Diary Writing

20 Questions

Hey, guys!

I came across this series of questions on Mrs Suvi‘s blog, and had loads of fun reading her answers, so I thought I’d ‘borrow’ them for my own. Feel free to share and pass them on! 🙂

Your most memorable fancy dress costume?

Costume parties aren’t a thing here; or at least not with the crowd I hang out with. I did have an annual company dinner I had to dress up for, though. One year we had to wear ‘traditional dress’, and this is a little embarrassing but I didn’t even have one, lol. I ended up buying a baju kurung, which is a traditional Malay dress consisting of a long top with long sleeves, paired with a long skirt. The one I bought was blue with gold embroidery on the sides; I still wear it for formal occasions.

Which social media platform do you use the most?

Facebook and Instagram. If blogging is considered a social media platform then I’m on here most of the time.

Favourite season

There’s a joke about Malaysia having four seasons: sunny, rainy, durian and mosquito season. In all seriousness, I think I would enjoy fall.

If you had to choose the beach or mountains, which would it be?

The beach. I like to listen to the sound of waves crashing on the shore, even though I might not necessarily want to swim in the sea (I have thalassophobia). Mountains… I like mountains, but I’ve always felt out of element in the wild. I’m more of a city girl – navigating street mazes and avoiding muggers come more naturally to me than picking out what kind of mushrooms are edible.

What can you play very well?

Mind games.

Just kidding. I can play the piano, but not super well. I think I’m pretty decent at arcade shooters. I was also a state Scrabble champion, but I haven’t been updated on the Scrabble handbook in years. It isn’t fun to play with people who don’t allow you to use two-letter Scrabble-accepted words like JO or AO.

What kind of cheese do you like?

Anything gooey and soft, like mozzarella. I also like pungent cheeses, like blue cheese (which my mom describes as ‘having the odour of cat poop’).

Life goal

I think life goals change at different stages in your life. Right now, my life goal is to be able to provide a good and comfortable life for my family. At all stages, I want to enjoy the little things, because you never know how long they’ll last. Things like coming home to a hot meal, a hug and a smile. Also, being as healthy for as long as possible. I come from a family with not-so-great genes and I’ve seen the suffering my relatives have had to go through, and it’s very disheartening to know that this might be the future that awaits me.

How many cities have you lived in?

I spent the first few years of my life in Puchong,  Malaysia. Back then it was just a small town with nothing but disused tin mining ponds, jungles and palm oil plantations. I moved to Petaling Jaya, a bigger, older suburb, when I was 7, before moving back to Puchong when I was 10, where I have stayed ever since. I’ve seen how the city grew to its current population of over 400,000 people – a large and busy city with horrendous traffic. We’re also famous for food, especially dimsum and hotpot.

That aside, I spent about four months in Sheffield, UK’s City of Steel (and home to alt-rock band Arctic Monkeys), where I completed my degree. I still consider it my second home, and would love to go back someday, Vibrant city, lovely people, beautiful nature.

What language do you wish you could speak?

Mandarin Chinese. I think it’s very useful. I can speak rudimentary Mandarin, but having unpleasant experiences in high school has made me quite averse to learning the language. Still trying though. Also, Tagalog. 

What can’t you stand?

False promises. I don’t make a promise unless I can keep it. I understand that sometimes it is difficult to fulfil some promises due to circumstances beyond one’s control, but I’ve seen people make empty promises one too many times, and tasted the disappointment. I can’t stand wishy washy people either. Cigarette smoke is another thing I can’t stand; I do have friends who smoke and I understand it’s their choice, but I get physically ill when I inhale it so I usually keep a wide berth.

If you have an hour to kill on your hands, what would you do?

Read. I used to be an avid reader, back when I was younger and time seemed to stretch on forever. These days I don’t seem to ever have enough time to do all the things I want to do. I know a lot of people say that’s an excuse and that you just have to make time for it, which is partially true, but then again, not everyone has the same life experiences or willpower, so.

Your favourite routine? 

I actually enjoy listening to Youtube videos while I’m stuck in traffic going home from work – either game commentaries, listicles, language podcasts, or just music. I don’t actually enjoy the traffic part, which can take two hours for a 20 kilometre journey (more if it rains).

When do you become hyperactive?

When I’m talking about something that I like and there’s someone within the vicinity with a similar interest. My ex and I were very compatible in that we were both nerds, and we’d spend hours passionately discussing things about the universe, politics, religion and philosophy.

Text message or phone call?

I’m extremely introverted, which can be debilitating in an extrovert’s world. I do try, but I don’t think I’ll ever be completely comfortable in social situations. As such, text messages are the best because I think I’m more gifted as a writer than an oral communicator, and I’m able to articulate my thoughts better when given time to phrase them properly. Else, I might end up putting my foot in my mouth! Guess that’s why I found a career in writing rather than public relations.

Your most precious treasure.

Define ‘treasure’. Material things can be earned and bought, but priceless treasures are your loved ones, obviously. More precisely, the good health and happiness of your loved ones.

Your latest foreign language mistake.

Wasn’t even foreign, lol. As I’ve mentioned, my command of my own mother tongue (Cantonese) is pretty bad because my first language is English. In a recent conversation with my mom, I accidentally said “funeral card” rather than “wedding invitation”. Can’t make a bigger boo boo than that.

What’s the best therapy for you?

Me time. As much as I love my fam and friends and enjoy their company, I am a creature of solitude, and I get overwhelmed if I’m constantly surrounded by people. A day out on my own, watching a film, eating a nice meal and exploring a museum or a bookstore, does wonders. Oh, and a good old-fashioned Balinese massage!

If you could be a fictional character, who would you be?

Tough one – there are many fictional characters that I love and aspire to be. I’ll go with the cliche one and answer Hermione Granger, from the Harry Potter series, or the ‘insufferable know-it-all’, as Professor Snape puts it. This might sound a bit like humble bragging, but I relate to Hermione’s intelligence and her thirst of knowledge and ability to solve problems, which are things I feel quite accurate to my personality. Then again, I also share Hermione’s crippling fear of failure (I can actually imagine if I’m ever a Hogwarts student, having a Boggart turning into a school professor telling me I failed every subject). I also like how Hermione’s character was developed into a strong, fearless young woman who is not afraid to stand up for what is right – certainly traits we should all aspire to, don’t you think?

Where would you like to travel?

I’ve been very lucky in that my job has allowed me to travel to many places. Personally, at this point in time, I’m quite happy and content just saving up money for other purposes rather than travel. If I did have the extra money, I would like to go to Xi’an and see the tomb of Shi Huang Di. Despite my Chinese ancestry, I’ve never been to China (Hong Kong and Taiwan don’t count), and it would be nice to at least step foot on Chinese soil once in my life. After all, my grandparents and great grandparents gave up their families and lives there to come to Malaysia to build a better life here.

Where did you meet your spouse?

We met online on a language app. Our first date was at a Jollibee (my favourite) at Robinsons’ Place in Manila. This was after I lied to my parents that I was on a work trip and flew all the way there to meet him. He always says I’m a dumbfuck (okay not in those words, but implied) because he could have been a bad person and I could have been kidnapped, raped and killed, but I always retort with “well we’re married now, so stop complaining”. Butttt yeah kids, always tell your parents where you’re going and don’t try this at home. (I did inform some friends in Manila that I was visiting an who I was meeting with, so I wasn’t a total idiot).

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