Back to December..

Monday, December 4, 2017
Hello friends!



Every December,I find myself asking the same question - whether I should stop paying for my blog domain. I get sent a renewal email every beginning of December and it’s probably the main reason why so many of my new year’s resolutions over the past few years have listed “blog more” on it. Gotta make that domain worth it, y’all!

When I used to blog more regularly, the domain fee sorted itself out through the small amounts I used to earn from adverts or sponsored posts. But now that I’m working full time and studying in my free time, this blog’s been neglected by me (and those who used to read LOL sad). Every time I ask myself this question, I end up concluding that when I do get to blog, I LOVE it! And then, I make a renewed “commitment” to log more regularly, which unfortunately, doesn’t happen and so the story goes..

But this is where things change! Here, dear reader, is where I throw in the plot twist! Well, sort of. Rather than make another promise to blog, I’m giving myself an ultimatum-
“Publish something every week (no matter how short or long and if I don’t post at least 40 posts by the end of 2018, I’m shutting down this blog for good.”
It may seem pretty silly, making promises to a blog, but when I gave it some thought, I realised that writing here is really important to me. A large part of my day job involves writing, but it’s honestly a whole different ball game when you’re writing for leisure.
I did this exercise which is meant to help us evaluate what’s important for personal fulfilment. If you’re interested in doing it, follow the instructions step-by-step, doing what’s required before you read the next step. It pretty much goes like this-
Step 1.
List out 4 priorities in life.
Step 2.
Look at the list and remove any sort of priority that’s related to relationships or work.
Step 3.
If your list has shrunk, fill it up again till you’re back to 4 priorities.
When I arrived at my final list, one of the big ones that remained was creativity. In high school, I used to blog and write poetry/short stories for fun. I also used to aggressively enter slogan and caption competitions and won an assortment of prizes, from movie tickets to meal vouchers. In college I think the only remotely creative thing I did was think of Instagram captions for my friends LOL but I was very busy with my other passion in volunteer work so I was happy and content. Later on at university, I started scrapbooking and painting. Now that I’m at work, although I started bullet journalling a while back, it was more of an organisational effort rather than a creative endeavour. The realisation that I wasn’t nurturing one of the important aspects of myself led to the creation of #talkatiff, a series of short one minute videos I started posting on Instagram, and multiple failed attempts to revive this blog.
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A post shared by @tiffanykml on


The point of the matter is, this blog has always been a creative space for me. Sure, it’s a little more restricted now that I’ve gotten older, my audience is older, and I’ve started working, but if I don’t make a deliberate effort to nurture this space, it’s very likely that I’ll soon forget how to create or write for fun. I think it’s particularly true, especially for those working, that you won’t have time for your hobbies if you don’t make time for them.

Beyond the broader purpose of trying to keep the passion for writing (and living) alive, a blog is just such a wonderful capsule of memories. I was looking back through my old posts and am really grateful that I documented my adventures and travels as a student in London (like my trip to Barcelona and breaking a world record), my first mission trip in Sabah, one of the many times I sprained my ankle, and other silly moments from 4 years ago. It’s a time capsule that’s very cringe-worthy but also gratitude-inspiring and I think I’d like to look back one day and look at what I thought was interesting to share on here.

Right now, here’s a little sampler on what’s on my plate at the moment to explain why it’s been so difficult to do something I claim I enjoy doing so much. So I sat for the New York Bar in June and by the grace of God, passed the exams. So I’m on to the other steps to qualification. Namely, the New York Law Exam that’s coming up on December 14th. I’m currently in the midst of an accredited Bahasa Melayu course, with an exam coming up on December 7th. On December 10th, my mom and I will be co-teaching Sunday School at our church. I’ve also been given the opportunity to serve as a committee member on the church’s pro-tem committee so there’s meetings for that as well in December. Unsurprisingly, considering the post title, I’m also spending my evenings working and binge-listening to Taylor Swift’s new album (reputation), trying to figure out if I love it or not.

And that’s all you’ll hear from me for this week!

Hope to see you again soon. Watch this space!

KL Spotlight: Symphony Fountains, KLCC Lake

Monday, November 20, 2017

The grass is greener on the other side.

I think we all know this saying doesn't actually mean that your neighbour's got a better garden, but that somehow, it just often seems that way. Let's be honest, so often we find it difficult to see the beauty of where we stand so I decided that I don't have to go far to have a good time, starting from looking for gems in KL.

With that being said, I'm donning a pair of rose-tinted glasses and am gonna view my city with a set of fresh eyes! 

Today's spotlight is on the fountains at KLCC.

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For many, the twin towers are synonymous with Kuala Lumpur; our skyline identifiable for it, unimaginable without. Lesser known is the dazzling fountain lights show held daily at the KLCC Park.

Officially known as the "KLCC Lake Symphony Fountains", the water jets dance and sway to music over speakers and are illuminated by an array of bright, coloured lights. I confess that the music’s a little cheesy with the likes of Michael Jackson hits to classic Malay tunes, but because the songs are so universally known, there's nothing quite like this communal sing-along.

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Pretty views make for excellent backdrops of great memories, and the past few times I’ve been have left happy impressions on my heart. A wise man in a Korean drama I was watching once said that there’s two kinds of happy moments in the world - the kind that you look back on and think to yourself, “I was happy then”, and the other, the kind that while you’re in the experience, it occurs to you right there and then, that at that point, you are happy. The latter is a rare kind of joy that’s reserved for truly special moments, and I can’t help but agree.

The pictures above were taken when I was out with some friends from college. We decided to meet up for dinner at KLCC after a long work day, and after many laughs over a good helping of Thai food, we found ourselves in front of the fountains. One of the topics of conversation over dinner was on our experiences studying abroad and the realities of being back in Malaysia, where autumn never comes and responsibilities keep piling. When the fountains gushed and danced before us, almost taking us by surprise, I was overwhelmed with a rush of gratitude for the company with me and the beautiful city we called home. It was one of those special happy moments, and being able to just stop and stare at something beautiful and fluid was just the breather I didn’t realise I needed.

If you're local and you're looking for something to do in KL or somewhere to take your friends, I highly recommend paying a visit. Although there are afternoon fountain shows (without music), if you can afford the time, pay an evening visit* to view it in its full glory.

Bring your friends, bring your family, make a trip of it!

*The timing of the show’s a bit of a mystery but get there for 8pm and you’re likely to catch the show as it’s rumoured to run every half hour till 10pm.

SuperStar Libra to Promthep Cape, Phuket

Sunday, October 8, 2017
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Is a candid shot really a candid shot when you know the camera’s there?

Yep. Not afraid to ask the tough questions.

I was recently in Phuket for a quick getaway with my mom. We took  the Superstar Libra 5D4N, a cruise from Port Klang, and travelled to  Langkawi, Phuket and Penang. Lemme tell ya, it’s one thing to look at the  waves of the ocean from where your feet’s planted firmly on the ground, and it’s quite another to be on a ship, feeling like the earth’s rocking beneath you.

The journey started off fine, but as night fell, so did rain, which meant choppy seas and a rocking ship. After a day and a half of battling a pounding headache and the ever present urge to hurl, a crew member pointed me to a tray of green apples and a bottle of Coca Cola a.k.a. the modern sailor’s remedy for a case of seasickness. I can’t say whether the remedy worked for sure because as I dug into my first apple, we docked at Langkawi where the seas were calmer and I got a chance to stretch my legs on real ground. With that, viola! my headache disappeared and all was well.

The rest of the journey to Phuket was smooth sailing. With buffet meals on-board five times a day, we could hardly catch a breath between meals, let alone digest. If it weren’t for the multiple dance sessions held daily (from cha cha to hip hop), the ship may have struggled to make its way back to Klang.

Bored of the sun and sea on deck, we disembarked at Phuket for more sun and sea onshore. We signed up for a ground tour on the ship and were greeted by an adorable, almost elderly Thai man who walked with a hunch and had a haircut which I’m convinced was self-cut. He told us that Phuket got its name from the word bukit which is Malay for hill. From a distance, the island’s striking feature is a large hill in its centre.

Over the past ten years, tourism has become Phuket’s primary industry and at almost every corner, you’re likely to see some sort of factory, museum, or exhibition catered to tourists. I don’t know how I’d feel if my town was overrun by tourists but our guide said the locals are happy about the jobs and the money so I guess that’s alright.

We were taken to Promthep Cape, Phuket’s southernmost point, known for its beautiful sunset and view of the ocean. I became convinced that there’s something magical about a sea breeze against your skin and an ocean view before you. It’s that bow-of-the-ship Titanic feeling - although considering the Thai allegiance to their monarchy, I probably wouldn’t be so quick to declare that I’m the king of the world.
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Standing on a ledge to the sounds of my mother going “Girl, careful ah” on repeat.


Once at Promthep Cape, you won’t miss the throng of tourists, many of which seem to be dedicated Instagrammers and are an attraction on their own. Isn’t it strange how our society has morphed to the point where it’s totally normal for everyday people to carry props like huge white scarves to casually hold in the wind for no reason other than photo aesthetic? I wonder what the anthropologists of the future will think of our era - the ever photo-ready generation. With photo taking more accessible than ever, it is entirely possible that we will never see a future where a great meal goes undocumented.

Dramatic!

Anyhow, if you’re checking out the view at Promthep Cape, you surely won’t miss the Elephant Shrine, dedicated to the Hindu deity, Brahma. I herd from my guide that ivory so often, people would come to the shrine to make wishes, and once their wishes have been granted, they’d leave an elephant as an offering of thanksgiving. I guess that means that every other animal’s irrelephant.

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Ha, I’m sorry, but elephant puns are just too big of an opportunity to pass up.

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I later spent more time watching the water, half wishing I lived by the ocean.

As we left, my mom bought us unbelievably sweet mini-pineapples for 100 Baht to share. I hope I don't ever forget how privileged I am to have the chance to travel so often with my best friend and the woman who raised me.

Till next time!

Feeling full

Thursday, September 7, 2017

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Today, I ate too much for dinner. I’m feeling the kind of full that one really only experiences after a severe attack of gluttony, where your body actually aches from how much your stomach is stretching. But I’m an optimist and rather than dwell on my regrets, I like to think that with enough imagination, it almost feels like the aftermath of a really good ab workout.

Nausea? Check!

Pain? Check!

All that’s missing is a sense of accomplishment, but hey, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad!

I had Thai food for dinner with my mom and grandparents this evening which was wonderful. For the past few days, I’ve been battling a pretty bad flu and the sour-spicy flavours was just what the doctor ordered. Throw in a helping of mango sticky rice and I’m sure you understand how I came to find myself with late night reflux and a too-tight waistband.

Despite the wonderful food, the highlight of the dinner was being able to spend time with my grandparents. It’s been a while since I last saw them, and every time I do get to spend time with them, I am struck by how familial love is not based on the hours spent together or words exchanged. My friends know that I’m truly a banana - yellow on the outside and white on the inside. My Hokkien is basic at best and their English is almost non-existent, but with a lot of ooh and ahh-ing, we somehow get the point across. Coupled with the fact that my grandfather is almost completely deaf, it’s a wonder how we understand each other at all.

Over dinner, when my mom and I were rummaging through our bags to look for tissue paper, without a fuss, my grandpa pulled out a packet from his pocket and passed them to us. It’s the modern day handkerchief and my grandpa was well-equipped. Regardless of where we go for a meal, he hardly leaves the house in anything less than a polo tee and a pair of trousers. His back is ramrod straight and I’ve never seen him walk ahead without making sure that someone’s got an eye on my grandmother.

He is quite the gentleman and I’m lucky to know him. 

Though my stomach is full, my heart is too.


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