Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Kindness

(Note that this post was drafted from back in 13th April 2016 and only published on the blog today)

We made laksa yesterday and we intentionally made extra to gift to some of our neighbours whom we've formed close ties with (next door and opposite).

The next day Mrs Lim (opposite house neighbour) came bearing with a packet of almond and Kuih!

I greet Mrs Lim with my daily good morning greetings whenever I see her doing her gardening.

No matter how tired I may feel on certain days- I put on my brightest smile and cheeriest tone and wish my neighbours taking a walk a good morning.

I just hope everyone, specifically someone so kind like Mrs Lim gets to start off the day on a delightful note.  

It does wonders!

This whole smiling or wishing a simple good morning at people (possibly even strangers!). 

It helps that kindness is passed on.

Even if it doesn't make the world the happiest place, the fact that it may make one person beam even just for that moment, I think of it as a wonderful blessing to 'gift' in that sense. 

Just 2 days ago I saw a member of the staff carrying a thick pile of papers, she didn't seem to struggle with them and was in fact walking with ease.

However, I thought she could use a hand and offered to help- I had to repeat myself twice because she clearly wasn't expecting a student to talk to her.

"Do you need any help?"

 Immediately I see her smile widely spreading across her face, and she replied with such grace, "Oh, no, that's fine, thank you, dear, God bless you. I truly wasn't expecting that. Have a good day."

I was pleasantly taken aback by her expression of gratitude, the fact that people acknowledge kindness and reciprocates makes me so, so glad.

She said thanks again and how I made her day before entering the lift, and I wished I could have told her how SHE made my day instead. 

I understand that in a society like today, acts of kindness are sometimes even misinterpreted as being overly friendly and people are more cautious when it comes to situations like that because of increasing frauds these days.

What I'm trying to say, really, is that we may have our fair share of scenes of people throwing death stares at us- the 'who are you to talk to me look' when we greet them, but keep smiling anyway. 

We may encounter people who attempt to take advantage of us- or worse- to return good with evil- be wary, mindful but never reluctant. 

My point is that there will always be people who makes us question our kindness, whether it's even worth making the effort, sacrificing precious time, when our sincerity is trampled over violently.

But don't let that stop you, don't let that deter you, don't let that compromise your moral values and beliefs, don't let that stop you from thinking that no one cares, because I assure you, there will be people who appreciate it so sincerely, and will remind you why you decided to be kind.  

Of course being kind is not so that someone will thank you, I think that's a bonus, really it should be because you want to help a needy, you yearn to ease someone's burden, you hope to make someone's day, you look forward to spread politeness, compassion, generosity. 

To do something out of expectation that you'll receive something in return is only going to make you feel upset at the end of the day- because expectations inevitably invites disappointment.

And it should never be the motive behind why we be kind. It defeats the entire nature of being kind. 

I hope I don't come across preachy because I'm definitely imperfect with imperfect moments when I let negative values get the better of me.

It has occurred so frequently that I'm grossly embarrassed to admit.

But to accept my mistakes and work towards rectifying them, is what I constantly remind myself of.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Summer Adventures Part III: Renaissance Hotel, Johor

My, my, how is it that we are already stepping into the 3rd week of July? Summer is disappearing too quickly!

TIME. SLOW. DOWN. PLEASE.

I have been constantly reminding myself and making efforts to take things light and easy, slow and nice, if that's even possible living in a busy, hectic city like Subang Jaya... but hey, no harm trying. I want to savour the holidays. Be less controlling, more spontaneous and more appreciative of the little bit of time I have to spend doing the things I like, with the people I love and care for.

Though I have not had many low key days to revel in, I still am incredibly grateful for the wonderful whirlwind I've been lucky enough to experience.

I mentioned in a previous post that I'd be returning to Renaissance Hotel, Permas Jaya, Johor to visit my elder brother, Ken and I did (well it has been nearly two weeks ago and I recogninse that this post is waaaaay overdue- thank you for your understanding). Except I had one less company this time throughout the trip, my favourite little brother, Sean.  





It was nonetheless blithesome and jolly spending the weekend with Dad and Mum in Johor. I love my parents and am absolutely gleeful about spending time with them.

While Dad may spend most of his time working (the primary point of his traveling), but Mum and I would always find ways to entertain ourselves, which includes helping each other put on rubber masks (gotta mix the powder and water ourselves to form the facial masks), watching the TV, swimming, and just lying on the beds resting and recharging.

We arrived in the morning, Dad took off to work, we dropped by to visit Ken for a short while then lazed around in the hotel.



To be specific, mum worked and I slept. I just couldn't peel myself off the bed. So comfortable, so inviting. I can't remember sleeping that well in forever. Law student. That's what I signed up for.

For lunch we settled on red beans and bread that we packed from home that morning. We also followed rather closely on the Brexit / Bremain news, which was THE hottest topic trending those days.

None of us were feeling especially hungry that night so we settled for some veggies and tofu at a vegetarian restaurant.



The food wasn't tasty but dinner was notable because dearest Ken joined us for a quick 10 minutes and I thought that was the best part of dinner.





(Not so) professional photographer, my treasured Mummy. 



Still drowsy from my nap, haha.



The food came disappointingly slow, despite the lack of customers present that night, but we hadn't rushed the waiters because we could afford to wait.



The next morning we woke up to a buffet breakfast awaiting us. I couldn't wash up and get dressed quick enough!

I LOVED this bowl of miso soup and made sure to take a serving for mum as well.



Eat a rainbow. Like many of you, I'm no huge fan of raw, cold veggies, but the thought of feeding my body with nutrients was tempting, and I rather like cucumbers and capsicums when they're crunchy. 



This was mum's, I think.











BREAD. Comfort food at its best!



Salivating at the sight of these...





Fun facts, haha.







Fruits are always welcomed.












Customise your own noodles!























The chefs came around serving banana pancakes. Mum had one. 





Freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices has to be the highlight of the buffet. I helped myself to many glasses of celery and carrot juices.















Cereal section!





Apparently:





 



Smoked mackarel and greens to pair with warm, toasty, crusty bread.







My stomach signalled the 'full' alert by the time I had this miso paired with porridge.



So I walked around and let the food digest a while.



I couldn't stop going back for more juice!



Very random, but also very yummy.







Some of the food were stale (gasps!) so we didn't finish them all.



That concludes my first day of buffet breakfast feasting, it's safe to say I don't feel like repeating this too soon, for as much as these were remarkably appetising, my heart yearns for home cooked delicacies if I ever part with it for too long. Home sweet home, indeed.







Ken and I originally had plans to have lunch together, yet I was satiated from such a terrific feast that I had to skip lunch, so I did the talking while Ken did the eating at one of his favourite restaurants around Permas Jaya.



To feed a 20+ man: Extra egg, veggies, noodles... Extra everything except the ikan bilis.



It was such a lovely surprise when mum came back with this in her hand. When I first lay my eyes on the box of cheese tarts all I could think of instantaneously was how blessed and thankful I am to be loved, be cared for and be doted upon by a friend so kind, patient, sweet, wise and gracious like Aunty Jenny. 

 

A true great friend of my mum's whom I've never met but have come to love, respect and admire as we connect on so many levels in many different and unique ways.




Then of course I got captivated by the fragrance and delicious appearance. It looks almost too good to be devoured! Haha, *almost

Thank you Aunty Jenny, wishing you the best and I look forward to seeing you soon. Take care.



I don't have proof of pictures that I had done anything apart from eating, haha, but rest assured I also sneaked in a swim and a walk (on the treadmill in the hotel gym!) with my mama.

It was swimming the first day- but walking the next because the swimming pool was under maintenance.

What a bummer as we were already eager to get into the pool in our swimming suits but it remained a consolation that i) the swimming pool wasn't the greatest/ biggest to begin with and ii) the gym made for a pretty cool place to explore.

My 2 days 1 night trip in Johor doesn't end just like that- oh, not like that- but this post is getting sooo long, it calls for a split!