Monday, November 24, 2014


After listening to the lectures on History and making important notes on her iPad to prepare for the upcoming unit test for the entire hour, she was freezing to the bone and it didn't help that the caffeine she drank before class metabolized and weaned off, making her more drowsy than bore. Little did she know that her best friends felt the same way after their respective classes.
    She breathed a sigh of relief when she entered the relaxation area or she dubbed it; the radiant sunshine poured into the space through the ceiling-to-floor glass windows, bringing more life to it. It was lack of the human warmth even with the pile of bags scattered on the veneered rectangle table and on the carpeted floor. She was glad that it was vacant as she didn't have the energy to deal with people, especially not when she needed sleep. She threw her bag next to her sister's and collapsed on the empty couch, immediately falling asleep.
    She felt someone tapping her on the shoulder, wanting to bask in her rest longer but knowing that she needed to vacate the space for another exhausted soul. She uncurled herself and slowly pushed herself up, rubbing her eyes as she forced them open. Meeting her at the eye level was the sleepy-looking bro with a twinkle in his eyes. She found her bestie soundly resting next to her on the couch, all curled up like a fetus."
    "What's up?" Patricia said in her sleep-infused words. "Did you break my laptop or steal a swig of my Thermos flask or did something against the law that you need my help with?"
    Her unintended jibes did nothing to melt the bro's twinkle. "No, nothing of that sort. Can you rise up? I want to sleep as well."
    "No way. No way."
    "In that case" - the bro gently woke Patricia's bestie up and begged her to make more space, forcing the bestie into a fetus position and Patricia to the other end of the couch - "it's going to be really uncomfortable."
    "This is going to be really awkward, damn you!"
    The two-seater couch was not large enough to accommodate three sleeping lanky giraffe and instead of providing them with the desired respite, they were in more misery than they bargained for: Patricia's neck dangled off the hand-rest and her legs were cautiously placed so as to avoid whacking the bro's face or his bottom, the bestie was suffering from an aching neck as a result of being compelled into an awkward sleeping position, and the bro was as stiff as a wood, folded his arms as he attempted to make himself comfortable and mentally aware that one wrong move would injure Patricia or the bestie.

Let the rain wash away the tainted soul...

After the complications that left me burning in worry and fear, the first and second stages are now completed, leaving the third and final one to be settled the moment I receive confirmation from a pending document.

“你越把希望其托给别人,你自己就摔得越重” - 宁夏
A wave of anxiety is washing over me, knowing that time is slipping away from my fingers. It didn't help that I was watching Episode 51 of The Wife's Secret, in which Cao Cao (草草) was sending Bai He (百合) off at the airport and they were hugging each other in farewell while concurrently texting my friend on WhatsApp, discussing about our immediate plans in university. Some friends would want to make the aforementioned prospect a living reality, but the truth of the matter is I don't know if I'd want them to actually be there, especially with what has been spiraling. The truth is far darker than I know. Bah, the Lord will guide me on the right path again and ensure that there won't be a repeat of history. I have informed no one of my confirmed flight dates because it's better this way; we can avoid red, puffy eyes and cherish the happier memories when we basked in caffeine-infused laughter.

The beauty of pursuing an undergraduate abroad is that it means the chances of running into familiar faces are drastically minimized, if not eliminated.

And speaking of which, I played my cards too fast once and ended up being burnt more than ever before. Yup, if you are able to peel back the layers of the mask, you'll notice it. The bestie raised pointers that I never once considered possible, especially those markers that both left me confused and bad. That chap, I swear, has no idea that he has baffled especially me multiple times that I gave up wanting to know at all. I was spinning in circles as I attempted to debunk the puzzling behavior.

At least I understand with further clarity that the outcomes were nothing but a load of mind-boggling actions that resulted in close friendships being reduced to mere acquaintanceships, yikes! Yet, people commented that we resembled more like siblings than friends. O.o

Plus, it's about time that I ignore those hushed whispers that I enroll in that university to be closer to someone (which is a total lie, and if by any chance you guys are reading this, yes, I already suspected as much when you asked me those questions) or because I couldn't gain an admission into the BA program in Carleton or Simon Fraser. First of all, SFU doesn't offer the major that I'm eyeing for and secondly, Ottawa is a freezing place (even my Media Arts lecturer was apprehensive that I, a lass who has never experienced or seen snow, would actually be able to cope without misery). I'm not willing to gamble with my degree; it's unfair to my parents financially.

The reason why I chose Australia, especially Adelaide, is because it allowed me to complete the degree in a faster manner, thus saving the Carries on tuition fees and accommodation. Renting an unfurnished residence in the suburbs is as equivalent to staying in the city.

That's why you shouldn't jump to conclusion without asking the person - and that depends if she wants to reveal her reasons, alright?

I miss the memories associated with this simple dish, haha.
Soon, it'll be nothing but broken pieces of unaccomplished goals.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Travelodge Perth, Hay Street, Perth, Western Australia

(written from our December 2013 - January 2014 summer visit to Perth)

First of all, please allow me to apologize that this post is a year in waiting. It wasn't until I looked at all of the pictures taken in Western Australia on the iPad that I was reminded to share my experience of staying in Travelodge Perth. Also, it is with the deepest regrets that I don't have the actual pictures of the hotel room we stayed in.

The reception

After being cooped up in the aircraft for almost 6 hours with another hour spent at the domestic airport and on the journey into the city centre, it was lovely to be out, smelling the welcoming but chilly air of the city centre to refresh the exhausted soul.

Discarding all original plans of a prior booking, which was a gamble, mind you, we decided that it'd be best if we straighten our inquiries with the hotel employee on duty before actually moving on to the reservation.

The receptionist in charge, Manuela, clarified all of our questions with patience and explained that it was a hotel policy to collect a refundable security deposit of AUD$50 before proceeding to make arrangements for us to view some of the vacant rooms - all on different floors: one was with a balcony, overlooking St. Mary's Cathedral and Mercedes College whereas the other two were on different floors but furnished in a similar manner. After a quick's moment of hesitation and discussion, we settled for the 2nd option and settled with the procedure, which included paying all of our 17 nights stay in advance. Using the December 2013's exchange rate of AUD 1 = MYR 3, the total amount was AUD$2023 (= MYR 6069)

Credits to Travelodge Perth for the image

A quick reference to the aforementioned, only a valid credit card is allowed for the security deposit and it's refundable - as long as you don't consume anything from the mini bar, break/spoil anything in the room or purchase their temporary Internet plan. (I'll elaborate more on this in a short while.)

I was greeted by a comfortable and enveloping aura the moment we unlocked the door. On the right, behind the door, there is a luggage tray for you to place your baggage and next to it is the wardrobe, where the ironing facilities can be found. On the left is the toilet. If you walk in further, you'll see the bed, all nicely made and decorated with a telephone and alarm clock on the side tables that are placed on both ends of the headboard. The mini bar is within reach. Sachets of Mocona instant coffee and tea bags are provided (I have no idea whether they still do; we're talking about something that happened almost a year ago). Anything that is consumed from the mini-bar is chargeable, so keep this in your mind before you reach out to the fridge on instinct. The dressing table is below the wall-mounted cable TV and is arranged in such a way that you still can watch the channel even while writing something on the table. The dressing mirror is opposite the one-seater sofa, with the floor lamp at the far end of the room, providing a soft and relaxed lighting after sunset.

Since it was Christmas Eve and we were dead tired from the flight, we buried ourselves under the mattress in exhaustion and called it an early night. There was a part of me that didn't want to wake up in the morning and wanted to glue myself to the bed as it was extremely cozy. Although the pillows at home were of the same quality as the ones that hotels are using, there was a different feel to Travelodge Perth's bedding; it was gentler and silkier.

The facilities include:

•Wi-Fi (fees apply)
•Telephone with Voicemail Facilities
•Electronic Security Lock and Peephole
•In-room Safe
•Hair Dryer
•Iron and Ironing Board
•Individual Climate Control Air-conditioning
•Work Desk with Lamp
•Tea & Coffee Facilities
•TV- Flat Screen with Radio and Cable TV
•Mini Bar - In-room (fees apply)
•Restaurant Delivery Service (fees apply)

The lobby

As hinted in the abovementioned, the Wi-Fi is strictly only for 15 minutes per room every 24 hours and it's only accessible on the ground floor - at the sitting area opposite the reception. (I threw in the towel and purchased the 24-hour wireless broadband plan, which left me AUD $19.95 poorer, towards the end of our stay, eventually.) There are Internet packages that you can purchase once you're connected to their system from your hotel room, ranging from an hourly rate, a daily rate and a weekly rate.

Housekeeping wise, it's okay, although there can be improvements made. The housekeepers will usually only empty the trash bin, make the bed (including changing the bed sheet and pillow cases) and clean/wash the bathroom, but if you want anything additional like vacuuming the carpets or for additional towels, you'll have to make arrangements for that through the reception. Plus, we're all familiar with a complimentary pair of flip-flops, right? Well, in this case, there was none and it caught us off-guard because we never planned on bringing flip-flops with us.

Dear readers, here's a tip from me: don't make the same mistake as we did. Even though the hotel may provide those flip-flops free of change, it's always best to include an extra pair or two of the disposable (if possible) ones in your luggage as a backup, unless you don't mind walking around in Converse or sandals most of the time.

As you explore further, past the elevators on the ground floor, you'll stumble upon a business centre, which usually is vacant. Feel free to use the computers at a chargeable usage of AUD$2 per hour or leisurely browse through the provided books and indulge in some reading to kill some time. Hidden behind the business centre is a mini gymnasium. It doesn't carry everything that you'll find in the fitness centers, but the basic machineries like treadmills (the only one I recognize) are provided. You could also carry weights, if you wish to.

The anchor restaurant is opened for hotel guests and public likewise and serves Western and Asian dishes, but since I didn't sample their dishes, I can't say much about it.

The receptionists are more than friendly and helpful; they will try their utmost best to guide you and assist you in all of your inquiries and questions. If you're lucky, they may be even able to suggest touristy places that are not as popular. Ellie, who was working on the day we dedicated for exploration, recommended that we should give Harbour Town a visit as it was a shopping place that most travelers patronize whenever they are in town. Centro Galleria in Morley was another recommendation.

Outside the hotel

Travelodge Perth is located within walking distance to both Murray Street Mall, Hay Street Mall and St. Georges Terrace, a pharmacy, a couple of restaurants and cafes, Croissant Express (this sandwich cafe sells one of the best sandwiches in town), St. Mary's Catholic Cathedral and St. George's Anglican Cathedral, Royal Perth Hospital, Dome in Adelaide Terrace and Swan Lake.

Failing which, you could always hop on the free red CAT from the Victoria Avenue stop in front of the hotel and familiarize yourself with the area. The remaining Blue and Yellow CAT buses are accessible from Hay Street Mall and Forrest Chase, respectively.

The hotel itself

Name: Travelodge Perth

: 417 Hay Street,
Western Australia 6000,

: +61 8 9238 1888


Monday, November 10, 2014

Craving for the unexpected

I dreamt that it was a Monday morning and we were all waiting outside the Level 1 office, stressed out in our sleep-deprived mode. Unlike the other classrooms, which were unlocked, our History classroom was held in the Collaborative Studio 1, which was behind the Head of Department offices. Jon was leaning against the wall, fighting hard to stifle a yawn. I was approaching him with half-opened eyes, hugging a laptop with one hand and holding a venti-sized cappuccino from Starbucks in another.

It was still empty when we entered, but we took the opportunity to steal forty winks. Kyle chose to sit opposite me and shoved a paper towards me. It looked like a petition for something.

My thoughts: I can't believe I am beginning to miss the memories we had in Period 1 History under Mr. Gordon. Even though the entire semester left me walking in stress, managing 3+3 subjects at one go, if I actually peel back the pile of stressful layer away, it inadvertently provided me with the knowledge that served as a basis for Law.

"You need time out - or you'll die from a mental suicide"

It's a vague dream that I had a couple of nights ago with details that are confusing me, but one thing's for sure: it's connecting with my current intentions.

I dreamt that we were in a resort and I was the only one in the swimming pool with only my eyes and nose exposed. I was just letting the stagnant flow of the water guide me to the other end and watching a couple walking by the poolside, leaving a trail of blood in their wake.

With that weird occurrence behind me, I was with a friend in his car, heading to the university dorm. Since there was heavy traffic en-route, he deviated from the bright roads and swerved into a quieter but faster road that will get us to the university grounds in no time.

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Disappointed Hopes

From a reader response's lens, the interpretation of the succeeding poem will vary from reader to reader.

The Disappointed Hopes
by Ciana Carrie

Curled in my shell,
The silent sobs are my company in the eerie silence.
I am detached from any human contact.
The bone-chilling cold is my only confidant.

Eighteen months ago,
Their words surrounded me with a heavy force,
Suppressing and weighing me down.
Being poisoned by their evil-driven jealousy,
They are satisfying themselves with my misery,
Avoiding the facts of their unhappy lives.

Eighteen months later,
I rose free from the fetters,
No longer wanting to be their joke.
I broke through the pile of their vicious words,
Finally comprehending their true colors.
Masked beneath their kindness was a vendetta,
One that was so soundless that I missed its approach.
Gone were the friendships and kindness.
A trail of regrets left in its wake.
Forgiveness knocked on my door.
Pleading for mercy, it was them.
Stoicism filled my heart, not sympathy.
All traces of ego and hatred of me vanished.
Remorse, instead, was swimming in their glassy eyes.
I'm sorry, I said, it's too late.

Leaving the gaping hole of a hurting heart for them,
I turned my back on them,
Removing them from my life like rotten apples.
Let the wrath set alight the cowering fury of a Scorpio.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

What is this, man?

No matter how many times I convince myself that it doesn't matter, it still affects me somewhere in the depths of my heart, and it's something I've never been able to comprehend.

Am I caring too much?

A majority of the friends know that I don't like to see them with furrowed brows in consternation or anxiety and adopting a façade to suppress all worries from the public eye (although I'm guilty of doing it more than once). Inasmuch as I dislike their decision to do so, I understand there's always more to their choice than meets the eye; something that they are adamant of handling it alone and personally, perhaps?

With that, I have a confession to make.

The negative side of being thoughtful for acquaintances and friends is that I won't have any idea if I have been taken advantaged of or being griped about without my knowledge - or so I have heard recently, but harbor no intentions of investigating (there are traces of a lack of probity and candor, mind you). The contents have been withheld from me for my own protection; according to the chum, she doesn't want to hurt me with the spoken words as she knows it bears no weight and how sensitive I am.

But what has been said aloud about me cannot be rescinded as walls have ears and the winds carry tales.

It'll be a tad bit too tardy for any repentance when I choose to stop caring about anyone or anything. A person's patience is never infinite; there's always a boundary where, once crossed, takes the person beyond the point of no return. That will be me. I'm not made of sterner stuff; I'm merely masking myself with the façade and stoicism and letting my actions speak for itself.

By then, I'll be a much happier lass, working towards her dreams and goals.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Mushroom and Potato Quiche

There's not much to accomplish on a Sunday, especially if you're having a lack of sleep due to the previous day's matters. Having the mood for something light yet satiating, I ransacked the fridge for the leftover items and the ingredients that were recently purchased to bake... quiche!

If you're unaware of its humble roots, a quick search with Wikipedia would reveal that even though it's a typical French dish, it originated from Alsace-Lorraine, and means "cake" in the German language.

Mushroom and Potato Quiche

Pastry Crust
2 bowls of flour, sifted
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup water

Directions: Preheat oven to 200C and oil a suitable baking dish.

In a bowl, mix flour, salt and butter until it forms into a dry-like consistency.

Slowly add the water and continue mixing the batter by hand, adding more water or more flour whenever necessary.

Once the dough has been formed, knead it on a clean working space and incorporate the excess flour.

Roll it into an inch thick in width.

Turn the pre-oiled baking dish upside down and use the base to measure the actual width of the required crust, trimming away any excess piece.

Carefully lay the dough into the aforementioned dish. Stab it with a fork, creating an escape route for the air and heat while blind baking.

Blind bake at 250C for 10 - 15 minutes.


2 eggs, beaten
4 Tbsp chopped cooked pumpkin
6 medium-sized Swiss button mushroom


310g spinach, washed and chopped
1 tofu, cut into cubes and mashed
2 small-sized chopped cooked sweet potatoes

Tofu and sweet potatoes

1 medium-sized carrot, grated or sliced

The one I used is the purple carrot, but feel free to substitute it with the orange type.

1 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp pepper

Directions: In a pot of boiling water, blanch the spinach for 5 minutes or until soft.

Strain the water and lay the cooked spinach on a separate plate to cool.

In another bowl, pour the eggs in.

Mix milk, salt, nutmeg and pepper together and leave aside.

Chop the spinach into fine pieces.

Arrange the pumpkin and sweet potato around the baked crust.

Followed by the spinach...

Succeeded by the tofu...

Before being joined by the mushroom...

And last but not least, the egg mixture...

Bake at 180C for 30 to 40 minutes or until a stick inserted comes out clean.

Cool for 5 - 10 minutes and use a knife to cut around the side to loosen the quiche before transferring into a serving plate.

Remnants of the Past

Captured on one fine Saturday morning at around 11 am
I dreamt that I panicked slightly when the teacher-advisor announced that there will be a farewell party right after the finals. From what I previously heard, those holding a higher ranking position in the club had to plan and execute the party as a team and since I was the secretary, my contribution was compulsory and the budget drafting fell onto me.

It was during the grocery shopping for the snacks - me and a senior, with a list in her hands - met Guang Wei at the cashier. I wanted to bid my greetings but decided against it as we had to pack all the candies into gift bags and we were rushing against time. I wanted it to be done and dealt with soonest possible.

En-route to the venue on the day of celebration, I ran into Prajiv and Risatt, exchanging small talk as we crossed the road and walked towards the building before going our separate ways. Although they were coming for the party, it wasn't in a couple of hours' time that the guests were expected to arrive. The planning team, however, needed to be at the location as early as they possibly could to set up and ensuring that everything went according to plan, fixing up hiccups, if any.

My thoughts: the reason why I named this post "Remnants of the Past" is because there are traces of the Performing Arts Council's party planning peppered in the dream. I can't remember why I didn't attend it, but from what I heard later on, there was food and exchange of adieus. Whether it's the subconscious wanting an escape route again, I can't say for sure, but I have a rough idea on the meaning of the dream.
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