I want to remember this.

It’s funny. I always think it’s quite difficult to write about my week when I’m having a bad week because I don’t want to seem mopey or whiney and I just, I mean, who likes showing the world (lol as if the world reads my blog) how they screw up? But I have found that it is as hard, if not harder, to write about my week when things are going particularly well. It’s the same reason why writing a cover letter can be so difficult—tooting your own horn isn’t comfortable at all. Or at least, for me it’s not.

All of which is to say, things have been going well as of late.

I had so much fun last Tuesday in particular. First, my Astronomy homework deadline got ~extended~ one week so that was grrrreat. Tuesdays are also when movies are half off at the local cinema so Hui Jie, Jamie and I went to see Beauty and the Beast. It was so… Disney. And I loved it. I mean, objectively speaking, it’s not a great movie in the sense that I probably wouldn’t rewatch it the way I do Princess Diaries or Pitch Perfect but it was like all the feelings you get when you go to Disneyland, put into a movie. I think Be Our Guest was my favourite scene and you’ll just have to see it to know why.

A few days before we watched the movie though, Jamie tagged the two of us in this old Facebook post of a video where someone dubbed a scene from Beauty and the Beast with Singaporean slang which was really popular at the time. Anyway, so when the equivalent of that scene came on when we watched it on Tuesday, I just could NOT help laughing because I was replaying the Singaporean version in my mind!!! It was really funny but then Hui Jie got annoyed with me because it disrupted her swooning LOL.

Us, after the movie!

Hui Jie and I also went to Zavino for early dinner before the movie. We got our fav: rosemary flatbread with ricotta. The dish, I think, is meant to be a small plate appetizer type thing but we get it as mains because it’s that good. The whole time we ate, we were just like “oh my god” “oh my god this is so good” “this is amazing”. It was also between 4.30-6.30pm so some small plates are half off! Basically, last Tuesday was like… discount day.

She insisted on being in the picture, LOL

This past week, I also had the chance to sit down with Professor Caroline Connolly. I took Introduction to Psychology with her in my very first semester at Penn, then I took a seminar (10-person, discussion-based class) on Young Adulthood in Developmental Psychology last semester and now I’m one of her TAs for her current Intro class. She had heard that I’m working on this audio piece about graduation (I don’t think I’ve mentioned that on here yet, but yeah, I am, and I promise I’ll say more about that later once I have a better idea of what it’s going to look like) and she just wanted to chat about it. It was really cool because we literally sat for two and a half hours talking about graduation, the period right after it which often makes us feel like we’re “flailing” around, about whether college is “worth it”, studying abroad (she studied in Ireland!) and about building character at this age/life stage.

I also liked getting to learn a lot more about her, her background and family etc and I really liked that because there are very few professors I know beyond classroom interactions. If you know me, you’ll know I hate having very surface-level relationships and interactions (I’m always secretly dying inside when people talk about the weather) so it’s nice to just have real relationships with professors, if that makes sense. It makes them seem so much more… human and approachable. Not that she wasn’t human before, but my writing professor Jamie-Lee once said that she thinks if students see professors around campus, walking their dog or going for a run or eating the same places they do, it helps to combat the idea that college is this high-pressure, mechanical place. I get what she means, but I don’t really know how to explain.

It was also a pretty productive week, I just felt like a got a lot of work done while also managing to binge the new-ish HBO miniseries, Big Little Lies and play a ton of Sporcle quizzes, hahaha. Plus, some of what made this week a good one was just little things like hearing from my friend Aish who messaged me and Shahirah last Wednesday, having a great time with Hui Jie and Ken on our every-Tuesday-and-Thursday-after-Astronomy lunches and just putting together good breakfasts for myself.

I also had a great end to the week. On Sunday afternoon, I had my first “practice” for a show I’m going to be in, called Penn Monologues! It’s a show where about 12 students read personal essays and I guess the whole point is about demonstrating how we’re all connected through storytelling and sharing experiences. The proceeds from the show are going to be donated to a local social justice organisation. I’ve never performed in this capacity before so it should be interesting. I’m excited to work with my amazing friend Clare who is the director for the show. Yesterday, we went through my essay, talked about some edits and ways to practice on my own so, yeah… a lot of work to do on that front.

Later that night night was “Sing, City! 6” which is Club Singapore’s once-in-every-two-years (is there a word for that?) musical production. I had so much fun hearing Singlish (Singaporean English), which is very very similar to Manglish (Malaysian English) on stage at Penn. There were a lot of times throughout the show where I was like, “are the Americans here going to understand that?” and then I realise that it doesn’t matter because this show wasn’t made for them, or for them to so easily understand everything. There were “subtitles” to translate certain terms like encik but they mention things and places like A-Levels and Tanjong Pagar without any context and I just liked how cultural shows signal who the show is “for” in that way and it’s an interesting learning experience for people who aren’t from that culture. Anyway, the directors , Oliver and Rebecca live across me and Shahirah and I was so proud of them for how hard they’ve worked despite having little to no experience putting on a show. My good friend Jamie was the logistics chair, and I know how hard she worked securing venue and getting food and helping out with odd ends and I was SO PROUD of her, I screamed so loud and was tearing up like the sappy person I am when she went up on stage at the end of the show. I genuinely respect and admire their spirit (as Hui Jie calls it, the Singaporean spirit) to go all out with anything they do and to work tirelessly to make up for lack of experience.

The opening of the show. Note the (blurry) girl in SIA uniform.

Oliver and Rebecca giving their thanks at the end of the show

Anyway, I’m sorry this was late. On one hand, I couldn’t bring myself to write such a happy post, and on the other hand I also wanted to include the show which ended late night on Sunday on here so here I am writing last week’s post on Monday. Looking ahead I have… an astronomy midterm *cowers down in agony* so I really need to get back to studying for that. Until next time, I hope you enjoyed reading. These are the kinds of weeks I just really want to remember when I look back on my time at Penn.

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Getting Locked Out / Girls Night In

Last Wednesday, I felt like I needed to really sit down and churn out some papers. So, I decided to skip my Penn Perspectives lecture, get some soup for takeout and just plop myself on my desk for a whole night. I got back, put my bags and food on the dinner table and before I could sit down or even take my tudung or coat off, I thought “oh, I should get some detergent from CVS first before I get too comfortable”. Then I went right back out and as soon as I heard the apartment door shut behind me, I realised… I left my key inside.

Our apartment building has this thing where after office hours, you have to pay $75 to get a lockout key so there way no way I was doing that. I texted and called my roommate Shahirah but she wasn’t replying. I asked my friend Jamie who also lives in this building if she was home but no, she wouldn’t be until much later. Just as I was about to explain what was happening to my parents/family WhatsApp group… my phone died. Of course. I just waited at the lobby for someone I knew to come by and I could ask them to borrow their phone/charger and eventually, Rebecca came! She lent me her phone and then we went up to her apartment and I chilled there for a while as I waited for Shahirah to reply.

I was getting really antsy at this point because I had a lot of work to do by that night!!! I was extra frustrated because it was all my fault, too. After about 1-2 hours went past, I decided I couldn’t wait any longer because I was starving (my poor soup on my table getting cold all by itself!) and I needed to do work. Luckily, I had a few dollars in cash and the key to my Psych lab in Levin because there was a computer designated for my use and a phone charger there. So, at like 9-something PM, I got $2.50 rice from a food truck and went to my lab to use the computer and worked from scratch (my fault, again, for not putting my doc on a cloud service, which I usually do without fail).

By the time I got there, I unsurprisingly already had a headache (I’m the kind of person who needs to eat on time unless I’m unusually full from lunch or whatever) and was stressed to the bones. But yeah, about 3 hours after I was first locked out, Shahirah finally replied and unlocked the door and I went home after finishing some of my work on the lab computer. Ahhh you know the feeling when you clear your schedule to do something but then you screw up and your entire plan goes out the window? Gosh, that was unpleasant.

Later that night, I cheekily texted my parents talking about how one mistake always leads to like 5 other problems (hunger, headache, stress etc…) and I said “well, moral of the story: it is never ok to make mistakes, you have to do things 100% perfectly 100% of the time! LOL jk” but my dad replied “Yes. True” HAHAHA. And you wonder how I became so intense!

But yeah, I was just thinking about that yesterday when I told my friend Hui Jie I didn’t have anything to write about for my blog. It’s funny how quickly we forget things sometimes! It’s also funny how the wheel turns. I felt sooo cranky that night and because of my headache, I went right to sleep when I got back. But I guess I forgot that pretty quickly because the rest of my week went pretty spectacularly. 🙂

Earlier that Wednesday, I went to Mark Pollack’s International Political Economy lecture because I knew the week after Spring Break was when he spends two classes talking about international financial crises and conditionality and I was so glad I got to sit in that lecture again! (If you don’t remember, I have already taken this class two semesters ago… that’s just how much I liked it) On Thursday, I had my first official class since before spring break (!!!!!) because class was cancelled on Tuesday and I don’t really have class on Monday and Wednesday (other than classes where I am the TA, not the student). And on Friday, I teman-ed Hui Jie to Delaware to buy her new Macbook! She decided to go all the way there because you save like $140—Delaware is tax free. I had a lot of fun on a mini road trip, getting to DJ!!! I made a playlist just for it.

When we came back to Philly, we had pizza for dinner and some Lil Pop Shop popsicles! Their earl grey black pepper ice cream sounds a little weird but I promise you, it is a delight. Jamie came over. We watched Princess Diaries. My friends all laughed at how many lines of the movie I knew (A LOT).

So I don’t know… I guess that’s the story of how my meh week turned into a really good one? Hahaha. Anyway, I did quite a bit of work today and I am soooo ready to just chill and read a book or watch a movie but I’m about to do the most arduous task of all: LAUNDRY. I have been puttingo it off for way too long, so until next week, thanks for reading! 🙂

Gems from a battered moleskine

Last December, I finished all the pages of the Moleskine I had kept for 2 years. It was filled with quotes, favourites song lyrics, and fragments of thoughts too skimpy for a blog post. Come the new year, I actually went through all of them and picked out 10 of my favourite quotes, thinking I’d include it in my “2016” blog post but it didn’t quite fit into my new year blog post and I never got around to making a separate one dedicated solely to it (or maybe I thought there was no point). But I just dug through old notes in my Notes app today and I found this. It made me really happy to read through them again, so I thought I’d post it.

“I decided then that I will never be jealous. I will never be vengeful. I won’t be threatened by the old, or by the new. I’ll open wide like a daisy every morning. I will make my work.” — Lena Dunham, in Not That Kind of Girl

“You will never climb Career Mountain and get to the top and shout ‘I Made It!’. You will rarely feel done or complete or even successful. Most people I know struggle with that complicated soup of feeling slighted on one hand and like a total fraud on the other. […] It doesn’t matter how much you get; you are left wanting more. Success is filled with MSG.” — Amy Poehler, in Yes Please

“I had a desire, and people said I had talent… but then what?” — Viola Davis

“Tonight we feast on the labour of centuries. Because we do, everyday and every night, the good things that we have in our lives are mostly because other people worked to make life better… and all I can ask is that my forgotten labours will add to the forgotten labours of other people that have made life on earth better. We matter because we make life better for people around us, and also people in the future. The story of humanity is not the story of a few people who had a huge gigantic effect on the world. That’s only the story we hear because it’s the easy story to tell.” — Hank Green, Redefining What it Means to Matter

“How’s this for feminist? I almost never understand why anyone would want to talk to me or read what I write. I’m still fighting something in my gut that suspects I’m so much more mediocre than I realise.” — Ashley Ford, in Women of the Hour ep. 1

“There are no more zero days. What’s a zero day? A zero day is when you don’t do a single thing towards whatever dream or goal or want or whatever that you got going on. No more zeros. I’m not saying you gotta bust an essay out everyday, that’s not the point. The point I’m trying to make is that you have to make yourself, promise yourself, that the new SYSTEM you live in is a NON-ZERO system. Didn’t do anything all day and it’s 11:58 PM? Write one sentence. One pushup. Read one page of that chapter. One. Because one is non zero.” — ryans01, in this reddit post (profanity omitted)

“We are brought up in the ethic that others, any others, all others, are by definition more interesting than ourselves; taught to be diffident, just this side of self-effacing. […] The rest of us are expected, rightly, to affect absorption in other people’s favorite dresses, other people’s trout. And so we do. But our notebooks give us away, for however dutifully we record what we see around us, the common denominator of all we see is always, transparently, shamelessly, the implacable “I.” We are not talking here about the kind of notebook that is patently for public consumption, a structural conceit for binding together a series of graceful [reflections]; we are talking about something private, about bits of the mind’s string too short to use, an indiscriminate and erratic assemblage with meaning only for its maker.” — Joan Didion, in On Keeping a Notebook

“If you live for external achievement, years pass and the deepest parts of you go unexplored and unstructured. You lack a moral vocabulary. It is easy to slip into a self-satisfied moral mediocrity. You grade yourself on a forgiving curve. You figure as long as you are not obviously hurting anybody and people seem to like you, you must be OK. But you live with an unconscious boredom, separated from the deepest meaning of life and the highest moral joys. Gradually, a humiliating gap opens between your actual self and your desired self, between you and those incandescent souls you sometimes meet.” — David Brooks, in The Moral Bucket List

“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” — Audre Lorde

“Nobody tells people who are beginners—and I really wish someone had told this to me—but all of us who do creative work, we get into it and we get into it because we have good taste. But it’s that gap. For the first couple of years that you’re making stuff, what you’re making isn’t so good. Ok, it’s not that great. It’s trying to be good, it has ambition to be good, but it’s not quite that good. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, your taste is still killer. Your taste is good enough that you can tell that what you’re making is kind of a disappointment to you. A lot of people never get past that phase. A lot of people, when they get to that point, they quit. And the thing I would just like say to you with all my heart is that most everybody I know who does interesting creative work, they went through a phase of years where they had really good taste and they could tell what they were making wasn’t as good as they wanted it to be; they knew it fell short, it didn’t have this special thing that we wanted it to have and the thing I would say to you is, everybody goes through that.” — Ira Glass on “the gap”

I hope these electrify you as much as it does me. ❤ I’ll write again tomorrow! Until then.

LOS ANGELES, CA.

I am so in denial over not being in LA right now. I had such a good time there and I’m so glad I made the leap and decided to go even though I didn’t have anyone to travel with. I initially wanted to go to San Francisco or maybe even Airbnb a super cute Brooklyn apartment but SF tickets were super expensive and my sister was like “ala tak nak la New York lagi…” lol. Since I had never been to the West Coast and LA flights were pretty cheap, I ended up going there. And this might just be hindsight bias or cognitive dissonance or whatever else we’ve learned in Psychology but I’m so glad I ended up going to LA! In a weird way, LA kind of reminded me of KL—the sprawl of the city, less-than-ideal public transport, sun. And… I don’t know. There was just something about it.

So, I left my apartment in Philly at like 3.45AM or something ridiculous like that because I had a 6AM flight on Spirit. I was too cheap to pay for seats obviously, so I got the aisle seat. I don’t care what most people think; to me, if it’s not a window seat, they all equally suck. Luckily, the window seat on my row was free so I woke up the dude sleeping peacefully in the middle seat, scooted over and slept my way to LA.

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Then began my struggle with LA public transport. I was staying at UCLA (thank you again Xen and Serena if you’re reading this!!!) so I had to take the bus there but it comes only at the top of every hour and because my plane landed at like 9.07AM, there was a lot of waiting to do. Thank god Ed Sheeran’s album had just come out so I was content sitting there with my earphones. I should also say ‘÷’ became the definitive soundtrack of my trip and I already know that when I listen to it years from now, I’ll get flashbacks of LA sun.

Serena and I spent Sunday walking around Melrose Avenue. On the way there, thanks to Uber Pool, I got a really nice view of Beverly Hills and Bel Air and oh my god. It was just… so nice… to just… look at. Every house looked like the kind of house you’d see in the background of celebrity pap shots and surely enough, around the corner, there were people selling maps to celebrities’ houses haha. Anyway, as much as I enjoyed treating my eyes to the beautiful Beverly Hills area (which is basically Bukit Bintang x 10 but super clean), that wasn’t where I was going. We visited the Melrose Trading Post which is basically a flea market, and we looked at really pretty shops from the outside and took lots of pictures in front of murals. It was a drizzly afternoon though so poor Serena had to carry around this huge rented UCLA umbrella the whole day, haha. Then we went to ~Hollywood~ to see the most touristy places: Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, Walk of Fame, Dolby Theatre, etc etc. I literally looked around for 10 minutes and was like ok what’s next? Seriously, the Walk of Fame is hardly an attraction. It’s literally pavement. But I mean, if you’re in LA for the first time I guess you “have” to or whatever, haha.

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This is where the Oscars are held!

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Grauman’s Chinese Theatre

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Anyway, my favourite part of the day was going to Griffith Observatory. I guess people go for the view more than anything. Serena asked me if I wanted to go to for the observatory or just to see the outside of it and I was like, “are you kidding? I am struggling through Astronomy right now, the last place I want to go to is an observatory.” Heh. But we went at about sunset and the view really was breathtaking. My phone died as soon as we got there though, so we actually did end up going inside… to look for a power outlet, haha. Serena’s phone ran out of battery too so we really needed a charger because a cab was going to cost us a bomb to get back to campus (this one guy said it’d be about $40…) and we needed to call an Uber. After I charged my phone, we went outside to get picked up and my phone did the thing where it goes down to like 5% or whatever and the car was still like 10 minutes away and the power bank was out of power and it was the most stressful part of the trip. I even memorised the car’s plate number because I didn’t want to keep checking my phone for it and actually, now that I think about it, I oddly still remember the driver’s name and license plate number lol.

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The next few days were mostly spent wandering about LA on my own and even though I knew I’d be fine, I actually found myself enjoying it way more than I thought. My apprehensions about travelling alone were mostly surrounding navigation (I’m somewhat directionally challenged) and um… I guess you could say “photography” (basically I had no one to take pictures of me!!!) but it actually turned out fine and I really liked it because I could kind of just… do whatever I wanted.

I ate wherever I wanted, I stayed at any place I went for how long I wanted and I just did whatever I wanted. It sounds self-centered, I know, but I was alone so I could, and I dare you to tell me it doesn’t sound appealing. I got to stay for a super long time at the Toba Khedoori exhibit at LACMA without worrying about the rest of my group wanting to move on to the next building. I stayed for an extra long time at brunch, sitting in my corner drinking grapefruit juice and writing in my journal quietly. It, was, pure bliss.

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Brunch at Republique

On Monday, I went Downtown by bus/Metro. I took the bus to Hollywood from Westwood, and stopped by at Amoeba Music on my way. Then I took the metro downtown. It’s quite clear that the Metro isn’t the most popular mode of transport—it was literally sunyi sepi at the Hollywood & Vine station. When I got there, I had lunch at Grand Central Market which was pretty cool. I’m sure most things there were really good but I had heard about Eggslut from, well, Instagram to be honest, and I had known for months that I’d eat there if ever went to LA. They had baked eggs with potato puree and a hint of salt and chives and as a huge fan of eggs, I have to say that went down as eggs in one of its best forms. Ugh. Amazing. I really liked Downtown LA in general. It felt a bit more like New York; more skyscrapers and old historic buildings, sans a lot of the bustle. It was also here where I finally made my way to a Blue Bottle even though I had been meaning to pay one of their cafes in New York a visit every time I’ve been in the city. I had their New Orleans iced coffee and it was just perfect. They also served me my miso cookie in a chemex filter, which I thought was a really nice touch. And oh my god, the whole cafe was beautiful—I felt like I was having coffee at an Apple store.

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Grand Central Market

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Walt Disney Concert Hall

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When I sent Jamie a bunch of photos of this place, she responded to this specific one, with “omg dayana ❤️❤️❤️ immaculately dressed man executing the perfect pourover” LOL.

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My favourite place in the area was definitely The Last Bookstore, highly recommended to me by friends and LA Uber drivers. It was a really cool place, with a “labyrinth” of shelves upstairs leading to a little hallway of cute artsy shops. I must’ve spent over an hour there on the couch, laughing to myself reading Texts from Jane Eyre.

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On Tuesday, I spent a very long time at LACMA after an insanely good brunch (shoutout to Republique for their amazing creme brulee bomboloni, ugh). Like I said earlier, I spent an insanely long time at Toba Khedoori’s exhibit, chatting with an art student who helped me think about the pieces and “how we fit in them” which was really cool. Then I walked like 20 minutes to The Grove. I really liked their Farmers’ Market and I would’ve tried some food there if I wasn’t so full from brunch. The shopping area whatever you call it was very Disneyland-like which I guess compensated in some small way for me not dedicating a day to Anaheim, haha. I obvs didn’t do any shopping, but the weather was absolutely beautiful so I spent quite a bit of time lying on the grass the comfy blankets they provided and read a couple of chapters of Gloria Steinem’s My Life on the Road, which is my March read. Then, on my way back to campus, my Uber driver (very politely) scolded me for not investing 15 extra dollars to see the Picasso and Rivera exhibit at LACMA, haha.

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I got to hang out with Serena and Xen later than evening, and they actually took me to one of UCLA’s dining halls which were all insanely fancy. Seriously, they make Commons and Kings Court look really sad in comparison. It was also strange to think that had I not gotten into Penn, I would’ve gone to UCLA and that campus with its hotel-like dining halls, winding roads, uphill treks and ideal weather could have very well been my life.

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I spent my last day in LA at Venice. I wasn’t quite sure how that was going to work since I planned to go straight to the airport from the beach, meaning I’d have my suitcase with me. Thankfully, my googling skills revealed that Hotel Erwin helps people store bags for like $5 and they gave me complimentary sunblock and a towel and it was all good. I had lunch at Eggslut again because, well, you know… eggs. And also because it was right next to Hotel Erwin so I just… I had to.

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😍😍😍

Venice reminded me a bit of Port Dickson meets Batu Ferringhi, if they were like 50x cleaner and full of white people. I saw the Venice Canals which were so pretty, but there was like absolutely nothing for me to do there other than look at it so I literally sat on the side of the bridge for a bit, just enjoying the weather and the view.

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I think it is worth mentioning that I can’t quite remember when I last went to a beach. June 2015?! Even then, it was just so that I could get on a boat and—oh my god, this is definitely a huge digression but as I typed that last sentence, I just remembered that I think in 2015 in Phuket, I embarrassed myself at the beach when I screamed everyone’s bloody eardrums out when a monkey approached my boat, lol yikes. Anyway. So it’s been forever since I’ve been to a beach. (I’m 100% prepared for one of my sisters to text me being like “we went to the beach last summer -_-” but for now I’m pretty sure 2015 was the last time)

Anyway, anyway, anyway! Ok. Venice. Focus, Dayana. So yes, I took my free towel and trekked to the beach. I say trek because it was so tiring to walk across the beach to get close enough to the water… like the sand was so deep and my legs are… pretty weak I guess. It reminded me of when those teams in Amazing Race season 28 had to lead some camels through the desert—not quite the same thing, but it reminded me of that. I took a nap at the beach, read another chapter of my book and just relaxed to the sound of the waves. I did not get into the water, if you can believe it. And if you know me you probably can totally believe it because I don’t like the way sand sticks to your feet once you’ve stepped on water and I hate getting wet in general. Plus, I packed really light and didn’t have spare clothes or even sandals. I literally went to the beach with my Flyknits and a Longchamp bag with my Macbook in it because I didn’t want to leave it at the hotel lol. And I was fully aware of how silly it all might have looked but I was just having the time of my life that I didn’t care at all.

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I really liked Venice, especially Abbot Kinney Boulevard. There were lots of cute shops and restaurants there. Huset was this adorable store selling Scandinavian homeware and I was so excited to see the candles I almost bought at the Copenhagen airport last December. I visited the Toms flagship store, went into Warby Parker for the first time (even though there’s literally a store on like 15th and Walnut or something in Center City) and I had the best damn ice cream OF. MY. LIFE. at Salt & Straw. When I got the first spoon of my taste test, I got the same feeling I had when I took the first sips of coffee at Monmouth in London and Devocion in New York, i.e. I was just absolutely transported. It must’ve been really popular too, given the queue went around the block. I tried Honey Lavender and oh my god it was sooo good. When I first arrived in Westwood on Sunday morning, I made a quick visit to Saffron & Rose, this Persian ice cream place and I thought that was the best ice cream ever. I guess it was, but by Wednesday it was dethroned when I had Honey Lavender at Salt & Straw. I also got their salty caramel flavour because salted caramel is my favourite dessert flavour of all time. I told Rafael, the guy who served me, that I like saltiness in ice cream so much that I sometimes joke I wish they’d make an ice cream that was salt with caramel instead of a bit of salt on caramel. He was immediately like, “oh, then you’re in for a treat because that’s what this is” and oh my god, it really was. I just realised I’ve spent most of this paragraph talking about this ice cream place and you know what… I am more than ok with that because Salt & Straw really deserves it.

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I went back to the beach that evening to have early dinner and, I have to say, an ibuprofen. The sun was getting to be a bit much, haha, and I knew if I let the headache continue for even a little longer, the flight back to Philly would not have been a pleasant one. I watched the sunset on the beach with my salmon poke bowl in all my contentment with the sweet sounds of Justin Bieber’s most recent hits blaring from the boardwalk.

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And that’s… pretty much it. I picked up my suitcase and made my way to LAX without incident so, no, no celebrity sightings. Although, now that I think about it, when Serena and I were on Melrose, we heard a bunch of people going like “Oh my god, isn’t that Skrillex? I met him at the Grammys!” LA, amirite? Hahaha I don’t even know if they were right, but the guy they were talking about did at least look like Skrillex. But yeah, LAX is a pretty crappy airport (the guys behind me in line were all wishfully talking about Changi while in line for security) and despite not wanting to leave LA, I was desperate to get out of the airport. I told my family that it reminded me of Subang Parade circa 2000.

I got into Philly early in the morning, about 4.30AM. I was asleep by six and woke up at noon. I am admittedly a little bit jet lagged still, even though the time difference between the coasts is only 3 hours. I probably could have gotten over it last night if Kim and I hadn’t caught the 11PM screening of Get Out. I’m not one for horror films—Kim and I seriously were gasping and squealing non stop throughout the entire movie—but though Get Out is decidedly not enough to convert me into a scary movie person, I did think it was well thought out, unique and had great cinematography.

Anyway. It’s like 5.45PM in the evening as I write this and I have to get ready to go to dinner. I hope you liked this post and I’m sorry I didn’t post anything last week—I was labouring over 5 other written pieces all due on Sunday and my writing juices were all spent. Plus, nothing happened last week. So I’ll make up for it next week or something. I hope you had a good week, enjoy the weekend!

P.S. It took all the strength I had in my body to not title this post with some La La Land reference. I just thought it would be too cliche, even for me.