PHUKET, THAILAND

I think it’s amazing when you stay at the same resort a fourth time and you still enjoy it as much as you did the first time. I don’t think my family goes back to the same hotel in the same city very often, but we have stayed at Phuket’s JW Marriott four times in the past 10 years because it is one of the best places to just have a nice chill week. This resort is the best place for that just because of the amenities.

The health club is probably my favourite part. It’s physically a gym, but it’s also the center that organises lots of group activities like yoga on the patio by the pool, “cooking” classes, facial lessons, etc. They also have bicycles, books and DVDs for you to borrow so we usually make the most of that. We didn’t do any island hopping or shopping because we had already done those things on previous visits, plus my dad was under the weather for the first few days and we all just wanted to hang out and do relaxing activities.

Somehow, on that holiday, we started a routine of watching one movie a day. Over the 6 nights we were all there, we watched Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Kubo and the Two Strings, Jurassic World, Sing, Moneyball and Hugo. Julia and I left one night early because of a booking snafu haha, but Aida and my parents watched Life on the last night. We watched a lot of animated movies because my mom particularly loves them. I think my favourite movie was Moneyball but without a doubt, our collective favourite in terms of viewing experience was Jurassic World—not because we really loved the movie but because we just ripped it apart.

My mom couldn’t stop making remarks about how Jessica Chastain wore high heels throughout the whole thing, and my sister made comments about how the kids’ hairs still looked good even after they jumped down a waterfall. The most insane part in the entire movie, in my humble opinion, had nothing to do with dinosaurs but was when one of the boys could still use the matches in his bag even after it had been in the water. And when Chris Pratt and Jessica Chastain kissed towards the end of the movie, we were all really annoyed, like “OH, COME ON!!!” because it was such typical Hollywood nonsense, hahaha. Anyway, I went off on a tangent, lol.

We did do some fun stuff that we couldn’t have done at home as well, we didn’t just watch movies the whole time, haha. We had a thai language class which was really cool, a short class about how to do a face massage at the spa, played Pétanque, did yoga, went to the beach and visited the hotel’s small turtle conservatory.

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My parents at the thai language class

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Facial massage class at the spa

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Playing Pétanque (or trying to play Pétanque)

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The first time I ever climbed a tree!

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Our only family picture from the trip haha

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My parents taking a selfie; it was too cloudy to watch a nice sunset but I still love a good lie on the beach

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We visited the conservatory (which helps treat disabled turtles!) during feeding time. We didn’t get to feed them anything because all the little kids were so eager we figured we’d just leave it to them, haha.

My favourite activity we did at the hotel though was definitely the one where we learned to make mango sticky rice. Because we’re so used to using santan straight from the box we get at the supermarket, we’ve never actually had to scrape the isi from the actual coconut, but that day, we got to have that experience. Of course, my parents were all like “yeah, you know girls, this is how we had to do it when we were little when there were no machines… etc etc” haha.

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When we were done scraping the flesh into little shredded bits, we poured water into it and squeezed the coconut milk out. This was my favourite part because I love the smell of santan and it also made my hands feel super smooth. But with that said, I’m definitely going to stick to buying santan from the box. It’s just not worth the time and effort.

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Then, we had to cook it, sweeten it and add salt etc to thicken the milk. Honestly, the smell at this point is just intoxicating. And since the sticky rice—or as we call it, pulut—was already cooked for us, all that was left was to do was peel/cut the mangoes, which is probably one of my favourite fruits, if not my absolute favourite.

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Julia, my mum and me with our Health Club aprons, hehe

It was so good and so much fun! Not only did we get to make it, we got to eat a lot of it as well.

The only day we actually ventured into Phuket town was Tuesday, and it was only for half a day. In all honesty, we primarily just wanted to go into town to visit this restaurant we went to 2 years ago called Pantai because the food was amazing and also to buy more groceries for the rest of our stay. Basically, we went out to eat food and buy more food.

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(Part of) what we ordered for dinner. That green curry was so good!!

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We went to get groceries and saw some huge durians, which I LOVE.

On the last night, I really really wanted pad thai and tom kha but room service is too expensive and we all didn’t want to go out so we texted the driver who took us around Phuket a couple of years ago and (shamelessly but kindly!) asked him if he knew anyone in our area who could bring us food from outside, hahaha. We ended up being connected to someone else who got someone else still to get it for us, and I’m so thankful it worked out because the food was amazing.

We each had pad thai and we also ordered some kangkung, tom yam, tom kha and I had to get my thai iced tea of course.

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Sipping my thai tea while watching our movie of the day

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This is a screenshot of a boomerang of my tom kha, which is probably my favourite thai food (though many others come close).

I just love Thai food so much, and I think it’s because it’s really just adjacent to Malaysian food??? We didn’t eat that much Thai food despite being in Phuket for a whole week though because again, we didn’t want to leave the resort that much or spend a lot of money on food so we literally packed some groceries from home and cooked in the room. (#AsianParents? or no? Do other people do this too?)

Speaking of saving money on food, I should also tell you that the bakery at the hotel has this thing where its baked goods are half off after 9 p.m. (!!!) so on two nights, we actually paused our movie, left the room at like 8.45 in our pyjamas just to linger around the bakery up until the discount time and bought a lot of snacks!

Other than that, most of our time was spent doing crossword puzzles and playing Bananagrams together, two things that are so relaxing and so, so, so insanely exciting at the same time. I think those are probably our favourite family word games!

Hehe can you tell I didn’t take that many pictures? All of these are just saved from Snapchat/Instagram story.

So yeah, that’s pretty much it! We had such a good relaxing week there just chillin’ and spending time with each other without distractions. I’ll miss this beautiful resort until we come back the next time, inshaallah.

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(Belated) Selamat Hari Raya!

I just came back from an open house at my aunty’s place today, so I want to argue that it’s not too late to write a nice short post about hari raya. To my non-Malaysian friends, hari raya—or raya for short—is what we call Eid here (though, directly translated, hari just means day and raya kinda means general celebration).

I am thankful for getting to spend raya back home in Malaysia. Raya fell on a Sunday and I was in Philly until Friday morning (and didn’t even buy my tickets until the Monday before that), which meant I arrived literally the night before raya. Though, I guess you could say I arrived just as hari raya started, since the month of Syawal actually starts at sundown but we’re getting a bit too technical here. I stayed in the US solely because I was waiting for my work authorisation to be approved before I could leave and alhamdulillah, by the grace of God, it got approved just in time. I was told it would get approved at the latest by July 12th, and considering how late in the process I applied, it wouldn’t be unusual at all for it to have taken the full processing time so I was already prepared to have to spend raya in the states for the first time. But then I got it approved about 3 weeks early! I am very confident that this was only possible because of how hard everyone was praying for me to come home for raya and I am so overcome by God’s mercy.

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Me at KLIA just after I arrived with puffy eyes from passing out on my flight from Doha. I sometimes use Snapchat to chronicle my 25-hour journey back home and this year, it was with an abnormal amount of newfound Penn pride, apparently.

So yeah, I arrived on Saturday night (and, if you follow me on Instagram, know that I did my usual stop-by-at-McDonalds-on-the-way-home thing!!). On Sunday, we spent the first raya morning in Klang with my dad’s family, as usual, because they’re nearest to where we live. We also had a small 1st birthday celebration for my “niece” (inverted commas because she’s actually my cousin’s baby so not really my niece I guess?), Amelia. Food was good, family time was good, and it was just an all round really good day.

Oh, and I should mention that no one outside of my immediate family knew I was coming home for raya! That made it extra exciting for me, although no one was particularly amused when they saw me that day because I already surprised everyone by coming home early for summer last year so they kinda expected it, lol. Still, I enjoy the look of happy surprise on everyone’s faces, and it was totally worth blocking all my cousins and other family members on Snapchat/Instagram for a couple of days, haha. One of my aunties was a little annoyed because I think she wished I would’ve spared her all the times she spent feeling down about the fact that I wasn’t going to taste her prawn briyani (which she knows I love). Hehe, oops. In my defense, it was totally my dad’s idea.

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My family

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My sisters and me, wearing my baju kurung from 4 years ago because I didn’t even have a new one for this year!

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Me with some of my cousins

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Almost the whole family on my dad’s side

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My friends Ken and May May, and Ken’s parents came to my aunty’s house for raya as well, which was so much fun!

In the evening on the first day, we usually fly off to Kuching (which is on East Malaysia, unreachable via land from the Peninsula, where I live (lol it’s funny explaining all of these things I take for granted, but you know, I never know who’s reading)) where my mum’s side of the family lives. My grandparents were especially happy to see me, which of course made me happy. The only thing was, I was kinda jet lagged. I thankfully slept through the previous night, but it was only because I was tired from travelling. I fell asleep at about 9-ish that night? I could still hear the sound of guests chatting and I hadn’t even changed out of my baju kurung, but I just couldn’t take it anymore. That happened again the next night, though a little bit later in the night… and honestly, that was kind of the extent of my jet lag, which is kind of impressive!

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Some of the parents and my grandparents on my mum’s side

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Almost all my cousins and my grandparents on my mum’s side

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My family waving us goodbye as we head out to the airport on the third day of raya

I usually go to Kuching once a year, so when we’re there we do some visiting, though significantly less so these days. We also try to squeeze in some time to buy kek lapis (layered cakes!) and mi kolok, which are the local goodies, since we’re not there very often. But this year, I’m not interning or anything in the summer so my sisters and I are making another visit in August, which should be fun! I haven’t made a trip to Kuching during non-raya season in a while and I’m excited to go to all the (food) places that are closed during raya.

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Other than that, this year’s raya has been relatively quiet, I think. I haven’t really gone to any open houses other than my family’s. If you’re not Malaysian, open houses are… I don’t know how to explain… these things where people just cook a lot of food and invite a lot of people over for the occasion and people do it throughout the entire month of Syawal—the month in the Islamic calendar when Eid takes place—so that they get to celebrate raya with as many people as possible I guess? We did dress up until day 4 though, which is pretty standard for us but some people really go all out with it.

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I got inventive and re-wore the top I wore to commencement with my sister’s baju kurung skirt

And that’s about it! To all my Muslim friends, belated-ish Eid Mubarak, I hope you all had a lovely one. I genuinely love seeing pictures of all my friends’ raya celebrations—the food, the dresses, the family pictures—it’s literally my favourite time of year to be on Instagram and Snapchat, haha. Also, in Malaysia, we ask for forgiveness during hari raya, so maaf zahir dan batin! Until next time ❤

When your week starts out strong…

I usually wait until the end of the week to blog but when your week starts out so strong, sometimes you just can’t resist pulling up that blank page on a Monday night.

Ken, Hui Jie and I are in Astronomy together which is kinda fun and kinda not. It’s not fun because I find phases of the moon super difficult to visualise and understand. It’s fun because I get to go through it with my friends—classes are always more fun with friends. Ken got a basketball, some chopsticks and a lamp to act as a makeshift solar system model (basketball was the earth, chopsticks were the earth’s axis and the lamp was the sun). We did our homework. It wasn’t easy. We had to explain why the U.S. experiences winter when Australia is going through summer and had to resist the temptation to say “BECAUSE IT JUST IS?!?!?”. It’s funny how you sometimes can’t explain the things you’ve taken for granted.

They ate some of the ricotta pancakes I made. It feels nice to have people eat the food I make. We sang along to The Last Five Years (one of my fav movies of all time) and dissected Jamie and Cathy’s relationship experiences for parts we found relatable so that was fun. It reminded me of lazy Sunday evenings in my aunty’s living room in Klang with my cousins. I guess these people are kind of like my family now.

Speaking of family, my friends Lisa and Nate are currently in Malaysia as Fulbright Scholars and they’ve both hung out with my family recently. That just makes me so happy and I can’t quite explain why? I like that Lisa and Nate are getting a little taste of my life back home just as I’ve somewhat had a feel for their lives here. I like that my friends are spending time with my parents/aunt. I just like it, it gives me good vibes all around. I hope they’re having a good time and are enjoying my homeland hehe.

This makes me so happy!!

Lisa with my Mak Long in Kuching

Anyway. I had a really good day today as well. I woke up early to go for Professor Pollack’s International Political Economy lecture. I’ve already taken IPE with him so I know it seems strange that I’m attending his classes again but I honestly don’t think I can get bored listening to him explain about Bretton Woods and the Gold Standard and the shift towards Keynesian economics. It feels like re-watching your favourite movie, you know? I can’t wait for the part where he talks about Dispute Settlement in the WTO and the Asian Financial Crisis!!!

After class, I did some reading (still reading The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr) and then Hui Jie and I went to the city for Restaurant Week. Restaurant Week is basically when restaurants offer a selected range of items from their menu for a fixed (cheaper) price so people usually go to try places they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford. Our birthdays are less than a month apart and since we both weren’t together for our birthdays, I liked today because this was kind like our belated pseudo-celebration. The weather was horrid today and I usually hate getting wet socks on rainy days but I had such a nice time that I didn’t mind.

Best tiramisu ever.

I just got back from Jamie’s. She was telling me about her New York trip while I did some work. I really wanna take a moment here to express how much I appreciate this girl. People always credit their friends for being good listeners but I love Jamie for coming to me to tell me about things, whether it’s the trivial stuff like finding a Chobani Cafe or a sale she’s excited about to the more serious ones that she trusts me with. It means so, so much to me.

Jamie at her desk.

It was the best Monday to have after a great weekend. I went for a morning run, cooked shakshuka, got a white chocolate peppermint drink and binge-watched series 1 of The Missing (watch the trailer!). It was so good. Zoe and Alfie (the vloggers, haha, my guiltiest pleasure) kept recommending it and when I saw that they only had 8 episodes I was like, “eh why not?” and oh my god it was so intense but so riveting. I saw a review that described it as “watching an insect slowly suffocate in a jar” though so maybe it’s not for everyone lol. But I think they say that because the shots are beautiful but the plot line is, again, intense and also emotionally taxing (it’s a show about a missing child, after all).

And while we’re on the note of pop culture/media stuff, might I recommend a few podcast episodes. On the Media, a podcast about media (like how the media covers/does not cover issues, how people react to media etc) ran a series called “Busted: The Poverty Myths” where they explore how poverty has been treated in the media, myths about poverty, and etc. It is just super informative and humanising—I highly recommend it. I also have been following The Truth for a while, but have only recently listened to their episodes. I listened to the one called “Dark End of the Mall” and it honestly blew my mind in a way I didn’t know audio shows could. They’re a fiction show, and their episodes are not serialised so you can listen to any one of them. I’ve only heard a few but I feel like “Dark End of the Mall” stood out as being above the rest. I also love Planet Money and this past week I’ve listened to “Jubilee! (?)” (Iceland “forgiving debts” of some of their citizens), “The Kansas Experiment” (aftermath of a Kansas senator dramatically lowering taxes) and “Don’t Believe the Hype” (about why people hate the Dow). I think some/all of these were reruns of old episodes but Planet Money is full of gold episodes so it’s always worth a listen.

Ok I thought I was going to write about some of the cooking recipes I’ve played with this past week but I’ve gone overboard with this post once again—maybe I should just dedicate a whole new category for weekly cooking posts lol. I just don’t think I’d be able to keep up with that! I don’t know. Maybe I’ll try it out soon.

Until next time ❤

HONG KONG

This is late. Like so, so late. I may have mentioned it briefly, but my family and I were in Hong Kong in August. It was hot. We were sweating almost everywhere we went. It’s kind of unfortunate, but if you ask any one of us about the trip, that’s probably the first thing we’ll tell you about it haha. That’s not to say we didn’t enjoy it there; I don’t know about the others but I loved Hong Kong. I really liked the efficiency, how clean it was, how modern it was, while at the same time flaunting its more rough (?) character.

Anyway. We filmed (if you can even call it that) a lot of bits and pieces while we were there and my sister Julia edited it into a video a while back and here it is! I feel like some parts are so silly and some things might not make sense to you because we provide little context (we’re not ~vloggers~ lol) but I hope you like it anyway!

 

Quizmas & London

SO ME RN.

I’m in London again, and it’s nice. 10-degree weather. Crossword puzzles. Harry Potter movies. Sporcle flags-of-the-world quiz. Watching The Chaser on TV. Cycling the relatively-empty streets at night. Doing the dishes while watching Narcos. Sleeping in until 10.30 am. Finishing book after book. Journaling before bed.

Between the World and Me ❤

Life feels slow. It feels easy. I had a nice day today. We went for a stroll along River Thames, came back to the apartment, watched some TV and then my sisters and I cooked dinner.

There were a bunch of things I had seen recipes of and have been wanting to try, so I decided we make stuffed mushrooms, mashed cauliflower and creamy tomato pasta. Cooking with my sisters is always so much fun because somehow or rather, we always end up laughing hysterically about something. You know the kind where you laugh so much you don’t make anymore sound? Yeah, like that. Today, for example, we couldn’t figure out what was wrong with the dishwasher—it started overflowing bubbles and for some reason that was just hilarious to us. Anyway! I think dinner turned out well, or at least, I was really happy with it and it actually wasn’t too difficult at all. I’m definitely going to try to make mashed cauliflower again when I go back to Penn.

The best part of being on holiday is probably family; playing Sporcle quizzes (which, if you know me, you know I just love) with other people is always 10x more fun. Julia and I played this Harry Potter logic quiz which is kind of like a Sudoku-style logic game and oh my god, we were hooked. We legit spent like 2 hours playing 3 of them (this one was our favourite!) and then we played the flags of the world quiz which for some reason is just always so satisfying. My sisters and I also have been toying around with this crossword puzzle book my mom bought recently but it’s so hard. I’ve only ever done one crossword puzzle in my life and that was Monday’s + with a help of a really smart friend (and, admittedly, a bit of googling). But yeah somehow we still really enjoyed playing them and as I described it yesterday, it “feels like I’m trying to save the universe by cracking some code” (except I was failing which was kinda stressful).

When you’re a visual thinker and you can’t write on your Sporcle screen…

I’m starting to see a puzzle/game-related trend with the stuff we’ve been doing on this holiday which is actually pretty funny although not entirely surprising because I do love a good puzzle game. We’ve also been watching The Chase which is a trivia-ish game show that’s been playing on TV a lot today (the TV says it’s for Quizmas, haha I love it). I don’t quite know how to describe the show but I think trivia is always fun to watch because it’s crazy the sorts of various little things people know!!!

But ok we haven’t just been doing puzzley things. My cousins and I also went cycling around London yesterday night which was a little scary but pretty nice because a lot of the roads were quite empty. We got to see little nooks and crannies of London I had never seen before because we took little back alleys and stuff (some creepy, some pretty). And of course, it’s always always always a good time with my cousins.

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You’re welcome Santander, for the advertising labour.

On the whole though, it doesn’t really feel like vacation. It feels like an alternate version of everyday life where everything is easy and good… or is that what vacations were meant to feel like? I like that for once, my to-do list consists of: read 2 chapters of book of choice, edit pictures on VSCO, wash hair, moisturise/lotion, buy presents. No meetings. No frantically getting from one place to another. No beating myself up for not getting something right. No waking up in the morning to 20 emails (in fact, I got NO emails today, it was beautiful).

I really like it.

Shopping, Ice Cream & A Trip to the Museum | Summer 2016

Hello! I hope you’re well as you’re reading this. I’m quite sore from a recent run and I’m falling asleep in bed as I type this (even though it’s only 10.09 pm over here) but I really just wanna talk about what a fun day I had on Sunday. 🙂 Honestly, if you knew me and you saw the way Sunday panned out, you’d know quite instantly that I was the one who planned it all.

My day started out with a good lie-in, much to my mum’s annoyance, of course hehe. But by about brunch time, we were in Bangsar because my sister Aida wanted to check out dUCk scarves at Fashion Valet and I wanted to get a pair of shoes. I got a cute pair of Nelissa Hilman sandals and I love em! They are pretty comfortable. I only wish they had half sizes because I couldn’t quite fit either a 36 or a 37 for the pair with the crossover straps but I mean, I’m not complaining, the one I got still looks and feels really good!

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My new sandals.

Since we were in the area, I just had to lure my mum and sister to Inside Scoop. Aida had never even been before so we just had to go. I was hoping to get their salted caramel or teh tarik but they had neither. I got mango lassi instead, and I think I like that one most! Ada jugak hikmah kan bila the flavours I wanted takde haha. Aida got Horlicks though, and I’m definitely getting that one next time.

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It was pretty amusing to be walking around Bangsar that day because it was the first weekend Pokemon Go was released in Malaysia, so everyone was like, walking around cautiously with power banks in tow. My mum wasn’t amused at all, though! She’s a pokehater, hahaha. I’m somewhere in between. I’m definitely not going out of my way to do anything pokemon related, but I’d open it every now and then. Currently, I’m on level 5 lol. I think I have like 15 pokemons? I don’t know, I was never really a fan of the show… but I do think the game is really cool.

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After Bangsar, we went to KL to go to BNM’s Muzium dan Galeri Seni at Sasana Kijang. I love driving through KL… I can’t explain it. I just feel so at home, so amazed. I feel like the city is mine.

I’ve been meaning to visit this gallery since last year. I passed by it all the time when I interned there last year and had heard a lot about it. My sister and dad even went there and they said it was good so I was curious. And it was good! I mean, sure, it wasn’t overwhelmingly spectacular but I had just been to Singapore the weekend before and so I was particularly itching to look for local artwork and galleries in KL. I knew there isn’t much so I wasn’t expecting MoMA level exhibitions, but given that, I was impressed. It’s such a step up compared to the museums right smack in the middle of Melaka—our much-boasted-about historical city—which are like, pathetic at best.

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I love the design and feel of the building itself!

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The museum had a few different sections. There was the collection of 59 selected paintings on the top floor in conjunction with the upcoming celebration of 59 years of Malaysian independence. There was a section dedicated to banknotes; from the history of paper money to the intricate designs on a single ringgit note. I loved the exhibition about older forms of currency, like money in the shape of ayam and buaya, money in the time of the British rule, and all of that stuff that we learned in sejarah. It was pretty cool and very well presented too. There was also an economics exhibit, which taught me that in Malay, GDP is translated into Keluaran Dalam Negara Kasar!

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The gallery with all the old forms of money in the different states in Malaysia.


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Imagine stuffing that into your pocket.

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This is where I learned that GDP is KDNK.


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It was really cool to see this, because I learned quite a bit about Import-Substitution in Poli Sci throughout junior year and obviously I was not born yet when it happened so I thought it was cool to see these headlines.


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Queen Elizabeth’s many faces on banknotes.

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I must end by saying I strongly encourage a visit to this museum. I think museum-going culture is really lacking in Malaysia and that all starts with us, right? I personally have always loved going to museums from when I was a child but all that enthusiasm died down as I realised there wasn’t really much of that to do here in KL. My family and I, we have so much fun going to museums when we’re in DC or London and I wish people could have as much fun doing that here too. I want to demand better museums in Malaysia, but I think that requires that I support the ones that are here and are good.

Anyway, that was probably one of my most favourite days all summer so far. I hope you enjoyed reading about it I guess?!

Raya continued | Summer 2016

Believe it or not, I am writing right now on a train. I’m quite impressed that the ERL to KLIA has decent wifi! I have taken half a day off from work because this evening, I will be on a flight to Penang 🙂 I’m quite excited because I think I haven’t been there since late 2012. Gurney Drive awaits me eagerly, I know.

The rest of raya week was fine. We had dinner at Pak Ngah’s house on Friday night and took so many pictures. Mak Ngah made mi goreng which made me very happy because it’s not the typical raya food. The next morning, we went to town to buy kek lapis Sarawak. Then, we left Kuching that Saturday evening.

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Almost the whole family on my mom’s side.

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Aren’t “freestyle” pictures the most awkward things sometimes?!

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The one most decent picture of all the cousins I could find.

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All the girls!

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Julia, Aida, me, Amanina, Amirah, Afifah and Aina

You know, it’s nice to go back to Kuching every now and then. I mentioned this in one of my previous (shorter) posts, but I’m not 100% comfortable there, if I may be so honest. I also don’t speak the language. The other day, my aunty said her house “kenak serbu 5 igik motor” and I felt very alarmed because I directly translated it to “my house got attacked by 5 motorbikes” but what she really meant was that people came to visit her house in 5 cars all at once. We don’t have our own house, and you know what it’s like when you try to use the shower at someone else’s house—you just don’t get it. I don’t know anyone there that well… I’m always whispering to my cousins or my mom asking them whose house we are at. But they are family and as, um, disconnected as I may be, half of my ancestry has many roots there. There’s this house we refer to as Rumah Kampung…. It’s not a general term for any house in any kampung. It’s a specific house which has been in my family for like over a hundred years. My parents even got married there.

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Well, in that house, there’s a picture of lots of people standing in front of the house at what seems to be a wedding. It looks ripped out of a history text book. But those people are my family. It’s so strange to think about. Apparently it was the wedding of my great grandmother’s uncle? Or so I was told. I think it’s really cool that a picture of that moment in time exists for me see.

Anyway, when we got back that Saturday, we freshened up and went right back out to Setia City to get SUSHI (!!!!) and watch Finding Dory with my cousins. I know most people have probably seen it and we’re quite late to the party, but we were waiting until raya to watch it. It was such a cute movie! I had so much fun watching it with my sisters and cousins 😀

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May God protect me from evil and also people who dislike sushi and/or salmon

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God, trust me, it was so difficult going back to work on Monday! I completely forgot I had a job somewhere for that entire week. But I’ve finished a whole week at work since then and now I’m off again! I actually only have so few weeks before I fly back to the states and as always, it’s a scramble to make sure I meet everyone I want to. It’s kinda annoying too because sometimes it can feel more like ticking off boxes on a list of obligations than it does a real friendship and I don’t really know how to deal with that. When I was at Penn, I bemoaned this happening and now I’m surprised it’s happening at home too. And if I should be so honest, it’s also a little tiring like physically and emotionally… because I don’t drive and I usually have to depend on people to get me home or to go out so I’m always troubling someone. And because there are so many people I want to see, so many weeks of work, I feel like I’m not giving everyone the attention I should. I’m doing my best, I guess.


(Uh, disclaimer: this post was published 4 days after I wrote it because I didn’t have access to the pictures I wanted until today)