Zero to Hero, Day One: Introduce Yourself

Having signed up for Blogging 101 on wordpress, here’s to the 1st assignment!

I’ve always viewed blogging as a form of reflection and a blog serves as a  platform to jot down memories deemed meaningful to me. In the past, I blogged more for myself by keeping a private blog, similar to having a personal journal. Few years later, I switched over to wordpress and I realized that I’ve started to blog more for others. Hiding behind a screen and sharing one’s thoughts to the world might seem cowardly but this seems to me the only way to voice opinions in this largely populated globe.

Nonetheless, this is still a personal blog which I can reflect and pen down my thought process. Nobody is obliged to read this site of mine as all the blog posts written here are merely my own personal experiences and thoughts ( except for the re-blogged ones).

As someone who has commitment issues, I’m unsure if I can complete all daily assignments nor can I promise to keep my blog going but one thing I am sure of is that my love for writing increases with every blog post published. :>

You Can’t Forget Who You Were

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

We understand everything by comparison. We’re only as fortunate as we were once without, we’re only as good as we are better than so-and-so, the day is only as bright as the night was dark — you know how it goes. What makes things spectacular is that they were accomplished against all odds. That we came from somewhere else into where we are now. But too often, we get wrapped up in what we’re still not and need to become, and lose sight of what we used to be. But it’s contrast and comparison that makes gratitude possible.

It’s easy to forget that we’re never really the same person for long. We re-generate, we change. The parts of us that are constructed, that we have created for other people to define and consume, can shift. But of course, the essence of who we are is unchanging. The bits and pieces that…

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AKMU

akdong

Singing competition Kpop Star has never caught my attention from its first season to the third until the recent debut of the winner from the 2nd season. I came across several articles about them these days but merely scrolled past them. It was only when a fellow blogger posted one of their music videos as part of her kpop rant did I hear their voices and genre for the first time.

Refreshing is the word. I absolutely love the tone colour of Soo Hyun and alongside her brother with his guitar, they make some splendid yet neat harmony with impressive chemistry. And as a result they are indeed a pair of admirable folk artistes.

Showcasing their composing, rapping and singing skills on their audition probably marks their first step into the music industry. The second stems from their covers of songs, ( GD- One of a kind, Miss A- Breathe, SHINee- Ring Ding Dong) wherein their style of music truly shines. Their wittiness( especially in song lyrics) is the third step and the most attention grabbing one for me. With Kpop artistes revolving around the concept of sexy/ stylish/ smart for their comeback stage, I am glad that Akdong Musicians went for something different and something more substantial. Rather than focusing on their outlooks, they shifted their attention to the quality of their songs, resulting in deep yet fun 11 self-composed songs.

Their audition video truly manifest their style right from the start. From their version of Breathe by Miss A to their self-composed song of Don’t Cross Your Leg (which a witty and fun song), it isn’t hard to realise how great  potential they behold and I am so so glad that they chose to debut under YG.

I had a hard time picking my fav song from their debut album Play for I put a different song on replay depending on my circumstances. It feels like an album filled with growth and personality and I’m relieved such notable artistes still exist in the superficial Kpop world. I am in love with their album but my only disappointment lies in the omission of Don’t Cross Your Leg in the album ):

Lastly, I shall end this post with their newest and in my opinion the most heartfelt music video. ^^

Tiong Baru Adventure Round 1!

I’ve heard tiong baru is a neighbourhood of cafes and I’ve seen countless reviews on them. I knew I would set foot in that estate someday and it so happened to be yesterday. I merely hopped 3 cafes before the weather turned for the worst so chances are I’m going back there again for round 2. As for now, here’s the review for round 1!

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(photo cr: http://danielfooddiary.com/)

Unlike previous cafe hopping sessions, in which our first or last stop had a main course, we went for small bites this time round. The first cafe we went to was partly accounted for the lack of main courses, because the sides actually made us half full. PoTeaTo as the name suggests, serves potato in different forms, a wide range of tea and brunch.

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It is a shop located at a corner but isn’t easy to miss due to its well lit and eye-catching logo.

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We tried the sweet potato fries (S$7.00) and the hand sliced potato chips (S$6.00). My advice is do not underestimate the portion of these small bites, they are filling, partly because they are deep-fried but the cooks had cleverly spiced things up. The thai chili which came alongside sweet potato fries served as a subtle appetizer, leaving one crave for more. The quality of those fries hit the mark as well as the flour did not override the taste of sweet potato. For someone who was never a fan of sweet potatoes, I would gladly come back again for this same basket of fries.

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Several blogs mentioned that the potato chips are made from US Russet potatoes. While I know nuts about potatoes, one thing I am sure of is that these chips are definitely different from those in the supermarkets. In fact, they are way way different. With the fresh chips sliced to the right thinness coupled with the 2 dips available, they make the purrrrrrfect combination. I had been trying to make out the taste of the 2 dips throughout my meal but my taste buds just didn’t want to cooperate. The white sauce had a mixture of mustard and cheesy taste which results in a surprsingly light taste. In fact, it was thick and VERY creamy, something I really like. On the contrary, the red sauce was slightly watery but had a stronger taste. It has a taste similar to braised pork stew from lola’s cafe. ( full review here)

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As I was feeling hot and sweaty from sourcing the cafe, I ordered a Iced Lemon Green Tea (S$5.00) while my friend ordered Iced Lemon Tea ($5.00). After taking a long sip from mine which was refreshing yet slightly sweet, the iced lemon tea was exceptionally sour for me. I stuck to mine right till the end. HEHE. However given its limited seats, it seems to me a cafe for small gatherings while big groups should just head over to places like Open Door Policy or Social Haus across the street.

I see myself coming back to this cafe again, given its quiet surroundings (for some reason it’s actually not packed) and I’ll make sure to try their pot of tea on my next visit. (:

Website here

40 Hands coffee, Tiong Bahru

(photo cr: http://sangsara.net/)

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(photo cr: Forty Hands Facebook page)

We headed over to Forty Hands which was just 2 shops away from poTeaTo. Unlike the latter, the crowd in Forty Hands was similar to that of Penny University. However, as it was a 2-storey cafe, seats were not an issue.

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Feeling full from potatoes, we decided to just have a cup of coffee since it is their specialty.  I had a latte (S$5.00) and my verdict is- 40 Hands does coffee right. It was served with the right temperature ( starbucks had it too hot, Orlio had it too cold), coated with the right fragrance (yet not too strong) and topped with a pretty latte art. Now I know why not everyone can be a barista.

I heard that Forty Hands serve really good breakfast as well so I guess my menu planned had already been planned on my next visit! :P

Website here

pv

(photo cr: http://www.manilafashionobserver.com/)

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The next cafe in the line was Plain Vanilla Bakery and I really applaud the owner for putting in such much effort in the interior. From the entrance till the end of the shop, I was entranced and above all, impressed. It was modern yet vintage and well to put it simply, you just have to see it with your own eyes.

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I tried the Dark Chocolate Ganache (S$3.50) and together with cute cutlery, it is of no doubt I’ll give this bakery a 10/10. The dark chocolate bits were crunchy but the cupcake tasted fluffy on the inside. It had a surprisingly light taste despite the supposed strong flavour of dark chocolate.  I was really tempted to give the salted caramel tart a shot but well, I shall leave that to next time. To top it off, I ordered a Sparkling Rosemary Lemonade( S$5.00), a perfect drink for the humid weather.

website here

There are countless of cafes and bistros in Tiong Baru, especially along Yong Siak Street. The most amazing discovery of all is that none of the cafes are fighting for the same pie, a plus point for us cafe hoppers due to the myriad range of food available in just 1 single street. It may look like an ordinary alley with shop houses along the road but with unique cafes and vintage books stores, it sure is a street that will make your day fulfilling!

On the side note, I should really start bringing a camera the next time I go cafe hopping.

running traces

Interaction has always played a vital part in my life and I find myself still enjoying conversations with people ranging from strangers to close pals. From superficial chats to the so-called “heart-to-heart” talks, they have always been more than important to me, even if it ends with quarrels.

Funny how I failed to realize this earlier but I find communicating with others the most effective measure in understanding myself; even so with people I deemed worthy in my life. While I became drained after the brain-fried conversation, it was a blissful and heartwarming day. It’s amazing how much I’ve changed over the years and the rationales of my change took me by surprise. The sudden realization of how others influence my priorities shocked me even further. It was an inner battle but such enlightenment was truly a gift from heaven.

With the conversation still playing at the back of my mind, I started to constantly compare myself from the past and the present, and in the process weighing my priorities. At the end of the day, I realized what a powerful tool self realization is.

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Having worked in the service sector for the past 3 months, my job has turned mundane and probably a little stale. With the only anticipation during work is dinner time, I started having unnecessary thoughts while working. Funny as it seems, I feel like I understand myself better after this seemingly boring job. And so instead of writing all that I’ve learnt in these 3 months in chunks of paragraphs, I shall interview myself.

1. If one were to ask “what is cashiering to you?” I would say “it is the last impression of the store.”

2. If one were to ask  ” what is customer service to you?” I would say “sorry is the most frequent word I’ve said.”

3. If one were to ask ” is there anything you enjoy about the job?” I would say ” yep, interacting with friendly customers and angmoh kids. Oh and serving celebrities.”

4. If one were to ask ” what did you learn from this job? I would say ” the society and learning how to be thick-skinned.”

5. If one were to ask ” will you recommend this job to someone else? I would say ” cashiering is not a job suitable for everyone. Because you get to see the ugly side of society through their behavior and (sometimes) lies.”

6. If one were to ask ” will you take upon this job as a full time staff?” I would say ” no, because there’s no fulfillment though payday makes me overjoyed.”

7. If one were to ask ” will you want to continue working in the service sector?” I would say ” yes, because interaction is important to me!”

 

So this shamless self interview probably sums up my 3 months cashiering before I hand in my resignation letter. Before any hard feelings take root, I’ll escape first. HEHE

Budget trip

All my overdued taiwan photos are finally up! Cliche saying of ” a picture speaks a thousand words” because it’s more enjoyable scrolling through the photos than regurgitating how I spent those 7 days. Okay and well… perhaps I’m a little too lazy to type it all out. HEH
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