Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Concerts and churros

A quick update on what I've been up to! 

I reached today's writing quota for my dissertation paper so I now have the rest of the night (It's 3:50 AM time of writing) free. I'm going to open an episode of 2 Days 1 Night before I go to sleep.

I went to London last Monday and came back on Good Friday. Which was probably a horrible time to be traveling because it was a long weekend so Paddington station was swamped with people. I was still happy though because it's been ages since I took the train! So expensive but decided to just give myself a treat seeing how I haven't shopped in weeks.

London was great; I went for Adele's concert at the O2, I ate great food and I met old friends.

So first! Adele.

To perhaps illustrate how much my family and I love Adele: she's one of the **very** few singers whose album we've bought and have played on repeat in the car. And from that very small pool of CDs we have, she's one of the very selected few singers that my dad gladly puts on repeat whenever it's playing in the car. That's a major deal if you guys didn't already get it.

She was an incredible entertainer that night as I've always thought her to be. More than her singing, I was so so so so so entertained with her in-between talks. She's like a comedian and her O2 show felt like a stand-up at times. Amazing. Not many singers can make a concert feel like a gig and I mean it in the best possible away. She was so interactive and generous too! One of the girls in the front row had a '18th Birthday!' sash and wore a tiara and Adele noticed that and called her up to the stage to take a photo with her. And she signed a vinyl for a guy and brought a girl who had a painting of Adele on stage to take a selfie with. I was dead envious but I was just so content and so happy with the fact that I was at her concert, listening to her sing some of my favourite songs ever live.

Listening to her reminded me of Mama and Iman because we would always sing her songs out loud in the car and I wished I had them with me gawking in awe and singing out loud to her songs. They would've enjoyed it tremendously; maybe more than me. Since then, I made a promise to myself! The next time Adele makes a tour, I'm crazy determined to buy tickets for them, wherever her concert might be. I don't think I could go for another one without them, to be honest!

Her concert was on the same day as the Brussels bombing and because of that, she asked if everyone could switch their torchlight on their phones while she sang "Make You Feel My Love". It was a stunning sight and my photos were crap but here's a video of it by CNN. I thought I would've cried at least once but I didn't, surprisingly! I was too memorised and blown away by her singing. I took photos and videos but because we were seated INCREDIBLY FAR back, it wasn't like we were going to take great ones anyway so I just spent most of the night listening to her in starstruck awe. She has this innate ability to trap you in her voice and presence and you're just entirely hers for the whole duration of the concert.

Other than that, I went out everyday to see London, my good ol' friend. London is always very fun lah, I'm so envious with how many great places you can have lunch/dinner at. Choices are so limited here which is a bummer. My London friends are always out and about exploring new places everyday!!! I got to meet some friends for lunch, dinner, for churros, for tea, for desserts. I had a very fulfilling eating trip which was what I wanted!

I forgot to take a photo when we went out for lunch/tea with KC. KC was our Student Council president back in KY and I haven't seen him in ages but he just got accepted to do his post-graduate studies in MIT. Freaking MIT. As we were talking to him, it was so obvious that Azam and I couldn't stop gawking because he has also been on top of PLENTY of other things and I don't know if I'm at liberty to say exactly what on this blog but PLENTY of amazing, amazing things. We couldn't stop being impressed and amazed even if we wanted to. Felt very proud and very happy for him!! When Azam asked him why does he choose to do all that he's doing and he said,

"Because I just sincerely like it"

and he was saying how he told his juniors that "you should never do something for your CV, just do things that you like and enjoy and it'll make your CV look much better". I noted that down particularly because i) after he said that, Azam and I almost wanted to give a standing ovation and ii) I feel a lot of students go out of their way to impress people doing things they don't enjoy. I'll save this thought for another post but what he said really echoed my own personal sentiments and to hear that from him really did put things in perspective for me. But more on that later.

LOOK AT THAT SAMBAL BELACAN, mate. Malaysian Hall is wajib already for me whenever I'm in London. 

Jules and Diy brought us to this place in Covent Garden and it was actually a pretty damn cool find and their specialty were 'buns' which we later found out to be identical to our pau's. But no inti rendang. You could choose from a variety of options and we opted for mushrooms.
Who knew mushrooms inside of pau was so good?!?!?! Definitely going again.


With the lovely bunch of girls. I hope to make a dinner/lunch/tea out a regular thing whenever I'm in London!

I also got to meet Dina!! I haven't seen her in 2 years (?) so it was sooooo fun to see her again. We went to Westfield and had Nando's for late lunch and went around the place to catch up. Always so so great to catch up with old friends like that. Makes me miss high school. Also, look how pretty she is, I'm annoyed!! I hope to see her again before she leaves!! 

Aunty Nina and Zahir were here for a bit and so I wanted to go see them (and also Mama kirim a tub of serunding udang kering [i think that's what they're called?] it's basically a piece of heaven lah) so I went to go get it from Aunty Nina. Aunty Alina was also here to go on a holiday with Natasha to Italy. So jealous! Makes me want to travel there even more now! 

Also, the Zara in Bristol (the one and only store...) closed for renovation and it's still not opened so for the past few weeks I've not been into a Zara store and it sounds incredibly spoilt of me but I missed it! So I particularly looked forward to shopping there when I was in London. There were so many pretty things. Inilah dia nama nasib, bila takde kat Bristol lah baru nak ada lawa lawa. I bought a crisp, white shirt that was oversized and comfortable. And a pair of necessary black trousers from Topshop because I misplaced mine. I expected to shop more but I felt like I wanted to spend more on food than clothes. Priorities, people!!


Quite excited for tomorrow because I have a Korean class and then my usual Korean dinner with Nana. Learning Korean helps me relax which is why I do it everyday and classes are therapeutic for me. Funny because I'm literally studying this entirely new language but since I got into this whole Korean hype, I watch atleast ONE video everyday in Korean and that has helped me loads. Watching a ton load of variety shows has helped me familiarise with the language so learning it is like learning a new language that doesn't *feel* new. It feels comfortable. Odd. But I love it.

I hope everyone doesn't have dissertation or coursework assignment to send in anytime soon because what. a. bother. Can't wait to send in mine soon. Once I do that, I'm going to treat myself to a nice dinner. Y'know, as a "well done, you did this in 2 weeks!" pat on my back kinda thing.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Easter not Spring

This is what my laptop looks like now...


I was so serabut seeing so many tabs open (this is already 10 tabs down and 3 power point slides closed) that I decided to zone out and blog.

It's the holidays!!! UWE is very stingy when it comes to holidays so we only have 2 weeks off. Zzzzz, since Year 1 I've always been so envious of other universities and their long breaks. Some can even afford to balik Malaysia because it's just that long of a holiday. But of course, UWE is also known to finish early thanks to that so complain tu kejap je and then when I see everyone sitting for their papers and I'm already 2 weeks in my summer break, I'm just back to being a happy camper.

Can't wait to finish with this one essay before starting another because I'm going to London!

To watch Adele live!!!!! 

Prior to coming to the UK, I told myself that whilst in the UK at the very least I HAVE to go watch Adele and/or Ed Sheeran sing live and come this Tuesday, I'll be able to say that I did! 

I'm not so crazy with indie groups and underground bands and whatnot so I'm not much of a concert goer compared to my friends. Wished I was though because gigs and concerts here look so intimate and so, so fun! But alas, I'm not a fan of too many bands/groups/singers. I'm still content with all the concerts that I've been thus far though so not complaining! 

Also, what is a trip to London without having great, fulfilling meals! Kangkung belacan has been on my mind since Fatin tweeted about it. Bristol doesn't have a real authentic Malaysian restaurant which is a pity but also mostly a blessing in disguise because if there was one I would've already blown a large proportion of my allowance there. Eep, can't wait to devour in good food!
Anyone want to eat roti canai with me ?? And Malaysian Hall ?? 

As I've probably said on an earlier occasion, I'm staying put this holiday. Might be the first time since I started studying here. This time last year I was getting ready to travel to Budapest, Prague and Vienna with Pana. I miss traveling but at the same time, I'm kinda relieved that I'm not going out of the country. It's tiring, man. Traveling is tiring. Lots of fun but also equal parts exhausting. You're constantly out and doing this and that and then there's the language barrier which in itself is already quite tiring to deal with. I'm doing an essay on behavioural economics and I came across this article saying how people only remember the start, the peak and the end of occasions. 

"Which is why people choose to keep going back to Disneyland, we remember the excitement of entering the place, we remember getting on roller coaster rides and we remember leaving the place. But we forget that in between the waiting in queues for ages and the massive crowd."

This is true though right? It explains why we choose to travel again and again.

We love the sightseeing, we love the new culture, we love the new experiences. But we forget the long journey to the airport, the tiresome chore of lugging around our luggages (***paling*** annoying), we forget the susah payah to find the place of accommodation and having to sit and properly figure how to get to places and we also forget that people converse in a different language altogether. 

Tiring, yes but an experience nonetheless. Bad or good, it's still an experience you can later recall and laugh about. 

Like how the 12 (TWELVE) of us did not realise we were on the wrong train from Monaco heading back to Nice (no one realised 'til the ticket conductor told us). 

Like how Pana and I made 2 new friends which led us to meet Anuar Zain (!!!) in Budapest and legit had a 3 hour sit-down conversation over tea with him. Still cannot believe that actually happened. 

Like how I completely forgot to bring my passport when we were in Vienna and was thus denied the journey back to Prague. (Thank GOD for our new friend and my aunt who lived there)

Like how Marissa and I had the BEST waffles in Amsterdam and how we walked out of a cafe completely forgetting to pay and how lucky we were that out of all days at the Anne Frank museum, there was not a SINGLE person lining up. We actually thought it was closed because it was that empty. Incredible timing!

 Like how in Berlin, Marissa and I walked around an area with lots of vintage fashion shops and we saw a shop that had the penyapu as a decorative piece; guys, it was seriously the penyapu at home you buy at the kedai runcit nearby kinda penyapu. And how we ate like 19 pieces of dutch pancakes at the Christmas German market. 

Like how Tania and I were incredibly inappropriately dressed for Paris weather (I still can't forget how the old lady in a windbreaker said to us, "You thought it was summer, didn't you?"). And how we met SHINee out of just pure, pure luck and coincidence and how I met a comedian walking next to me in Hongdae. 

Ok, now I'm starting to miss it! I need to finish with university first before thinking of where else to go but I already can't wait!! I'm also looking forward to travel around Asia when I go home. Europeans and Americans travel wide and far and pay so much to go to places like Indonesia and Thailand when it's actually just so near to us and so cheap to travel to. Feel like we take it for granted with how close we are with these other places. 
Asia boleh! 

Ok enough blabbing - need to get back to my essay. 

I want to say it's spring but weather is just not having it here in England so it's still pretty much winter to me therefore instead of 'spring' break, have a great great and fun Easter break! 


(I heard this song as background music in a Grey's Anatomy episode and instantly loved it!)

Friday, March 11, 2016


... and we're back! 

WiFi is back, guys!!!!! So happy and so excited. I can finally start doing work (lol) but I mean, c'mon, who are we kidding? MY KOREAN SHOWS!!! Like I said, having accumulated episodes like that really just made the whole waiting process bearable. Very, slightly bearable.

Also, today, I was so determined to make mac and cheese. So I did. It tasted HORRIBLE. Threw it out because it just really tasted like lumpy cheese. Why does everything look so much better on Youtube how-to videos than it is in real life. I did exactly what it said to do! Siiiigh, so that was a fail lunch. I mean it was edible but only after basically covering it with pepper and chilli flakes. Then the whole texture got really odd. I hate it when I try and cook new things only for it to taste really bad! So much effort into it and you're expecting to be satisfied by the end of it but nope. 

Also, I was watching Running Man Dubai's episode and man, I have just listed 'Skydiving in Dubai' in my bucket list. I'll probably piss my pants being there but man, I am so hyped to do it one day!! I need to find a way to actually go do it. I think if I'm already on the plane, I couldn't possibly chicken out so someone just needs to shove me in the plane and I'm good. And it didn't occur to me how beautiful Dubai is for a honeymoon place??? They were in the dessert and some of them got to settle and sleep in a very luxurious hotel in the middle of the desert. I think that's such a fun idea. I would love to be adventurous like that and to potentially do it with your husband seems so best lah, no?
[Also on to-do list : Find someone to marry first]

I just found out the dates for my upcoming exams and I finish on the 9th of May. That's so early?? I remember mine last year ended so much later than that. I feel like I should find myself a part time job to get some money and to at least experience working here for a bit. And the prospect of earning extra money is quite exciting now. Maybe this is just me gearing myself up for actually getting a job in KL soon. YIKES. Scary!!! What do I want to do? Who do I want to work for? How do I work???? What if I'm not good?? I think about this all the time. I hate being wrong and being incapable of doing something which is why I hate math (haha) so the prospect of working is actually quite terrifying for me. But for some reason, I'm kinda looking forward to do something more substantial back home. And in life. I want to just do something. And what could that be? Stay tuned. Hahahah

Oh! For any Korean drama enthusiasts, if you've not already started watching, please get onboard with Descendants of The Sun, please! It's soôò good!! You'll be blown away with the cinematography and the filming and the acting and the props - everything! I've watched several Korean dramas already but it still takes me by surprise with how much they invest in their drama productions. Unlike some dramas, this one is pre-produced so everything is all set which is brilliant because then the drama won't tend to change its script and plot like some shows *COUGH REPLY 1988*. It also means that the producers and directors have plenty of time to edit the drama to perfection! 

It really is a beautiful drama in terms of how it's shot and filmed. Feels like a movie when you watch it! And also can we please spare a moment to appreciate that we live in a world with someone who has a face as handsome as Song Joong Ki's. That smile is out to kill people!! I swear one of his lines were, "How have you been?" and even then I had to pause the show to scream. What is that about?? It's only currently 6 episodes in now though so it could take a downturn but it's highly unlikely. And this is also probably the first time I'm SO happy with the male and female lead - incredible chemistry!!! And I also equally love the second male and female leads (who are also in a romantic relationship on-screen). I cannot say enough - and apparently the whole of South Korea too. It garnered incredibly high ratings on its first episode - a rating so high it even beat Reply 1988 (still #1 in my heart) !!! 

I missed having WiFi so I just wanted to blog about whatever and well, here's a blog post on whatever. Hope everyone is well. It's only been a week but barely surviving, guys. Good thing WiFi's fixed just in time for my Shonda Rhimes Friday.

Have a great weekend, everyone! 

Sunday, March 6, 2016


It takes a day without WiFi to make you realise how bloody dependant you are on it.

Yes, guys.

The day has arrived where my house is WiFi-less. It has happened once before but it got better a day after. IT HAS BEEN THREE DAYS NOW. I hate how it shows up 4 bars on my laptop but heart continues to break when I don't see my Google homepage fully loaded.

I woke up to not having any access to my WiFi on Thursday and I was morrrrrrrtified. Because the night before that, I promised and swore to myself that I'll start serious uni business on Thursday. And well ???? Best timing ever or what to have my WiFi down or what ?????

YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND. I spend my days and night on this laptop; be it with Korean shows or with work. I am constantly on this laptop. Constantly. It's almost unnerving how much I'm on it. Right now I'm using my Personal Hotspot and it's so nerve wrecking to know that any minute now, they'll text me saying I don't have any more Hotspot allowance.

THE AGONY OF NOT HAVING WIFI !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'll tell you what ; days go by much much slower when you're Internet-less. 

I hate it. I've called Virgin Media up and they told me to do a bunch of things which I did but to no success. So they've arranged an engineer to come over and fix it up for us...


You saying I'm going to have to survive a week without Internet at home ???

A week ????? 7 days ???????? And who's to say the engineer will fix it right ?? My current nightmare will be to hear him say 

"Err, seems like the problem's quite a tough one, I'll have to consult with someone and get back to you on this. Next Thursday sound good?" 

The horror. I might move in to Azam's place if that's the case. 

Hurting. I don't like going to the library to do work because I just don't like libraries in general but I think I might have to make the trip there tomorrow. The only good thing out of this is that as days go by, I'm accumulating new episodes for all my favourites shows so when I finally do have WiFi, I'll be doing nothing but catch up with my shows. Which means I have to be super productive and get as much work done before they come fix my WiFi. The worst time to not having Internet at home I swear!!

I sound like *such* a whiny 21st century baby but I can't help it. 

Hug your Internet hub everyone, and pray this doesn't happen to you! 


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

It is just a bag

"We buy things we don't need with money we don't have to impress people we don't like"

I was looking through designer websites the other day, the likes of Céline, Prada, Chanel and all that. and I realised I was looking at all of these bags and shoes, with nothing I could even *closely* afford to buy.

I am a 23 year old student, unemployed and surviving on little allowance. Why do I think I need a Chanel bag in my life?

After living in the UK for a bit, I realised a huge difference in Malaysian women/girls and the British women/girls.We carry designer things a whole lot more. A *whole* lot. Bags, shoes, clothes, jewellery, headbands, keychains, scarves, everything! 

I was going through my Explore page the other day and not a single person on my feed was carrying a non-designer handbag. Not one!!! I was legit looking to see if I could count the number of people who carried a non-designer handbag. 


It could've just been my Explore page at that exact time but I hardly think that's the case. A lot of people my age (and younger) carry designer bags. A LOT. In the UK, you hardly come across someone wearing a Louis Vuitton tote to class. No one does that here! It's actually quite embarrassing if you did! Most of their bags are just normal high-street brands ranging from Primark to Urban Outfitters.

And it got me thinking why do Malaysians have this massive urge to always carry designer bags anyway? What is it that makes us want to buy one?

I understand the working women; they earn their money so they are completely entitled to buy whatever they want. (And for the girls who receive hand-me-downs, don't worry babes ain't talkin about you!)

But it's these girls my age and ESPECIALLY younger ones who *must* get that one bag or """they'll die""".

Why do we obsess over carrying a famous brand? Is it so that we can show to people that we can afford one?

But why do we care if people look?????

I was thinking about this last night and I was tossing and turning and evaluating my own behaviour. I admit to constantly open designer websites and see what's new (not that I can afford any). But then I just halted for a sec and said none of these are appealing to me right now but why do I still look to save and buy one anyway???

Man, the number of Malaysians who ONLY buy things so that the logo of the brand shows. Buying designer things have become less because of what you really want and more of what you really want to show. My brother worked in a Tommy Hilfiger store once (pretty sure he lasted like 2 weeks) and a customer came in and asked for his opinion between two shirts (for the sake of this story, Shirt A and Shirt B) and Zaim and his other co-worker chose shirt B.

The customer then said,

"Tapi shirt A ni logo dia lagi besar..."

Why are we engineered this way? Why do we feel the incredible need to justify the money we have in our banks through the things we wear?

Is it because we want to keep up with everyone else? But then again, why do we want to keep up with everyone else? Does that make us on the same level as them then? Are we just as rich as them? 

Malaysians have this innate need to constantly impress everyone around us. Why does it matter to us SO MUCH that we have to alter our own selves in order to mould with a group of rich people??? Why do we feed off other people's acknowledgement to contribute to our own satisfaction? Better question : why do we look for other people's acknowledgement in the first place? 

Are we jealous? Why are we jealous? Because some people have more money than us? Newsflash : There's always going to be people doing better than us. Do we crave for the little sneaky glares at our handbags as we lug it around? Does it give us a thrill when people say "Lawanya bag you!" or "OMG that bag!"?

I understand the thrill - some of these bags and shoes are really pretty and they all last for such a long time. That kind of quality obviously has to come with an expensive price tag. But at this age and time, is it necessary?

Do we really want them for ourselves or because of the satisfaction of being 'one of them'? What is so wrong in getting a bag that doesn't come with a designer logo. Are they any less pretty because it doesn't bare double C's or angry eyes (Fendi why I don't get it...)? 

Like I said, almost everyone (!!!) on Instagram has a designer bag it feels like. Some are head-to-toe in designer. I saw someone on Instagram who was flashing his HUGE, loud, obnoxious Louis Vuitton belt. Mate. Get it together, mate. H&M has a great variety of cheap belts. No one cares for belts, mate. They're just belts. 

This whole post is actually really for me. I need to slap myself out for comparing myself to these other girls and just understand that at this very moment, I can't afford things like that and it's fine. It's never something I should feel bad or embarrassed about. Get over yourself, Nadia and just live within your limit! 

This is also my personal letter to the girls like me who can't afford designer things. You know what? Screw it. Get over it. So what if we can't get a Céline handbag now? It's not the end of the world and you'll live just fine. So what if our friends have one? Can't we just do us and let them do them and be content with life? Can't we just end the meaningless competition there? I'm speaking to the girls who can't afford one but really really want one. Take a step back and reevaluate. We are not in the position to demand things from our parents. They don't owe us anything. Be more content with yourself and what you already have. If you feel that your happiness depends on having more luxury items in your life then we should really get our priorities right again. Let's not consume ourselves with greedy desires and just look around and count the blessings in our lives! There are so many things you should just be content with like the food you just had or will eat and the fact that you have a laptop or a phone that you're reading this on. Think about that and then slap yourself for forgetting that you are, right now at this very moment, already a lot more well-off than so many other people in this world.

Just take it as a way to motivate ourselves to do so well in life so we can not just only afford a nice handbag but to buy other and better things in life. A handbag or a shoe or a furry Fendi keychain should not be a measure of how you are in life. Not carrying one doesn't mean you are poor and doesn't mean you are any less classy or 'fashionable'. If people look down on you because you don't own anything designer then you're already doing so much better in life, hun.
Nothing to sweat about.