Travel

Bento lunch box 

It’s bento time! 


Bento lunches are a great way to save time, save money and get healthy.

This is a stacked bento with wild rice and stir-fried chicken with vegetables.


I got the glass jar idea from one of my best friends. In the picture above is konyaku noodles, kim chi, an omelette, some bok choy and spring onions.

I will definitely add more protein to this meal because I was hungry after about 2 hours.

The glass jars are also handy for overnight oats and salads.

If you have any other ideas about meal prep, give me a shoutout in the comment box below. 

Glass jars are from Daiso, KL and cost RM5:30 each.

Bento box, lunch bag and the accessories are from Tokyu Hands, Japan.

Such a cute bag and bento box set. I love it!

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Sape 

Happy Malaysia 🇲🇾 Day!


We tend to forget our brothers and sisters in Sabah and Sarawak. Their narrative is drowned in Peninsula Malaysia. I grew up not knowing much about Sabah and Sarawak apart from geographical and historical facts for my high school exams. I was fortunate to make Sarawakian friends upon my return, such as Saran and I loved it when she told me about her Lun Bawang heritage.

I was spellbound by Alena Murang’s music and Sape performance. Alena Murang live

So when I heard there was an introduction session for the Sape, I attended it out of curiosity and it was fun.


The Sape is a beautiful wood carved instrument which is a traditional lute.

The music is so soothing and healing.

Ha Long Bay

As I write this, Sonya has flown back to the hustle that is New York and I resume work in KL. 

“What do you feel is the energy of this place?”, asked Sonya.

 I couldn’t put a finger on the vibes I felt and took a moment. It was wonderful waking up on the cruise ship, staring at the limestone pillars that met the clear blue skies which outlines Ha Long Bay. I have memories of the view, sitting on the deck sipping our Vietnamese coffee accompanied by mild winds and the gentle sun. 

On the kayak
We went kayaking and it was a great relief when I realised I wasn’t terrible at kayaking. We chatted intermittently and sometimes we would just be silent, inhaling the view until we heard a creaking sound from our kayak. A kayak is technically not supposed to creak. Our kayak was creaking and had a bit of water in it. We were a bit concerned when we heard the creak but there were moments when we forgot about our creaky kayak. 

After pondering about her question, I felt energy of Ha Long Bay was peaceful and serene. It was quiet and calm, just the way we needed it to be. 

Ernest Zacharevic’s Exhibition: Art is Rubbish

These neat neon lights greeted me at the entrance highlighting the exhibition theme of using materials that are available to create art, materials which some might discard as rubbish. What a great idea!

As soon as I heard of Ernest Zacharevic’s graffiti art exhibition, I decided to head up to Penang. I am pleased I did. I feasted my eyes and mind on Ernest’s perspective of creating art from rubbish in Malaysia.

Self-Portrait?

Self-Portrait?

I wonder if this piece is a self-portrait of the artist himself? The usage of old wooden cupboards & a carburettor was used to create this piece. The self-portrait has a disjointed, ethereal & uplifting feel to it. On a personal note, I loved it because it gave the impression that his soul is ethereal although his body is a standard machine like every other sentient being. His feet are arched on tip toes as if reaching for a higher platform or purpose. Next to this portrait, on the right, are his framed paint splattered trousers, akin to expressing that gifting his art to people is his life’s centrepiece. *perhaps I’m reading too much into this. Whatever he means, I like these pieces.

Produce of Indonesia

Produce of Indonesia

The tenderness of this piece portrayed on a jute sack in the way this lady lovingly protects the baby’s head. This art piece makes me think of the hired Indonesian helpers in Malaysian homes who leave their own families to earn wages which are repatriated back to their home countries for their families livelihood. Ernest has acute cultural observations of Malaysia because he has fresh eyes of a traveller. This is a trait I can relate to because the local societal norms are an anomaly for a traveller who is accustomed to a different cultural perspective.

After being away from Malaysia, I’ve had to piece my own puzzle and I am sometimes startled by the pieces that I find amongst us. The next piece of art is an example of how I felt. I love how Ernest painted on wooden blinds.

SONY DSC

KL Streets

KL Streets

Similarly, I took this photo, on my way home from work at about midnight and it struck me how difficult earning a living was for this man. He is impoverished and has to use the effort of his legs to cycle, collect and sell recycled rubbish to make ends meet. When I saw Ernest’s art in the gallery, I remembered that particular evening.

Sculpture piece

Sculpture piece

This piece made me giggle because I was trying to capture an appropriate angle to photograph it to interpret what it meant to me. It is a dark sculpture of a desolate, limbless prisoner cowering under the great light of inquisition. Being Malaysian, it reminds me of the limits of freedom of expression thereby restricting individuals rendering us constantly answerable to the authorities.

On to slightly more cheerful & very cute portraits of playful children:

SONY DSC SONY DSC

There was more art outdoors. I thought it was funny how this kid was scratching his head, trying to figure out what this art contraption was.

What's this?*scratches head

What’s this?*scratches head

SONY DSC

All right! I’ll stop here. His artwork was a pleasure and I highly recommend going for it. The exhibition details can be found here and the Facebook page for this event.

The taxi driver was confused and did not seem to know the directions. I think this the best way to describe it: 59, Jalan Gurdwara, Penang opposite to Grand Continental Hotel and next to SRJK Kampung Jawa, behind Times Square, next to Aik Soon & Company.

This is a photo of the entrance.

Entrance to the Hin Company Bus Depot! Tada!

Entrance to the Hin Company Bus Depot! Tada!

The gates are locked in the photo above because I arrived about 45 minutes too early.

I managed to coax a photo and some conversation out of the really friendly artist, Ernest although he was tired and busy manning the gift shop.

with the artist!

with the artist, Ernest Zacharevic!

I am weatherbeaten by the Penang heat. Please excuse my boho-dishevelled look.

Ernest’s art is a delightful, thought provoking perspective.

Petronas Twin Towers Kuala Lumpur

9 am            Good Morning Malaysia! What’s for breakfast?

Teh tarik, tea with a touch of condensed milk & Nasi Lemak which is rice cooked in coconut milk served with a spicy sambal, anchovies, peanuts, cucumber & a boiled egg. Add a fried chicken for some protein goodness! Try not to fall into a post-prandial coma after gorging such a heavy meal. We had nasi lemak at Village Park, address is No 5, Jalan SS 21/37, Damansara Utama, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Phone:+60 3-7710 7860.

Nasi Lemak

We headed to the Petronas Twin towers for an aerial view of KL.

At the time of writing, Malaysians pay a concession price of RM 35 whilst tourists pay RM 80. Its advisable to book tickets in advance to free up your time. Link here.

The sky bridge is situated at the 41st floor of the Petronas Twin Towers. We were fortunate that it was a clear day. I reckon I saw my home from the sky bridge at the Twin Towers. We were then brought to the 86th floor of the Petronas Twin Towers which had a spectacular aerial view of KL city. I loved this perspective!

I loved how the pockets of green interspersed with the sky scrapers . It was a spectacular view of the city I grew up in.

Shadow of the twin towers SONY DSC

Dubai Desert Safari

An overnight stop in Dubai en route to London seemed a sensible excuse for a stopover. I had a comfortable stay at Ramee Hotel & booked the desert safari through them.

Desert safari experience: we were cruising along the highway when the driver stopped the vehicle to deflate the tyres of the 4WD. We were strapped into our seat belts & ready for some off-roading or dune bashing! It was exhilarating & I giggled uncontrollably. If you are toying with the idea of dune bashing, I suggest to eat nothing before the safari because you just might feel a bit queasy during the rumbly ride.

We were driven to an area in the desert designated for more activities such as riding camels, quad biking and so on. I got on the camel & when it stood fully on its legs, I squealed like a piglet because I didn’t expect to get up so high. Then I decided on a whim to go quad biking. I was a bit apprehensive at first so I rode the quad bike quite slowly but I felt confident & drove a lot faster.  Wrong move! The bike flipped & I sprained my ankle. Boom!
The next day I was wheeled into breakfast & around the airport in a wheelchair. It was worth the bravado, though.

Belly dancing

India Illuminates

I had a great time in India. As we travelled up north, I loved how the people, language & food changed. On the Indian train, we befriended some locals & they offered us food. People were friendly & warm. The multitude of different cultures which unites India makes it beautiful & unique. I loved the music & there was a rhythm to India.

Poverty was a novel & difficult experience which made me feel helpless. It was hard to see child beggars & groups of children picking up rubbish at the crack of dawn. It made me think of my grandparents & the reason they left India for Malaysia to seek a better future. I loved my grandparents & they always spoilt me even though they didn’t have a lot. I thought of my mother & how life was difficult for her. My life is a stark contrast to everything they had & I have grown up knowing this. I suppose, the extent of poverty never really registered in my life in such close proximity until I saw it in India. A mother came up to Subhen, asking him to buy her milk for her child. He went to the shop with her & was surprised to find that milk formula costs a lot of money. Although he put on a brave face, I know poverty affected him equally. Most of the time, I was handing out biscuits & sometimes money. I don’t know if what I did was right, but what stayed with me was their faces. I still remember them: that girl who boarded the bus asking for money.

I am usually an extremely paranoid person but I felt safe in India. Probably due to the fact that I had Subhen for company who sometimes joked that he was my body guard & occasional bag porter. I am grateful to have found an awesome travel companion. I could not have asked for better. I learnt about Indian culture history & Hinduism from him. He taught me how to hike by telling me to “trust my feet”. Encouraging me to go white-water rafting when I was having doubts. Making me eat when I really didn’t feel hungry because I was scared or exhausted. He was always there, keeping me grounded & taking perfect care of my well being. Such a friend is hard to come by & I remain grateful.

awesome friendship in jeep to Leh singing Hindi songs.

Awesome friendship in jeep to Leh singing Hindi songs.

Travelling India was a revelation: different facets of my personality I never knew existed surfaced. I learnt that I often underestimate my abilities, I love the thrill of bargaining, I enjoy hiking & that I am tough. I can deal with dirt as long as I have antibacterial wipes. I wear a hoodie in public transport because I don’t want to touch anything. I only sleep in my sleeping bag or cotton liner. I don’t use any pillows. I deal with uncertainty by laughing it off. Hiccups are part of the journey. I can be present & look for beauty in unexpected places. I’m great at packing & organized. I always have food, a head torch, chapstick, plasters & perfume with me.I am brave & real growth happened when I stepped out of my comfort zone. I am finally moving towards the things that I wanted to do, disregarding fear.

Heroine seeking adventure.

Heroine seeking adventure.

A random stranger I met before my trip said, “India beckons when you need it the most & it will be revelatory”. He was right.

India illuminated my life- gave me perspective about myself & the lives of others. I felt connected & curious about the culture. Since then, I have read a short book about the brief history of India & I am completely fascinated with Indian history, art & culture.

Book: 

A far cry from learning repetitively about  “Tamadun Islam” also known as Islamic Civilization & only 1 year to learn about world history. Don’t misinterpret, I do not mind learning about Islamic civilisation but we spent a disproportionate amount of time on it. Ah, I’m just pleased I’m free from mental torture, time to educate myself about the world.

Malaysian History Syllabus.

Malaysian History Syllabus.

After travelling India, I felt ready to start the next phase of my adventure, to travel solo in Europe.