Shanghai x Hangzhou, China

I’ve only traveled to a few countries, but I knew that I love traveling even before I traveled overseas for the first time. The first time I traveled to a foreign country, I was in Bangkok, Thailand and as we landed, I remember thinking about how it feels so surreal to be on another part of the world map for once.

What appeals to me most about traveling is the fact that everything is different (with varying degrees) from what I have experienced and/or encountered before. Different places, faces, air, food, language and etc.

They say that Capricorns crave stability, but I desire for change. Being at one place for too long, literally and metaphorically (the latter most of the time), makes me feel like I’m not progressing in life. However, in the literal sense, me constantly needing change means that traveling to a foreign country after my first time there does not hold the same amount of appeal anymore, even though I enjoyed myself thoroughly while I was there. This is probably one of the reasons why I decided to visit China last December.

I never wanted to travel to China – I preferred Western countries or countries where English was the main spoken language. Call me Westernized, whitewashed or whatever is more suitable, but I never saw the appeal in visiting China.

I went anyway, possibly also because we were going to go to Disneyland (it was my first time) and I’m glad I did, although this holiday was the first one that made me wish that it would end earlier than planned.

Shanghai was, to say the least, a let-down. There were some redeeming factors, like Disneyland and Shanghai Old Street, but the rudeness of everyone there just turned me off.

Disneyland was magical; it’s that one thing you don’t think you need until you have it.

I prefer Hangzhou over Shanghai because firstly, the people were much nicer and polite. Secondly, it’s because I found the city more beautiful. Although, I’m only saying this based on the places I visited.

Overall, our accommodations were alright. We stayed at 3 different places.

  1. Joyful Star Hotel Pudong Airport, which provided free authentic Chinese breakfast that I really liked. The room and heating were really nice too.
  2. Shanghai City Central International Hostel, which had very quirky and unique decorations. It also had a mini club/bar/restaurant where a lot of backpackers and younger travelers hang out. This is my least favorite accommodation because the room was quite dirty and old, and the heating was terrible. So, it was really cold because temperatures outside dropped as low as 3 degree Celsius.
  3. Westlake 7 Service Apartments in Hangzhou. This is my favorite out of all 3 accommodations because it had a loft, it was really clean and cozy and the heating was the best. There is nothing bad I can say about this place.

The food in both Shanghai and Hangzhou were actually quite bad. They weren’t how I expected them to be (I expected food like in Din Tai Fung?? tho I’ve never been), didn’t have a lot of variety and just had a very different taste palette than what Chinese food in Malaysia has.

The best thing that I didn’t expect was the shopping. The Chinese are really fashion forward! There were a lot of trendy clothes, shoes, and accessories that weren’t exactly cheap, but the prices were reasonable enough for me to buy them because the designs that I saw there, I never saw in Malaysia. So, I bought quite a few things, which if you know me, made me really happy.

After coming home, I thought that I would never return, only because I felt that some of the people were quite rude. But now that I’m less bothered about it, I’d totally go back. That, and also you know what. 😉

Day 2; Shanghai Disneyland Resort

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Sleeping Beauty’s castle

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Giant Christmas tree

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Day 3; A very Chinese breakfast ft. Pa @ Joyful Star Hotel

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People’s Square, Shanghai (人民广场)

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The Bund, Shanghai (上海外滩)

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Day 4; Hangzhou (杭州)

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West Lake (西湖)

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Day 6; Old Shanghai (上海老街)

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To 2018

What. A. Year. 🙂

2017 has been the best and worst year of my life. Too many moments that I want to remember, but the human mind can only take so much. Photos aren’t really that great either, electronic devices can run out of memory or just die on us anytime. Words… after going so long without reading just for pleasure, I can’t seem to find them anymore. In cases like this, lists often come to the rescue. Still, so sorry for the horrible language. I think I’ll start with a list of firsts (and some lasts marked with a *)  that happened in 2017 (in no particular order).

  1. Being in the ICU and getting a seizure*.
  2. Being in a coma (induced)*.
  3. Going clubbing.
  4. Weighing 45kg.
  5. Going and enjoying myself at a jazz festival.
  6. Watching Boorenda bb do spoken word.
  7. Wearing a long dress to prom.
  8. Doing a body shot (of water) off someone.
  9. Completing the Viper Challenge.
  10. Feeling romantic love!! (I THINK, BC IT WAS A DREAM).
  11. Ice skating.
  12. Threading my brows and getting a manicure.
  13. Buying a pair of boots.
  14. Crying over school-related matters.
  15. Shopping online.
  16. Flying (cheer) since 2012/2013.
  17. SAT test* and French oral assessment.
  18. Watching a depressed friend being suicidal.
  19. Dressing up for Halloween. (as Sandy from Grease)

Cheers to 2018. Really excited for this one. 

pills

Whenever I used to fall sick,
Which was not very often,
I never took pills,
I trusted my immunity with all my heart,

Whenever I fall sick now,
Which was still not very often,
I take 5 new pills,
So I guess the lesson is to never fully trust,
For he took my heart and ripped it apart.

 

Sem 2 and what not

So if you didn’t know yet (although I wouldn’t blame you as I never really publicly announced my enrollment bc I didn’t want to come across as arrogant bc I’m only doing this programme bc of the JPA bursary wow that’s a lot of bc) , I’m currently feeling my way through Sem 2 of the IBDP at TCSH.

There, I said it. Lol.

Why I said ‘feeling my way’ is bc I’ve come up with sort of a metaphor on how progressing into Sem 2 is. Sem 1 is like walking into a brightly-lit room for the first time. Everything you see is new and fresh and exciting and it’s easy to move around (brightly-lit) bc there’re teachers and seniors to show you the way. And there’s nothing hidden, everything’s clear and direct, from lessons to new friendships.

And then Sem 2 starts and it’s like someone just flicked the light switch off. Suddenly, it’s pitch black as acronyms and terms (IAs,EEs, datelines, research question,manage your time) increasingly make their way into your hearing range. But even as you hear more of them, you still have no idea what to do with/about them and at this time, your eyes haven’t adjusted to the lack of light in the room so you’re taking baby steps with your hands outstretched.

As time passes and these acronyms and terms become almost like a dark cloud/voice that looms over your head at all times and will only disappear if you complete them, which if you’re efficient will be at the end of this year, everything that you do that does not contribute to the progress of these tasks will land you in guilt. And at this point you sort of have an idea of what you have to do to get the job done and your eyes have adjusted to the darkness so now you’re not so much in the dark anymore (aye) but none of it is clear yet.

And that’s all I have bc that’s my current situation. What a metaphor huh

Tbh this post was supposed to be about memories I can/want to rmb from high school that ended more than a year ago, if I can even rmb any. And then after I’m done with that, more posts on memories I want to rmb from college. “Whaaaaat it’s only Sem 2” you might say but that was me in Sem 1 and look how fast we got to Sem 2. With all the work rushing in like tidal waves, I bet it’ll be graduation before we even have the time to think about spending enough time tgt before parting ways.

Tho will it ever be enough

Looks like I’ll do the memories thing next time.

Feb 24th

I feel more than a little better today 🙂 This morning in Physics, I didn’t face much difficulty answering the questions on waves (which I missed many lessons of due to my hospitalization)  and I even managed to give the correct answer to a question most of my friends were struggling with (maybe they didn’t know the answer maybe they needed more time anyway I got it right first so they can suck it I’m jk love y’all)P

And then there was Econs. If you know me, you’d know that I’m not the best at presentations or public speaking. I tend to use notes a lot bc speaking in front of an audience makes me nervous which’ll make me forget everything I have memorized (which isn’t the best prep method to start with)

But today, with only about 20 min of discussion prior the presentation, I managed to talk about inflation quite comprehensively, I’d like to believe :-). At the beginning of this course, I was very lost in discussions such as this one bc of my economics-lacking academic background and I’d often find myself just listening to my teammates discuss, trying to absorb as much of this new knowledge as possible. But today, I  actually contributed to the presentation topic and went on to present it.

And then as I was eating lunch before Eng Lit, I was asked through text to replace my friend who was supposed to present later. Since my slides were done, I said yes. I was intending to try presenting without notes and Ms.Navina after her anyway. But this change in chances just confirmed to me that I AM meant to do this today. So at last period, I presented my topic without notes. I felt really happy afterwards.

Although these accomplishments are small, insignificant, and even non-existent in some people’s life , they are nonetheless accomplishments to me and I’d take it any day.

How it all started

Scrolling, raking my eyes over the words backed/surrounded by the white light of my laptop screen, trying to process them as quick as I can because it’s getting late and there’s just SO MUCH content, too good to be put on hold for another day.

I read and read and read. And how relieved(?), glad, excited I am about how much I am able to relate to this girl. It really seems like she’s got it all figured out, sorting her posts into what those people would think are pretentious names for mere categories but got me all curious and gave me a moment of “Why didn’t I think of that?” Reading as many posts as I can, they reminded me of myself (tho I wish i was half as good of a writer as she is) and my thoughts when I first started this blog. More precisely, not the thoughts when i started this blog, but the thoughts that made me want to start this blog.

I remember. I remember that I used to think about all sorts of things that i cannot simply categorise for you right now but for further understanding, simply drop by her blog to see for yourself what i mean. And for some reason, perhaps college, maybe the dwindling of initial enthusiasm, but I haven’t been having thoughts of that sort for a while now. And getting this peek into the inner workings of her mind and heart and possibly even soul, I realised how much I miss the eagerness and uncertainty that more often than not came along with those thoughts. I would find myself wondering about random things, wondering if other people wondered about those same things, wondering if they wondered if other people wondered about the same things as they did and so the cycle continues. And i feel like this is a constant with me because I’m always playing this reverse psychology game with myself and imagining beforehand how conversations would take place. How this relates to me having those random thoughts is that I go round and round in my head about how things can play out, the possibilities are endless,really.

Back to the topic (tho I never really went off-topic, just elaborated a tad bit more than necessary), now, the reason why I started this blog in the first place fresh in my mind, I am low key excited and hopeful that more of these thoughts will come and along with them the time to pen them down.