Wednesday, August 13, 2014
LIFE EVENT: Big News!
I woke up this morning with a smile on my face. As you have read from my previous post, i'm going to Vietnam for my COP (Community Outreach Program) this September & today, I just received an email from my Uni; turns out its my offer letter to Fpt University.
As i was reading my email, excitement rushes through my veins and i remember vividly saying this to myself: I cannot wait to get out from here! As i continued to read, i stumbled upon an option for me to choose; coastal conservation or teaching primary education (english language). These two programs are being held in Da Nang & Hanoi respectively. I have no idea which one to choose but I'm going to check the district out for, you know, its entertainment and other social events *teehee.
The email also mentioned that I need to attend a mini pre-briefing on Saturday and have to be in Vietnam before the 1st of August so I'd probably be flying around 26th or 27th this month. I have checked my tickets and it's SGD$390. *Not bad.
What do I need to do?
- I need to go to the embassy to get my Visa, open up an account in HSBC, sort my documents out and get my allowance ready before I fly off. If i'm lucky, I'd get 80% of my allowance in hand.
Apart from that, i also need to do this one essential yet dreadful thing: packing. To be honest, I am not good in packing. I always overpacked and ended up paying for my excess baggage. I always have the fear of not having enough clothes for my trips. Its better to have more clothes than having to reuse yesterday's moist t-shirt. You'd probably say, why not buy a new one? The thing is I find it hard to look for big sized clothes (dont make me start on pants) and I usually waste my time - trailing my cousins or friends around. I usually make my clothes or ordered them online. As i grow older, my trips turned from having to go for a shopping spree to relaxing and go for a sight-seeing.
I have already bought some of the essentials such as my undies, medication (yes..I'm old!), toilettres and some pants. What i need to buy next is some t shirts, sport shoes, a backpack and something unnecessary like headphones, ipod or mp3 player and maybe, a camera - to document my life abroad. Also, i need to reformat my computer and install Sony Vegas Pro just so i could make my "When in Hanoi" videos for you guys.
So, within this 2 weeks, I will try my best to document all the activities i'm going to do - from preparing myself to meeting some of my close friends and family.
4 months away from home?
I just cant wait.
Sunday, August 3, 2014
INTRODUCTION: My Supposedly First Post
So i started this blog with a post on Miri trip recently, with the aim of just testing it and giving it a go if i still have my "blogging skill" or not. Turns out, i still do. I think. In all blogs i came across, first post should be about introduction to one's self and telling what my main aim in reopening this blog. (yup i have a blog back then).
I'm gonna do that in this post.
My name is Shafiee Yakob and I'm a university student who will be embarking on a journey to Vietnam for 5 months for my Community Outreach Program and also another 5 months to Thailand, specifically in Chiang Mai, for my Student Exchange Program. This sums up to a total of 10 months of being abroad or most importantly, away from my family. It is a must for UBD students with an average of 3.0 CGPA to study abroad for a semester or a year. I was lucky enough to grab this oppurtunity.
This leads to my reason of re opening my blog; it is specifically dedicated to my friends and family, especially my parents. I know 10 months....pfft... Vietnam...pfft..is not a big deal, & to compare it with the UK students who have been out of this country and away from family for like 3 years is far more crazy than mine will be. But I've never been to Vietnam & i'm planning to make it my first adventure. In the words of Louis Cole (youtube @funforlouis), "live life and live the adventure".
So with this situation or i like to call, oppurtunity, being given to me, i want to make use of it - living in hostels, travel to somewhat unique places that most websites have or havent covered, and meeting new people.
In Vietnam, my task will be teaching English to kids and old citizens. Just so you know, i had a Diploma in Primary Education so its an advantage to me as i can relate previous lessons but in a different setting. I have watched @JacksGap in Youtube for a year now and known him for being a productive person who travelled the world to Africa, Sri Lanka and many more, to raise awareness for unfortunate children. This made me, realize that we, as youth, can make a difference in the world.
Let me tell you something; i might be leaving in 11 days and i havent had my acceptance letter yet. The anticipation of getting it is killing me. I have received my January's acceptance letter to Chiang Mai but Vietnam is really taking their time. Haha.
I just finished my medical/fitness check up which took me three blood tests & a road to 'unfit' misery. I was nearly diagnosed with high blood pressure and abnormality in hamaeglobin blood count. But with the help of mu grandma's home remedies, i get to cheat my way out a bit. It decreases my blood pressure to normal. What she did was she gave me papaya leaves & asked me to boil it till the water evaporated. She told me that its going to be bitter & oh boy, she was right. It smelled & tasted disgusting. It was as bitter as Khalil's personalities.
Lastly, i havent pack a single thing. I might be going or i might not. But i have to say this Discovery Year that UBD is doing, is great. It would be a fun experience, dont you think?
Friday, August 1, 2014
RAMBLE: Swing them Gucci.
On a typical Thursday afternoon, Kharney & I went to Capers for an early dinner. We talked about the latest bag in town, and one particular type or brand came up that have us rambling. It was The Gucci Swing Leather Tote. This bag has a classic and clean design with functional long handles. To some, classic means boring and simple but in my opinion, classic shows timeless appeal and timeless, my friend, is an effortless thing we need. It does work for Kharney as he is a minimalist kind of person & he taught me that I always need to stick with the classic because classic is always better! The bag comes in different colour from bright pink to Taupe. I have to say the colour Taupe on this bag is Ahmazing!! I find it rare that Gucci have featured this bag at a reasonable price of SGD$1100+.
On another note, i would also like to share a little something when dining in Capers. Bruneians love their food and, with the price of $14.80 for an "all-you-can-eat" buffet, Capers is a place worth going. It is well-known for us locals. Im sure you all know about this restaurant - from its ambience to its delicious dishes. But we tend to forget their italian names and ended up with explaining how it looks like and what colour it is. No? Well, thats how i did it. Here are some of the food i like to order when dining in Capers. Hint: it includes white sauce (Okay. Insert nasty thoughts right there!)
1. The one with the alluminium foil
2. The one with the vege in the green pasta
3. The one with spicy lamb in dark sauce
4. Spagetti Aglio Olio Prawn
5. Italian Job Pizza
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Fashion: That Black Sequin Dress & other little dresses.
Raya is all about girls donning up to the up & coming fashion and who can pull it off better. So, when my cousin approached me to get some ideas, i was really hype to throw in some. She wanted different and not so overly the top so details really matter to her. I really like how her voluptuous body is and how she has good fashion sense. Well, apart from choosing me to design. Haha.
So I made this sketch of this sequin dress where i incorporated it with a little bit of leather and spice it up with 3D flower lace. I love slick looking dresses & how the dress tugs the body really tight and make it sexy.
She accesorized the dress with an electric blue heels & blue-black ombre shawl. Eventhough it looks matchy-matchy, but the dress alone is pretty, right.
Where to buy:
Hokko Kiarong - Black Sequin ($20 per metre), Black lycra inner ($16 per metre) and 3D lace ($7.50 per piece).
Hokko Qiulap - Leather for $10 per metre (you dont need much, really.)
Apart from this dress, i also designed a few others to my friends who needed my help. Below, i'm gonna include some of the designs i made for my friends for their engagement & wedding dresses.
Marrisa's Wedding Dress
One of the things i love about her wedding dress is the colour scheme: royal blue but what i despire working on this dress was that i had to incorporated it with Songket. Initially, the dress was designed with white or silvery pearls but had to change it as the Songket has a gold design on it. Fortunately for her and for me, the dress turned out really well. She always reminded me that she wanted flowy trains but not overly puffy. The net trains are designed with gold lace all around it, giving it a detailed weddingy look.
Jastina's Engagement Dress
Jastina's engagement was lovely. She wanted posh and sweet at the same time, imagining something she could wear to a ball or the Oscar. Haha. With the occasion held in Brunei, i had to turn down the notch a bit. I designed her a dress with an off-the-soulder top in a silvery pink lace while the inner dress is just a classic tube top dress. I then lend her a very bold big brooch to finish it off. I also include flowers, roses to be exact, for her hair that was wrapped in a french bun.
But that's just something I have worked on. More to come, perhaps?
LIFE EVENT: Raya 2014
I came home, feeling restless and hungry. The clock just struck 7pm and the thought of eating sushi was lingering in my mind. I couldnt help it.
It all started way before the crack of dawn where i found myself - browsing through facebook and feeling wide awake. The sound of takbir soon can be heard from outside as i live near the Sengkurong's mosque. Showers followed after. I then put on my mustard-colored cara melayu and work my morning routine; get coffee and smoke a ciggarette, while applying moisturizer to my face. I'm currently using Missha Snail Renewal Cell - Skin Treatment & Essential Moisturizer.
(Product Review: I never fond of using face products. Back then, i was convinced by my mother to use this whitening product that changes my skin into brighter than before. But since im naturally dark skin or i like to call sun-kissed tan, it eventually turn my face grey. (You can laugh! Well, i did). I thought to myself, whitening is just not for me. Last year, my mum gave me Missha product in a gift set and i fell in love with it. Not only it gives an intense moisturizing to my skin, it hydrates and tones the foundation of my skin, giving it a glow with its pure water concept. Although the main ingredients are sickening - one being the snail slime extract, it maximizes the benifit of my skin. The gift set includes two 700ml bottles and two of it in miniatures, and the cream which I seldom use. Price: 160++)
Ok back ti the story. Right after i'm done with everything, i went to my grandmama's house and waited for everyone to arrive after their morning prayers. The room soon filled with laughter and flashes before my eyes. Every person in the house started to vain in an instant.
Old grandmama's recipe were served as it is her ritual to make us a delicious dish of Daging Rendang & "Hati Buyah Raya" (filled with Telur Puyu & mixed vege). It was delicious. Every year, we love to indulge ourselves in a tradional food, even when our tummy is already full. Not being biased or anything but i have to say its one of the best.
As soon as we finished eating, we seek for foriveness and ampau amongst the family members. It then followed with a do'a and a visit to grandpops grave. It saddens me when visiting his grave because It brings the best memories back.
Then, like any other family, we started to visit relatives' houses.
Monday, July 28, 2014
RAMBLE: Cara Melayu - keep it simple or boom?
As we headed our way to High Frequency Cafe, located at the heart of Gadong, we noticed that we're actually breaking the tradition of final night of raya. During the night of last puasa , Bruneians usually rearrange their funitures and clean up their houses, but in our case, our families have done everything two days ago and left us nothing to do. So, Kharney & I decided to have a late supper and catch up - on one of the most vital issues faced by Bruneian' minahs. (Or some might call them - members) & that is...
"The Evolution of Cara Melayu"
Cara Melayu has always been there since like ages ago and it is nice to keep it as it is. Some have gone through this phase and soon realized that sometimes some things need to K.I.S.S - keep it simple, stupid! As we can see nowadays, designers make their own version of cara melayu and i have to say its impressive and unique. But what i dont understand is that some people tried to copy and make their own version of it. It may look good in pictures but honey, dont try to fool yourselves. I know how it feels to actually feel like you are rocking something you're proud of. Been there. Done that. I remember i went to a Gala Night in 2008, wearing a gold blazer. That gold blazer was beyond peopkes expectation. Sometimes you think you hit them with a boom but unfortunately, it wasnt as boom as you thought. So u need a good friend with a good fashion eye. Thats why i have Kharney.
Kharney is a good friend of mine, with a cute sense of personalities & a common fashion sense. Why common, one might wonder. Its because that he can either go big or go mellow on his choice of clothing. With the right timing & event, he knows how to nail it. I asked him what was his thoughts on this matter. He simply said "a lil bit of zas wouldnt hurt but trying to actually think its a masterpiece is a total crap". He also added "changing what seems to be monumental can actually ruining it." I love how creative one can be but always remember this saying;
Simplicity is the utmost.
- Paris Hilton.
Even paris hilton knows that sometimes less is more.
(Let me have a quick review on High Frequency. Teehee. I love everything about that place. It has the ambience of the series i like to watch back in the days; its called "Friends". That place just reminds me of Central Perk. I have to say it is very cosy and its interior is very coffee shopish (wow... very descriptive, pe). It IS a coffee shop. Unlike any other coffee shop, HF is very quiet, even when there is a lot of people.
Secondly, the food at HF is ahmazing especially its grilled chicken caesar salad and its Seafood Angel Hair. I'd recommend these two but its portions are just too small for me (but that didnt stop me from ordering). For the drinks,i love to order the Apple Struedel Pistachio tea, although i'm a coffee person. It has a taste of calm & serenity with a twist of bliss in it. Haha.
The service is great and the waiters/resses are very helpful. When i'm there, I like to Imagine myself being Audrey Hepburn, sipping tea and flipping through the magazines. Oh, how posh.
Thanks. That is all.
Sunday, July 27, 2014
RAMBLE: Youtube Baby!
As you all know, i have insomnia. Well, not really. Its just that my sleeping pattern is kinda effed up. I usually spend my night wondering about life, relationship (no comment on this matter) n my current situation which you can read all about it in the previous post. Not only that, i usually spend hours and hours watching subscribed videos from youtube due to the fact i have no life. I'm on my semester break, what do you expect. Haha.
I have to say i love watching this top 10 vloggers of mine (wow, a list. Really, Shafiee?) Not only the are funny & witty, they actually being real. Before this kind of realness, i actually enjoy watching Simple Life & Keeping Up with the Kardashian. I am not kidding. I know you enjoy watching it too. Dont you dare lie. Haha. I find real life events kinda exciting. Since my life is quite mellow nowadays, i enjoy myself watching these kind of videos. Here are my top 10 vlog channels i love to watch & recommend:
1. Zoella or Morezoella
2. Alfie Deyes
3. Sprinkles of Glitters
7. Ibrahimkarim (One funny Bruneian)
8. MunahHirziOfficial (Singaporean Minah Gangsta)
9. Marcus Butler
10. Mark E. Miller
These vloggers i mentioned above made me want to start my own channel. Like seriously.
I made a logo for my channel & everything. I'll probably post some vlogs whilst travelling for "updating-the-family" purposes. I'll probably post something about my journey to one's country - like the food i'm gonna eat, the activities i'm gonna do, the reviews on hotel rooms & etc. Like any other travel vlogs but with me in it.
However, theres one thing that worries me the most. The thing about Brunei is that if you're not Ibrahim Karim, you always end up on a negative note. People will send your videos or if the senders are creative enough, they'll re-edit your videos & spread it nationwide. Its one of the ways to be famous..... & Thats how that "aku bana-bana kan kau" soldier get his 15 minutes of fame. People will turn any videos into something funny. So its the matter of being "laughed at & not laughing with" kinda situation.
To be honest, i was once in the spotlight before. I believe it was circa 2006. Back then, I love making music videos, especially to Britney Spears, and that video was "Piece of Me". I posted in my blog and got surfaced a day after - but with special effects, of course; like cow's moo sound, gagging sound, pictures of gorilla were put to compare & etc. but it wasnt a hit, as i hoped it would be. It lasted for at least 3 days. I was pretty much upset (not bout how long it lasted but how my video surfaced the internet).
I remember "pulling-a-Britney"!
Saturday, July 26, 2014
RAMBLE: Oh... Polycythaemia
One of my essential things to do throughout the day is smoking. Smoking ciggarettes has become an addiction of mine since 2009. I then stopped for a year in 2010 but reconnect with its satanic buds the following years. I couldnt help but wonder, "can i stop smoking again?" Recently, i was asked to take blood samples for my medical check. I had to take 3 tests, in comparison with my friends who took only one test and got themselves approved. This medical check is significant for any participants who applied to study overseas.
First, the blood result for the first test failed due to the damaged outcome (i have no idea why and how). On the second try, glucose level is fine but found out that my red blood cell is really high... So, the doctor asked me to take another blood test to make sure if i were to be diagnosed with polycythaemia. That means, im unfit to carry out my COP next month which kinda bugs me right now.
So here i am, thinking about...
Wish me luck!
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Two weeks ago, i made a plan to go to miri with my cousin DN, unfortunately she cancelled on me at the very last minute. Thanks to Wani & Qistina who agreed to go on this trip because i really need a holiday in the sun. We were also joined by Wani's little brothers and their friends. 7s a crowd, they say.
We decided to stay at Marriott hotel, a hotel filled with happy childhood memories, mainly due to its gorgeous and huge swimming pool. Our room was just 10 feet away from the pool. As soon as we checked in, i reached out for the bed, while others unpacked their stuff and preparing their outfit for sungkai later that evening. The sungkai I had was perfect; great ambience, delicious food and ahmazing coffee. The hotel provided a top-notch coffee maker that makes macchiato. The only thing i dont like about the food there was the rice as it has a different texture than what we have here in Brunei. After sungkai, we went to Megamall for a short shopping but didnt managed to get things as we arrived there at 9pm. We ended the night with a smoke at the balcony and changing funny stories amongst ourselves.
I woke up the next day with a smile on my face. The sun was shining and the pool was not far from our room. I decided to jump in while others were still sleeping. Wani and Qis took pictures for memories. It was a nice sunny day with view of caucasian men, sunbathing. Haha. Upon checking out, we took some more pictures ( you can see it below) and headed on to the new Imperial mall. A holiday is not a holiday if shopping is not included. Am i right? At 6pm, we went for a sungkai at Grand Palace hotel, one of my family ritual hotel for food. They specialized in Shark fin soup but unfortunately, it wasnt in the menu anymore. Bummer. We ordered ourselves some great food; from asian to western cuisine.
I reached home at exactly midnight and fell miserably tired. Nonetheless, it was a nice mellow trip.
Below are some of the pictures from the trip.