Vietnam

Yooo I just came back from Vietnam yoooo! Will post a full blog post after I’ve received all the photos from my friend.

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A Streetcar Named Desire

754f3385f482c4b717c78261af3bab13It took me 2 days to finish watching this movie (in between of several starts of other shows of which I couldn’t get into) and I need an outlet where I can say these things:-

  • Vivien Leigh and Marlon Brando
    • The only other movie of hers that I’ve watched is Gone with the Wind. I remember thinking that I liked it, although I thought she tended to over-act and forced her, I don’t know, emotions and such. And A Streetcar Named Desire reinforces that belief.
    • When I watched Gone with the Wind, I truly thought she was one of the best-looking women I’ve ever seen (that spot was recently taken by Caitriona Balfe and my new bae, Naomi Nagata from The Expanse). She looked rough in here, but after reading more about the movie, I think that she was supposed to give an illusion of rough. And she was skinny, like unhealthy skinny.
    • I read more about all the cast of the movie, and man, Vivien Leigh and Marlon Brando were truly something else. Vivien Leigh struggled with bipolar disorder and acute tuberculosis and she didn’t die pretty. Marlon Brando became lazy and fat and difficult and he also didn’t die pretty.
    • Marlon Brando was really sexy. I get it now, old people, I get it.

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  • I read that Vivien Leigh was fluent in French and Italian so I paid extra attention whenever Blanche Dubois spoke in those 2 languages. Gave me a shock when she pronounced “turquoise” as “tɜːrkwɔɪz” and not the usual “tɜːrkɔɪz“. I googled and found out that both are correct. Gonna start using  “tɜːrkwɔɪz” now though because I’m eleganté like that.
  • I think that if I were to be born 60 years earlier I would have understood more of what they were talking about during some scenes like that scene where it was implied that Stanley raped Blanche. Thank Allah, Jesus, Buddha and Lord Krishna for Google. I know that we as a society have come so far from in the 1950s, but I didn’t realise how far. The words “rape” and “abuse” and “sex” are so common now that I didn’t know the desciptions of those acts had to be implied back then.
  • I can understand why this movie was considered revolutionary at that time. It touched and discussed quite a few taboo subjects.
  • Like I said earlier, I read a lot about the cast of the movie, and man, those gossips were enjoyable.

 

Just want to put this up here

I think it’s beyond gross (yes, I’m an adult woman with the maturity level of a 10-year-old) when people remarked how closely spouses resemble each other. It’s like saying that I’m marrying into my own family euwwww. I don’t care if it means that my marriage will last into all eternities if my husband looks exactly like me, I still think it’s gross.

That is all.

 

 

A 3-day Trip to Kelantan

I’ve thought long and hard of a quirky, interesting title but what’s left of my creativity seems to be deserting me.

Anyway, after months of setting up a travel blog, I finally have something to blog about yeayyyy. During the long Christmas weekend, a friend and I made a trip to Kelantan (another friend who joined us lives in Kota Bharu), also where I spent most of my Rayas as my parents are from there ahahaha but that trip made me realise that there are still lots of places/things I didn’t know about Kelantan.

At first, we planned to take the train from KL Sentral to Wakaf Bharu because Ijan (the said friend) had never experienced a midnight journey by train. Unfortunately, we had to scrap that plan because apparently, the service from KL Sentral to the East Coast have stopped operating since April 2016. We could still do so, but we needed to take the detour to Gemas and and from there, board the train to Wakaf Bharu. The problem was, the last train from KL Sentral to Gemas was at 12PM and the first train from Gemas to Wakaf Bharu was at 11PM. I’d rather admit to obsessing over Dato Vida’s make-up tutorial video than spending half of my day waiting for the train in Gemas a.k.a a ghost town (sorry, Gemas people!)

By the way, does anyone else think that KTMB is trying its damnedest to kill whatever’s left of its own dignity? KTMB doesn’t only cancel lots of services and focuses on ETS only (I have a feeling because most services don’t generate as much profit as the ETS), the Komuter is also getting worse and worse over the years. I take the Komuter to work everyday, and I consider it a fucking great day if the train comes on time, which it rarely does. Just yesterday I waited for more than an hour at the KL Sentral for the train to come. Fuck la do these people think I (and the others) have nothing better to do but wait for the trains. Oh and who was the brain behind the new ticketing system? Babi la so out of touch with reality ke apa.

/end rant

Okaaaay, now back to my trip.

So, we bought the earliest flight tickets to Kota Bharu (6:30AM) and stayed the night before at KLIA2. We took the last ERL (which leaves Putrajaya Sentral at 12:30AM) to KLIA2. Just a note, Putrajaya Sentral at midnight is scary, but then I guess anywhere quiet after midnight is scary too.

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And I was alone, as my friend boarded the train at KL Sentral.

Reached KLIA2 at almost 1AM and since I can be kampung at times, here’s a blurry photo from the observation deck.

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Day 1

It was raining heavily when we reached Kota Bharu at 7:30AM. We got picked up by Mid (the friend who lives in Kota Bharu) and she took us to this stall near the Balai Bomba in Jalan Long Yunos for breakfast of nasi kerabu and ayam bakar. No photo because I forgot to take one and also because I attacked the nasi kerabu with gusto the moment the plate reached my table so it was finished in 5 minutes flat.

We then made our way to Rantau Panjang. Unfortunately, since it was still raining heavily when we reached there, most shops were still closed (it was almost 10AM). Even so, Ijan still managed to buy 5 baju kelawars and Mid and I bought some delicacies. I also bought these kain sarungs and paid RM40 for both.

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Both are still in their own respective plastics.

We shopped and walked around until about noon, and before leaving, we had aiskrim Baba, of which I also had no photo. I really need to start taking photos of food just so I can blog about it. We also stopped at the Masjid Beijing just before the border, and I have photos of that Masjid!

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Lol yes my photography skills are practically non-existent.

Went straight to Kota Bharu where we checked into our booked room in KBCP. And yes, no photo too. But the room looks exactly like the one advertised/listed on booking.com, except dirtier. I even left a comment on booking.com saying that the whole needs a massive cleaning spree. So here’s the pros and cons of the place.

Pros – dirt-cheap (we paid RM270 for a 3-day, 2-night’s stay), this place is in the middle of Kota Bharu and you can just walk to the city centre if you don’t mind the heat, and it has its own basement parking.

Cons – our room was truly dirty – there were ants everywhere on the counter top and the sink, the floor hadn’t been mopped in months I think, and bathroom, ugh, I think they only cleaned the toilet bowl and not the whole toilet. I think they only replaced the basic items like the bed sheets, towels, blankets, iyeerp that’s all. Items left by previous owners were not thrown out. We had to take our own trash, but that was okay. The water in the bathroom came out very slooooowly on the third day. Yeah what the hell was up with that? Are they trying to make us check out sooner?

After checking in and freshening up, we went out to eat again at the food court near Stadium Kota Bharu. Ijan wanted to eat pulut ayam, which had unfortunately sold out by the time we got there and bought meatballs instead. I (of course) had nasi air sup perut, and Mid bought sate perut for us to taste (I’ve never tasted one before) and sup perut without the nasi air. I should buy  two bowls though because it was so gooood.

After melantak, we made our way to see the highlight of our trip, Wayang Kulit (this is for Wayang Indonesia but the basic information is the same as Wayang Kelantan) or Shadow Puppets and yesss I have lots of photos of this. None of us had seen or watched Wayang Kulit before (I once watched Main Puteri when I was kid, which sadly has been banned for years now) so we really made an effort to search for any place for us to see this. I’ve heard of Pak Dain before because of the Fusion Wayang Kulit, so thankfully his contact information wasn’t that hard to find. His workshop was though, so you need to pay extra attention. If you’re coming from Kota Bharu, his workshop will be on your right. Look for the “Jabatan Kebudayaan dan Kesenian Kelantan” signboard in front of it.

Pak Dain, who has to be one of the politest and kindest men I’ve ever met in my life, scheduled a performance at 9PM but it rained heavily the whole time we were there, so he apologised profusely if the performance had to be cancelled. He invited us inside anyway and showed us the puppets used for the Peperangan Bintang and other Fusion Wayang Kulit.

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He also showed us his workshop and the items and tools he uses to make the wayang kulit.

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Those are cow leather which he bought directly from Kedah, because he said he could only find one place that can extract cow leather the way he wanted them to be. These RM500/piece cow leathers can only be shaped into 2 large wayang kulits. Yes folks, the production of wayang kulit is not only dying, it’s also costly.

Not long after that, a university professor came with her family to watch the wayang kulit too, so while he entertained them, we made our way to the wayang gallery.

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That’s me, checking my Insta video of the gallery.

I think that the gallery has rooms for improvement. I can think of two right now, the glass cabinets are falling down and the lights are not showcasing the puppets at their best. I’m sure there are more. While we were browsing through in the gallery, another group of students from UiTM Machang came, and at this, Pak Dain said that the performance would go as planned.

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Truth be told, I understood not a word. My pathetic understanding of the Kelantanese dialect aside, I could only grasp that there were 4 or 5 warriors in war with each other (?)and the heavy rain didn’t help matters too. Nevertheless, I was mesmerised by the colours of the wayang kulit and the music. The performance lasted for almost an hour, and since Pak Dain’s voice was competing with the rain, we didn’t know that it had come to an end, which was truly bad manners of us since we would have clapped loudly if we knew.

And I bought 2 wayang kulits and Pak Dain gave me another one for free.

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This is the free one.

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This is Sita Dewi.

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And this is Ramayana.

These were bought at RM50 each, which I think is too damn cheap.

Before we left, Pak Dain asked us where we planned to go next and conveyed his frustration to us that when people want to see what Kelantan has to offer, most would be taken to the usual tourist-y, Islamically-inclined places. As there is no centre which combine all of the Kelantan cultural arts like wayang kulit, wau-making, mak yong, menora, main puteri, etc, etc, people have to go to each place individually. And as some of them like main puteri and menora have been banned by the Kelantan government for being un-Islamic (seriously wtf is up with that), it’s getting harder and harder to find when and where these will be performed. Pak Dain even said that he has to follow strict guidelines of what can be said and performed and now, his performances are the watered-down, censored versions of what they used to be in the 80s or 90s. Even my cousin, who’s a self-proclaimed know-it-all of everything Kelantan, knows shit about main puteri and menora when asked. It’s sad and insulting really, to see that we are pushing all these away in the name of them being un-Islamic as if we, the people with working brains, knows shit about distinguishing which is right and wrong for us. And sorry lah if your belief and faith are not strong enough that even a whiff of anything kaffir can sway you, but why do you have to shove your belief down everyone’s throat.

/endrant#2

Anywaaaaaay, after leaving Pak Dain and his wayang kulits, we went to Wakaf Bharu just to have a look around. Ijan found her pulut ayam here and bought some lokching (sate ikan) and Mid and I bought other tidbits to eat. After that, we walked around for a bit before we went back to KBCP.

Day 2

We had our breakfast at the famous Kopitiam Kita, where Ijan and I had the famous roti titab while Mid had….I can’t remember now haha. I ordered roti titab twice it was that goooooddd! I raved about it to a friend here in Klang Valley and she said you can find that anywhere else dah okay laaaaahhhh I’m always late to the party. After breakfast, we made our way to Pak Sapie’s wau workshop.

Pak Sapie is a very famous wau-maker. He once appeared in a Maxis ad, was brought all over the world by MAS, and appeared in conventions, local and overseas, to talk about his waus. He is also the last accredited wau-maker. If you come from KB, his workshop will be on your left. You won’t miss it, as there is a large wau signboard outside of his very, very modest workshop.

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Pak Sapie said it took him months to complete this wau.

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Unlike Pak Dain, Pak Sapie didn’t talk a lot, even though he answered every question we shot at him patiently. He was making a wau at that time, so I suppose he needed to concentrate. And my cousins were mad about making waus when we were kids, so I know how much effort and concentration needed in making a wau. I also bought a tiny female wau from Pak Sapie, this one costs me RM60.

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Wanted to buy a big one but I don’t know how to fit it in my already burgeoning backpack.

We then made our way to Nordin Batik where we tried our hands at batik-colouring and this is the result.

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I knowwwww, I can finally achieve my dream of working with Elie Saab.

Sadly, I didn’t have any photo of us colouring the shit out of that batik piece though I remembered to snap some photos of the ladies in the process of making a batik.

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We went to the boutique to browse through all the batiks but since all of us are non-fans of the glittery designs (we have very simple tastes), we left without buying anything. If I’m not mistaken, the pieces there are affordable-ish, i.e hand-drawn batiks can be bought at below RM250.

We then made our way to Tumpat because I wanted to see the Buddhas. Places of worship have always been a favourite of mine, and I never missed any opportunity to visit one if I knew one was nearby. These are some of the photos.

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Wat Prachumthat Chanaram, also known as the Serpent Temple. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

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The gigantic Sleeping Buddha. This was as close as we could get. And when I say it was gigantic, it was reallllly gigantic.

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Can’t remember the name of this temple, but it has a few statues of elephants around.

 

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The giant standing golden Buddha in Wat Pikulthong. This was as close as I could get because there were a few dogs surrounding us and I was being a pussy.

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The famous Sitting Buddha in Wat Machimmaran. There was a dog following us around here and being the pussy that I was, I hid in the car until it went away ahahahahaha. Conquered my fear and went inside the temple though even though there were 2 dogs sleeping near the front entrance.

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The inside of the temple was a mess. I think they were trying to turn it into some kind of a museum/library here. The temple is supported by these beautifully-crafted pillars.

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This greeted us when we stepped into the temple. Some of the items can be bought. And on the walls, hung very interesting paintings like these (photos are of potato-quality, because I’m vertically-challenged).

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I hope they include some kind of descriptions later, because I really want to know what these paintings are about.

Then, we went to Pantai Sri Tujuh, where we each had some fried seafood, mihun sup and coconut shake for lunch. And then we stopped to pay at a surau near the beach. That surau had to be one of the dirtiest places I’ve ever went to, and I’ve been to Guangzhou. I think the last time that place was swept and mopped was when the Japanese still occupied Tanah Melayu, it was that dirty. Come on Kelantanese, get your act together and start cleaning up your beaches and suraus and masjids.

Oh we also had aiskrim baba in the coconut (Mid had hers in a watermelon)! And it was only RM5! No photos too sadly. I really need to start remembering to take photos of the food I eat when I’m travelling.

We planned to go to Tok Bali to see fishermen catching fish and all that jazz but we were too tired by the time we went back to our room. So we planned to eat somewhere else and I suggested Bold Lab because I went there once during the previous Raya and I remembered raving about the place.

Ijan ordered aglio e olio pasta and Mid and I shared a salmon steak. The salmon was really good, even though the portion is a bit too small for my thinking. Ijan’s pasta was a bit dry. I also had latte, which I believe was a bit over-extracted, because I could taste the burnt taste. We also had carrot cake, and that one was soo goood. The price was a bit pricey for Kelantan, I think.

We then went to Restoran Cik Siti because Mid had a craving for sate lokching but we left without the lokching because the girl who was grilling the lokching was so rude. We then made our way to the uptown near the Pasar Baru Siti K and Mid bought her lokching there haha. We walked around a bit before it started to rain, and then we went back to our room.

Day 3

Everyone woke up late today. Yati, another friend who lives in Pasir Mas, and who we had a breakfast date with, woke us up or we would be waking up later than that. We then had our breakfast at a restaurant which serves nasi padang and we ate like there was no tomorrow.

After that, we made our final shopping trip to Pasar Baru Siti K. I bought some tidbits for the office and a vanilla chocolate ice-blended mix, and Ijan bought serundings, gulai mix, and a few others for her mom.

And that was the end of our trip. Now I really need to brush up my writing skills haha because I’ve been drafting this post for a week now! Will do better next time!

Are you…..a witch?

There’s a similarity between this blog and what I’m feeling inside, they’re both dead.

There is literally nothing going on with my life right now, hence the quiet. Oh I got a call from my bank yesterday saying that my insurance was wrongly, doubly deducted so right now instead of being broke, I’m broke-er than broke. Story of my life.

Despite my lazy-ass appearance and my Mom’s stories, I actually like working. I like feeling that at the end of the day, I’ve accomplished something. I like knowing that I’m not a total useless loser and I like having money at the end of the month. Seriously, if I didn’t value my integrity that much, I would still be working at that shithole. It’s so hard to find a decent job nowadays. And being in my line of work where they value the other race and having a penis more, it’s twice as hard.

Oh well, after almost 2 months of being a jobless bum and contributing nothing to the society (I do separate my household waste though, so that’s a point to me), I got a chance to be up-to-date with current issues, watch the collection of drama series and movies that I didn’t even know I had, and read unread novels that were collecting dust on my bookshelf. Hmmm I guess I actually used my time well.

Speaking of drama series, I am totally addicted to Outlander right now. A friend told me to watch it eons and eons ago because he said “it was right up my alley” and then sent me a topless photo of Sam Heughan to prove his point and thus proving that he knew jackshit about my taste, to which I replied to him that Sam Heughan looks like he’s special as in he looks dumb and told him “no thanks”.

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Seriously, that was the photo that was sent to me. I actually mined my email archive to read again that email after I started watching Outlander.

Thinking back, he should have sent me a photo of Caitriona Balfe instead of Sam Heughan to get my attention, because I’m totally obsessed with her now. I would totally go lesbian for her.

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I think she’s one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever seen in my entire life and from the interviews (yes, I actually watched her interviews, I’m that obsessed), she sounds like a very smart woman. I only read Outlander out of the 8 books Diana Gabaldon has written so far, and already my un-knowing ass thinks the TV Claire is better than the book Claire. And the whole drama series is amazing too. They showed the best of Scotland and the Highland culture before they got wiped out after the Battle of Culloden. Plus, I have a weakness for everything about history, especially something that I didn’t know about/only heard in passing before.

At first, I started watching Outlander because of Caitriona Balfe and then after a few episodes, my interests went to all things that encompass the Highland culture. It was truly amazing, all the details that went into it; the dresses, the food, the language, the places, the accuracy of everything is beyond anything you can imagine. And now I think Sam Heughan is hot too. I think he’s like Benedict Cumberbatch in that regard, you need to see him in motion to get what the fuss is all about. Your obsession makes sense now, Heughligans. I truly get it. Both of them (not Sam Heughan and Benedict Cumberbatch, you dirty-minded people, but Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe – me, a dirty-minded person) have this crazy hot chemistry that I feel like they need to have a sex scene in every episode just to get it out of my system.

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Most of the supporting characters are truly awesome too (my favourites are Colum McKenzie and Duke of Sandringham). In 2 weeks’ time, the Season 2 will end and I’m gonna have a major Droughtlander until Season 3 starts.

Do I think that Outlander is up there alongside masterpieces in the drama seriesland (to me, at least) like Breaking Bad, True Detective S1, Daredevil S1, and Fargo S1 & S2? I truly don’t know actually. I mean, except for the Daenarys Targaryen’s storyline, I thought Game of Thrones was close to perfect in every way until Season 5 happened (I think aside from Hardhome, the whole season was a pile of turd) so my opinions are a bit skewed. And like Game of Thrones, there are a few scenes in Outlander that I think were just mere fillers and could be done without. But Outlander is still a star on its own. And I don’t know, comparing Outlander to modern-set drama series is like comparing apple to orange hahaha I’m contradicting myself.

Trust me, go give Outlander a try because it’s more than just a love story. There are a few sex scenes and lots of nudity (and there’s S01E15 too) though so if you’re living with prudish people, make sure you’re alone before you press play.

Edit: after watching more interviews and seeing how obsessed the fans of the shows are with the whole Sam Heughan, Caitriona Balfe, and Sam – Caitriona relationship issue, I seriously hope to God none of them is going for the Nutty Madam v.2 route if both of them are in a relationship with other people.

The Dead are Coming

This post has nothing to do with travelling and whatnot. It’s more of a rant really but I need to get this off my chest.

I love, love, love Game of Thrones (I’m disregarding Season 5 except for Hardhome). I love every part of it, except for one, Daenarys Targaryen’s storyline. I started to hate her during book 1 and I thought the hatred could go away after a while, but the feeling intensified instead. I’d rather watch 1,000 hours of Ramsay Bolton being cruel instead of 1 second of Daenarys’ cringey scenes. And oh God that last speech was cringey as hell. It’s like she has to bring up her own hype because she’s so boring.

What makes me madder is that despite her long-ass name and her whole dragon-owner, unburnt, first of the name trope, her claim to the throne is the most filmsy one as compared to others. Not only has she mentioned at least 12,345 times that she “will claim what’s hers” during the 6.6 seasons so far, she also took up the most epic ending spots  when there were so much better endings. Her whole schtick this season  is a rinse-and-repeat of what we have seen in Season 1 and 2. I hate her so much that I will think if she died (she won’t die until the end of the series) in the next episode, my only reaction would be “good riddance”.

But her existence is not her worst sin though. She’s so fucking boring that she managed to make Tyrion and Varys (2 of my favourite characters) look boring too and I can’t forgive her for that.

Lol yes I need to have a life. Been arguing about this with strangers on the internet too.

Love Love Peace Peace

Now that Eurovision 2016 has ended, I find myself at a loose end. Yes, I’m too invested in this shit. I’ve been crooning this all day long

Why am I doing this actually, trying to start a travel blog? Not only am I 6 years late to the game and my photos are of the shitty quality, most of the things I have in mind have already been covered in numerous websites and blogs. One thing that is glaringly obvious in most blogs and websites though is that they only touch on 2 ends of the spectrum; one is for people on a shoestring budget, and the other one is for the people opposite of that. Maybe it’s too optimistic (and ambitious!) of me to say that I’m trying to find a middle ground between the two.

I always distance myself from generalising people and such but sometimes I can’t help myself. I always believe that everyone has his/her/their own preferences when it comes to travelling because hey, different people like different things. Some people want to cram as much activities/places as possible into their travel plans and some like to take it leisurely. Some people like the beach and some don’t, and that’s okay. Some people go for the cheapest plans and some are willing to fork out more. What I’m trying to say is, we are all different and each of us approach travelling differently.

I don’t have lots of money at my disposal but I don’t mind paying for comfort. And I like historical places. The older and the more decaying they are, the more I like them. I like knowing how things were done back then. I love visiting shrines, temples, mosques, cathedrals, tombs, castles, museums and such. I love learning about different religions and cultures. Everything historical is fascinating to me.

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Conwy Castle in Wales.

And I don’t like beaches. I won’t say no to beaches, but if I can help it, I won’t put it in my travelling plans. But that’s just me.

What irks me is that some people have this mindset that everyone wants to follow the same set of plans, especially when you’re travelling in a group. Okay, story time. I went to Guangzhou last year with my family and we stayed at a hotel near the Guangzhou Zoo. It’s a lovely, large zoo and you need to only pay 20 yen to enter. I saw pandas and red pandas for the first time. I saw elephants (my favourite animal) lazing around a large compound. I saw rhinos and giraffes and others. I thought it was amazing but my cousins apparently thought not. After 20 minutes of walking around, they wanted to go back to the hotel because they said they were tired ( we were walking around the area right after we checked in and decided to go to the zoo on impulse). I told them to go back but they didn’t want to leave me alone. They grumbled the whole way saying their feet were hurt and I told them again to go back. After the third time, I turned deaf to their grumbling.

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If you squint your eyes, you can actually see a fat panda being lazy (a.k.a my spirit animal)
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A rhino giving me a “not impressed” look

That wasn’t the only instance where my interests clashed with others during the Guangzhou trip. For me, when I go to a different country, I like to try their local dishes. And in Guangzhou, where you can find restaurants/stalls operated by the Uyghurs and therefore halal, I really thought there was no need to look any further. I was wrong though. Another cousin accidentally came across an Indonesian restaurant near our hotel and we ate there every fucking day. An Indonesian restaurant in Guangzhou, can you imagine how much that cost us? A fucking lot, I can tell you. I can find at least 10 Indonesian restaurants in Kajang and Bangi alone. Luckily I skipped out for the last 2 days and went exploring the city alone and salvaged what was left of my sanity (the others went shopping every day). Please believe me when I say there are more to Guangzhou than just mega shopping malls.

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Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, where a large collection of traditional art pieces is displayed. IMPORTANT NOTE: one of it is ivory carving, which I vehemently oppose.
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A creepy mannequin in Peasant Movement Training Institute, one of the highlights of my trip

I can write more about the Guangzhou trip if this blog takes off.

So there you have it. I think there’s nothing wrong if you go to London and you don’t feel the need to see the Big Ben. There’s nothing wrong if you go to  Saigon and you don’t feel the need to buy Naelofar scarves and check out the hipster cafés there. And there is absolutely nothing wrong if you go to Kuching and there is no photo of you with that cat statue. It’s okay if you don’t go to the same spot millions have gone to. You don’t need to ask for others’ validation by taking 10,000 selfies and post them on Instagram to show that you’re having fun. But if you think that posting 10,000 selfies while on vacation is your prerogative, then please go for it.

Like I said, different strokes for different folks. Just go have fun and don’t let others bring you down.

It’s Hard Being a Snobbish Music Appreciator

I have always been proud of my exquisite musical taste. Oh please, with playlists like this and this (please note that I always skip the Nickelback songs – I have a reputation to maintain) as my everyday jam, absolutely nothing can go wrong.

This is why my classy ass really looooooveeesss Eurovision. I devoured all of the videos on the Eurovision playlist on Youtube (which of course I subscribed) I know most of the songs during the 1990s-2010s period – not just the winning ones. I can even sing the words to most songs (admittedly I make up about 97.54% of the words but still..). In short, I am totally obsessed with Eurovision. I love most parts of it, the theatrical parts, the fun parts, the boring parts, the cheesy parts, the gay parts (especially the gay parts), the pitchy parts, the ridiculous parts, the campy parts, everything is glorious to me, yes, even the talking puppet part. It’s not just a song contest. It’s the definition to the word “fabulous” (or maybe just in my head).

Well, how did it all start, you might ask (or maybe that’s just in my head too). My younger self came across this song during my journey to become the connoisseur of 1990s and early 2000s campy songs. You can see from the crystal clear 1080p HD-quality, big-budgeted video why the younger me was intrigued about the song and I was totally shocked!!!!!!! to know that the song was originally sung by Teach-In, a Dutch band in the 1975 Eurovision. I was so in love with the song that I had both the English version and the Dutch version in my iPod Nano. And that, my friends, is the point where my love for Eurovision started to blossom. Thank you Teach-In and Models for introducing me to this glorious mess.

There’s a problem with being an Asian Eurovision fan though. Since this shit is in Europe, like its football matches, all Semi-Finals and Finals only start at 2.45 – 3.00 a.m. Luckily my ass is jobless now, or I would have come late(-r) than I usually did. My love for Eurovision trumps almost all. Almost. As someone who is just and fair and always sensible (all those times of me shoving unhealthy tricks like chocolate cakes and ice-creams down my throat while watching shits at 3.00 a.m, be it football, Eurovision, etc or just because I’m a fatass don’t count), I am not blind to all the political and creepy shenanigans behind the vote-buying and all that stuff. Just watch this video.

Hmmmm, does Ilham Aliyev remind you of someone? You know, someone whose name rhymes with Mazip? And I think after watching it for the second time, the situation in Azerbaijan gives off a very North Korea-y vibe to me.

Okay I have digressed from my main point. Now back to the campy part.

There are songs and performances that I sincerely love, be it ironically and un-ironically. Can I show you a list? Of course I have a list pshhhhaw. Oops scratch that, I have 2 lists.

These are 8 campy, cheesy performances (apart from Ding-a-Dong) that are synonymous with Eurovision and I un-ashamedly have in all of my playlists in no particular order. This list and the other one only contain songs from 2000 because I’m about to overdose from all the awesomeness and my body can only take so much.

  1. Montenegro 2013 (I’m still bitter this song didn’t make it to the final. There were 2 freaking astronauts singing a rap song with questionable dubstep beat thrown in, what more did the voters want?)
  2.  Romania 2013 (Okay I lied. This glorious vampire’s performance was a visual feast, but my ears couldn’t take all the falsetto)
  3.  Ukraine 2007 (I find myself singing this song at odd times, such as when I’m driving or watching TV).
  4. France 2014 (because everything sounds meaningful in French. He might be singing about eating cheap ramen and I will still think the song has a profound meaning behind it)
  5. Belarus 2014 (because his English accent is funny to me hahahaha)
  6. Austria 2003 (umm yeahhhh I don’t know what happened there either)
  7. Latvia 2008 (I lied about this too. This is bad actually hahaha)
  8. Moldova 2005 (that grandma just sitting there is glorious)

And 2 from this year.

  1. San Marino (I truly hoped that it would go through just for shits and giggles but I guess Europe didn’t get his awesomeness. Those backup singers were pretty good though).
  2.  Belarus (dude was naked! And there were wolves! Hahahahah I also hoped for this to go through just to see the people who take this seriously to get apoplectic but sigh, my hopes were dashed)

And these are 8 serious songs that I actually find tolerable (a.k.a I love them to death but too ashamed to say so)

  1. Estonia 2015 (because I’m shallow and I think the male singer is hot)
  2.  Sweden 2012 (this song goes against everything I believe in, but it really is good)
  3. Finland 2014 (this song prompted me to illegally download their whole album, and yes, the album is good too).
  4. Israel 2013  (no snark, I think this song is absolutely lovely. That hair, on the other hand….)
  5. Germany 2007  (Roger Cicero died earlier this year because of stroke. RIP to him)
  6. Greece 2013 (this song satires the Greek economic situation and that makes it a win in my book)
  7. Montenegro 2015 (because this is sung in a language that I don’t understand and I find it exotic)
  8. Belgium 2015 (because I really like this song)

And this is the song that I like the most this year, mostly because she’s cute and wears pretty dresses and I’m shallow.

So! Now you know that I take Eurovision very seriously. And what does this have anything to do with a travel blog? I don’t know either but the final is today yeayyyy and this is the most important thought that my mind burped out this entire week. My Zoe won’t win though, because I believe it might be a 3-way competition between Spain, Russia, and Italy.

I should tell you that I have always wanted to experience the Eurovision. I want to be there, in the stadium and watch this glorious mess right before my eyes. I bet it’ll be the gayest thing I’ll ever experience and that might just be the best thing ever.

Since I need to post photos, here are a few.

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A cathedral in Bruges. I went there in 2012.
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A random statue in Guangzhou

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I took a coffee class in Jakarta last year

And that is all for now.