2016 has taught me (A’s response) | Question Time

Hey S,

Response has finally been posted on mine!



Source: 2016 has taught me | Question Time


2016 taught me | Question Time

Matterhorn. Zermatt, Switzerland. August 17 2016

Hey S,

In light of the fact that there are just over 2 weeks left of 2016, I wanted to know:

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learnt about yourself in 2016 and why has it made such an impact?

I know this one’s a bit more personal but to be fair, I’ll be answering this question on my own blog too and link it back to this one.






Whoa A, way to follow up a post with another question! Haha.

Whether this is the biggest thing or just something I thought would answer this question is another question in itself, but here goes.

My conversations with people usually consist of me asking “how?” rather than “why?”. (just quietly, I even made this question harder for myself because I was thinking ‘how’ instead of ‘why’ it’s made such an impact… It just goes to show how I also ask myself ‘how’ over ‘why’.)

It probably sounds kinda odd but hear me out.

It was pointed out to me by a good mate I’ve gotten to know when I was gallivanting Europe. Something didn’t add up when she was telling me her opinion on something. So I (unintentionally, mind you) kept prodding until I sorta forced her to open up about something I wasn’t prepared for.

I then proceeded to tell her that I usually dig a hole for myself in these situations and get caught off guard with what and how people answer my questions. And she said my lack of being able to read people is one thing but the fact that I ask myself “how is it possible?” rather than thinking about why they think a certain way is the difference. And that hit me.

This realisation has made a bit more aware of people and accept that it’s okay for someone to feel a certain way towards something, no questions asked. Opinions are formed from experiences. Who am I to judge someone that’s gone through something that’s formed or changed their opinion? This however has no effect on the judgemental look I tend to throw around haha…

This also really explains my interest in that random show “how it’s made” haha.

Onto the ‘why’ part of the original question.

I’m going to ’cheat’ and say it’s made an impact because as much as I racked my brain to think of something significant, this one stood out to me the most.

I realise how A made me answer this question in order for me to reflect on my life. (Because I’ve constantly bugged her with how difficult that is for me). And bloody hell was that difficult.

So thank you A.



P.S. I just wanted to chuck in a photo from Europe for the hell of it. Can ya’ll guess what chocolate used it as the inspiration for it’s shape? 😉

Continuing futility | Question time

Hey A!

Now that you’re back, tell me about what you did in one full day while you were overseas. Pick a day, any day. (Haha, apologies it’s not as deep as your first question, but I thought I’d change it up a little by asking something people never really ask after you come back from holidays. :))


Hey S, 

Apologies for the late response, it’s been crazy being back. Response below – enjoy! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016 @ Ilocos region, Philippines

The day started like any other holiday – waking up in the hotel room, craving for breakfast. Unfortunately, for an early bird such as myself, I woke up at about 6AM that day; which essentially meant that I had to wait at least 2 hours before my sister and brother in law wake up. With this in mind (and with our dodgy in-room wifi connection), I got my phone and started browsing for other attractions outside Ilocos Sur (this was Day 2 in Vigan City (Ilocos Sur) so we already visited majority of the sites in Vigan itself). Coincidentally, my mother texted me to check out Fort Ilocandia and sand dunes up in Laoag City (Ilocos Norte), so I took her suggestion on board and ‘chucked a Google’. 

From looking up the distance between cities (80kms), how to get there (Partas bus), how long it’ll take to get there (approx. 2 hours each way), to looking up what we’ll be doing once we got there – namely, hitting the sand dunes!

At about 8.30AM, I had enough – I started poking my sister to wake her up, and started filling her in with my findings from the morning’s research. She was just as pumped and excited as I was, so she proceeded to wake up her husband… by lying to him, “Babe, wake up, we’re going to miss the Breakfast buffet downstairs!!!”. To which he groaned and replied to, “Why, what time is it?”.

“It’s 10AM. It closes at 10.30AM.”

“Crap! Okay let’s go!”, getting up immediately, in panic – he couldn’t believe we (he) slept in!

Breakfast buffet time – which really meant all you can eat Vigan Longganisa time!!! (Seriously, Vigan Longganisas are probably my favourite type of Longganisa in the Philippines!) I had them with Pandesal, with Garlic Fried Rice and by itself. I had to maximise it, I won’t be in Vigan for a very long time! In the midst of breakfast, I ended up breaking the news to my brother in law – it was actually just after 8.30AM. Boy was he pissed. (Although when we told him our plans for the day, he was pretty okay)

The bus ride to Laoag felt pretty long – 2 hours, but the roads were winding and narrow. We drove through so many towns, farms and villages. It was refreshing to see everyone going about their daily lives, doing everything they can to earn a living. I guess one call out from the bus ride would be the students who come on the bus, they hand everyone a piece of paper that says they’re selling local snacks (Otap and Pastillas) on buses in order to fund their studies, so that they can send themselves to college. Having lived in the Philippines for the first decade of my life, I’m no stranger to the poverty stricken country, but I guess it was a reminder of just how difficult life is over there. A reminder of my annoyance towards people who take education for granted here and other first world countries, and feeling guilty for the times I did the same.

When we got to Laoag, we were picked up in a red 4×4 buggy (kind of like a really hardcore ute) by one of the guys working at the sand dunes. This was the same vehicle we used to ride up and down the sand dunes.  We all got in and went to the back of the ute. The vehicle started moving, and there we were – standing, unrestrained, in the open air, holding onto whatever we can grab onto, under the heat of the sun… as the roads got bumpier and steeper. 

We clearly didn’t know what we were really getting into, because once we did – it was too late. We felt the vehicle climb a hill, which only meant one thing – we had to go back down the other side of that hill.

That first drop was also the first time our hearts jumped out of our chest that day. (Little did we know there’d be more where that came from)

At one point, we were approaching this cliff, overlooking a fabulous view… until the driver turned away from it, instead, he started reversing towards the cliffside. He revved the buggy, put his foot on the gas pedal… and then SLAMS HIS FOOT ON THE BRAKES JUST AS WE WERE AT THE EDGE OF THE CLIFF!!! Again, we lost our shit. 

That was merely the introduction to the buggy adventure. As time went by, the hills got higher, which meant the drops got higher, and the speed definitely increased. The overall experience increased in intensity as we got closer to the end. It was definitely what people would say, “one hell of a ride”. 

At the end of the buggy ride, we got taken up to another hill where we could sand board down the face of the hill. We were exhausted from holding onto our dear lives on the buggy, but of course we were keen to try sand boarding. It was also exhilarating but unfortunately by this time it was around 2PM so the sun was right above us and the sand was scalding hot. We only went up/down a few times before calling it quits. 

Our post-sand dunes meal was at Jollibee (yep, literally went to a Jollibee at every city we visited, except Boracay because they don’t have one there!), after which we boarded another bus back to Vigan City. 

We got back to our hotel in Vigan at around 5.30-6PM, which was perfect because we wanted to catch the rooftop session in our hotel, which started from  7PM onwards. We rested for a bit in the hotel before heading out to the streets of Vigan at night – boy  was it beautiful! It sincerely felt like we were in another country. 

After gallivanting and roaming the streets of Vigan, it was time to head back to the hotel for dinner on the rooftop – it was Inihaw night! We went up and were pleasantly surprised to find someone playing live music! Dinner + drinks + music + rooftop = what more can you ask for? We ate a lot that night, drank ample and sufficient amounts (San Mig Apple was so addictive!), and had good solid conversations. 

It was a great end to a fabulous day.

It was by no means the best or most exciting day on the trip, but it’s probably one of my favourite days from this year – not necessarily because of the things we did, but mainly because of how randomly the day unfolded.



Early morning and late night catchups

It all began in the year of 2010, (Oh my goodness, that was 6 years ago?! Dang) when we watched Tron: Legacy in the cinemas at 10AM. [slightly relevant side story: S and I were highly intrigued about the movie due to the various Tron references in Chuck. It was something we just HAD to watch.] I can’t exactly remember why we had to book the first morning session but I can only assume it was because our schedules didn’t quite line up. [I’m guessing that our plans were constrained by study, casual work and strict parent curfews]

That definitely set the precedence for the rest of mine and S’s plans. 

Most of the plans we make consist of early mornings and late nights. I know this sounds incredibly clingy, needy or simply a very long time together (and it is), but it’s predominantly due to the fact that we don’t actually see each other as much or as often as you’d think. My goodness, we are such teenagers haha. This has definitely been more prominent over the last couple of years, where certain aspects of our lives have had to take priority over others – may it be exams, honours [yep, S is a smarty pants] (only on paper, mate. Pretty sure A is more than capable of getting a PhD), full-time work, running errands [more commonly known as adulting], travel, family commitments, or even simply setting aside time for ourselves.

It’s become increasingly challenging to find commonalities between our calendars due to competing demands, priorities and obligations; and I guess that’s why we’ve now just made it a point to set aside an entire day to catch up – essentially from sunrise to sunset.

I’m not complaining about these sunrise to sunset or sunset to sunrise time A and I have. I guess I’m just really grateful to have someone I can spend that much time together without it being weird.

Our late nights were more common when I was still living at my parents’ home, where S would come over (for whatever reason), and we’d just end up talking until the early hours of the following day. On some cases, S would sleep over however I think it was more common for S to drive back home afterwards…then I’d see her family at church the following day and her mum would always ask, “what time did S end up leaving your house last night? I’m so sorry!”. That’s another thing though, my parents are really laid back. So it didn’t really matter haha. Mum was just curious. She knows what we get up to 🙂 Haha, it was our fault really. Nowadays, we still have our late nights but mostly that’s when S is staying over my place… there are also some instances where we couldn’t sustain staying up late [now that we’re grannies and are too tired from work to stay awake!]

Some examples of what we get up to before sociable hours on a Saturday morning (or other days off):

  • Catch the first morning movie session
    • Tron: Legacy
    • Step Up 3(?) Dammit, another bad friend award. I don’t remember watching this?
    • Paranormal Activity [Although I think this might have been due to S & M being too scared to watch it at night]
    • Lego Movie
  • Go to a Lego exhibit
  • Catch a ferry to Watsons Bay [& spontaneously do a coastal track]
  • Catch a ferry to Cockatoo Island to attend an art exhibit
  • Drive to the beach to watch the sunrise
  • Accompany each other to car servicing appointments 

Are we the only ones silly enough to do these? Would you get up early in the morning (typically Saturday mornings) to spend time with your close friends or would you rather sleep in?

-A (& S)

Monopolised Quality Time

So S and I haven’t seen as much of each other as we’d hope to (not as much as last year for sure) this year, mostly because we’ve both been incredibly busy with our lives – may it be work, or travel, or both. Because of this, whenever we make plans with each other, we ensure it’s a FULL day – sometimes we even have to start from sunrise in order to maximise the day [see ‘early morning and late night catchups’ if you’re curious].

However, that’s not always the case. 


There  are times when our schedules don’t line up and we’re left with trying to coordinate train times on the way to/from our offices. Now, ever since I’ve moved out, we’ve essentially lost the 1.5hr commute we had together, diminishing it down to a measly +- 28 minutes on the train! And at times, less than 10 minutes if we’re coordinating trains from the city. 

90 min to 30 min together: that’s 2/3 of the normal time we had together gone! Although to be fair, we had our time during 2015, when A and I lived relatively close to each other and would spend more… even most morning commutes together. If anything, this is teaching us (me) independence and not relying on others and all that jazz. #growup

Well as most of you know, S lived in Canberra for a bit and travelled to Europe for a little while, so I didn’t see her for quite a while. A couple of weeks after returning to Sydney,  and after failing at attempts to catchup, I messaged S after work one afternoon, asking if she had some time to talk over the phone [slightly relevant side note: S and I are not usually ‘let’s talk on the phone for hours kind of friends, but we’ve definitely grown accustomed to using our daily commute as time to catchup with each other over the phone. I honestly enjoy phone conversations now! Call me lazy but I reckon sometimes texting takes a lot of effort. Next time you’re out in public, notice yourself or others twiddling their thumbs on that little screen.]

Anyway, I awaited her response as I did need her thoughts and opinion on something on my mind… however she didn’t respond until a few hours later. 

It kind of worked out in the end since I managed to finish dinner by the time she was at Central station, so she waited for me [yep, so we could catch the train together for 2 stops!].

(Finally getting to the actual topic of this post…)

S and I probably had about 15-20mins together [from the time I got to the station, waited for the train to the time I got off the train] to catch-up, considering we hadn’t seen each other in a very long time. 

Without getting into the specifics, S obviously knew I needed to talk to her about something in particular [as per my SMS earlier in the afternoon], so she asked me what was on my mind. By this point, we were already on the train, on our way to the first station… leaving me less than 9 minutes to tell her what was going on. It wasn’t anything deep or anything, but it was something serious. Long story short, I spoke for the entire duration of our train ride and managed to get everything out…however at the expense of completely monopolising the time we had to ‘catch up’. S obviously couldn’t start giving me updates in the midst of my dilemma, so we had to ‘park’ [there will be a post on ‘parking’ ideas in the future] that for the next time we saw each other. 


From that day onwards, we’ve now been conscious of monopolising our conversations, trying to ensure that there’s minimal monopolisation. In the event that one of us did end up doing so, we made sure the other got the chance to return the favour next time. We now also warn each other when we’re about to monopolise, before doing so. 

It’s clearly now another one of ‘our thing‘s. I guess it’s one thing to say that it’s our thing but another to realise that we’re doing it. I’m sure many people have that friend they hang out with and they can’t keep their mouth shut about themselves. Hear me out though, there’s nothing completely wrong with that, especially if you’re like me, who would rather the other person talk. (It’s usually an exception with A coz I am definitely one of her many friends who get to vent/whine [mostly whine! jks] and discuss various things I’m experiencing in my life at the moment.)

So yeah, are you guys also conscious about monopolisation?


Entering the Dark Side

Enter a caption

I had a coffee on Monday, the 12th of September (and on Friday, 16/9 :)).

Not just any coffee, coffee without sugar. This is a big deal for me because I have been a tea person since 2011 (jeez, that’s not even that long… Good ol’ high school days). And I always have, at most, one teaspoon of sugar with my black tea.

Don’t get me wrong though, I definitely still prefer tea over coffee. But I wouldn’t be lying if I said that’s never going to change… (yep trust me, she would be lying. It’s not the first time she’s changed her mind about something she used to hate. *cue A’s rehash of S’s hatred for Bananas!!!!!!!)

The thing is, I don’t want that to change. I only had coffee on Monday morning to wake me up from my lack of sleep on Sunday night. And I was buzzing for most of the day. You see, I don’t want to desensitise myself from that buzzing feeling. I know that’s what happens when people have it regularly. If I had a dollar for every time someone said ‘coffee doesn’t even have any effect on me anymore’… do I ever say this? I don’t think I do… but I agree, it doesn’t have any effect on me anymore! Not from 1 cup of coffee that is!

As a huge coffee person (and I what I really mean is MASSIVE), this makes me slightly cheerful because maybe now S won’t judge me as much for my coffee habits/addiction. Also it might mean we can actually have coffee dates without her just sipping on tea (lol, I will never get why people pay the same amount of money at cafes for a teabag and a cup of hot water!).

p.s. As S enters the Dark Side, she has been messaging me every time she has coffee… that’s how sparse these occasions are!

-S (&A)

Morning VS Night Showers | Routines

So I feel like I gotta make up for lost time. So here goes!

I feel like this is another thing people discuss. (It’s what I discuss with my friends anyway, anyone else?)

Night showers have ultimately won me over because it leaves me more time to sleep in the morning. And if you think about it, you get hella dirty after whatever you’ve done during the day, so showering at night would wash everything off, ready for you clean, cool and crisp bed. Then all you have to do the next morning is your morning face routine, brush your teeth, eat breakfast (S loves her breakfast. Nobody messes with her breakfast time. The time she spends every morning on her breakfast time… damn), change clothes and you’re ready to go take on the day.

Now this wouldn’t be a discussion if it didn’t have the cons of showering at night. The one that stands out the most is the wet hair. Now I dunno about men but all you ladies know what’s up. I know you night-showering-women have googled ‘is it bad to sleep with wet hair?’ with the hope of a reasonable answer. It’s a bother when you shower too close to your bedtime when your hair is irritably wet and you just can’t lay your head down and ruin your pillow (need I remind you of how this blog was kicked off? It was late at night and part of the reason was because I was waiting for my hair to dry! Read the random first blog post here). And then comes that process of thinking if you should risk using your hairdryer. Are you considerate of those who are already asleep? Is your hair worth the dry? Will you wake up the monsters that sleep under your bed?

It also ultimately comes down to what type of hair you have. I’m blessed to have straight, flat and asian hair. Even if I wake up with wet hair from the night before, I know it’ll dry fine (wow this gal, so blessed). So my apologies to you guys out there with the untameable hair. Perhaps if I had your hair I would reconsider my showering preferences.

So my default position used to be the same as S’s: night showers over anything. I mean she’s absolutely right, you get ‘hella dirty’ by the end of the day, so of course you’d want to shower before getting into your bed. Yup, I used to be a default night shower-er pretty much for the same reasons above. But then considering this post is also about routines… I’d be lying if I said I didn’t cheat on my night showering routines. 

Over the last three years, I’ve had to mix up my routine so many times, for various reasons – so much that I honestly don’t think I can call them a routine anymore. From a showering perspective – most of the time I end up doing both the morning and the night shower. Yes yes, that’s a lot of gas (hot water) and water consumption but sometimes it’s required. The key determinants of my choice of morning/night shower are: 

  • Gym routines – of course I have to shower after I get disgustingly sweaty!
  • How early I have to wake up the following morning (the earlier it is, the more night showers become more appealing)
  • How late it is (yup, as per S’s reasons above)
  • How sleepy I am – in general, I have trouble sleeping (true insomniac), so when I’m super sleepy but still have to shower… I hesitate because I know I’m going to struggle to sleep after I shower; I’d be wide awake. 
  • Seasons – definitely twice a day showers during annoyingly hot summer time. Night time showers during winter (they tend to be more bearable than early morning showers?)

I think from a hair type perspective… I agree, it depends on what type of hair you have. For me, my hair’s pretty healthy so it gets so oily (and disgusting) pretty quickly so sometimes even when I shower the night before, I wake up with pretty oily hair. Hence I feel the need to shower in the morning. 

Can I just say how completely random this post is, I got through the end of writing it and I’m thinking, ‘I hope S and I aren’t the only ones who discuss these things lol’. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if it were the case!

S & A