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Hairy Issues

I know what you’re thinking about – “Dude, you’re not losing hair. What are you doing at Beijing 101?”
That was exactly what ran through my mind when I first received the invitation from Beijing 101 to try out their treatments. But still, I went with an open mind. I have to say that I’ve learnt a lot about the condition of my scalp and hair from that one visit. And yes, even people with hair do go to Beijing 101 too.

The session started with a consultation with the experts who would use the machines to assess the condition of your scalp and find out more about some of the concerns you might have on your hair/scalp. For me, I don’t think I’m losing hair (hopefully never in my life) but I do get dandruff sometimes. And because I put styling products in my hair everyday, I wash my hair twice everyday (once with shampoo, once without) and because of that, the scalp can get quite dry sometimes. That dryness causes a little bit of itchiness, which then leads to scratching, which leads to even more problems. I think I’m starting to make myself sound really gross. Lol!

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I hereby show you pictures of my disgusting-looking scalp, ladies and gentlemen!
(I went with clean hair; washed without shampoo, with no styling products on)

Little bit of flakiness here.
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Little bit of tearing of scalp from the scratching there. *cries*
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So apart from the treatment for hair loss that they’re most well-known for, Beijing 101 also provides and educates their clients with hair prevention treatments and knowledge. From what I understand after a chat with the therapist, a lot of their customers are actually young adults who visit them for concerns like post-natal hair thinning, prevention of hair loss (especially for people with family history of the similar problem) and also people who generally want to maintain a head of healthy scalp and hair.

Enjoying a cup of tea during the consultation. Heh!

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Think of treatments for the scalp like a monthly facial for your skin. It made a lot of sense after the therapist said that, because prevention is really better than cure. And I really don’t want to be bothered by hair loss problems in the later part of my life. *pouts*

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Just a little tidbit, the therapist also said something about oily scalp vs hair loss. Basically, the hair follicles should not be clogged. So if you have issues with an oily scalp, you’ll be more prone to hair loss problems in time. BUT it is also essential to have some natural sebum produced by your scalp to maintain a healthy scalp. I know, it sounds real tricky to maintain that balance. So? Just leave it to the experts. Heh!

The therapist did a herbal (oh, everything they use at Beijing 101 is Chinese herb-based) hair mask for me after a super pampering head wash and Beijing 101’s Signature Meridian Herbal Treatment which involves acupuncture massage on the scalp that helps with detoxifying and encourage blood circulation.

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Ahh! I almost forgot to mention. You get to choose which kind of massage you prefer too.

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The hair mask has a really comforting herbal smell which I totally dig. The therapist also asked if I would prefer something that smells less herbal (good for those who doesn’t like the smell of Chinese herbs) but I just asked her to go ahead with the Chinese herbs with me.

I’ve picked a massage that will help relief tension in my head, neck and shoulder area. I am constantly on my computer at work; clearing emails, doing up artwork etc. The technique the therapist used on me significantly helped with taking away the stiff shoulders and neck I often suffer from. You really gotta use a good head massage. And you won’t know the kind of magic it has after you’ve tried a good one! :p

20 minutes…

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I had another overview of the condition of my scalp immediately after the treatment. Of course, the scratch marks are still there but the redness and flakiness have reduced a little, say 30%? The therapist said that it would usually take at least 5 treatments to see a significant improvement in the condition of the scalp. But it was obvious that it didn’t look as scary as the BEFORE photo.

Just a reminder – here’s the BEFORE:

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And the AFTER:

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My virgin visit to Beijing 101 opened my eyes to the importance of hair and scalp health, and how prevention of hair-related problems should start young (while one still have a relatively healthy head of hair, heh!).

All in all, I think my virgin visit to Beijing 101 was a pleasant one. However, I wish I had the chance to speak with the TCM physician at the outlet. So if you’re planning on visiting Beijing 101 to check on the health of your hair and scalp, remember to sneak in a session with their physician too! 🙂

Enjoy Hair Gro Treatment @ $42 (U.P $366) and get a complimentary Hair Glow Essence (worth $68). Hook up anyone else whom you think might be interested in trying them out! Click here to sign up!

Ain’t I Soppy?

Oh ain’t I soppy? I was looking through my older posts on this blog and it basically just felt like an emotional rollercoaster; even when I was the person who wrote all of those posts. I think I am trying to become a different person – not exactly sure whether I will like this new person but for some reason, I this change (or rather, growth) felt somewhat necessary. Deep down somewhere, I know I am still that hopeless, dependent as fuck, soppy, jealous, overly-sensitive and emotional psycho. But yes, I am currently working on subduing those undesirable traits. I am learning to embrace the change. It almost feels like a coming-of-age story, except I’m already starting on the third decade of my life. But we never stop learning more about ourselves, do we?

I used to write shitload about how I feel, what I did, who I saw, where I went. But these days, things seems and feels the same day in day out. Not much ups and downs. A lot of things either felt like they weren’t even worth a mention, or, on the other end of the spectrum – too surreal and valuable that putting them into words would not do justice to the magnitude of the effect they had on me. I have also learnt how not to put too much or all of me out there for anybody. But that ain’t me though; I do things “out loud”. If I love someone or something, you wouldn’t even need to guess or doubt my affections, it would be hard to miss. But that is also scary, isn’t it? Especially when tables are turned one day, then it’s not going to be fun being left hanging out to dry.

See, why am I starting to be soppy again.

Yilan Travels

I met up with tour guide Ken and fellow Singaporean Zipeng at the airport and went on our little Yilan adventure!


YILAN LANYANG MUSEUM 宜蘭蘭陽博物館

There is no other place more perfect to kickstart the 4-day stay. The design of Lanyang Museum was made to resemble rock formations around Wushih Port area where the museum stands adjacent to.

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Through our brief stop at the museum, I learnt a lot about the Yilan County – its history, its inhabitants, its folklore and festivals. The most interesting one I’ve learnt was the Pole-Climbing event held annual in conjunction with the Lunar Ghost Festival. You have to click that link to read more, it’s insane!

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From the museum, you will also be able to see Guishan Island (龜山島) on a clear day. It was a pity though, that we were unable to take a ferry out to visit that island due to bad weather. According to our guide Ken, there are also ferries that would bring visitors out to watch dolphins and whales! And because Yilan is a seaside town, there is also a plethora of fresh seafood available at the many restaurants located by the bay.


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Dinner was at this beautiful restaurant (which has a gallery attached to it) called Formosa Pearl 掌上明珠. The coordinator of the tour had been exclaiming about this restaurant even before the trip started and it got me really thrilled! True enough, this place did not disappoint, and I was completely blown away by the entire dining experience. The menu changes everyday and handwritten (in Chinese calligraphy style ok! And it’s different on every table) on each table, every plate, every cup were handmade, and the food!

Simply divine!

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Here’s a shot I took from one of the observation deck at the Formosa Pearl.

風光明媚!

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Accommodation: Original Spring 原湯

礁溪原湯商旅
宜蘭縣礁溪鄉仁愛路6號
Contact:03-9888781

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Nothing is better than having natural spring water available in my hotel room! There are actually plenty of hot spring hotels/inns all around the area but this one I spent the first night in was real cosy and comfortable. There is also a little fish pedicure just outside the lobby, and it’s a free service for all hotel guests!

The first day in Toucheng (頭城), Yilan, albeit being a rather short one, was enough for me to look forward to knowing what else this beautiful county has to offer.


HANG KHAU HOTEL & KAFFE 行口文旅店

The day started early the next day from Toucheng, down south to continue exploring the rest of the County. Breakfast was at Hang Khau Hotel & Kaffe.

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Apart from being a quaint little boutique hotel, Hang Khau also boasts of a cute little cafe that serves real good coffee and hearty breakfast sets (those croissants were real delectable!), and a retail corner that has quite a collection of books and locally-designed products for sale. Location was great too; being only a 5-minutes walk away from Yilan Train Station.

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I also took the opportunity to write a couple of postcards for the folks in Singapore! I have a penchant for writing letters la.
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I guess the perks of travelling with Zipeng, the talented photographer is this:

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I remember saying “No one reads like that, Zipeng” after this photo was taken. Hahahaha!
(Unless I’m out to seduce someone lol)

There was something about this part of Yilan that had me totally mesmerised – traces of artistic and literary expression everywhere, and slightly hipster la. Haha. 滿滿的文藝氣息!

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Yilan is also the hometown of one of my favourite illustrator/author, Jimmy Liao (幾米)! *excited*

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And here I am again with the characters from Starry Starry Night (星空) by Jimmy Liao…

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7 years after meeting them for the first time in Beijing!

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I also bought another two books from the retail store near the open air theme park. Much cheaper compared to the prices in Singapore! Heh.

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I’d also like to recommend this super delish, super GARLICKY noodle dish!

北門阿娘給的蒜味肉羹
Address: 260, Taiwan, Yilan County, Yilan City (泰山路239之1號泰山路239之2號)

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A B S O L U T E L Y    Y U M M Y


Onward to Luodong Township to experience how it’s like to be a organic farmer for a day for one hour.

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LOTONG AGRICULTURAL FARM 羅東溪休閒農場

It was quite an experience at the Lotong Agricultural Farm! Well, being a city dweller, I’ve never had the opportunity to plant seedlings into the ground or collect gourds from vines. The owner of the farm was really friendly and knowledgeable, and he was about to answer all kinds of questions I threw at him (I’m pretty inquisitive! Heh.) What moved me the most was how passionate he was about his harvest and his part in educating city dwellers like me about his beautiful organic crops.

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Baby watermelon, so cute!

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Herbivore Of The Year. Hahaha!

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There was really no time to waste while in this beautiful county. I think I ate so much that day, I was almost constantly in a food coma state. I’m not complaining though, how can one possibly complain about all these good food?


It was my first time doing a homestay with a local family. These people were so immensely nice that I immediately felt at home the moment I checked in. The house was spick and span and felt like a home away from home; everyone there – from the receptionist (who’s just this really nice girl in her late teens who takes care of everything from paperwork, checking guests in and out, and cleaning of the rooms, etc) to the owner of the house, the owner’s Dad (super cute Ah Gong!!!) were insanely nice.

My heart can still feel the warmth as I type right now. Gahhhhh.

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The view around the house is 很美!
The owner is also a huge customized-bicycles enthusiast who has quite a collection of fancy wooden bicycles.

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View from my room!

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I also visited the night market with the freshest air. Heh! Why so? Because the market is along the long stretch of road with paddy fields on both sides! 90% of the stalls in the night market sells food, and I think most of the people I see there are locals too.

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More sights around beautiful Yilan!

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Homestay accommodation:
松滿緣
宜蘭縣羅東鎮復興路三段75巷258號
電話:0978178269 (李小姐) 、(03)9641737

粉鳥林秘境 Fenniaoling Beach

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This is a little secret beach with a very hidden entrance! Isn’t it interesting? Thank goodness there were kind folks who carved the stones around the opening to the easiest route to the beach, if not it might be even harder to get to the beach from the outside!

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By the time we were at Fen Niao Ling, we’ve already travelled quite a fair bit down south through Yilan. Most of the drive we did was along the coastline and I was greeted with beeaaauuuuitful sights of the Pacific Ocean along the way. I think this is really quite a far cry from what I’ve always thought of Taiwan (considering the fact that I’ve only been in Taipei prior to this)

On the way to our next accommodation, we went for some 乌醋面! I like my vinegar and this is totally god-sent for me.

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那山那谷休閒農場 Na Shan Na Gu

宜蘭縣南澳鄉金洋村金洋路2號
營業時間:10:30~22:30
*五、六、日、一、例假日、寒暑假
wilung0801@yahoo.com.tw
0978-088-555 小陳

My third and final accommodation for the Yilan leg of the trip was also the most unique of all. I spent the night in a tent! It was at a campsite with all the amenities like shower, lighting, electricity readily available. But 那山那谷 is more than just a regular campsite! The owner 小陳 (Xiaochen) and his family lives right by the campsite and they organize a lot of outdoor activities for their guests.

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Check out how my campsite looks like! Now imagine how breathtaking the view is like in the morning. The bird chirping, the insects creaking, the toads croaking, the sounds of nature, the clean, cool and crisp morning air. It was such an experience spending the night in an environment like that. Pardon me, because I have really never went camping like that before. If you haven’t done anything like this before as well, I recommend 那山那谷! 强力推荐 ❤

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This is 小陈 Xiaochen and 馒头 Mantou bringing us out for breakfast before showing us around the area! Aren’t they cute! Super friendly and down-to-earth people!

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We trekked through this area too! But I didn’t have my phone and couldn’t take any photos at all. I just really love this place! 😀

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And then they spoilt us by feeding us AGAIN!

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Thank you, all the good people I met in Taiwan. You guys made the entire Taipei-Yilan experience so enjoyable! ❤

Travel to Taipei by Taoyuan Airport MRT

Taipei – I love that place.
Full of friendly people, divine street food everywhere, there is always something interesting to watch on TV (I’m secretly amused by how they tend to exaggerate everything; even the news is often slightly dramatised :p), and oh, the shopping!

On my recent trip, I finally had the opportunity to step out of Taipei and venture into Yilan.
The four days spent in Yilan had totally changed how I would answer the question “How is Taiwan like?” from now on. Before I even begin, I would like to specially thank my amazing tour guide Ken Wu, 工頭堅 for bringing us around Yilan and tirelessly sharing the history, his personal experiences and stories about his country and insights about life as a Taiwanese. The conversations with the locals were also always delightful!

Before the Yilan leg, I spent 3 days in Taipei with Taiwan-addict Sharon. But before I begin proper on what happened while in Taiwan, I would like to dedicate this post to the very impressive Taipei Taoyuan Airport and it’s spanking new metro system!

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The newly open Taoyuan Airport Metro (opened less than a year ago!) took me directly to the city centre, in just about 40 minutes! For those of you who haven’t been to Taipei, this is actually a really big deal because it has made the journey from airport to city SO much easier. One will no longer be at the mercy of bad traffic or fear of worrying about splitting up into groups to fit into taxis if you’re travelling with a huge bunch of friends! :p

My favourite thing about the airport express, however, was how I was able to check-in my baggages in town and make my way to the airport without lugging things around.


On my way back to the airport from the city, I learnt that there is also a bag drop service made available along with the new Taoyuan Metro service! On top of the prompt and reliable transit from city centre to the airport, you can now check-in your bulky baggages directly at the service counters in city centre and take the metro without the hassle of having to lug those big bags around.

This is how it was like at Taipei Main Station that was located in the city centre. Scan your passports, leave your bags, and then take the metro to the airport directly! It is really as easy and seamless as that!

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The express trains were clean and comfortable to be in, but what’s more important is that the travelling from Taipei city centre to Taoyuan Airport is now made so convenient, reliable and fast.

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The Taoyuan Metro service runs from 6am in the morning all the way until 11pm at night everyday. They also have two different types of trains (express and commuter) which leaves every 15 minutes. To be honest, both trains are equally fast. An express train takes 40 mins from Taipei Main Station to the airport and a regular commuter train takes about 50mins. So there is absolutely no need to worry about missing trains or long waits at the stations.

The train stops at all terminals in the airport as well:

 

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And for those of you who prefer a more pictorial overview:

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And the price for a trip from Taipei Main Station to Taoyuan International Airport? An affordable NTD 160 (which equates to about 7 SGD).
Here are also a few pointers for those of you who are looking at the In-town check-in and baggage drop-off service available in the city centre:

  1. Opening times: 06:00-21:30 (services will close three hours before flight departure)
  2. Passengers can only have in-town check-in service on the flight date and complete it no later than 3 hours before departure.
  3. Caution: In-town Check-in Services are unavailable for independent children younger than 12 years old, groups, and passengers with pets and extra-large/extra-long baggage.
  4. Airlines with In-town Check-in Services

I guess the new addition of AirAsia to the list would be a good news especially for us travelling over from Singapore since it’s quite a common airline to fly with for the locals. But seeing how new the metro system is now, I’m very certain the list of airlines the In-town Check-in service supports will be growing significantly in the near future.

And till then, safe travels!

United Nails Supply

There is something therapeutic about doing DIY manicures and pedicures. I know very well how it is always pampering to visit the nail salons to have our nails done, but to me, painting nails is almost like painting on canvas or doodling on paper – fun, helps kill time and perfect for lazy Sunday afternoons at home. Heh!

I was introduced to this new brand of nail lacquer recently and it is a brand that I’ve never used before. I hardly do such product reviews, but I’d really like to share a little more about this two new nail and heel-care products I got my hands on.

Creative Nail Design (CND) Shellac has been developed since 1979 and has a massive collection of more than 500 beautfy products that actually extends nail polish – from colour coatings, nail enhancement coatings, nail essentials to spa products.

My current obsession is this perfect hue of red called Decadence. It comes with a top coat and also a small bottle of SolarOil which does an amazing job of nourishing the cuticle and nail itself.

You might be thinking “Ok, what’s the big deal? I can find similar shade of red in other brands”
I’ve tried many different brands of nail polishes; from drugstore brands to the more luxurious ones which are only available in departmental stores, and the quality of the polish is really important. Especially reds because I can be quite lazy when it comes to base coats and low quality ones will just leave you with horribly stained nails when you remove the polish.

The CND Shellac polishes I’ve tried so far has really good oclour pigments and really easy to apply (think – no more ugly tiny bubbles after the polishes dry up!) The polishes are quick-drying, and this is really good news for me because I’m one of those nutcases who would often have the sudden idea of wanting to paint nails 30 minutes before bedtime. #truestory Removal of nail polish is really fuss-free as well, and it does not discolour my nail at all, even without base coat. Ok, I just have to emphasize how I was really blown away by how QUICKLY the polishes dry up on the nails! It’s super high-shine too, so if you’re really lazy (like me), you can even do away with the top coat and still have nice glossy nails!

(Pardon my horrible painting skills lol, need more practice!)

I play a lot of guitar at home and am totally not protective of my nails while going about my daily chores, and the polish I’ve had on lasted about 2 weeks. Pretty damn awesome for DIY manicure if you ask me! :p

– – –

This other favourite product that I whisked away from unitedNAILS Supply is the Allpresan PRO Footcare series of products!

The best seller from this range is the foot foam creams they formulated for various concerns for the feet. From caring for dry rough skin, to cracked skin (omg hello all heels-lovers, here is your savior), foot deodorants and anti-fungal protection for those who has to be in covered shoes all day. Cracked, dry and not-so-pleasant smelling feet is just not sexy at all ok, people? Heh.

The best thing is – this product is not just one to protect you against the elements, but it also helps improve your skin texture and condition WHILE providing protection!

Application of the cream is made easy breezy with the brilliant foam applicator! Allpresan PRO Footcare has the patented, breathable BarrioExpert Technology which creates a fine, protective mesh on the skin after application which protects the skin from external factors while caring for your skin. I am quite particular about how the cream feels on the skin after application, and am proud to say that this one is not greasy, so you won’t have to sit around in your chair and wait 15 mins before being able to stand up and walk around without leaving footprints everywhere! Hahah! And because of the foam texture of the cream, you actually end up with A LOT more products (in volume) than say, cream from a tube.

United Nails Supply (UNS) is one of the leading nails and beauty distributor in Singapore, and their products can be found at these stores:

M Spa @ Tanglin Mall #03-19
Manicure Room @ Nex #01-48
Shangri-La Nail Spa @ Chua Chu Kang, Lot 1 #02-01
M Nail Bar @ Chua Chu Kang, Lot 1 #02-K9
Princess Manicure @ West Mall #05-07

So the next time if you happen to swing by these salons to get your nails done, feel free to request for United Nails Supply’s products from your friendly manicurist! 🙂

So yes, this is all you have from me today! Suddenly feeling all girly doing a review on beauty products on my blog! Hehe! ❤

D = S x T

How does connection work? How is it that two souls can feel each other without words, without touch, and even without being in each others’ presence,
and at other times, feel miles apart while having their fingers or tongues interlocked?

When it comes to decision making, my go-to method is always list-making.
Pros vs Cons.
Straightforward and effective all the time.
Well, most of the time; not really working now. But to be fair, it could be because I am subconsciously coming up with more Pros or Cons to reach the decision I know I sort of want in my head.
Decision that I lack the courage to confront, and too reluctant to leave it to logic, reasoning or rationale.
But I will never stop making lists, not until I am in the know.

Even list-making can’t save me now.

Is there some kind of formula that might be helpful for me now?
What is the formula for time and distance again? Does it apply to all kinds of distances?

And I’m letting you.

Cigarettes and whisky
The perfect concoction for the keeping the lonely at bay
The lady sways to the infectious melody as the jazz band plays
Savouring the make-believe world her closed eyes brings her to
With every inhale, she throws her head back

She ruffles her hair on her face and sniffs the remnants on her fingers
Scents always have a way of bringing her to places
Places she has been and never been;
like that ten seconds in the elevator, or that last time she stood to watch planes take off
With every exhale, she lets out her sigh, ever so softly

The night feels young but she feels old.

你喜歡自己嗎?

為什麼明明知道在傍晚八點睡覺會把生理時鐘擾亂還要固執地去這樣做?為什麼我有自虐傾向-偏偏愛做一些對自己無意的事情
凌晨四點二十二分,我坐在電腦前的小凳子上,整理香水瓶子,把瓶子轉來轉去讓瓶子上的標籤都面向正前方。
Spotify 一直重複地播著同一首的歌曲。
聖誕節要到了,星航最近剛剛推出最新的配套,直飛巴黎的機票不到九百元新幣。看了真的有一點心動。
不過在心動的當兒又不自禁地回想起上一會獨自由香港的經驗,我真的不懂得怎樣欣賞一個人獨處的生活,不喜歡與自己相處,不喜歡自己的陪伴。
你們也一樣嗎?

我希望我能夠變得更獨立一些。就像不久前剛去音樂節,聽說與我結伴一起去的兩個友人本來都打算獨自去音樂節,如果能在音樂節上碰到幾個朋友就和他們在一起,要不然,就獨自一個人喝啤酒,聽音樂。這我還真的做不到。我想我寫日記和經營部落格的習慣也是出自於一種需要與人分享的心態-人類不是群體動物嗎?為什麼有一些人能夠長時間獨處而仍然感到自在?

是不是因為我不喜歡我自己?

Ipoh 2016

The last time I visited Ipoh was when my grandmother passed away; that was probably more than two decades ago. My Dad was born in Ipoh and it was such a pleasure to be able to visit his hometown again, this time as an adult. What a beautiful town!

I am so happy that the trip happened. I didn’t get to travel much this year, really far cry from the 16 cities I went to last year. Sim and Michelle were such great company, really cannot ask for more. 2016 marks the first time I travelled with friends, and also the year that I experienced travelling alone. I look forward to more solo trips in time to come. But that said, can’t wait for this awful 2016 to be over.

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