Visit MOMA at least once or any art gallery. Psst… Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night is a lot smaller than I have imagined.
Attend a festival.
I absolutely love bright bold colours & SF’s Pride Parade seems to fit the bill
For amusement sake, get a place in Hong Kong’s notorious Chungking Mansions which many travellers would avoid.
After exploring the map for an hour, I’ve discovered quite a few pieces which I would not have stumbled upon by myself nor by browsing through mainstream charts that I’ve begun to doubt its creditability in this age of fragmented consumption. This is furthermore evident from the playlist that I’ve pulled out from what each locale deemed popular.
I have always been a fan of geographic information system (GIS). Spewing data into my favourite form of perspective: geo visual.
Had a good time laughing (how quirky of me) and discovering the fascinating differences that Spotify have compiled for our muse based on their data of almost 20 billion songs. This is definitely an interesting way to travel between cities and it didn’t cost me any extra pretty penny aside from my current subscription.
Updates: A music lover friend of mine, Jason suggested using this map to explore good music by following places where music festivals are held. Think Red Rocks and Coachella. That’s definitely another interesting way to utilize this map which I would not have thought of. And naturally, New Orleans for Jazz. Gotta love ‘Louisiana Fairytale’.
Something about honest hard work in my six days stint with social enterprise Epic Homes felt rewarding. I enjoyed myself so much that I decided to return for my second build. The phrase ‘help yourself by helping others’ pretty much sums up what I had experienced in Kelantan. I have accumulated innumerable of positive experiences from this project that I could not possibly list them all down. Sometimes when we get lost in our quotidian chores and responsibilities, we tend to get disconnect with the community. We take simple pleasures for granted or is aware that there’s more to life than just Starbucks and Facebook. EPIC Homes help bridge that gap by providing inexperienced volunteers an opportunity to build homes for the rural dwellers.
The project I’ve signed up for is located in Kampung Serasa, Kelantan. Eight hours of bus ride from KL and 45min of rocky lorry commute into a secluded area, we found ourselves in a small quiet village. A village that will have 14 new flood resistant homes to replace the ones that was washed away by last year’s flood.
To be a part of an awesome community project and witness a house being erected from the ground up – priceless. For both builds, I got to work with floor team. Being in a team consisting majority of women, I had no issue getting all fussy about the planks. Every time we lay a plank down and assess its finishing, we would discuss as a team if we were happy with it or opt for a better plank. We fought with tooth and nail to get these wood align the best we can. These girls had no clue how overjoyed they made me when they cared and played along with me when it came to giving the best we can. As a result, we could not be any happier with ourselves at the final product. Once that is complete, we started working on the foyer, stairs and walls, sequentially.
EPIC did a splendid job churning out good master builder and supervisors. They knew how to guide, facilitate and split the work among teammates. Good leaders naturally result in high morale teams. For the floor team, we had Uncle Boey, a funny retiree that was easy to work with. We were given space to make mistakes instead of fearing of making any. A huge chunk of the volunteers were first timers, and making mistake was the fastest track one could hop on to master anything quickly. The rule of thumb is to look at the mistakes as lessons and learn from them. A piece of advice I constantly dish out to my fellow teammates in my second EPIC stint.
I will not lie, it’s labour work under the hot sun, but we are allowed rest as and when we require it. It’s not a boot camp as the organizer regularly remind us. To me, it’s a fun kind of labour work, as you get to make awesome new friends, learn how to use various type of power tools and learn how to solve problems on the fly. I had an enjoyable time trying out various power tools ranging from jig saw, drop saw, impact drivers and circular saws. My fear of heights was constantly being tested as well as I had to work on bare steel structure and move between floors via the scaffoldings.
The facilities and food sponsored by Prudential – surpassed anyone’s expectation when it came to living it rough. It felt more like glam camp than it was camping to me. We had constant access to water, cool drinks, snacks and food. Sleeping arrangement was comfortable and spacious. We have mobile lavatory equipped with sink and mirrors, much like the ones you would see in a mall. By dusk, we have various sort of entertainment along with those brought by the volunteers.
All in all, I have definitely enjoyed myself and would return back again.
It’s rude to not drool at hotties. They worked so hard for their bods. Its the least you can do as an appreciative gesture.
Humans are creature of habits, so am I. This year, I’ve tried to break out of my mundane cycle and be spontaneous for a change. Bought an impromptu air ticket to Sarawak for a volunteer gig with Impian Malaysia. The goal was to conduct an edu camp for primary school children over the weekend.
The camp was held in a lovely Bidayuh village not far from Kuching’s airport. It was my first homestay & encounter with the Bidayuhs soI really have no clue what am going to experience. Guess that the fun part right? Not knowing what awaits you on the other end?
During this camp, both the kids & volunteers taught each other a lot. By conducting the classes in Malay, I’ve also came to realized how rusted my bahasa is! Nor do I recall what simile means when quizzed by one of the students. Funny moments indeed. Halfway through the week, we have already started feeling attached to these beautiful souls who always smiled while talking to you and have this overbundance of energy, something I had hard time keeping up with as they cajole us for yet another evening swim in the river.
My volunteer mates and me had not only enjoy the experience; we also made a few good friends amongst ourselves and the kids. Impian Sarawak had a great team that was there every day to patiently brief and guide us on how we should conduct the camp and making the best of our materials. Our camp went on smoothly and am lucky to be with a team of people who were always ever ready to lend a helping hand. I sincerely appreciated the opportunity to spend some time with the kids and to make a little difference in their life.