Goal: to explore every nook & cranny of this pristine country.
Care to join me?
Did I post this before? I was just going through my old notes and found this hidden in a corner. Missing the international experience so much right now <3 Sigh, summertime sadness.
Today was a good day.
I took some time off work (without informing anyone…YOLO) in order to recover from the long, 12-hour bus ride from Penang that arrived here at 9 this morning. So I came home and just sat by myself. I stared at my laptop screen, thinking about how blessed I have been this summer.
I have a paying internship, and, despite its minor kinks, I have learned so much in a field that I am so passionate about. Moving beyond the borders of Cal Energy Corps, I was able to backpack through Southeast Asia (well, mostly Malaysia… the rest were hotel stays) without a worry in the world — besides the occasional pickpocketing scare.
And the trip was beautiful. In fact, backpacking through parts of Malaysia was possibly one of the best experiences of my life so far. Detailed post covering all high & lowlights later, but to sum it up: amazing food, stressful haggling, friendly people, trolling men, beautiful scenery, abundant exercise, psychotic monkeys, getting lost, intellectual conversations, communication gaps, universal smiles, international love.
And to top it off, I just had my first article published in Thought Catalog. It’s not as good as it could have been because I unintentionally tried to tailor it to a style that was not completely my own. It’s okay, I already have another article topic in mind. You learn as you go, right?
And I have also discovered a new TV show to latch onto: Prison Break. Now, if you’ll excuse me, it is time to finish Season 1.
*dramatically ties up hair*
I recall what has been said to me:
I file a complaint, perpetrator denies, colleagues defend his actions:
Realizing people can suck up to boss and get away with anything:
If voicing my opinion against injustices in the office makes me that entitled little intern and a “what-does-she-know” girl from America, so be it.
I guess this is what people would call a true international experience. Whatever it is, I am glad for it; everything happens for a reason. All I can do is learn from it, and KNOWLEDGE IS POWER, so yay me.
Often confused with lychee, longan is known as “dragon eye” in Chinese.
I went grocery shopping at Fair Price and ran across these while looking for lychee, about to leave the market in disappointment. I reluctantly decided to give these a try.
But I became so excited…that I decided to document the process of me eating my first batch.
1. Wash a bowl of longan.
2. Poke into one from the bottom, peeling away a flick of skin.
3. Unravel in a circular fashion.
4. Uncover the flesh completely.
5. Expose the black inedible seed.
6. Remove seed, eat, and dispose of the waste!
And just like that, I’m a happy camper after a long and hard week that has only just begun.
The first place I’ve visited here that actually somewhat bored me: Batam, Indonesia.
1. Arrived off the ferry at Sekupang.
2. Took a bus tour around the area — of course, they took us to all the tourist traps at which they took commission from all purchases. Still, I couldn’t resist buying delicious Indonesian fruit chips. Also sampled Batam-style pickled mango and salak.
3. Saw a 15-minute show of men chewing pieces of glass, eating charcoal on fire, jumping through flaming hoops, and removing coconut husks with their teeth. Donated SGD to their cause.
4. Ate at a typical Indonesian buffet. Not bad! Baked fish, steamed vegetables, peanut sauce, fried tofu, fish chips, and fruit. Tried some Bubur Ketan Hitam + Bubur Kacang Hijau for dessert. (Very interesting; like kheer, but with an odd aftertaste.)
5. Observed men and women smoking EVERYWHERE: at every tour bus stop, in bathrooms, at dinner tables, inside mall shops, even in the hotel elevator… Haven’t they heard that tobacco kills?
6. Saw more knockoff goods (getting a little old now) at a Batik shop.
7. Checked out the Nagoya Hill Shopping Centre. An hour later, ordered a salad while sitting next to a cat and a chain smoker.
8. Rode home in a free-service hotel van with 20 other people. (Mind you, this van is only meant to seat 11 people.) Pictures, of course, were taken abundantly.
9. Encountered a cockroach, a spider, a fly, and an unidentified fat bug in our room.
10. Watched a marathon of Bedlam, a British supernatural TV show. Read some Pride & Prejudice and went to sleep, escaping the smoke-induced nausea.
11. At breakfast of 4 pieces of toast and orange-flavored water on a table crawling with ants.
12. Tried exploring the hotel’s proximity only to be approached and whistled at by strange Indonesian men on motorbikes. Cue our rushed re-entry to the hotel. Holed up until 12:30 pm.
13. Left the ferry terminal and realized how much I love Singapore. Back to my home away from home!
What happened in Bangkok? Well…
All in all: learned to bargain like an MF.
See you again soon, Thailand. But for now, I’m glad to be back @ my home away from home. #wannabesingaporean
Pictures to come soon!
I am never machine-washing my clothes in Southeast Asia ever again.
Now all my tops can fit a woman twice my width and half my height. And all my underwear smells like Secret deodorant. Do these university machines even know what “washing” means?
How peachy… Just downright wonderful.