Saturday, 23 February 2013

TGIF!

So it's not exactly Friday, as today's Saturday, but what I'm trying to say is that I couldn't be happier that the weekend has finally arrived.

Something about not having to crawl out of my cozy bed at 5.30 in the morning and carrying out difficult experiments in the lab (where the apparatus are so fragile that I couldn't help but feel diffident when I get hold of it) that makes my heart brim with happiness.

Oh, A-levels, what have you done to me.

The only thing that cheered me up a little was when I discovered the washroom was empty one day after college (usually it's packed and it stinks) which indirectly shoved me a free pass to take a thousand pictures in it without other students staring at me thinking I'm a freak. 

Oh yes, I thought posing with a long roll of toilet tissue in my left hand is a cool thing to do.

I 'slept in' this morning. Apparently when you're a college student, rising at 8 in the morning is a luxury. 

Mum seemed to be very engaged in the conversation during breakfast this morning.


































I'm usually not in a pleasant mood if I were to wake up to a scorching weather but these sweet, ripe slices of papayas saved the day.



































Mum came back from the market with lots of fresh produce that won my heart. I haven't the foggiest idea as to why the capsicum looked pink in the picture when it's supposed to be bright red.



































Once again, my mum bought half the market's produce. I honestly didn't care much for the vegetables but my eyes lit up as I spotted the sweet potatoes at the bottom left.


































On weekdays, my mum would buy fruits which are more commonly sold in our country such as apples, pears and bananas however during the weekends when she has more time to shop she would add fancy fruits like strawberries or blueberries or grapes into the basket. 

This time strawberries, plums and prunes made its appearance.

This makes the #264823 reason why I love my mum.


I just got back from yoga class and now my whole body is aching. I can't even pinpoint which part of my body is sore. All that warriors, dancers, tip-toe balancing and eagle (<-- the killer pose that had me want to give up and leave the class but I didn't because that would be too classy) poses makes me appreciate savasanas a lot more today.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Barely survived.

College has been exacting, arduous,  exhausting - the workload has been formidable and I declare sitting for class tests (Bio, I'm looking at you) have officially means war. 

Since Cambridge A levels (CAL) has been attacking me mentally and physically a lot more than I can handle, I gather I rather not talk about anything to do with life as a college student. Instead, let's focus on what I've done during the Chinese New Year holidays, shall we?

I'll pretend you just nodded your head and proceed typing away anyway. 

Last week I rekindled my love with basketball. Nothing beats the thumping sound of the basketball on the court and the huff and puff you make as you dribble the ball towards the net. 

The below picture would be me being sweaty but extremely pleased after shooting baskets for a short time (hello stamina, where have you gone?!) the night before Valentine's Day.

Yes, my shirt reads NO BOYFRIEND NO PROBLEM and it's simply a coincidence because I promise I'm not bitter about having to celebrate Valentine's Day alone.




After showering, I would sit down on the carpet and gently pester mum to comb my hair because her fingers are like magic and works wonder by removing all my troubles away temporarily. 

Dad was trying to be cute. He didn't have to. He is such a dear.


































Don't give me that look because I'm not ashamed to tell you that Troy and Grabiella the couple in High School Musical were what aided me through those awful (still is) times of my teenage life.

I've always wanted to shed some pounds but obviously my fat legs tell you I'm not there. Yet!!!
Sigh.


Well, how could I with so many tempting Chinese New Year snacks in my house?

I just hope it's all even out with the many fruits I had consumed.

I'm not giving up on fried rice because it's really tasty.

And I didn't understand the concept when my dear mum baked a mix of nuts and seeds in a muffin wrapper. Err? Wouldn't it be easier to just use a tray? At least the flavours popped and we had a fun time crunching on it.

My mum has been ambitious when it comes to baking, can you tell? She had put rolled oats on top of the wheat rolls and also added goji berries and bananas into it. 

After having a bite, I was grateful that she had gone ahead without asking for my opinon - because I probably would have objected.


The below bread was possibly the tastiest bread we've baked so far because my mum stuffed it with our sweet and creamy homemade coconut jam. Yes, coconut jam, not coconut butter. It's a spread made from coconut milk, eggs, sugar and flavoured by pandan leaf (grown in our backyard). 

The fact that it's homemade, hence no stabalisers, artificial colouring or flavouring, made the coconut jam smelled so divine and tasted so much more original than the store-bought ones. 


After 16 hours of driving lessons, a hundred buckets of sweat, last Monday my effort finally paid off. It was time I say goodbye (no tears, no hugs, no waves) to the driving centre. 

Thank you, Mr. Roy, for bearing my abrupt and poor technique of braking that made you jerk 45647 times, for enduring with me more than 20 times as my car kept rolling backwards down the slope during my first attempt, for putting up with all my silly giggles as I managed to master a skill, as well as for guiding me and correcting my mistakes by chastising me in my face non-stop until I was close to tearing but I understand it's for my own good and so that all the drivers on the road get to live longer.



So, why am I saying all this? 

Yes, I've passed my driving test! 

I nailed the slope, side parking and three pointer. On the road, however, was... let's just say it was not something I'd like to store as memory. Just glad to make it back alive and safe!




You'll hear more from me tomorrow, hopefully I'd sound chirpier and cheerier then.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Storm.

Some days I wish I could tell you that my smile is genuine and my heart is truly contented and my mind is at total peace.



































The harsh reality is life is not a bed of roses and chances are you will meet countless obstacles in life that put you down and get in your way by draining every drop of energy out of you that you feel like giving up is the only option. 

This week has been a maniacal week - busy, busy, busy.

I foresee several emotional break downs throughout this week. I also predict my next post would not be until this weekend because I'm currently having a profusely intense, competitive, tight race against time. It's trying to make me slip behind it, and I'll do my very best to catch up with it so that I make the best of out it.

I'm also struggling to make this post upbeat and positive, because the discouraging and painful truth is I'm tired and terrified.

I'll be praying for you and I. Please pray for me, will you? 

Friday, 15 February 2013

Here's the thing.

I've been stuck with an irksome running nose for the 9th day already. Actually, it's no big deal. I'm quite positive I've used up only 50 boxes of tissues so far which is really helping the environment, don't you think?

Chinese New Year celebration is not yet over.

But all that mouth-watering feast;


snacking in large amount -


must come to an end before my stomach explodes. 

I reckon it's time to slow things down with lighter meals.



I'm embarrassed to tell you the number of visits we pay to Giant in a week. 



































PS it's FOUR and revealing it doesn't mean I'm not embarrassed about it. I still am because I'm guessing you shop for groceries at the hypermarket for probably once a week at most and although it's a tough choice to chose between starvation and embarrassment I still forgo the latter because food comes first!

You guys. Look at that. Do you see the strawberry-flavoured Laughing Cow cheese on the upper left of the picture?

I had to summon so much self-control to walk away from the shelf without grabbing at least five of it.








Mum could not understand my point of taking so many photos in a lame old hypermarket. 

I'm afraid I still can't explain the reason why we have to buy so many carton of eggs like it's going out of style. 


Falling sick, I had 'lost' some and 'won' some. I was forced to stay away from my severely missed swimming pool for more than a week and a part of me is falling into pieces.


On the other hand, I had learn to take things easy, listen to my body, rest properly and thanks to the glorious weather I had the privilege to take plenty of fine, precious, long strolls with my parents around the neighbourhood and sometimes at the park everyday.

Don't worry, pool, I won't let you wait too long, I promise! 

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Never a moment dull with family.

Yesterday we went to Subang Parade after lunch.

The traffic was smooth, the car park was somewhat empty, the shopping mall was uncrowded and shopping had never felt that comfortable and easy in a long time.

At least that was what my dad had remarked.

Indeed. As we browsed through the socks and belt department, we were pleasantly taken aback by how clear the sections were and managed to select the things my brother, Sean urgently needed in a rapid pace.

I finally snapped a picture with no other customers in the background except for the worker there.

You should be able to deduct by now that I've no sense of fashion.

Later at night we visited Giant after dinner. 

We hit the shoes department right away. I made Daddy pose for me in the shoes he tried out (which he bought afterwards) and people were staring and probably wondering if we both gone mad. 

However he still struck an awesome pose for the sake of pleasing me even though yes he did lost balance after that and might have tore his inner thigh's muscle tissues. 

Sorry Dad. I will make it up to you. 

Carrying a basket behind my back the way I carry my schoolbag is the latest trend, right?

Posing with a pumpkin in the middle of the fresh produce aisle is perfectly normal, right? 

Pleading your brother to pose with a pear is also completely common, right?

No. No. No.

But I still did all of it. 

I couldn't help myself. Look at that gorgeous orange coating! 



Please let us still be friends.

This morning's breakfast was the best breakfast I've eaten in years. Red beans sweetened with natural cane juice grown at our backyard, homemade lean pork patty, fresh sliced cucumbers and tomatoes and shredded lettuce, warm, toasty rolls from the oven. 





























FYI we don't eat like this very often as this spread of scrumptious breakfast was prepared only because Sean came home for Chinese New Year holiday so Sean if you're reading this, you need to return home more often. 

Monday, 11 February 2013

Inevitable yet not fatal.

Referring to the post title, I meant separation.

It's bound to happen in life - whether or not you like it.

Couples parting when one goes outstation, parents leaving their children to go to work, siblings embracing each other when one is going to study abroad, grandchildren tearing when their grandparents finally found heaven, classmates shaking hands and wishing each other good luck during graduation...

You get the idea.

In my case today, Sean is returning to Singapore.


After the past three days that we've spent together which felt more like three hours, he has to part with us and go back to his boarding school.

Since 2010, we've been going through the same phase every year, every time this month, but parting has never been (and never will be) easy. I almost choke every time I hug him goodbye because I know I'm going to miss him so so much. I'm going to miss the joy and laughter he brings to the family, I'm going to miss having tiny arguments with him, I'm going to miss taking strolls in the neighbourhood with him, I'm going to miss preparing breakfast for him, I'm going to miss looking at him, sighing how time flies and admiring how physically and mentally grown up he is. I'm going to miss his independence when we're together, the way he leads and guides with boldness and firmness that assures me everything is going to be okay. I'm going to miss his spectacular problem-solving skills, his unbelievable tolerance and patience, his hilarious jokes, his broad and tough shoulder to lean on, his funny expressions when he shares stories... and just everything about him.















































































Looking at all these pictures makes my heart ache, and I feel like curling up in a corner and weep until there's no tears. 

We've been so close, I love my brother with all my heart. He still calls me 'jie', but he's more like the elder sibling to me now. I used to be the one who's so afraid of letting him go, scared that he'll get hurt because of my negligence, but as time passes, he took over my job, he's slowly beginning to take care of me, help me, and just doing everything he can for me. 

I hate parting with Sean.

You must think I should be able to adjust to the situation by now, however, it hasn't. It's like every time I send him off at the bus station I feel like my heart is shattered into pieces. A part of me dies when I stare wearily at his sad face as he peers at us through the bus window, and I curse the harsh reality we cannot avoid in life.

I can only hope for the best and very best for him, that he will be fine and safe and strong and healthy. If you're reading this, may you also say a little prayer in your kind heart, so that Sean will be well and happy always. 

Bless us all. 

Sunday, 10 February 2013

This year's Chinese New Year celebration...

We decided to go against tradition and went with Western style instead.

On the menu was a wide spread of homemade dishes consisting of pizza, rolls, mushroom soup, spaghetti, mixed vegetables, lamb shanks, drumsticks, salmons, shrimps, fried rice and fresh fruits.

Everyone were raving about how delicious the food tasted which I thought was absolutely appropriate because mum had poured her soul and heart (that includes sweat, time, effort) into preparing the dishes.


I drank five bowls of the mushroom soup and mum was very thankful for her inaccurate judgement in that she had made extra batches otherwise our guests will be left with only the bottom of the pot.


My relatives arrived at our house with lots of tidbits (aka junk food), determined to make my sore throat heal faster.


I was nearly mad at them because I was trying very hard to refrain myself from more unhealthy snacks but very soon my anger subsided because one of my aunt very smartly bribed me with this lovely purse.

Prepare to see me carrying it with me every single day.


As you can see everyone were looking at my uncle in blue talking but my niece had no difficulties concentrating hard on her phone.


After a grand feast, we proceeded to drinking red wine.

Instead of sulking in a corner because I don't (and never want to) drink alcoholic beverages I decided to stick to capturing pictures of that memorable moment instead.

Initially my dad was really into it.



But he very quickly found himself out of breath. 


My uncle and aunt were staring at my niece, probably curiously wondering if the glasses of wine they drank were different because she seemed to be the exceptional one enjoying her cup of drink very much.


Sean had his first sip of red wine. Clearly he loved it.





























My aunt was very concerned about my brother's first attempt of drinking red wine.

My mum later confessed that she was very worried of my brother getting addicted to it once he tried it but she had this huge smile on her face because she knew her concern was unnecessary.

My niece was sick of having a camera pointed at her the whole night so she boycotted me by looking away from the camera.






























She was even fumbling with my favourite author's (Jeffrey Archer) book. FYI no one is excused for messing with my books. No one.

It's a good thing she's cute.


We ended the night with more laughter, chats, and food.

HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!