10 Worst Things I Did in 2012

Well, except I was kidding.

Nothing bad or horrid or anything like that. This year has been amazing – at least to me, and here is a list of the 10 awesome things I did this year, in no particular order of importance.

1. Adopting a cat for first time

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… for, like, two months before giving it away due to commitments. I named him Mommi and he happened to be an unwanted cat of a colleague (unbeknown to me at first) that ended up wandering to my place and sleeping on my shoe rack.

It was a “love at first sight” kind of thing and I decided to have him two days after letting him come into my house. I was happy having him around until I found myself travelling too much and realised he might not be the best thing for me.

I gave him away just two days before my travel to Vietnam and he was the second pet I had after a tortoise.

2. Trip to the Venice of China

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I was supposed to travel with a great former colleague of mine until she decided to work in China several months after tickets were booked. I ended up going solo to meet up with her and another friend of mine Laurence in Suzhou.

In Suzhou, I had had the great opportunity to make friends with Laurence’s colleagues. We definitely had a wonderful time chatting about life and work and exchanging our thoughts. That was also when I learned that there is actually so more to life than just work.

We did like 1233213 things during my short stay there but the craziest thing we did? Cycling unmasked in the dusk around the Suzhou Industrial Park with the temperature falling below negative.

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As a consequence, I suffered “windburnt” with super irritated lips and facial skin due to the cold, dry wind that never stopped blowing against my face as I cycled.

3. Chinese oldies

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Never in my life had I ever thought of developing even a tiny bit of passion for oldies, but my soul mate of all time Cat decided to prove me wrong.

Now, whenever I go shopping I would drop by any CD shop just to check out releases of Chinese oldies. And the greatest thing about buying original oldies albums is that they are dirt cheap – a two-set compilation can go as low as RM16.90! Can you believe that?!

4. Going fries with my hair

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OK lah to tell you the truth I have been wanting to have curly hair so bad and lao zi waited and waited and waited to have my hair grow this long so that I could get it curled.

5. Solo trip to Hatyai

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And I did this barely two weeks after coming back from Vietnam. Having gone there before with Cat and missed Wat Hat Yai Nai, I decided that I had to see third largest reclining Buddha status in the world (also the largest in southern Thailand) by any means.

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Felt a sense of serenity and bliss as I went round the beautiful Buddha statue admiring it. I was raised in a Buddhist family but haven’t been so much into the religion until a year ago.

Met a friend, Pom, who runs a coffee shop in Hatyai. He was kind enough to fetch me to his favourite saloon after I asked for the directions to the saloon he recommended.

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Had one of the best haircut experiences and then came out of the saloon spotting a Gangnam hairstyle.

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Just kidding. It wasn’t.

6. Bought an apartment unit

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Ok I lied.

It was actually purchased last year but I only started getting things sorted out and paying for housing loan instalments this year, so…

It is my Shangri-La and one of the most precious gifts in my life

For what I’m getting in life I really couldn’t be more grateful. I’ve always put heaps of effort and passion into the things I do without expecting much in return, except for God to give me a better and happier life. It seems that I have been good enough this year to be blessed with my very  own shelter.

7. Mr. Definite being an artist

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Yes, that’s right. Those are a series of the paintings I came out with for the first time in my life, and it was after I had accidentally discovered my hidden creative faculty.

And you know what? Being a left-brainer for over 25 years of my life, never had I thought of pursuing painting as a hobby. But then I was proven wrong and had both myself and close friends taken aback after giving painting a shot.

My paintings were very much inspired by a great, great artist friend cum colleague, Mei, whom I have known for over three years now.

8. Travelling with family for first time in 16 years

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Can’t believe the last time we spent time together abroad was 16 years back!

As I’m growing older each day, I have now come to realise that the most precious gift in life are family members. Just when I thought I would be more inclined to enjoy travelling solo given my independent and explorative character, once again I was proven wrong after this trip. Every single moment I had during the trip with my family members was simply wonderful.

9. Going full vegetarian at home

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Earlier this year, I took a decision to lessen my consumption on meat by going full vegetarian whenever I cook at home. To date I still find myself holding on to that principle. Although my diet may not be 100% meat-free just yet, I’m slowly working towards that.

The only occasions I will consume meat are when I eat out with friends or when I have to order something from outside, say, Nasi Goreng Kampung that usually comes with dried anchovies.

My fridge is no longer a morgue!

The biggest gain from being more of a vegetarian is that my body now recovers from sickness faster without having to consult doctors.

10. Flashpacking in Saigon with Cat

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After a Bangkok trip that never happened (we had already booked the tickets), this is one of my most fun trip abroad with this sole soul mate of life, Cat, who, on the day of departure, decided to miss the flight and had me board the plane solo.

But of course we met again in the hustle and bustle of the Saigon city some six hours later.

We had heaps of fun travelling to the outskirts of Saigon and meeting great people from all around the world.

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With Misaki from Japan.
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With Everlien from the Netherlands.

In Sigon we had never ONCE travelled around town by cab. We pretty much just explored the city on our own by foot and actually took a bus to and from the airport.

On our second last day in Vietnam, I went to the Kuchi Tunnel reluctantly to find myself loving the experience – because I crawled through one of the dark narrow tunnels.

I posted my experience on Facebook:

Made it through one of the tunnels alone, with no torchlight and 100% darkness. Given more time I would love to challenge an even longer one one. It is a test of patience and persistence because the tunnel is tiny and humid.

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We also spent a night going for a ridiculously costly dinner cruise along the Saigoin river. Food was terrible and served too slowly, and cultural performances on the boat never really intrigued me.

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Nevertheless, the breathtaking night view of the Saigon city from the boat partially made up for the bad experience.

Well, those are my top 10 awesome moments of 2012. Somehow I’m positive that even greater things will follow next year (tomorrow!). What about you?

Happy New Year.


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