Saturday, May 23, 2020

Getting back to work

Hi!

It's now the last day of Ramadhan and Raya is tomorrow! I've been at work for about a week and a half now and it's been busy on my end. So much so that I'm actually looking to get myself blue light glasses because I had a headache a few days ago from straining my eye. 

Covid-19 really has taken 2020 from us. About 2 weeks from MCO was implemented, my boss asked us all if the virus has affected our daily routine. I said no because at that point I was still skeptical and I didn't think we'd be hit too hard. At least not as bad as Italy/America. And while I still don't think we've been hit too hard alhamdulillah, I've definitely grown to become more and more cautious about my surroundings. I sanitise and wash my hands all the time, to the point that it has triggered my eczema so bad on my hands. I make sure to wipe down every surface I touch like the steering wheel or the meeting table and I avoid touching things like door handles and would only opt to use card instead of cash. So I'm definitely more aware and more alert about it. You just can never be too careful. 

I haven't seen friends since the start of the MCO so that's been about a good 2 months now. We communicate regularly via Whatsapp but nothing quite like human interaction. But although I'd love to go out and meet them, I'm completely overwhelmed by the fear of contracting the virus that I'm happy to just stick to virtual hang outs and Whatsapp group chats for now.

My whole experience with MCO was so lovely. I loved being home with family and I loved working from home. I know some people don't think it's productive but err my bosses made sure we were productive. Sure, we could afford sneaking in an evening nap but we still had a lot on our plate whether they would agree to it or not.

Going back to the outside world was pretty surreal for me. My office building has quite strict SOP's set in place. And my office is just by OU so we go there for lunch everyday, and I've been just so impressed with how they're handling it. You have to scan a QR code with your details keyed in and you have to enter the temperature that's been taken by the guard. You screenshot that QR code and it'll enable to you to walk freely in the mall and shops. Some stores still require a manual log but other than that, it's been pretty easy. 

Though I think shopping is no fun anymore because you have to queue to enter and once you enter, you really would not prefer touching anything. I had my hands to myself the entire time I was in Zara. Sephora has no testers and so you can't swatch anything which I completely agree to but that's like, half the fun gone when you're at Sephora. And the fact that you can't try on clothes has been such a bummer to me because I never buy anything without trying it on. But as much as I moan about it, I'm thankful that retailers are taking this seriously and I'm happy to comply to all of guidelines. The more we do to combat this thing, the faster we can get to being normal human beings!

Thinking of my dear, dear sweet Mak Tok and Pak Tok this Raya. Other than my Raya in London that one summer, I haven't spent a Raya away from them. This will be the first. I miss them so much today especially. They really have played a huge role in making Raya so special to me. They hold such a big part of my heart so not being with them this Raya feels so sad and empty. Praying that we get to see them very soon. 

From our first terawih...

... to our last this year. To more and more Ramadhans to come insyaAllah!


Hope you have made the most out of your Ramadhan and here's wishing the most blessed Syawal and rest of the year for you, your loved ones and the ones they love. 

xx

Friday, May 8, 2020

A List of Things I Miss, Don't Miss, Won't Miss, Didn't Think I'd Miss, and Won't Forget

This MCO is finally coming to its end. And I miss it already! A once in a lifetime experience. Had it not actually been due to a pandemic, working from home and staying home for this long really is like a dream to me. I'm such a homebody so this was ideal for me and like I've said repeatedly, I didn't mind it at all! Maybe some days it got to me but I lucked out with my family. We get along so well so it's been non-dramatic for me. And definitely not lonely. Every meal has been so meriah with all of us at the dinner table and a full feast. 

Man Repeller's Mallory Rice wrote this 'list of things I miss, don't miss, won't miss, and won't forget' and I thought it was a pretty cool exercise to do. So I did.

Have a go at it!






xx

Saturday, May 2, 2020

The 4th of May

Here's a rant for you.

So, the government has announced that starting 4th May, most economic sectors are allowed to operate as usual given that they adhere to the SOP. So F&B's are allowed to take in dine-in's but with that comes strict rules; taking temperature of all patrons before entering the restaurant, a limit to 1-4 people in a group at any one time, social distancing, wear masks, record contact details of everyone, etc. This in itself, is problematic. I think the government has... somehow forgotten that not all restaurants are like The Social, Super Saigon or Huckleberry that these strict guidelines can be implemented. Are they also forgetting the many, many hawker halls and kedai mamak and kedai tomyam? It was difficult enough to stop people from smoking within restaurant compounds what more for them to control the amount of people who come by? Are they joking? Is this a joke? Are the ministers so detached from reality that they've forgotten the existence of the smaller retailers who i) Don't know much about what's going on ii) Don't *care* much about what's going on iii) Don't fully understand the guidelines iv) Don't have the capacity to adhere to these guidelines.

And the PM goes on to say that he """advises""" employers to allow those who can work from home to continue to work from home. Or for employers to allow more flexible work hours as to not crowd public transportation and/or to implement working in batches. To which I say, give someone an inch and they'll take a mile. What's stopping employers to have their offices operate at a 100% capacity? It's not to say I hate going back to work. I don't! I have looked forward to returning to the office since the first week of MCO. I just personally don't think it's the right time yet to be going back to office. We're not in the clear yet so I don't get where this confidence our government is coming from that businesses can resume as usual with no risk of infections?

Speaking of which, why 4th May? Couldn't they have just stuck to the initial end date of the Fourth Phase of MCO? 12th May? It's a 9 day difference. I understand the economic downturn this virus has taken us and the PM has told us how much we've lost since the start of the MCO. Should we continue to quarantine for the next month, we'll be taking a RM98 billion hit. But wait, here comes the shocker - so is everyone. We're not the only country to be suffering. Everyone is. Literally, everyone in the entire world is going through this pandemic. Why even say 12th May in the beginning when it's going to be back to business-as-usual by the 4th May? So it's just a half-assed MCO then? Businesses have been struggling the past 45 days but we've got to be kidding ourselves if we think the economy will pick up right back where it dropped off. It'll be like this for the next year or two. It's the inevitable. Make your peace with it, damn it.

I'm just so disappointed with how things have turned out. We're putting in a laughable amount of faith in people to adhere to this post-MCO guidelines. Just yesterday I saw that Jakel will be opening again. Have y'all been to Jakel around Raya? It's a madhouse. I don't know how they think they're going to practice social distancing. How are the local tepi jalan retailers supposed to sanitise workers, sanitise utensils, take temperature, practice social distancing, record contact details? How are the authority going to monitor this? They're going to make spot check visits to all these places? These places haven't been hygiene ever! What makes you think they're going to change their ways? 

Especially with Raya coming up. Do we honestly think that there won't be Raya gatherings? Are we delusional to believe that people aren't going to go from house to house to ziarah menziarahi? 

Geramnya. I'm just failing to understand the thought process that has gone into the conclusion of a 4th May restart. It's a rash decision that wasn't well thought out made by some people in positions of power who have been so detached from reality that they've failed to see that not everyone has the capability (or common sense) to adhere to the guidelines. What about any form of research and/or legislation to oversee this restart? There needs to be further clarification on how we're going about on this.

Do we have free mass testing? Do we have the technology for contact tracing to take place? Are we South Korea, Japan, China?????

As my friend Olan rightfully pointed out, it just takes *one* person to not know they have the virus to get on a crowded 8am LRT for the whole entire station to be at risk. 

Should there be a surge in cases following this 4th May restart, I won't have anyone to point fingers at but the government. I will also laugh at another announcement of a quarantine. I mean, what's another 2 months at home right?

TDLR: Geram, disappointed and angry at the government. Inept, out of touch, and stupid. 

Sunday, April 12, 2020

XO

Am listening to Beyonce's 'XO' and it's just bringing me back to the days of Bristol and living my absolute best life. It's making me emotional at 11:41pm on a Saturday night.

I used to do a lot of things in the UK alone. Sure, I had a lot of friends there and they really made my whole 3 years infinitely more fun than what it could've been. But at my truest self, I love being alone. Bristol was my taste of actual adulthood. I thought I was pretty independent before that but nothing hit me like being 10,000km away from home and having to figure out your day-to-day meals.

I'd do anything to go back. I love home so much and everyone who knows me knows that I love being back with my family but Bristol was just something else. The whole experience was all that I looked forward to since my first conversation with Mama about her days in the UK.

Having to go to the city to do my own shopping and figuring out how to live on a budget. Planning for trips around England and Europe with friends. Cooking up a storm for a quiet dinner at home alone. Studying late night for a test the next morning. The daily bus runs. The cold winter and the harsh winds. The early mornings for cheap bus rides to London. The reunions at friends houses. The taxi ride home alone. I miss it so much.

I was supposed to go to London this year with some friends but given the situation, I don't think we'll be making the trip. Was looking forward to it so much but I guess it'd have to wait. The last time I went was for work and I didn't get to go back to Bristol. I would've cried I think. So much of me today is because of those three short years there. It's made me grown up and be so appreciative of everything. I love my life in KL but my Bristol days saw me really transition into an adult. Every decision I had to make, I had no on else to depend on but myself ultimately. And I think I really crave that. I accepted all mistakes and it was refreshing to bear so much responsibility like that haha. 

But anyway, back to the song. This song for some reason transports me back to my favourite walks alone. Whether it was to go grocery shopping, the bus rides alone, the trips to the city for a sneaky shopping treat or to see friends. I was always plugged in and would always go back to this song. It brought so much spring to my step and I would always look around wherever I was, stumped with disbelief that I was really out here living the life I had dreamed of for so long. And this wasn't just in the first week of me being there. This was a continuous thing that led up to my last ever day as a student there. I can't believe it's already close to 4 years since we've left.

Can't wait to see you again.

Til then Bristol, love you like XO.

xx

Saturday, April 4, 2020

My RMO/MCO

Hi! 

How's everyone holding up? We're already 17 days into this MCO and alhamdulillah my family and I are doing good. Zaim had to go for a testing the other day when he found out his colleague had been diagnosed as positive but Zaim came back negative so alhamdulillah for that. I don't think I'd want a cotton swab up my nose, nope no thanks I'm good.

It's been pretty routine at home; on workdays we'd all be downstairs with our laptops and working. We'll clear out during lunch and then back to it 'til evening. We've also made space downstairs for prayers so sometimes we'd pray together which is always very nice. I don't think we've all been home *this* much since primary school. I'm really going to miss this much time together once the MCO is lifted.

Playing Gin Rummy at night with my family. Last we played was last year Raya!

One with Pak Tok on the first day of RMO.

My dad and his selfie on our first day of RMO.

On Mama's birthday! Sad that we couldn't celebrate it out as we usually do but we had a great lunch, ordered in indian food and some dishes from Dolly Dim Sum!

Can't help but think how online food delivery services are THRIVING during this RMO. We've ordered so many things over the past two and a half weeks, so much so that if a delivery guy comes by our street, it's almost always always to us. 


This was me waiting on my colleagues for our first work con call. Missed them!



Some of my many, many Facetime/Zoom sessions. To make up for not actually seeing each other. Last time I've used FT this much was in Bristol!

I was looking through old photos yesterday (as I do almost every other day) and can't help but think when it'd be considered 'normal' to go out with friends beramai-ramai without having to fear of the virus anymore. To when 'social distancing' is nothing but a phrase and not practiced anymore. It's so wild that we're living in what feels like a dystopian world!! My mum went to Tesco the other day and she was saying how weird it was that something so boring and normal like going shopping for groceries has gotten to be so protocoled and strictly controlled. Before going in, the guards would make sure you have a mask on and that you sanitise your hands first and then they would disinfect every trolley before you use them. What a weird time to be in! Who would've thought we'd be here.

So this is just me checking in my blog and hoping that y'all are doing your part in flattening the curve. The more we adhere, the quicker it'll pass by and the quicker we can get to resume normalcy again! I can't wait to hug friends and have fun outside again. The one ever time I've been out of this house throughout this MCO was going to collect clothes from the dryer. 

Have I forgotten how to drive? Have I forgotten how to put on make-up? Have I forgotten how my friends look like? Is One Utama doing ok? Can I hug people after this? When can I organise a dinner party again? When can I start planning my next holiday? Will we get to Raya in Penang this year?

So many uncertainties but I think what's most important is that we do our part in staying home and even when this MCO is lifted, that we still adhere to staying home and not going out unless completely and absolutely necessary. 

Also if I may, I hope we can also look to be empathetic towards those who are having it much worst than us. Donate or spread the word on worthy causes to support those who can't afford to sustain as well as we can. My mum and her school organised a donation to buy these underprivileged students and their families groceries and other essential items. My siblings and I helped to tell our friends and we managed to raise an overwhelming amount. We're all so thankful for it so to those who had contributed, thank you so much. It means so much to my mum, the school and to me. To know I have such generous friends really is the best feeling. To those who are still looking to donate, you still can! Just drop me a message on Instagram or Twitter or anywhere and I'll be happy to let you know on how to proceed. Every bit counts so any amount is welcomed and much, much appreciated. 

Thanks, everyone. Hope to see y'all sooner than later! In the meantime, stay home and watch Money Heist or something.

xx

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Social Distancing (or lack thereof)

In spirit of social distancing, here are photos of the past events in past weeks that I have completely forgotten to post. And I really want to have it up here for keeps.


Bowling party! I haven't gone bowling in so long so decided to organise one at OU with my friends. Turned out to be so damn fun and can't wait to go again. I had exactly *one* strike and *one* spare hahaha but it was fun and I enjoyed myself completely. 


If you can't see it, we're pointing to the 'Single League'. Because... we're... single.


After my strike. Hahahahah



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My sweet little Nana celebrated her 27th birthday with us! The loveliest and the kindest. Love you so much, Nana! Thank you for always keeping me company on those lonely Bristol nights. I cherish you forever.

Pose mak-mak.



This was at Dayana's SUPER SUPER fun Galentines Day celebration at her house. It was soooo fun and I met so many new friends and we bonded over our love for Glossier and Whimsigirl and laughed so hard over our deep, dark secrets. It was so much fun and I still remember the night like it was just yesterday! Loved being around energetic, funny, intellectual and inspirational girls. Can't wait for more of these to come! 

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So we've got two new girls to join the junior team; Sofea and Khay Ryn who have been nothing but the nicest and sweetest! Since we haven't gone out for dinner just us, we decided to go have Fatty Crab! Loved it as you can very much see from the mess that is our table. The table next to us was outright chaotic so we had to shout over each other to be heard but other than that, all good! I was so hungry leading up to this dinner so this was such a fulfilling dinner. 

We all hopped in Brittany's car and an impromptu decision brought us to have late night desserts at Kooky Cream! Mun Theng and I had just been around the area for a meeting just earlier that day so we thought of checking out Kooky Cream. Surprised to see it was completely packed! Even at close to 1030pm! Obviously Covid19 wasn't a worry yet.

We had such a fun night out and laughed so much. I came home feeling so happy and grateful that I was put in the same batch as these girls because we've honestly gone past through just being colleagues and are friends for life now. So much love for these girls. Makes coming to work so easy.





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My sweet, sweet darling of a girl Diy is getting married later this year and I've been chosen to be a dulang girl. I'm soooo happy for Diy and Bab and can't wait for it to all come together! Love you for eternity, Diy.


Comes with the sweetest handwritten letter and the most beautiful kain. Can't wait!!!

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My seniors got married! Thank you Zehan and Tank for having us there at your beautiful ceremony; it was so intimate and perfect. So happy for you both!








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Hawker Hall again??? At this rate, I should be entitled to a VIP discount. Brought them there just last week because I wanted to eat Sixty Bites and the boys loved it. So we went again this past weekend. 

Amir Zain had a flat tyre so we were all there to help him out. When I say 'we', I clearly mean to exclude myself. I was there to take photos and videos and the occasional flashlight. 



This is how I differentiate myself and the boys. When Amir Zain told us he had a flat tyre, he laughed and Olan said to him "Apa lagi? Adventure lah!". To the boys, a flat tyre and having to figure it out was an adventure!!!! If it happened to me, I would've been a whole bag of emotions. Mostly pissed and scared cause I wouldn't know what to do! So being there with them taught me a bunch of things I hope to never forget hahaha


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Then just this past Saturday, Suraya and Naqi got married!!!! I'm over the moon for them, especially Suraya who I've known since I was 14. She is truly one of the nicest, most kind, most generous and most humble girls I know ever. She always speaks so sweetly of others and would not even harm a fly. I love the girl to bits and I was so happy to be there and see her get married to the love of her life. 




This was meant to be a remake of the polaroid of us in Form 4 in our Pandu Puteri uniforms. Sarah stands in for Suraya who was a busy bride at the time.



To the beautiful bride and groom, am beyond happy for you both and here's to many many beautiful and blessed years ahead of you. Love you so much, Suraya! 

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Ok so that's pretty much all of it! Enough to get out of my system before the 14 day self isolation and social distancing. Be safe, people! 

xx