Things To Do When You’re Stuck At Home : An Introvert’s Guide

Hello good people!

I hope you’re all keeping safe in this difficult time. Currently working from home because the Malaysian government has initiated a restricted movement order due to the COVID-19 situation – which means businesses (other than essential services) are told to close.

While it has been difficult to get things done for work (interviews and events have been cancelled, so I’m scrambling for content), there are actually several upsides.

  • No more 3-hour commute to and from work.
  • I’m quite extreme on the introvert scale and can go days without speaking to people physically, so this is a great time to recharge.
  • Spending less money. Not being able to go out means no unnecessary shopping or eating out at restos.

Before the office closed, I talked to a colleague – an extrovert – and he was lamenting on how he’d survive being stuck in the house for two weeks. “I can’t even go to my hairdresser or the gym,” he said forlornly. I was actually a little amused because extroverts are always on our case about how introverts don’t like to go out and socialise – and now they know what it’s like to be stuck in a situation that makes them uncomfortable lol.

In any case, it’s not all doom and gloom. There are actually plenty of things that you can do at home. Some might even find it a good time to do stuff they’ve been putting off for a long time, like clean the house, or play Monopoly with the kids (in your down time, of course – I’m not saying forget about work and go loaf around, lmao).

“VISIT” A MUSEUM / ART GALLERY 

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This one’s for the history nerds (like me). Many museums in tourist hotspots are closed, including in Malaysia. The British Museum (one of my favourite places – I could live there) announced its indefinite closure yesterday, and in Italy, a hub for European culture and history, museums have been closed since March 8.  While you might not be able to go physically, there are many museums offering detailed virtual tours of their premises and catalogues of their collections. On my list rn are LA’s J.Paul Getty Museum, The Uffizi Gallery in Florence, The British Museum, and The Lourve. 

Google’s Arts and Culture platform is a veritable resource for virtual tours and extensive catalogues.

READ 

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I have a bad habit of buying way more books than I have time to read – so now is the perfect time to catch up on some reading. I just finished the audiobook for Sphere by Michael Crichton and started on Lotus by Lijia Zhang, which looks pretty promising.

SPRING CLEANING 

A lot of us tend to accumulate a tonne of garbage that we don’t need, so it’s time to Marie Kondo all your sht.

COOK 

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Getting healthy, well balanced meals to boost our immune system is even more important in this critical time. For the non-cooks, this might be a good time to try out some recipes and hone your cooking skills! (My mom has been baking sponge cakes and what not, so we’re never hungry).

EXERCISE 

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I’ve never liked going to the gym (or working out for that matter, lol), but I guess it’s a good time now to, again, help boost the immune system and better prepare against infection. And a healthy body is a healthy mind, right? As unbelievable as it sounds, I do get regular light exercise about three times a week (although experts say it should be moderate) for about 20 – 30 minutes each time. I enjoy walking, so that’s what I normally do – walk on the spot. Some resources: Leslie Sansone, Lucy Wyndham-Read and HASFit. 

BINGE WATCH STUFF ON THE INTERNET 

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Not necessarily a productive activity, but it passes the time and depending on the kind of content you’re watching, you might even learn something. I have a short attention span (thanks, gadgets) so I’ve never been able to sit down and go through a series on Netflix, but I do enjoy watching travel,  culture and history shows. Some cool channels to check out: Absolute History, VICE, Life Where I’m From, PBS Eons, VSauce.

GAME

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My laptop isn’t new so I haven’t been able to play newer games. I’ve been replaying some Nintendo DS RPGs on the emulator (Fire Emblem – Shadow Dragon), and am contemplating if I should finally buy Borderlands 3 (Borderlands 2 was one of my favourite shooter games of all time) – although I’m not sure if my laptop has the capacity to run it smoothly. Another new release that’s coming up this weekend is Doom Eternal, but I guess I’ll just watch the gameplay on gaming channels.

OTHER HOBBIES 

A good time to engage in any creative pursuit – drawing, digital art, making music, writing… for me, it’s good to dust off the writing cap.  I know I usually write about food and travel, but since that isn’t possible right now, I’ve been looking at other topics instead, like this post.

And there you have it! I hope you’ve gotten some good ideas to keep yourself entertained and busy in this challenging climate. Our mental health is just as important as the physical, so I hope everyone stays safe and healthy always.

 

5 Things to Do in Kuala Lumpur and the Klang Valley This Halloween

Halloween. The ‘spookiest’ time of the year.

It’s when cable TV starts showing re-runs of classics like Halloween (duh!), A Nightmare on Elm Street and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and costume parties abound. Or, if you worked at my (now ex) company, they have a small prize for colleagues who come to work dressed up. Usually this means slathering some face paint on and dressing up in all black, but still.

While Halloween is not as big in Malaysia as it is in countries like the States (where people go trick or treating door-to-door and Starbucks insists on pumpkin spice everything), there are still loads of things you can do to participate in the festivities.

1 ) Get your heart pumping at the Halloween Night Run 

  • Where: MAEPS Serdang
  • When: Saturday, Oct 28 2017, 7PM

Credit: Halloween Night Run’s Facebook page 

 

Talk about ‘running scared’, lol. Raise your heart levels and get some cardio in at the Halloween Night Run, returning to MAEPS Serdang for its second year. Coz when it comes to running and having a good time, all ghost, ghouls, demons and witches are equal.

Bonus: Come dressed in your best costumes and stand a chance to win prizes!

Tickets and registration: HERE 

 

2 ) Meet the monstrous residents of Sunway Lagoon theme park at Nights of Fright 5 

  • Where: Sunway Lagoon Theme Park
  • When: Fridays-Saturdays til 31 Oct 2017, 7.30PM til late

Nothing screams ‘celebrating Halloween’ like a trip to the spook house. Or maybe 8 spook houses, 5 scare zones, 11 thrill rides and 4 show stages. At Nights of Fright 5 by Sunway Lagoon, every corner is filled with otherworldly denizens, be it zombies, cursed dolls, corpses or vampires. Enter… if you dare.

Tickets: HERE 

3) Have a Zombie Party at Jump Street Asia

  • Where: Jumpstreet Asia, Seksyen 13 PJ
  • When: Saturday, Oct 28 2017, 5PM – 10PM

Credit: JumpstreetAsia sorry couldn’t find Halloween one lol. 

Impersonate a pocong (coz it jumps, geddit? lol) at Malaysia’s largest indoor trampoline park, Jump Street Asia. Dress up and bounce your way to a good time, with fun activities such as a haunted house, zombie dances and best costume contests. For only one entry price, you get five hours of great fun as opposed to the usual hourly rates, so book early!

4) Give some blood… for a good cause @ My Bloody Halloween 2.0 

  • Where: The School, Jaya One Petaling Jaya
  • When: Saturday/Sunday Oct 28 – 29 2017 , 11AM -6PM

Don’t waste that blood! Donate some to help save lives at My Bloody Halloween 2.0. The initiative is put together by a group of youths from the Leo Club. There will also be cool vendors, pop up stalls and activities at the event !

More info on FB: HERE 

5) Pub/bar crawl your way through Changkat Bukit Bintang 

  • Where: KL
  • When: Various dates beginning Oct 28 – first week of November

Bars, pubs and clubs in various spots around the Klang Valley/KL have a long tradition of having costume parties and Halloween promotions – and one of the best spots to experience the nightlife is at Changkat Bukit Bintang. Spots like Havana have annual dress-up events with free entry for those in costume, and other places also have their own themes. And having a tipple as a vampire beats boring ol’ normal clothes any day (or night).

 

 

Happy Halloween! 

PS: If you could dress up as a character, who’d you pick? Lemme know in the comments below! 🙂

School Holiday Fun @ Sunway Lagoon’s Wildlife Adventure

Back when I was a kid, school holidays = I get to mess around the house or go on a trip with the fam. Hooray!

Now that I’m a working adult, school holidays = less traffic on the roads in the morning. So Hooray to that too!

For those with kids, even better news: Sunway Lagoon, Malaysia’s premiere theme park, is having an exciting and educational programme for the school holidays! Suitable for both kids (and the young at heart!), the Wildlife Adventure gives visitors the chance to get outdoors and spend time together, while enjoying fun and interactive activities revolving around the theme park’s mini zoo. The lineup includes a Wildlife EduHunt, Wildlife Multi-Animal Show, mystery box, animal feeding and identifying the smallest monkey in the world. 🙂

I’ve been to the mini zoo in Sunway Lagoon several times, and was always impressed by how well maintained it is as well as the number of animals they have – over 150 species from around the world ! I especially like the aviary where you can get upclose and personal to the feathered friends who roam around freely.

One of the birds with beautiful plummage you’ll find at Sunway Lagoon’s aviary.

So what’s in store for guests? Take part in the Wildlife Eduhunt Challenge, where you’ll have to complete 10 challenges ranging from Peek-A-Print, Mix & Match, Mystery Box and more, as well as collect stamps at designated spots. The best thing is, while you’re having fun, you’ll also stand a chance to win fantastic prizes, including a 2D1N stay at Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa, and a Xperia C5 Ultra Dual smartphone. The EduHunt Card can be purchased at the Main Entrance or Wildlife Park (Rimba).

 

Malaysian supermodel Amber Chia posing with an albino python and guests during the event launch! 🙂

Besides the Wildlife EduHunt, parent and child in teams of two will be able to showcase their creative and artistic side in the ‘Get Wild, Paint, Snap & Post’ contest, with 30 minutes to face paint their team partner, snap a photo and upload it to their Facebook with the hashtag #SunwayLagoonMY and #SLWildlife Adventure. The prize? A cool Fujiflim Instax Mini 8 Camera, complete with a Twin Pack Film of 20 sheet prints! 🙂

Even if you’re not into joining any challenges or contests, it’s still going to be a fun day out at the theme park exploring the mini zoo, especially since they have star attractions like lions and a white tiger. There will also be feeding sessions for swans, macaws and squirrels – a good chance for the little ones to interact with wildlife! Be entertained while watching educational Wildlife Multi-Animal Shows.

Sunway Lagoon’s Wildlife Adventure is available from now until 11 June 2017.More info: sunwaylagoon.com/wildlife-adventure/

Photos courtesy of GoCommunications PR

Caving at Gua Tempurung, Perak, Malaysia

So a couple of months back I was in my parents’ hometown of Ipoh. Famed for it’s limestone caves and hills, it’s refreshing to get away from the hustle and bustle of concrete, high-rise Kuala Lumpur and just enjoy the scenery here. Instead of hanging out at the usual malls and stuff, we decided to be extra adventurous this year by going caving at Gua Tempurung. Gua Tempurung literally translates to ‘Husk Cave’ and measures over 3km long, making it one of the longest caves in Peninsula Malaysia.

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Travelling from town to the outskirts of Gopeng, we took in the dark green of the surrounding limestone hills amidst the backdrop of the clear blue sky. It was an extremely sunny day (not that it mattered much where we were gonna go!) The air was clean and fresh when we alighted at the foot of the hills. My parents dropped Bro and i off, and we got the Top of the World/River package (medium challenge), which would take approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours to complete. This was actually our first time caving for real – the last time we were here we stuck to the well-lit walkway, and that only took 40 minutes.

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Dressed up in comfy tracks and sneakers with a good grip. I was really tempted to bring my camera along, but on second thought, I only put our torches and my water bottle in the water proof plastic. It turned out to be a good thing because guess what? I lost my torches D: More on that later.

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Anyway, Gua Tempurung has existed since over 400 million years ago . It has a jaw-dropping collection of stalagtites, stalagmites and other formations, that have been cut and shaped by the mountain’s running water and streams for hundreds of millions of years. When you look at them, you’re looking at something that is almost as old as time itself.

Time to head in!

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image: Google

We set off from the checkpoint at 10 am with a group of 20 people, led by a cute tour guide called Pata. The first leg of the journey was the normal 40 minute ‘dry’ walk on the path – while Pata showed us the various unique formations inside the cave’s limestone and white marble interior. There were even little sparkles along the cave walls where our flashlights fell on them – crystal deposits used to make the actual jewelry and accessories we often see in shops. One of the stops had us climbing a over a hundred steps – it was giddy looking down from such a height from in between the steps. Wobbly knees while I hung on to the railing for dear life!

The song Misty Mountains from The Hobbit came to mind as we explored the path and marveled at the beautiful insides of the mountain – ‘through dungeons deep and caverns old’. This would not have looked any out of place if it was the set of the novel Lord of the Rings, like the beautiful underground mines of the Dwarves in their ancient kingdom of Khazad-Dum.

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Continuing our journey, we got to the end of the paved pathway, and into the adventurous part: A steep slide-like formation that extended 7 metres down the cave. Some of the abangs of the group went down first – it looked scarier than any shyt I’ve seen so far, since there was a part where it was almost a vertical drop to the bottom – you could easily break a leg if you didn’t do it right. We took turns sliding down one by one. The surface is surprisingly smooth and slippery, so it was hard to use your hands to create a friction brake. After much summoning up of courage, I went down before my bro (can’t appear like a pussy in front of him nao!). The last part had me sliding down almost out of control – but thankfully the abangs caught me without damage.

We then clambered down this narrow little hole to the bottom of the cave (I swear if anyone in the group was fatter we’d get stuck.) This part of the cave was pitch black, and still very dark even with the flashlights.. and we finally touched water! The underground river runs on for a long distance, and the cavern is very narrow in places. Following the lead in front, we had to get on our hands and knees at some points to crawl through the confined holes , some with water levels so high we only had our heads above water. It’s a good thing we were wearing long pants coz the hard stones and pebbles on the underground river bed scraped our palms raw. And yeah, about the torchlights….they floated out of my pocket when I was swimming in the water. LOL.

It was particularly scary at this stretch where we had to swim in the water up to our necks, and it was so dark without the flashlights I could barely see the silhoutte of my bro in front of me. I kept imagining weird things popping out of the water …. D:

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Lost track of time inside the cave, since we didn’t have watches, but when we finally emerged in daylight I felt like a vampire: the sun hurt my eyes after having adjusted to the dark for so many hours. Felt rather relieved to be breathing fresh and clean air again instead of the dank, dark of the cave. I’ve survived my first, real caving experience! I’m glad nothing like The Descent or Sanctum happened..

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It’s definitely something to remember to be able to experience crawling through a cave, even though I was initially pretty chicken to do it. It’s liberating and exhilarating to set a target and actually complete it. I kept reminding myself that if I couldn’t even complete such a simple task, how am I supposed to take on backpacking? And I’d never know until I tried. I’m glad I did. c:

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Also, random picture of a monitor lizard spotted crossing the road over to the jungle.

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Goodbye, Gua Tempurung! It’s been so much fun. I should try taking on the hardest challenge next time I come visit.