Thursday, November 26, 2020

KL East Mall

Phew, what a day!! I need to write this all down before I fall asleep and start another very busy day.

For those who don't know, I work at a retail consultancy firm. The bulk of our work is leasing to malls but we are also deeply involved in the planning of it too; so in terms of layout and fit out. A project that has kept the company busy the past 5 years is KL East Mall. It's a mall developed by Sime Darby - their first wholly owned mall. Of course we have other projects that have occupied us but KL East Mall was probably the most important of them all. 

I guess it would also be the most interesting because of the pandemic. Leasing seemed an impossible feat during a pandemic as you can imagine. Who wants to expand their business midst of a global viral outbreak?! Well... a lot more than you think. We've managed to pull through by bringing renown retailers to this mall despite it all and it's probably what I'm most proud of. 

So anyway! It has finally come! The opening day of the longggg awaited KL East Mall (KLE for short)! We have been running up and down especially in the past week making sure that everything is in place - that tenants complete their work and all is in order. Of course you can expect hiccups and well.... hiccups we had. But it was all such a rewarding learning experience that I'll take with me forever. A newfound and everlasting appreciation for the hard workers behind the renovation process - working on a tight timeline is no joke difficult. 

But it was so much fun today. We were there bright and early and we left when the mall closed. Helped out with some of our tenants in overseeing their operations and assisted best we can to ease their first day chaos. Seeing the mall come alive after so many, many long days and nights of hard work was so rewarding. We still have acres to go to achieve what we really want but today was a wonderful start if I do say so myself. It was fun to see so many people come over and get excited about the mall. We really believe in the potential of KL East Mall this whole time and we are very pleased to see that people share that same sentiment. 

It's only about to get better because some tenants are still not ready to open mostly due to the current CMCO constraints but insyaAllah in the coming weeks, we will progressively see more and more tenants opening with us and making the place livelier that it already is. To name a few that'll grace the mall soon is Naj N Belle, Calia, Chef Wan, Decathlon, dUCk, Lilit, Starbucks, and Siti Li. We also have rock climbing and cinema with us but because of the ongoing Covid 19, the entertainment trade had to unfortunately put an indefinite pause on their operations. So sabar ya kawan kawan, soon enough it'll be even more meriah with these tenants onboard! 

"Eat together and not separately, for the blessing is associated with the company"
- Prophet Muhammad S.A.W

I'll post more photos tomorrow because it's already 1am and I'm about to face another hectic day. All in which I'm happy to do. So happy!

Edit: More photos now.

Other than site visits, we also have ridiculous amounts of paperwork in the office. Endless negotiations and contract amendments and table sheets... this was my table situation for months.

This is what is called a 'hoarding visual'. For tenants who are unable to open together with the mall on the grand opening date, are required to put up a full height hoarding along with its visual. Full height meaning it covers all the way up to the ceiling so that noise/dust doesn't escape from the lot while they rush to finish up work. In our last few days leading up to opening, a bulk of our work was rushing tenants to submit their visuals and contractors to put it up quickly. 

For all ice-cream aficionados, you'd be familiar with the yellow grill. You'd be quite surprised to know Inside Scoop did all their work within a week tops. A WEEK!!!! Met up with the owners on opening day and they were so lovely. 

Ali, Muthu & Ah Hock. I was SO excited to see this come together. A kopitiam in a mall was sure to do super well and it did alhamdulillah! 

This is the kiosk area on the LG floor with notable brand names like Famous Amos and Tealive. Loved seeing the mall come together because just a little over 2 months ago, it was all bare concrete for these lots! 

We also have dUCk!! Exciting to have them on board. Under the Fashion Valet group, we also have LILIT. and KL East will host its first ever physical store.


Exciting sneak peak to Naj N Belle! It was meant to be opened together with the mall but due to unforeseen circumstances, some things were not able to arrive on time. Very exciting to see this come together. Soon soon!

Poplook dismantling its hoarding. Loved working with Poplook, they were an incredibly dedicated team and were the least fussy! Hahaha. Super professional and so easy to collaborate with for KL East Mall. 

This was us in my car because we didn't have an office to work out of so for when our phones ran out of juice, we had to run to our car and charge it there. It was also a party.


xx

Friday, November 13, 2020

15 Minutes

 I'm going to give myself 15 minutes to blog before I head for my good night sleep.

I'm having a gush of delayed emotions; I miss so many people. So many of my friends, and so many of the things we used to do together. This third wave has heightened fears in so many of us; so much so that although it isn't a proper lockdown, we find ourselves confined at home anyway. Well, almost all of us. Some still find it appropriate to head out and meet up with friends and have fun. I don't understand why we're not taking this more seriously. Of course there's that argument of "life goes on" and that we have to still maintain and adhere to SOPs but I think a cafe date can wait. Worrying numbers now in Selangor and KL and I think we have taken this for granted. We always think the numbers are scary but that since a bulk of it is still from Sabah, we have nothing to worry about. And that it's okay to go out. It isn't!! Not until we're in the clear, at least. Which isn't so wild to fathom because we've had those days before of zero and single digit cases. Stay home if and when you can. It's the *least* you can do while so many of the frontliners help combat this for you. It'll be so mindless and irresponsible of us going out risking it for everyone. 

Anyway, I miss everyone so much. All of my friends. I bumped into a friend the other day at the lobby of my office (yes, I work from the office) and I was just so elated to see him! We aren't that close but I was just still so stoked to see a friend outside! Haha. I was watching the news on the vaccine progress and my heart leapt for joy. It's said to be available April 2021 and although that could very well be untrue, it still excited me. That the fact that we could be at this virus' tail end. Life will never get back to its usual step and rhythm if there isn't a vaccine in this world for this pandemic so I hope we're getting there soon. I just need this all to be over with, what a nightmare year it has been for so many of us. I speak from a place of privilege of course, in which I completely acknowledge. That I still live with my parents rent free, that I still have a job, that I still have all this technology to connect me with the rest of the world and that I complain that I can't work from home. MasyaAllah. For the unfortunate ones who have had it bad; losing their work, battling with mental health, struggling to keep food on the table, I can't begin to imagine their year. 

Ok, my 15 minutes is up. I'm going to go sleep now. This is already considered late for me these days. I'm usually out by 10:30pm. Work has kept me on my feet this past few months. Leaving me stressed and tired and drained everyday but I am grateful for it anyway. Like, *in tears* grateful.

I'm off Instagram for a while, by the way. It's been... bit of a weird time for me personally. And I don't know when I'll be back on; could be next week, could be next year. But it's going good... I think. Anyway, you can find me on Twitter and/or here. If you're a friend, Whatsapp me to say hi; I'd love it if you do.

Night, guys. Talk to you soon. Take care, stay safe and don't forget to read your doa's tonight. Keep me in them too, if you don't mind. 

See you in a bit.

xx

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Hamilton

I was talking to a friend the other day about how some of my guy friends have been OBSESSED with golfing as of late. And he was saying that it was normal of the boys to be like this; to hype over something so much and it's all they do, talk and get excited about. "It'll phase out eventually" he says.

Then I turn to another friend to excitedly talk about Hamilton and the first friend turned to me to say "You pun have your phases kan!". To which I laughed and agreed to. To anyone who knows me, they know that when I like something, I know no limits. Some things that I can think of right now include Mary-Kate and Ashley, Akademi Fantasia (!), Twilight, Queen, and K-Pop to name a few. Now, we have Hamilton, ladies and gents.

Man... I look forward to coming home at the end of a long, strenuous day at work to wind down with Hamilton. It's honestly one of the best things I've watched in a LONG time. The last time I felt this strongly towards a show/movie/art was Bohemian Rhapsody (which would explain my love for Queen). If you've not watched Hamilton, I do highly highly highly recommend you taking a night off to watch it. It's worth it, my God, is it worth it. I have watched it *every* night since my first time watching it which makes it about 8 nights in a row now. It's so phenomenal and truly, life changing. I have always appreciated musical theatre and the ridiculous amount of work that goes into putting on a show, what more actually performing the show 8 times a week!! It's crazy if you really think about it. But Hamilton has really just made me appreciate the art a whole lot more.

Also, it helps that I love Lin Manuel Miranda. So much so that I have also watched his first broadway show, In The Heights! It's SO good and so authentic ughhhh I love it so much. The man is a genius and a half. It's like whatever he touches turns gold. He wholly deserves everything, every award, every recognition he can get because you cannot deny such talent and such skill. I can't wait for his next production. Though it'll have to be in a long while by the looks of how America is "handling" the pandemic. When I say "handling", I really mean not handling it at all. 

Sigh. I just love Hamilton so much, I haven't stopped listening to the soundtrack! If ever I have my earphones plugged in, it's 99.99% a Hamilton track. 





So if it's not already crystal clear, I highly recommend Hamilton to everyone. It's brilliant storytelling with a stunning cast. The music is also just *so* good, it's contemporary and relevant and surpasses what musical theatre has ever done, I feel. Who'd thought of marrying hip hop and the story of a founding father? Man, the things I'd do to watch the original Broadway cast in action again.

Do it. Watch! Let me know what you think and thank me later.

xx

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Cuti Cuti Malaysia 2020

There truly is nothing like an island retreat. I haven't gone to a beach/island since my Garnet housetrip in KY!!!! Which was eons ago. I've graduated from university and moved jobs since then! 

We were at Chidas one night (I just checked: it was the 15th of March 2020, just three days shy from when MCO started) and clearly everyone looked just about done with their work so we just randomly planned for a trip to Langkawi! We had always talked about going somewhere but never really seemed to work on making it happen. But we just got on our phones and checked flights and holiday homes and even made a group chat. Afnan and Ina just so happened to be at Chidas as well but were sat another table so we roped them in the trip. And also they're our good friends haha. And quite quickly we had a rough plan on the holiday date and how many people we wanted to bring along. 

Then three days later, MCO took place. And well, we all know how long that went on for. We were initially planned on going in July but that was obviously not going to happen. We dropped the plan for a bit but eventually picked it up again in July when cases dropped and travel restrictions got lifted. It has been such a pleasant experience planning this trip with the boys. Because I really didn't expect for them to really go all out and be so sporting about it. They made PROPER presentation decks and every decision has been made with collective reasoning with in-depth research. Blown away! Hahahaha though it was funny to me, I really appreciated that they took this super seriously. We have been looking forward to this trip since the group chat got revived in July hahaha

So we finally went! Tickets booked, accommodation booked, itinerary planned, bags packed! Stoked!!!!

DAY I





On our way to lunch at Cili Kampung! This one Amir Azam recommended and upon looking it up, apparently a lot of celebrities go there. It wasn't as crowded when we got there and we got a table easily! But it slowly had its late lunch crowd coming in later. It's a small place with not many tables to cater so I suggest either coming in early or late lunch? 

Service was very slow BUT dear Lord was the food worth the wait. Like. It was insane good. It was my favourite meal of the whole trip! I've recommended it to everyone far and wide. Took photos and sent to my mum immediately. They specialise in masak lemak cili api and ayam masak kicap but we ordered a bunch of stuff off the menu. Including the terung which has become my favourite favourite vege dish ever since my mum cooked it that one time for lunch and I just tried it for fun. Really, really, really recommend Cili Kampung. But don't go if you have to rush elsewhere lah after that, it'll take some time for you to get your food haha.







After happily stuffing ourself from lunch, we drove to our Airbnb. Which has been so popular since we've uploaded Stories on IG. For those who want to know, click here! It was a fabulous place for all 10 of us. We spent so much time at home because it was so fun and spacious. I highly recommend though I will note that this place is comfortable for a party of 8! We squeezed 2 more people so it was quite tight for the boys who slept upstairs. And I feel like it's necessary to have a driver if you choose to stay here. The windy road up to the place can be very tough to manoeuvre through, especially at night. It was a very steep climb with super narrow roads. So highly suggest you get yourself a driver!

Also, it's quite far from the places we went but it is relatively near to the airport.




Can you tell how excited we were!! We weren't even in the house yet! Hahahaha

I was quite ambitious to want to go to the beach on our first day. But upon arriving, we quickly knew that it wasn't going to happen! Boys quickly got in the pool and played rugby and frisbee (which never made its way back with us to KL sob sob). Got situated and even had a nap haha. Best gila just to be away on a holiday!!

Bless Afnan and Ina for cooking us our dinner that night. We had spaghetti and it was so, so sedap, licin semua orang makan. I still remember how good it was! It was a labour of love so thank you very much Afnan and Ina <3 <3 








DAY II

I only had one request. It was to go eat nasi dagang by the sawah padi. So we woke up early and left by 9am to Pak Malau Nasi Dagang. We were so lucky because we managed to sit by one of those huts just next to the sawah padi. So we had the full experience! It was so beautiful. And the nasi dagang was so good too! My tip is to come here early because by the time we left, a streammmmm of people came, completely overcrowding the place in no time. So I do recommend you come early! 9am's good but any earlier would be great because you won't get too much sun.




With Pak Malau himself I assume?? We asked for a discount for fun and he said if we can balas his pantun, he'd give us a discount. And we did!! I don't remember how it went but we did. He was so lovely too.







Our second day is action packed. When I mean action packed, I mean going to literally 2 places hahahaha. First we went to the jetty place I guess? Good thing we were a sizeable party so we got the boat all to ourselves! It rained, unfortunately so water was a bit choppy. But nevertheless I loved it! Haven't been out on a boat since I was 18-19?? Gila to think how long it has been. So it was thrilling. I was holding Ina's hand the whole time because we were going so fast and it was a bumpy ride. 



When we got to Pulau Dayang Bunting, it was raining. So we walked up all the way in the rain, drenched even before getting in the water. Ina, Azam and I decided to not take a dip because of the rain. Lucky me, there was also a tempat urut so I chose to do that all while the boys were swimming. Hahaha, I was in pain when she urut but it was pretty satisfying. The lady who massaged me was a local so she knew all sorts of cool, haunting stories of the island. Wished we had been there longer because she was a fab storyteller. With her loghat Kedah and all. It was so fascinating. I would've paid just to hear more but by the time my urut was done, we took the boat back to the beach. 







The rain had stopped then so it was nice and cooling. We were lucky lah that it wasn't scorching hot. Our tans aren't too bad now that I think about it.

We were at Beras Basah island and settled at the corner of the beach that had no one else there. I loved the privacy of it! It wasn't very crowded which I appreciated because I was scared it was going to be packed and stuffy. Seeing it was the Merdeka weekend, I expected a lot more people in Langkawi.






I had Iman's film camera with me but have yet to develop any of the photos because I didn't get to finish the whole film so I'm trying to do that as quickly as I can. 

Eeeeep I loved the beach. The last time I remember being at a beach was during Garnet's house trip in KY! That was when were 18/19!!!! Too long. I loved soaking in the salt water but because I'm dead scared to get so tanned I had my straw hat with me haha. Felt so at peace! We were lucky the sun came out to play. We had our frisbee with us so we played that and just chilled by the side for about 2 hours? 

Time for lunch! For the life of me, I can't remember the name of the place we went but it was recommended so why not. It was just nasi berlauk and it was pretty good! But this is me and I haven't met a nasi + lauk that I don't like.

We went to go buy some chocolates at the duty free place. I bought the fruit and nut Cadbury chocolate that Mama loves (and buys every chance she gets) and Kit Kat bars. I even got minyak gamat because apparently Langkawi is famous for that?? I didn't know this up 'til then. Peer pressure beli sebab semua orang dok beli.

Went back to our accommodation and the boys went for another dip in the pool! I showered and got ready for dinner out. We had made reservation at Wonderland Seafood. The owner was SO nice to us and was so accommodating. The food was great and the place was packed. So much so that the owner said he won't be open for Merdeka because he knows how the crowd will get and because of SOP, he won't be able to control the queue out. 




If you cant' see, it says 'Nadia Hotel'.



For fun, we went to Pantai Cenang. It was... meh. Underwhelming. And the shops closed pretty early! But because we were so adamant on checking out the night life in Langkawi, we went. We walked around but nothing much to see/buy. We went to pantai cenang and watched a fire show? Impressed as all hell because one of them was a young boy! Who had no business being that close to fire but he was so good at it! Shortly after, we called for a Grab and headed back to the villa. It was a long drive back so everyone fell asleep on the way back. As we were reaching the villa on its long and windy road, the driver got a bit lost but was so sweet about it. I was scared he was going to give up and refuse driving us up. This is why I recommend getting a driver for your trip because it's so difficult finding your way up there. Bless him, he didn't complain at all! 

DAY III

Waterfall day! Again, it was about a 30 minute drive to the waterfall. It was called Durian Perangin. Again I say, we were so lucky because at the time of us there, we were the only ones at the waterfall! It was a mini hike to the waterfall but so worth it because we had the whole place to ourself. We've been lucky this trip to have had private spaces like these to have fun. It was bloody cold but best lah mandi in the morning. We didn't bring any breakfast with us though we wished we had. After we played a round of taboo (?), we headed back. Just as we were walking down, there were some people coming up to the waterfall. Just in the nick of time! 





We went back to Cenang to buy more things at Duty Free. I don't know how we got there but a bunch of us ended up buying perfumes. Hahaha from not wanting to get anything (but chocolates) to buying Gucci and Rocha perfumes! We also ended up having McDonalds for lunch. McDonalds anywhere is sedap. I was too hungry so I had my lunch in the van while the rest waited to have it back at the villa. 

I swam in the villa's pool for the very first time that day. Don't know why I didn't do it any earlier. I think I was most calm and at most peace then. I was swimming alone and I just settled by the edge of the pool looking out into space. Like, proper zen! I just felt so serene and light. Didn't think of my work stress (and I have to say, I am incredibly grateful that my colleagues/bosses didn't kacau me at all during my break), all I did was count my blessings and exclusively just things/people that make me happy. Me at my most calm in weeks and months! 


That night was pretty exciting! The boys had thought of having everyone wear only white. No denim, no patterned tops, nothing. Just white!! I love that this wasn't even my idea haha. We got ready for our BBQ dinner to great music. Ina and I cooked the chicken earlier while the boys got ready and when it was turn to get ready, we had a super lovely time in our shared bathroom really getting to know each other. I'm so lucky to have had her on the trip because as much as I love the boys, sometimes you just need a girl with you to help out with things like changing in the car or help you out with a hairdryer. Such a simple trick but she brought around a kain pelikat which could double as a fitting room almost. So I managed to change in the van, on the boat, at the waterfall, with absolute ease! Best gila. I'm so going to bring a kain pelikat to all other vacations. It came in so handy!











How cute are we!!! This is probably the one time my friends have ever been 'on theme'. So fun to see everyone put an effort into dressing up on our last night there. Burnt from the sun but lookin' cute in white huhu. We had bomb food and once we settled, we brought out Avalon. I don't know why I still play this game with this group of people. The most stressful people to play with. I have played this game with so many other people and no group has been more intense that this one here. I love the game but I LOST MY SHIT. The last time I got this angry was when I played the game in London. WitH THE SAME GROUP OF PEOPLE, JESUS. Y'know how I was so zen in the pool earlier? Yeah, all gone by the time we played Avalon.

But loved it lah regardless hahah sorry boys, I still hate playing this game with you all. Always have always will xx

The next day we got up pretty early and packed up to leave for the airport. So sad to be leaving our home for the past 3 nights. We had brunch at a local kedai nasi just down the hill from our villa before heading to the airport.

That wraps up our trip! It was super fun and highly anticipated by us organisers. We had this planned since March! Sigh. I had the best time with my friends and would do it all over again in a heartbeat. We plan to go to Perhentian/Redang next but since it'll be the monsoon season end of the year, we'll probably have to plan for something next year. But I'm already itching for another holiday. My bosses won't be too happy so I'll have to go through another breakdown at work before applying for leave hahah

Thanks for reading this far! It was such a fun trip and I had such a great time there. Bila lagi nak bercuti ramai ramai like this kan. I highly recommend taking a holiday especially a beach retreat. It does wonders to renew and realign your spirit and soul. Everyone needs a break from the chaos that is work/Kuala Lumpur.

 Can you imagine the last time I went on a holiday with this many friends was in Nice, France??? Let's hope the next one won't be that long of a gap.

My special thanks to my fellow Singletons boys (who aren't single pun) and to Ina, Amran, Farhan, Kamar for joining in the fun. 

xx