Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Signs of Winter

It snowed once already in Surrey a few weeks ago. I woke up and everything outside was covered up by a thin layer of snow. Very thin though.

It didn't last long. When I wanted to actually go out and take pictures I realised it has started to melt and I thought it wasn't worth a shot.

Plus, it's not like I've never seen snow before so I tried to act as if I'm not very excited. lol.

My phone is also very festive now :D cute right i know. and I also know I shouldn't be awake at that time lol. 

Anyway, if you can see the weather forecast on the top left corner.. there were light  freezing fog the night before Surrey turned into some white wonderland.

and then when I woke up the next day, first thing I saw outside my window was..

Sunday afternoon

This was a month ago, on a perfect Sunday morning when me and Ika decided to have our 'tai-tai' shopping and afternoon tea session again.

Went to Woking, a nearby town which is just a stone throw away from Guildford. Apparently, there are larger shopping malls there. And we even discovered a five-storey Toys 'R' us! Lucky kids.

Was planning to shop some nice apparels at Dorothy Perkins (coz there isn't any in Guildford) but guess what, they closed down the branch already. hmmmm.

So we went for food at Muffin Break. 

Back in Penang, our so-called 'Sunday tea time' are always filled with trendy desserts like Hui Lau Shan, Tong Pak Fu, MooCow, Meet Fresh, Chatime etc. Oh or better still, our authentic Penang hawker food. *Sniffs* Man, you don't even want me to start listing down.

 Ika happily looking at her tickets to Warwick the following week to meet *coughs* her man. lol. and we did not take the cab haha.

Here in England however, people tend to have a thing for coffee and cakes. There are so many nice coffee house everywhere. Be it those large coffeehouse chains or some unique ones.. People can just order a cup and sit there for the whole afternoon.

They chillax like that.

And then I wondered why such 'sophisticated' & somehow romantic coffee culture can never flourish in Malaysia? You know, the culture of sitting outside of the shop, reading a good book, sipping a cup of mocha...you get what i mean.

We do have nice coffee houses but it's not THAT popular right. Do you know the reason?

Simple. Just think about it: Would you prefer a bowl of Ais Kacang (shaved ice with syrup) or a cup of hot chocolate under the scorching sun and weather in Malaysia?

Ah. Despite enjoying the so-called luxurious tea session here very much,  I miss going to some old Kopitiam and order my RM1.20 Kopi Peng.

Me and my 2.30 pounds Cappuccino 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Dinner at La Casita

Quick post on an authentic Spanish dinner I had recently.

It was just another mediocre Tuesday.. but these days are the best kind of days to have. Especially after the marathon of tests, assignments, presentation and coursework which has (for the moment) come to an end.

Only one tutorial for the whole day and then you are free to spend the rest of the afternoon like a boss. What's more it's my favourite class of the week!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Short update/ Teaser

Terribly sorry for the lack of updates again, people :/
and this will be just a short update..promise to blog properly soon.

I had been quite busy for the last two weeks. There were module tests and courseworks to be handed in, and I am starting to get the real taste of the university life. Nevertheless, thank goodness deadlines were all met.

Temperature plummeted again.  Once around 3 in the morning (when I was still up and not sleeping), it was a friggin 0℃ outside! Was a little excited to be honest even though i sound like a jakun.. I really thought that it might snow in the next minute (lol) because friends in the North (durham, newcastle, york) and even bath had already experience their first snow! And mind this, it's just Autumn.

But I kind of like the cold weather, as long as the wind doesn't blow against me. And I believe that there's somehow a positive relationship between a person's mentality and his/her ability to withstand the coldness. Somehow, even though not proven.

Walking home from library alone in the cold during midnight, wearing thin layers of sport attire for outdoor training when it's so chilly...

Everything would be fine when you brave yourself and stay strong.
Guess I am adapting well?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Soupy dinner

Weather had been bad these few days. I guess Autumn's starting to show its dark side where you just have to temporarily scrape off your perfect impression of this romantic season.

Today especially.

The sky was covered by ominous-looking thunderclouds throughout the day. I had no choice but to walk in the rain (under my umbrella of course; even though it didn't really help much) to-and-fro twice from my house to the school building.

The crisp air when the wind blew, so cold that it seared through my chest as I breathed deeply. I just didn't feel like going out anymore but snuggle under the comfy duvet and call it a day.

清汤牛肉丸面线;  bak wuan meesua t'ng ; Rice noodles soup with meatballs

(honestly I don't know how to name it but as long as you get it..)

My first time cooking soupy meals ^^ and hot soup's really great for this especially cold fall!

Unfortunately, it wasn't boiled long enough (because I was impatient and hungry already heh) so the soup base could have been better.  In spite of that I still finished everything happily (not even one drop left) so I guess I passed my own test haha. Way way way beyond the word 'edible', really. 

Let's see if I can find cheap Chinese herbs here so that next time I can try to bo leng tong/cook herbal soup.

Till then!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

U know there're still 8 months to go

I woke up this morning and the first thing that came into my mind was "it's been a month!" (that was just a blatant lie so as to make things sound dramatic)

Truth was I woke up so late this morning the first thing I did was jumping out of my bed like a ninja *hiya!*

Well, I thought I was late for lecture ;P

So it has been a month since I came to Surrey, and I still find it quite hard to believe that this is my life right now. I know it's really annoying to say something cliche in a blog post, but cliche things like 'time truly flies' really, really, really deserve to be mentioned at this point.


Anyway, Japanese language class just started and I was so excited about it.

You might wonder why did I choose to learn Japanese in a Western country? Shouldn't I take the opportunity to learn things like French, Italian, Spanish or Russian?

I wanted to, actually.

But then this free language class doesn't just come like that. After all there's no free lunch in this world isn't it? (sometimes there could be haha) Anyway, the reason is because there are going to be exams set for the languages taken and the results will be printed on my end-of-year transcript together with my other grades.

So basically if I fail, they will really record it down to embarrass people even if you don't want to show.

That's why I don't dare to take French etc.
I  attended free French classes last time in KTJ too but I definitely had a hard time trying to pronounce the words and memorise the numbers. It's just difficult for Asian I think? Or maybe just me.

I guess people tend to perform better at things that interest them more.

Here in UK, I am still trying very hard to follow the Tokyo A/W fashion and I am always trying to cook Japanese meals. Plus my heart always melt whenever the character in the movies/anime speaks Japanese in a nostalgic tone. It's just beautiful.

Since I love Japan and everything related to Japanese, and since I know mandarin so there should be at least some advantage in learning Japanese, so why not right? ;)

Cheese baked Beef rice with Vegetables.

╰( ̄▽ ̄)╭   World's happiest meal haha

This kind of 'rojak' dish would always appear once every week. Why?
Simply because I have to get rid of everything left in the fridge asap so that I can go for another grocery shopping.

Oh one thing I realised. I have been eating more carrots since I came UK. I don't really enjoy eating carrots to be honest. But for the sake of making my eyes pretty...heh

 Deep down in my heart, I never thought that carrots are delicious at all though. I don't understand why rabbits and hamsters love them so much.

So I decided to try and sprinkle some cheddar cheese over the vege (inspired by KTJ dining hall's menu last time hahaha) and bake them together with my beef & rice.

For a moment, the world suddenly becomes so..... heavenly.
*opens eyes widely*

I will probably use this technique in the future to force  encourage my kids to eat more veges ;)

Till then, I have to study for tomorrow's lab tutorial.
(Because my TA is a cute Italian phd student \(≧▽≦)/ hehehehhe )

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Why I haven't been blogging?

I give you my top 3 excuses.

1) I have discovered a new hobby.

Yeah. I just realised that I have some passion too in cooking after coming to UK. Since the accommodation type in University of Surrey is self-catered, I share a kitchen with another 4 housemates (who don't really cook much). So basically it's like I own the kitchen! *evil laughs*

So far I have been eating my own home-cooked food everyday, and I had only had meals outside in Guildford town ONCE and the other times were during the weekend when I stayed over in London.
I'm quite amazed by myself to be honest, to actually cook everyday and more importantly, wash my used pots and crockery so many times a day.

But then I remembered when I was a little girl, my favourite toys were things like.....
the typical 'masak-masak' kitchen set, food toys which I loved to death, Play Dough set of different versions: sushi, dimsum, noodle stall, food plaza etc. 

Ouuuuu. No wonder.
So actually I have been imagining myself as a good cook since young.
which I might be!

I am always experimenting different recipes and I actually join the Surrey's culinary society!

Most memorable and epic meal. Because it's the first of every other meals cooked in UK! :')

And then I attempted my first own version of Chinese fried rice! Note that there are no stupid frozen green peas and carrots! coz I hate those very very much >:P

I added boiled corns though. But I totally forgot to add shrimps. Aiya.
Nevertheless it was good. My fried rice is getting better and better now so I guess I can enter some rice frying tournament soon LOL.

Saw Tesco selling Salmon at reasonable price (or rather cheap! if being compared to m'sia ) so I decided to make myself Japanese style dinner. Bought Kikkoman's Teriyaki sauce to marinade the Salmon before pan frying + baking. Awesome meal.

Also made pizza! Even the pizza base is homemade. My senior taught me how to make bread so everything here is from scratch I swear!
 I know I should have added more vege :P ah well, my cheesy meaty pizza.

but most of the time I would be stir-frying because I don't need to think when I'm hungry. Just throw anything available in my fridge into the wok and then add soy sauce. Stir stir fry fry...Teppanyaki style FTW! am also getting more pro day by day. Heh.

Sorry ah these photos are a bit unglamorous because firstly, they are all the first attempts.. (which I think is worth remembering though) Secondly, I didn't use my G12 to shoot these and there's no editing & no angle..so yeah.

but see the below:

Beef Bolognese pasta. NOT BAD right I KNOW THANK YOU. haha

you know why? because I used G12 to shoot this. Praise the magic of photography.

of course it tasted good too lah, duh ;)

2) I was being academically kiasu. 

I must be kidding. It's just the first month and I am already... studying. -.-

Despite the fact that I myself couldn't really 'tahan' this so-not-grace kind of behaviour, it is the sad fact unfortunately. hah! Even though the syllabus seems pretty easy for the first semester(and probably throughout my first year), I am constantly reminding myself to not be complacent at anytime.

What to do,  I've learned my lesson the hard way. There were so many if-onlys and regrets that I would probably drown myself in life's deep ocean next time if I still don't learn how to swim properly. I don't wish to repeat any of my mistakes ever again so I have been striving really hard to change and improve my own self.

Whenever I am standing at the Economics section, browsing through the racks in search of my reference books, I would feel invincible, utterly alone yet genuinely happy. I could even spend hours there alone surrounded by books and silence only. I don't wish for any particular person to be there with me, nor do I feel the need to include anyone in that moment. It's my own time and space. There's no rush and everything is being pleasantly unhurried.

well, one of the reason is also because I love walking to the dark areas of the library purposely just to play with the automatic lights.. That awesome moment when the lights were suddenly on when you entered the walkway. Heh.

It feels like harry potter or something.. like magic  *snaps*

Left: 4 modules for this Autumn semester: Quantitative Methods, Introductory Economics, Economic Data Analysis, Contemporary issues in Economics.

Right: Borrowed textbooks. Such a Chinese I actually 'sapu' the highly demanded books back since the first week and plan on renewing all the way. LOL. I will buy my own books eventually when I can get a good price. It's so frustrating lo sometimes as I can't highlight or scribble on the books :/


( ´ ▽ ` )

3) I was busy exploring.

Of course, I can't possibly nerd all day long right. That would be so sad.

The thing is I don't really enjoy drinking or partying so most of the time I would spend my time and money on shopping trips to the town or even worst, London. (because taking a train to London from Guildford only takes around 35 minutes!! just like from KTJ to MidValley last time)

Photos here are all from my Samsung Galaxy S3.
Please bear with me but from now onwards I will always remember to bring my G12 out so that I can post higher quality ones. Phone camera will never be better than a real camera.

Our very own lovely little town in Surrey, Guildford! :) Just 10 minutes walk from campus. (Yes I walk everywhere in Surrey because I wanna save bus fares for more shopping haha. Plus, it's healthier)

 There's a high street here too which is enough for me to shop even if I don't go up to London.

which reminds me of the Friary Centre's Student Shopping Night event next week. 
Oh no. I need to plan my budget!

Of one month in UK, my 2 weekends were spent in London. Heh. 
and gosh, why am I so proud of it? 

this means I'll have to allocate a certain amount of money for London shopping every month. OH GRACE GRACE CONTROL YOURSELF. 

 Oxford street and Trafalgar Square.
 M&M world in Leicester Square.
South Kesington and Hyde park.

I will upload more of these kind in my future posts don't worry. These are just teasers. heh.

____________________________________________________ :)

There are more excuses I can provide but all in all, I was just bullshitting coz the real reason behind is: I had been procrastinating, again.

Fret not, I am here to revive this poor little bloggie. Yay.

Shall be updating about my life pretty often from now on so, stay tuned people!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Fast Food in HK

Talk about speed and efficiency- Fast food has always been the easiest and fastest way(literally) to appease my random hunger pangs.

Now when we say fast food, I'm sure things like burgers, fries, pizzas and soft drinks would appear on your mind stereotypically.

But Hong Kong kind of gave me a whole new definition of fast food.

Value set with cold drinks.

Yes, Hong Kong style fast food it is.
It may look kind of simple and disappointing.. But trust me, (or at least my sophisticated taste buds) the taste wasn't bad at all!

French toast covered with extra sugar and condensed milk.
(ouuu. guilty pleasures)

 碗仔翅 'wun zai qi' or shark's fin soup (without shark's fin)

le bowl of awesomeness. *slurps*

FYI, There are three main fast food chains in HK, namely:
Cafe de Coral 大家乐
Fairwood 大快活
Maxim's MX 美心

and the one I dined in was called Fairwood. (notably with orange interior)

Though this type of fast food had been there for many years, I'm still impressed with the creativity to integrate daily hk delicacies into fast food.

And then of course, there's Mc Donald's where I couldn't resist myself from buying something even when I'm not that hungry.

because they have the cutest chicken nugget box ever!! ( ˘ ³˘)♥
(and really cool nugget sauce too)

Apparently during our trip, their Happy Meal that week was with Hello Kitty theme! Lucky us.

Just HKD 25 for one! (approximately RM10)
Reasonable price for something exclusive I guess (^▽^)ツ

I mean how often can you see a black skeleton hello kitty?! somehow disgustingly cute, don't you think so? heh

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Ravings before leaving

Last week was pretty happening.

A few buddies came over to Penang island and I sort of became an amateur tour guide. It was really fun and tiring at the same time, but most importantly I was happy to actually have some serious food trip before flying off (man, I cannot follow boys for food how can they eat so much hahaha they're like black holes!) Then, Visa application finally done (thanks to the delayed cas letter -.-) Then off for some shopping where I bought the largest amount of stationery ever in my entire student life. It feels kind of nice, getting the chance to throw everything I want into the shopping basket. Anyway voila, most things to be ticked off the list are all over.

Now once again, I'm struck by the truth of the world's most cliche saying- that time really flies. I took a quick glance at the calendar a few seconds ago and realised that I'm about to leave my hometown in one week's time. Like, 7 days left in Malaysia.(゚д゚lll)

It's not my first time leaving home. This time, however, is going to be so much different compared to the last time I left home. I am going to leave my family, temporarily migrate and settle down in a foreign land full of strangers with thick accents. In fact, I've already found out a few ang moh's that's going to be staying in the same student house as me.

Ah, that awkward feeling when you stare into that person's fb profile, convincing yourself "oh hey this person's my future housemate. oh I hope he/she's a nice person to stay with.."

*inhales* Keep your mindset open, Grace. It's going to be an amazing year ahead! *YOLO.

Forced to play Club Penguin's cards with baby sister. It's extremely lame and boring for me, but she loves it. So, oh well, why not.

Somehow I have a really mixed feeling right now. And that's not a good sign.

I'm saying this because God knows when am I coming back to Malaysia again. Probably next year's summer break but still, I need to friggin wait for 9 months or so. Mum and Dad promised to visit me during winter, but they aren't going to bring any of my sisters along :(

Wonder if I would bawl like a baby the minute I bid farewell to my family at the airport. Hmm. Big chance I reckon.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

HK getaway: Night at Mong Kok

 Went for late dinner one night, after deciding to spontaneously drop off at Mong Kok MTR station.
We didn't even know what famous eatery should we head for. There were just too many choices, and we didn't actually research about Mong Kok district.

But one thing I like about randomness in a holiday trip is because, you discover surprises most of the time.

Walked into a random cafe/cha chaan teng that looked kind of promising, and then observed what other local customers had on their tables as we were led into the inner corner of the cafe for our seats. No more empty tables and we had to 'tap toi' or in English, share a table with the others.

Ordered this Cheong fun (with juicy beef & char siew inside).
You can add sesame and soy sauce on it according to you own preference.

 After my first bite, for a moment, it made all the things on my virtual list of favourite food move down a column. Man I am not even trying to exaggerate it.

It really was soooooooooooo good I felt like swearing.
(guess I did already haha)

One of the best soya bean milk I've ever tasted in my life.  

And also one of the best 'yau zha guai'/ 油条 ever. The best ones are probably still from my hometown. Heh.

It was an epic moment when both me and my aunt smiled and exclaimed at the same time "omg 很好吃!!! "  It was delicious, really.

Homemade. Good stuff!

Taxis, mini buses, and billboards. This is Hong Kong.

Street stall selling magazines and comics.

Uncle wearing white singlet, ah pek shorts and slippers, sitting by the roadside, enjoying the time of his life. haha


the best combinations ever. (^▽^)

It's very crowded and happening..and boy there were so many Sasa! I think I saw at least 3 branches in the same area. and also other cosmetics shops like Angel and Aster as you can see from the pics above. It was like heaven! but heaven also no use.. you need money though. haha

Nevertheless I think I bought quite a lot of masks here.
They were cheap! Like RM2 per piece only. And they're not of some random brands but good quality ones. If you buy back in M'sia it's like double the price here.

So why not?
杀!  \(≧▽≦)/

Women's street. Nothing much but mostly all the not-that-cheap-also imitations.
Well you could buy some souvenirs here like key chains and magnets with the word 'Hong Kong' printed on it. Just remember to bargain. Speak Cantonese if you can.

Walked pass this crowded shop and I was like "ooohhhh isn't this the one they opened in KL that day"

lol very kampung for a moment.

but I'm glad that I had my first bowl of Hui Lau Shan's dessert in Hong Kong itself.

Award-winning signature dish: 多芒小丸子 (Mango sago with glutinous rice balls)

Slurps. Another moment of happiness. ( ˘ ³˘)♥
Me and my tourist shots.


Had to end the post with this pic..
just because someone's legs appeared to be (a little, at least) longer in there.

Ah well ╭(╯ε╰)╮