Farewell to my childhood home

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I couldn’t post last week because I was in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, helping my parents move. It was also my opportunity to bid farewell to the place that was home to me for a decade and I sometimes still call it home. When I was young, we moved houses a couple of times and finally settled in a double storey terrace house when I was just under 10 years old. That’s where my parents ended up spending 26 years. Continue reading

The Nai Harn, Phuket

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View from The Nai Harn

I’ve just returned from a long weekend in Phuket with hubby – it’s our only holiday this year without the little one. The last time we were there was nearly six years ago, when we had our minimoon after our wedding in Malaysia. We can’t seem to remember much of Phuket, but I’m sure that it hasn’t changed that much – beaches, great massages, seedy Bangla Road, etc.

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What a beautiful hotel

The highlight of this trip was our stay in The Nai Harn, a secluded resort by one of the nicest beaches in Phuket. The hotel is the successor to Phuket’s first five star hotel and was re-opened last year after months of renovation. It is probably one of the most beautiful hotels I’ve stayed in and immediately brings to mind the white and blue colours of Santorini. The best thing about the hotel is the view – pretty much everywhere would give you panoramic views of the sea. We stayed in the Grand Ocean View Room, which is very large and includes a big balcony overlooking the sea and across to the beach. Upon our arrival, they had provided us with a complimentary bottle of red wine and a bowl of fruits, which is a nice touch. Continue reading

How quickly we get used to living with terrorism

Hubby and I are flying out to Phuket tonight, yippie!! When I told my colleagues about it, one of them reminded me that there’s been bombings in Thailand. He’s referring to the explosion in a hospital in Bangkok which took place 3 days ago and wounded over 20 people. I just brushed aside his comment by saying that it doesn’t affect our travel plans, there’re even bombings in the UK!

That’s when it occurred to me just how quickly society has adapted to terrorism. Yes, it still makes headlines in the news and it’s shocking and sad, but compared to a few years ago when terrorism in Europe was still rare and not as large scale, the reaction these days is less pronounced. It’s really sad that this is the reality of life in the 21st century.  Continue reading

A generation of obsessive mums

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(This post may make me unpopular with some women, so I apologize in advance if you find it offensive but this is just my observation and view.) I’m generalizing here, but it would appear that women these days seem to be prone to obsessing about certain things. I thought that it was bad when we reached late 20s/early 30s and we went through the wedding phase. I wouldn’t go as far as saying that my girlfriends turned into bridezilla, but there were certainly a few who exhibited telling signs such as spending tons of time trying on gowns (and expecting us to accompany her), being bossy and demanding, etc. Continue reading

Having a great time in China

In my first post on Beijing, I talked about how my initial encounter with Beijing was pretty shocking but I ended it by saying that it only got better from there. Even though the first week was challenging, I had a ball of a time for the rest of my stay there. There were lots of reasons for this, but I think a lot of it had to do with my mindset. Here are some of the key reasons I had a great time:

Just do it!

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Kung fu lessons (sorry for the poor quality, it’s a screenshot from a video)

I doubt any of my friends or family (and certainly not my hubby) would describe me as adventurous. But knowing that I was only in Beijing for three months, I wanted to make the most of it. So I tried my best and threw myself into it despite the language and cultural barriers. I signed up for kung fu lessons which was great fun. I got to know a local university student who became my language partner and also gave me an insight into a local student’s lifestyle and view of the world. I also got used to life in Beijing such that I had my favourite cafés and restaurants and a daily routine that I was comfortable with. I lowered my expectations and tolerated the smelly traditional squat toilets, barely noticed the pollution and became very fit from all the walking required in Beijing. Continue reading