Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Welcome to the Late-Twenties

If I were to sum up this entire year, I'd say it's the year of...realizing stuff lolol brownie points if you get this reference. It really is though, this year I started realizing how much I've aged sigh

Kids, when you've reached your mid-twenties it's all downhill from there on hahahahaha

Here are some things that have changed for me.

  1. Sleep
    Gone are the days where I can function as a capable human being with just 5-6 hours of sleep. Any less than 7 hours these days will result in body aches, stiff joints and low energy. 8 hours is just well enough to function. 9-10 hours? Pure bliss. You know that fuzzy brain effect like your brain is floating around in the morning after you pull an all-nighter back in university? Yeah it can happen now even with 5-6 hours of sleep.
     
  2. Aches 
    The struggle is real. Sitting in front of the pc at work all day brings greater consequences at this age. Shoulder, neck and back aches. At least three joints crack when I get up from the bed in the morning. I always carry a backpack when I travel and back in November during the company trip, my shoulders ached so badly carrying it all day that I had to quickly get salonpas at the drugstore. God bless japanese drugstores. Salonpas continued to be my best friend the entire week after that.
     
  3. Coffee
    Used to identify as a tea person because I just didn't like the bitter taste of coffee, even with sugar and/or milk. The only coffee I'd drink are those in Vietnam because they either mix it up with condensed milk until it tastes as sweet as kopiko or add-in other yummy stuff such as yogurt or whipped egg whites (true story). Now I can drink it black and actually enjoy the complex taste. It still doesn't work to keep me awake though.

                                       One fifth condensed milk. So good though! Ah I miss Vietnam!
     
  4. Moisture
    Or more precisely, the lack thereof. I'm obsessed with moisturizers, lotions, butters and oils but I realize that these days, it's no longer just an enjoyable process for better-looking skin. It has become a necessity to simply maintain skin condition. Skin is visibly deteriorating with the appearances of fine lines, rough patches and overall dullness. My lips get cracked if I don't diligently apply lipbalm. I am now the proud owner of about ten sticks of lipbalm haha but yes, time to invest more on skincare than makeup. *adds to cart
     
  5. Generation Gap
    Argh did this elders think this of us too back then? Not strictly generation but just the new wave of young people entering the society. I know it's not fair to generalize, but just let me rant okay. Self-entitled, privileged, ignorant and spoilt. There, I've said it and it feels pretty damn good.
     
  6. Social
    Less energy to socialize, I guess. Or is it less patience to deal with people's bullshit? I'd rather stay home to watch japanese variety shows than go through the hassle of putting on makeup, choosing what to wear, driving all the way to the city, finding parking, hang out for a bit then a whole day gone just like that. Don't get me wrong, I've (almost) never regretted going out for fresh air and all but just the thought of the hassles make me feel so unmotivated lol and more often that not I look forward to going home whenever I'm out. I suppose that mood to go out to be around people doesn't come by as often as it used to.

  7. Questions
    Or rather, worries. About the past, present and future.
But there are also positive happenings! Like financial security, that's a huge plus. I realized this when I started to stop by for a look at the new arrivals instead of heading straight towards the sale / clearance racks in shops. Being able to afford at least a holiday getaway or two a year is great too. That's about it though lol good luck, self.

Monday, February 1, 2016

青空の下、キミのとなり

In a bid to preserve my sanity, I've decided to (almost) completely shut out the world in my down time. 

This mostly means putting aside my phone after work, especially so on weekends.

I really feel that holding on to the phone and looking at it the whole damn day and night has been draining my energy. I get significantly less sleep, my skin breaks out, my brain gets drowned in all the stimulation and I feel lifeless all the time. Social media and the internet for both work and personal entertainment can be so addictive, they keep our minds moving, but with continuous exposure I know it's bad for me. I don't know when I started to dread receiving notifications on my phone, even when my phone is already set to silent mode on default (been set to silent since I got the phone, because I still can't figure out how to personalize ringtone for iphone lol). Whenever I get a notification, I can't help but to feel a tinge of apprehension.  


So yeah, in the past week, I'm trying to avoid checking my phone for the sake for checking my phone and learn to sleep latest at midnight on weekdays.

On weekends, I let myself indulge in my favourite pasttime - Arashi (●♡∀♡))ヾ☆


Finally watched the music video of Arashi's Aozora no Shita, Kimi no Tonari. I love it, definitely on my top five favourite music videos. The behind-the-scenes footages are great too; love the color scheme as pictured above. The chemistry between the members are great as usual. Outdoor location shoots are really the best. Beats studio shoots for sure. Has it really been six years since the last outdoor shoot? Man if they didn't mention it, I wouldn't have realized either. This was shot in a quiet countryside train station, which I am now determined to find on my next trip to Tokyo. I love spending time by myself, doing things that makes me happy. I hope to continue allowing myself time for myself, because I honestly don't like how things are working right now. A change is necessary.


Sunday, January 24, 2016

JSP'12: Miyagi & Tokyo - Final Days


The final spurt! Yay! This chapter is coming to a close (at last) after four years hahahaha I'll be combining the finals days in one post, as it wasn't that eventful for a day-by-day breakdown anyways. Giving myself a pat at the back for persevering through, not sure if I can replicate the same attention to details (hmm questionable) for other trips though hahaha we'll see we'll see! I must say though, this batch of photos looks so much better than the previous post hahahaha the final day in Miyagi was spent on cultural activities with international students!


We did stuff like ikebana (flower arrangement).


Kneeled on tatami mats for traditional tea ceremony.

Our legs were certified dead after the experience hahaha

Make kimono out of origami, I made two of these hahaha greedy.


Caligraphy


Tried on traditional kimono too!


 and then the guide told me that its actually for weddings hahahaha fml 

Bento lunch. 


I love the variety of colors in the meals we've had. Everything seems so simple, and the portions are not that big but you definitely feel really full after, probably due to the variety of textures and tastes. The green powder on the bottom left, that's green tea salt to dip the tenpura vegetables in. I still remember how good it tasted until today! Damn, they should have it here in restaurants! After lunch, it was an afternoon of talks where we hear about international students' experiences on living and studying in Japan. Mannn, I want to live and study in Japan too. 


Then it's makan time again hehe we had buffet, look at my dessert haul. Ah youth.


Unglam night spent doing laundry hahahaha I had to go right back to university after this trip and I've got a week's worth of dirty clothes. Might as well do laundry right away since the facility is there. Bonus laundry room selfie!


There's also a communal bath which I dared not challenge at the time hahahaha 


Next day's #ootd color scheme, a bit on the aggresive side lol


The hotel staff made banners to see us off and stood in the cold to wave for the longest time!


Bento lunch in the bus. Lotsa meat and fried stuff mmm.


By the time we arrived Tokyo, it was already late afternoon almost evening as the bus kindly made several stops at the rest areas along the way. We checked-in to Shinagawa Prince Hotel and rested, before heading out for dinner. After dinner, free time exploring the city! We went to Shinjuku this time!







Hmm maybe we got out of the less-happening exit, but Shinjuku didn't really met my expectations hahahaha it wasn't as vibrant or effervescent as I thought it'd be. I believe it was this visit that shaped my lacklustre impression towards Shinjuku. It is only until a few years later that I regained a more favourable impression hahahaha more about that (muchhh) later lolol after a short exploration, we gave up searching for excitement. With the train service ending soon, we went back to the hotel. I stayed-in and watched Nino cook hahahahah no joke, Arashi every day on the tele! It's always so fascinating to watch him do things, and see which hand he uses since he's naturally left-handed yet trained since young to use his right hand too.


A good night's rest after that and an early morning on the following day. Important day! We were invited to visit Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the organizers of the Japan Study Program 2012. Without them, we wouldn't be there! I even brought along my baju kurung to fancy it up a little hahahaha there were some short talks on education in Japan before each of us were called out on-stage to receive an official certificate of participation. 



On our way to lunch, spotted this lonely tree blooming in the midst of skyscrapers! 


PLUM BLOSSOMS? CHERRY BLOSSOMS??


It was so unexpected! Everyone went crazy and started snapping photos like mad. The guides just smiled understandingly and allowed us as much time as possible. Here it was snowing just days before in Tokyo, and now flowers have started blooming to welcome spring. Thinking back, this was just two weeks before the sakura season, which may be why certain trees have warmed up in advance and started blooming so beautifully. Here's a selfie because I was one of the firsts to run over for my shot (kiasu tak) now have to wait for everyone else lol I haven't discovered concealer at this point of life, which explains the dark circles under my eyes hahahah


After lunch, went back to hotel to freshen up and again, free time to explore the city! This time, in daylight instead of night hahahaha bought candy from a little seasonal fair at the hotel lobby. These homemade rosehip candies were so damn good, I still remember it so clearly. Urgh want. 


Attacked Harajuku!


Got Converse shoes for like RM90 - still wear it until today!


Next morning, it was time to fly back to Malaysia boohoo


Not before a group shot of fellow Malaysians!


Ferris wheel on the way to airport.


Back in Narita Airport.


Saw a familiar figure from the corner of my eyes. Hi Nino ♥


Boarding soon oh noes


Boarding real real soon oh noooes


Bye Japan #uglysobs


So lucky to be flying JAL! Here's the lunch meal set hehe


Watched VS Arashi in the plane! The air was so dry I couldn't take it, mask on!


And that officially wraps up the Japan Study Program 2012. Man, it was such an amazing experience. Once in a lifetime. I'm so glad my first ever trip to this beautiful country happened like this so unexpectedly, I wouldn't have it any other way. I owe it all to the Japanese class teacher who nominated me for this program. Since then, many participants have gone to live and study in Japan, even until today. Hope one day I can be in that category too. 


Thank you, Japan.