Life update – my new job!

Monday, July 8, 2019
Hey guys! 


It sure has been a while since I gave one of these life updates, but can I really call myself a blogger if I don't give you unsolicited information about my life? 
My previous role
For the past 3 years, I’ve been working in the Legal Department of Bank Negara Malaysia (Central Bank of Malaysia), where I looked at matters relating to financial stability, namely banking matters, insurance matters as well as some issues on development financial institutions (DFIs). Throughout that time, my go-to references were the Central Bank of Malaysia Act 2009, Development Financial Institutions Act 2002, Islamic Financial Services Act 2013 and the Financial Services Act 2013.

I was also simultaneously taking the New York Bar Exam and by the grace of God, was admitted to the New York Bar in April 2019 (major life milestone – I’m now a qualified New York attorney!).


It wasn’t my initial plan to leave the Bank but ultimately, due to some upcoming changes to my family’s business, I tendered my resignation and moved to iHEAL, based at Mid Valley City, Kuala Lumpur.


My New Role - iHEAL Medical Centre
When I tell people about my transition, one of the common questions I get (although mostly in jest), is whether I’m giving up law to study medicine. Well, the answer, as you’ve probably already guessed, is no – I’m not. I’m also not going to be in an exclusively legal role. My new role at iHEAL is as the Manager of Strategy and Governance, which to be honest, sound like a pretty vague set of words. What is strategy? What is governance? When we look up those terms, you’d find varying interpretations of them and it really depends on how the company plans on using the role. In my case, my background in law will equip me to look at the existing administration policies, procedures and programs and ensure that they are implemented accordingly. One aspect that I’m particularly interested in is the strategy element, which allows me to provide input and develop the direction and strategy of the iHEAL Group of Companies. Basically, it’s a chance for me to work with my father and the rest of the team in deciding the future direction of the company. What an exciting opportunity!

I've been involved with the company in small ways ever since I was a kid - there was even an ad my brother and I did to promote treatment for excessively sweaty hands:



But just because this is a fairly “corporate” role, I can’t forget the fact that I’ll be working in a healthcare company. This is a business which has the primary purpose of improving the lives of its patients with a focus on healthcare rather than sick care. And as someone who, to be honest, hasn’t really been the best example of health and wellness, I’m starting to get a new perspective on the preservation of health. Rather than view it as something restrictive to just merely make me look good, I think the right way to view health is that it enables us to live fuller, richer lives – so actually, more enabling than restrictive.

As with many companies on the brink of growth, there are plenty of issues to sort out here. When I looked through the Google reviews, there are some very unhappy people sharing about how they’ve had to deal with long waits, pushy salespeople and unprofessional service. But it isn’t all bad. There’s also really uplifting comments from those whose lives have been saved by the doctors at the medical centre. Some of them have gone for screening or a second opinion at iHEAL and thanks to the right advice from our medical professionals, they’ve gone for further testing and discovered early stage cancer and other potentially terminal illnesses. I also know of someone who finally managed to bring her parents to get a health checkup by saying they were going shopping at Mid Valley (lol!) and when they came to the centre, the “un-hospital-like” nature of the place persuaded her parents to go through the entire screening.


It’s going to be an uphill battle, I believe, but I do think that we have a shot at addressing the comments from the dissatisfied and overall, increase patient satisfaction. I hope to also be able to work on improving employee satisfaction too! I’ve had conversations with people who have been so willing to share with me and teach me about life at a medical centre, where marketing objectives are different, where safety and sanitation is absolutely pivotal, and where decisions made can literally save lives. I can’t wait to learn more while I’m here!

Please come support a growing medical centre that believes in personalised care, that’s located in a bustling mall but performs full scale heart surgeries, bariatric surgeries, screenings and checkups, and that’s been around for the past 10 years and wants to be around for many many more! And also, I guess please support me in my efforts at trying to be a “healthy” person hahaha! You’ll be seeing more posts from me on my attempts at trying to go from #tiffatny to #tiffitny so stay tuned for that!
Health Screening
If you haven’t gone for a health screening before, it is highly recommended that you do a comprehensive screening by the time you’re about 25 years old. Whilst a blood test can tell you many things about your body, it can leave out a lot too and the more equipped you are with knowledge on the state of your body, the more prepared you can be to address these issues! Also, not all blood tests are alike! Some simple blood tests only look for certain things such as your blood sugar level which although useful for letting you know if you’re at risk of diabetes, may not be able to tell you if you have fatty liver, or if the reason you’re putting on weight is due to hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland is not able to produce enough thyroid hormone. Since the main purpose of thyroid hormone is to "run the body's metabolism," it is understandable that people with this condition will have symptoms associated with a slow metabolism.
One of the packages available at iHEAL is its Prima Screening package, for RM888 (it’s the promo price now – also 8 is a very prosperous number), you get a full blood test (with a whole bunch of lab screenings that includes the usual blood sugar, but also other important tests which determine the health of your liver, kidneys, and tests for certain sexual diseases), a hearing test which I am convinced some of my friends who are always like “huh?” “huh? Didn’t hear lah!” need to get, ECG and lung function test for determining whether or not you have any heart and lung issues (a.k.a whether your heart pain is due to actually being sick or because you’ve faced some harsh rejection), the all-important X-ray and ultrasound of your chest and abdomen, and a consultation with the doctor on all of the above. Plus a diet counselor!

Feel free to check out the full details here. 

And guys, if you go for this test, and everything is all good, that’s wonderful news! Strangely enough, there are some who come out of a screening finding out they are well and feel unhappy about it! (e.g. aiya, shouldn’t have checked lah). It’s the value you get from the peace of mind of knowing you’re well, the assurance that your lifestyle is sustainable and the confidence to do more knowing that your body can handle it. And well, if there are things that have been brought to attention, at least you know!

I would appreciate it so much if you guys came and paid a visit - even if you don't make an appointment. When you're at Mid Valley, look for the lift upstairs, take some pictures, let your friends know that it's here! It's so difficult to build a brand from nothing and I look forward to seeing some of you at my office!

If you’re interested in any of the medical services available, you can make an appointment through the details here:


HOTLINE
+603-2287 7398
+60162615297


ENQUIRY
enquiry@ihealmedical.com


LOCATION
Level 7 & 8, Annexe Block, Menara IGB, Mid Valley City, Lingkaran Syed Putra, 59200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
YouTube 
Another thing that I've been venturing into is the world of YouTube! When I was previously working at the Central Bank, I was very reluctant to have more of an online personality, with concerns that what I say, relevant or otherwise, may be construed as the voice of "the Bank". In this sense, I've put off setting up a YouTube channel for years. Now that I no longer work with a regulator/statutory body, I've finally launched talkatiffy, my YouTube channel!

If you're interested in what kind of outfits you can buy in Bangkok at a cheap price, watch the video here:





Althea A'BLOOM - the entire drop & *exactly* which mask to get (all under RM2!)

Monday, July 1, 2019
Is Althea's mega-cheap and super-adorable face mask drop old news to you? Maybe. But if you're still on the fence, or thought about getting their stuff and not toooo sure about it, here's the comprehensive review you've been looking for, complete with every item from their launch. Folks, we have blackhead busters and makeup blenders to go with these face masks so sit down and grab a cup of tea for a review by this beauty noob that you didn't know you needed.

althea a'bloom products

Face Masks
Let's start with the face masks. For its launch, Althea dropped its very own masks with a massive Buy 1 Free 1 sale and I bought roughly 20 sheets for a ridiculous price of RM0.75 per sheet. This promotion is now over, but you're still looking at low prices of RM1.80 per sheet for a purchase in sets of 10 (worth it for a self-pampering session!!) or RM2 if you buy a single sheet, just to try! These masks sold out so quickly the last time, but now they're back again and you can get them here. 

althea's newest products
So to be honest, I'm the kind of person that believes all facemasks are equal. Or at least, I was. I used to differentiate masks by the thickness of the sheet or how well it adheres to my face, but after trying on so many (from Althea to Mediheal to Nature Republic and Etude House), I've started paying attention to the small but very real difference in my skin after use. Because of that, I took my time with reviewing these Althea masks, so you'll really get an idea as to which one to buy to suit your specific needs and preferences! 


sheet mask from althea korea
The similarities, however, are the following: 

  • Super thin sheets which adhere very well to skin 
  • Each sheet is completely soaked through with essence, and you'll even have leftover in the packet for your elbows, knees, neck and wherever else you want!  
  • Each type of mask has been dermatologically tested 
Onto the review-


water-me-long sheet mask althea

ac-me peach althea korea acne sheet mask





brightening sheet mask sparkle-me bright althea koreaavo-cuddle-me sheet mask korea avocado sheet mask althea

Meringue Puffs!
Now that you've gotten your base all moisturised, it's the perfect time to figure out makeup! And as someone who hated using makeup beforehand because it just felt so cumbersome and sticky and cakey, now that I've equipped myself with the right tools for success (cause srsly, the whole she-bang is all about the right equipment), I'm finding it a lot easier to put together a simple make-up look! My favourite right now is the Meringue Puffs. Adorable, pastel and incredibly porous, these babies leave foundation looking like a seamless second skin on your face. And trust me on this, there's an actual difference because I've been using some cheap sponge-like, Lazada-bought fake beauty blender all this while which takes so much longer to blend than when using these adorable sponges. 



beauty blender alternatives mini
beauty blender alternatives mini dior foundation blending liquid althea
BHA Blackhead Blaster
Now this one, is a real game changer. If you've ever gone for a facial and have had your blackheads squeezed out of you, you'd relate to the desperate wish that there'd be a less painful way to get rid of those pesky blackheads.  

remove blackheads
Well, here it is! In a convenient stick form, all you have to do is rub out spots prone to blackheads and wash out with warm water. The blackheads get loosened out and you're left with squeaky clean skin.

Too good to be true? Well, a little bit! Some of the pesky stubborn blackheads that still remained, but there was a noticeable improvement to the whiteheads and some of the blackheads on my nose when I was done. Best of all, it was pain-free and very easy-to-use. 

I reckon this is the sort of thing you should get once you've gone for a thorough blackhead extraction, and you want to maintain the clean pores you worked so hard to get. But if you're already blackhead-ridden, unfortunately, this may help you juuust a bit, but you'd probably need more extreme methods to get the job done. 

Only RM19 - you can get it here! 

-

The usual disclaimer here! Although I bought a lot of the face masks on my own, I was later sent the other Althea products for review courtesy of The Butterfly Project. Views are all mine though and I wasn't paid to say any of the above! 

4D3N in Hong Kong: Day 1 - Dinner at Yum Cha & Drinks in Lan Kwai Fong

Friday, June 7, 2019
Picking up where I last left off, after our mini-adventure upon arrival in Hong Kong, Celine and I headed to meet Jocelyn and ZY for the complete dinner and drinks experience in Hong Kong. But before we got there, we found a list online of "things to do" in Hong Kong and dragged ourselves to..

The world's longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world - Central–Mid-Levels
What a mouthful and what a bore! Hahaha, it took so much generated enthusiasm to enjoy riding with the glum-faced locals up an escalator - but to be honest, why did I think riding a really really long escalator would be in any way interesting? And I mean, this thing was really long and very flat. What you do get, however, is conversation fodder with the average Hong Konger who's taken this very escalator and at the very least, you totally get it when they're telling you how dreary and long the ride is. 

Also, rather than being just one escalator as I initially assumed, it's actually an escalator "system", which breaks up multiple escalators. You then cross over a really short platform to ride the next escalator. Which I suppose makes sense. Because falling down one really really long escalator seems much more dangerous than having your fall broken by a platform. Sorry, that was a little dark. 


The whole "travelling like a local" experience is further enhanced when you peer over the barriers on your left. At the right time, you'll catch sight of some alley restaurants, tightly cramped with the everyday man.  



 And then we went to dinner. This activity was free - thankfully! 
Dinner at Yum Cha 
Cute food is all the rage at the moment and Yum Cha delivers that in spades, serving the most adorable googly eyed lao shao baos out there, extravagantly crafted bird-shaped pineapple tarts, hilariously hideous sausage rolls and more! 


Taste-wise, everything was low-key decent. The fillings for the baos were yummy but also really sparse. There was so much bread, that every bite was an unsatisfying 4:1 bread-filling ratio. This is probably because you would need more bread in order to shape the baos into whatever cute art-form they turn out. 

The other main dishes were delicious, I'll admit! I loved the fried rice which was flavourful and filled with meat, and the veggies held their own - still yummy even after our long photoshoot which left the food almost cold. 

I must mention though that some of the supposedly "cute" dishes were actually terrible-tasting. Like the hot-dog dog thing, which was stuffed with a flavourless lap cheong (preserved chinese sausage) and was so tough to chew, my jaw hurt after finishing it. Plus, it wasn't even that cute although I'll concede +5 points for entertainment value. The bird-cage pineapple tarts were bad as well, with pastry which was not the dreamy crumble I was hoping for and lacklustre pineapple jam. 

But all in all, I was very satisfied with the experience here. If your purpose of visiting Yum Cha should be to get some cute pictures and experience a playful way to enjoy dim sum (which is conventionally something very traditional), you won't be disappointed! It was so kind of Jocelyn and ZY to treat us to this meal and a perfect way to introduce us to the funner aspects of Hong Kong. 
Drinks at Lan Kwai Fong 
In my mind's eye, I saw Lan Kwai Fong as somewhere glamorous and trendy, with cool bars lining the street filled with cool people having fun. Maybe it would look something like a less seedy Bangla Road in Phuket. In reality, it was a small bend that curved uphill, teeming with people overflowing bars and filling the streets looking to have a good time. Perhaps no more glamorous than the average party central of any bustling city. 

But let me taper that by saying that Lan Kwai Fong doesn't promise to be glamorous, and it was my mistake for assuming it would be a more robust version of Malaysia's TREC. In many ways, it is. If you're looking for a fun night out, then this is the area to be. It's a good idea to figure out where you would like to go beforehand, especially if it's somewhere very popular. We visited on a Thursday night, the eve of a public holiday, and an intimidating queue stopped us from entering Ce La Vi, Hong Kong's famous rooftop bar. 

Source

Instead, after a thorough hunt, we decided on Fang Fang, based at LKF Tower. Drawn to the adorable mugs they serve their cocktails in, we ordered a variety, got treated to a round of free shots by the bartender and had a good time chatting away (maybe a bit of yelling, through the music). 






The cocktails were Asian themed, which was truly an experience. I mean, half of me felt like I was having the herbal bitter drinks my mom gets for me when I'm not feeling well, and the other half knew that we were out at a bar.. it was a strange sensation! In fact, the flavours were a little too complex for my palate and I couldn't fully appreciate it. All the drinks we got (4 of them!) totalled to 245HKD (approx. RM130). 


We left the bar feeling happy and relaxed, ready for a good night's rest for the adventures beckoning on Day 2 - Disneyland! 




Till next time!

4D3N in Hong Kong: Day 1 + Pre-Trip Planning

Saturday, May 11, 2019
Last month I boarded a plane 6 times, testament to the ease of travel today’s world provides and perhaps, testament too to my restlessness at having been bed-ridden in the early months of 2019 due to an ankle injury and subsequent surgery.

And as I strained against the plaster cast, the hospital bed, packs of ice and the doctor’s instructions to be careful and wary, the longing to get up and  explore  yearned  to  be  satisfied.  It made sense then that when the opportunity arose to visit a friend in Hong Kong, my best friend in fact, I got  clearance  from  my  physiotherapist for more strenuous walking, found dates that suited both  Celine  and me (how could we resist a three musketeers reunion?), booked our flights, and on 4 April 2019, a too-early Thursday  morning before the sun even rose, we made our way to KLIA2 to embark on our mini-Hong Kong adventure.














Killer view from McDonalds. Don't crowd with everyone else at the viewing deck.

If anyone’s  keeping  count,  true,  this  is  only  1  flight  out of the aforementioned  6.  For  clarity,  the  other  4  were the China-transiting flights  to  the  US  I  had to take in the 3rd week of April, but that’s a story for another day.

Pre-trip Preparation

We finally figured out the best time to travel and decided on April between the  options  of  April  and  June because well, frankly, June is hot and I didn’t  fancy queuing for Disneyland rides in the scorching sun (because OF COURSE, we were going to Disneyland – more on that later!). 3 weeks before our  chosen dates, we booked Air Asia flights through Skyscanner. By paying with Bigpay  (use my code for RM10 off for me & you! (TVRSP1ZZSE)) which removed booking fees, we got our return flights for RM560 each.

At  the onset, I must clarify that I don’t speak Cantonese or read Chinese, which  in  Hong  Kong,  meant  that  I  was  practically  inarticulate  and illiterate.  I  decided  that  in order to best get around, I’d have better luck  with  my itinerary if certain essentials were pre-bought. It was also just more convenient to have some stuff sorted for us beforehand.

We got an unlimited travel card for RM174 with two-way Airport Express from KK Day (link here) although it would have worked out to  be cheaper if we paid per trip, it was convenient and we made it around HK with it without having to top up or go through the hassle of queuing for a card. Upon arrival, there was a booth in the airport and we picked it up immediately. Because we were in a group of 4 most of the time in HK, it was just easier to take a taxi every so often, and we ended up doing that, incurring  further  travel cost over the trip. I would’ve loved to be cheap and take the MTR everywhere because it was really well connected, but after so  much  walking, it was so much more tempting to raise our hand to hail a cab  than  trek wherever it was to get on the MTR. Additional savings tip - If  you  return  the card at the airport or customer service counter at the MTR station, you get a 50 HKD (approx. RM25) refund.

As  you  know by now, we knew we wanted to go to Disneyland and got tickets for RM295 each on Klook (link here). The price on the official Disneyland page is 619 HKD (approx. RM330) so we got a good deal! But I did find a cheaper link later on from KK Day (link here - less than RM10 difference from Klook so if you have a Klook promo code it might work out cheaper on that instead) which left me with a bit of a post buyer’s regret.  Nevertheless, it was easy to use. I bought 4 tickets and they sent us 4 separate QR codes, meaning that you can come in separately which was great for meeting up!

Enjoying that top class view from the service apartment! 

Charmingly urban and quintessentially Hong Kong. 
Accommodation  was  so  thankfully  sorted  out  by aforementioned bestie – Jocelyn!  Long  time readers know I call her Baby J on here and she and her boyfriend ZY graciously offered us a roof over our heads, a warm bed to lie in and even a hairdryer. Well deserved 5 stars on Airbnb hahaha. And I guess the pre-trip prep tip (say that 5 times real quick) is to make good friends when you’re in highschool and keep them as friends for a long time so you have someplace to stay when they go  overseas to work. Also applicable for primary school friends and university friends. Can’t confirm whether it works for kindergarten pals or colleagues.


Day 1

We arrived in Hong Kong just in time for lunch and met with one of my favourite people from my time at LSE. This was a real hand of God intervention right here! We arrived on a Thursday, which as you know, is a working day. And my friend, Andrea, had taken some time off because she was flying to Vietnam on that day! So we had juuuust enough time for a late lunch together at the famous Tsim Wah at the airport before she had to catch her flight.

The cutest cup for the HK milk tea! Though every sip was like kissing Chip's forehead. 

Celine's beef brisket noodles! 

My shrimp wonton soup noodles, which was pretty underwhelming. It wasn't even pretty! The rule for food is that if it doesn't taste good, it should at least look good. 

My milk tea and soup noodles worked out to 60 HKD (approx. RM32) which wasn't too bad for airport food! More importantly, it was so nice being able to see Andrea, a friend that I can easily pick up with where we left off despite the time and distance between us. Discussion was all like "Who's getting married first?" "Did you hear about so-and-so?" "Man, can you believe how much. time. has. passed?!?!"

When we parted ways, Celine and I got a little distracted by the adorable Harry Potter themed store in the airport, stopping to take pictures and ogle at the merchandise. 





After we found the wands, cast some spells, the next thing we knew..

We were outta there! 
And into Wan Chai!

Okay, guys. Let me just say that I'm someone who's pretty aware of my weaknesses. And one of them was revealed to me this trip when walking around the area, we saw a sign proclaiming "Best Mochi in HK" along with other self-aggrandising statements. Basically, I'm easily a victim of advertising and dragged Celine along to try this mango-stuffed mochi. We found a little anclove between some buildings, perfect for sitting down and munching on a snack nearby. It was breezy and tranquil, but the mochi was pretty meh. The mango wasn't as sweet as you'd expect and though the mochi texture was the ideal amount of gooey, the entire thing was coated with so much powdered sugar, breathe too close and you might end up coughing and choking on it like I did, sending clouds of white powder everywhere - onto my bag, my camera, my clothes, all over the ground too!


For 16 HKD (approx RM8.50) a piece, it's not exactly an extravagant splurge, but if that's the best they've got in HK.. well. Hm. 

We were soon off adventuring again, scouting for popular sightseeing spots and trailing behind cute dogs, when available. 



We finally found ourselves in front of the Blue House, that oh-so-popular Instagram-worthy photo spot, known for the bright colours of the buildings. Though we didn't know it then, a Wikipedia search of Blue House tells me that it was the site of the first hospital in the district and is one of Hong Kong's heritage sites.


The area in front of the building sees heavy foot traffic, much like most of Hong Kong, and many locals walked by unfazed by the mini-tourist photoshoot.




















There's an entire stretch of beautifully coloured buildings in the area so if you frame your shot just right, you'll get to capture all of it!


Hardly 5 minutes away was the Wan Chai Street Market, open daily from 11am - 7pm. Bustling and crowded, there's no culture shock here for the seasoned Malaysian and Celine and I happily got a few pairs of those non-slip 'invisible socks' to wear beneath your flats so they don't peek out for 13HKD per pair (approx. RM7).

With time to spare, we followed the alleys. We didn't have an internet connection, only a time to meet Jocelyn after work at another stop, and it was refreshing to walk around, drinking in the sights and sounds of Wan Chai without a real destination in mind.  What we found was beautiful shophouses, painted pastel and lit up bright, music playing softly through art installations throughout the street. We had accidentally stumbled into Lee Tung Avenue and it was beautiful!  

A huge spinning globe made up the centre of the street, spinning slowly and ironically, seemed ethereal. Measuring 7 metres in diameter, the globe is based on a NASA satellite photo and I guess that's what you'd see if you were looking from space. 

We met up with Jocelyn and ZY for dinner & drinks later on, but I'll write about that in my next post! 

Till next time! 






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