Still Alive!

Proof of life. Haha! Our sweaty/tired faces say hello after a long walk under the midmorning-afternoon sun last Sunday – the only day we actually got to ourselves for sight seeing. ;)

Proof of life. Haha! Our sweaty/tired faces say hello during a short water break. This was right after a long walk under the midmorning-noon sun last Sunday – the only day we actually got to ourselves for sight seeing. ;) My husband could hardly smile after all that heat. Haha! But we’re extreme sight seers so the KK heat was something we were willing to endure! ;)

But the slow internet here in Kota Kinabalu is practically killing me – both the 3g and the wifi at the hotel we are staying in. So here’s just a quickie update on how we’ve been doing:

Days here in KK have been very busy. I thought I will get bored so I packed a ton of movies to watch plus loaded my Kobo with e-books, and even brought some material for a piece I was supposed to write ages ago. But alas, I ended up being so busy, helping out in the consular mission by assisting some of the applicants in filling up their forms and preparing travel documents for deportees. There are a couple of hundred thousands of Filipinos in Sabah who are undocumented and the Embassy has been doing its best to help them out.

The consular mission ran from Monday till Saturday (we’re still there at the venue until Oct 3rd) and we only had Sunday as our ‘break’. So we spent it walking  around the city, checking out the Sunday market, and visiting the Sabah & Islamic Museum as well as the Heritage Village before finally feasting on some Filipino food which we totally missed.

I’ll post something more useful (a.k.a a proper travel entry) soon enough. As soon as I get some decent internet – a connection that doesn’t use up a whole hour just to upload one photo. I’m practically crawling my way into posting this. But we’ll be back in KL by the end of this week so I promise to make up for lost time. Geez, I have so much stuff to review.

More later and hugs from KK!

Carol

Good to know: Consular services for Filipinos in Kota Kinabalu

Hello from Kota Kinabalu! This isn’t what you might expect here but I just wanted to use this one blog post in helping spread the word so here’s a quickie announcement:

Husband and I, along with a team from the Philippine Embassy, arrived yesterday and today was their consular mission’s first day. It was a pretty good turn out and we are expecting more Filipinos to come tomorrow and the next couple of days.

To our dear brothers and sisters in Malaysia, if you’re a Filipino in Sabah or if you’re someone who just happened to end up in this little blog of mine and you know Filipinos in the Kota Kinabalu area who are in need of consular services (passport application, renewals, passport validity extensions, etc), do let them know that the embassy team will be at the Dewan Majlis Perkhidmatan Masyarakat Sabah, Jalan Tuaran, Kota Kinabalu until October 3. Monday to Saturday, 8am to 5pm.

Click here for a map to the place.

We need all the help we can get in disseminating the information as some of the undocumented Filipinos here in Sabah do not have access to the internet. Some are plantation workers born in Sabah to undocumented parents. They never had access to education so they cannot read nor write (that’s why some of them need assistance in filling out forms). It’s really a sad situation so the embassy is doing its best to reach out to them to give them passports – and in the process, identities as well.

While there are accredited agencies that they can pay for consultation (which documents are needed) and can help them in filling out their forms, the fees might be too steep for some of them. We are willing to help applicants accomplish the forms for free and we can also tell them what they need for a passport (at least a birth certificate and other supporting documents that will prove that you are really Filipino). For questions, they can send an SMS or call the Embassy through +(6017) 347-5487.

Thank you! If this post actually helps even just one Filipino in Sabah learn about the services and save on money by going to the Embassy personnel directly, I would be extremely happy. They can use the money they save for food and other essentials!

I’m basically just tagging along as I’m not an official part of the team but I am looking forward to giving my assistance in whichever way I can – like helping some of the applicants who are having trouble in filling up their forms. I also learned how to encode passport information today so just in case anyone needs a sub, I’ll be ready! ;)

Please, please help spread the word.

Back to regular programming in the next post. ;)

Love,

Carol

Beauty: Current bath time loves + Quick updates

Well, hello there everyone. First, just a short thank you for keeping up with me and reading this blog. Seriously. I didn’t really expect much of a turn out but apparently, people have been reading some of my posts and the feedback I’m getting is just heartwarming. Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart. :)

Also, I just wanted to update you that I tried a new workout yesterday called Electric Muscle Stimulation (EMS) at Impulse Studio in Bangsar. It’s one of the most intense workouts I’ve tried so far – it lasts for only 20 minutes and is already equal to 4 hours at a normal gym! So yeah, I’m pretty much sore today. But I’m loving the feeling and I can’t wait to go back! Too bad we’ll be out of town for two weeks (will tell you guys about this later on) so I’ll be missing some precious fitness time. But come early October, I’m gonna be back there again. Do check out their site to learn more about EMS and if you want to try it out for free, just mention my blog at the counter and they will give you a free trial. ;) I’ll write more about the experience soon so watch out for that.

Anyhoo, off to today’s beauty post:

I obsess over beauty and skin care as much as my husband obsesses over tech stuff and appliances. The way he reads reviews and researches about his future buys is practically the same method I apply for my beauty-related purchases. We’re not the type to splurge on stuff we really don’t think is worth it after all.

To me, beauty is not just about putting on the right makeup or having a gorgeous haircut. You always have to start with clean skin and hair so everything starts from the bath – everyday. While I don’t have the luxury of using the bath tub every single day, I make sure I have ample time to enjoy my showers. Getting to scrub every nook and cranny of my skin is actually invigorating, relaxing, and very satisfying – or am I just weird. I dunno. Tell me you’re with me on this.

While I often get compliments for having clear skin and bouncy hair, I know for a fact that they won’t last unless I take good care of them. And before you use any other product on your skin and hair, it’s best to make sure that you’re really clean. I can’t imagine how a moisturiser or a hair serum (no matter how good they are) to work properly when there’s dust and dirt on you. They just won’t be able to penetrate.

So for this one, I just wanted to share my current favourite bath time buddies which I get from Sephora here in Malaysia. I’m a huge Sephora fan and I would always stop by at at least one store every time I visited family in Europe just to stock up on essentials that I don’t get in Manila. I love how almost everything I need can be bought under one roof – especially my bath time essentials like this little baby:

Sephora Fizzing Bath Cube – Peony (RM5, Php68.83, US1.55, EUR1.20)

While I don’t get to enjoy using the bath tub everyday as it takes too much time and it uses too much water (save the environment!), I always have Sephora bath cubes in stock just in case I need some extra relaxation time in the bathroom.

It comes in lots of flavours like Chocolate, Coconut, Vanilla, Toffee, Mango, Orange Blossom, Strawberry, Cotton flower, Blueberry, Lagoon, Green Tea, Lemon Verbena, and Monoi. My faves are Peony and Cotton Flower as they come in sweet scents that aren’t too overpowering. The cube’s easy to use – just fill the tub with water, peel the cube’s wrapper and drop into the bath tub. The cube will fizz and mix evenly into the water by itself and will immediately make the water and the bathroom smell soooo good.

Soap & Glory Glad Hair Day Shampoo and Conditioner (RM35 each, Php481.82, USD10.82, EUR8.43)

I love this shampoo and conditioner combo. It works well with my hair that’s curly but has fine strands. After a couple of weeks using it, I’ve noticed my hair’s shinier and bouncier. The only con I guess is that it can be a bit pricier compared to say, Schwarzkopf’s line.

I also love the sweet, raspberry-like smell. It might seem like it’s too strong while you’re lathering up your hair but it’s actually very mild once you wash up.

Soap & Glory Flake Away Body Polish (RM39, Php536.88, USD12.06, EUR9.40)

I love, love, love this body scrub. I use it once or twice a week and it leaves my skin, especially my legs, way smoother than before. I’m also an advocate of waxing and it’s imperative that I never get ingrown hair in the areas that are regularly waxed – or anywhere for that matter. Ingrown hairs are itchy and hideous as they leave dark bumps on one’s skin.

I never have such problems with this baby around. It works like magic. The smell can be too sweet but it doesn’t really stay on my skin anyways as I still lather up with a different kind of body wash after washing off the scrub.

Soap & Glory Clean, Girls Skin Softening Cream Body Wash (RM29, Php399.22, USD8.97, EUR6.99)

The scent Clean, Girls comes with has got to be my favourite from Soap & Glory – vanilla with hints of musk and mmm… do I smell freesia? It’s sooo good. Not too girly. It leaves you smelling clean and with just a hint of sweet. One more thing I love about it? It’s ultra moisturising which is great for my dry skin.

Sephora Loofah

I use Clean, Girls with a loofah from Sephora which’s gentle to the skin and is great in working up the lather. ;)

That’s it… for now. ;) Of course, this isn’t everything I use as I also have other intensive cleaning and moisturising products both for the hair and skin. There’s also facial cleansers, feminine wash, etc. But these are my latest loves here in KL. So yeah. As you can see, I am going through a Soap & Glory phase at the moment. But the products got me really hooked. I’ll let you know once I’ve used them all up and whether I’ll stick with them or try other brands.

Toodles for now. Hubby and I are attending a dinner party though I’m feeling kinda lazy cos it’s raining hard and I’m having cuddle spells. Hee. But work’s work. So we go. ;)

Laters,

Carol

Events / Happenings: ALC Coffee Morning at the Thai Embassy

One of the things I look forward to here in KL are the ASEAN Ladies’ Circle (ALC) coffee mornings. I’ve attended two so far: the one hosted by Vietnam last August and the one hosted by the Thai Embassy this September. I intended to write about the Vietnam coffee morning but I only had a few photos (I was such an excited newbie) from that one so I decided to proceed with the latest event ALC had.

Madame Korbhiat Kraichitti, the wife of the Thai Ambassador, was such a gracious host and the Thai ladies (both from the Embassy and the community in KL) obviously worked hard to put the event together which was a great success. We all went home knowing more about Thai culture than we did upon entering the Thai Embassy – all that while thoroughly enjoying ourselves.

I’ll let the pictures do the talking, shall I?

Love this veggie arrangement at the entrance. So inviting and reminiscent of one of Thailand’s best imports: Their cuisine!

Pearls from Thailand were also on sale at the event. Aren’t they beautiful?

There were also Thai delicacies, condiments, and some handicraft.

These scarves are just so adorable and warm. I was given one in light blue. :)

The pearls were indeed pretty.

Madame Korbhiat Kraichitti  and one of the active Filipina members of ALC and friends of the Philippine Embassy, Princess Dr Becky Leogardo.

Taste of Thailand.

A portrait of Thailand’s beloved monarch – KIng Bhumibol Adulyadej is at the embassy’s event hall.

We were treated to some traditional Thai dance. I love how graceful Thai dancers are. Their hand movements remind me of the Singkil – a dance performed by the Maranaos in the Philippines.

Madame Kraichitti gives a welcoming speech and even says her goodbye to the ALC as her husband is set to end their tour of duty in Malaysia this month. Her smiling face and warm aura will surely be missed at future ALC events.

Madame Mar Mar Kyaw (R), the wife of the Ambassador of Myanmar and also the head of ALC, and Madame Kraichitti exchange gifts.

Madame Ibu Ratna Andarwaty, the wife of the Indonesian Ambassador, also gives Madame Kraichitti a farewell gift.

It’s sad to see Madame Kraichitti go as during my first few ALC events, she was always so welcoming and sweet – not just to me, but to everyone in the group.

After the formalities, we were all given a chance to learn more about Thai Massages. More than just for relaxation, Thai massages are said to have healing properties when done to the body regularly.

There was a demonstration for the ALC members to see how Thai massage actually differs from other types of massages. It doesn’t use oil and is more on applying pressure on certain muscles on your body.

After the demonstration, we were all eager to try the Thai massage and relieve some tension from our upper bodies. It did not disappoint. We were led to an adjoining room where therapists from Thai Royal Massage and Thai Odyssey were waiting to give us 10-minute massages. The pressure was just right and I felt so relaxed after that I was ready to go for a nap. It was that good.

And what’s an event without some photo ops of the participants? ;) Here’s a photo of the ALC patrons, alternate patrons for Singapore and the Philippines, and Princess Dr Becky Leogardo (seated) along with the Filipina members of the ALC (standing). I love how colourful this photo is because of our outfits. I especially like Madame Andarwaty’s green ensemble. Such a great pop of colour, don’t you think?

A photo with Puan Sri Sylvia Merican, a Filipina who generously lends her time and helps the Philippine Embassy in whichever way she can. She is such a sweet woman with great sense of style.

Filipina ladies always know how to have fun!

While waiting for lunch to be served at the Ambassador’s residence (which is just next door to the Embassy), we had the pleasure of trying Miang Kham as an appetiser.

You take one leaf and fill it in with the different ingredients available. Wrap it, then place the whole thing in your mouth. As soon as you take a bite, it’s like going to foodie heaven. It looks rather simple but it’s actually a burst of flavour in your mouth that your tastebuds will thank you for. A blend of shrimp paste, coconut, ginger, fresh bitter chaphlu leaves, peanuts, lime and chili (if you like it spicy).

I love the shrimp paste and how it enhanced the flavours of the ginger and shallots. We have something similar to it in the Philippines called bagoong which I love eating with green mangoes.

Thai food is just so colourful and fragrant that I often take my time admiring how it’s presented right before digging in. The taste rarely disappoints as well. The last time I was in Bangkok, I went on a major food trip along the streets of Pratunam and had so much food, I ended up overeating – without even breaking the bank. Street food in Thailand is always, ALWAYS a must.

The Thai Ambassador’s Residence (Dining Area). I’m a girly girl and I have a thing for table settings. Is that weird? I know I’m not the only one who obsesses over pretty cutlery and napkin folding.

We were served some hot and sour Tom Yum before we proceeded to the buffet. This soup was so good, I ended up having two helpings of it. It has a real spicy kick but the sourness evens it out, making it a delight for your tastebuds.

Sadly, I wasn’t able to take photos of the buffet. I left my camera behind at the dining table and it’s kind of impossible to take photos when I’m using both my hands to get me some authentic Thai food. ;) Aside from learning more about Thai dance and massage, I went home with a cleared up sinus thanks to the really spicy food. My tolerance for spice is kind of low but I am always willing to gulp more water just to experience Thai dishes with their unique flavour. ;)

The ladies from the Thai Embassy also gave us goodie bags that contained different Thai products but my favourite has got to be the Thai cooking manuals. I am looking forward to making my own Tom Yum soon!

More later!

Love,

Carol

Remembering 9/11

I guess the biggest injustice we and the future generation can do against those who perished in this tragedy is to forget about and pay very little attention to it as years pass by.

I am not American. I have never set foot in the United States and don’t really have any major connection the country aside from knowing that the Americans were our former colonial masters. Filipinos are also quite Americanised and very much in tune to their society because of TV and Hollywood. But other than having a couple of American friends and wanting to see New York someday, I don’t really have a major emotional investment in the country.

However, I do remember where I was on September 11, 2001 when news broke out that a plane hit one of the towers of the World Trade Centre in New York. Followed by another plane. Then news broke out that there’s yet another one that crashed into the Pentagon followed by the last plane that crashed in field in Pennsylvania.

It took a while for everyone to connect the dots. Everyone was blinded. Later on, we all found out that the 4 commercial planes were hijacked and intentionally crashed as a terror attack on the US and the last one was actually intended for the Capitol or the White House but it crashed into a field after the passengers fought the hijackers.

I remember hearing the news late at around 10 in the evening, Manila time. I was 12 years old and about to go to bed. We were watching the news and scenes from New York, one of my dream cities to visit, showed chaos and burning towers. Journalists were reporting from the streets and talking to people covered in soot and blood, running away from the devastation.

Photo from State of the Nation. An image that will forever haunt the people who were watching the news on September 11, 2001.

I was crying because I was scared and I felt so much pity for the people who were running, not knowing where to go and because I had some sort of inkling that there were thousand of people who might die – those were offices after all. I was right. Later on, it was reported that over 3000 people perished in the tragedy. The people who initiated the attack felt that they won. But at that time, I believed otherwise.

I went to bed after my mom pulled the plug on the telly but I wasn’t able to sleep right. I turned the TV on again as soon as the sun started peeking through my window and with my glasses on, I watched what happened next. Smoke, rubble, and people trying to dig out survivors from the fallen towers. Footage from the night before of firemen carrying injured people out of the burning Pentagon.

I remember seeing this photo everywhere in 2001. Taken during then-US President George W. Bush’s reading of a story book to school children and one of his people comes up to him to tell him the news that a plane hit one of the towers. Photo from Life Magazine.

I went to school upset and those scenes never left my mind. They scared me and made me care about what was happening in another part of the world that’s physically far from me but at that moment, I felt so close to it. I remember running to the grade school library during lunch and recess to ask my grade school librarian, Mrs Guevarra, to let me use her television. And together, we watched more cable news. She asked me: “So you still want to become a journalist after seeing that? It’s so dangerous what they’re doing!” and I told her that that’s precisely why I want to become one I want to be the one telling people what was happening and why. I want to know first.

While there were photos showing blood and gore, I think what got to me most were the simpler photos that said so much without being too loud. Photo from the New York Times.

For days, I found myself crying in front of the television. No, I didn’t know those people but I knew they did not deserve to die like that. I was hearing excerpts of last phone calls, seeing videos of people falling from the buildings, there were photos of dead people with loved ones crying over them splashed on broadsheets.

Their deaths were not in vain, however. In the next days and months the world saw a people united more than ever, telling their government that they want justice. I don’t know what Osama Bin Laden was thinking at that time but if it were me, I would have felt that I’ve woken an angry dragon up.

What’s more touching are the firemen, the police, and the volunteers that didn’t leave ground zero until all survivors were pulled out of the rubble. Photo from NBC News.

Movies were made, documentaries were filmed, features on news broadcasts and tributes were aired. We don’t hear about 9/11 as much nowadays. It’s been over a decade after all. But to me, that was one of the biggest turning points in modern history and one of the events in my late childhood that I will always remember. (Further Reading: Time Magazine’s If You Want to Humble an Empire)

Later on, in Journ school, I was discussing 9/11 to my Sociology professor. We were having a healthy debate on what drives people to commit such atrocities. The discussion went back to ideals, to a bit of history. From the US’ involvement in the wars in the Middle East, to lifestyle, to oil, conflicting ideals. Which made me realise that it’s not something you can just learn in a day. It’s a very complex matter which a lot of people tried to simplify in the past couple of years but still, it remains to be a tangled, complicated issue that only saddens me more as the issue is directly related to conflict in different parts of the world where men, women, and children are dying. I am strongly against the death of innocents and I believe we no longer live in a world where it’s always ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’. But alas, we don’t live in a perfect world. (Further reading: Osama Bin Laden’s Letter to the American People)

The biggest injustice will be to forget the lessons we learned. Photo from CBS New York.

My husband and I also discuss the matters of the Middle East over dinner (and sometimes goes all the way to before going to sleep) every now and then and though we’ve been at it for ages, I somehow feel that there is still so much more to learn and understand. Sometimes we end up with opposing personal views on certain matters (Why is it like this? What should be done for it to be okay? How will peace be achieved?) but still, there are facts to guide us. ‘The conflict brought about by differences, the changing worlds, and inevitable coexistence’ as I like to call it in my head.

While conspiracy reports remain, Osama Bin Laden was reported to have been killed in a US special operation in 2011. America rejoiced but I guess they’ve already learned from the past. They knew it wasn’t over and they knew that it’s not just Bin Laden who disagrees with their policies. There are more groups, more leaders.

When will it end? Photo from NBC News.

Today, some countries in the Middle East are still locked internal conflict. There’s Syria, there’s Israel and Palestine, and then there’s the ISIS in Iraq. News reports say that difference in ideals, clashing beliefs, and political interests are playing a major role in the matter. Two American journalists were beheaded by ISIS, a group that has been reported to be doing ethnic and religious cleansing in the region, as a message to the US ‘to stop meddling’ in the Middle East. And just a couple of hours ago, US President Barack Obama addressed his people and announced a major expansion in their military campaign against the group, saying: “This is a core principle of my presidency: If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.”

Sometimes, you start to wonder: Will it ever end? Thirteen years from now, will we remember the people that were reportedly killed by ISIS and the historical monuments as well as places of worship of other religions that were reportedly destroyed by the group? There won’t be anniversary for the deaths of the Shiite Muslims, the Yazidis, and other ethnic groups who chose not to convert even at gunpoint.

I always talk about how remembering the past makes sure that you learn from your mistakes. And once this is all over, I can only hope that events will be remembered so that the future generations, despite differences in race, religion, and lifestyle, won’t have to resort to killing each other.

And while the New York skyline was forever changed by the tragedy of 2001 and there are no more plans of building new towers in ground zero as it has been turned into a memorial. I like how the Americans made sure that their future generations and everyone else in the world will never forget. Photo by Ryan D. Budhu, Happeningmag.

Nowadays, the New York skyline looks so different and I guess people have gotten used to not seeing the towers anymore. However, it is impossible for New Yorkers to ever forget September 11, 2001. The ‘Tribute in Light’ shines all night every September 11 since 2002. In 2008, the US announced that they will stop the tribute as an end to their nation’s mourning but it went on after and they said that it should continue well up to the tragedy’s tenth anniversary – 2011. However, it’s already 2014 and the Tribute in Light is still repeated yearly to commemorate what happened. I don’t think the US is still mourning the 3,000 people that died that day. I personally don’t agree with people who say that the tribute should be stopped so that they can move on. I think it’s nice to remember. To pause for a while and think about what happened. To examine ourselves how far we’ve come from that day when we heard the news that shook the entire world. And to reflect on how the conflict the brought about the death of thousands of lives in the West and the Middle East can finally be solved.

You wouldn’t want to lose your home or your livelihood, would you? And you wouldn’t want to leave your children orphaned. Right? Photo from Galleryhip.

But I’m no expert on the matter and maybe people who know better will want to shoot me for this. After all, I’m just a regular girl from Asia who’s dabbled in journalism and loves to watch the news. And while I don’t have a personal stake on the matter, I do care.  I am not Muslim nor American. I admit that sometimes, it’s hard not to pick a side. Especially when you see children dying and people losing their homes and livelihood due to conflict. Everyone deserves a place to call their home where they can practice their own religion and I do care about people even though they are different from me. I have learned to respect their own beliefs and the way they live even if I know if I were in their position, it would not work for me. I know that I am anti violence and I always will be. I know conflict and wars might be seen as an effective tool for certain people to get what they want. But at the end of the day, we all lose when the blood of our brothers and sisters (no matter what their race or religion is) is spilled, when children are orphaned, and when people are stripped of their homes and livelihood. We win with peace that’s achieved through peace. It might be slow, yes. But at least we’ll all sleep a little better at night, don’t you think?

More yapping later.

Peace and love,

Carol

PS. The views and comments in this post do not represent the views of the Philippine government or that of my husband’s. This is purely personal.

Foodie Adventures: Gelatomio

I’m a huge fan of gelato. I always say that when it comes to gastronomic pleasures, we shouldn’t really mind shelling out money (as long as it’s within our means) and gelato, which admittedly is more expensive than regular ice cream, is counted as one of those pleasures in my book. After all, one of the main things we need to survive is food so might as well indulge every now and then, right?

Just wanted to share my current favourite gelato place here in KL: Gelatomio. They serve Italian milk-based ice cream that’s 95% fat free while water-based flavours are at 99%. All their flavours come from natural ingredients with no preservatives. Knowing these makes me feel less guilty over indulging on dessert. ;)

Ok, photo’s a bit lopsided. Didn’t notice before the upload but you get the picture. Geddit? Haha. It’s kind of a huge kiosk in front of cotton on with it’s own seating area.

Over the last couple of weekends, my husband and I decided to sit around and eat some gelato after a loooong day of walking. We were out all day looking for more home decor and after dinner, we just had to get something sweet before finally heading home. So we went to the Gelatomio branch in Pavilion Mall.

It’s kind of hard to choose. But we’re basically a chocolate loving couple.

The husband and I ordered quite similar flavours. He got Hazelnut, Dark Chocolate, and another variant of chocolate while I went for Nutella Hazelnut, Cookies and Creme, and Vanilla.

And the best part about this is we only paid for one cup because of the Entertainer app! I just showed the app on my phone, entered my pin, then let the people from Gelatomio enter theirs, and voila!

Buy 1, take 1 gelato single cups. Each cup has three scoops each and cost us around RM11 (Php 150, USD 3.44, EUR 2.66).

I gotta say that my fave among the flavours I got was the cookies and creme!

What I really love about Gelatomio their ice cream’s consistency. Just the right amount of creaminess to enhance the flavours. The servings are huge too so it was kind of hard for me to finish mine.

Extremely tired but happy due to some kind of sugar high. ;)

The husband enjoying his dessert.

Of course, my husband being the guy that he is didn’t really have a hard time with his. I also have sensitive teeth so I often wait for my ice cream (or any frozen food for that matter) to thaw and melt a little before eating.

I’m looking forward to try their gelato smoothie next as I’ve heard that it’s the bomb. Dragging my husband back there as soon as he gets back from his conference.

More later!

Love,

C

Events + Photos: KL Vintage Festival 2014

Last Sunday, Malaysia celebrated Hari Merdeka (Independence/Freedom day) which commemorates the independence of the Federation of Malaya from British colonial rule. The holiday was extended to Monday, September first, and since my husband had to make a quick nip (ok, not that quick – he was there from 8:30am until almost 4pm) to the embassy because the whole team as well as our Ambassador needed to rush a few things for our President, I was able to get most of my chores out of the way before he got home and we decided to check out the Kuala Lumpur Vintage Festival.

We left the condo at around 4pm and took the Monorail to the Maharajalela station which was basically connected to Stadium Merdeka – the festival’s choice of venue.

Upon entry to the stadium are walls filled with photographs of the Malaysians’ heroes and revered leaders.

The stadium grounds itself was filled with tents selling vintage finds – from clothes, to vehicles, down to Coca-Cola kitchen signs. 

This stadium is very important to Malaysians as it was the place where the power to govern the country was transferred from the British to the Malays in 1957. The stadium was constructed especially for that event and can accommodate up to 25 thousand people.

I love almost anything vintage – be it clothes, home decor, toys, glasses, etc. So prepare for a photo overload of all the quirky things we saw at the fair.

Vespa! Can’t bring myself to learn how to ride a motorbike but if ever I do, I would love to try one of these.

This combi van is so 60s! And yes, my sticker mask says hi. My face looked weird cos I was practically blinded by the sunlight. Haha.

Totally loving the Obamafied Marilyn right there. And it was just so cheap at RM50! We don’t have a wall for it though. :( The rooms have already been planned out. Maybe when we redecorate in a couple of years? ;) Hee.

Adidas fans in the festival had a field day. There were limited edition sneakers on sale. Loved the Star Wars series. Bummed that they’re only for boys. :(

The anatomy of an AT-AT.

These would totally look good in my kitchen!

Combi and muscle car overload.

You know how old people say one person’s junk is another person’s treasure? I totally believe that when it comes to vintage shopping. :D

All my close friends know how I dig vintage glasses – the bigger the better. They’re so quirky yet still classy!

What do you think? ;)

I’d love to pack lunch in these – especially on the one with the Volswagen design. Cute!

Spot the bag I was dying to buy! Yep, the green one with the gold handle. So 50s, yes? But I had to let it go because it had severe scratches. :( One thing about buying vintage is that you have to check the item thoroughly for damages and decide whether you can live with it or not.

I love Gold (not a fan of the plastic ones – too kiddie) vintage Casio watches. I have one already but I’m still looking into buying this design with the calculator. My friend Armi has one and I’m practically drooling all over it every time she’s wearing it!

Sadly, no flag pins for my husband. He collects those from every country. Either he buys them himself when he visits or his travelling friends get him some.

The husband also collects plane models and for a minute, he considered this fighter jet.

Vintage trains! My husband also loves trains. He dreams of having a locomotive train set in our condo but the question is always whether we have enough space for one. I love looking at old trains. They remind me of those years when travel was a luxury and people would often dress up and make an occasion out of a journey.

A red Swatch from the 80s.

Typewriters! So googly-eyed over these. They would make for great decor!

All the stalls were colourful with clothes dating as far back as the 50s.

I died and went to heaven after seeing these styles! <3

Just take a look at that leather traveling bag. Drool.

Hello, beautiful.

There are even school and office supplies. Venus Perfect Pencils is a brand I have not seen in YEARS. Gave me the heebie jeebies to see a couple of boxes. That company started out in the early 1900s. THe pencils were very popular among Americans and eventually, they became the favourite writing tool of soldiers during WWI after the American Lead Pencil Company started supplying Germany. Why do I know these things? Haha. The company making Venus pencils has been bought by Faber-Castell, btw.

While there were branded clothes going as high as RM60 or RM70, there were also stalls selling at just RM5.

Some pricey Ray-Bans. The tortoise-shell and gold wayfarers were adorbs but beyond my budget.

A Yashica Twin Lens Reflex (TLR) Camera! Thought about turning it into a part of my console table vignette but the seller says it’s still working (so it’s still hella pricey).

More planes. I’m amazed at how my husband can say the type/model of each plane we see. He is such a geek for these things. Oh, and he’s also very knowledgeable about countries. Give him a country and he will tell you about it’s history, the people, where it is exactly, the capital and its major cities, he can tell you how the flag looks like and the shape of it in a map. ANY COUNTRY. No notes. Just straight from his brain. I guess that’s what makes him really good at his job. I guess anything to do with travel, my husband knows.

C3-PO trying to go incognito behind a pair of Docs.

Cowabunga! We’re missing one turtle though.

Love this!

Not really vintage but the designs are. Would you let your toddlers wear these? I’m kind of partial to the Ramones shirt for our future kiddo. But my husband might not be too happy about it. Haha!

My girl Audrey makes an appearance.

More and more bags.

And a mini Darth Vader looking too cute for words.

Accessory overload. Not really vintage but the designs can actually fool people into thinking that they’re from your mom’s fancy jewellery box.

Cute shopping bag.

Oh hello there, husband.

A sweaty couple-selfie was in order. We were enjoying ourselves despite the heat.

There were also vintage cars on display.

As well as motorcycles that remind me of a scene from Indiana Jones.

This is so WWII.

We ended that short trip with a quick snack. We found this stall just outside the stadium and the smell is so inviting. They’re selling cheap fried chicken (called ayam by Malaysians) which you can munch on by itself.

A huge chunk of fried chicken was at RM7 (Php 96.08, EUR 1.68, USD 2.20). And when I say huge, I mean HUGE. My husband and I decided to share and ask them to chop it up for us.

Ok, the filters made it really dark but this is just one slice of the chicken. The skin is rather crispy with a spicy-salty taste and the meat, juicy. We paired it with a tangerine drink from a nearby stall and it was just divine.

All in all, we enjoyed the KL Vintage Festival. It was like taking a trip down memory lane, or more appropriately – taking the time machine out for a whirl. Looking forward to next year’s festival! :)

More later.

Love, 

C