Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Time robbed me of you

I'm turning 21 in 4 days. 

I've never really considered the notion of time; about how it is absolutely out of your control, about how it seals the past and opens a myriad of opportunities for the future, about how it is regrettably irreversible - at least not in this dimension. 

It may sound a tad bit melodramatic but the idea of being 21, and formerly stepping into adulthood, (sort of) scares me. Yes, I've recently started thinking about time. Most people who have gone before would say that I'm insane for worrying about my age. "You have a long way to go, young lady," some say, bewildered.

I don't think they understand me. I've always been a girl with big dreams; always trying to punch above my own weight, always fighting to prove that I can do it, always trying to be the perfect daughter, sister, partner, and friend. 

In 4 days, exactly 21 years would have passed since I stepped foot on this earth. That is 252 months, 7665 days or 183960 hours. And all I've achieved amounts to (almost) nothing. 

Yes, I've achieved my childhood aspiration of joining the army. I'm studying abroad like I've always wanted. I'm attached to the best person I could ever ask for. But most fundamentally, I've failed in being the best person that I should be to my family and friends.

They say that there are 5 love languages that exist between human relationships: words, services, gifts, time and touch, I've always been aware that my primary love language is time. I enjoy receiving words of affirmation, acts of services, gifts and physical intimacy but nothing makes me feel more loved than spending quality time. Yet, I've never really (in return) made consistent effort to invest quality time on the people around me. Those who have known me for years would know that I'm not proactive in striking long conversations, initiating text messages or calling for meet ups. I've always justified my (lack of) actions by my introverted nature - it's just not my style. 

I'm turning 21 in 4 days.

I remember the close friends that I had in primary school, secondary school, junior college, and in my old neighbourhood. I had once thought that these friendships were something I would hold dear for my entire life. It seemed doubtlessly possible. I spent almost every day of my life with them.

I was wrong. Time betrayed me and I took it for granted. As we parted ways, moved on in life and no longer met every day, we started to drift further, further and further apart... I wasn't just introverted; I was lazy. It didn't cross my mind that time would rob me of these friendships - I wasn't proactive and I didn't bother investing in them.

Time is such a beautiful thing. It allows me to create memories that would stay with me for a lifetime. Yet, it is at the same time so cruel, robbing me of the things closest to my heart when I've (literally) done nothing

It breaks my heart to know that the same people whom I could laugh and cry with are now friends whom I find difficult to say "let's meet" for no good reason. It breaks my heart that personal space used to triumph over family time when all I wish right now is to be able to celebrate my birthday with my family. 

It breaks my heart but at least I now know. Because of the irreversible nature of time, I cannot unwind what has (not) been done. But because I now know, I will make sure that every second counts.

Thank you JORD watches for reminding me.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Sun, Sand & Sea(food)!

These people are pretty much (apart from my family) my favourite bunch; and this photo pretty much sums up our friendship - we love each other very much. Well, almost. As such, we make it a point to embark on a short getaway every year, not just to any destination but one that promises good sun, good sand and good sea(food)! Why? We wanna do what we do best - lepak.

We went to Phuket, Thailand the previous year (Thailand is my absolute favourite - I cannot stop raving about Thai food, Thai massage, Thai...) but this year, due to the hike in airfare (yes, we stand guilty as charged for travelling over the SG50 holiday), we decided to sojourn in somewhere accessible by land. After much research and consideration, we figured that Penang and Langkawi, Malaysia best fitted our criteria. We stopped over at Penang for a day/night before heading down to Langkawi for another 3 days. 

We basically spent the limited time that we had in Penang scavenging for the (extremely) well-loved Penang food, starting from SEAFOOD...

to Bak Kut Teh...

to the famous Char Kway Teow made by the neighbourhood's beloved "Red Hat Auntie" (There she is in the 2nd picture!)...

and finally, more SEAFOOD!

Of course, we're not mere gluttons. We spent a portion of the day walking down George Town, exploring their street art and lepaking in a random cafe that we stumbled upon. To our pleasant surprise, it was run by a Christian family that migrated from Taiwan! They served us with utmost cordiality, patiently explaining the origins of each cup of coffee and sharing their heartwarming stories and testimonies. Do visit them when you're there or check out their Facebook page!

We were greeted by a breath-taking scenery upon arriving at our accommodation in Langkawi. Thumbs up to Langkawi Lagoon Sea Villa for an amazing scenery with a great price! Waking up to the sound of gentle waves slapping against the wooden stilts was incredible. Drawing the curtains to witness the morning rays caressing the calm waters, against the backdrop of a vast expanse of greenery, was even better.

Since we had 2 certified drivers, we rented a car in Langkawi. It was 150 MYR for all 3 days. Absolutely worth it! 

This was our first dinner in Langkawi and it made us absolutely (literally) speechless. We initially intended to visit Teo Seafood Restaurant for dinner due to its good reviews but ended up giving up on our search for its location/giving in to our grumbling stomachs. We settled down in another seafood restaurant that we stumbled upon on the way to Teo's (which we later realised was only about 20metres away) - Yong Leong Seafood Restaurant. The hotplate tofu, the sambal kang kong, and the cereal prawns were beautiful; but what completely exceeded our expectations (and made us all agree that it alone made the whole trip worth it) was the Nyonya steam fish. It was perfectly seasoned and strikingly savoury that it whetted our appetite for more the following day. For dinner on the second night, we made a unanimous decision to forgo our trip to Teo's, in favour of the Nyonya steam fish!

Apart from gorging ourselves, we embraced the carefree life that Langkawi had to offer. The Seven Wells was the perfect place to lepak while appreciating nature and having lots of fun!

On the way to the beach, we stopped by the popular fish & chips store, Scarborough Fish & Chips. I had the regular fish & chips, which was pretty decent, but the pan-fried barramundi that the boys ordered was lovely.

Frankly speaking, the beach (Tanjung Rhu) was a pretty huge disappointment. Water sports were limited and expensive, and the beach wasn't as beautiful as it looks in pictures. Nevertheless, when you're with the right people, you'd definitely be able to find something great to do - isn't it? We managed to enjoy ourselves (with a coconut) by the beach while the 2 boys went around murdering catching ghost crabs.

Cheap thrills, great food, the majestic sun and the perfect company are all you need for the perfect holiday!

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