Simple gestures 

 

I received a text message from someone that I have not spoken to in a long time, and I found myself laughing at the genuine offer of kindness. (Shame on me. How awful of me to make fun of someone’s sincerity.)

 

I might or might not have lost a tad bit of faith in humanity when someone is being genuinely nice to me. I question it, wondering if they have underlying motives for being nice to me. What do they want? Are they expecting a favour?

 

We often turn a blind side and focus on putting expectations on people who wouldn’t even bat an eyelash at us. So it is heartwarming to know that kindness still do exist and that there are people who actually cares for you without any expectation of a returned favour.

 

Well, at least this would put me at ease and hopefully the thought of it will help me sleep tonight.

 

Sweet, sweet revenge

 

 

This is what happens to pompous pricks when they are being total jackasses to people.

 

I have never punched someone in the face before; the closest was a punch on the arm of my guy best friend that gave him a swelled bruise for a week. I certainly do not advocate for the need to get physical (not in THAT way) and violent, but sometimes a punch in the goddamn face is what someone deserves.

 

And the best part? The aftermath feels, I quote the above, fucking magnificent.

 

 

P.S. Shoutout to you, my bby girl. Good job in standing up for yourself and doing yourself (and some other people) a good favour! I am immensely proud of you. ❤

 

P.P.S. This totally made my morning. (I almost died laughing though).

 

Get crafty

 

When inspiration strikes midway while studying, you get crafty and let yourself be artsy fartsy for a moment (by a moment I meant a few hours).

 

Matching bracelets for the sister and I, which was a long overdue project from 2012. (Yes, that’s how much of a procrastinator I am).

 
 

I’m inspired by the cityscape of buildings as of late. So a new DIY phone cover happened when the inspiration and one of my favourite quotes are put together. Yay!

 

 
 

I have not had a eureka moment in a while, but when I do, it happens when exams are 12 days away. Talk about perfect timing eh? 😦

 

Graduation, a year on

 

Today marks exactly a year since graduation. This realisation that I had past midnight brought out every bit of nostalgia in me. There is a colossal amount of things that I want to write about graduation, so in putting my thoughts in coherence, here is a commemorative post of graduation.

(Also, where did the time went?? I can hardly believe that it has been a year WHAAAAAAT!)

 


 

 

It’s summer in the United Kingdom.
July, an eventful month for most universities across the country.
Graduation banners are being hung up.
Canopies are built to host pre-ceremony and post-ceremony events.
Halls and cathedrals are cleaned up for the Big Day.
Gown and mortar board orders are placed, along with photoshoots.
University grounds are filled with families of students, touring the campus to see where their graduates-to-be spent their lives at in the past year(s).

 

 

The Big Day is here.
The ladies fuss to pair their best dress with the perfect pair of heels, hairstyle and makeup.
The guys make sure their best suits are freshly pressed, their shoes shined and their hair styled nicely.
Time to put on the graduation gown and mortar board.
You feel the bursting pride in you while as you the gown is donned.
Take numerous photos; after all, it is your big day.

 

 

 

The graduation venue is filling up.
Families are ushered to their respective seats, setting up cameras to capture the grand moment.
Graduates-to-be trotted to be seated with the rest of their peers.
Procession takes place and speeches are given to address the graduation ceremony.
Feel the adrenaline rush as you stand in line, waiting for your name to be called to be presented with your scroll by the Dean.
The brief 30-seconds on stage as you shook hands with the Dean and received your scroll has got to be a 30-seconds memory of a lifetime.
You return to your seat, still overwhelmed by it all.
You look at your certificates, see your name printed on each one of them.
You smile at yourself in awe and said,
“I made it.”

 

My family away from home. ❤

 

I think at one point last year I actually forgotten the point of graduation, the main one.

 

 

It is not about making your parents, family and friends proud; on top of it all, the whole point is the mark of your own achievement and hard work. Without your own effort, you would not have gotten this far. What other people, be it whoever, gave you is nothing but support and advice; that’s like a bonus and a safety net. But otherwise, it is all on your own that you have come this far. We get too caught up in impressing ourselves and pushing our limits that we often forget that it is something that we do for ourselves.

 

 

Graduation is something that you should most definitely look forward to. It is one of the biggest milestones thus far in your life on the face of this planet, before the whole land-a-job-with-decent-pay / first-pay-raise / get-married / start-a-family kind of milestones, that you are bound to achieve in due time. Graduation is that big day for you to celebrate your achievements (mind you, achievements are subjective; it encompasses more than just the academic ones). One day when you look back to one of the greatest days in your lifetime, you would remember how far you have made it through, and that should be enough to push you through whatever else that you are faced with.

 

 

Almost always, we’d feel like we are heading nowhere in life. But you know what they say: you really are doing better than you think! All of us, including our peers alike, are all on the same boat. Yes, some may appear more calm and it seems like they have their lives figured out. And there will be those who seem like a total mess without any plans for their next big step in life. But that is all on the surface. Not every one of us gets the privilege of having an insight to someone else’s life to see how they are repairing the cracks on the pathway or laying a new one instead; we are equal with our peers, and we are faced with challenges in varying circumstances.

 

Who isn’t afraid of stepping into adulthood? Ask that to a room full of young people and I am certain that almost everyone would raise their hands in agreement. It is an inevitable, part-and-parcel stage of growing up and life. Everything in life is uncertain and temporary (well, at least most things are) in our 20s. We are really just getting started with our lives. I think the scariest part is not exactly on the part of getting everything figured out; the part that I am most afraid of (and still am) is the transition from schooling life to actual life.

 

 

We are so comfortable in our nice, little security bubble for the longest period thus far – teachers and lecturers were there to guide us through the way, friends who are nice and easy on us, the fact that we have a concrete and uninterrupted plan for about 17-18 years in getting education. Aaaand we get thrown out into the world right after that, expected to get everything done by ourselves. This bit stresses me out the most, but hey, 1) everyone goes through it at some point in their lifetime 2) remember that it is an inevitable part and parcel of life.

 

 

 

Here’s to friends who battled through final year of law school with me.

 

Exploring the city together in our first week, frequent home-cooked dinners, movie nights in Vine Court over winter break (which made us bust our asses two weeks before assignments submission was due HAHAHA), our first birthdays and festive seasons abroad, late night study sessions in the library, supper at Nabzy’s down Leece Street… the list is endless. I can never thank each of you enough for the impact that you made in my life. Thanks for being my family 7000 miles away from home.

 

 

Most importantly, here’s to my family. Mum and Dad, thanks for the privilege to spend a year abroad to complete my studies. I am eternally grateful that I have such a wonderful privilege, to come home with a changed perspective and a growth in character.

Lambs, you are the best companion over the built-in webcam on the Internet throughout my year in Liverpool. Thanks for nonchalant talks, late night crying sessions and Skype calls from the library. You are the best cheerleader in my life, celebrating every little success along the way with me (and to a certain extent, for me!). For the record, your brimming enthusiasm in the things that I do helped me in my toughest days.

 


 

This stroll down memory lane is getting me overwhelmed. I think I have a huge delay of emotions about graduating (yes, I was a tad emotionless last year during graduation), but now looking back at the past year, I am definitely getting a bit weepy.

 

To my friends who are graduating / have graduated this year, congratulations and have a happy graduation! x

 

Still one of the proudest moments in my life thus far 🙂

 
 

[EDITED] Kudos to my awesome sister for being my slave of the day last year and for capturing the best moments of my graduation, lugging along your tripod and camera all over the campus grounds and to Albert Dock. Love you, lambs ❤ (Sorry that it slipped out of my mind for a bit, fats; got too carried away in dealing with my emotions HAHAHAHA).

Hennessy 250th Anniversary dinner

 

The parents scored me an invitation to yet another dinner event by Moet Hennessy Diageo Malaysia to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Maison Hennessy, the iconic cognac house created by Richard Hennessy. In conjunction with the celebration, a limited edition blend was released to mark such a milestone. The Hennessy 250 Collector Blend is a special blend, matured in 250 handcrafted barrels before being bottled in collector decanters. (Sadly, we missed out on getting a taste of the fine cognac due to the horrible after-work traffic. Meh.)

 

A custom-designed swirly metal sculpture resembling an oak cast used to age the cognac highlights the event.

The collection of cognacs encased in the centre of the art piece.

 

In terms of food pairing, cognac (or brandy) is commonly paired with Asian cuisines. Cognacs are more niche in comparison with wine, yet they can be paired with different types of food. I still stand by my conclusion that cognac is not my cup of tea; I have a long way to learn the art of appreciating powerful, rich flavours in liquor.

 

IMG_6028

 

The cognac of choice for the dinner was the Hennessy X.O., thus the food on the menu were selected to match the richness of its candied fruit flavour with subtly light spicy hints. Chinese food was pretty much the ideal choice, simply because of the vast bursting flavours that compliments the boldness and complexity in cognacs. After all, that is why cognac is commonly sighted when having Chinese food.

 

The menu of the night are:

1) Double boiled American ginseng soup with fish maw
2) Braised sea cucumber with abalone
3) Steamed silver pomfret with golden mushroom and red dates
4) Roasted sesame scented chicken with hoi sin sauce
5) Fried fragrant jasmine rice in lotus leaf
6) Gold crested chocolate dome forest berry jelly with honey ice cream and coulis

 

 

 

Tonight is just one of those “nope-I-am-not-going-to-study-until-I-get-my-proper-8-hours-of-sleep” nights because 1) it has been such a long day of driving, running errands and attending a dinner event 2) the cognac has kicked into my system 3) I have done too much of talking and laughing, which is giving me a headache.

 

So cut yourself some slack, Samantha Chew Sue Mun. Go get some sleep. *pats self on the back*

 

A shameless bathroom selfie to commemorate 1) my first attempt on curling my hair all on my own 2) getting ready for such an event under 30 minutes

[P.S. Please bear with me while I continue boasting and feeling good about how my hair was very on point tonight. (THIS RARE OCCURRENCE IS AS RARE AS THE TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE)]

 

Cheers to the end of the week! x

Overdue emotions? Nah, not quite.

 

20 weeks.

 

That’s how long it has been since the baby of the family, aka my best-est friend in the world / partner-in-crime / annoying, pain-in-the-ass but adorable sister has left home for the land down under.

 

She’s doing incredibly well – both in adapting to a new environment and in her studies (thank goodness that she doesn’t take after her sister’s lack of enthusiasm for a lot of things hah) – that everyone back home is immensely proud of her. Also, she is in the running for two internationally-recognised undergraduate research awards!! (EXCUSE ME WHILE I GUSH ABOUT HOW SMART MY SISTER IS). Yes, she is still as gullible and naive as she will ever be in certain things. Some things never change, eh? I love hearing her fill me in about the city that is ever so lively, filled with festivals and full of culture and amazing people; I can’t wait to see it for myself in due time!

 

She is so drawn into the things that she talks about whenever we are on Skype calls. Whether it is about the subjects that she’s taking, her ever-so-lovely hallmate next door who is always sharing food with her, our family friend who has been such a dear to her and taking her out to meals with his family on weekends, her rants about the crazy Melbourne weather, her latest obsession with computer games (??!!), her nights out – I am always all ears and I am brimming with joy on the inside to know that she is having the best time of her life.

 

I rarely talked about how much I miss her. I guess that’s what makes us very different from each other – she is more expressive and open about her emotions, while I shy away from things that jerks and thugs my heartstrings.

 

I thought I was going to be alright with her leaving to complete her studies, and I suppose that’s because it didn’t impact me for a while… until one night when the parents were away that I realised how eerily silent (not in the horror movie way, mind you; it’s more of the melancholic way) it was upstairs. I thought being away from home in the past year which had made me very comfortable in my own company makes this easier, but it does not.

 

As much as our gang of friends are keeping me company most of the time, somehow they will never match up to yours. No one is going to burst into my room for nonchalant things. No one is going to sit quietly next to my study table, looking for the best time to start distracting me. No one is going to share the burden of the occasional yelling that I get from Mum for being quite the rebel. No one is going to bug me to take a drive for McDonald’s sundae cone AND a large pack of French fries. No one is going to be my human motivational poster. No one is going to sit beside me on the piano bench to correct my hand placement on the piano keys. No one is going to binge watch TV shows with me and give me juxtapositions of characters, scene settings and the like.

 

I miss having her around – period.

 

[Oh boy does it feel oh-so-good when all the pent up emotions are released.]

 

The last 20 hours was horrendous.

 

My body decide to fail on me this weekend and succumb to a leaky nose, scratchy throat and a body temperature of a race track. (Nope, Mum, I am preeeeeetty sure it wasn’t all the food that I had yesterday… *inserts angelic emoji*).

 

Here’s to a new week! x