Tuesday, November 29, 2022

So, This is Goodbye

A view of the KLIA airport tarmac | Somewhere from the Malaysian Airlines' Golden Lounge

So, this is goodbye.
The broken hearts scattered along the uneven trails
Coated with remnants of a happier time;
Echoes of laughter filling the air
And ever-lasting brightening smiles.

Memories that taught us love,
The love that once connected us.
Separated by divergent routes with a common goal
Remain the dreams we once shared,
Cemented in our psyches.

The light in our eyes,
Dimmed by the hardships we endured.
Our beliefs,
Fractured by the silent nightly battles
And diminished by the consequences.

History dragging us through familiar territories.
A chance to make amends,
To change the past.
The scarred soul able to make a difference
And silence the bleeding hearts.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

4 Items to Personalize Your Office Cubicle

For today's post, we would be looking at items that you can use to spice up your office desk. This has been a topic on my mind for quite some time now, considering that we spend at least 8 - 9 hours at the workplace or maybe even more, depending on the nature of job and industry.

First thing's first.

The most important thing is ventilation. Without proper ventilation, the entire floor space will smell like a musty house. If you're part of the lucky few who has access to your own working room, it is recommended to leave your window open first thing in the morning when you arrive at the office for a wide array of reasons. 

Number one, the weather won't feel like you're on fire and number two, remnants of the cool, fresh air dawn still remain.

Scented Gel / Diffuser
Photo by Nguyen Dang Hoang Nhu on Unsplash

I understand that windows are a luxury when the cubicles are located on an open floor space, but that doesn't mean that it is the end of the world. You could either use a scented gel of an accepted fragrance (I won't recommend lemon because not everyone might fancy the citrus smell) or diffuser with concentrated essential oil.

Snacks
Chinese Candy

Your office pantry might already have this, but you should also have your own snacks to quench your hunger before or after lunch. Quenching thirst is a given, but not many office workers are aware that you can keep light snacks at your cubicle for those rare days of sudden hunger, especially when hunger is dependent on our individual digestive systems and physiques. Apart from staying awake without the need for coffee, I'd highly recommend earphones (if allowed) because it permits you to tackle those long days in concentration or an extra kick to complete that arduous task. (This is something that I personally do when I am rushing on paperwork).

Utensils

Last, but not least, you should include an item that totally screams you to personalize your cubicle and makes you feel at ease while working. It can range from anything like your own mug all the way to a tiny houseplant (that is heat-resistant and doesn't need much watering) as long as it doesn't pose any inconvenience or take up unnecessary space.


Photo by Cotton On Australia 

The truth is that how you intend to decorate your cubicle entirely depends on the space constraint and your style. You could opt for a basic cubicle where only the stationeries and workload can be found, include a calendar, or even pin motivational notes on the divider of your cubicle - there's no hard and fast rule about it.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

The Orange Couch Cafe, SS 15, Subang Jaya

That rainy Wednesday afternoon led me in the direction of a path less traveled and into the lane where cafes and bubble teas are part of the mushrooming list of outlets.

Orange Couch Cafe's unique decoration

And that was how I found myself at the Orange Couch Cafe to sample yet another round of their desserts, which shall be introduced later in this review. The moment you enter the cafe, you'll be greeted by hints of Australian-inspired flair with shades of light gray adorning the walls and acting as a silhouette to the minimal decorative pieces. It radiates the cafe's warmth in welcoming you with a homey aura while you sit back and spend moments with your food companion or just chilling out with a cuppa.

The seating area

To your left stands a refrigerated display of enticing cakes for your selection before you place your order with the cashier. Slightly further to your left is the windowsill, which takes advantage of as much natural light as possible to spill into the floorspace while eliminating the excessive use of artificial lights. To your right and ahead of you are the selection of sides, but taking center stage in plain view is the cafe's namesake - an orange couch that is so popular that it warrants advance reservation to avoid disappointments.

Now, let's see the desserts to be recommended.

Orange Couch Cafe's menu

Orange Couch Signature Coffee (RM 16.00)

At first glance, this drink looks like a mug of extraordinary goodness with its balance of colors. You have the mellow, bitter coffee with the orange pulp hiding at the bottom with a slice of caramelized orange resting at the top. Its taste packs as much punch as its visual impact; there is an explosion of flavors including the acidity, bitterness, and sweetness on the palate that leaves an aftershock of tanginess.

It is recommended to stir it before drinking so that the flavors can blend together unless you want to have a cloying surprise.

(No-Bake) Avocado Cheesecake (RM 15.00)

For someone who isn't in love with avocado but swears by her love for cream cheese, this was an absolute winner for me. The cake itself has a creamy texture with slight traces of avocado that is balanced by the cheese in each spoonful, but it doesn't feel mushy either.

While explaining more about the cake, the cafe owner added that it's the cafe's bestseller and a hit favorite among customers, who would return for subsequent visits to satisfy their cravings for this dish.

Chocolate Roulade with Matcha and Mango Cubes (RM 15.50)

I knew I wanted to give this dessert a try the moment I saw the item in the refrigerated display because of its visual appearance - chocolate on the outside but green on the inside with specks of yellow cubes. There is a play of flavors in this roulade as the baker has successfully married the contrast of the ever-so-bitter matcha with the faint traces of sweet chocolate and the sour-sweet mango cubes, making it one of the cafe's bestsellers.

The first bite would introduce you to the chocolate before guiding your palate to accept the matcha through the second bite and surprising you with the faint mango at the end. Due to this combination, the roulade in itself is not overly sacchariferous.

Flat White (RM 12.00)

A part of me would always associate this drink to my undergraduate days in Australia.

This particular flat white is on the strong side, but not overly bitter to the point of being overwhelming. It's just perfect for coffee lovers who are in need of that caffeine kick.

Rachel Berries (RM 23.00)

This is one of their six waffles under the Sweet Waffles Series, all christened with the names of the main characters of "Friends". It consists of the regular-sized waffle with a drizzle of melted chocolate, crumble nuts, a mini pretzel and a scoop of berry ice-cream on top of a side serving of mixed berries.

Matcha Lemonade (RM 15.00)

This drink is one of the four varieties offered under the non coffee series, so don't worry about not being able to visit this cafe if you're not a coffee drinker. For the lemonade, it was actually ordered as a replacement since I wanted to try another drink other than coffee.

Don't let the color confuse you; this is a tangy drink in the sense that there is a faint touch of acidity with a sprinkle of matcha powder and balanced out by a spoonful of saccharine. Such a combination has resulted in the harmonious kick of punch from the lemonade and bitterness from the matcha without either flavor being the dominant one.

A quick chat with the owner revealed that he spent time in Melbourne before deciding to pursue his dream to dabble in the F&B industry, hence the presence of this cafe.

The location of the shop is as follows:-

The Orange Couch Cafe
11, Jalan SS15/4C,
47650 Subang Jaya,
Selangor

Instagram: @the_orangecouch

It might be a tad bit arduous to locate this cafe, so the nearest landmark is diagonally opposite Nasi Kandar Pelita SS15, Subang Jaya. It is situated a row behind SS 15 Courtyard/First Subang.

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).
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