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Nov 11, 2012

A Little Publicity Shout Out to All Bakers and Sweet Tooth

*Coughs and clear throat* Here's to the people who LOVE to BAKE (and munching goody pastries)! I know this is a little random - and fear not this blog is not hijacked. I'm helping a loved one to publicize her new blog *confetti shower*

CHRISTMAS is coming and if you are looking for adorable baking kits, sweet pastries to pamper yourself, your friends or your family's tummies- do visit Bake.Bakery.Fun for Christmas goodies!

ALL PHOTOS taken by me for this little Public Service Announcement - enjoy! :)

Smelling Christmas?

Oct 20, 2012

Fingers Crossed for Exchange

After weeks of contemplation and resource-gathering I finally submitted my exchange application on 13 October :)

1. Korea University
2. Yon Sei University 

Keeping fingers crossed in hope that I'll be able to return to Korea next fall - when I would able to join their inter-school events! 

---a very short post from StarBucks@Singapore---
Sep 15, 2012

On Vulnerability Fear and Treadmill

I solemnly swear I will not social-whine, nor stick my head up into the clouds because this is how I analyse and break down the different sides of myself - in order to be a better person.

And so, onto the self-confession:

Everything's been on a constant hiatus ever since college started. Uni life is passing really fast  - as if I'm about to graduate soon even though semester one and Year Two commenced just a few weeks ago. 

I knew this feeling would come - for I understand myself well enough to know that I would whine about the things I would like to do and have not yet done with my youth. *roll eyes* I've always been doing that  -but now, it's a different thing altogether. 

The thing is, when you have only this much time (5.5 semesters) left to do all the things you want as a student, time becomes blatantly scarce. I've been living in this bubble filled with anxiety and passion to excel - in this bubble I have with me dreams and aspirations as well. 

Yet in this very bubble there exists equal amounts of fear, insecurities and inertia. (they perpetually fill up the bubble everyday when I'm unaware) Which is why so many things I've been doing in life (or would like to do) are on  constant hiatus. 

It just doesn't seem to sit well. And now I know I have to face it. 


Because somehow along the course of losing the life-chances I deserve, losing the things I love and spending eons envying people who somehow attained self-actualization (by hook or by crook, by effort or by luck) as a child - I've reached this stage when the world is starkly real. So real that I fear myself losing balance as I gaze into the world before me and the one around me. 

And the curious thing is that I believe I deserve better albeit the many flaws I have, given the many wrong choices I tend to make because of two things - fear and shame.

Before college, these two things played the salient role of villain in my bubble. 

Villain is probably the closet word I can think of now -because villains threaten to shatter the glass castle many people tend to live in, villains are bad, they deserved to be blamed. And we certainly have nothing in common with the villain we are running away from, even-while testing a bit of self-defense - we are still victims deserving betterment.

But if you look closely, that villain is just a part of you. Fear comes from within - nobody gives you fear like someone would shove a spoon in your mouth. 

Fear is a reaction. And sometimes we don't know why we react in this way. And in return we fear more, like pouring cartons of carbon dusts into the machine and start an endless cycle of churning fear.

When you can't control your fear - you find yourself running on a treadmill away from it - and ironically, constantly running into it - like an old friend- or villain. Because if you were to stop running on the same spot for just a while, you'll hear yourself panting alone with all the thoughts that made you such a wreck - and perhaps realize that if you have such a power to create such a villain out of yourself, you can do the same - to create the someone you've always wanted to run towards to.  

 Fear comes from within because it's a form of retaliation and justification for not wanting to fall flat on your face. But of you do not start running in the right direction, there is no way you're going to reach anywhere. 

And if you ignore this truth about fear, and how you've always been this way and hating yourself it - then it's time to know that fear is always there- and there are definitely better things to do about it. 

Let it chase you, let it push you, because fear is nothing when you have more important things to do, to love, to think about, to pursue. Courage is when you judge that there are things more important than fear.

Personally, I'm a jack of lots of trades - I know it - but I'm a master of none. But is being a master of none wrong? 

I'm a master of being self-conflicting, but perhaps this is why I always have such monologues with myself, about fear, about vulnerability and about stagnation. Somehow, I'll always emerge a better person after my long talk with Fear.

And so I told myself:

"I'm not a master of most of the trades I'm rather good at - because I'm a bloody perfectionist. But I know I can bloody do all of them well too - just one at a time." 

I had a long chat with a friend this week- and I discovered we share a common understanding about vulnerability.

And that is:

It takes courage to be imperfect. (FYI: you can learn more about this from Brene Brown on Ted Talk)

Well, it pretty sums up all I have to say about vulnerability and that villain you see in the mirror. That's all for today, slow down that treadmill and run in the other direction :)
Aug 3, 2012


Too many things have happened and I'm about to abandon my home for college camp again! I has been more than a week since I've returned from Seoul and I swear I've been missing Seoul ever since - I'm not kidding, because every-single-day something happens to me that make me MISS THE GOOD LIFE THERE. 

Now that I'm back (to reality) there's really loads of things to worry, school, my (on hiatus) novel, catching up with friends and family, broken laptop and lagging phone, sneaky wisdom tooth and horrible bank accounts... the reality of my life hits me every time I want to forget myself.
Retrieved from my Instagram

OH SPEAKING ABOUT COMPUTERS - my poor laptop - which I lugged all the way form Singapore to China and then Korea, then there and back again, malfunctioned when I was in Yon Sei University. Which is why I couldn't even upload a single thing on this blog. Schizer.

But I had a truckload of (mis)adventures though, and I met really really lovely people there which I shall continue to have fun with once this hectic semester starts in mid August :)

The best thing that happened in Seoul?

AND DÉBUTED ON KOREA NATIONAL TV (as crazy supporters from Singapore)!!!

Jun 29, 2012

Breath before the Plunge

Take a deep breath because you'll be leaving this little red dot for 3 weeks+
Take a deep breath because you'll be sleeping on your cozy bed and sitting on that cozy chair for one last time.
Take a deep breath and remember the things your loved ones had done, and are still doing for you, because there'll be things you wish to tell them everyday when they are not there with you.
Take a deep breath because you'll be lugging a 10kg luggage around Seoul Incheon Airport up the winding stairs, not to mention the bagpack and the smaller bag...
Take a deep breath because you'll need to speak more korean in 3 weeks than your previous 2 semesters combined.
Take a deep breath because this will be a new adventure, a new beginning. 
Take a deep breath because you WILL get lost.
But sometimes when we get lost, we discover ourselves, we discover new friends and people who will be there for us, and there definitely will be moments that truly take our breaths away.
Take a deep breath- because it IS LIFE that you are breathing, LIFE that you are Living.


All right, the flight is tomorrow midnight eeeeekkkkkkk!!! And I still feel ultra unprepared!!! Shall proceed to online  check in now :) 

Schizer the online check-in services are down, super inefficient >:"(

And guess what my lovely mom bought for me to bring to Korea (for the homestay)(why would I want to bring any of these)? 
DRIED MANGOES! And jackfruit chips, a jar of kaya spread, chocolate, chilli tapioca chips...Seriously my mom is the best <333

Jun 26, 2012

Last Minute Compilation of Research

I would've gone insane if not for my dear Mom, she did SO MUCH FOR ME.
*slap-myself-in-the-face* I can't believe any of these are real, I'm really going to KOREA!!! HAHA, just today, I received an email from AirChina saying there are changes to my flight and I swear, I thought some disaster was boiling in the cauldron! Fortunately, there's only a push-forward of flight by like- 10mins? Phew, chill.

I'm seriously overwhelmed by all the stuff that's happening - whatsapp, twitter, skype, FB, Line and now Kakao talk??? HAHA, I LOVE MY FRIENDS but technology can really suck you dry of Time if you are not careful. Sometimes, I prefer to live life the old-school way, like making my own travel journal <3

Yes, I shall post it here once it's done! Gosh, I realise I have to bring Mackie to Seoul, cos GAPs and module-stuff will be on going while we're in Korea? I'm chucking away all my dreams for psych now, and looking forward to majoring in CNM with a few other friends :) Next semester will be another to remember - how I wish I can be a uni student forever ~ 

Anyway, it's time to print some discount COUPONS from VisitKorea, I'm gonna keep a separate envelope for all the coupons + receipts + tickets <3

Lastly, I need more MONEHHHHH, I'll bleed dry from shopping in Korea, seriously :P

My novel is on hiatus again, but I'm sure I'll return a better author before commencing my other round of revision! 

P.S: I FINALLY GOT AN EVENSTAR (plus the Heart of the Ocean) !!! <33333 I'm going to wear the Evenstar to Korea, to remind myself of a brand new future :)
Jun 25, 2012

Soul Searching before Seoul Searching

I'm here to do a little soul searching, you might not know me, but who cares? I have thoughts and I'll just write it here and then.

I'm sitting before my little com (Mackie) right on the favourite spot of my little home (my writing desk) before a wall-ful of pictures. Pictures of quotes, pictures of words, pictures of people I know and pictures taken by people I wish I could know. This wall may be filled with a messy collage of movie tickets, still life and landscapes but at least it is messed up with things I love. And sometimes I wish time could just stop, like the Narnia clock right before me, stuck at 8.40pm when it's already 12:09AM.

Five intense days came and went and I would often ask myself could I have done more? This five days gave me so many first-s that it seems almost ridiculous to count them.

For the umpteenth time I felt a surge of adrenaline telling me there's not enough time in Life, especially when you are spending it with people you love and people who love you in return.

Life is FRIGGIN short, and I swear I will not regret what I say so make the best out of it, make the most of it, make things happen, see your life unfold by doing the things you love.

Life only happens when you do those things. Things that make your eyes crinkle with smile, things that make the corners of your lips turn up.
Life only happens once, and make it a point to see it at least once a day or maybe once a week or even once a month.

Because Life only happens when you're not measuring it by the number of things you get but when you suddenly realise you have so many things that even a life-time of currency can't exchange for.

May 28, 2012

Updates, Jostling June

Hi everyone (well, no one's reading this anyway, more like - hi Li'az!) I'm currently on a hiatus for my Seoul research (the travel date is coming real soon and I'm short on info!), but there are updates every now and then:

Because I'm such a lazy blogger, I shall jot things down in point form:
1. On Seoul:
I forgot to post, but I did manage to book a hostel for my trip! Check it out (Hongdae JK House) on Facebook, it's really marvelous + it is new and probably sparkling clean. The owner seems pretty friendly as well, no advance payment, just a word of promise and I nailed the deal :)

Hongdae JK House is pretty near Hong Dae's 3D art house too Trickeye Museum (Seogyo Plaza B2, 357-1, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-guSeoul 121-838South Korea) - that means I don't have to fly all the way to Jeju island for its 3D Art Museum!

These are some reviews of Trickeye:

2. On college and work: 
Well, this is supposedly my 3-month holiday but I'm splurging all the time on mugging for my placement test (a pain in the ass, really). I received last semesters' results today via sms- and my CAP sort of improved by a few decimal points. As for my Korean grade, it was a little disappointing but I'm glad it wasn't a C. Enough of school, let's talk about work! I'm grabbing all the opportunities for exotic jobs and I'm currently holding two :) The first is a part time at Intercruises for the Royal Carribean and coming up this Thursday I have a job at Sarang, the Korean restaurant at Orchard Central. Hope all would be well, I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

3. On BOOKS and WRITING!: 
I've been reading A Song of Ice and Fire in my free time (on the bus and train while hopping from place to place, Singapore is really overcrowded.) and while listening to awesome soundtracks, I write when I should be sleeping. I'm still trying to revise a few tricky chapters! Words are flying everywhere.

Advice for myself: clear that block like a plumber and let the words flow. 

The annual book fair at Suntec City Convention Hall just gets smaller and smaller every year. I'm utterly disappointed by the amount of books they have (an the number of major book stores collapsing)! Back in the good old days the place would be a paradise filled with screaming kids hugging books (not assessment books). And now, the place just gives you goosebumps because there just isn't enough human to warm the place up. Geez. The booth for Times was like a lighthouse. I managed to buy a good book and thanks to my lovely cousin, I ordered even more books online (free shipping) from NOQ store.

I'll be getting my hands on Diana Wynne Jones' Howl's Moving Castle and Alexander Lloyd's Chronicles of Prydain soon, finally! Eeeeek!!! *dancing around the house* Gosh, I've been looking all over Singapore for Howl's Moving Castle, and they only appear in libraries.

4. On movies: 
Dark Shadows was very-Tim-Burton-ish and of course, I watched it because it's a Johnny Depp + Tim Burton film.

Nothing beats Hunger Games though, haha (unless you are watching Hunger Games for the second time or third time.)(You'll most likely watch it objectively until the muttations part).

Snow White and the Huntsman's coming out on May 31st! I've been waiting so long for it - I mean, I can't wait to watch the Queen, just look at the mirror and the milk bath...I'm not a Stewart fan, I shall not comment, but I do love the suit and amour (and probably the plaits).

And the best is saved for the last, I've been waiting for years for The Hobbit! ( I re-watch LOTR every year and yes, I tear every time.) Peter Jackson is back again! :D *fireworks* (I saw Peter Jackson's production video a year ago) I was hoping Orlando and Elijah Wood's coming back but I'm not sure---are they? But from the trailer, Ian Mckellen, Cate Blanchett and Andy Serkis' definitely back on set, cheers for the crew! I was that into LOTR  - even my mom know's what "my precious" mean. She didn't watch a single movie haha.

Anyway, the ranting's over! Have a lovely day ahead dear readers. (If you happen to stumble over my blog, that is.)

Quote of the day: "To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk." - Thomas Alva Edison

I guess this applies to writing as well.
May 15, 2012

Cryptex II

Editor's Note: This blog has been moved.

I really made a Cryptex! If you're a fan of Leonardo Da Vinci, or Dan Brown, or the film << The Da Vinci Code>>- so to speak- then you'll understand how excited I was when I discovered it is possible to make one at home!

My origami cryptex didn't turn out as fantastic as I'd wanted it to be, because the paper card that I used was kinda flimsy.

If I have the machines, PVC pipes or copper pipes I would have tried making better cryptexes...(just Google or Youtube "How to Make a Cryptex", I'm sure those are nicer than mine.)

So after long nights of pondering and digging through my 9-years-worth of junks and gears, I finally picked up the guts to make one myself - I needed guts because I really detest super glue, it lines the bottom of my list. (My faves are glue guns, diamond glaze, pvc glue, glue stick, uhu glue, AB glue...I don't really adore contact glue though :)

And here's the finished product! I didn't exactly follow the steps most people used...( I used parts from correction tapes, key chain rings and plastic containers...) but if you figured out how a cryptex actually works before starting, it makes the assembly and gear-hunt easier. Enjoy! 

P.s: Mona Lisa is not the real code haha <3

May 6, 2012

Minds are Like Parachutes

Anonymous:  ''Minds are like parachutes, they only function when they are open.'' 

The Wandering Quill *scratches the paper*: "Minds are like wings too, we only Fly when they soar."


Li'az peered over the edge of her balloon, a surge of vertigo welling up in her...

And then she fell. Free falling, her center of gravity rolling all over her insides as she tumbled through the clouds...The wind was a beast, it was roaring into her ears, so loud ...

It has been a while since I wrote, I'm three quarters done with Book I and half-way through it's revision. Well, it's in need of a huge revision because I've been experiencing  a switch of world view ever since I entered college. Perhaps this is the ultimate price I have to pay for Knowledge - because the world I've created is more than half as complicated as this one, yet this world I'm living in is less than half as action packed and magickal as the one I'm creating. 

The Price of Knowledge - as I often call - means my world, including the worlds I've created will no longer be the same again.  

For as a writer, I don't think I'll ever be the same again. It's not a sad thing, really, because I've finally found something that I believed I didn't have so many years ago when I started thinking about writing- a perspective on the workings of a real world, a world with people who don't just sit on rainbows and chew on cotton candies. 

How in the world did George Orwell imagined Animal Farm? What about the discrimination the Muggles and Muggle-born folks faced in the world of J.K. Rowling? Why about the history of Hunger Games? 
It's not hard to imagine why, because this is how our world works too - but it doesn't mean it's not wrong. Are there instances when you are not happy? If you are not happy, does that mean something is wrong? 

If I keep searching for happiness, does that mean I'm individualistic and self-absorbed? But what if Individualism is a term painted by the Reductionists - by condemning individuals for all the sins in the world,  "It is the individuals that are greedy, it is the individuals who lack self-control, it is the individuals who are lazy - that is why they have no right to protest about their state of poverty.", by blaming individuals, and self-absorbing the blame - are we ignoring the wrong things that lie in the workings of our world?

Well, this is nothing against anyone. I'm just trying to say if you are looking for something that you can't find in yourself, while trying to work on a novel, look around you for inspirations.

Writers do not add in these imperfections for fun - yes, these imperfections serve as fuel for plots to run smoothly with twists, but writers certainly do not write to drag their readers in and leave them stranded in the cruel twists. Writers write best when they incorporate their lives in what they write, and certainly they (some or most?) hope that despite all the cruel twists, there's still a hope for readers to invest in. 

You can imagine a world full of rainbows and cotton candies.
But these are boring (depends on your audience :)


First Quarter* 

(*Hunger Games hangover)

I'm really terrible at making plans - first I founded this blog for Seoul, then I abandoned it for AGES! Shame on me! >:[

All right, I figured out this won't do, so I'm really determined to kill that lazy bug in me and start doing some serious research. Well, but there are more pressing matters at hand --- I'm in need of a hotel or hostel!
***not mentioning I need to start mugging for my statistics placement test in June? (I'll be thrown into a huge, GARGANTUAN dilemma when term results are out on 28th May 2012 ---to major or not to major --- beats me.)

With intelligence reports from my lovely mom, I've obtained possible candidates ...

Vision Hotel Seoul:
***the best candidate so far, it's near 동대문 (Dong Dae Mum)!

City Palace Hotel:
*Not as grand as Vision Hotel but near 동대문 as well

Yoo's Family Guest House:
*new guesthouse - but just look at the traditional layout! (public bath though)

HAHA House:
*pretty faraway from metro station, but the kind owner fetches his travellers personally from the metro station! 

City Guest House1:
*Location is a little tough to find...but reviews are pretty good! 

Seoul Tower Ville
*** At Myeong Dong, with view of Nan Sam Tower, interesting keepers :)


Second Quarter

Well, this would be my first time travelling so far away from the sunny island of Singapore without my family, and I'm really really really nervous that it won't turn out right!!! Because I'm a dorky writer I shall list out a few grandiloquent plans that may well be here just for the fluff. Teehee (It's 2.53am so I'm a bit high?)

1. Organise my own Running Man: Globe Trotters in  SEOUL CITY!!!
(Image from:

HAHA, that sounds a bit far-fetched doesn't it? Well, but it doesn't hurt to dream!
I can:

  • Make a really nice itinerary with a theme. (With all the travel essentials, packing lists and maps for good measure...)
  • Print mission cards! (On really cool nice papers)(Or compensate with nice fonts haha)(with maps and addresses for a blur student like me) (Food to hunt, deals to nail, interesting places to explore and kick-ass stuff to do in Seoul...)
  • Well, sounds like fun - and that means I need to kick start that rusty engine of mine and turn it to full throttle...
  • bind everything into a book (A5 size), with all the info. maps, with an envelope at the back of the book for all the receipts and what nots...  
2. Hmm, I guess there isn't a plan number 2 because this Running Man idea will be keeping me busy for a while?

3. Sighs, that means I need lots of time, money and resources...gonna sleep now, I've been chasing the Werglock for an entire day, now it's chasing me to sleep. zZZZzZZ

Apr 27, 2012

Telegraphic Transfers...

I'm officially FREE today! No more exams until June! To cut the story short (because I'm such a lazy blogger) I  finally settled the first-half of all the sticky tacky bureaucratic stuff by making a trip down to the bank - for the second time.

I'm supposed to transfer one whole sum of fees to Yon Sei in KRW - and the first bank I went to said: sure, fill up the form. And then the next thing that made me blew my top was that when I was home, I received a call that said: sorry, there's an issue with the processing--- we do not transfer money in KRW, especially KRW. You'll have to do it in SGD or USD. 

Me: Oh, so does that mean I have to convert the currency myself? Or do I have to base it on the transaction date's exchange rate, what should I do?
***(WTH would I know the exchange rate on the date of your transaction if you can only process it 3-4days later???)

Staff: Actually, we have no idea...we do not know the exchange rate, you'll have to convert it yourself in SGD and maybe check with your friends? You are attending the university there right? The bank will take 3-4 days to process the money and then the bank in Korean will decide whether the amount is adequate or not.

Me: Okay, I have no idea either, (there's not much transparency in the whole process in the first place on both institution's part) I'll check with my friends. May I have your number? I'll get back to you as soon as possible, sorry about that.

Staff: Oh, I'll call you back later, or do you want tomorrow? We're closing at 4.30pm. (Time of call, approximately 3plus pm)

Me: Erm, maybe I'll take down your number and contact you asap?


Staff: For that you'll have to call the contact center-  request for your call to be transferred to this branch and direct the call to me. 
***(Well, she didn't even bothered to introduced herself - I caught her name when her colleague spoke to her 'discreetly' about the issue with KRW)

Me: It's okay, you can call me tomorrow then. 

What kind of service is that - I mean, it wasn't all about the service, it was the whole bureaucratic-sticky thing that irks me to the core and make my flesh crawl. Do I seem that I know the exchange rate 3-4 days later? If I do, I'll be somewhere ripping bucks off the stock market for goodness sake. And---did really she think that I had the bank's central office number stored in my speed dial? GEEEZ, she put down the phone with such expert quickness I had to wait till the next day to tell her cancel the transaction. (I'm going to another bank)

Yeah, so this is the story of why I had to make a second trip to another bank today - and hopefully things will work out since they can only process the telegraphic transfer next monday. 

The moral of the story is? 

Just make sure you get things done right the first time, go to the right bank and make sure they answer your inquiries sincerely. If you have a deadline to meet, then do so way before the deadline, perhaps 4-5 days earlier since there'll probably be mysterious and confidential glitches here and there. There are no mysterious glitches nor are there confidential glitches, just a total lack of transparency and the power of bureaucracy.
 (I'm keeping the bank names confidential due to certain mysterious reasons - respecting their privacy? Probably not, I'm safeguarding myself.)

Anyway, have a great summer ahead! It's getting real hot in Singapore now even though it's summer all year round? Haha, time to get the quill moving - my ink's all dried up when I should be revising my half-written novel.

Apr 21, 2012

The Owl and Her Quill

I just can't sleep! It's 2.45am and I'm awake with Mackie on my lap - it's my laptop, in case you are wondering what-the-hell Mackie is. Typing in the dark with only 2 mini lamps I stuck above my bed (with blue tac) is a serious and tricky business.

Anyway, I think I'm the worst blogger ever but it's okay, I'm still writing and I'll keep writing, because one day, I'll get my book published - and when I mean publish, I mean PUBLISHED! If you are from my country (or any other part of the world when people just smile at you when you tell them your dream), and you have a dream like me - the odds are you'll be writing out of place.

But that doesn't mean you can't write.
That does not mean you can't dream a dream that is out of place in a capitalist, paper chasing society.
You will write, despite  all odds.
You will write, because - sometimes there are things you just have to do. Sometimes, there are things that no one except yourself can take away from you.

Why am I saying this? Because now, on this night that I just can't sleep, I'm doing what I always felt comfortable doing - thinking. again and again about life. I mean, while I don't have a religion (don't be surprised), I do believe there is meaning in life.

And words make my life meaningful.
Stories make it beautiful.

I have maps of places in my stories pasted all over my wall, I have characters that make me cry when I write  about them, I have created languages, people, empires, creatures, new technology with just words -  and I realised I want to be published not because I want to get published -  I enjoy writing so much that I don't mind going through all the pain/pleasure just to get a hold on the book(s) that I wanted so badly to read but no one wrote. I want to let all those dreamers out there know "It's possible, despite all odds."

If you ever met people who dismissed your dream like it's a crossed eyed fly,
Let them laugh.
Because that's probably what they are good at and what they always do.
But when you have a dream, you do more than just that.
When you have a dream, you understand why it can't hurt to dream BIGGER.
When you have a dream, you live, you love, you laugh. (Of course there is more than the 3 Ls)
When you have a dream, no one can put you down, because deep down inside there is a voice fighting to be heard, and I swear as long as you never stop trying, it will never become hoarse- all the time the voice is inside you practicing, it will only come out stronger by the time you let it flow.

The biggest myth in our society is probably one about equality.
Well, the truth is this society is not equal.
But to me, the biggest mistake one can make is not to give it a try despite life's imperfections.

Apr 16, 2012

Post Hunger Games

I've been so absorbed in the Hunger Games trilogy these few days that I literally can't really go through the motion of my mundane chores (study, rest, eat, shower, sleep) without thinking about it. It's really the-story-I -need-now given the current sociological perspective I have (sociologists will know what I'm trying to say - this society is artificial, loaded with social constructs that people created and happily forgotten.).

Adding on to that, there's the soundtrack to keep the feel of things going.

This may sound silly but if you'd read a really good book before, you'll roughly empathise with me, especially if you are a budding writer who tries to capture every little detail or emotion in words that can't seem to materialise.

Not just that - you'll only understand what I'm going through if you are a liberal arts student (ex-pure science student who got a whole bunch of A's but decide for a change.) who finally see the society for what it really is, and what it is not. I doubt I can truly express my current agony/ relief /anxiety about the turn-out of my education.

In the past, I'll just nod and say "yeah we need to study and get good grades, find a good job, support my parents, viola." (hello, as if we are born to think that way - no, we are actually socialised to speak that way)(don't pity me, because I'm no longer that naive kid who goes around crying because of an arbitrary grade that reflects nothing about the person's talents or real ability) - but now, if you indeed do ask the same question again, I'll definitely explain my previous answer in a completely different (sociological) perspective (so if you happen to be in college, please do take a module on sociology for fun).

And adding on to that I'll say "Education is a luxury that not every student who's attempting to get themselves educated will understand."

Like Panem, our world is artificial (not in the sci-fi way)
Like Panem,

Knowledge is Power.

There is a reason why some people just hate people like Katniss - but if you do think like her, I salute you, because it's the rule breakers who are the heralders of change.
Disclaimer *just for laughs*: (Herald-er is not a legitimate word, but languages are alive because they change.)(Things that don't change are usually relics in museums.)(Sorry, got carried away with the linguistic stuff I read in school.)

I realised I'm suppose to write about my trip to Korea! But heck, anything goes on this blog (for) now because I have no updates except that THE SUBSIDIES WERE GRANTED!!! (hopefully they keep their words)(I have immense distrust when it comes to such things, because some people just don't understand why a tiny subsidy can mean a WORLD to people who are tight on budget)

Anyway, if you happen to have any comments, feelings or dis-feelings, do feel free to write them below, I'll be more than happy to read + reply them.
***I was tempted to write I'll-be-more-than-happy-to-entertain-you but on second thought, I don't really entertain people with my writing unless I'm writing a novel (which I shall one day publish)(hard to think of a pen name though - would anyone care to look at a novel authored by someone called LI'AZ TEIRA?)
**Anyway, Good Night and Good Luck

May the Odds be Ever in Your Favour

(sorry, can't resist saying it in Effie Trinket's voice.)

Mar 15, 2012

We All Know Fear

But passion makes us fearless - Paulo Coelho

Another random post by my dear Wandering Quill. Frankly speaking I'm facing a crisis now - coming in terms with what I like, and what I'll really like to like. This is a hard question and I shall stop here before it turns into a whiny, lengthy post full of bombastic, overloaded words that even I myself would not care to read. 

In the mean time, I shall hug myself to sleep and dream of a wonderful journey in Seoul - 4 more months to go.

- 2:06AM (This is the only time I can post)
Mar 10, 2012

A Life Worth Living For

I'm a homeless wanderer right now. I'm stuck in a local Star Bucks with a mug of Earl Grey Tea (because it makes no sense to have another cup of coffee for the second time of the evening). The story is simple, I met up with a lovely friend, all was well until I boarded the bus that was heading home and I realised I did not have my keys with me. So I sat on the bus all the way until I was back at the station and wanted to charge my dying phone with my laptop - turned out that my laptop's dying as well, and there are no sockets (even though I armed myself with some dead heavy charger and plugs. Halfway through my post on deviantART my old HP companion CRASHED. I dropped my medicine and I can't hear properly, my mind is groggy - I'm so tired I can sleep right NOW.

And the feeling is kinda new, I wouldn't say it's good, but the feeling of typing-this-blog-post-on-a-old-laptop-that-is-going-to-go-flat-any-moment, in a place full of strangers and strange music a float in the Saturday-night air is pretty exotic and fresh, in my queer perspective.

Is this how a wanderer feels like? Is this the same kind of feeling I would get when I travel alone to Korea? I'm terribly worn out right now. Yet there is this strange sense of peace in me that is - well, glowing? A strange kind of warmth that is burning gracefully like an old hearth in an old cottage in an old town.

I'm grateful towards the stranger who looked after my laptop when I venture away from my seat and squeezed myself through the throng for the washroom. I appreciate the gentleman who smiled at me as I took up a seat in the corner and sort of intruded his privacy. I appreciate the people who left me alone to my own devices as I'm typing this out-of-the-world-post in a place that is SO familiar to me (my local Star Bucks that I walk by every single day) yet so faraway. And I'm glad that I just (finally) found a place to charge my poor gadgets.

Really, technology - power source = powerless.

Oh and due to my recent throat infection, my left ear is failing me. (Temporary, I hope) Talk to the Right ear. No pun intended.

How does it feel like to be partially deaf in a ear? Well, it kinda feels like I'm swimming through a fish bowl, or walking on air with a glass bowl over my head - I'm not kidding. I finally understand the importance of all our senses. Without any one of them, life just doesn't seem like it was before. And I told myself, even if I'm deaf in one ear and I could never hear properly again (I hope I'm exaggerating things here) I'll still go all out to pursue my dreams, all the more because I still have so many things worth living for.

Li'az Teira
Mar 7, 2012


I nailed the ticket deal! Gosh, it's 646.00 SGD. Really, really do hope everything turns out well :)
I'm keeping my fingers crossed - and hoping that the faculty (being broke itself) will be able to provide subsidies for students.

***2:44A.M.: managed to survive the night.
**Things accomplished: booking of flight tickets and completing an assignment regarding a badly designed web program.
Mar 6, 2012

그림을 그고싶어요...

아이고...I'm dying to get a tablet p.c. here* adamant glint in eyes* . All right, I admit this post doesn't belong here - I shall start an art blog when I have enough sketches and a TABLET P.C! (plus sufficient time) :D

Sheesh, I need to save up for the Korea trip too...돈이 없어요! Oh and GOOD NEWS!!! Domestic flight tickets to Jeju Island are available at roughly $38 each!!! That means I can leave Seoul on one of the fridays and spend one weekend at Jeju Island! :D Hehehe, gonna try out the sauna in Jeju :P

Here's the link:

For now, I shall

  •  study hard during this semester
  •  mug hard for my placement test in June
  •  get a part time job (and save up)
  • PLAN a REAL mind-blowing, super-de-duper trip to SEOUL <3

Mar 5, 2012

Using your 3G phone in 한국!

Li'az was diligently shouldering over her avalanche of workload when she heard someone calling her name. Crawling out from underneath the mountain of books, she dragged herself into light and wondered out loud.



Thanks to my lovely 어머니 who is more diligent than me when it comes to researching about such things, I got another piece of good news to share!

Not long ago, tourists can't really use their hand phones in Korea, they would either have to rent one at approximately $3/day; $1/min- or buy one like the locals. Even the locals themselves do not have a SIM like we do, and that's why you see them throwing the entire hand phone away when they decide to switch phones (because the no. is pre-installed into the phone itself)! (if the info. I get is reliable) 

But now, we can basically buy a prepaid SIM card at some local store and insert it into our 3G phone! Here's the link (sorry, it's entirely in Chinese and I've no idea how to get the info in English ><):

Oh here's an English link!:

Quoting from the kind blogger who posted the original content for people to share:
***(Credit goes to the original author)

" I’m writing this to share with people who might have the same question as I did.
KT Olleh (or Korea Media rules) has changed since January 2011, you can read about it here.

Venue: KT Olleh Square at Gwang Hwa Mun (Gwang Hwa Mun Station, Line 5, Exit 2)
[Note: or any GLOBAL KT OLLEH outlets] But KT Olleh Square is recommended because they are like the main branch and they have English-speaking staff.

What do you need to bring:
1. Passport (Very Important) and yes, you can get it with just your passport. (Insist that you can, give the staff the webpage from their own website. Don’t let them push you to another outlet.)
2. Your phone (Make sure that the phone is already in use in Korea). Your phone must also not be LOCKED (i.e. You can remove your SIM card from your phone)
3. Make sure you have your IMEI and Serial number of your phone. (I know iPhone has it in the phone settings, so there’s easy. Other phones, please make sure you have these information handy.)
4. Cash (Foreign credit cards are not accepted.)

Cost: 5,500KRW for the SIM card.
Top-up starts from 2000KRW.

A top-up of 10,000KRW should last you for a week.
Please go before 6pm, in fact go early. The processing takes some time BUT it shouldn’t take a day.
NOTE: The SIM card/number would only be valid for 3 months. If you are going to stay in Korea for more than 3 months, you would have to go to the shop to validate your visa so you can continue using the number beyond 3 months."

Adding on here's some more info from the first link:
  • Incoming call: free 
  • Outgoing call: W4.8/Second
  • Short texts: W22 ; 
  • Long texts: (>80 words): W33
  • International call: 00727 + 852(country code, eg: HK) + TEL : W395/Minutes
" 如果你韓文不錯的話,去任何一個KT service centre都可以買得到
(1) 光化門 :Line 5 Exit2, 轉右就可以看到olleh square
(2) 弘大: line 2, Exit 9對面
1. 3G手機(2G不行),不支援韓文字體的話,訊息會變成怪獸字~~
2. 電話的IMEI no
3. 護照
KT的”免費英語服務熱線” : 0161583
如果只是send text msg的話,一個W33, W5000/W33 = 151個msg
哇! TaebaK! "

I shall end it here, thanks to the kind bloggers who shared the info, I have lesser things to worry now! 안녕! :) - 12:01AM
Mar 3, 2012

Pre-Flight-Booking Follow-ups: Budget Airlines are not always Budget

"Get a hold on yourself!" The Ink Pot lamented, "You still have so much things to do!"


As I promised myself, this blog is meant solely for travelling. This would be a great place to record all the adventures and misadventures before, during and after my trip to Seoul! Subsequently, I may use it to record random writings and stuff because I highly doubt I would be travelling after the 3 month break and return from Seoul.

Anyway, I believe I've found another alternative airline to begin my journey with! Yesterday I forward an inquiry to SIA with regards to extending the "maximum 14 days" to 3 weeks so as to accommodate the educational program. Unfortunately (as expected) I was unable to do so and was offered a "Sweet 2 Go" tickets. Well, no confetti shower and yays, this dashed all hopes of beginning and ending my journey with SIA because the "alternative sweet deal" would cost me SGD1200++! But one commendable side of SIA is that they responded my inquiry with absolute speed. Cheers for the local air line!

Then my super efficient 어머니 realised that apart from SIA, almost all airlines have no straight flight to Seoul. This means for Air Asia, I would have to depart in the afternoon, get a transit at K.L airport (transit may last 2-4hours) and I'll only reach Seoul at night (after ~11hours worth of flight). In other words, the original plan would cost me up to one-day worth of time. Sounds like an unproductive journey for someone who's dying to utilize the full 3 weeks or more in Korea!

AND (Yes, prescriptive grammar states no "and" or "but" should be allowed to kick start a sentence. But I have tons of evidence from renowned novelists that sticking to just prescriptive grammar alone is a plain sign of inflexibility.) if I do end up booking the ticket from a budget airline, I'll need to pay the additional taxes, fares and surcharges on so forth. It's not really budget, really.

I'm currently checking up Air China (not budget) and apparently they have some awesome deals too! SGD645 for a 2-way ticket to Seoul, no maximum stay, all taxes, fares and surcharges included and date of travel lasts until 30 June, PERFECT! Plus, we get to fly off at midnight (transit at Beijing International Airport for 2hours, sleep all the way) and arrive at Seoul in the morning! This literally translates to a more efficient use of time!

Hmm, I shall have a word with my 선생님 on Monday before booking the tickets. There's so many burning questions to clarify!

That's all for now, I have a linguistics test and a Korean one next week *sniffs* 아자 아자 화이팅!
 - 8:40pm (I give up, can't change the blogger time)

Mar 2, 2012

The Mind Boggled Researcher

And then she slap her little laptop shut and banged her head against the door...

The problem with researching about a destination you haven't been to is that there is an OVERLOAD of information. You start to question the accuracy and validity of the details that are strewn across the web - so it kinda gets pretty sticky.

While it's a school trip organised suggested by the university for a 3week student exchange in Seoul's Yonsei University, it's pretty much a students-sign-up-and-organise-yourself trip. We have to settle the air tickets and find out about all the nitty-gritty details in our own time- no korean teachers would be accompanying the flight either. 

All in all: "You are very much on your own." *sniffs*

I'm half a bag-packer now.

Frankly speaking, the administrative stuff in itself is a GARGANTUAN barrier (full of spikes and nasty bites) because I'm a clueless jellyfish bobbing around in the deep waters of the ocean.

But the first step is already done (I've submitted the form, unfortunately, with my horrible photo on it) and so the next thing to do is MOUNTAINS of research. The initial hike around the mountains and mountains of information is a little daunting, because the net is a treasure trove full of interesting junks. Albeit the arduous nature of the info-hunt, I arrived at the conclusion that bag packing is exceedingly FUN!

So here's the to-dos and resources an amateur like me managed to harness over one night:

1. Air Tickets
  • What's more important than the ticket? Check all the available airlines you can trust your life with and grab the best deals. Beware of the "inclusive"and "non-inclusive" of taxes and fares before you nail the deal though. You never know how much of a price difference it can mean. Booking online is as easy as registering yourself as a member on the respective websites. 

  • For me, SIA and Asia Airlines provided lucrative deals, but SIA's $698 (all inclusive) to-and-fro tickets only provide you with max. stay of 14days in Korea. So that means I have to put it off the list because I'm sticking around in Seoul for 3 weeks. JetStar didn't provide flight routes to Seoul; Cathay's tickets cost $900++; China's Zhong Hua Airlines ---fully booked. Now the only thing left to do is to contact SIA and query about extension of flight plan (which I highly doubt would come through) and confirm the number of days I want to plant myself out of Singapore in somewhere supposedly greener :D I shall check Thai Airlines as well. 

2.   Accommodations
Well, if I decided to extend my stay beyond the Mu-Ak dormitory of Yonsei, then I'll have to grab a cheap guesthouse/ back-packers' hostel to bunk in. Yonsei University is located near the SinChon subway station (2nd, Green line). I'm currently looking at:

3. Smart Apps
My mom's faster than I am when it comes to research! Thanks to my lovely 어머니I now have 2 clever gadgets in my phone-travel-essentials. Physical map is a must, but virtual map is definitely a plus!

  • I Tourism Korea
  • Seoul Metro and Seoul City Map
  • Jihachul app

4. Full-fledged Cultural Research
  • This is another must if you want to enjoy your trip. I can't afford to travel to a foreign place without any inkling of its culture and history! It's like rubbing your chin in front of Mona Lisa in the Paris Louvre without any idea why people are fighting to smile at the picture themselves. I regretted not researching thoroughly enough on The Ruins of St. Pauls when I was in Macau back then.
  • Yonsei University is the oldest university in Korea, and it's established by Christian missionaries in 1885. It's not only an educational institute but also a well known tourist destination as well! If you enjoy Gothic Medieval architecture, then you'll have a reason to smile when you google for the campus images. I'm not going to describe the history of Yonsei further because the info can be found easily on the net! And no pictures either because I've no wish to violate the copy rights of anyone. Shall upload my own when I'm there :)
***It's good to print a copy of map for easy reference!

5. Transportation around the City

Ahhhh, I hate to label things here, there everywhere! Not every bits and pieces of info can be classified accordingly as they are not mutually exclusive -.- But anyway, it would be good to know more about the modes of transportation available before you pack your stuff and fly there.

Like Singapore and any other cities around the world, Seoul is characterised by a well established network of transporation system.

  • T-money is like the ez-link card we have in Singapore. You can buy that from 7/11 stalls I suppose and swipe the card in airport limousines, buses, trains, taxis etc. 
  • The Seoul City Pass is very much like the tourist pass we have in Singapore, and I guess the buses they provide in Seoul for tourists would be equivalent (somewhat) to the Duck Tour buses that ship people around the city. As quoted from the website: 

"The SEOUL CITY PASS is a transportation card for tourists. With just this one card you can use the subway or bus up to 20 times a day, regardless of the distance or mode of transportation, and you can enjoy the Seoul City Tour Bus that take you around the downtown and palaces as many times as you wish." 

***The Seoul City Pass also allows tourists to enjoy discounts in entrance fee to Seoul Tower etc. But the thing is that this pass costs 15'000 won per day and is very much a one-day-thing unless you plan to apply for 2 or 3-day pass. Unless you really travel a lot (max. 20 times of buses and subway) within the span of a dew days you may like to apply for T-money :) In this case, I would, because I would be there for a few weeks!

6. Visa Application

I'm a Singaporean student, so I do not need to apply for student Visa for this trip (as told by the FAQs my school provided) But I can apply for a tourist visa at the In'cheon airport that would allow me to stay in Korean for 3 months. 
***I didn't research a lot on visa 

7. Other FYI's I have on hand for now
  • It’s the Korea summer sale season! So do watch out for discount coupons and gifts when you are shopping
  • 17th July is the Constitution day of Korea, it's a public holiday so loads of shops will be closed. 
  • If you spend a hefty sum in Korea shopping center, collect all your receipts and head right to the customer service counter of the shopping center and ask them to print a REFUND TAX receipt that summarise your purchases there (If you do so, you'll have a easier time at the airport when you refund your tax.) 
***but the thing is that the administrative procedures in airport are VERY arduous as well, you may be asked to reveal every single item you wish to tax-refund so they can tally the stats. Unless you purchase a few items that cost you a bomb and you would like to enjoy tax refund, then don't bother to queue up  before the counter for a long time only to find yourself unpacking an entire luggage before the staff.
  • Yonsei University is a tourist destination located at a VERY convenient place, MRT is located in the GREEN line, so it’s very convenient to go Dong Dae Mun and other places!!!
  • Next to Yonsei (at least on the map) is another university Hong Ik University - there, you can find student organised flea markets selling artistic creations by the students themselves (I think it's a stone's throw away from Yonsei, since I have information that we can walk there.)
  • I have a few anecdotal comparisons of the shopping havens in Seoul and Singapore (from a cousin's friend):
  • Dong Dae Mun is equivalent to Singapore's Far East Plaza
  • Nan Dae Mun is equivalent to our Bugis Street
  • Myeong Dong is the Singaporean equivalent of Orchard Rd. (so things are going to be pricey)

  • The Lotte Mart (like Carrefour) provides you with duty-free shopping! If I'm not wrong, it's in Dong Dae Mun...

  • Hello APM (AM and PM) is a 24-Hour Shopping complex of 11 stories (2nd line, Dong Dae Mun Subway station) 
***my wonderful  어머니 gave me most of these information***


It's a bye for now, my eyes are watery and I have exams (apparently) next week. 

Mar 1, 2012

The Little Globe Trotter Book: Preparing for The Journey Ahead

And then she picked up her Wandering Quill and laid it over the thick leather-bound diary, wondering if she should ink her thoughts upon the yellow pages that smelt of love and a very old library...

The day was young and clouds were waltzing across the vast azure. In the distant horizon a flock of birds were leaving the woods for another world beyond the village of Little Arlms. She thought she almost saw something like dragon among the empires of clouds, just a little above the Southern dust road.

Li'az leaned her brown head against the sturdy oak and sighed as a White Rabbit nudged at her ankle. 

"I wonder when it'll be my turn, lil' Miss Rabbit." Li'az tapped on its pink nose and set the little furry creature upon her lap. It started licking the edges of her old diary. "You like it? It's a travel book for a globe trotter. I plan to be one- and I guess I'm still planning."

Alright, I admit this is way too cheesy for a university student but this is a start! I'm keeping the posts as simple as I can without boring people out of their wits. You see, I'm the little girl above, her pen name's Li'az. This is her little virtual Globe Trotter's Book (I'm narrating it) and here she is, scribbling furiously with a big, furry, Wandering Quill with an old Ink Pot pouting at her. 

The point here is, Li'az REALLY WANTS to get out of her little village of Little Arlms and she has NO idea what-the-hey is happening. The truth is she hadn't walked further than the sunflower field of her village. The scarecrow with a pumpkin head seems to tell her that the world beyond the dusty road is as empty as its head and as crocked as its pumpkin smile.

So one day she discovered an old book in her attic (knocking her head against the ceiling)(causing a family of spiders to perform an emergency evacuation as well.) And voila! That was her adventure book!

She decided to prepare herself for the journey ahead and in came an old Ink Pot thrusting out its glass belly. Then, she saw in the corner of the sun bathed room an ancient feather duster. 

"What a poor relic!" she exclaimed. To her amazement, it emitted a HUGE sneeze that was far from glamourous... (Ink Pot's ink almost curdled.) and when the dust finally settled, a smile tugged at Li'az's lips. 

The Wandering Quill.

And then their journey began.


Okay I believe I'm happy with the introduction. This pretty sums up my adrenaline for writing out-of-the-world stuff when I'm blogging. (After all, that's what I usually do when I write a book) And this is my little Adventure Blog to prepare me for my journey ahead ---my FIRST ever educational exchange abroad! To Korea Yonsei University! 

Oh man, I guess I'm the relic here - yes it's my first time going on an exchange - this explains the serene little village and the sunflower field with an ignorant scarecrow yea? 

Boy, I'm excited but there's a high possibility that in my excitement I'll forget all about blogging. So keep the fingers crossed! 

-Lots of love, Li'az