Soul searching in Bali

Nope. This is not a travelogue blogpost.

I went to Bali during my housemanship with 2 other lady friends. I can’t remember when exactly but I was going through a rough patch in my life at the time. I knew this because I had my beautiful long hair cut short like a pixie and had it dyed to an auburn colour. It had to do with a boy and a failed relationship and I guess Bali was an escapade that I needed.

My trip to Bali had no pictures. Perhaps my friends have them but it is not something I’d like to keep for myself or post on Facebook as my trip there wasn’t really Syariah-compliant. I still abide to my prayers and my halal meals but I was not proud of how I chose to dress. I had thought Allah would have mercy on me during my darkest moments. It’s like one of those things I know is wrong but I still want to do it anyway. Sedangkan kalau Allah nak, He can just take my life there and then, kan? I did feel bad about my skin & hair exposure after the trip and reminded myself not to do it again. Thankfully, my friends were not that reckless and wild. We still have our sane thinking hat on. If not, I might end up in bed with a stranger the next morning. Sore.

Despite no photos, I am still able to remember the trip vividly. Our stay in our bedroom of 3, the late night swims in the hotel pool, relaxing massage at the spa, the trip to the mountains and other tourist-y area, buying art pieces from the local artiste and who could forget, the Italian dinner at Bella Italia. I think we got tired of Indonesian cuisine by the last day. But that last night in Bali was awesome and I felt so rested and happy. Bali has a joyful yet spiritual aura to it. Kinda difficult to explain why.

I think that is the joy of going abroad for a holiday/ soul searching. Other people don’t know who you are (unless you’re cha cha maembong) and everyone is there to just relax and have fun.

My sister is planning a trip to Bali next year with her husband and kids for an anniversary trip. She is asking me for an itinerary that I can’t really produce for Bali to me happened aeons ago. What I did tell her is that it is a really nice, serene place and you’d come back to Malaysia only to wish that you could return there soon.

Myeongdong Topokki Taman Lagenda Melaka

I think I am in my Korean phase – a phase where I am infatuated with everything Korean from the latest drama, variety show, gossips, songs & food. This phase will pass too but until the enthusiasm wears off – I am on a mission to fulfill that K-void. Even my makeup has taken on a Korean vibe to it.

FYI – I have been binge-watching Youtube videos of Hong Jin-Young with her charming, aegyo personality who appeared in various variety shows in Korea.

On top of that, just last week my family and I tried Korean street food at a new halal outlet called Myeongdong Topokki in Melaka.

Honey Jujube RM7.90
Green Tea RM3.90 ( refillable x 3)

The concept is that it has a counter where you order food and then collect at the kitchen when your number is called. It would have been a better experience if I could see the menu beforehand so that (as first timers) I will not freeze or deliberate too long on my choices upon ordering. It would have been ugly if the queue was long.

I ordered the trending snacks youngsters nowadays seem to enjoy. For my husband, I took the liberty to order him a set of Bulgogi Beef Deopbab. Basically, it is rice with marinated beef alongside side dishes of kimchi, soup and green tea.

Bulgogi Beef Deopbap RM18.90

My son Ee had the regular corndog.

Corndog RM 12.90
Ganjang chicken RM10.90

I ordered a Cheese Topokki. Of course, this is because I have been influenced by the numerous clips I see on Youtube. I find that topokki is not to my liking but at least I have tried. I think it’s the spiciness that puts me off. Koreans really love their gochujang (chilli paste).

Cheese Topokki (large) RM15.90

We enjoyed the Ganjang Chicken most. It is not spicy. I would definitely order a bigger portion on my next visit.

As for drinks, I had iced green tea. Customers can refill their green tea up to 3 servings ! Ee had honey jujube drink which was equally nice.

In short, this is a child friendly eatery. It is clean and exudes the young, cheerful vibe. Food is not bad but a bit pricey for street food. But we have to remember, this is an imported menu after all – haruslah harga mahal sikit. Parking spaces are difficult to come by. Customers tend to double park. Apart from the minor glitches, I think it is worth trying.

Exchange and substitution

Heyya.. I am still in the BLS2020 programme. The 6 month agonizing but hopefully fruitful journey to lose weight.

I knew a nutritionist. My sister that is but she has forgotten almost everything she learnt during her undergraduate years because she is not practising. She is now a teacher by profession. Ha ha.

Fortunately, the internet especially my fav go to for infographics, Instagram has a lot of things I need to know about diet, exercise, weight loss. I just need to choose my hashtags properly and double check to see if the ones dispensing advice are certified trainers/nutritionists. Yup, not doctors cause the advice is superficial and very textbook. I know because I’m one. I did not even know that there’s a thing called a Food pyramid for vegans!

credit to original IG account the.rich.fam

Recently I’m learning more about food exchange and substitution. Like, if I don’t want to use sugar in my drinks – what can I safely replace it with. Or if I want a recipe for low calorie choc chip cookies – what would be the secret ingredients.

part of my food diary pictures. Trying calorie deficit but I think I am on a plateau

When it comes to exchange, it’ll be like ‘if I drink this bubble tea now, my calorie bank would shrink. Am I willing to sacrifice my fist of rice and palm of broccoli for this?” – on most days, I am proud to say I am able to walk away from those hip drinks. But I do have my bad days. Especially when my nephews and nieces come by to the house!

It is also interesting to note that food products marketed as healthy may not be as healthy you would think it is. I learn to read the labels. Still making mistakes but sis cuba.. lol. Take this for instance, a tablespoon (15g) of this St Dalfour marmalade is only 47kcal whilst a tbs of this healthy spread ranges from 84 to 96kcal.

We have 4 months to go. Indeed, I feel lighter although the scales are not showing it. I am drinking more water. I am more selective with my choices of snacks and timing of meals. I am lifting weights. My husband has this multi function home gym fitness station which has been redundant for quite a while. I have painstakingly moved it to my personal craft room for my own use. I hope to see results at the end of this 4 months.

I plan to practice belly dancing at home and just wiggle for cardio purposes since being on a treadmill can be boring. who knows I can get a figure like Shakira. HA HA HA HA.

I am still optimistic of what I hope to achieve out of this 6 months of restrain and pushing myself. This is because as one successful weight loss instagrammer puts it,

“I hate having to omit myself out of pictures which marks milestones and memorable moments in my life. I am tired of removing myself from my own life story”

Watching mukbang – my guilty pleasure

Ever since I am on this 6 month weight loss programme – I have been binge-ing on watching Youtube videos of people doing mukbang all over the world. I still love my old time favourite Yuka Kinoshita but lately I have been enjoying a Korean youtuber who calls herself Kani. Her channel is G-NI. Hers and Yuka are the few mukbang girls who eat deliciously yet polite. Any other recommendations?

I have seen a few local influencers trying to do mukbang but they appear gelojoh. hodoh. Not appetizing at all.

Watching mukbang is a guilty pleasure because I know that gluttony is prohibited in Islam. In this case I am referring to food as opposed to sexual desires. Islam has always advised its followers to be moderate when it comes to having a meal. After all excessive eating may lead to adverse health effects and various hadiths have even illustrated this.

I guess my obesity too stems from the fact that I ate a lot when I didn’t have too. Ha ha ha. The huge appetite surfaced out of emotional distress whilst some could be because I want to keep up with what is trending in the food industry nowadays. But I am slowing down now since I am trying to (still) reach my BMI of 25. This has got to be the longest commitment I have ever made with regards to losing weight. I am just hoping it will work as I have 4 months to go and I am tired.

I need to watch another mukbang video.

End of school season 2019

.. meaning lots of prize giving ceremonies and class parties.

This time I was more prepared for the class party. I had contact numbers for various homebakers & party people at the tip of my fingers. As of attending my kids prize giving ceremony – that is something that I still have to work on. It was easier while working shifts as you just swap shifts but oh well.. every job has its ups and downs. It would be nice if I could get hold of the schools itinerary for the whole year so that I could plan out my leaves from work.

For Ee’s morning school, I ordered 50 pieces of emoji cheese tarts. This homebaker lives in Bachang. She doesn’t do delivery, so you need to pick it up at her home. Kids love the design of course and Ee did not have to bring back any leftovers.

I also ordered from the same baker, 50 pieces of apam corak for Ee’s evening religious school. He chose the ultraman design and it was beautifully done too. Apam is this spongy cake that has fillings inside.

The total of my order is RM123.00. This is because I also ordered Nutella tarts for myself to eat in the car. Ha ha.

I would definitely recommend this lady for her delicious tarts. I am considering to order it again next year for my many lovely parties. 2020 is the year of celebration.

2019 was a good year for Ee in both schools. He did well in all of his subjects. I just hope that he would be more independent in his studies. My husband had to literally sit with him and leaf through the chapters together as he quizzes my son of the subjects. He would probably not get the same results if I were to just tell him to go to his room and read his books.

Ee is also elected as part of the school’s librarian. He underwent some kind of trial first before he was formally appointed. I am happy for that. I think the role suits him more than being a prefect. He is turning 8 soon. And taller. Similar to Ninie, he will also InsyaAllah have 2 cakes. I cannot wait.