Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Weekend at Singapore

Last weekend I flew in to Singapore directly from Kota Kinabalu. Had it not been for the cheap fares I wouldn't have done that, I would have done the usual fly from KL after flying from KK. I don't know why but something about the latter is presumably cheaper.

Audrey and I go way back. She was my first few friends in KL when I moved there to study in 2006, my first few classmate, my first few family. All those years of our idiosyncrasies and honesty - we became the best of friends the rest of us could have.

We went through college, university, Australia, vacations and all the more together, she moved to SG, I moved back to KK, and for 9 years, we remain intact. She was literally in 1/3 of my life. I came to SG initially to catch the Laneway festival, but decided to cancel on it because I have a bigger trip this coming February. Minus being able to save a lot, this time, I get to really catch up with Audrey and Daren (who came from KL directly) and SLEEP in. We were lucky enough that Audrey hosted us, and that too in ton, saved our wallets.

We treated the trip super easy. We had good coffees, we visited Audrey's school, and we even randomly clubbed (because c'mon it's SG).

Daren and myself reached Friday night. We took our time to place our bags and then grabbed some food. GOOD GLORIOUS FOOD.

Daren doesn't usually eat a lot now that he has lost a ton of weight - he is so conscious about what he eats. Which is fine.. but this is that one trip where all hell broke loose. He loved the salted egg pork ribs so much that we came there the next day AGAIN. This was in Glutton's Bay. 

And how Auds conveniently stumbled upon the contestants from Masterchef Australia. I had no idea who they were - so I just helped her snapped their photo.

We decided to cool our self down after the big dinner by walking along the Marina Bay Sands. Oh my God, it was so beautiful. I mean, I know Singapore is spectacular - but I forgot how spectacular Singapore is! It is like the Hong Kong of this part of Asia, and the fact that it is Malaysia's neighbor? Unbelievable.

After the romantic walk along the Helix bridge - we caught on the watershow by chance with the CBD skyscrapers' as backdrop.

SOOOO Beautiful. 

It was kind of strange how Singapore is such a busy, overpopulated, dense city and yet, when you're all by yourself seeing time passes by - you are still alone. You can be alone.

And it took Singapore to stop me from walking too fast that night, it took the waterworks to do the job. Such a happy time.

Hi Marina Bay Sands, you're impossible. 

I had my jaw dropped all the time, throughout the walk - forgetting how beautiful Singapore was, again and again. I had no reason to like Singapore it was all concrete and fast moving escalators, but for some reason, I've got a new pair of eyes when I am on sightseeing mode.

Everything was fascinating.

What I love most about Singapore are all the small to medium enterprises that are functional, quirky and beyond my imagination that are scattered around small streets. I'm a quirky person myself, so to be able to stumble upon these - were so awesome.

And the fact that they brew on arts! They have art schools everywhere.

Quirky art gallery around the street. 

It's good to be back in Singapore as a tourist :)

Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

My Travel Must Haves

My upcoming leisure trip to Singapore is going to be a short one.

It's going to be SO short, that my money might just not be all spent after all. HEE. The trip was meant for Laneway Festival but after calculating all the costs involved, I decided not to go to the festival and save for... the bigger trip next month. And because I'm a sucker for traveling - I decided to just go ahead with the flights bought and stay with Auds instead.

Because I travel quite often, both for work and leisure, I was wondering what made me so quick on my toes and my bags whenever I am asked to go somewhere or when I'm heading out somewhere. Because most of the time, these travel must have are prepacked in my bag!

I took the liberty (as also by request) to share with you what are my must haves when I'm on the road;

1) Travel Kit: Toothbrush and Toothpaste 
If there is one thing I particularly spend most of my shower time is, it's on brushing my teeth! Seriously! I would usually spend about 5 minutes or so just brushing all the corners of my mouth. And when I'm traveling this is prepacked and placed right at the sides of my bagpack - all ready. Also, when I'm in a sticky situation of having to stay overnight in the airport (without showering) for a quick transit, brushing my teeth is a quick pick me up from feeling blergh :)

2) Scarves 
It works as a multipurpose throw for me. It's my blanket when I'm on the cold plane, it's my mat when I'm on a grass donning a picnic with friends and families, it's my head scarf when I'm in a tourist area that requires me to, and of course, it adds to some colors onto my super boring clothes. It works as my security blanket almost all the time. Love them scarves!

3) Earphones 
This should be self-explanatory! All of us are guilty of wanting a quiet (the irony) alone time while traveling at times, and the easiest way to go by so is by plugging into our own world of music, news, videos etc. In comparison to a book, there is (almost) no active thinking no scrutinizing involved when it comes to listening to music or watching videos - it's such a passive pass time, I'm sure it's everyone's favorite.

4) A Book 
I am renown in my family for being the book nerd. I grew up with a lot of books (Enid Blyton, RL Stine, nowadays Mitch Albom) around me and I always have a book up to my nose. There were so many times - when I'm completely alone hiding by the corner of the airports during my alone time - I indulge in a few pages of my favorite book to catch up on my favorite past time. Otherwise, the in flight magazines are the first things I grab out even before settling down. Minus the airports, a good read is delightful when you're passing the time alone in the room or on the bus too en route to your destination.

5) Earrings 
Earrings, or at least one pair of them is my must have when I'm traveling because it is the quickest way for a get-up to a "nice place"! Usually a pair of pearl earrings already brought from  home, all I needed to do was to clean myself up and I'm ready for a good time. Sometimes, even makeups are secondary for me :p

What's yours? 

Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Value; when you can't have Everything

I booked a car just before the new years, and submitted my dear old Jose to a trusted car dealer to find himself a new owner. Since then, I have to rely on my brother or my mum to drive me around, even to my social outings *awkward* (still am probably till Feb).

On a separate occasion, I was even more busy finding my apartment a new tenant, someone who is willing to stay in the entire place on a long term basis. This whole new tenant thing came about because of the car. I had wanted to get myself a new car but the combination of both the commitment plus my ASB (nothing to hide here) will leave me nothing for my leisure expenses (yes, me and my average life).

So after finally nailing down and confirming that I am going to rent out my apartment, I had then, decided to get a new car. More like, I had to choose.

I had to choose between my hard-earned humble apartment or car to commit to. I don't know how super rich people understand a thing about value because I'm not in their shoes, I can't seem to envision to, but I personally learned about it when I can't have everything. When I can't seem to afford all at once.

I loved the apartment because it gives me extra income through weekly rentals and selfishly, because I get to see it from time to time. However, the weekly rentals and maintenance took a toll on me because not only am I traveling a lot more for work, it's simply just taxing to manage it by the week by myself. So - I decided - while the money was MUCH MORE lucrative, I have decided to just rent it out completely, and have someone pay enough for me to keep the apartment. This may mean, I may not be able to see it from time to time, find myself napping on its sofa bed on random Sundays, and that I am finally disconnected from it.

If you had visited the place, you would know that it does not looked like it was meant for house rental. I have carefully picked the furnitures there myself, painted some of the walls myself, let's just say - it was my first hard earned apartment - and there is love written all over it. I had to spent at least 40k for downpayment, and minor renovations. It was hard work.

And there was the car - Jose has been with us for 9 years, and is now completely ours. However, I realised Jose had a lot more maintenance work then I could afford, and after adding up all the necessary, I figured, maybe it's time I find a new car. I loved Jose so much. It was one of the earliest, closest friend I have ever had when I first moved to KK. Giving it up was one of the most well-thought decision I have ever done in my life, almost a year to finally decide it.

I am an average white collar girl who is very focused in life, and while I have all the priorities right in my life at the moment, house, car, job, I must tell you - that they never jazzing in bundled together. There were more times that I had to choose between one. A job, a car, an apartment, my mother, a lover, another job. I never had it all at all once. And maybe, we never were meant to have it all.

After booking the car last week, and finally getting all the deposits from my current tenant, I had mixed emotions on ... growing up. I even doubted everything. Should I really rent out my apartment? Should I really get a new car? I felt like reversing my decisions. But I didn't. Because I know that was moreso a fear for change.

I learned about value when I can't have it all, when I have to choose. When I have to weigh value of having one over the other, or giving up one over the other. Suddenly, these things have weight on it. Not as easy as when you were younger, when you'd decide on a toy or a book, or a shoe so easily.


Still learning.

Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Highlights of Year 2014 in Pictures

Try listening to this while scrolling down! :)

Went to Bali - My Ubud  Paddy Views Vacation! I LOVE BALI

Roamed through the streets of Penang, Graffiti Art with mum 

Borneo International Marathon 10KM with the boys (of course I was last) 

10 Days, 9 Nights Euro Trip, PARIS!!!! EIFFEL TOWER! 

Actually eating French Food in France. Awesome 

Joined the church service in Notre (freaking) Dame

Walking around the picturesque Amsterdam canal!!

See WINDMILLS!! (like movies!!)

[18SX] The (in)famous red light district Experience in Amsterdam and the Sex Museum, Loved the experience, wouldn't be able to experience these exhibitions in Malaysia 

To just be in ISTANBUL, to embrace the sights, tastes and sounds of this incredibly beautiful city

Visited the Tulips Festival in Emirgan Park Istanbul which was mum's bucket list but it was so beautiful it became mine either (the stretch was as far as the eyes can see!!)

Watched Belly Dance by actual Middle Easterners, putting girls with tummy into the league!

The Bosphorus Cruise where East Meets West (The Black Sea and Sea of Marmara)

Harvest Festival with the Boys, Tent Hopping 

First time fishing!! (and actually my last ever since then, because I've been busy doing everything else) 

Scored a 5D/4N Island trip with the Ladies, SUPER GOOD

First time doing homestay at someone else's place 

My favourite epic 3 hours train ride (so far) Colombo - Kandy trip

Bathing the Elephants !! 

Genevieve's TURN

Lydia got hitched! - A Taylor's College Reunion

Photo by Carmen Chiam

Working in the beautiful Sandakan (or eating more like) and family followed suit

Another one is ENGAGED!

Nephews, nieces, my little heartbeats' birthdays! 

Photo by Aunty Rozanah

BEVERLY is hitched!!  

I have been very blessed with love and adventures this year, so I will continue living. I will not stop fostering relationships and materialising dreams out of comfort and fear, and I will keep motivating myself and the people around me. I don't do mass charities, but I try to do my little parts. 

A year wiser, got a bike and a blessed 2014. Happy new year everyone! 

Please comment below to remind me if I've missed some big moments!! 

Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.