LIFE IS A JOURNEY, ARE YOU READY?

6 BACKPACK ACCESSORIES A NOVICE NEEDS

In recent years, developing countries like Vietnam and Myanmar are opening up for tourism. Budget airlines have also been on the rise for the past decade. These smaller fleets bridge the world to the lesser known paths. With that, backpacking has become the popular mode of travel. The convenience of a backpack beats a suitcase on wheels, trekking on roads unpaved.

The choice of backpack has become a science with the mountain of varieties in the market. The number of brands, materials, sizes and sizes alone are stifling. It is important to identify the purpose of your travel before picking your backpack.

How to pick your backpack
Identify the volume you need. More often than not, you need a smaller size than you expect. The rule of thumb is to fit a week to 2 weeks of clothes, a toiletry bag, extra shoes, raincoat or jacket at most. The other items will be your documents, books and, or electronics. This is the basic. And depending on the climate, a 50 or 70 litres backpack will suffice.

If you are using it for trekking, skiing or camping, it needs external attachments for your gears. If you are moving to a new place everyday, you will need specific larger openings. It is also important to be able to adjust your straps to balance the load on your back. These are some guidelines.

1. Dry compressed bags
Separate your clothes into usage, for the beach or for the night... Roll them and pack them into the bags. They keep your clothes dry in case of a wet accident. And as it says, compress your clothes to give you more space. Pick smaller bags as they act as compartments.

2. Bungees
There will be many external attachments on your backpack. They help to hold sleeping bags, shoes, walking gears or just about anything you want. Look at how other travellers use them. There is no hard rule about it. Bungees are straps with hooks or snaps. They can be elastic or not. They are useful in securing your belongings to the external attachments.

3. Snap hooks
Snap hooks are individual hooks with springs. They help to secure your hanging items or bags to the external attachments of your backpack. You can be hands free attaching a bottle or mesh tin, or small bag.

4. Rain cover
It is important to get a rain cover if you don't already have one that comes with the backpack. It protects your backpack from dirt and water. Most backpacks are water resistant but not waterproof. It covers the front of the backpack exposing the straps.

5. Attachable strap pockets
There are usually limited pockets and you will need pockets that are accessible. These pouches that hold your digital devices attached on your chest or waist straps .

6. Foldable bag
When the backpack is full or when you need to separate fragile items, it is useful to have extra storage bags. A foldable smaller backpack is the best and more secure than totes.

These are just some of the backpack necessities to start a novice. There are more accessories that are specific. Explore the world and add to it.

HAPPINESS 021216

SO MANY GOOD SERIES TO WATCH. I LOVE MY LIFE. EASY HOMEMADE NOODLES. AND I DIDN'T JUST LEARNT IT, I MADE IT. BASIL SEEDS DRINK. SLOWING AND TAKING MY TIME. SLOWING. WRITING AGAIN AND ENJOYING EVERY BIT OF IT. CHAMOMILE TEA AND MORE INFUSIONS. REDUCING MY NONSENSE ONE AT A TIME.

THE ONE-INGREDIENT SOUP BY GORDON RAMSAY



I am a huge sucker for quick and easy healthy recipes. It not only saves time but also saves you carrying the bulk from the market, not to forget it beats junk food anytime. I was surprised when I stumbled upon this one-ingredient soup. But it cannot be dubious when it is by Gordon Ramsay. And of course you have the charming British demonstrating it in the video, it cannot be simpler than what he did. Well, it can. Ramsay made the more elaborated version of it with the drizzle of oils, and also topped it off with what was some expensive looking gourmet cheese. That in itself would be two ingredients if you ask me. If you do not consider water, salt or a quick drizzle of olive oil and a crack of pepper as ingredients, then it is really just a head of broccoli or two, depending on the volume you want to make.

I made it myself several times but excluded the more expensive cheese at the end. Not because I think it will not add to the taste but I am always trying to keep cost low and it is supposed to be a light appetiser anyhow. I visited a vegan friend once and we decided to make a quick meal. Pasta was the obvious but I suggested making broccoli soup when I saw he had some in his fridge. He went on to pull out other ingredients from his fridge, thinking we would be making a vegetable stock. He was in disbelief when I told him it only needed broccoli. So, off we went to make this simplest of soup in less than ten minutes.  It is the most amazing one-ingredient soup you can ever make and impress anybody. It is now his signature soup.

HANDMADE AND HAND CUT NOODLES

I am crazy about making things from scratch. I lived in western cities where Asian ingredients are difficult to come by, or expensive to buy. I started to learn how to cook only when I was living overseas. It was not easy being away from my comforts, so learning how to cook was a step towards being more efficient.

From then, I strive to try to make most things from scratch. It was most difficult when I was in Amsterdam. It was not as cosmopolitan as London and I was not exactly staying in the heart of action. The supermarkets were about 10 minutes walk away. But grocery shopping was definitely a chore or no-go when it was snowing or raining hail. So what does one do when it is raining hail outside and you have no staple but a big bag of flour?

I learnt how to make bread.

But now, I want to learn how to make noodles from scratch because I have never gotten to it. I kneaded some dough in front of my laptop whilst watching my series this morning. It was a simple recipe with plain flour, salt and water. The kneading was easy, the cutting was more difficult. I didn't roll out my dough, I pressed and punched it down. But it worked. I think I am getting the hang of it. After this rather successful first round of cooking my own noodles for lunch, I think i know how thick or thin the noodles should be next time.

A cheer.

THE MAGIC OF MOTORCYCLING ON A DATE

Amidst the crowded forest, you saddle and mount onto your steed. You turn around and pull your lady up. You are both ready. An instant trust amounts. She puts her faith in you, and you take it like her valiant knight, her protector. And your iron steed blows fire to gallop away from the world of the mundanes. Amidst that of the rigmaroles of urbanites and their skyscrapers.

With your iron steed, you can turn the asphalt into a magic carpet that twists and winds. Travelling on the path that neither you nor your lady had ever laid eyes upon. The lake is now a mystical watering hole where your iron steed would stop, and you will deep your toes into. The horizon is nearer than before, and you speed towards it to hold the golden setting yolk in your hands.

The changing wind touches your lips and cheeks, and carries on to caress her hair. Her hair flowing in the changing colours, with the iron steed speeding through the light. She smells her valiant knight carried in the wind, as you feel her trust even not seeing her. A bond builds.

We often lose sight of the simplest joy. The feeling of being closer together. The feeling of trusting someone like riding on a motorcycle together. It is not just about trusting the rider. The rider needs to trust the pillion rider too. It takes synergy for two people to be on a motorcycle together. It is almost primal, being on a machine, as supposed to being in a machine like a car. You are almost 'naked', unprotected, and exposing yourselves to the elements. The beauty of the wind on your faces and your hair. The closeness of experiencing sights with your naked eyes, lights bouncing with the winds.

And with that touch of magic, you are free, free to explore. There are no paths less beaten, no alleys too small, no stops too abrupt. You just go with the flow, no plans, no maps. You stop at the edges to admire the horizon. You pull up at the side to pick the sweetest of berries. You turn in to discover an abandoned lighthouse, only to receive the most amazing view from above.

All these to experience with that someone who could be. And how about letting the imagination run wild with pure instinct, on a romantic motorcycle date?. The only thing that matters, is the person you are with on the trusty iron steed.

10 ROSE PETALS USES IN THE KITCHEN

1. Rose Petal Tea
You will need to use organic roses in the kitchen for consumption. Non-organic roses have chemical fertiliser in them and pesticide on them and are unsafe. You can make rose tea the same way you make infusion with fresh mint. A few petals in a tea cup, fresh boiled water and keep the petals in for a few minutes and enjoy. You can leave the petals in.

2. Rose Petal Sauce
This is a Mexican recipe as featured in the movie 'Like Water for Chocolate'. A quail dish made with rose petal sauce shared between the star crossed lovers. Puree the rose petals and cactus and whisk in honey, salt and pepper.

3. Rose Petal Vinegar
You can have rose infused vinegar in mere minutes for your dinner party. Simmer white wine vinegar and rose petals in a stainless steel saucepan. Stir and let the vinegar cool once perfumed. You can leave the petals in for aesthetics.

4. Rose Petal Salad
Toss the pretty petals with your spring or summer salad. It adds colour and fragrance to the season of full bloom. Rose goes well with chicken, peaches and peas. It adds a perfume to the bitter rocket leaves.

5. Rose Petal Jam
Treat the petals you would like any fruits for making jam with. Combine the petals with some citrus juice and sugar and set aside. It could be lemon, lime or orange juice. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer until the consistency is of desired. It depends how strong you like the rose perfume to be, you will have to experiment the ratio.

6. Rose Petal Sweet Milk
This is like the spiced milk that we all know well. The Indians drink rose flavoured syrup with milk. But this is as delicious if you have fresh petals around. Simmer the petals in the milk and add sugar or condensed milk to taste.

7. Candied Rose Petals
Dip the rose petals in egg white and then in icing sugar. Place the petals one by one on a silicon sheet or baking paper and let dry. Once dry, they are a bit brittle. Use them on top of cakes, fruits or poached fruits for decorations.

8. Rose Petal Extract
Put as many petals as you can in a glass jar, and fill it up with vodka. Place the jar in a dark place and wait until the petals lose their colour. You will get rose extract for baking, cooking or even cocktails. You can speed up the process by placing the sealed jar in a dishwasher run.

9. Rose Petal Ice Cubes
Spruce up iced teas or cocktails by freezing petals in ice cubes. They make the drinks super pretty. The trick is to make the ice with boiled water. You will get clear ice cubes instead of cloudy ones.

10. Fruits with Rose Perfume
Soak cut fruits in chilled rose petal tea, or if you want, add rose petal extract for more perfume. Leave the fruits to chill while tossing them every now and then make sure they are all infusing. Drain and serve. This makes a delightful surprise.

HAPPINESS 301116

BINGE WATCHING SERIES MAKES ME HAPPY. GOOD ACTING, GOOD EDITING, GOOD STORY TELLING. IT IS THAT EASY BUT SO MANY PEOPLE GET IT WRONG. TRAVEL BUG. I AM A LONER WOLF, AN OUTSIDER AND I AM NOT ALONE. HOME COOKING AND ALL SORTS OF FIBERS. CHAMOMILE TEA ALL DAY LONG FOR RELAXATION. HAPPY COMPOSTING.

4 WAYS HERBAL TEAS CAN DETOX YOU


I am a frequent traveller and I go to developing cities and towns to immerse into their cultures. With that, I try to take a lot of street food to understand their culture and also to mingle with the locals. Although one can assume street food is more or less safe to eat considering everyone else is doing it, there are also a lot of things that a traveller might not be able to stomach. It could be the herbs and spices used, or it could simply be the way it is prepared. 

I normally go through a period of detox when I return to my home city. Being a frugal traveller, it also does not mean that you can go for the regular salads or your choice of meals all the time. You just have to live with what is affordable and along your route of travel. Hence, you might not be having very balanced meals for days on end. Many one-person meals do not have enough vegetables to be considered balanced in our countries. Hence you can imagine your body like a vessel that needs to be drained of it's toxins after your travel or holiday. So, the money question: Does herbal tea actually work? I shall review my experience with it.

  • It contains natural ingredients: Be it Ginger, Chamomile, Myrrh, Marsh Mallow, Ppeppermint Leaves, Rooibos, Persimmon Leaves, Holy Thistles. 'Natural' is the key word. Most detox teas contain artificial ingredients. Imagine adding more manmade substances into your already toxic body.
  • My favourite 2 ingredients Ginger and Chamomile are it. These are scientifically proven to work in the human body. Ginger increases our blood flow and also aids in digestion. Chamomile calms you and also makes your skin glow. Imagine your body working hard to get rid of the toxins, yet you do not feel the stress it is working hard to fight the battle for you.
  • You might be asking how a tea bag or some leaves or flowers can help to detox or lose weight. Here is why a lot of people do not see the result. Your vessel is already full of toxins. You should not, and I repeat, should not load it with more toxins. Many people think that detox products are miracle products where they can continue their lifestyle of vices, and they would be miraculously cleansed. No, it does not work like that. Even when you are trying to clean stains off your clothes, you do not add more stains to it when cleaning do you? So, always watch what you eat and drink while using herbal tea to make sure you get the maximum results. Cut down on artificial products and junk food, soft drinks, alcohol... you get the drift.
  • My top tip on using herbal tea is to sip it on an empty stomach. This is made of natural ingredients that are mild on your stomach. But they are also have active oils and minerals which will work better when absorbed quickly and immediately.

Enjoy the taste and rejuvenate yourself the way I did!


HAPPINESS 141116

SLEEPY, LAZY, RAINY DAYS. SO RELAXING. THERE IS ALWAYS A SILVER LINING TO THE CLOUDY DAYS. RICK AND MORTY. SO FUNNY. TRAVEL COMING UP IN TWO DAYS, HOORAY. SLOWING DOWN, BREATHING, MINDFULNESS. UNDERSTANDING WASTES AND SUSTAINABILITY. HAVING BACKED UP YEARS OF DATA AND ORGANISED THEM. PIMPED MY BED AND HAVE BEEN HAVING AWESOME NIGHTS OF SLEEP. WELL, SOME WEIRD DREAMS THOUGH.

MULTIFUNCTIONAL BUFF HEADWEAR


There are more upcoming travels and I thought I should rethink the clothes I put into the backpack. I am not getting big expensive items. In fact, I am relooking and rethinking the wardrobe and looking at clothes that can be minimised, or rather multi-purposed. While on the road, I need clothes that are multifunctional as well as hardy. Some fabrics crease and pull easily so they are really not good for backpacking, rough handling. Most of my scarves are long and bulky, all for winter climates. The few I have for the warmer climates are flimsy and they pull easily, meaning they fray easily. So I have one of these buff headwear coming my way. Made of microfibers, it can keep me warm in the tropical nights or the cooler climates. It is compact and the slight elastic also help to make it versatile. I hope it arrives in time for the next travel.



MY WEEKEND GUIDE TO MY MINIMISING JOURNEY


I woke up this morning. I woke up naturally without an alarm. I have nothing in the world to rush me. I have little commitments this weekend. I opened my eyes but the soft bedding pulled me back in. I snoozed another hour or so and jumped out of bed, full of energy. There is no inertia here. I slept late and I slept well. I am fully rested. The habit of waking up and pulling that mobile phone towards me hasn't changed yet. I want to know the time. But at the same time, there are messages from last night, from another country, another time zone.

I checked my emails. 2 emails this morning as supposed to the usual 20s. My minimising is working. I have been unsubscribing to the nonsense for the past few days and the declutter is happening now. I feel so free not to be bombarded by the various emails asking me to buy stuff. As much as I am trying to be minimalistic and sustainable, those emails are most enticing. They make me feel like I needed those things, that looking at those happy people in there make me feel like I am missing out on some things. But no, I should know better that those are tricks. I am ok. Many people want to be me. Just as I want to be them. But I know that being bombarded is not a good thing. Those emails, those ads are working on my subconscious. I don't need that. I need my energy for better things.

And so, I woke up and continued to backup my files on the computer. I erased files, hard disks, backed things up, overwrote things. It is never ending almost. It will end soon. I believe I have organised the folders and I just have to backup the files into different hard disks. I just need to let the computer run. I just have to do this. This will free me of the clutter in the work and leisure arena. My portfolio and my memories.

I went to the kitchen to prepare my lunch. I bought those eggplants and red peppers from the bargain bin at the supermarket a couple of days ago. I sauteed all of them and ended up with a big box of it for the next few meals. I took some and tossed them with noodles for my lunch. I continued to backup my files. I still have my music to backup. I have digitalised all my compact discs years ago. However with the few hard disks I have, and the confusing backing up system, all the files are not consolidated. I got music from myself and friends. There are so many duplicates and I do not need duplicates in my life.

I feel that I function better when I have a to-do for the day when I am on this minimising process. It is easy to sit in front of the clutter and be lost in it. Of course there is inertia and procrastination. There is always the, it is ok, there is tomorrow. So here is my list to help me today.

THE 2-MINUTE RULE
We all procrastinate. It is ok. That is life. Some things are more difficult to get started. But this is it, I read somewhere about this 2-minute rule. Some things are difficult because you know that once you start them, you would be there for hours to come. Other things are easier, they take minutes. Be if putting the laundry away, ironing that shirt, wiping that table. So the 2-minute rule is, if it takes just 2 minutes to do, just get off the butt and do it. That is one thing done.

THE SYSTEMS AND BACKUP
Once upon a time the hard disks are small. I am saying they are small because I used to deal with huge files at work and hence I need a lot of storage. It came to a point when one disk wasn't enough and I had to split the storage. I split the storage and then I still had to duplicate a backup just in case. I now have a huge disk of 2TB. This is my main storage now. The little ones are the duplicate backups. It is just so much easier to do it this way. But with years of storage, no wonder it is taking me days to sort the files out. Always have a system to store things, and if you can, one main disk for everything.

THE TRAVEL PACKING
I am into backpacking these days. And that means limited space, light packing. I am trying to identify light and thin clothes that will maximise my packing. I am also sorting out a pile of old clothes to bring to this upcoming trip. I am not going to look fashionable but who cares really. I will not come back with those old clothes. I will leave them in a bag at the accommodation and the cleaners can either take them or throw them out.

THE HALF BOTTLES
We are all guilty of having lotions, oils and creams that are half used and forgotten. Time to bring them out and finish them, or bring them along to your next travels. Finish them and toss them.

THE HALF BOOKS
The books you are procrastinating to finish. This is considered clutter too. I am making a point not to keep books. I am trying not to buy books anymore, as long as I can help it. A lot of novels come in pdfs or as ebooks now. I agree that it is missing the tactility when you read from an electronic device but it is greener. Besides, in this part of the world where humidity is high, books brown so easily and they start to look shitty after a few months. Finish that book and pass it on. Or as I plan to do, bring it with me to my travels, finish it and leave it for the next traveller.

THE MINIMALIST MEAL
I just cooked a big batch of veg. But I also used the condiments in the kitchen. All of us are always craving for specific tastes and hence we have way too many condiments and spices in the kitchen. I finished 2 bottles with a pinch left in each. Declutter, use and toss. Yes, it happens in the kitchen too. I didn't buy anything else, just used the dried noodles in pantry. 

HAPPINESS 111116

TRAVELS AGAIN TICK TOCK. THIS IS THE EYES TO LIFE. PONDEROUS, MORE AND MORE. IT ISN'T BAD TO PONDER. REUNITING WITH AN OLD FRIEND AND SHE IS SWEET. TAKING THINGS SLOW, A STEP OR EVEN TWO STEPS AT A TIME. IT IS OK. MINIMISING IN PROGRESS. UNDERSTANDING AND KNOWING YOURSELF IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN KEEPING SHIT PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE. REDUCING CARBON FOOTPRINT AND FOOD WASTE ONE DAY AND ONE STEP AT A TIME.

MY MINIMISING MOVE : UNSUBSCRIBE

Ever since I decided to minimise my life I have been thinking of ways to do it. As a lot of people said, it is not a sprint, it is a marathon. One cannot except minimalism to happen over night. Sure it cannot. I am conscious of how things are still in piles in my life and it needs time to be sorted. I am bringing old clothes to my upcoming travel and I am not bringing them back.

Just as minimising my wardrobe takes effort, minimising my life takes even more. I am slowly getting rid of spam people in my life. People who give me bad energy, people who are just nuisance and do not add to me feeling good, people who bring me down, people who talk nonsense, people who do not respect me and especially my time.

Minimising is maximising your time. So apart from quitting Facebook and consolidating my contacts to one or two social apps, I am also unsubscribing to a lot of mailing lists. Lists like Etsy and Ebay because I am not buying more things. Lists like restaurants, resorts and hotels. Lists like shit other mailing lists put you onto. Not only they are not adding value to my life, they are sucking the time of me. Every second I open those mails and take a glance, every second I dedicate to deleting them adds up to minutes and then hours...etc. I think of compounding seconds.

So, even if my minimising project is going slowly, it is going slowly but surely. I still get a lot of emails that are of no importance. I still open all of them. But this time, I give them more seconds or minutes of my life, to unsubscribe in exchange for more time in the future.

MY MINIMALIST DINNER : THE LEFTOVERS FRIED RICE

I have rice leftover from today's lunch. It was so much rice with the ingredients that it was a good half a portion left. I decided not to waste it and kept it for dinner. A simple stir fried rice would suffice. 

There is a supermarket near us with a bargain bin which I frequent. The produce is fine. Perhaps a blemish here or there, or leftovers from a big batch. They are discounted, a quick sale and I normally prefer to purchase them over the produce at the fresh aisle. 

I scored eggplants, red peppers today. Stir fried with it with leftover lettuce, garlic, onion, eggs, light soy sauce, sesame oil and topped with spring onions. Who said leftovers cannot be nutritious and delish.

MY MINIMALIST DINNER : SAVOURY OATS

Talk about minimising what I already have in the kitchen, here is a simple dinner today. With no reason to go to the supermarket since there are already ingredients in the kitchen, I cobbled up this savoury oats.

INGREDIENTS ALREADY IN THE DRY PANTRY
  • Dried shrimps
  • Dried scallops
  • Garlic
  • Ginger powder
  • Instant oats
  • Kelp powder
  • Sesame oil
  • Light soy sauce
  • Pepper

INGREDIENTS IN THE FRIDGE
  • Spring onions
  • Egg
Less than 40 minutes later of rehydrating and simmering the dried seafood, the stock is ready for you to add the instant oats. Easy, tasty, minimal, simple.

MINIMISING MY LIFE


I have been feeling bad. Bad in a sense my life seems to be stagnant. Bad in a sense that I am somehow made to chase something I do not want. I watched the documentary 'Minimalism'. The concept isn't new. It has been broadcast for years now and I first came across it when I was watching the tiny house movement. It is charming. It is freedom, it is a life without burden and baggages.

I wake up everyday in this room of mine from 2 decades ago. The family didn't fix the room, it is full of things I call junk. The mother is a hoarder and she has no concept of how things should be proper, that furnitures should be built-in and there should be book shelves and enough storage for everything. I don't have enough storage. I have boxes of nonsense. Nonsense because I am staying in the tropics and yet I have boxes of winter clothes. It doesn't make sense to get rid of them. They are expensive and I still go to climate countries every now and then.

So what now?

I look at the wardrobe and I feel sick. So many clothes from years ago. I still fit into them but maybe they are not my style anymore? Do I throw them away? Do I give them away? You kind of get into a fix because the stuff are still good and you think that there will still be use for them one day. But the days pass, and the months and then the years. And I find so many pieces that I have not worn for years. And they are accumulating.

I am getting so sick of the junk I see around and I think my unhappiness is largely because of this baggage. The little bit of things that I keep thinking will have use for one day. When is that one day coming? I don't know but I know I have to put my mind down to ridding stuff. And as hard as it may be, I need to have a new concept of sustainability and that is not hoarding.

IF YOU HAVE NOT WORN IT FOR 3 YEARS, IT NEEDS TO GO.
Ok, there are things I have not worn for years but I will still want to keep them because how often do you wear a formal dress? So formal clothes and winter jackets aside, tee shirts and stuff are coming out, going to the traveling pile.

THE TRAVELING PILE OF CLOTHES
I am putting a pile of clothes I will use for my next travel, that I will not launder and just leave behind in those developing countries so that someone else can launder it and find a second life for it. It might just relieve your bags of space and weight for more... clothes and souvenirs? Well, that is a very nice thought but no more nonsense. Food products I can allow, but no more clothes and accessories. I do not need more piling.

THE BOOKS THAT ARE SITTING THERE
I am not an avid reader. I have old books sitting around which I thought I might just read one day but it has been years. I am so selective in what I read that really if I want to read something, I would finish it in no time. So, I am making it a point to bring a book or two with me every time I travel. There is no point selling it to bookstores because even they do not want the old books. And be it purposely leaving the books at the airport or the hostels or hotels, someone else will find good use for them.

FOOD PRODUCTS
I am crazy about cooking and exotic food products. I also like to buy food products when I go traveling. So you can imagine I became a bit of a hoarder with that. In these days of my sabbatical, I am using as much of those stock as possible so that I save money on food. Of course, my diet still needs to be balanced and fresh ingredients still needs to be bought.

As much as there needs to be more done, these new rules will help to get me started.

WHY I QUIT FACEBOOK


I wasn't on Facebook from the beginning. It just wasn't my style to jump onto the bandwagon with the rest. As time passed, it seemed I really had to be on Facebook because all if not most of the apps are using Facebook to log in. I also wanted to get on it to understand how the platform works as part of work evolves around it. So a few years ago my Facebook adventure started.

I wasn't posting a lot, I wasn't most active on it. But as the number of friends increased and their activities increased with tagging me, my involvement seemed apt. It was fun to see the degree of separation and activities. What I enjoyed most were the articles from the liked pages. The content is good and I treated it as my daily dose of news and entertainment.

What really ruined that enjoyment was the bombardment of annoying posts from 'friends'. Sometimes one just cannot tell nor differentiate friends and acquaintances. Sure I know it. But what would you consider someone whom you have known for more than a decade or two? A friend? An acquaintance? How do you categorise them?

The annoying selfies that caption 'I look bad today', or 'I wish my hair looks this good everyday'...etc. All with filters from apps and retouching. But why do I need to look at unreal selfies and their narcissistic captions? And when you comment on those posts with something with black humour, they can actually delete those comments. So, how real is Facebook's portrayal of their lives? Anyone's life?

We keep seeing what people have ate for the day, beautiful flowers and things, outfit of the day, selfies, laughters with friends...etc. Some of them are interesting, many are what I call verbal or visual diarrhea. What is the significance of all of these? If there is any at all? We are all being portrayed by fake lives, the snippets of interesting facades, all filtered through photography apps and retouched to perfection. When will anything real come through Facebook? The real faces, the real stories, the real lives.

Hence, it is goodbye Facebook, at least for now before I have to get in touch with a long lost friend. Because, isn't that what it is supposed to be about? Not being a platform to portray unreal lives and ideals, and promote an unhealthy comparison between people.


HAPPINESS 230616

TRAVELS COMING UP SOON. PRETTY MUCH THE END OF THE WEEK FOR US. A NEW SURGE OF ENERGY ON ITS WAY. BREATHING AND LIVING AGAIN, GONE WITH THE BAD PEOPLE AND ENERGY. MY SPACE, FOR REAL, SOON. EMPOWERMENT. CLOSE MY EYES AND THE PERSON I REALLY WANT TO BE WITH IS LYING IN MY PLACE.

IN PREP FOR JOURNEY TO VEG: PESCATARIAN PURPLE POTATO OAT CONGEE


Sorry about the gruesome liver-like colour in this nothing of healthy dinner. We are blogging again. And this time to record an adventure. We are going to leave our home country and stay in another for, well we are not sure yet. It will be our own apartment, own everything. No families to open the fridge and snack on your lunch or dinner, no nothing. So nothing, so awesome.

And due to that, we could actually take note of what we would eat and also control it. No stealing, no sharing, no impromptu feasts, or 'I bought you this to eat...etc.'

We are still bringing some unused staple so this easing into vegetarianism needs to be slow. We still have dried seafood for congee and soups, and stock cubes. It is going to be vegetarian for many days of a week and pescatarian for a few.

People know we seldom measure ingredients when we cook, so this is what went inside the dinner.
  • One purple potato cut into dice
  • A cup of instant oats
  • Few cloves of garlic
  • Ginger powder (didn't have fresh ginger)
  • A onion, slices. Just because we love onions
  • A stock cube
  • Dried shrimps and scallops (Don't judge, leftovers)
  • Coriander as a topping
  • Sesame oil and pepper to add
Just add everything except coriander leaves, sesame oil and pepper. Bring it to a boil and simmer. We simmered it for an hour. A lot of flavours needed to come out of those dried seafood.
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