Tag Archives: blogging

International Trip 2: Vietnam

This is a continuation of the first overseas trip, which you can read here.

I would describe more about the UK and France trip, but it had been months and here we are, my second international trip since COVID-19. The UK/France trip was eventful, but to sum it up, I unwittingly did some dodgy actions. The pharmacist gave me two medicine boxes when I paid for one. I also did not clock in the bus ticket when I boarded (I only showed it to the driver).

Of course, upon realisation days later, I felt bad about it, so I gave away the extra medicine and threw the unusable bus ticket away. It turned out that they gave me a faulty ticket, so all’s well ends well, I suppose.

The UK/France trip was also my first time getting COVID. The irony was that I fraternised with the crowds and was completely safe until the return flight. I gave my original seat to another person so that she could be reunited with her old mother. As luck would have it, I sat next to an obnoxious bugger who took out his mask and coughed all over my cramped space. I constantly glared at him, hoping he would get the hint. He did not. In conclusion, he blessed me with a sore throat and brain fog from hell. Legend has it that I still have the brain fog. But the seven days of quarantine were the only peaceful days I could get in my human-infested life.

Busy Streets of Hanoi

I digress, but here I was again, boarding the second international flight to Vietnam this time.
Disinfectant vapour sprayed out from the ceiling of the plane before the flight take-off. I wondered if there should be harmless, calming effects added to the spray so that people with my type of malfunctioning nerves could calm the fuck down in every take-off and landing. As the plane bounced up and down, I sneezed and coughed into my mask, hoping I did not get COVID for the second time.

My lunch added fuel to the fire, as the spicy nasi lemak sizzled down my throat. Two more hours to go, but I was getting restless. With the absence of my book and the lack of visual entertainment, I looked out of the emergency exit, constantly thinking, “With great seats come great responsibility.” Anyone who sat in the emergency exit row was instructed on what to do in case of an emergency.

My phone battery was draining as fast as my body’s, and I often wished that someone would invent an energy transfusion, just like blood. I would meet the requirements of being the first donee. In fact, I volunteer.

Years ago, when I first arrived in Hanoi, there was a heat wave of 40+ degrees. The second trip to Vietnam was at another location and during that time, it was another heat wave. I was counting all my unlucky stars, hoping this time I did not bring the heat wave along. Or worse, the extreme winter, as the place I would go this time was common to snow.

To my dismay, I could not recline the seats because of sitting in the emergency exit row. There were simply no buttons. In place of the buttons, there were decorative, almost flat bumps. There were thirty minutes left to the flight but I was already done for the day. The inner child kept asking if we were there yet.

Fast forward to days later, I DID bring the extreme winter with me. Oh, joy to the world, it fucking snows. I would like to give a shout-out to the pilot for the return flight. The landing was beautiful, and I did not even panic. Too bad I couldn’t remember the pilot’s name even though he announced it twice.


The first overseas trip after the pandemic (Part 1)

​To fly again signals a new beginning beyond the doom and gloom of the pandemic. A pandemic since years ago, a first for many. The jitters of taking the first step onto the plane since being cooped up had left many worried and wanting as they waited to board.

The hierarchy of men divided by the monetary system was still prevalent as I watched the snobs entered the first class. I secretly wanted to join the snobs too, minus the behaviour.

As we adjusted ourselves on the plane, the masks we adorned served as a subconscious reminder that the virus was not over. Intermittent turbulence fueled the fears of the courageous, knowing that it was a common occurrence.

Be that as it may, our comfort zones might not be where our happiness lies. For too long, we grounded our courage to pursue happiness.

The ground seemed like hours away as I stared into the black screen. The tight mask stifled my yawn as boredom seeped in. Boredom accompanied me as I stared at the screen across with images of Gaga and the same at the screen a few rows ahead. Different movie, same face. Did she put on weight for that role? I liked her as a singer, but I had never watched her movies.

I held on to my backpack as the paranoia from hearing Heathrow queues being long crept in. Wasting money on check-in was a pain as I ended up squishing everything into the hand-carry. The pain turned into relief as my fears came true. The queue was long as heck. Apparently, I arrived on the same day as some K-pop singer and all the fangirls were crowding the Arrival hall. I imagined the anxiety I would’ve felt if I saw a huge crowd waiting for me.

Someone asked me if I wanted to join them to see a celebrity. I considered for a second and decided that my sleep triumphed over some hotshot. Escaping the crazed fangirls, I left for my destination of the day; a bed to retire to.

Sneak peek of Part 2:

The queue to the toilet at The Louvre was comparable to the queue to see La Lady Mona Lisa.


Flower close-up shot that prevented me from contributing to stock websites.

Flower closeup

This is the close-up shot of an image I took in Japan. This is THE close-up shot I contributed to my first stock image website. I can’t remember the exact site as it was years ago. I think it was Adobe Stock.

So imagine after contributing two images, I would obviously feel proud that my photos are at the level to get accepted into stock websites. I searched for this exact flower image on the website to see the statistics and more.

As luck would have it, a few copies of the same images came up in the search. Some had more saturation, some with different edits, but they were all the same image. What are the odds of different people contributing the same photo and perspective?! The sinking feeling of having my photo used to resell remained persistent. You get paid for the number of downloads, but what if other photos take away the downloads from your own? Is this legal? Did I waive any rights under the T&C?!

I did not bother to research more on this, but the possibility that it could happen dithers me from any further contribution from then on.

So, I continued to work with my photography website instead (which I have revamped a bit).

What are your thoughts on this?


Vert’s to-go

No one’s ever ready,

For a blast of the unsteady,

The world’s twisted as it is,

Add a little slant and it’s easy to miss.

Head’s heavy on the spine,

Lean back on this chair of mine,

Like a never-ending lifeline,

Meds after meds like fine wine.

Day by day, Vert interrupts conversations,

Want more action, but please take away the motion,

Has anyone ever noticed tables are low?

Please, please talk slow.

Your words spin my head,

The visions stop when I finally rest in bed.


The Pop and Indie

They were pleasing to listen to,
Everywhere they went, the crowd grew,
Misunderstood Indie, what did you know?
The beat of your music was unknown to the common joe.

Lyrics after lyrics, they turned against you,
The blame on you, the fool,
Sang the Pop and cracked your chime,
Graced them with frivolous time,
You? Not a single dime.

What to do? What fools knew?
‘Twas alright, you held the clue.



The Batman Review (Without Story Spoilers)

After all the hype, I finally get to watch The Batman starring Robert Pattinson and Zoe Kravitz. It was nearly three hours long (Gosh, what’s with movies nowadays being this long?! Were they that bored during the pandemic?)

A shout out to Colin Farrell’s makeup artist. It was superb! I could not recognise him at all.

Anyway, let’s get down to the deets:

Sounds:
[] Mute it
[] Annoying but can live with it
[✔] Adding to my playlist (it has an indie vibe to it)
[] Smash the repeat button!

Plot:
[] What plot?
[] Nothing special but enjoyable
[✔] Good table talk (There were punny moments and subtle aha! touches. But some scenes were too draggy.)
[] Mind-blown Inception style

Graphics:
[] Eyesore
[] Not bad
[✔] Good (Effective cinematography styles were utilised to bring out the mysteriousness of the film. A tad too dark at times.)
[] Eye-candy

Acting:
Zoe Kravitz, Paul Dano and Robert Pattinson are good at acting with Paul Dano standing out the most. Given the character’s colourful background, it is understandable that he can portray more, but the main leads did a fine job too. However, while I feel Zoe has the street Catwoman vibe, her acting does not top Anne Hathaway’s version. Anne pulls off the Catwoman’s character very well in specific memorable scenes. For example, this part when she screams and pretends – a total Catwoman thing to do:

Fun:
[] Fell asleep
[✔] Kill time
[] I paid attention
[] What a roller coaster!

In The Batman, the pacing of the romance between Bat and Cat felt unnatural. Overall, I prefer Christopher Nolan’s movies, but we’ll give Matt Reeves’s version time to build.

Verdict: 3/5


Blogdle

If you enjoy blogging, chances are you’ll enjoy this word game that has taken us by storm!

Yes, you probably guessed it, Wordle!

Wordle by Wardle


Originated from a Wales developer, Wardle, it is now bought over by the New York Times (hence the US spelling).

You’ll need to guess a 5-letter word in six tries.

Too simple for you? Try this version: Quordle. It’s four times the difficulty with four games at a go! You have nine tries for this one.

Still too easy? Then try this 11-letter version.

In the meantime, you can also improve your geography with this version: Worldle.

Bonus: Here’s a Harry Potter version!

Have fun!


Blogger Update and Photography!

I know, I know, I’ve been too busy and lazy to post. But I’m here to let you know that I’m still alive! Whee! It’ll take more than boredom to kill me! 🙂

Here’s a photo of a plant taken by me (unedited except for slapping the signature on):

A Plant

Keep watching this space for more exciting things to come!


4+1 Simplified Steps in Skincare Routine

skincare
Throwback goodies from Althea Korea (Taken with camera Fujifilm X-T30)

Skincare and makeup are different categories. In art terms, makeup is like covering your dirty canvas with layers of art strokes. Skincare is cleaning your dirty canvas and prolonging or bettering its original state.

Here’s my 4 steps in skincare routine to date:

  1. Facial Cleanser (This is pretty obvious, and I’m going to skip this part as majority does it)
  2. Toner (This step is my favourite as it cleanses dirt that you can miss with the first step plus hydrate your skin. A cleanser tends to dry out your skin, and this helps with moisture).
  3. Serums (I’ve recently added Vitamin C serum into my regime – yet to see if this is effective. Otherwise, apply any creams that mends your skin issues, e.g. blackheads, acne etc.)
  4. Moisturiser (Always an important step in skin maintenance and helps with anti-aging)

As for the +1 step, it depends on whether it’s morning or night.

You would want +1 to be sunscreen if it’s daytime. I personally prefer SPF 50 as it offers high protection from sun rays in my country.

If it’s nighttime, the +1 step would be my eye cream – for dark circles or puffy eyes.

Bonus: I did not mention this as I don’t do it daily even though it’s recommended, but sheet masks are a step that you can add to your routine. I apply this when I feel like my face needs extra moisture that day or to relax.

And there you go! This can be a skincare routine for anyone who wants something quicker or lacks time.


Awesome TV series that were Cancelled or should’ve been Cancelled.

Before Cancel culture was a norm, television companies have been doing it. Which is a shame if you’re hooked into a series only to have it abruptly end.

Here’s a list of awesome TV series that got cancelled:

  1. Into the Badlands
    This has been my favourite so far. No doubt haters always find something to complain about, but what I enjoy about this tv series is the world-building, culture and lore. It is rare to see an American tv series with martial arts, and I welcome this fresh and high-octane drama. Costumes that differentiate the allegiance with Barons and properties are also worth a mention.
    Setting: Post-apocalyptic martial arts series in dangerous feudal lands.
  2. Firefly
    The adventures in different planets and civilizations leave you curious and wanting for more.
    Setting: Space, Western drama in the year 2517.
  3. Dracula
    No introductions needed as it’s pretty obvious from the title. Horror drama.
    Setting: Victorian.

Now here’s a list of awesome TV series that should’ve been cancelled:

  1. Game of Thrones
    We know this one. It was great until the last season. Cancelling out the last season would’ve saved this beloved piece than finishing it and leaving a bitter aftertaste with the horrendous last season.
  2. How I met your Mother
    It was awesome, really. Funny until…it wasn’t. For the love of all things, quit dragging on how the MC met their mother when it should’ve ended a season or more ago.

Having said that, I’m not really a fan of the cancel culture. What’s the tv series that you wish were cancelled or wasn’t?