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.

Spicy Chai Tea Chiffon Cake

It’s been about a month since my summer break started and since I got back to Malaysia. The first month of summer break was quite a hectic one. Since the day I got back, it has been competition all day long with maybe one or two days break in between. It didn’t really feel like summer break because I was still constantly going on my university portal to look for resources, reading journals, cracking my brain to put ideas into sentences and most of all, sleeping past 3am. On the day that we submitted our main case study, I flew off to Seoul for a trip but still, I didn’t have enough sleep because of all the spontaneous ungodly hour trip and meetup. When I got back from my trip, I finally had proper sleep and do the things that I want to do.

Unfortunately, my oven decided to fail on me so I can’t bake large things but thankfully, I still have the small oven so I can still bake, at least. It’s been about two weeks since I got back from Seoul and I haven’t been bored at all. Going out with friends, baking, watching dramas and just bits and bobs here and there. I also finally got to clean my baking utensils and throw away all the expired ingredients (not proud). I baked a Spicy Chai Tea Chiffon Cake just yesterday because that was the only thing I had all the ingredients for.

Recipe from Eating With Katie (I tweaked a bit)

5 large egg yolks, at room temperature
150g granulated sugar
85ml neutral oil such as canola or grape seed
35ml full cream milk
40ml water
160g cake flour, sifted
3/4 teaspoon double acting baking powder (I used normal baking powder but with extra)
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 chai teabags

5 large egg whites, at room temperature
100g caster sugar


1. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
2. Warm milk and water on stove or in microwave and place 3 chai teabags in the liquid to steep for 5 minutes.
3. Whisk yolks and sugar until pale and light. Add in the oil and whisk until incorporated.
4. Add in the chai infused milky water, then whisk in sifted dry ingredients until there are no lumps.
5. Whisk egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add caster sugar in 3 additions and whisk until stiff.
6. Add 1/4 of the egg whites to the cake batter and gently whisk until well incorporated.  Add 1/2 of the remaining egg whites and gently fold in using a rubber spatula. Once you can no longer see the whites, fold in the remaining egg whites.
7. Gently pour the batter into the tin and using a rubber spatula, smooth out the top of the cake. Tap the tin lightly on the kitchen counter twice to remove air bubbles.
8. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour and 5 minutes. After 25 minutes check on the cake and if the top is beginning to brown too much or crack, cover with tin foil. You can also turn the temperature down to 170-175 C.
9. The cake is ready when the top is lightly brown and springs back when touched.
10. Remove cake from oven and place upside down on a cooling rack so that the base of the cake tin is facing up.

5박 6일 서울여행 (Seoul Trip Part 2)

Day Three

As usual, our day started at 9.00am where we set off to visit 한국민속촌 (Korean Folk Village) at Yongin, which was about 1.5 hours from Seoul. I slept all the way there because I only had like 3 hours of sleep? I had coffee the night before so I really couldn’t go to sleep. DH came over and we ended up having a video call with Zara (which they both took turns insulting/bullying me).

The folk village was a pretty chilled place but there wasn’t much interesting stuffs to see. I think I enjoyed the horse show the most and everything else was just meh. We had lunch at this ‘village marketplace’ where the set-up is like what you see in dramas during the olden days. The food was just alright, not the best but not thaaaaat bad. We left the village after lunch and headed to 강남 (Gangnam). We just walked around and headed to Lotte at 송파구.

After dinner, I went up to Seoul Sky (world’s third highest observatory) located at Lotte World Tower, alone while my sister waited for me downstairs because she has height phobia. The view was amazing but since I was alone, it was quite boring. I even had to ask the security to help me take a picture sigh. I went down after awhile and we decided to head to 동대문 (Dongdaemun) by subway. Since I’m quite bad at directions and this whole subway thing while my sister’s pretty good at it, I decided to give all my trust to her. Wrong decision.

It’s our first time getting on the subway here in Seoul so we had to press the machine like 3 times to get our tickets. After getting our tickets, we got on the subway (the right direction) and the route was kind of split into 2 after one station? If you get what I mean. We weren’t sure whether to get off or just continue being on the same subway so when the subway stopped at one of the stations, my sister was like ‘just get out’. Seconds before the door closed, we just ran out and found ourselves in another subway station. Turns out, we shouldn’t have got off the subway because it was going in the right direction. We eventually got to 동대문 and just roamed around.

Some shit happened that night so we decided to head back to the hotel early (by early I mean 11.30pm) and thank God we managed to find our way back to the hotel. My sister and I aren’t that dumb afterall. Proud.


Day Four

After a really shit night, I showered and changed into my pyjamas, reading to go to bed because after settling everything, it was already about 2am. DH then called me and asked if I’m sleepy. I said no and he said ‘okay let’s go to 강릉 now’. We were supposed to go in the morning together with my sister but plans got cancelled etc so he decided to bring me at 230am. We went to buy coffee first and then ate 김밥 (Gimbap) which he bought earlier on. We started our journey and I kind of fell asleep in the car. I woke up just in time for the sunrise but we were still on the highway. We finally reached 주문진해변 (Jumunjin Beach) at around 6am? We got off and it was freezing. I was wearing shorts as well which was clearly a wrong idea. Apparently one of Goblin’s scene was filmed at this beach, which I only found out after.

Since it was really early in the morning, there was almost no one. I asked DH to help me take a picture with my DSLR but clearly this dude with no skills couldn’t do his job right. Coincidentally, there was an old man on top of the lighthouse stairs thingy and he was like asking DH to come over and take a picture with me so I was like uhhh okay thank you very much. In return, we helped him take a picture too. Well, not me but DH.

We got back to Seoul at around 1130am and we went to have lunch. He wanted to bring me for 랭면 (Naengmyeon) because it was really hot but we couldn’t find a parking after making so many rounds. In the end, he was like ‘ah let’s just have army food’. Wait, what army food? Turns out it’s freaking 부대찌개 (Budae jjigae) which is also known as ‘army food’. We went to TLJ after lunch because I wanted to try their products since we did research on their company. I told him I wanted to try only one type of bread/bun but he bought a whole bag instead. Since he had things to do, he dropped me off at Jamsil and I took the Subway back to the hotel alone. I survived.

At night, we took a subway to DDP for their food market but went back to our area instead to have fried chicken.

Yes, this picture is out of focus because SOMEONE clearly didn’t do a good job.

After having fried chicken, my sister and I just walked around at the Avenue of Youth. I wanted to go to DDP again to shop and then to 홍대 (Hongdae) but I was really tired since I almost didn’t have any sleep. We went back to the hotel, showered and basically knocked out. I vaguely remember picking up a phone call but I don’t remember what I said.


Day Five

When I woke up, I checked my phone and DH texted me ‘where u now’ the night before but I replied him with ‘lmao’. ???? clearly too tired to even read his message properly. I checked my call logs and I picked up his phone call last night and the call lasted for a minute. He called me and apparently I kept telling him to let me sleep because I was very tired and just hung up. He planned to take us to DDP last night but I just hung up on him lmao opps.

Anyway, we had Udon for brunch and ice cream after.

That night, we had a really good dinner but it was raining. He dropped my sister and I off at Morning City because we wanted to do some shopping. We spent quite a while at 동대문 and he picked us up at around 1am? He drove us up to 북악 스카이웨이 (Bugak Skyway) to see the view of Seoul but it was really foggy so we couldn’t see much.

We headed back to the hotel after instead of going to have supper because everyone was tired already and we were left with only 2-3 hours of sleep since we had to leave for the airport at 530am.


Day Six

All 3 of us were like zombies in the morning because we got up at 5am. DH had to drive us to the airport which obviously sucked even more for him. I thought I only dozed off for awhile but by the time I woke up, we were already at the airport. He dropped us off, bid goodbye and he left since he couldn’t park for more than 5 minutes. Nothing much really happened after, except our flight from KL to Miri got delayed.


5박 6일 서울여행 (Seoul Trip Part 1)

Day One

Figured I should document my trip here so I don’t forget. This is my second time to Seoul, South Korea. My first ever was back in 2012 which was 5 years ago? My flight to Seoul was at 1am in the morning so by the time I arrived at the hotel at central Seoul, it was almost lunch time, about 11.00am. We stayed at Crown Park Hotel, which was just opposite Lotte Department Store. DH brought us for lunch at 하동관 where we had 곰탕 (Gomtang). The portion was way too big for me even though it was only a bowl of rice but still. We went back to the hotel to check in after and then went back out to have some desserts.

 He brought us for 빙수 at Sulbing, Myeongdong and my first taste of 빙수 was a disaster. The bean flour somehow got in my nose or something and everything just blew and I started coughing like an 아줌마 it ain’t even funny jfc. It was kind of drizzling after that so we just walked inside Lotte Young Plaza for a while and left for 광장시장 (Gwangjang Market). I posted a snapchat story and found out from my friends that Running Man filmed here. He told me its a hipster area for 할아버지들, just like how 홍대 (Hongdae) is a hipster area for youngsters. This market has been around for years and is the oldest traditional market in Seoul.

김밥  Close up of the 떡볶이

 He bought us 떡볶이(tteokbokki), 김밥 (gimbap) and 빈대떡 (bindaetteok) if not mistaken? He bought two types of pancakes but I can’t remember which is called what. Third meal of the day, by the way. We ate at a nearby park where it was quite cooling and the 떡볶이splattered onto my shorts. Great.

We were supposed to have North Korean food for dinner, which DH booked for us but we couldn’t get a taxi to the place so we just ate beside our hotel. The taxi drivers were either refusing to send us or just simply replied ‘I don’t know the place’. Grr. Doing a Malaysian taxi driver?

Day Two

Our tour started at 9.00am in the morning so we went to 7-11 to have light breakfast before setting off. I love the convenience stores here in Korea because it’s so much better than the ones here in Malaysia. Our first tourist stop was 경복궁 (Gyeongbokgung Palace).


We spent an entire morning at the Palace, doing all the touristy stuffs (meaning taking pictures). Lunch was at 토속촌 (Tosokchon) where we had 삼계탕 (Samgyetang).

We headed to 남산서울타워 (Namsan Seoul Tower) by cable car and it was my first ever cable car ride. The weather was burning hot in the morning and afternoon, chilly at night. After Namsan, we proceeded to Insadong to walk around before proceeding to 북촌한옥마을 (Bukchon Hanok Village). We just roamed around Insadong and DH joined us for a short while there before he left to find his friends.

This was the house where Lee Minho filmed Personal Taste, 상고재 located in 북촌한옥마. The amount of pictures we took here was crazy because well, Lee Minho. It was already evening time when we went to the village so after taking pictures and everything, our driver drove us to 송파구 to have dinner. DH was waiting for us at the dinner place called 봉피양 (Bongpiyang). They serve really good Pyeongyang-style naengmyeon here! I was too excited and busy eating so I didn’t get to take any pictures of the food that night but really highly recommended restaurant!

He brought us to eat 빙수 again but this time, 녹차빙수 (Nokcha Bingsu/Green Tea Bingsu) at Coffee Heim, in his district. We headed to grab a drink at Pierrot Coffee and they serve really good Iced Americano. Much better than the ones in Starbucks. Our last stop of the night was to 한강공원, a park by the Han River. It was kinda chilly that night so we left after a while.

Oreo Cake

Summer break has been fine so far, not really what I expected it to be but you know, this is what I chose to do. Competition deadline is in 3 days and we haven’t finalised anything yet which sucks. Kinda regret starting so late but then again, we all had exams to sit for so it really couldn’t be helped. Hopefully everything goes well for us. Win or lose, it doesn’t really matter I guess.

Here’s an Oreo cake that I baked a few days ago. I initially wanted to bake just layers of Oreo cake but thought since I’ve done it before, why not try something new-ish? I decided to add chocolate layers and use just plain swiss meringue buttercream for the insides and oreo buttercream for the outside.

A shot of the crumb-coated cake. I think this is my first fully coated cake since I got back? Naked cakes are great because they don’t require much time and still looks pretty. My chocolate drip wasn’t completely what I expected it to be but you know, my second drip, I think I fared quite well (comforting myself). I initially wanted to do smaller pipings so I used the 1M tip but the Oreo crumbs got stuck in the tip. Mega face palm.

Layers were even too so good attempt I guess? Hand model credits to my sister because the cake was quite heavy for me to hold it with one hand and shoot with my other (the fact that its DSLR as well). Back to doing work, bye.

Red Velvet Cake

I’m finally back in Malaysia and it feels so good to be home. My journey back home was alright but my luggage didn’t come home with me on the day that I arrived. My flight home wasn’t a direct flight because I flew from Manchester to Dubai, Dubai to Kuala Lumpur and then Kuala Lumpur to Miri. I checked in all the way from Manchester to Miri because the airlines were all under one alliance or whatever you call it. So my first flight was alright, I had 3 seats all to myself but then shit started the second I arrived in Dubai Intl Airport. I withdrew cash the night before I flew but then I used my cash to pay for dinner and movie tickets and forgot to withdraw more cash. Hence, I didn’t have any cash with me to eat in the airport.

I figured, ya’know, credit card to the rescue but I wasn’t sure whether I could use it or not. I went to McDonald’s to try using my credit card but I entered by pin 3 times but all 3 times, it said incorrect pin. 5 whole months of not being in Malaysia, can’t blame me. I tried using my UK debit card and thankfully, it worked. Bought a small fries for nothing but still ate it anyway. I went over to Carluccio’s and me being the very kiasu and kiasi person, I asked the staff whether I could try using my card to pay first before I eat because what if I finish eating and can’t pay?! My card worked so I ate in joy because I missed both meals in the flight.

My flight from Manchester arrived about 30 minutes earlier and my original transit time was 3 hours+ already so extra time = extra boredom. I boarded my next flight and we were stuck in the plane for about 1 hour 10 minutes on the runway. Apparently the weather was quite bad and visibility was poor so they couldn’t take off. There was also a lot of other planes queuing to take off so hence the delay as well.  The flight was originally scheduled to land at 3pm but because of the delay, it became 4.10pm. But my flight from KL to Miri was at 5pm. Shit happens and shit happened.

I informed the air stewardess and then she informed the people on ground at KLIA. Thankfully, they allowed me to disembark the plane first and make sure to transfer my luggage out first. As soon as I stepped out of the plane, a staff was holding a paper with my name on it and asked me if I was Ashley. He handed me my boarding pass and asked me to run. I had no choice but to run, obviously. I didn’t want to miss my flight and wait till 9pm for the next flight. Dinner waiting for me at home, hell nah am I gonna miss my flight.

Mind you, I had to take the train over to the domestic departure hall and clear immigration another time. Stamina didn’t really cooperate with me either. Ran for my life and finally got to the domestic side. As I was running to my gate, I heard someone behind me going ‘psst psst’. I was already panicking so I didn’t bother myself to turn back but it went ‘psst psst’ again. It was proper loud so I turned back and guess what? My dad started laughing at me. My dad decided to give me a surprise by taking the same flight home. He saw me running as soon as I cleared immigration but he never bothered to call out for me to stop me from running jfc.

Digi cancelled my SIM card because it was inactive for quite a while so I didn’t have data to receive any WhatsApp messages. I didn’t have the time to connect to the airport wifi too because they needed me to fill in my details. Catching my flight was my priority. When I finally connected to the wifi, my dad actually posted a picture on the family group chat of me running from behind. Great.

Finally landed in Miri airport and was all excited to meet my mum and brother and head home to have dinner. Waited for about half an hour for my luggage but the conveyor belt just suddenly stopped. The staff was like ‘oh tak ada luggage dah’. First reaction? WTF. Where’s my luggage then?

My dad and I went to make a lost luggage report but they couldn’t trace my luggage. The person said he’ll get back to me as soon as they have news of my luggage. Had an awesome homecooked dinner and waited till about 9pm to call the luggage unit again but they still didn’t have confirmation on my luggage. I was thinking to myself, if I really lost my luggage,

I called again at 12am and thank god they said my luggage is gonna arrive the next day. End of my not so smooth journey back home.

It’s great to be back home though. Laksa is great.

Matcha Strawberry Cake

It’s been about a week since I last blogged. Nothing very interesting has been going on in my life because everyone’s just busy revising (or probably procrastinating).  Last week was one of the darkest weeks in Manchester because of the bombing incident that happened in Manchester Arena right after Ariana Grande’s concert ended. I received a text message saying there has been an explosion and I went online to check it and they were people speculating all sorts of things like the speaker exploded or the balloon popped near right at the microphone. Few minutes later, it was confirmed that there has been fatalities which means a bomb did blow off.

It’s been a scary yet saddening week here in Manchester. With sirens going off every so often when I was in the library and polices holding guns everywhere in city centre. My heart goes out to all those affected by the incident.

I’ve been busy doing some revision for my exam, reading up reports and news for my competition and slowly packing up my room. I’m flying back to Malaysia in a few days time so I’m really excited and I can’t wait to be back home. I felt kind of depressed a few days ago because I felt that time was passing by so slowly, especially when I only have one paper to sit for and it’s on the last day of May. I could’ve went back way earlier but my paper was so late. Some of my friends from other universities have already finished their exams and going on trips, which I really wish I could too. On top of that, I really didn’t feel like studying at all because management accounting is a really boring subject. I guess the downside of having most modules coursework-based is that you have very little exams to study for and especially when your paper is towards the end of the exam period. Sucks to be me.

I was lying in my bed the other day till about 5am because I couldn’t fall asleep and I was thinking to myself, ‘what is it like to be emotionally self-reliant?’. I kind of realised that whenever I have something to say or I’m angry about something, I always have to text or call someone. I sometimes seek encouragement from someone that what I am doing is right and that I should continue doing it (even though 8 out of 10 times I still feel like everything I do is wrong fml). It’s like I cannot deal with my shits myself and always have the need to rely on others. Especially when I’m stressed out or worried about something, I always go to the same person and it makes me wonder whether they feel annoyed or that I am troublesome or I don’t know? I do get bothered easily by the smallest things possible and it sucks. It really does. After reassurance time and time again, sometimes you just have a feeling of doubt towards that ‘reassurance’. Then again, who am I or what position am I in to seek reassurance? Nobody is going to be there for you every single time and at the exact time where you need them and nobody is going to be there for you in the way that you want them to.

Anyway, I already spent my entire day NOT studying because I went to Hawksmoor for lunch and packed my room for a whole 2.5 hours. My wardrobe is empty right now and so is my room. I’m moving out after 1.5 years and I’ve never lived outside by myself so I don’t really know what to feel about it. I mean I do have friends staying in the same accommodation but I just don’t know what to feel about going back to an empty small room everyday after uni hmm.

Signing off right now to do some revision and hopefully get some sleep because my body clock is so screwed up (eg. sleeping at 5am and getting up at 1030am everyday geez).

Eggs Benedict, Chocolate Cupcakes and Red Velvet Cheesecake

Yesterday, I told my friends that I’ll definitely be in C13 by 11am but guess what? I set my alarm for 845am but I snoozed it until 950am. Story of my life. I eventually got up but then I decided to make fancy breakfast for myself. I made Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon. A bit too much effort for breakfast but I enjoyed it so yeah. At least I made it to C13 in the end, but was 3 hours late. Not proud of myself.

We got kicked out of C13 so I decided to head home to bake since it’s World Baking Day. I settled on the very basic chocolate cupcakes but decided to be a bit more creative.

Supposedly basic chocolate cupcakes turned Chocolate Cupcakes filled with Salted Caramel Sauce topped with 3 types of chocolate (Kit Kat, Snickers and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups) and a Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

Please take a moment to appreciate how smooth my buttercream is. Shameless.

I’ve been baking way more often that I used to and it feels so good. I get to shut myself out from the world for a little while (sorry to everyone whom I ignored cos I was baking oops). That feeling of satisfaction and the sense of accomplishment.

I’ve been wanting to bake the Red Velvet Cheesecake by Eric Lanlard & Donal Skehan for the longest time now and I never really bothered myself to because I don’t have a springform pan back in Malaysia. Even after buying them here, I still didn’t bother myself because it takes a bit of time to make it, all the baking and chilling. Since I am quite free now (free as in I have a lot of work to do but meh – procrastibaking), I decided to make the Red Velvet Cheesecake! This was a few days back, by the way.

Recipe from Eric Lanlard and Donal Skehan

115g self-raising flour

40g plain flour

1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 tbsp cocoa powder

185 unsalted butter

155 golden caster sugar

125ml buttermilk

2 tbsps. red food colouring

  1. Cream butter and golden caster sugaruntil fluffy. Add in 2 eggs, mix well.
  2. Add in dry ingredients on slow speed and mix well.
  3. Add in buttermilk and food colouring paste.
  4. Bake in oven at 180C for 35-40 minutes.
  5. Let cool and cut into half.

Cheesecake filling

250g cream cheese

70g caster sugar

2 tbsps. fresh lemon juice

2 tbsps. warm water

1 1/2 tsps. gelatine powder

300ml double cream

  1. Whisk cream cheese and caster sugar, combine well. Add in lemon juice.
  2. Dissolve gelatine powder in warm water. Quickly combine into the cheese mixture and mix.
  3. Fold in whipped double cream.

Line a springform pan with cling film and place one slice of red velvet cake. Add in the cream cheese mixture and level it out. Place the final red velvet cake on top and another layer of cream cheese mixture. Chill for at least 4 hours.