Tuesday, March 26, 2019


Although it’s been a couple of months now, I still remember what happened in the depth of those nights. I swallowed the emotions that spread in my heart like wildfire. My insistence of swallowing it resulted in the physical manifestation instead, causing me to suffer from immense back pain. It was at this stage that I promised myself that I’ll never return to this state of mind.

Yet, nothing has changed.

It’s safe to assume that I’ve momentarily lost my marbles as a result of the overthinking and late nights. I’m close to the precipice of emotions where I’m questioning each and every decision of mine . . . but I’d rather struggle with everything on my own. It’s not because speaking of it may amplify my problems, but more along the lines of my desire to avoid it. Truth be told, I’m extremely exhausted - even way more than I’m letting on. Even close friends have no idea what I’m dealing with. Although they’ve encouraged me on multiple occasions not to bottle up my feelings, I’d still throw myself into work to take my mind off it. I don’t want to rant on anyone when all of our shoulders are burdened with our individual responsibilities.

It’s as clear as day that there are undeniable changes in me. Maybe I’m facing with what they call reverse culture shock. Or maybe I’m being torn in two different directions . . . again. Familiar places have become unfamiliar. I’m more irritable than ever. I’ve written about this in the on-campus magazine before and I never expected that I’ll have to deal with this as well. I mean, I had my suspicions when I went east. I just never expected it to be this bad. Throw in other matters that I’m experiencing, it’s no wonder that things have derailed in this manner.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Torn in different directions

What I endured as a youngster has returned to haunt me. I know this for a fact because all of those side effects. It blew out of proportion in my final year when the stress was amplified. My lower spine radiated with such pain that I thought of two possibilities: one was a kidney issue and the other was a bone problem. Neither of which turned out to be true. It was just the physical effects of what I faced. Once I forced myself to take a chill pill and breathe (and boy was it hard!), the pain disappeared the next minute.

"You'll be okay."

There are moments in time when I had to swallow my emotions and say that I’m fine when I want to be left alone with my thoughts. Throw in the fact that I’m still overcoming my past experiences, it’s not easy to be around people at times. Someone once told me before that being alone is a risky game because it may lead to loneliness. If it is for an extended period of time, it’s a downward spiral into the dark abyss - where anything can happen. Even depression. I’d rather keep to myself than to seek help from those closest around me. There’s so much that I had to handle and resolve with no one to air my grievances to; only the salty solution to accompany me to sleep most of the nights. The tears would come at the most unexpected times with a wave of anger suddenly engulfing me instead. It’s either that or I’ll slip into the realm of dark thoughts.

Trust me, if you haven’t lived a day in my shoes or gone through a similar experience, don’t critique or judge my decisions. Since I secretly believe that there’s an element of dislike, I’m only doing what’s best for me and my emotions - even if it means pushing people to an acceptable distance.

There are moments in time when I hope that there’ll be someone who can hear me out and share my burden. Isn’t that everyone’s number 1 wish? To find everlasting happiness with someone they can love and trust with their lives? But I’m a realistic person. It’s not often that you’ll find someone who’ll not use your vulnerabilities against you. Finding that perfect person will be close to impossible, if not harder than expected. This reminds me of a late-night conversation that I had with an acquaintance about love and relationship. While the person only knows what I’ve told him, he comprehended my reluctance about the whole idea of a relationship. Yes, love may be sweeter than sugar and there would be beautiful memories for the lovebirds. On the other end of the spectrum, however, love has the most potential of breaking hearts and causing emotional havoc to the parties instead.

A part of me envisages the importance of having a stable career and settling down with Mr. Right, but I’m sure all of us are aware that only the lucky ones are able to have both. No wonder I’ve heard that marriage is similar to a life sentence.

There are moments in time when I’m seated at the edge of the cliff, pondering on the choices and options that I have. I’m also wondering whether there’s a lesson that needs to be learnt from all this. I keep landing in the same pile of mess; it’s as if the plot is repeated with the same conclusion at the end. But what it symbolizes, I don’t know. All I’m aware is that I feel like I’m torn in two divergent directions right now. Everything that I once believed in is being challenged by what I’m experiencing. What I’ve once regarded as true has turned out to be the opposite. What I’ve avoided all these while, I’m forced to face it dead in the eye now.

"I'll be there for you."

Even as a little girl holding the Chinese lantern and walking around the neighborhood with her friends, I understood that avoiding issues was never a permanent solution. I’ll eventually be weary from all of the running. I can’t be avoiding it forever. While I have presented the best version of myself to everyone, it has bled a lot of energy to maintain that facade.

After what I’ve lived through, seen, and experienced, I’m not who I once was. I can feel the change taking place in my bones. It’s not that difficult to notice; the fury will burn alight in my eyes to mask the brewing sadness. The ghost of my past is a faded memory that I’m clinging onto for dear life. It may mean that the issues I’ve avoided are bubbling to the surface and demanding that I take care of it. Or it may mean nothing.

And that has caused a lot of negative changes in me.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019


I dreamt that we drove along the quiet, dim roads in search for the right building. I’ve no idea what time it was, but there was no parking whatsoever. It was cordoned off and blocked by the residents. We were frightened to illegally park the car and infuriate anyone.

There was a spiral walled staircase that led to an elevator that was guarded by someone. When we told him why we were there, he guided us to the 11th floor, house number 4. At the corner of my eye, I spotted a lady walking in our direction and instead ignored her.

The next scene panned to a house with white tiled floor for its porch and white gates. It was a share house with the main tenant. Both of us came to the collective decision to move out due to our respective decisions. Standing in the middle of the living room, the house was vacant and devoid of any decorative pieces. We had instructed the storage company to take all of our items a couple of hours earlier and remained to clean the unit. The main tenant walked out of the door, following her friend who helped to carry her luggage. I stayed on for a little while due to whatever reason I had. I noticed that there were pairs of jeans in different shades of blue placed by the open window of the master bedroom, which left me wondering whether the house came with an odd aura and influenced us to return vacant possession to the owner.

The scene where we drove along the dimly lit road could be an indication that I'm feeling lost. Or maybe the fact that I've not found what I've been searching for. The dimly lit road can also be looked as a dark road. In which case, the online interpretation suggested that 'if a road is dark this man represent confusion, problems, or a lack of understanding as you pursue goals.' I'd say that this is an insight into my current feelings since I'm as confused as ever. There is a bucket's worth of problems that I need to resolve. With no one to air my grievances to, all those emotions have turned inward and caused such havoc that I dislike everyone and everything around me.

Another interpretation is as follows: 'To dream of a paved road represents your path in life being easy or laid out for you. Your sense of direction is clear or catered to. Smooth sailing or nothing getting in your way. Negatively, a paved road may reflect a difficult time of your life that feels like you can’t escape the mundane. It may also reflect a life path that is too easy.’

As for the spiralled wall staircase, there may be two elaborations for this. One stems from me continuously binging on a Taiwanese drama called ‘Fated to Love You’. The other may be best explained by the online interpretation, where ‘if you see stairs at a public area or unknown place, it defines the issues that are related to your behavior and interactions with the outer world.’ Now, I won’t mention much about my behavior on a public sphere, but my social interactions have been affected by what I’m experiencing now.

I don’t know what to make of the scene where I dreamt of 11th floor, house number 4, though.

I'm not sure what a porch would mean, but 'a porch can represent the people who are close to you but not those who are part of your immediate family. Those you keep at a safe distance. Is it time that you let one of these people in? Is there someone whom you want to have a closer relationship with? Or do you need to put someone back in that group, if you have allowed them to get close to you and regretted it?’ If this is my subconscious desire to be closer to someone, I'd prefer to throw my feelings into the sea and turn into a stoic child. It might also hint at a couple of folks whom I know. My personal interpretation would be guarding my innermost feelings in the depths of my heart from the outside world.

As for the empty house, the layout of this property has a familiar aura to it - and it's because I know this house in reality. The online interpretation suggested that the 'porch can be called a positive sign, because in most cases it promises good and new opportunities. However, it may presage negative events; it all depends on other elements of a dream. Dreaming of a porch is a harbinger of a carefree life; this symbol indicates that a dreamer has nothing to worry about.’ Although it may indicative that I've nothing to worry about, I highly doubt that this is accurate.

There has to be something going on with the multiple pairs of jeans being hanged and blowing on its own. I don't own that many pairs in reality although I love denim. Although it is defined online as ‘To dream of seeing denim jeans represents a casual degree of discipline. A comfortable or casual attitude towards goals. Focus, discipline, or willpower that is comfortable not overly concerned. Your ability to persevere without worrying about anything.' I wish this is accurate because I don't feel this way at the current moment. Furthermore, 'Negatively, a pair of jeans may be a sign that you are not serious or focused enough. You are talking a very casually disciplined stance towards a situation. Casually accepting a situation the way it is without believing that being more serious is important to cause any desired changes.' This alternative interpretation makes more sense because I feel like I'm not as focused as I'd like to be in all of my endeavours. My brain has gone off on its own adventure and left me in a zombified mode.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Pure Bliss

Happiness dance in her eyes,
As she shares a glance with him.
The man of her dreams;
She is twirling with him
With their fingers entwined.

She found her refuge in his arms.
Safety envelops her like a parent’s love.
She found her home in his arms.
Her eyes crinkle up with love,
As she rests her head on his shoulder.

All the fears and worries,
She burns them with the fire of their love.
All the hopes and dreams,
She breathes life into it
As she moves on from her dark past.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Oiso Korean Traditional Restaurant, Tropicana City Mall (3 Damansara)

Note: this is the second time that I’m reviewing Oiso Traditional Korean Cuisine and Cafe. The first review can be found here.

I recently contacted the owner of the restaurant to find out about the current branches. It was at this time that I discovered that Oiso moved out from their previous location in IPC to Tropicana City Mall (now known as 3 Damansara).

The restaurant is located on the ground floor of the mall and diagonally opposite Oliver Gourmet, which makes it easier for anyone to locate it. Placed outside Oiso is the menu stand with a menu for any potential diner to peruse before making a final decision. Next to it is a garden decoration, as if to welcome all of the diners with a bouquet of yellow flowers. This signifies a welcoming aura that may draw you into Oiso. Instead of having cubicles or dividers to block out the tables and chairs from the rest of the space, Oiso practices an open concept principle for their seating arrangements.

We arrived at the height of the lunch hour crowd, so we waited for a while before the waiter guided us to the first available table. We observed that the decorative pieces in the Tropicana branch differed from the ones in IPC. Firstly, instead of framed pictures adorning the walls of the restaurant, it is replaced by a waterfall and Oiso’s signage. Secondly, there are built-in shelves that displayed more decorative pieces and the Korean coffee sachets. In front of the shelves are more tables and chairs to accommodate more diners.

Due to time constraints, we settled on Oiso’s speciality, which is bibimbap. Priced at RM 21.90, it is basically Korean mixed rice. It comes with raw cabbage, chicken strips, seaweed, carrots, sliced shiitake mushrooms, and a sunny side egg in a sizzling claypot. Its accompaniment is a handful of bowls with various side dishes, consisting of spinach, kimchi (fermented and salted vegetables), gochujang sauce (Korean red chili paste), anchovies and seaweed soup.

Once I mix all of the ingredients in the claypot, it balances the sweet and salty aftertaste on my palate. The taste of each individual ingredients also contributes their fair share to the dish. While the chicken strips are salty, the raw carrots and cabbage compliment the chicken with its neutral taste. Yet the dish was a tad bit overly salted for my palate. As it left my tongue with a burning sensation, I was tempted to order a mug of cold coffee to quench my thirst.

Name: Oiso Traditional Korean Cuisine and Cafe
Address: G-13, Ground Floor,
3 Damansara,
3, Jalan SS 20/27,
Damansara Intan,
47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Tel: +60163684211

Thursday, March 7, 2019


I’m either losing my mind or I’m feeling shaky as of late.

Now that I’m forcing myself to return to writing, my head keeps thinking of that specific person. I don’t know what it signifies or why my subconscious is doing that, but one thing’s for sure. We’ve not been in continuous contact with each other. In fact, we’ve not been on speaking terms for years now. It’s not that we had a falling out; we were carried away by life’s responsibilities.

It also doesn’t help that I’m forever reminded of the polar bear statue on the rooftop of the foreign company. It was my landmark every time we drove past the Shah Alam toll in my childhood. It signified so much yet so little to the younger me yet I find myself being comforted by that memory.

Maybe there was a reason why I destroyed all of the documents evidencing that period of my life. I didn’t want anyone to stumble upon it and steal a glance into my past. It’s not that I’ve a shadowy past; it’s just that it’s something that I prefer to keep it private. It should remain with me and only me, where I can bring it up in my mind whenever I’m down. Plus, I can’t forget my past because it’s the foundation of my identity. I’ll just have to accept it and let the feelings wash over me whenever it arises. Sure, we all have our happier moments in life devoid of all complications, but it’s not called life without those mishaps.

I’d like to chalk my sleepless nights to insomnia and the copious amount of caffeine I’ve taken. Believe me when I confess that I’ve taken coffee for dinner. But I know that’s not the only reason. It’s evident that the hidden side of me - the one where only I myself know - wants to rebel against the stereotype. It shows up in the form of those energy-zapping thoughts. And boy, can those thoughts keep my mind active when I’m supposed to be catching up on sleep. Troubled thoughts have kept my mind racing, but no one can understand it until they are in the same boat.

My body has felt weird for the entire week, as if I’m in a dissociative state. Truth be told, I don’t blame him for what he did. Although it left me in a state of daze in the days leading up to my exams, and the witnesses in a state of shock, I empathize with him. He must’ve felt that he was pushed to the edge without an escape route to break his fall or an encouragement that there was more to life outside of the abyss. He must’ve wanted to drastically end the pain that he lived with in exchange for some much-needed peace.

Up until today, none of us know his identity. Only bits and pieces of it.

Up until today, I still remember the fright swimming in her eyes when we caught each other’s glance.
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