Homesick and Settling Down

Sep 30

The hardest part about living abroad, or studying abroad; distant away from your family, is blending in and seeking a sense of belonging in the new environment. Being here for the first few weeks, it was hard, considering I have travelled most places alone, settling down is a totally different idea. It was so hard to call the place I’m currently living, “home”. I find it irony that at the end of day, when I tell my friends “I’m going home” I feel a tiny bit of loneliness. “Home” here is not exactly home.

Oh well, I had to make the best out of it. Back in Malaysia I do not display any pictures of myself or my family in my room. But, staying alone, far from home, I finally realized the need of actual photographs, rather than what I have over my laptop or phone. Also, never thought that I’m so patriotic, a KLCC miniature, seriously? LOL. Then again, it is the sense of familiarity in a world that lack of sense of belongingness.

Little do I know, I was actually homesick. I thought I was strong enough, but turns out that I was under a lot of stress, my hormones was a mess, and had terribly PMS + Mood swings. Also, I was so close in buying a ticket to fly back home. Regardless, being away change me for quite a bit, absence do make hearts grow fonder, I’m talking more to my family as compared when I was in Malaysia. The realization of true friends - despite being physically so far away, we never run out of topics. And a chance to get to know myself better in a new environment.

PS: Stay strong Mandy!

Back to School

Sep 14

Currently back to school, and for the first time I’m taking a total of 21 credit hours classes - 9 credit hours for my core course, and another 12 credit hours for Korean Language. That’s not just it, I have to maintain a minimum of 3.7 CGPA to  keep my scholarship. T^T While most of my friends have started working, I’m here back to being a nerd. But, thankfully some of the subjects are interesting, and it’s rewarding when I can research on subjects that I have a passion for. I actually have a crazy idea, to continue my PHD after my master, hmm.. or may be not. But my goal is to earn a PHD before I reach 30 (Journey to Permanent Head Damage, lol?).

PS: Just my desk and favorite leopard print tumbler.

Segye Mee (世界面)

Sep 7

When I heard of this restaurant the first time, I thought it was brilliant, but the same time - madness, how many pack of instant noodles can you really eat? Well.. Segye Mee is an “Instant Noodle Restaurant” with a spin of buffet style.

Certainly, Segye Mee has them all, from different regions of the world. I thought I was in a instant noodle museum for a second, lol. Here’s a picture to proof it, and my two besties were in dilemma on what’s for brunch.

There’s also a customized station, where you can personalized your “dish”. Whether you like your mee more spicey, salty, sweet or sour.

I thought the picture of Chloe in the background carrying those noodles are cute, lol. Casey was quite resistant to have instant noodle, but well.. cheat day! And, as of me.. I was kind opposed with having instant noodle for brunch too, but the selection they have is really tempting, and thai instant noodles never disappoint me. =p

We still have some soup left when we were done with the noodles, so we had a little improvised steamboat.

For entry, it’s RM19.90 per person with freeflow of beverage, and student at RM18. If you are thinking to pay a visit, you may get a map at their FB page, HERE.

School Food @ Garosu-gil

Sep 6

Garosugil (“tree-lined road”) is a strip near Sinsa Station that is known for it’s fancy restaurants, cafes, and clothing stores. Being said, everything here is pretty much on the expensive side. However, if you are on budget and looking for something quick, or with a bunch of friends that are indecisive on what to have. I recommend ‘School Food‘, they serve up contemporary-style Korean rolls, ddeokbokki, fried rice, and noodle dishes.

Here’s what I had! SPICEY CRABONARA TTEOKBOKKI Just one dish to fix my hunger in the midst of my shopping spree, lol.

There’s non-spicy tteokbokki on the menu! I was a bit skeptical about this dish as I’ve had my fair share of subpar attempts at carbonara in Korea (Italian dish here is so Koreanized). While the sauce did feel a bit powdery, it was very flavorful and went well with the tteokbokki. Asian-fusion success!

School Food is located along the stretch of Garosu-gil and you’ll easily find this if you walk around the area. I would describe this restaurant – “Korean snacks and street food in an upscale way”

Being a Candle Enthusiast

Aug 24

I’m a huge fan of candles, and when I spent RM280 ($90) on a single candle, I know what you’re thinking, outrages right?  For people who doesn’t know much about luxury candles ,it may come as a shock to learn that a candle could cost RM300, or even more. Jo Malone, the British fragrance company, makes a four-wick version in a glass vessel that costs RM1400 — more than RM300 a wick. For that price, shouldn’t the container be gold?

When it comes to luxury, people disagree about a lot of things. But, what they don’t understand is the luxury are meant for people who truly knows how to enjoy them (not those spoiled-brat who are doing it for the sake of showing off).

Let me put it this way — We, human have 5 senses. Sight, Smell, Sound, Taste, and Touch. Some love to indulge in food, and they spent half of the pay cheque on diners each month; Some love a good sound system, and they splashed a good amount of money in installing them; Some love fine arts, and they paid millions in acquiring a painting so they can have them in their private dorm. So what’s wrong with spending on luxury candles? I just have a different “sense” of indulgence.

It may be true that if I merely wanted fragrance, I can settled on the RM50 (or less) Candle in IKEA. But what they missed out is the quality of the product I’m seeking. I’m not sure about you, but when I buy a cheap candle, the vanilla smell or whatever is so strong. It’s like I am in an airport bathroom. IT IS UNBEARABLE.

So, back to the topic, and I’m going to tell you why I think you need to reconsider your use of your “IKEA” candles.

Paraffin is the major ingredient in most conventional candles and is a sludge waste product from the petroleum industry. It releases carcinogenic chemicals when burned. The soot/fumes are similar to that released from a diesel engine and can be as dangerous as second-hand cigarette smoke. This can contribute to serious respiratory issues like asthma.

On the other hand, most high end candles are made out of soy wax. They burn clean, with no harmful fumes, and have very long burn times as well.  And, beyond the basic elements of wax, wick and flame, these luxury candles come in handmade containers of crystal, or are scented by the world’s top perfumers using costly essential oils.

Having a good candle is like having a good bottle of wine, you enjoy them slowly, and to some, the packaging itself it’s an art. It makes you want to keep them, by all means when they are emptied.

Candles are sophisticated. Aside from the fragrance, candles are essential for me because of the light, the warmth and the comfort of the flame.

PS: So, what’s wrong with me and my sinful indulgence? I’m pretty sure you have one yourself.