why not face the demon and stop fighting it? Make it your friend and perhaps, just perhaps, you might get so comfortable with the demon that you become strong enough to laugh in its face when it visits you.

Facing rejection is not easy, but neither is it difficult.

1. Don't cry. From experience, crying helps for only a night or so. What happens the next day? You're back to square one. Why not face rejection and asks rejection itself what did you do wrong? Sure, there are always people who are brave enough to reject you but runs right back into their cave when you question them in their face. Make sure you pull them out of their hiding spot and get the answer you deserve.

2. Walk away. Don't ever turn back even though you'll wanna do that. You might feel like running back into his arms and beg for another chance. Don't. Just don't. Never ever look back at a person who doesn't appreciate you.

3. Take some time off and dedicate this time to yourself and yourself only. Regain your confidence and believe that you're special and you deserve every single bit of the best the world has to offer. Why spend your time mulling over someone or something that does not want you? When TJC rejected me, I could have told myself that they missed out my application and they didn't see my portfolio and all my other records. I could have sent an email or whatsoever and made sure they have seen my application but I didn't. I chose to move on.

I decided to move on and I had a truce with rejection. I wouldn't bow down to rejection. Simply because I learnt to walk away whenever I need to.

POSTED ON Sunday, August 18, 2013 AT 4:48 PM \ leave a comment (0)
We went to Trastevere once, with my aunts and a friend of theirs and tried the pasta the other day. It was great and hence, we decided to go there again!

Trastevere is located along the busy street of 3rd Street Promenade, a shopping heaven. It's a traditional Italian restaurant with a patio overlooking the streets. 

Once we are shown to our seats, we were served a basket of sour dough bread slices with a tub of olive oil. Sour dough is actually my favorite bread and I'm kinda upset that it wasn't warm like how I enjoy it to be. Nonetheless, I was hungry and I devoured slice after slice. Also, that reminded me of this food rule I heard once: Don't dip your bread into the olive oil. I can't really recall where have I heard it from, but I decided not to break it. Just in case I get glares or shocked expressions from the Italian waiters. 

Shortly after I was done spreading the olive oil onto my third slice of bread, the main course arrived! Fast, really.There you go, Spaghetti Carbonara ($16). One thing I really love about this dish is that, lo' and behold, it's not overly milky! There are some versions of carbonara that are super super watery and milky and sorry to those who love it this way, I find it really gross. Also, they don't add the parmesan cheese until the waiter serves you the plate and asks you for your preference. This is great imo, for those who don't want too much cheese on their pasta. However, because I don't really like bacon, I find the amount of bacon too much. Totally great for a bacon lover like Tom, but hey, I had around 4 or 5 tablespoons of bacon left after finishing my pasta. That kinda explains how much bacon they had in there. Generous, I say. Nonetheless, this Carbonara deserves 4/5 and probably the best Carbonara I have had so far.

Definitely a must-try when at the Third Street!