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Someday is today

It's been a while since I write on the blog, in fact it's been a while since I ever write anything. I was occupied with so many things - research, projects, activities, people, events... And I decided to put writing on the bottom of my to-do list. I'll write when I have time, I thought.

So time went by, day by day, week by week... "Just maybe another week then I'll start writing. I just don't have the time yet..." "Or maybe next month when this deadline is over..." "Or maybe one of the nights this week I'll sit down and write. Yeah I'll definitely do that."

Guess what happens?

Nothing, absolutely nothing.

I wish I can tell you proudly that I did it and you look at me and think I'm cool. But that didn't happen.

I was thinking, "Someday I'll have time to do it. Someday." What I did was purely to push it away, tuck it in the bottom of the list and wait for that someday to arrive. Suddenly and miraculously.

You can call me wishful thinking or pathetically optimistic. And I thought I was prioritizing well. Geez I was wrong.

Writing and reading have been my passion for the longest time. When these important things are set aside, it's destructive I'm telling you. I'm unhappy.

To me writing is a way to vent out emotions and opinions. Whenever I transfer something from my brain to paper, I feel more relaxed. Not sure if you know this, but the mind of an introvert is horribly full. I use writing to organize and streamline ideas and thoughts. And quite embarrassed to say, I seldom share my deepest thoughts verbally, even with good friends and family. What I do is write. I write them all out. I'd written so many pieces that I could never share publicly. They're extremely private content and I'll be dead meat if somebody ever reads them. In the few months without writing, my head is so full I'm going nuts. Imagine a person with constipation, for months. The level of discomfort and disgust is comparable to that.

Fortunately time is not wasted. I start to see what makes me happy and unhappy. I'm reshuffling my to-do list and move writing to a higher spot.

I took a while to understand and realize some super basic concepts - which is ridiculous but I'm an idiot who could only learn from mistakes.

1) Prioritizing doesn't mean totally giving up this for that, it means managing your time efficiently so that you can handle the most important things first and then complete the other things that you wish to do. I got this simple message by observing a few women and mothers who manage their time like a boss. The only way to have time to do what you want, is to find time for it.

2) Sacrifice can be over-rated and detrimental. Don't lose yourself completely in pursuit of other things. And if you stop doing what you really love, you're not going to be happy. An unhappy person is unattractive and unproductive. Taking the women that I observed as example, I think those who manage to keep their passion and interest while handling career and family, seem happier and prettier. Don't lose yourself.

My dear, that someday will never come if you don't move your butt. The bottom of the to-do list can never be checked if you don't squeeze time to do it.

Someday is today.

If you're already aware of these and practicing, I congratulate you. You're brilliant. Oh I sound as if I'm enlightened and in an ultra-zen mode. Of course I'm not! The fact is I am a timid, stubborn and pessimistic person. But I'm starting - at least today I am writing a short piece like this on a Sunday afternoon. I hope the momentum will last.

Thousands of photographs are sitting in my hard drive, untouched. I think they deserve to be seen. Here are some photos of my trip to Melaka in June. We spent a wonderful weekend there. I also did a short video of the homestay we stayed, the Riverside Lodge.

The Chee Mansion, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Melaka.
Built by the first chairman of OCBC as a dedication to his father.
You can guess a person's taste from his dwelling.
Calligraphy and agarwood at 沂水閣沉香书艺廊 YSG Excellence Sdn Bhd.
Sunset at the ever-so-crowded Jonker Street night market.
Villa Sentosa at Kampung Morten. It's a living Malay house museum.
The Coffee Jar. The best thing about Melaka is having my friend Qiu Ying as our guide. She knows the Malaccan history, local legends, and cool friends who run adorable coffee shops like this.
With the girls in front of The Coffee Jar.
It's a debate of the century - which is the best cendol in Melaka? To me the best is the one by Bibik House.
A beautiful frame and a beautiful house.
We waited for nearly an hour for a table at the Daily Fix Cafe.
I was very skeptical at first but... their food was unbelievably amazing. 
Wai Shan, who insisted on sitting and waiting for our table at the Daily Fix cafe. She was right.
Wai Shan

Hey, thanks for reading till the end. I hope I'll continue to have the courage and strength to write, take photos, and share it with you because honestly, sharing your essay publicly can be damn intimidating. Somebody might be judging my grammar or photography skill now... but whatever. 

Hope you have a good week!

Someday is today, baby. I'm back. 

Sunway Presents 2 Amazing Hotels for The Best Weekend Getaway in Ipoh!

Hi, weekenders! Weekend is coming right in front of us. Are you ready to have a nice break at this weekend? If you do ready, the illustrious Ipoh is waiting for you!

Right up until now, Ipoh is still being a primadonna of the weekend getaway for the domestic tourists. Most people came here to savor the succulent cuisines, heritage sceneries, and the fun recreations before they experience the main trip in Kuala Lumpur or Penang.

Now, it is time for you to really enjoy Ipoh. Stop treating Ipoh only as a checkpoint on the weekend because Ipoh is actually treasuring wealthy of great attractions. Moreover, there are 2 Sunway Hotels in this city that ready to welcome you to experience the best weekend in Ipoh.

Sunway Lost World Hotel Ipoh
Persiaran Lagoon Sunway 1 no. 2
The benchmark of Sunway Hotel is to offer the efficiency, variety, yet promising service quality accommodations. These core values are conceived perfectly by the Sunway Lost World Hotel Ipoh.

The efficiency and variety value displayed as the hotel built within the integrated resort adjoining the recreation park and spa. It makes the guest can cater various needs on the site one at the time. This amazing Sunway Hotel takes the guest can have a perfect weekend lazing in on the great rooms and then experience fantastic entertainment with friends or family on the Sunway Lost World Tambun Theme Park, Water Park, Adventure Park, Amusement Park, and the Zoo. You can also enjoy the good retreat on the dedicated spa house.

Promising service quality can be felt inside the property. The 3-star Sunway Hotel is presenting 174 modern guestrooms that scattered amidst the lush hills. Modern amenities are embedded on each room, such as the AC, TV, writing desk, electric safe, electric kettle, Wi-Fi, sofa bed, and marble bathroom - to ensure your convenience. There is a wide window on the room showing a stunning view of the residential area or the theme park.

The full-service hotel also offers great facilities inside the resort, adjoining to the theme park. Those are including the wide selection dining outlets, and the hot springs and spa. The Hot springs and spa are best enjoyed at night. There are infinity pool, glowing rainforest pool for kids, crystal pool and spa, steam cave, the geyser of Tambun, foot spa, and jacuzzi there.

The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat
Persiaran Lagun Sunway 3 no. 1
This Sunway Hotel is amazingly presenting the total retreat for your weekend. Escaping to this hotel will make you come back home healthy and fresh, both the body and mind. The 5-star Ipoh hotel stranded on a 16.19-acre valley, covered by a majestic natural wonder of Paleozoic limestone hills, rainforest, natural caves, waterfalls, and geothermal. The hotel offers a place to rest complemented with natural therapeutic features.

There are 25 unit private villas here, array in 2 types covering the Garden Villa and the Water Villa. The Garden Villa is attached to a private garden, while the Water Villa is like floating above the expansive beautiful lake. Each villa provides total serenity amidst nature with the highest privacy featuring a private patio, swimming pool, hot spring jacuzzi, outdoor bathroom, and veranda/seating area.

A unique feature of this amazing hotel highlights the natural healing therapy. There is an ample geothermal hot springs jacuzzi set amidst the greenery of Ipoh where you can relieve the muscles and joints tension. The natural sauna is available inside the natural steam cave with geothermal hot spring pool, which is good for detoxification. On the other side, there is also a natural ice bath pool for blood health and the fish spa pool for skin rejuvenation. This hotel indeed presents ultra-holistic retreat through the complete spa treatment and wellness program.

In line with the concept, the best Sunway Hotel offers 2 dining outlets serving the super fresh and healthy menu using fresh local products. The Pomelo is the signature with enchanting indoor and outdoor dining area. On the other side, Jeff Cellar is a unique wine bar set inside the limestone cave. 

Such a perfect agenda for your weekend right?

Riverside Lodge 河边小住


During our recent trip to Malacca, we spent most of time gathering with friends and chilling at the Riverside Lodge. We read, sketched, talked and watched movie. We did the subtle things that we usually wouldn't do in our hectic schedule.

I think my view on travelling has changed over the years, from a hustling tourist to now, a more patient and observant traveler. 

When my pace slows down, I can observe and experience more than I could.
When my mind slows down, I feel freedom and peace.
When my pace and mind slow down, traveling has become a natural and instinctive part of life.

And in that way, to travel is to live, to live is to travel.

日常 | 河边小住

上个月去了马六甲,这次的行程主要是和朋友聚聚,和留在河边小住里休息。 我们在那里阅读,画画,聊天,看电影,做一些梦幻细致,平时忙碌的生活里很少有机会做的东西。




After eating the famous duck noodle right in front of the houses, we strolled along Malacca river. 

Making videos is definitely more challenging than I thought. Not only we have to think about the flow, the ambience, movement and angle... to me the most difficult part is definitely the editing. I remember a friend used to tell me that editing a video is a process similar to cooking, you have to make sure everything harmonizes and has a rhythm, a life. I'm still learning to catch and feel that rhythm.

I've been to Malacca countless times and usually I'd stay at Jonker Street. Of course it is fun and vibrant there, but also crowded and busy. This time, we had fun at the crowded tourist area, and then came back at night to the quiet neighbourhood, drank wine and watched a good movie. Isn't this awesome?! This has been a wonderful experience, both staying here in Riverside Lodge and making the video. I'll see you again. Have a good day!

Be Audacious, Be Bold

Evetopia x Audacious Wear

My sister Wai Shan and I teamed up to do a photoshoot for her friend, Jolynn's new boutique - Audacious Wear. Yay this is the first time the #yongdubu team is out rocking together professionally, ahem. 

I was really surprised when Wai Shan was asked to be the model for their clothing. Okay in some ways I wasn't surprised at all. My sister is known among her peers for her beauty, though we're in denial because we see her slacking around the house everyday in her sloppiest look. It's pretty unbelievable to see her this gorgeous when I was filtering the photos. Is this my sister who makes weird noise and sings weird lyrics? There's hardly any angle that she looks ugly in. I mean, mum and dad, how come I didn't get those genes......? 

Talking about the brand - Audacious Wear, their founder, Jolynn is only 20 years old, she used to work in a famous boutique, gained some experience and now decided to start her own business. 

20 years old, doing her degree while also starting her own business - what am I doing with my life?

Evetopia x Audacious Wear

We took all the photos in Empire Damansara. If you've been there you'd know that it's more like an open space with beautiful-looking shops and cafes, which is awesome for a photoshoot but not so awesome because of the heat. The sun was glaring and the weather was too hot, we barely had time to even discuss about the style and also, handle the curios gaze of the onlookers. 

Wai Shan is obviously tall and pretty, Jolynn looks like a cool Korean girl with her bright-coloured hair. Wai Shan can put on any outfit and look divine, Jolynn has a great figure and posture. When the two gorgeous girls were standing side by side twirling their dresses around, you can imagine the amount of attention we attracted from the onlookers... 

Nevertheless we completed the project. They did a fantastic job and I couldn't be more proud of the outcome. There're so many good shots! Here are some of my favourite looks. 

Evetopia x Audacious Wear
Evetopia x Audacious Wear
That collar-bone.
Evetopia x Audacious Wear
Love the elegance of this dress.
Evetopia x Audacious Wear
Evetopia x Audacious Wear
Jolynn's mum styled her hair.
Evetopia x Audacious Wear
Evetopia x Audacious Wear
Evetopia x Audacious Wear
Evetopia x Audacious Wear
Evetopia x Audacious Wear
Evetopia x Audacious Wear
Evetopia x Audacious Wear

Evetopia x Audacious Wear

I like that all her pieces are unique and look effortlessly cool. Obviously and clearly, she knows what she's doing. 20 years old, doing her degree while also starting her own business - this is quite inspiring.

Just a note to you and myself: 

If you've always wanted to do something, just start, whatever small step it is, the next step can only begin when you have taken the first. Be audacious, be bold. Good luck.

Puzzle Pieces

I chose photos from some of my favourite moments, made a collage and turned it into a puzzle. Each photo means a lot to me. There's one photo of me and my sister, which represents my childhood and the old me. The other five photos were all taken last year in 2015. 

2015 was the most amazing year I ever had. Maybe it's because I grew up, or maybe it's because I finally made up my mind to adjust my surrounding and social circle.

I've somehow changed, both physically and mentally. 

Last year,
I met people from all walks of life, talked to them and listened to their amazing stories. 
I could finally look into a stranger's eyes and chat comfortably. 
I found a travel style that suits my current lifestyle.
I unexpectedly and gratefully, managed to graduate my Master's degree, and I decided to continue in the world of research and science.
I realized that I could forget the critics and continue to do what I believe.
I could finally embrace my slightly crooked tooth and laugh in photographs. 

Interviewing Shane and Shane. I used to be so afraid of talking to strangers, fearing that I might sound stupid.

Picnic in Melaka. Qiu Ying's invited me to join them in publishing magazines. This, my dear, in a thousand ways, had boosted my confidence in writing, and subsequently, my confidence in doing so many other things.

Muzium Telekom. I'm finally, able to appreciate my curiosity and wonders. And I found people who shared them with me. To be understood - that's probably one of the biggest blessings.

Collage for the puzzle made through Printcious 

I mapped some of my favourite moments into a puzzle - because life is a puzzle, cheh. My sister and I sure had fun putting the pieces together. 2015 had been the best year in my life. That's mostly because, I decided to have a change. I was so madly stuck at a bottleneck and needed to get over it. Though uneasy and unhappy at first, the restructuring and rebuilding processes were necessary. When I looked back at the year, there's not even one moment that I'm not grateful for.I wrote more about it on the blog: http://www.evetopia.com/2016/03/puzzle-pieces.html
Posted by Eve Wai Kuan on Sunday, March 13, 2016

I didn't step out of my comfort zone, I expanded it.
I can now feel more comfortable in different situation. 
I'm less anxious, less scared and less worried.
I look for perfection less. I embrace the present more. 

Let's continue to learn and grow. Let's see what happens in 2016. Good luck!

路上觀察學 The Art of Street Observation

 文:伟杰,译:Eve    Author: Teo Wei Jie, Translator: Eve

I live in the vast world of photography. Ahead of me are the masters who had almost achieved perfection. Trailing behind me are the infinite advancement of hardwares and technology. Those who once were my peers have far exceeded me. As if I'm the only one who's still standing here.

An image of children playing happily, captured while I was walking at the playground in my neighborhood.

The journey began from understanding the principle of photography, machinery and techniques. Then slowly, countless discoveries and confusions along the way lead me to finding my own camera, method and style. My Facebook feed is always filled with contents like my students’ never-ending multi-angle selfies (in fact they are not bad-looking, haha), people in groups sharing their collective happiness, or the lone wolves talking about the joy and loneliness of their bachelor lives… then there’s me who insensitively like to moan and groan in the caption of the photographs. 

Sometimes a mistake can turn out to be a pleasant surprise. The shutter speed was accidentally off-track when I took this photo, dragging the shadows long and blurry. It has created another story.

好像聊得太遠了。從手握單眼相機至今,嘗試過不同類型的攝影,到最後確定了街拍是我的歸屬,不為什麼,只因為我喜歡隨性散步。天氣好或心底的那個小孩對世界蠢蠢欲動時 ,我就會捉起相機到處去散步。走過車水馬龍的道路、不起眼的小巷、充斥詭異氣氛的荒廢屋子、人來人往的車站、攀爬樓梯眺望遠方的建築物……任何可以用腳走到的地方,都是我願意邁開腳步的區域。
I think I digressed. Ever since I laid my hands on a DSLR, I tried different types of photography until I've discovered that street photography is where I belong. Nothing special about it except that I like to casually walk around. When the weather is good or when my inner child wants to play, I'll grab my camera and take a walk. I walk past busy roads, unknown backlanes, creepy houses, busy station, sometimes I'll climb up the stairs to look at buildings. Any area that I can reach by foot is the place that I want to explore.

散步途中所感覺到的情緒、碰見的人物、撩撥我心靈的風景,都透過快門的閉合讓光影鑲在我的記憶里。談不上對攝影器材的專研、技術的運用,我只記得這幾句話:“相機總是隨身”、“別管這麼多、拍吧”、“記得要觀察”。我的Fujifilm X100T和一台菲林相機總是放在我的背包裡,任何走動的時刻,只要發現捉住我眼光的東西,就趕快掏出來咔擦了。
All my emotions, the people I met, scenery that touched my heart, were all kept in my memory through my camera shutter. To me, photography is not really about using high-end gadgets and techniques, it's about a few quotes that I always keep in mind, “always bring your camera along”, “don’t care, just shoot”,  and “remember to observe”. My Fujifilm X100T and my film camera are always in my backpack. Every time I discover something that catches my attention, I'll grab them out and shoot.

Bare feet on the train in Yangon, Myanmar. Take this as a clue and start guessing the story of this person.

I give up on the romantic landscape photography, and I'm afraid of model’s portraits, because I simply do not have the skill. In the beginning of my photography journey, I was very concerned about aperture, shutter speed and other technical aspects. I’d also worry about how to capture the soul and essence of a photo - the lighting. But on a second thought, I don’t intend to become a master. I don’t take photos to be a master. I take photos simply because I love it. So I start to stop worrying and just shoot!

A sofa placed outside the building. If you don’t step outside, you probably wouldn't notice that the simplest furnishing could be modern minimalistic.

I think because I write and I shoot, I do pay attention to the little details hidden along the way. The details may be a person’s facial expression or posture, or geometric lines hidden in the buildings. From the little details I expand the view to a photograph, I can then see even more interesting things. More often than not, I discover traces of cats and I follow them closely. Gently I approach them until they let their guard down, and carefully I try to capture their charm.

A cat wandering in Jalan Chow Kit.
In terms of lighting maybe this is far from perfect,
but the feeling was right, it's my personal favourite.

Street photography is an interesting activity. There's this Japanese Street Observation Art that really excites me - in the midst of hustles and bustles, we put aside the electronics that keep distracting us, and start to observe every corner of the world. What's the name of the tree near my house, what are the differences between the drain covers on the road, how many cats in my residence, what time does the beggar usually appear on the corridor…? Street photography encourages me to step outside. Taking a walk opens my camera frames. So, forget the rules, bring your camera and take a walk outside. Have you ever noticed, in this world that you are living and breathing, what makes it what it is?

Eve: This is a guest post by Wei Jie. His images tell a thousand words. Thanks for sharing!