Maldives

(1) I understand why Maldives is/was dubbed a honeymooner’s paradise. It is where you go to do absolutely nothing but enjoy the company you are with.

But I think it is an even better destination for families, because anyone who has been on a family holiday for 4 people or more would understand the logistical nightmare of coordinating everyone’s needs and interests. That’s why I would prefer being stuck on a beautiful private island together and leaving everyone to their own devices, regrouping at mealtimes. Nobody would have anything to complain about then.

I’d also met two singles who went by themselves. If you’re looking to fall off the grid for a couple days, I’d absolutely recommend it. Yes it is blissful and rejuvenating, but more than that is a chance to channel all your thoughts and energy to whatever you want, without distraction.


(2) It is as beautiful as the pictures advertise and more. Every time I wake to the view from my patio (where I am able to jump directly into the ocean), or when I step outside my villa to walk barefoot to yoga on the sandbank, or when I see baby stingrays/sharks swimming up to me at breakfast; I get the same sense of awe as the very first time. I don’t think it is possible to capture this magic in pictures actually.

Then I ask myself, can this experience be replicated anywhere else at a cheaper price tag and closer to home? After all, it is just sun sand sea. Surely we can find this elsewhere? But I guess not. For now anyway.


(3) The air smells slightly salty from the seawater. The pure remoteness is exhilarating. You will never be found here, if you didn’t want to be. There are less than 100 people on the island at all times. You’re outnumbered by fish!

It’d be more exciting if you’re a strong swimmer/diver, but I’m not and that’s okay. I still snorkeled everyday, and kayaked and swam.

Under the sea, I realize how much I don’t like corals. Our villa was 100m from the reef break, where the drop in the ocean is. The corals I saw scare me. I was sure I would get nightmares of corals on those nights, luckily I did not.


(4) Despite being an avoider of the sun, I surprisingly didn’t even try to stay indoors. I couldn’t peel myself away from the crystal clear water, as the sun warmed my skin while I leisurely read.


(5) Given the chance, would you give up everything and move here to work? As a front desk manager, or a dive instructor, as a bartender…? You would have paradise at your fingertips, and would you be happy? Island life may not be for everyone.

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Bollywood Veggies @ 100 New Tiew Rd

Ivy Singh, founder of Bollywood Veggies, is a firecracker. She’s loud and unapologetic. When we walked in to Poison Ivy Bistro she started talking to us like we were best friends, I actually believed that my mom and her knew each other. And in the middle of lunch she suddenly raised a glass to the entire bistro to make a toast, and offered whiskey to everyone, on the house. Apparently she carries a knife in her pocket at all times, so she’s really not someone to mess with. She’s no mafia’s wife, she is the mafia. Her husband is an accountant.

Everything at the bistro is cooked with NO MSG, low salt, and in the healthiest way.  It’s also very affordable; budget about $10 per head and still get change in return.

The veggies at Poison Ivy Bistro are homegrown organically, cooked and served. I think that if you were to visit, get all vegetable dishes, don’t bother with the meats like chicken/ fish. Because that’s not where their strength lies.

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A MUST order is the moringa tempura, which are moringa tree leaves fried as tempura. It’s an addictive snack, like French fries or potato chips but a healthy version. Every table had at least one of this, and when I asked a waiter about it he described it as “DAMN GOOD”. Fact: it has even more calcium than 4 glasses of milk.

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I ordered sweet potato leaves stir-fried with garlic and it’s so good. The warrior’s chicken curry is forgettable. And the other interesting dish I ordered was the otah omelette. I wish I ordered: Jackfruit lemak, banana curry. The water they serve is also collected and treated on the farm itself.

The fun part actually took place after the meal when we took a walk around the farm to see the different plants and growth. How do you make a farm interesting? Put up lots of funny witty signboards, and props that call for Kodak moments.

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Even the toilets in the farm are eco toilets. And there’s a ‘sanctuary’ too where nudity is allowed. We believe that Ivy actually walks around naked in there.

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Please note that the location of the farm is HIGHLY inaccessible and driving is strongly recommended. You can plan a whole day excursion during your visit to the Kranji area, as the goat’s farm and Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve are located very close-by.

BYE!

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Where Stephy met 屎伯 (Taiwan)

So recently during Qing Ming Festival, I visited Kinmen in Taiwan to pay respects to my ancestors and to see where my grandfather came from. That’s the proper way to put it, in honesty it was just a food and drink trip because there was not much else to do and the trip was way too long. Damn, had so much of their kaoliang liquor. It’s 58% of alcohol, no joke. Here’s the documentation in photography:-

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If you’re wondering who 屎伯 is, he’s someone I met in Taiwan! 屎伯 means Uncle Shit. There’s shit on his head and hanging out from his ass.

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Birthday Wishlist

My birthday is around the corner! As with every year, I’m still going to say that I don’t need any presents because I have everything I need in my life. This “wishlist” is just a compilation of various things I’ve been thinking about lately. For my most stubborn of friends, you might find this helpful.

Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Majella (S$37 at Tangs Orchard)
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Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro in #400 ($$50 at DFS at Scotts Road)
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A bottle of champagne, or whiskey, of your choosing (S$80 at any Cold Storage or NTUC Fairprice)
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Happy Plant by Green Inn Organic Plant – an organic idiot proof plant for me to shower with attention (S$15 to $18 at Far East Plaza atrium. The fair has been ongoing for the past week but I don’t know when it will end.)

A really fancy bottle opener – I take great pride in my home bar, and appreciate any additions that will make it more interesting
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Poker chips set (S$50-100 at Poker Maniac, located in Bugis+ #05-12) – I don’t own any poker chips and it has been quite troublesome having to use chocolates or crackers as substitutes during card games. That said, I don’t need a fancy poker chip set, just normal ones in casino style (not mahjong style).
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Drinking games/ props – I love entertaining friends at home, and games always help to break the ice. I’ve heard of circle of life card games, or this spin the shot arrow, or The Great Penguin Bookcase (board game that you can find at Tangs for S$60)
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A Pilates class – I need to be forced to do some exercise. Maybe a trial lesson at Croyez? Or a 4-week pilates trial you found off Groupon for S$20?
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That said, I really must insist that you do not spend too much money, especially if you are partying with me on my birthday. We all know it’ll be an expensive night. Tata and happy birthday to me!

Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day this year was quiet and quaint. GT surprised me at my place at 7 in the morning and we went our separate ways for school stuff in the afternoon, but reconverged for dinner when he surprised me again with a bouquet of flowers before an entire audience at a bus stop (aww..), and we wined and dined.

Here’s me outside IN ITALY (the restaurant we dined at) with the flowers, and another one of the two of us along Keong Saik Road.

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After bringing the flowers back I gave them a new home. I was trying my best to keep them alive but my fingers aren’t that green after all, no surprise. So I told GT we should get a plant together! It’s a lot more meaningful because we can grow it and keep it. And it’s a lot more rewarding to watch it bear fruit than watching roses die. So we are going to make a trip down to Bollywood Veggies and find ourselves an organic plan

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CNY Day 3

I had a CNY party at home the other day, and invited a few friends over. Since I was already home anyway, I decided to go big and dress up. Cheongsams are too mainstream, so I had to wear a red kebaya. Cheesy picture below.

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CNY Day 2: Lucking Out

Second day of the CNY holiday was a bit more eventful. After drinking with friends the previous night, it sucked to have to wake up early. But lunch at Hua Ting was good. My fortune cookie advised me to buy 2424 for 4D. I’ll just check the results tomorrow and decide how I want to feel about this.

On second thought though, my luck today wasn’t too bad. I went to the casino at Marina Bay Sands for a New Year’s gamble, and walked out with a net gain of $12.50 and a big smile plastered on my face. Gambling for Singaporeans in Singapore is really stressful (especially for poor students like me). The $100 entry levy really does it job because it is a huge and expensive deterring factor. The minimum bid for blackjack is $25 (wtf?) and there were only two of such tables. I bought in at $100 which would give me only 4 hands (or 4 minutes) in the worst case scenario.

To make a commitment to gamble, I had to be very sure I was going to win back at least $200, or lose at least $200. The latter is a scary thought. I was very close to that and it was very very depressing. That’s why I packed up and left once I had $212.50 worth of chips on hand. I love the thrill and all, but I suspect my wallet does not feel the same way.

Later on in the night we popped a bottle of champagne and ooh la la. It’s a wrap!

Below is what I wore today. I scored this Moschino Cheap & Chic dress at a major discount, one of my best bargains ever!

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