Thursday, April 28, 2022

Updates and More Updates

Let's see where I have left off.

If memory serves me right, the last post I penned was about the vaccination experience.

Yup, it should be.

There are concurrent things happening in various aspects of my life whereby I'm yanked in various directions. Forget about life; there's even more to it that needs to be revealed too.

Yet, after spending an exhausting day at work trying to tie up the loose ends and in preparation for another round of busy period, I treated myself to cold brew latte and frozen yogurt just to soothe the tired soul. Yeah, I know that I must've gone insane with the million and one things in front of me, but hey, at least it keeps me company when I'm in the introvert zone.

Speaking of things, I am honestly exhilarated to pursue another avenue to my career wherein it'll create further opportunities than what I had majored in. This includes the fulfillment of being a blogger (with the focus on lifestyle and food), albeit at a slower rate since photography is a skill that I need to brush up on. Even though I know two folks willing to be my sidekicks and assume the role of the cameramen, it's not fair for me to drag either one of them on for each trip. That's for food reviews; on the other hand, lifestyle blogging requires me to share my thoughts from another angle altogether.

As if I'm not swapped at work, I'm currently assisting an acquaintance with the publication of posts on interior design and how the industry offers its expertise to the clients, especially when it comes to engaging the appropriate person for the project at hand. I won't spill too much about it because I'm a firm believer that seeing is believing - or in this case, reading is believing.

So, if you're curious to know more, head over to the website to read up more or pop over to the instagram page at @studio_pandan .


And the most ironic thing was that the open-air food court near the workplace happened to blast 'Need You Now' by Lady Antebellum while I was waiting for the takeout to be prepared. Of all the times and of all the days, sigh.

Friday, March 18, 2022

Pining for the One

The poem was originally written for a good friend of mine and it is with her express consent that I'm reposting this on the blog for the public viewing.

Hibiscus Plant / Bunga Raya

The winds ruffle her hair as she stood at the pier,
Reliving the memories that she once made with someone,
Someone whom she loved the most,
Even more than the one whose heart she had captured.

Her silent prayers are carried by the winds to its intended recipient,
Being guided by her safe wishes coating it.
Distance did its best to yank them apart,
Circumstances made it worse by refusing their reconciliation.

She was here whereas he was there;
Physically torn apart, but still emotionally linked to each other.
Their love for each other imprinted in their hearts,
Irreplaceable and not erasable.

Yet in the secret dark nights of an alternate world,
They find themselves reaching out to each other.
With their masks removed,
They are finally able to be near each other.

Her arms linked with his,
She rests her tired head on his shoulder,
The weight of the world slowly melting away
And replaced by nothing but happiness.

Tears stream down her cheeks,
As the impossible reality dawns on her.
She wants to be with him,
But fate’s pen has drawn a cruel stroke.

The bright stars she sees in his eyes in their secret moments,
It’s an indication of his longing for her,
Enough to plaster the wounds in her heart,
But not to conquer society’s standards.

His desire is reflected in her gaze,
The courage to sacrifice everything in their wake
To pursue what is theirs,
Within close reach yet so far away.

Away from the challenges and the worldly impossibilities,
He could build a world with her,
A world where they could be one and united
And bask in eternal happiness.

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Far Observance


Whenever your paths crossed with hers,
You would avoid her gaze
As if you could mask your sadness.
Yet, your eyes betrayed your desire.

You were merely surviving;
You weren’t even living for the price of love.
You also ran from your deepest fears,
The one that you always made fun of her for.
Your heartfelt desires;

The ones that you wished she would know,
You chose to suppress it in the depths of the abyss.

Distance was eventually the decision maker,
Separating two lovely souls from each other
And leading you both down divergent paths
With little to no chance of experiencing happiness.

With your hands tied,
You could only watch as she went farther away,
Submerged in your deepest memories.

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Vaccination Experience - Part 2

Although there were few side effects that I experienced for the 1st dose, stay tuned to learn how I was almost knocked out by the 2nd dose.

Since I was still in the office, on the eve of my 2nd dose, I made the eleventh hour decision to have salad for lunch instead of the sandwich and a slice of butter cake that I brought from home. You could say that I was so frightened by the amplified side effects from the jab that I had psychogenic fever for the entire morning (which was worrying because my cubicle isn’t the most freezing area of the office).

Or maybe it’s because I barely slept due to my allergic attack.

Who knows?

In the few hours leading up to the vaccine appointment, I dug deep in my backpack for the relevant items:-








My worries were hyped up this time around because I had heard a lot about people suffering from intense side effects for their 2nd dose, but it’s not like I could not do much about it. With a throw to the wind, I arrived at the same vaccination centre, albeit earlier than I had expected thanks to the smooth sailing traffic (yay!). Our early arrival meant that we didn’t have to line up for long after registering our attendance on the app. Since it was just a few of us, the usher signalled for us to head to the first station for appointment verification - both via MySejahtera and Identity Card (“IC”).

Okay, here’s the irony - as I had almost totally forgotten about the vaccine, I actually downed a venti-sized coffee (the heck!) earlier that morning.

Once everything had checked out, I was given the all-clear to head to the next station to wait for the nurse to call for me. She didn’t need to call my name or anything like that because the moment she opened the door, I was already walking toward her.

So, it was a different nurse who administered the 2nd dose. As he showed me the type of vaccine and its amount, he was seated on a high chair before he proceeded to extract the liquid from its vial. In the meantime, I had my eyes closed as I awaited that stab. Maybe … and I mean, maybe … he saw my reaction, which was why he tried to engage me in a conversation as he stuck the needle into my arm. (A shout out to the nurse - thank you for making the experience less painful and for the warning on the side effects!!!)

Once the process was completed, I had to scan the QR code to indicate that I had received the jab. If the nurse hadn’t notified me, I honestly wouldn’t have noticed it because it was plastered behind a door.

After that, the volunteers manning the last station gave last minute instructions and updates pertinent to the digital certificate (“certificate”) after they returned my vaccination card. I was advised that while it indicated that I had received my 2nd dose, it’d take a full fortnight for the certificate to turn yellow. With that in mind, I waddled my way to the observation centre to wait for 15 minutes for any adverse side effects. I still felt okay, but prevention’s better than cure.

Unlike the first dose, I still felt alright after 15 minutes, which made me wonder whether the side effects would be severe or not. You see, for the 1st dose, I broke out in cold sweat almost immediately after leaving the centre.

Here were the side effects - it was similar to the one I endured for the 1st dose, but it was also different to a certain degree. Although I felt so fatigued while grabbing a healthy lunch right after the jab and almost lost my balance, I didn’t crash in exhaustion until much later. The irony was that I was still awake when the clock struck 11pm.
  • The injection site felt sore about 3 hours after the vaccine. When I could barely lift my arm without the movement being restrained, I popped a Panadol tablet (as per one of my acquaintances’ advice). 
  • My appetite wasn’t affected much, but more of the side effects arrived at night. 
  • While I didn’t suffer from headache for the 1st dose, I had low grade fever, bone ache and a slight headache at one go. I didn’t take the second Panadol at this stage and merely curled up to sleep. 
  • It was in the wee hours of the morning when I woke up with an elevated temperature (my body’s sign of a fever making an appearance) that I took Panadol and returned to sleep. 
  • The ramifications 24 hours after the jab were rather weird in the sense that I was so exhausted by the time mid-afternoon rolled around that I kept dozing off. It was because I had to finish my pending work that I forced myself to wake up from the nap; otherwise, I could’ve slept through dinnertime. Thankfully, there wasn’t much to settle because I didn’t have the mental energy to attend to other matters. I just felt so meh. 
  • I had regained more use of my arm with the fever and slight headache disappearing by this stage. I found myself reaching out for more Panadol as well as coconut water because of the stubborn bone ache.
Although I had already taken both doses, as long as the certificate illustrated white, my freedom of movement was still restricted. It meant more time spent on having my meals at home or take outs while patiently waiting for the certificate to turn yellow (fully vaccinated means it will be in yellow).

Friday, February 11, 2022

The Tempremental Highlights of 2021

If you’ve noticed something different, it’s the fact that I haven’t been regularly and properly updating the Temperamental Highlights with monthly events for a while now. You can blame it on an exhausted soul and a forgetful mind.

February

Delighting the lovers of soy milk in my workplace, a new cafe specializing in this cuisine actually opened within walking distance from the office. Since not everyone was in favor of melting under the sun, only a handful endured the heat once or twice to make their way there for lunch while a select few took the time out closer towards the end of business hours to swing by there.

April

Unbeknownst to most of us, there was a birthday meal that was accompanied with cakes for one of our colleagues. Yet, it was enough to make us all stumped when we were yanked out of the office to celebrate the said special day. Although it left us high on sugar, we were irritated in the sense that we were pressed for time (in our line of work, it’s a common practice for folks to work overtime, regardless of being in the office or working from home). *cries*

Waffles with Two Scoops of Ice Cream (Strawberry and Vanilla) accompanied by a glass of Cold Latte

As if that was bad enough, the captain forgot to include my dish when she instructed the kitchen staff with the orders. I was more than happy to nibble on those tidbits hidden in my drawer if it hadn’t been for another co-worker’s gentle insistence that I grab something quick and light.

Maybe she saw the fury burning slightly in my eyes, I don’t know.

June

Lo and behold, the ruling government announced that instead of the continuation of MCO, FMCO would be replaced in its wake. What happened instead was us on rotation - but there was no difference for a handful of us since it felt more like we were working half day shifts on a daily basis. The only difference was there were only a handful of us at one go instead of a full, lively workplace. And with that came an intense stress that was beyond description since we were only allowed a few hours in the office (again, especially me) because of the amount of paperwork, stagnant files, and the creeping deadline that would never pause because of the pandemic.

July

The entire workforce was called back sometime during this month and one of the bosses even went to the extent of encouraging us to dine in to support local businesses. Truth be told, there was a reason why she said that, but we shall leave it unexposed. I presumed I was the only one who still brought her own lunch to the office.

September

As a colleague had tendered her resignation, there was a roundtable farewell meal, in which the rain decided to make an appearance too. The roundtable lunch was never planned; the original intention was for the three of us to hide in the conference room and happily dine away, but I suppose everyone else had the same thought. There was even a sponsored Vietnamese cuisine and ice cream to treat the said colleague.

On a separate note, I forced myself to take time off to attend the pre-launch of my college’s alumni community in that same weekend; it was held online thanks to the SOP from the pandemic.

December

Now, I chose to celebrate my birthday alone because I made a point not to allow my colleagues to know when it exactly was. Even the ones who knew respected my decision and didn’t inform the others, which made me super relieved that no one else was aware that the particular day was my special day. Instead of having human companions celebrating with me, I had teddy bears.

(Iced) Dirty Matcha Latte

Not too long after that was the company’s annual dinner, but with less attendees. I’d like to believe that it’s because of the severity of the virus or because of the workload of the day. Like previous years, we retained the elements of Secret Santa where there was a gift exchange, but it was not fully observed. Instead of us drawing lots in advance to know who our recipient is, we drew lots on the spot before we grabbed the corresponding gifts. There was no way of knowing who our recipient was. I had to leave earlier because I needed to rush on the impending freelance work, so I had no clue who received mine. Not that I’m super inquisitive to know, to be honest. I’m only curious as to whether it was a female or a male because my gift was slightly gender-specific.

Part of the Christmas Decoration

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Vaccination Experience

Gosh, I feel like I’m on a seesaw that sways from left to right in exhaustion. I mean, look at how long I’ve been away from the blogosphere - it’s been such a long time that I’ve lost count. As for my exhaustion, I’m not sure whether it’s because I’m always on the go (read: work and freelance) for hours on end or I haven’t slept well since God knows when.

That also makes me wonder whether my body’s endurance is being pushed beyond its comfortable limit because of the incidents that happened, but it’s sheer luck that no one was a witness to it. No wonder I used to joke with college friends that sleep is for the dead, lol.

Maybe my words are returning to haunt me.

Anyway, let’s get down to today’s post, though. While the memories of it are still fresh in my head, it’s better for me to pen it as a way of remembrance. Otherwise, I’ll definitely forget what to expect if the process is to be repeated - and truth be told, I won’t be surprised if it happens.

As the appointment for my first dose had been scheduled (this was way back in August), that’s where I headed for my second dose too, but more on that later. The moment I arrived at the centre, I was super thankful that I had searched for the location and its nearby parking bays beforehand on top of having an early breakfast. Not to mention, I was extremely relieved that I already had most of the recommended items in my backpack:-










Those manning the counters wanted to have a look at my IC so that they could verify my identity and confirm my presence with the appointment on MySejahtera. Once that was done, he passed me 2 sets of forms to fill in - one for the centre's record and the other is for yourself - before it was followed by a number to line up for my turn.

6 of us were allowed to enter at one go as we were brought to the first station where the person in charge lifted my details from MySejahtera and cross-checked it with my IC. I was asked about my current occupation as well as any history of severe allergies. Next, we were brought to the second station, which involved a quick glance into our medical history and to assess our eligibility to receive the vaccine.

The way they handled the crowd was rather alright, considering that only a limited number of people were around at a time with the usher guiding them from one point to another. Maybe it was because my appointment date was on a workday, which explained why I hadn’t needed to wait for hours to enter the booth to be jabbed by that little needle.

My bum hadn’t even warmed the chair at the waiting area when the nurse poked her head out to wave me in. Then, she prepared the vial and solution while her colleague helped to confirm my details once again. The nurse waited for me to turn my attention towards her before she showed me the actual bottle (indicating the type of vaccine to be administered) and amount of solution in the syringe. If you haven’t been following the news on vaccination, there were allegations of people being injected with empty vials or given a lower dosage than required , but I’ll let you read more about it on your own time.
Me: “Would it be extremely painful?” 
Nurse: “Nope, it’d be like an ant bite.”
(Translated from the original conversation, which was in Malay:-
Saya: “Nanti suntikan akan sakit tak?” 
Jururawat: “Tak, ia akan macam... gigit semut.”)
You’d feel a slight pain when the solution is about to be injected into your skin, but by the time your body registers the pain, the process has already been completed. I had expressed my shock when she informed me that she was done with administering the dose and that I had to head to the final station to obtain a set of further instructions. It’s mostly the receipt of a vaccination card that bears the time and date of the 2nd dose as well as them explaining what to do if there are further side effects.

We were all left to our own devices in the waiting area for a minimum of 15 minutes for any side effects (rashes, difficulty in breathing, and the like) to present themselves - although you’d be more than welcome to stay for up to 30 minutes to observe your condition. I heard that some folks felt so fine that they bypassed the waiting area and headed home instead, but mind you, they are far and few between.


Below would be what greeted me after the inoculation, but please take it in mind that the side effects are all dependent on your body’s reaction to the vaccine. To be honest, even though I had applied for a day off, I actually wanted to return to the office right after being inoculated since I felt alright, lol. I still believed that I was in perfect health when I left the vaccine centre, but it was close to 5 minutes later that I started to break out in cold sweat while lining up at a nearby cafe for a drink. Welp. Even though I was slightly panicked, I tried to stay focused on grabbing a healthy lunch before heading home to rest.

The rest of my side effects came an hour later when I fell asleep without even knowing it. It was at around noon when I woke up with a sore arm. Even though I had stocked up on Panadol, I was arduously trying not to take the tablets and used cold compress in lieu of it. One comical thing here was that I had resorted to a frozen tube of cream cheese.

24 hours after the vaccine, I could barely lift my arm as it weighed a ton. My gosh, I even had the desire to sleep more too... It must have been amplified by my terrible sleeping habits. The irony was that I had to rush on my freelance work. Wonder how I made it out in one piece without asking for an extension.

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Exhaustion in the Midst

The past few months have been such a challenging period that I’ve been close to dissociation to cope with the stress of it all. Balancing a full-time career with a side hustle and hobbies ain’t an easy task even for the strong hearted. (I’m already feeling some of the side effects to which I’m suppressing it during office hours. Can’t exactly afford to let it leak onto my face, can I?)

Yet, it was during one of those braindead weeks that I discovered a bunch of new cafes around my workplace. I’ve only managed to experience their dishes through takeaway because I didn’t have the extra time to spare for dine-in, but at least there are a few cafes in mind that’s worth spending time in and blogging about if the mood strikes. I mean, its homey atmosphere is enough to allow me to take a breather with a book in hand and a cup of coffee next to me.

We’ll see how it goes since old habits are dying hard.

I’m sure it’ll cause me to keep cans of 100Plus at a secret spot in the pantry where no one is able to locate it, considering that it is a popular drink in the office. As it is, I’m already stocking up on sugary drinks at home for those dizzy days.

Since another colleague had tendered her resignation, it led to a farewell lunch with takeouts as no one wanted to take the risk of dining in the restaurants. You know, with the severity of the pandemic and all. What transpired instead was a roundtable meal with our respective dishes and extra chairs being yanked into the meeting room. Don’t look at me; it wasn’t something that we had agreed upon in advance. It just so happened that everyone had the same idea of reminiscing our last few hours with the said colleague while we had the chance to.

And that led to us being packed like sardines.

Someone - I can’t remember who - even suggested a round of drinks and a sponsored dinner later that night, but none of us were open to the idea. I mean, there are various reasons for it with one being the danger of driving under the influence. I personally had my own things to attend to and it’s arduous for me to enjoy myself at events.

Although I was unable to explore the cafes and restaurants around my workplace and residence, I somehow found myself running errands and stumbling upon Christmas decorations. You could say that it was unplanned, considering that I’m not in the mood for socializing, not to mention I’m also keeping a distance from everyone and building walls again.

Could it be a symptom of me wanting a break?

Could it be a sign that I want my boundaries?

In the midst of it all was a simple birthday lunch thanks to my hesitance to honor the special day since high school. As barely anyone in the office knew about the special day, I sneaked out of the office to grab something light (although in hindsight, it’s considered high-caloric). On top of that, I also didn’t want the entire workplace, much less my department, to be aware of it since there was no mood to celebrate it.

Will this mean that I’ll hide on New Year’s Eve to sleep? We shall see because there’s a chance of me spending it with the freelance activities, lol.
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