I shot 4 rolls of film in Vietnam. I’m not quite sure if that’s a lot or little for a week spent there! But it was my first time sending 4 rolls to the shop for developing, at the same time, so it was pretty exciting. And… also pretty expensive. Here goes a very picture heavy post. (I thought about separating places into different posts but then, then some would be too short so yeah)

Hanoi

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Cat Ba island – Lan Ha Bay

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Mui Ne

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Ho Chi Minh city

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Whew. That’s a lot to take in. I want to write another post on some of the details, sooo it’s just gonna be pictures here! (But I always end up failing to write a follow-up… ) Most of the photos I took in Ho Chi Minh was of my Airbnb that was super cute. You can get RM 105 off with this link !

Where to get film processed in Hanoi, Vietnam?

I googled that because I wanted to get a roll developed when I arrived in Hanoi. This excellent page answers it perfectly. Among the many film labs suggested, I visited Lab 36+ because it was the nearest to where I stayed. And I highly highly highly highly recommend it. The colours came out so! nice! I don’t know, it could have been that maybe my skills had improved and I had just taken better photos, but I doubt that. I think they just develop film very well….. I don’t know much about developing film and how much it can alter your photos but, the point here is that you should get your film process at Lab 36+. Oh, and guess what? It’s RM 6 to develop+scan 1 roll. … amazing???!??!??!? isn’t it. I paid RM 80 to get 4 rolls processed back here in Kuching… 또르르….

Anyway, I’ll be back REAL soon. I really hope I do. If I don’t write about Vietnam now, I will forget every detail and never write about it. So. Keep your eyes PEELED. Bye!

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on film.

Film photos from the month of September through October. My focus is rubbish, I know. I apologise for the uncomfortableness discomfort you may feel from looking at all the out-of-focus photos. They sure affect me a little. This is actually my 2nd time posting these photos because I posted them with some edits but it degraded the quality of the photos quite a bit. I’ll figure out a way not to compromise on either side. I promise. To myself (which are really the hardest promises to break because the disappointment sort of kills you and you just sort of shrink into a mess until you decide you should actually keep your promise). Here goes-

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Café date with Shawn, watching Sheena sing for the gig at Madeline in Spring. My memory isn’t so great, ever, but I think the tickets were at RM 60 per person. It included drinks, cakes, sandwiches and live music, of course. With the amount of food they provided, I wouldn’t say RM 60 was expensive. But. We simply couldn’t eat it all. I don’t know what it is about Madeleine cakes but I just can’t have too much of them. They taste good and all but I can’t even finish a slice alone. And that’s so strange. I could have like 4 slices of Earthlings blueberry cheesecake if I could afford it. Anyway, so for the amount they provided it’s worth the price but for the amount we ate, it was okay. Plus it wasn’t the best venue to enjoy the music either. Or maybe it was just the other guests who just couldn’t stop talking, very loudly at that. The music was nice, Sheena and Joyce sang all my favourite songs. But man, did we crave some trashy radio music when we got in the car after 2 hours of acoustic music.

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I always want to take more photos of my friends. But I lack new ideas, new backgrounds/places, and friends. I’m always taking shoulder-up photos of Sheena. I need new ideas and new faces (though I love you Sheen, and your face). I’m just so stuck in thinking of new ideas for photos. But I love it regardless. Photos of Rebecca with white flowers were taken at Lydia’s house when we visited to give her and Ms. Ng milk tea. It’s our poor form of support for our friend. Go Lyd! The first photo of Sheen was taken in front of a random house we found driving around neighbourhoods looking for a tree/ bush with plenty of flowers. And the second photo of Sheen was taken at Chinahouse while renovations were still going on. To digress here a little bit, renovations are over and Commons is now open! Different menu and interior. So much more open, it’s really beautiful! And new board games are available too! The 3D snakes and ladders was baffling to set up the first time, but it was so fun. In the second photo of Sheena, she looks super I-love-this-breeze-life-is-beautiful but NO, not at all. There were these huge black flies on the grass and they were those fearless types that won’t budge even if you go near them. It was so so scary. We took that photo and got the fuck out of there. The place itself was a very nice place to take photos at and we were planning to take photos there for so! damn! long. If you live in Kuching and can guess where that is… that’s pretty cool.

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FESTIVITIES! The above photos were taken on Lunar New Year at the Friendship park. There were so many people there and it was filled with lanterns, people carrying them, flying(?) them and many hanging on tree branches. It was beautiful and I loved it. There’s this big sign that says ‘No Kong Ming lanterns’ (along the lines of) but it’s like almost everyone’s sending off big red lanterns into the sky. It was really pretty. You can actually see the bright red dots filling the sky from most places. I used to watch from the balcony all the time and it was my first time going to the park and sending off one of my own. Becca and I bought a red heart-shaped one (accidentally) for RM 4, didn’t want to pay for a lighter nor a marker so I borrowed both from people around us :-), scribbled some wishes and sent it floating into the sky, joining the myriad of red dots.

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CNV000018 (1)These were at the mooncake festival in town. Super crowded. Sort of like Kuching Food Fest but squeezed into one street. The next few photos are all my other halves..

CNV000034 (1)CNV000035 (1)CNV000036 (1)Oktober fest @ tHe Spring with my friends! I swear every photo I take that has Ryan in it either doesn’t come out on my roll at all or something bad just happens to it like the one above. I blame Ryan. Last photo is of the Kim Joo street. A street I go to so often, it’s one of those places in Kuching I feel at home. It was also the street the mooncake festival was squeezed into.

Thanks for reading through. Update: I’ve finally saved up enough to buy my digital camera. A little pat pat for myself. Wanted to bring the new camera to Vietnam but I won’t be able to get it by then so… :-( :-( :-( I’m upset, I thought it would have been the best time to try out a new camera and learn something. My film camera would have to do. :’-)

I’ve been watching so many movies these past few months. I used to hoard(?) movies, like I would download a ton of movies and then never watch it. I was just content in having them in my collections. Sort of like how many people buy books and never read them but still feel happy about it being on the bookshelf. But after my A-levels exams ended (tbh I started watching them before my last exam ended..), I felt the need to fill up the space. Thus, I finally started to make my way down my ‘to watch’ list. So here are some recommendations from the movies I’ve watched in the last 3 months.

1. Frances Ha (2012) directed by Noah Baumbach

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This film was in black and white but without that certain ‘putting off’ feeling (?) I get from most b&w films. I felt like it went by really fast. To be fair the movie was pretty short, an hour and 20 minutes. I loved the story and the how the movie flowed and was narrated. The acting was so real and it was really just a very sweet and bitter and sad and real and funny and awkward film on life. By the way, I’m no film critic so really, don’t take anything too seriously.

2. Mr. Nobody (2009) directed by Jaco Van Dormael

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I don’t have much I can say about this film because I need to watch it again. It’s a film about the different lives the guy lives following a point in his life where he has to make an impossible choice. The film alternates between the 3 lives he lives following the choices of this or that, and of neither. It’s very interesting, and very confusing. Worth a watch. And a re-watch.

3. The talented Mr. Ripley (1999) directed by Anthony Minghella

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I first watched this movie because of the last 2 photos. Also because Matt Damon.. and Gwyneth Paltrow and Jude Law?? But this film was so disturbing. To be exact, Matt Damon’s character was so disturbing to me. I couldn’t fathom what his character had going on in his head in the slightest degree. But nonetheless a great mystery/crime film.

4. The Virgin Suicides (1999) directed by Sophia Coppola

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Such a pretty movie. Like all of Sophia Coppola’s films. To be honest, films on american teens never really related to me. I couldn’t finish Dazed and Confused. So this was similar in that terms but I still liked it. I like movies that aren’t like movies? Like I like films that seem to record a period of someone’s lives, just like that. Not like something with a definite plot like a beginning, story, climax, and a definite closure. But it really depends, for crime movies or thrillers I do love a good plot. I love plot twists and detailed build ups and all that. I love love endings that I could never have imagined/ thought of. But for movies like this I love their strange, indefinite endings.

5. Your Name (2016) directed by Makoto Shinkai 

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Insanely beautiful animation.

5. Pulp fiction (1994) directed by Quentin Tarantino

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I’ve actually never watched his movies until this. Expected from such a famous movie and director. Cool and quotable, just like what the critics say. I love his dialogues.

6. Marie Antoinette (2006) directed by Sophia Coppola

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Another beautiful movie by Sophia Coppola.. I’m not quite sure what I think of this movie?? I think it really depends on what you’re viewing this film as. Whether you’re viewing this as a historical reference or just some entertainment for the night or because you’re a fan of her work. I think the story was okay.. I don’t know whether you can comment on the story of something based on a real life story. But yes, it was beautiful. And most of the times, I don’t mind beautiful movies with mediocre stories (really couldn’t like Darjeeling Limited though..)

 

This was written a few months ago, actually, and haven’t been watching any movies since. I have a terrible tendency to lose my flow/interest after a short while (one of my worst flaws). But I hope you like these movies if you have time to spare! Have a great month of October and I’ll be back, probably, with film pictures from September-October. Though I still have a long list to go through and will probably take more than a few months to get back to watching movies, leave me some recommendations! :-) 

#girlboss (in caps)

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I’ve recently finished the book #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso, the founder of Nasty Gal and it was about how she got to where she was, her mindset and some tips for #GIRLBOSSes (a lil’ cringey, yes) . I guess it was pretty inspiring. It was very, oomph-oomph, hardwork, don’t wait for things to fall into your laps (because it WON’T, or it will, but only leftovers, quoted from Abraham Lincoln), it was very much about going out there and owning it. I’ve always respected people who got out there and got things done. I’m a huge fan of do-ers. Anyway, after finishing the book, I went through it to find some underlines I’ve made so I’m just going to be jotting them down here.

 

To be, in a word, unborable…. It is the key to modern life. If you are immune to boredom, there is literally nothing you cannot accomplish. -David Foster Wallace

‘Don’t do sloppy work. Be the best.’

‘Do not spend more money than you have.’

Book I want to read: ‘The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason’

‘You don’t get what you don’t ask for.’

‘we control our thoughts and our thoughts control our lives.’ (Do we REALLY? CAN we really?)

‘-but I really think that what is right should be easy.’

‘That said, if you approach everything in your life with a certain degree of intention, you can affect the outcome.’

‘I don’t want to spend time thinking about things that I don’t want to have a place in my life. You have to kick people out of your head as forcefully as you’d kick someone out of your house if you didn’t want them to be there.’

Doesn’t mean anything, but I think this quite often and I never knew how to phrase it : ‘While I no longer agree with this sentiment, I can empathise with the guy.’

‘I never assumed that I’d just done my best job the first time around.’

I never dreamed about success. I worked for it. -Estee Lauder #girlcrush

It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things. -Leonardo da Vinci

Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle. -Abraham Lincoln (Strange to read the word ‘hustle’ in a serious quote, its just that it sounds like such a 21st century word like swag, dope.. e.t.c.)

Something I’ve always believed in: ‘Compete with yourself, not with others. Judge yourself on what is your personal best and you’ll accomplish more than you could ever have imagined.’

 

Hope this inspires you to have a kick ass week and get things you need to get done, done. Thanks for reading, bye!   

 

 

I went back to Korea for a bit longer than 2 weeks in Aug-Sept recently. It was just a short trip to see my brother for a while and have some good food. Here’s some film photographs from there! Actually shot a lil less than a roll only.

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#1 coolest thing I saw in Korea. I was standing at a bus stop in Nonsan, where my brother had his training. And I was like.. wait what. Is that a slide from a window to the ground?? Holy.

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The sunset view I watched while going down the escalator at a train station. We were trying to get all the way to Gwang Ju, which is really far from where I stay, to attend a funeral of someone I don’t personally know. The small glimpses of the sky I could only catch through the tall scrapers made the beautiful sky seem even more magical.

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My grandma getting her usual perm at her usual salon.

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We tried 6 times because it was 1000 won for each time and I only had 6000 won with me. Unfortunately, we didn’t win even once. We promised each other that we would return the next day with more money and win a plushie. Our hopes were trashed by our aunt who banned us from returning.

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I wanted to try a bagel shop I read about online. So I picked HB from school at 5 and we carefully followed Naver Map’s instructions on how to get there. We got on the right bus and got off on the right stop but I just couldn’t figure out the map for the walking part. Scared of getting lost, scared of it getting too dark, scared of Korea in general, we decided to go back home after getting ice cream from the local mart. But I asked the shop keeper and he kindly gave us directions so we managed to get to the bagel shop that had heavenly cream cheese. So good.

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3 generations.

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Grandma. I’m sorry I couldn’t focus.

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개 조심. Beware of dogs.

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HB playing badminton at the park that I visited with her at night for about 5 days straight. We had so much fun going around asking dog owners permission to touch their dogs.

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My brother has gone to army! He has completed his first 5 weeks of training (the picture below is the leaving(?) ceremony for that), and today, he has finished his extra 3rd week of training at his assigned army(?) and has been assigned to his final post where he’ll be working at until he is done with his service. I’m glad all the tough training and adapting is over for him. Hope he meets good people where he’s at now!

Order, then disorder. Soldiers reunite with their families for the first time after their first 5-weeks training.

 

That would be all- xx

(see you soon)

It’s mid September now, which means that it’s been 3 months since I’ve graduated from school. Uni starts in March so I still have about 5 months free. I wanted to document how I spent my free months after graduation, just for record. Not doing anything special, really, but it’s been 3 months so I shall write my first update.

All right, I graduated (we didn’t even have a graduation, the day you take your last A-levels exam, you just go home and never return, that’s how we graduate in our school) in mid June.

JUNE

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June was very simple. I didn’t get to party all night or go on trips or anything fun. Mid June to mid July was the application period for Korean universities so I was  very busy writing my personal statements, getting reference letters from teachers and gathering all the documents I needed for the application. Applying to Korean universities is so tedious and complicated and really just annoying compared to much simpler application systems like UCAS. But yes, that was June for me.

JULY

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To mid July I was still sort of busy with my application. Oh, my brother visited us during this period, and he had to spend time helping me with my app hahaha. He was so important in my app process because I had to write my personal statements in Korean and that.. is not something I can do. So I wrote some in English and had him to translate them for me, and some I wrote in Korean together with my mum. I remember feeling very grateful to have a family that really took their time and effort to help. My brother was being such a perfectionist, but those lazy perfectionist kind, so he took a long time. Then once my app was over, I went out with my friends everyday. It was finally my chill time. I went for the Rainforest World Music Festival for the first time, which was such a great time. Also, watched All That Jazz, a music um.. show? (I don’t know what you call them!) where lots of my friends were performing. They performed famous songs from musicals and they did Hamilton!! Ahh I was so excited. It was so cool to see my friends on stage. Felt like a proud mum as well.

AUGUST

CNV000037 (1)So I chilled for the rest of the month of July, and that was enough chilling. I had to start doing something because I was going to start getting really bored plus, my mum was starting to nag at me to do something. So I started tutoring. I wanted to earn money! I was (I mean, I still am) saving up for a camera so I was pretty excited to earn money. Minimum wage in Malaysia is really low, I have friends working in cafes for like RM 5 an hour. And that’s really little! Tutoring pays the best among what I can do at this stage so I went for it. Getting students wasn’t hard at all, because I live in a condo where many Koreans live, and the Korean mums know each other ahaha so I had kids to tutor almost immediately (blessed :-) ). August was actually pretty filled! I tutored for a month, had 2 flea markets at the Green Heights Mall with Sheena, had 3 results announcements (including my A-levels! eep), a birthday party, a class reunion and many breakfasts/lunches with my precious friends who came back to Kuching. Then at the end of August I flew to Korea for 2 weeks! Attended my brother’s army training centre umm leaving ceremony (???) 수료식! and could see him for a few hours before he had to return. He seemed good, no worries. Also, got double eyelids LOL. It was a super strange experience.

SEPTEMBER

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Only 2 weeks into September now, got back from Korea a few days ago and haven’t done anything. Met up with my friends for food (well, the only thing you ever meet up for), sent a friend off to the UK (bye Jess.. you’re going to do so well!) and I’ve started tutoring for 2 days. I’m 2 months behind buying my camera so let’s GOOO. I’ve been trying to motivate myself for this tutoring thing. I really do not want to dread having classes. That’d be horrible. 2 more months!! I got thiss! And for the rest of the month, I’ve got nothing planned. I’m trying to spend the time doing something, because I really might die if I don’t. So hopefully I’ll have lots to update for the next post. Oh and I wanted to start going to the gym again, to learn lifting but I can’t do any heavy exercise for a month. I really don’t care about the number but I hope I don’t hit my next 0? I feel safe in my zone right now. Hahaha.

Oh and I got my laptop screen fixed! Finally! After 1 and a half year of putting it off. If your mac has a staining problem on your screen, they have a replacement program where they offer to replace your screen for free (regardless of your warranty). It looks beautiful again. Now my keyboard part looks dirty in comparison.. 

This month I hope I will:

  • Post more here.
  • Immerse myself in Chinese.
  • Take more photos. Get ‘airport road’ done! (pls) (i’d be so proud of myself) (well, if the photos come out good)
  • Invest more time in preparing for tutoring.
  • Not spend too much money. No more Zinc for me this month.
  • Make things. Something physical.

 

  • almost forgot, practice my DRIVING (I want to be able to drive alone in October, for God’s sakes, Sang Min please)

 

hope it won’t be boring, cheers to people doing things

xx