May

80% done with my second year at University with only one more exam to sit for! The first two weeks of this month has been crazy (maybe not really?). I had a lot of deadlines to meet and presentations to prepare for but thankfully, I survived. Fingers crossed that I manage to pass everything.

All these bakes are long overdue because I’ve been busy and lazy.

I think I baked this way back in January (yeah, it’s May I know). Recipe can be found here. I just added some fresh cream and decorated with strawberries. The chiffon cake was too soft to hold it’s shape after I put cream in it but second try soon?

This is a Biscoff Cookie Butter Cupcake which was filled with the Lotus Biscoff Caramelised Biscuit Spread and then frosted with fresh cream. I tend to always always always just pour double cream into a bowl and then agak-agak the amount of sugar. Hence, the difference in sweetness each time I make fresh cream to frost my cakes/cupcakes.

This is a recent bake, just about 4 days ago. It’s a green tea pound cake which didn’t turn out that green probably because of the typed of power I used. The cake wasn’t that dry when it came out of the oven but turned super dry the next day. Someone please tell me why but I figured it might be because I didn’t beat the butter and sugar enough?

Green tea pound cake 

I got the recipe off a BBC magazine.

375g plain flour

1tsp baking powder

2tbsp matcha

275g butter, softened

275g caster sugar

4 eggs, beaten

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C and grease and line a deep loaf tin with baking paper.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and matcha together in a bowl.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, slowly add the eggs, mixing in a little flour halfway through.
  4. Add the rest of the flour mixture and mix together until fully combined.
  5. Bake for 40-50 minutes and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin.

Manchester Malaysian Night 2018: The Yearning

So where do I begin? 9 months worth of hard work showcased in a night of 3 hours. The show went well, not as smoothly as planned (last minute heart attack because the projector wasn’t working just as we were about to start and mic difficulties) but overall, I think we did a great job. Honestly speaking, this role and this whole thing took up so much of my time that I kind of hated it in the beginning. I’d complain quite frequently of how I want this whole thing to end quickly and that I’d never have to deal with all the tedious things ever again. Looking back now, although it’s only been less than a week, I do quite miss the feeling of having something to worry and think about. I was (still am actually) sleep deprived for the past few weeks because everything was just full on with rehearsals and meetings everyday whilst having to juggle my university work and competition things. Now that one thing is checked off my list, I finally get to have an extra hour or two of sleep, hopefully.

Anyway, I was never an outspoken person to begin with. Still not. Definitely not a big fan of  talking and socialising with people that sometimes, I come across as an unfriendly person. I prefer being in my own comfort zone, around with friends who I’m close to, doing my own things. However, this role required me to step out of my comfort zone. From liaising with external parties and having to even talk on the phone with people that I don’t know to having to strike up a conversation with a participant was nerve-wracking but I knew I had no other choice but to do it. Somewhere in between and god knows how, I naturally got used to it. On the night of the play itself when I was getting the VIP room ready, the manager who showed me the way suddenly asked me ‘hold on, how old are you?’. I said I’m 19 turning 20 this year. He was pretty shocked (could tell by his facial expression) and told me that this whole production thing is a very good experience for me especially at this age. I’m not sure if it’s because I still look 15/16 years old but 9/10 times I meet someone new, they’d always ask for my age. I’ve even encountered a number of times where people tend to judge my ability because of how I look and because of my age. Heck, even I myself sometimes ask if I can do it. I wouldn’t be able to list down the number of things that I have learned through this long 9 months but I can definitely say that I’ve learned a lot. From making decisions together as a team (wrong and right ones), to learning how to speak up, to learning how to say ‘no means no’ to many many more things. Despite all the shitting things that happened along the way, I am actually glad that it happened because at least I learned something.

A big thank you to the Directors and Scriptwriter who definitely forked out their time to attend practices, coming out with such a bold and brave script and taking the risk with us to put on a show like this and so on. The core team who had to suffer a lot of last minute plan changes, dealing with our frustrations and worries, late night meetings and so on. The choreographers, dancers, actors, extras, emcees and crew who sacrificed their time and the amount of effort that was put into the show. The photographers and videographer who had to deal with our super last minute shit, taking time off to shoot and so on. Thank you for the awesome pictures and videos that all of us can look back to. Last but not least, thank you Chong En for backing me up, believing and trusting that I can actually get things done, checking if I’m okay (especially at the club ehmergerd) and so on. Working with a team of 142 people definitely wasn’t easy and sadly, I didn’t get to know each and everyone in the team but I am proud of everyone. No words can express how grateful I am for everyone’s commitment, effort and sacrifices to make this year’s Manchester Malaysian Night a successful one. Without the core team, choreographers, emcees, dancers, casts, committee, seniors, audiences and everyone involved, this wouldn’t happen with just the effort of Chong En and I.

Putting the team aside, I honestly owe this to my family and friends as well. Mummy and daddy who never even once doubted my competence because of my kind of personality but instead, constantly gave me the support that I needed because everything was just coming at me all at once. Constantly making sure that I’m okay, that I get enough rest, eat well and advices that I will take on from now on whenever I make decisions. To my very awesome dai ga je who literally came down to be my slave. From folding my clothes to cleaning my very disgusting kitchen which I have not entered for weeks to going to city to buy my broken eyebrow pencil (my Saturday morning crisis) and so on. Friends who had to deal with me ranting 12310123 a day of how tired and stressed I am, cooking and delivering food to my rehearsal (I am still damn touched okay boys), coming to watch the show although I think only one of you got the story, dealing with my super a lot of ‘Can you guys don’t go without me tonight? I also wanna go so let’s go together some other time please’ and ‘let’s do after my mnight’ and so much more. Could never thank you all enough and apologies if I missed anyone out but just know that I am grateful.

 

Manchester Malaysian Night 2018: The Yearning, done and dusted.

 

Reading Week 2017

I can’t believe that my last post was in September, even before I came back to the UK. It has been about 2 months since I came back to the UK for my second year of university and honestly, time flew by so quickly that it’s already November. Christmas lights switched on last week, Christmas markets are up and running and most of all, the sky gets dark at like 4pm – 5pm. Second year has been so damn hectic, my time filled up with projects, society, applying for internships and so on. I am always in front of the computer that I rarely have the time to bake. The first two weeks back in the UK was just me trying to settle down into my new accommodation which is also the first time that I am living alone outside and overseas.

I also finally turned 19 last month and I am very thankful to the people who made my 19th birthday a memorable one. I celebrated my birthday at Glamorous with my family and then at K2 after dinner where my friends surprised me. On the day itself, my friends and I went to Try Thai and we drank at home after. Yes, on a Monday night but guess what? Birthday girl wasn’t drunk but instead, my friend was drunk and missed lectures the next day. Big thank you to the my msoc committee as well for the surprise! I am now finally 19 and still the youngest among everyone (lol wtf).

 


The first week of November was our reading week so my friends and I decided to go to Scotland for 4 days 3 nights. We went to Edinburgh for 2 nights and then Stirling for a night. Did I mention that I have bad luck with train and coffee? On the train on the way to Edinburgh, a woman spilled her coffee on me and I was wearing a white shirt and knitted jumper, the coffee stained my white shirt instead. My jumper had holes by the way. I thought to myself, thank God my white skirt wasn’t stained. Well guess what? it actually did kena my white skirt jfc. Anyway, we were supposed to go to Edinburgh Castle on the very day that we arrive but since the weather was so good, we changed plans to go to Arthur’s Seat instead. Due to the super last minute change of plans, I had to hike in my WHITE denim skirt. I know right, first coffee stain and now soil stain. I managed to wash the soil stain off but not the coffee stain but sigh life.

The consecutive days were great as well. We went to the Scotch Whiskey Experience, Edinburgh Castle and so on. Food in Edinburgh is so much cheaper than in Manchester. We had hotpot buffet and sushi buffet for £18 and it was actually decent. Eggs royale was for £7, like whaaaaaat? Stirling, on the other hand, was a very quiet city. There wasn’t much to do and weather wasn’t the best as well. However, our Airbnb was very nice so we decided to cook at home instead of eating out! Eating at home was the best decision made because boring city but good company. We went to Tesco Superstore and spent a good amount of time choosing alcohol. Yes, not food but alcohol. I like how everything was in big portions except the broccoli.

We went out to buy more alcohol after dinner because we are alcoholics. Correction, they are alcoholics. They were playing games while drinking in the living room and I fell asleep on the couch instead. I only woke up when they were half gone and thank god nobody came to knock on our doors because we were super loud.

We were supposed to leave for Manchester at 7pm the next day but we decided to take an earlier train to Edinburgh instead since there was nothing to do in Stirling. Train to Manchester wasn’t for another 5-6 hours and we were just sitting in the train station, everyone on their phones. Earlier trains back to Manchester was hell expensive but genius me (I would like to think that I am one), suggested to take a train to Preston instead which was a way cheaper option. We wanted to YOLO it and take all the way to Manchester since Preston was one stop away from Manchester but we are civilised and nice people so we bought the Preston to Manchester train ticket. Overall, it was a good trip with good company!


Now that reading week is over, it’s really just all work right now. MSSM AGM 2017 was held last week and I am no longer a Webmaster of MSSM anymore. I officially stepped up as General Secretary for the 2017/2018 term. I have no idea what is coming my way but hopefully all will go well.

Committee 2016/2017

Here’s to a great year ahead!

Mnight has gone into full swing mode now and I already know that I am going to be much busier in the coming weeks but I’m excited. I am also joining a case study competition kind of thing with my friends so I literally shot myself in the foot by adding more work to my already huge pile of work. Not complaining but really am just trying to grab opportunities while I still can. It’s only two more years of university and hopefully I can get the most out of it!

I shall go and shower now because 6 hours of continuous group meeting killed my brain cells. Till next time!

4 days

1 June 2017, the day I landed back safely in my home country. Nearly a whole 4 months of summer break coming to an end soon in 4 days. Before coming back to Malaysia, I figured I should spend my summer break wisely and not just rot my life away for 4 months. I kind of did, for a few days though. I thought of getting a part time job or an internship to fill up my summer break but everything changed when I received the scholarship email just one fine day when I was in the lab. I still remember telling my mum when she came over to Manchester in March that I’m thinking of applying to companies for internship and I was hell worried that I would have nothing to write in my CV, especially when my break is so long. Well, not to say I have a lot to write in my CV now but at least.

Competition business came later and that filled up almost a quarter of my summer break. It was just crazy amount of phone calls, group discussions, reading and writing. Although it felt like eternity during competition prep, looking back now, no words can express how grateful and glad I am to be given the opportunity to join this competition. I learned so much from my teammates, made new friends during the competition and got to hear loads of stories from my advisor about his experiences.

I also went on a vacation to Seoul with my family. Two trips to Seoul this summer, coincidence? Maybe. I got to see more of Seoul this time round compared to the trip a few years back. I’m also an expert (not quite but I’d like to think so) in taking the subway in Seoul as well. Alone with no wifi, taking the subway alone, eating alone, roaming around alone, shopping alone? No problem. So thankful to all of my friends who brought me around during my time in Seoul, paying for my meals (why?!?!?!) and making sure that I was alright.

Summer school in China was a whole new experience for me, especially staying in the dormitory which the sink fell all of a sudden. I made so many new friends during my time there. Friends who I hope to see for as long as I can. I got to experience the real China life thanks to my local friends there. Although we met like literally 2 weeks only, thank you for picking me up from the train station even though I didn’t request for pick up service, constantly checking up on me to make sure I’m having a good time, taking the trouble to send me to the airport and taking me out at night for a local supper. Derek (sorry hate you but love you) who came to see me in Jinan (I’d like to think that you came down for me although in actual fact you were just bored, jokes) and became our translator to literally everything and just being that China boy. I really miss the life in SDU and friends whom I met there.

Apart from all the travelling I did during summer, I’m glad I met most of my friends back home. Finally no more seeing them having fun through Snapchat without me and having me to reply to their snaps saying ‘why am I not there?’. We completed our ‘mission’, which was to go to Tusan. We wanted to go for quite some time already but never had the chance to because some people weren’t back home and we’d have to find the perfect timing to go. We also went out for loads of meals together, be it breakfast, lunch, dinner or supper. We had steamboat at my house just yesterday and then we went to the beach to put sky lanterns.

Got to meet my primary school friends after almost a year and can’t believe we’ve been friends for 16 years now. We don’t always talk but we have so much to talk about when we see each other. It’s weird how over the years, we made new friends and formed our own circle of friends but even after so long, we still remember each other’s birthdays without searching for it on social media. Met in kindergarten and here we are now, in university. Damn.

After so long, I finally got my driving license. It feels so weird to be the one driving and sometimes I forget that I’m the one driving and I have the car key. Still trying to get used to the whole ‘walking to the driver’s seat’ thing. So not used to being in the driver’s seat yet but I only have what, 4 days left to drive? At least I got something done this summer.

I didn’t bake as much as I thought I would this summer, partially because my oven broke down so I have no choice but to use the toaster-oven. It sucks because I can’t do much with it but better than nothing. A little achievement is that I finally tried baking Swiss Rolls?! I kind of improved my Korean a tiny bit this summer, although I’ve neglected it for a few weeks now because I am…….well, lazy. I read up a bit on photography as well but still suck at it so that’s something I really want to improve on. Major achievement, I read a book. It’s been so long since I last read a book but I was bored and it seemed like a pretty good book so why not? I also WASTED my time watching dramas, mostly Korean dramas and one Chinese drama.

Tiny little things like reading, learning a new language, photography, etc may seem very trivial to many but it felt really fulfilling, in my opinion. Overall, it’s been a pretty damn good summer thus far and I really don’t want to go back to the UK. I’m going to bea 2nd year student when I go back in a few days time and the thought of all the assignments piling just scares me. I’m also moving out which means I have to be a tiny bit more independent now. Don’t get me wrong but I’m still excited for what 2nd year has in store for me but I’m also scared. I don’t know who I’m going to meet this coming year and don’t know if I’ll be able to cope with all the shit that comes in my face.

Hopefully, it’ll be a great 2nd year of uni and a great 2nd term of being in MSSM. I’m ready for 2nd year! Maybe not so but I don’t have a choice, do I?

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I haven’t been piping flowers for the past few months and this is probably my first this year. I don’t have flower tips or flower nail (yet) in the UK so I couldn’t pipe flowers. I also haven’t been baking for about a month already and I’m finally back to it again!

 

Red Velvet Cupcakes recipe from The Hummingbird 

60g unsalted butter

150g caster sugar

1 egg

20g cocoa powder

40ml red food colouring

1/2tsp vanilla extract

120ml buttermilk

150g plain flour

1/2tsp baking soda

1 1/2tsp white vinegar

  1. Preheat oven to 170C. Cream butter and sugar till pale and fluffy. Turn mixer to high speed and slowly add in egg till well incorporated.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, food colouring and vanilla extract till a thick paste forms. Add to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly till evenly combined.
  3. Turn the mixer down to slow and add in half of the buttermilk. Beat until well mixed, and then add in half the flour till well incorporated. Repeat this until all the buttermilk and flour have been incorporated.
  4. Turn the mixer up to high speed and beat till smooth. Turn down to slow speed and add the baking soda and vinegar. Beat until well mixed and turn up the speed and beat for a couple more minutes.
  5. Spoon into cases about 2/3 full and bake for 20-25 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.

 

World Asian Case Competition 2017

Figured I’d pen everything down so I don’t forget my experiences and can read back later in the future.

Months ago, sometime in May, DH asked me whether I was willing to join their team for the WACC 2017. Prior to him asking me, I was supposed to join the competition with another friend but due to many reasons, we didn’t submit our proposal in the end. According to DH also, he told me and asked me about the competition before earlier this year but apparently I rejected him. Me being me, I probably wasn’t paying much attention when he told me about it. Nevertheless, I told him yes, I’m up for it but I’m not confident at all. At that time also, I already knew that I was going to be in China and should we get into Top 10, I wasn’t sure if I could attend the final stage of the competition.

I remember clearly being in a dilemma and not sure if I could contribute as much as I would like to so I spoke to my mum about it and she agreed that it would be a good experience for me but it’ll also cost a lot since I am already going to China. After much consideration, I decided to (dig my own grave) go ahead with the competition. I emailed the university asking if I could leave the summer school earlier, told my parents about it, DH emailed the organiser and all of these were done with a green light.

We then had our very first ‘group meeting’ over Kakao Call and it was the most awkward 10 minutes of my life. Since the two of them had a few papers to sit for while I only had one, I decided to start reading over the company’s history and did some research on my own. We only started to do work after they arrived back in Korea and me, back in Malaysia. There was only about 2-3 weeks left by that time and we haven’t even done much discussion. Things started to get better and it was just WhatsApp/Kakao/Skype calls every single day, about 2 hours with the whole team and at least 5 hours per day with DH. It was pretty tiring, having to sleep late and try to get home as early as possible to continue doing discussions and at times, we just wanted to give up. Like, why did we even get ourselves into this in the first place?

Throughout the whole competition period, everything was just everywhere. Our discussions were productive but sometimes when you get too deep into the discussion, just throwing ideas everywhere, you can’t remember everything that was discussed and left out a lot of things that we were supposed to write in our case study. Since DH and I were responsible for the second half of the case study, I was doing a lot of discussions with him but we don’t always agree on the same thing. Me being me, I was stressed out but he always seemed to have a way of kicking that stress away of me.

We had to read shit tons of articles, journals and so much more. Heck I even had to help DH translate Chinese articles and Malay statistics reports. Since some of the sources were in Hangul, I had to read line by line and try to translate them slowly. Clearly testing my language skills.

Nonetheless, this competition has been a really fulfilling one. I got to learn so many things from the both of them. From how Korean companies work to things that I myself never knew about Malaysia and ASEAN to learning economic and business things to looking at financial statements and annual reports. Although I knew that I was lacking in every way possible, they were both really helpful and tolerating.

The deadline for the main case study was on the 19 of June 2017 but they didn’t state what time so we decided to give ourselves a deadline of 18 June 2017 23:59. Things didn’t go as we wanted it. It was 10 minutes till our self-given deadline but our executive summary, references, conclusion and keywords weren’t even done yet. The ‘deadline’ passed and DH was like ‘let’s just stop’. But I felt that we’ve already come a long way, why not just finish and still submit? If we get disqualified, then it’s fine. I mean who can we blame except ourselves? We had everything done at around 3-4am and I also had a flight to catch in the evening that day but haven’t packed my luggage yet. We submitted it and I just went to bed. I was really sceptical of us even being considered, what more to say get into Top 10.

I didn’t give it much thought since then because I was going on a vacation and what is done is done. The results were set to be announced on 27 June 2016. I told DH I’ll just go MIA on that day and not check my phone nor email. Funny enough, I found myself constantly refreshing my email and checking my phone the entire morning. I thought maybe we didn’t make it so I went to take a nap in the afternoon with my phone NOT on silent mode. Suddenly, I heard my Kakao notification. I jumped out of bed, checked my Kakao and Joon was like ‘omg we did it’. I quickly checked my email and HOLY MALKDAGLCLASKW ‘Congratulations! Etc etc etc etc’. Wait, what?

We were to prepare a 15 minutes presentation (about 13 minutes talking and 2-3 minutes of Q&A) for the final stage of the competition, which were to be presented at Sungkyunkwan University, South Korea on the 12 of August 2017. It was only the week before I left for China that we started talking about the presentation but obviously, we left it way too late. I was busy during the whole time I was in China, always not in the dormitory from morning 8.30am till close to midnight. Busy having fun, to be honest but I mean why not live the moment while I’m there, right? Anyway, DH was busy with his volunteering camp and Joon had his part done already. Guilty level max. DH and I occasionally phoned each other to discuss about the competition but it wasn’t really productive because most of the time, we were just talking about how our day went etc etc.

On the 8 of August 2017, I decided to change my flight ticket to Seoul a day earlier. I didn’t know how the idea came up between my parents and I but I thought it was a really good idea. I knew DH was in camp during that time and I couldn’t really reach him that easily. Later in the afternoon that day, DH phoned me back and I decided to go ahead with the plan of changing my flight ticket. Thank God for Joon, I had someone to help me settle all my change of plans. I was supposed to fly at 3pm on 11 August but changed it to 10 August. Yeah, changing my flight literally a day before flying. When my mum contacted the travel agent, it was already in the evening. I had to email my China university, Manchester university, the competition organiser, etc etc. Accommodation for an extra night wasn’t booked until the night of 9 August. Everything was just everywhere and my friends in China held a farewell dinner and drinking sesh for me so I was in downtown Jinan.

On the morning of 10 August, I skipped my calligraphy class to finish some procedures of leaving the school. My assigned buddy told me that recently a lot of flights have been cancelled due to the earthquake and the weather so thank goodness I changed my flight a day earlier. Procedures were done quite quickly and I went back to my room to do some work while waiting for brunch time with my friends. The ones that skipped class went ahead for brunch and the rest who were in class ran out during break time just to have my last meal together with me. Honestly don’t know what I did to deserve such nice people like them.

After brunch, I ran back to my dorm to grab my bags because a friend was waiting for me already at my dorm so I quickly returned the keys and left for the airport with him. So thankful that someone that I literally met during my first day in SDU offered to send me all the way to the airport, dropped me off and returned back to uni. I landed at Incheon at around 6pm and by the time I went through immigration, grabbed my luggage, buy a SIM card and got on the train, it was already 7pm. I turned my phone on and off several times but the SIM card still wouldn’t work so I started to get a bit worried because my friends were going to pick me up from Seoul station and since Seoul station is huge, I was going to have trouble finding them. Thankfully, the minute I got out of the tracks, which was several escalators up (didn’t know where I was going so I just kept going up and up and up), I saw them waiting already. We went for a really nice course meal dinner and then to a drinking place for 파전 (pancake), 막걸리 (makgeolli) and 소주 (soju).

 This was on the way to SKKU and miraculously, we look pretty awake.

The next day, I checked out of my hotel around 10am and then went over to my advisor’s hotel to pick him up and then we left for the hotel that was provided by the competition organiser. Sia came to see me that day so we all had lunch together which was really nice because I haven’t seen her in a long time. I felt really bad because she came all the way to Seoul to see me but I couldn’t spend the day with her because I had to prepare for my presentation which was going to be held the next day. We part ways and then went back to the hotel to check in and settle down. DH, Joon and I went to Insadong to grab coffee and churros. Taking our own sweet time walking to get food and drinks when it was already 3pm and they had things to do during dinner time. We started our discussion after that and then I went for dinner alone because they were busy with their own things.

At around 8pm, I got back to the hotel, met up with Joon and continued doing work. DH was supposed to be back at 10pm but boy called me at 11pm telling me he can’t find his suit trousers. The night before the competition jfc. Joon had to help me iron my formal clothes because well, I don’t have a reason. DH came back and our advisor came to check on us past midnight and we had to change a lot of things. We ended up sleeping at around 5am and we had to get up at 6am. I got up at 6am but the boys got up later because, boys. I went back to my room to shower and get ready, expecting them to be ready as well but when I got back to their room, nobody was ready. Boys oh boys.

We went downstairs at about 720am and our advisor bought us coffee. We left for SKKU and registered. The presentation slots were random and we were the 4th to present. I was heck nervous despite the amount of times I’ve done presentations. It just felt really different and knowing that we didn’t prepare as much as we could have, I was even more nervous. 5 minutes before our presentation, things changed and that made me even more nervous. The time on stage felt really short. It didn’t feel 15 minutes that we were on stage. After we got off stage, I was still really nervous for god knows what reason. Lunch was provided by the organiser and I’m impressed with Korean lunch boxes. My throat was burning so I couldn’t really eat. After eating, we went to a nearby convenience store to get contact lens solution for DH and medicine for me. The event resumed at it was awards time and case panel session. The medicine was a tad bit drowsy so I fell asleep during the case panel session. Well to be honest I was both drowsy and really tired.

Everything ended at about 6pm and we were contemplating whether to just go back and get some rest or just have dinner first that was provided by them. We went to the 5th floor and it was pretty proper and quite grand, in a way. We decided to stay for dinner but I was already half dead by the time. We got back to our hotel at about 9/10pm? I showered and just knocked out right away.

 


Fast forward to the company visit, I was out with DH till 6am and only slept at 7am. Company visit was at 9am which means I had to wake up at 8am and bam, one hour of sleep again. I was really reluctant to get up but I thought you know, since I’m already here, why not? DH, Joon and our advisor gave the company visit a miss so it was only me. It was kind of awkward at the beginning because I was alone and I didn’t really know anyone. Thankfully, I made friends during the company visit so it was all cool.

We visited CJ E&M, which was the company that I did the case study on. The building was huge and pretty cool. We had a short introduction session to the company and then a tour to the film sets.

The film set of School of Idol.

Sound control room and they were airing Gfriend.

Some cool looking control buttons.


Overall, this whole WACC 2017 experience was a great one and I definitely got to learn about things, get to know new people and learn to appreciate reading boring reports. All of the ‘why did I even join this shit’ and ‘I give up’ moments were well worth it. Although we weren’t champions, making into the Top 10 among almost 60 cases worldwide is already a pretty amazing thing (self-comfort). Flying to Seoul for the second time this summer was more amazing (jokes).

China Part 2

It’s been a really great 3 weeks of my summer break and probably one of the greatest experience I’ve had in my life. Despite studying abroad, it really feels different this time, to be alone in a foreign country. However, I am really grateful and thankful that I have friends who are like family to me already for the past 3 weeks.

During the first few days of me being in China, DH asked me why did I even choose to go to China in the first place when it’s such a dangerous place and that I couldn’t learn much anyway because it’s just a short 2 weeks. I couldn’t answer him because I myself at that point, knew that I couldn’t learn Chinese or about China/Chinese in a short span of 2 weeks. Few days ago in Seoul, I told him about my entire trip in China at 6am in the morning while we were taking a stroll at the Olympic Park. What I did, what I learned, who my friends were, what I hated, what I liked, etc etc. And that was when he said ‘remember I asked you what you could learn/gain from your 2 weeks in China? I guess you know the answer now and I’m glad you enjoyed it’. It didn’t really get to me then when he said it but as I type this on the plane, I really miss my 2 weeks in China.

I don’t have the most outgoing or bubbly personality out there and most of the time, I kind of do have trouble making new friends. Not that I don’t try to make friends but it’s just that I don’t have much to say to people unless we share something in common. China was different. In a short 2 weeks, I made friends who I really want to see again and again in the future. We hit it off quite well and I am so glad that I made friends like them. It started from simple lunches and dinners after class. It then became an everyday thing to ask ‘what’s for dinner?’ and ‘meet at 1st floor at Xam/pm’. The best meal I had in China was 麻辣香锅 and it’s the best ever.  Like you have to try it. Although it’s simple, it’s so good and we made memories there.

We went out together to the arcade, watch movie which almost none of us understood because it was in Chinese and there was only Chinese subtitles, meals and the most enjoyable one of all was drinking alcohol almost every night together. One of the most fond memory I had in China was when Eunyeob and I was contemplating whether to just escape class during break time and he did the ‘go out’ action and we both just grabbed our bags and ran out of class. We met Zhixin outside and she told us to wait for her because she wants to leave too. The three of us ended up going to Heedong’s room because he skipped class and the 4 of us took a taxi to downtown Jinan and went to the arcade. After that, the rest of them came to join us and we watched a movie together.

To slowly write about all the great experiences would take ages but in short, I had a really good 2 weeks in China.

 


To Heedong,

Thank you for being my first friend in SDU. It was really awkward in the beginning and we both didn’t say much but thank god we became much closer after that. Your annoyingness with the ‘are you serious?’ and ‘come on bruh’ definitely makes my day. Thank you for being so caring like a big brother, always offering to help me carry things, for sending me back to the hotel when I was in Seoul and that I really had a great time with you at the bar. Let’s not forget our promise and see you after 1 year. 약속을 잊지 마라! 

To Jiwon and Jieun,

Thank you for being my ‘mother’ and such awesome friends. I never expected you guys to get me a gift and write me letters. I am really so thankful for you guys and the both of you are really fun to hang out with. I will never forget our conversations, trip to Taierzhuang and our whole day trip in Seoul.

To Eunyeob,

When I first met you, we didn’t even properly introduce ourselves because you were just there and we had a meal together at a Korean restaurant. I didn’t even know your name then lmao. Thankfully, we became close after that and you really make me laugh with all the 싸펑피펑 etc etc. Thank you for helping me out with the electricity card and always being our tour guide/translator. You’re like the security machine with your 조심해. I really hope you can  come to the UK/Malaysia soon and I’ll deffo bring you around!

To  Zhixin,

My one and only Malaysian/Singaporean friend in the programme. My go-to-coffee shop buddy.  I guess Malaysians always have something in common and that’s why we laugh when something just connects to Malaysia/SG. Stop drinking so much 白酒 or alcohol okay so you won’t get drunk and vomit in your dorm. Thank you for taking care of me too and yeah, stop drinking so much alcohol pls.

To Gabi,

My one and only blonde American. No thank you for always making me choke on my own food during meal times by saying funny stuffs but at the same time, thank you for making situations not awkward all the time by saying funny things. Do come to the UK soon or let’s just meet in the centre because US is way too far.

To all the people who I’ve met during my time in China,

Thank you so much because you definitely played a part in making China awesome.


Day trip to Tai’erzhuang

We met up at 630am at the first floor and some genius dude thought we were all gonna wake up at 630am so he went straight to the train station to meet us instead. Before we left for the train station, we went to KFC to grab breakfast. When we went through security at the train station, Heedong’s coffee just spilled right on me so I basically smelled like Americano the entire day. The train to Zhao Zhuang was about an hour and we had to take the BRT for another 1.5 hours to Tai’erzhuang. The bus was packed and the weather was scorching hot so yes, everyone was basically sticky and disgusting, including myself.

We got to Tai’erzhuang at about 1230pm so we had lunch first and then started our sightseeing. The town was really pretty but unfortunately, the weather was too hot so most of us were just exhausted and sweaty and just annoyed by the Sun.

By around 4pm or so, we decided to head back to Jinan and not continue exploring the ancient town. I thought I was gonna pass out of heat stroke because imagine sightseeing in 38C weather. Not a great idea. We missed the earlier bus back to Zhaozhuang station so we had to wait around 45 minutes for the next one. We went to a nearby hotel to sit and I was damn kancheong to get to the BRT station because I didn’t want to stand for 1.5 hours all the way to the station. 15 minutes prior to the bus leaving, we went to the BRT station and there were already people queuing so we all did a China and just got our way through into the bus. Since people don’t queue up, say excuse me or sorry, we decided to do the same just to get ourselves a seat.

We had dinner at KFC again and the burger was so good. Our train was at 8pm, if not mistaken, and by the time we got back to Jinan, it was already quite late and did I mention it was a tiny bit flooded?

 

China Part 1

While waiting for my hair to dry because there’s no hair dryer provided, I thought I might as well update this space instead of wasting time scrolling through Instagram. I have been in China for exactly a week now and everything has been pretty fine up till now. Jinan has been really great so far except the crazy weather. Shanghai had a crazier weather compared to Jinan though. Shanghai wasn’t as humid as Jinan but it was really hot.

 

Day 1 of Jinan

My train was supposed to arrive at 2.21pm but due to route changes, it got delayed and I only arrived Jinan around 3pm from Shanghai. A volunteer was waiting for me at the train station and we quickly took a taxi and left for the campus. I registered, put my luggage in my dorm and quickly went to another building for the opening ceremony. Everything was really awkward because I knew nobody and that everyone is from different countries from all parts of the world. Thankfully, I made new friends and everything was alright. After the opening ceremony and a brief introduction, we were invited to an opening dinner at the cafeteria. There were hell loads of dishes prepared for us, some of which were really weird dishes. The thing with Jinan is that the dishes all come first and then the rice and noodles come last, which is really different from what I get in Malaysia. There wasn’t any hot tea too, which was weird because well, it’s China?

After dinner was done, we went back to our respective dorms and headed back out to a local bar of some sort at around 8pm. We went to a nearby pub just outside our campus but we left the place after awhile without ordering anything because everyone couldn’t understand anyone. We went to a mini market to buy alcohol instead and just went back to the campus’ courtyard to drink.

 

Day 2 of Jinan

Morning class was really boring, where we had Chinese culture and geography class. I couldn’t really understand what the lecturer was talking about due to his accent and not so good English. We stayed back after class to settle our SIM cards which took ages. We only went for lunch at around 2pm at a Cantonese restaurant. There were 5 of us at the Cantonese restaurant and the food was pretty alright. After that, Zhixin and I went back to the dorm so that I could grab my laptop and we went to a coffee shop inside the campus. Both her and I had some work to do so we stayed at the coffee shop. We had BBQ fish for dinner and then we went back to the coffee shop to continue doing work. We went to 2 coffee shops that night because both closes at different times.

 

Day 3 of Jinan

Chinese law class wasn’t that bad compared to the class yesterday but it was still boring. A bunch of us headed outside of campus for lunch to a Korean restaurant. After that, we headed back to Mingde building for our afternoon class which was Cross-cultural Communication. This class was quite interesting because we got to speak to other visitors which were from Taiwan. The lecturer wasn’t as monotone as the previous ones as well so it was quite alright.

When class ended, we went to visit the library and I have no idea why the library can’t be as easy as Ali G. We went to different buildings, went up to different floors and we still couldn’t find the library. We had to ask someone and when we finally got the library, it was closing in 10 minutes. The staffs there were nice enough to let us in the library for 10 minutes without our Student IDs as well because we’re temporary students so the card doesn’t work.

After the library, we headed out of campus to eat 麻辣香锅. It’s my first time eating this dish and it was really good, surprisingly. We headed back to campus and I did some work.

 

Day 4 of Jinan

We had Chinese philosophy class in the morning which was quite interesting. Our professor did a demo on Taiji Quan, a traditional martial arts. During lunch time, the rain was proper pissing it down and we went quite far away from the campus to have lunch. We had Korean food again, I have no idea why and then we went back to the campus for our field trip. We set off for a temple instead of Hero Mountain because it was raining. After visiting the temple, we headed to Furong Street, a street full of street food. We also visited 大明湖 when it stopped raining.

The lake was really big and pretty although the weather wasn’t really coorporating with us. It stopped raining but the weather made pictures look ugly. After that, we headed to a shopping centre for dinner where we had steamboat, overlooking some square. Dinner was alright and I think I’m starting to get better at this whole spicy food thing. After dinner, we went to a bookstore which had 6 floors. We split up and I went with Eunyeob. We made a deal that we would find each other’s books together. We passed by the music section first so we browsed through music scores. After that, we went down to the basement for cookbooks and I ended up buying a book about Mantou. The book is in Chinese so good luck to me reading it.

After the bookstore, we took a bus back to our dorm and guess what? My room had no electricity.

 

Day 5 of Jinan

Morning class was about China’s history. Who the hell goes to history class at 8.30am, early in the morning, for history class? I tried my best to keep myself awake but I fell asleep in class in the end anyway. I met up with Derek after class and my friends and I (together with Derek), went outside campus for food.  We went to this Chinese hamburger place, which served quite awful food lmao. We went back to our dorms after lunch because we had a free 1 hour.

We headed back to class for our afternoon class, which was about social policy. The class was really boring and I wasn’t paying much attention anyway. During break time, Eunyeob was like tempting me to escape class so both of us just grabbed our bags and left. On the way out, we met Zhixin and all 3 of us just escaped class. We went back to the dorm to look for Heedong because boy skipped class. The 4 of us took a taxi to downtown Jinan and we went to an arcade to kill time. We did like a challenge (2 vs 2) and I have no idea who won. I think it was a tie. After playing, we waited for Jieun and Jiwon to come so we could all have dinner together.

We went to Pizza Hut for dinner and the Pizza Hut here is so different compared to Malaysia. After dinner, we went for a movie which nobody could really understand even up till now. We left even before the movie ended because nobody knew what was going on. We took a bus back to campus and I swear China bus drivers think they’re driving a GTR. The bus was really crowded and hot, it just felt like a living hell. We went to a mini market on the way back to buy alcohol and we just drank at the reception.

Day 6 of Jinan

Waking up at 7am has become a habit for me and probably everyone else too. We had China Politics and Public Policy class in the morning, which I got ffk-ed by a friend. We had a quick lunch at the cafeteria and damn, Shandong University’s cafeteria is huge. After lunch, we went back to our respective dorms to rest up and prepare for our field trip in the afternoon. We gathered at the reception at 1.20pm and left for a company visit called Makeronly. We also visited some Urban Planning division and then went back to the dorm. Weather was crazily hot and we were all very tired. We decided to order delivery to our dorm so we ordered sushi for dinner.

Derek and I headed out to the campus coffee shop which THE DRINK TASTED LIKE TOOTHPASTE I HAVE NO IDEA WHY. After that, we walked over to another campus of Shandong University to meet up with my friend (new friend lmao). We (more like I) played this childhood flinging game thing which I have honestly no idea what you call it, at the park. We went to a local shop to have supper where we ate BBQ stuffs and drank beer.

 


 

Applying for this summer school is thus far, one of the best decisions I’ve made for awhile now. I was really excited prior to the trip but kind of dreaded it on the way to Jinan from Shanghai. I’m not the best at making friends so the thought of making new friends and clicking with someone was daunting. Surprisingly, this whole making new friends thing wasn’t a problem at all because everyone was doing the same. Nobody knew each other so it was really easy to make new friends.

Although living in a dorm is just pure hell because the room is not the cleanest and the facilities aren’t the best, it still counts as an experience. I guess growing up in a very comfortable condition and born with a silver spoon in mouth (compared to other unfortunate people), this summer school made me more independent and actually a chance to grow up. Volunteers were really helpful, people here at the university are very nice but at the end of the day, I still need to take care of myself. Dad went back to Malaysia already so I’m all alone here in China.

This is my first time living alone, away from home and from family, and in a dormitory. I’ve never stayed with someone who I don’t know so it felt really weird to have a roommate. The experience has been great so far, although I don’t particularly like the idea of sharing a room with someone but there’s always a first time. Doing laundry here is a nightmare as well because there’s no dryer on my floor so I have no choice but to dry it naturally. There’s also no hair dryer so every night, I have to wait until my hair dries before I go to bed.

All in all, the summer school has been great so far and I really hope it’ll be great for the remaining days.

Mini Sausage Rolls and Carrot Cake

I haven’t updated this space for a while now but I have been baking from time to time. I made sausage rolls few days back for my little brother to bring to school and just for the family, basically. Taste and texture wise, it was alright, not too bad but appearance wise, uhm. Let the picture speak for itself.

The buns weren’t properly shaped, I guess. Mini sausage rolls semi failed.

Recipe from Agnes Chang

500g bread flour or high protein flour

1 1/2tsp instant yeast

100g castor sugar

1tsp salt

270ml water

50g soften butter

Chicken sausages, cut into halves

1 egg, lightly beaten

  1. Put bread flour, yeast, sugar and salt into a mixing bowl and mix well. Slowly pour in water.
  2. Use slow speed to knead the dough till gluten is formed (can be pulled into a very thin sheet without tearing). Add in butter and knead till well-combined.
  3. Remove dough from mixing bowl, shape into a smooth ball and put into a greased bowl. Cover with wet cloth. Leave aside to prove till double in bulk.
  4. Punch down and knead again till smooth. Leave aside to rest for 15 minutes.
  5. Divide into equal portions and form into rounds. Rest for 10 minutes.
  6. Shape each roll portion into a roll. Take one sausage and use the dough to roll around it, showing two ends. Put on a bread case or greased baking tray.
  7. Brush with beaten egg, cover and leave to prove till double in bulk. (about 30 minutes).
  8. Bake in preheated oven at 200C for about 12-15 minutes.

 


There’s something really wrong with my camera these days. I’m not really sure if it’s because of the settings or the lens or the camera itself, but everytime I take a picture, it looks fine on the camera screen. However, when I transfer them to my computer, it has this vignette effect on the picture? Like black corners. It’s really annoying because I can’t seem to get rid of it and I have to edit my pictures a lot in order to get rid of the black corners. Even after editing, you can still see it. Help? Anyone?

Recipe from here (tweaked a bit)

100g walnut, roasted and chopped (I put in only about 70g?)

340g carrot, finely grated (I have no idea how much in I put because I agak-agak)

260g all purpose flour

3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder

4 large eggs

240g fine sugar

240ml vegetable oil

2 tsp vanilla extract

150g canned pineapples, drained and blended (I didn’t add this)

I used 5 inch pans for this cake, which made 3 layers.

  1. Preheat oven to 180C and grease and line your baking pans. Sift together flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon powder. Set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar on high speed till pale and thick. Lower the mixer speed and add oil slowly. Add the vanilla extract.
  3. Add the dry ingredients in 2-3 portions until just incorporated. Next fold in the pineapple paste (I left this step out because I didn’t add in any).
  4. Fold in the walnuts and carrot until well incorporated.
  5. Pour into prepared pans and bake for  30-35 minutes.

I used my usual cream cheese frosting for this cake and gave it a very very simple and basic decoration! Overall, the cake was good, even though I didn’t put it any pineapple paste and put it less carrots & walnuts. The cake was still moist even though I agak-agak a lot of things, but yeah!

 

Rainbow Kek Lapis

So many things to do yet so little time. I finally received my results last week and I successfully passed Year 1. Dreading Year 2 but oh well, it’s only two more years left for me before I enter the working class. I’ve been doing quite a lot for my summer break but other than that, I really need to start working on my presentation before I fly off to China because I won’t have time there. Classes start from 8.30am till late evening and I’m arriving Seoul late in the evening so by the time I get to the city, it’s gonna be night time already. Which means we have less than 12 hours to practice our presentation because the competition/event starts next morning. I don’t  know what I got myself into.

Here’s a quick update on a cake that I baked, well, grilled actually, a few days back.

Rainbow Kek Lapis

450g butter

180g condensed milk

1.5 tbsp rum

135g cake flour

3/4 tsp all spice powder

18 egg yolks

120g castor sugar

9egg whites

80g castor sugar

Red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple food colouring

  1. Cream butter, condensed milk and rum till creamy and fluffy. Add the sifted cake flour and all spice powder. Mix well and set aside.
  2. Whisk egg yolks and castor sugar till thick. Add the creamed butter mixture and mix well.
  3. Whisk egg whites and castor sugar till stiff.
  4. Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the butter mixture and continue the process of folding till all incorporated.
  5. Prepare 7 bowls and divide the mixture accordingly. Add drops of food colouring of each colour to the respective bowls, leaving one bowl uncoloured.
  6. Preheat oven at 200C top and bottom heat. Bake the first layer (original colour) until brown. From the second layer onwards, increase the temperature to 220C, top heat only, and grill each layer till brown.

I used a 6 inch square tin and each layer was about 50g. Two layers of original, then two layers of purple, then two layers of original and repeat with other colours. I only had a layer of original as the last layer because I didn’t have enough batter. Remember to press each layer with a lapis presser before adding batter.