It’s not a Me Before You Review

This is not a review for the movie “Me Before You” but watching this movie has somehow sparked a small debate on my Facebook wall. My Facebook is very private and I only befriend people whom I know and have communicated in real life. So if you and I are Facebook friends, I consider you an actual friend.

Anyway, yesterday I posted this on my wall and the comments from 2 of my Facebook friends were startling. 1 of these 2, I consider him to be rude and offensive.  I’m not ready to open this post to the public because I do not want to spark another debate so I’m just going to show the print screen of the said post.

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It started with a very simple post with no intention, merely to express that I’m feeling sad about the ending of this movie. I watched the movie twice and I find this movie so interesting because it questions about choices people make in life. I’m a “shallow” person who usually watches only comedy or superhero movies because I think life can sometimes be difficult and depressing so why should I make it even more? Instead, I should laugh and enjoy the moment while I’m still living. So watching this movie is really something out of ordinary for me. When I decided to watch this movie, I was already sad and angry about a family member (story for another day), but some friends shared this movie on Facebook so I just decided to click and see what it is really about. Before I watched it fully for the first time, I was merely fast forwarding it to see if it was really going to be such a tearjerker. But no, most scenes which I clicked to, were actually light-hearted and humourous. That was why I thought that it was not going to be that bad after all, and therefore decided to watch it before I ended that shitty day.

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This is the entire post from my Facebook. Without any intention, I suddenly became an insensitive person. In my first reply to “Friend #1”, I didn’t mean “don’t care about these disabled people, just indulge in the misery of others”. I meant, “there are always going to be people who feel negative about something and it’s difficult to keep up with it, so I’m not going to care about the protests and am just going to watch the movie (or any movie that I might have wanted to watch at that time).” It’s pretty much like “I don’t want to care about those fat-shamers, skinny shamers or any body-shamers, I just want to eat that chocolate ice-cream which I feel like eating right now.” It’s as simple as that!

I’m not a romantic novel reader but I have watched a few romantic Korean dramas and I think most people understand that in such kind of “romantic” storyline, it can sometimes be very unrealistic. Afterall, this is the job of an author – to write a good story and earn some money? Isn’t that what we are all doing? So, do you really expect all authors to write the same genre, the same storyline, the same happily-ever-after story with only perfectly normal and “abled” human beings? Well no, because everyone is different. Everyone accepts/likes different things so we do, read, see and share different things. This is your rights, your choice, your freedom to do anything you want. But you don’t do it on other people’s private space. I later posted this.

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By the way, you might have realized that “Friend #2” commented that he himself is “a disabled ass”. 3 months ago when I last saw him, he wasn’t on a wheelchair being paralyzed. He was walking and talking. However,  from many of his posts on Facebook (not that I see his posts very often because Facebook generates stuff based on recency and more likes/comments?), it is implied that he was diagnosed or suffered from or is currently suffering mild autism, although many of his friends have actually commented otherwise to his condition. But he insists that that is/was his condition. I’m sorry, I’m not sure what verbs/tenses I should use because I don’t know this person’s condition well. So, I assume this is the reason why he said that he is “a disabled ass”. Well, I guess he just wanted to say that he is “disabled” but because I called him an “ass” in one of my replies, and therefore he became the “disabled ass”. But, whatever.

Some points I want to highlight are:

  1. It is never polite to write such things on other people’s posts. If you disagree with something and really feel there’s an urge to argue, do it nicely and privately.
  2. If you prefer to argue publicly, do use a nice tone. After all, you don’t know what the other person had gone/is going through at that moment.
  3. Alternatively, you can choose to view this person as a shallow person, and simply unfollow them. Or even better, unfriend them. It’s okay to do that. You don’t have to write horrible things on the person’s wall.

Wait, there are more important points I want to stress on.

Many years ago, I watched a movie called Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. This movie didn’t receive very good reviews but there were 2 scenes that I will always remember. And when bad times come, I often remind myself these 2 scenes.

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Scene 1: When asked why is he destroying the earth, Silver Surfer said, “I have no choice.” Susan Storm then replied, “What do you mean you don’t have a choice? There’s always a choice.”

Scene 2: Susan Storm was dying because she wanted to save the Silver Surfer from a flying sharp object but she was instead pierced by this object. Silver Surfer revived her and said to Mr. Invisible, “Treasure each moment with her and tell her she was right. We do have a choice.”

My point here is that life doesn’t always turn out like how we want it to be. We all want a peaceful, fair and equal world. Who doesn’t? Disaster, tragedy and all sorts of bad things may fall upon you but the ending/outcome of your story depends solely on the choice you make in life. You do not have to agree with anyone. Similarly, you do not have to disagree with anyone. So, if you have the slightest intention to create awareness or to make this world a better place, start with your own actions. Convince people with your actions, not suffocate them with your unkind words.

Remember, there’s always a choice. We do have a choice. Choose to be positive and fill this world with more positive aura.

Why Bulgarian beauty products?

Recently, I started my own small business selling Bulgarian beauty products. Perhaps you might be thinking: Why Bulgarian beauty products? Are they any good?  In this blog post, I’m going to share with you the reasons I chose these products.

Reason #1 – Refan is a very popular local brand in Bulgaria.
In 2010, I had my first trip to Bulgaria when I met Mr. Hubby (then Mr. Boyfriend). Like any other female travelers, I enjoy shopping and buying local products. It’s like when going to Italy, you’d mostly want to visit a Prada shop or get a Prada yourself. Even on my first visit there, almost everywhere I went, I would see a Refan shop. It’s like you would see Body Shop, Crabtree & Evelyn or L’occitane when you hit a mall in Malaysia, or in any other mall in Asia. Refan is like that in Bulgaria. Because I kept seeing it, I asked Mr. Hubby about this brand and he told me that Refan is a very popular local brand in Bulgaria. I told him I HAD TO check it out. Before that first trip ended, I filled my luggage with Refan products (mostly soaps, hand cream and shower gel) and brought them back to Malaysia as souvenirs.

Reason #2 – My family and friends love it!
Every year when I return to Bulgaria, my family members would request me to bring these Refan products back to Malaysia in bulk. You know it’s not a joking matter when someone asks you to bring back 6 or 10 bottles of shower gel all the way back, without really caring if your luggage can fit them or not! Haha. I mean, I love these products but I’m not that kind of person who would store so many bottles of shower gel at home. There must be a reason WHY they are requesting so many, every single time I go back to Bulgaria. My friends, on the other hand, would get different products as their souvenirs. And the feedback that I receive from them is always positive.

Reason #3 – Refan products are of high quality but are affordable.
If you have used products from L’occitane, you would know that their products are of high quality, which explains the high price. On the other hand, Body Shop offers much more average-range products at relatively cheaper price. How about Refan? If you ask me, I’m going to tell you that Refan is of L’occitane’s quality and Body Shop’s price. Like seriously? YES, SERIOUSLY!

Reason #4 – I’m a Refan fan myself!
I’ve been using Refan products since 2010. I’ve used their shower gel, body lotion, hand cream (my favourite!), soap, facial scrub and peeling soap. I wouldn’t recommend this brand to others, if I hadn’t tried it myself. Mr. Hubby and I are currently using Refan’s Lavender and Ylang-Ylang Shampoo and Shower Gel. And I must tell you that it is great. After a long day at work, using this range helps me to calm my mood (and scalp and skin!) down.

Reason #5 – Refan has a big variety of products.
Refan offers a variety of products in different series/fragrances. Whether you are a “flower” or a “fruit” person, there’s something for you to choose from. It is impossible for you to like all of them, but there must be something from Refan that suits you.

Reason #6 – Refan is a reputable and globally-known European brand.
Refan started back in 1991 and nowadays has many franchises worldwide. Their products are produced under strict quality control. They have also won many awards and have been supporting many social events. You can click here to check their official site. You can also simply search for Refan using Google search and you will find a lot of information about this brand. If you are in Malaysia or Singapore, the second nearest Refan shop is in Hong Kong. Now, the nearest is Rozova Gradina, of course! 😀

Reason #7 – Refan products are natural and preservative free. Yay!
All Refan products are produced using natural plant extract and natural plant oil. Their rose-based products are all produced with natural rose water. Plus, all their products are preservative free. All their products are produced according to the European laws and regulations. You have strict regulations, you have natural stuff, what is better than that?

Reason #8 – Where else to get better rose products when Bulgaria is the largest producer of rose oil in the world?
I’m sure you have seen a lot of brands offering Bulgarian Rose products. Have you thought about it? Why Bulgarian rose? Why not just rose? In perfumery, rose oil is the most heavily used essential oil despite their high price. Where else to get better rose products if not from Bulgaria directly?

I hope my blog answers your questions/doubts. If you are still doubtful about this brand, please feel free to contact me directly. There’s no other better way for you to know the quality of this product unless you try it personally 🙂

For more information about Rozova Gradina and the products we offer, please click here. We are currently in the midst of setting up our website. Stay tuned for more updated information! 🙂

Thank you for reading my blog. ❤

Life without Mr. Hubby for 5 days

Mr. Hubby and I spend every day together. We can do the same stupidity to each other every single day but never get bored with each other. Many people have said that it’s healthy for couples to sometimes spend some time apart. But I don’t think I’ll ever want to be apart from Mr. Hubby. Today is one of the most dreaded day of my life because Mr. Hubby is travelling to Seattle for 5 days for a conference. I can’t imagine my life without him. Let’s see how I’ll survive without him by my side for the next 4 days.

Day 1 (17/02/2016)
I went directly to work after sending Mr. Hubby to the airport in the morning. Mr. Hubby told me not to go to work and just take some days off. I told him I would most probably feel much better if I have something to do. After class, I had lunch with a few of my students. They later came to my house to hang out (with each other mostly). They played poker cards for 2 hours while I was just going around my house, looking for things to do. They left at about 6pm, and I continued to do some household chores. I ate bread for dinner since I wasn’t feeling hungry. It was really quite a boring day for me because I couldn’t “torture” Mr. Hubby. I tried to annoy  a few friends by sending either long messages or weird stickers/emoji. I think they would soon start to hate me. 3 more hours before the plane lands in Seattle. I want to stay up til 2.20am but I’m not sure if I could. Well, that’s basically my very-normal-and-not-so-productive day. I’ll check in again tomorrow. 😛

Day 2 (18/02/2016)
I actually planned to sleep until 10am today since I didn’t have any classes today. Unfortunately, I woke up at 7+am because my nose was itchy (sinusitis problem). I tried to return to sleep but I just couldn’t fall asleep so I decided to just wake up and do some work at home. I washed the clothes, went through some invoices and had a short chat with Mr. Hubby before he went to sleep. Then I went for a facial session at 11am, and picked my sister from the airport at 3pm. My sister and I had lunch at the mall next to my place. The plan was for both of us to do shopping at Paradigm Mall, but we decided that we were just 2 lazy bums so we headed home to sleep. We woke up at 7pm, went for dinner at 8pm, went to collect Mr. Hubby’s book from Times Bookstore, went to clinic to get my medicine and then reached home at 10pm. Mr. Hubby woke up from his sleep and we chatted for about an hour about our activities for the day. Today was again not very productive because of lack of sleep and the attack of sinusitis. The whole day I felt that my brain was not working very well and couldn’t really concentrate. But, I guess I was not as bored as yesterday because I did “real chores” instead of just walking around my house aimlessly. Haha. Let’s see how my day will go tomorrow.

Day 3 (19/02/2016)
I again had only about 5 hours of sleep yesterday and had to wake up early for my classes today. Left work at 12pm, came home to pick my sister and we went for lunch together in Pasta Zanmai. Initially, our plan was to go directly to Mitsui Outlet Park directly after work, but I had to go to the bank and I got hungry suddenly, so I decided to just go to one of the nearest malls around my place and the only proceed to Mitsui Outlet Park. When we reach MOP, it was already almost 4.30pm and it was raining crazily. The mall was quite empty, nothing much to buy. I knew it was going to be jammed if we were to return around 7pm, so we decided to just have our dinner before heading home. Reached home at about 9.30pm, chatted with Mr. Hubby for a while and showered. Pretty lame, my day. Haha. I think I’m surviving quite well. After all, I’m basically doing nothing except hitting the malls!! Will check in again tomorrow!

Day 4 (20/02/2016)
Today, my sister and I went to One Utama for shopping. In order to avoid the crowd, we went there rather early at 11am. It wasn’t jam but the parking was already filled with cars and we had to park at Level 5. Today’s activity was only shopping. I’m personally not a fan of One Utama because the structure of the mall is rather confusing. I got lost the last time I went there. And we got almost got lost today too. Hopefully I won’t get lost in future in this mall. We went back home at about 6pm. Took a fast shower and went for a foot reflexology session together. It was my sister’s first time getting her feet massage. It was quite funny that she was feeling a bit excited and nervous at the same time. 😀

Day 5 (21/02/2016)
My sister’s flight was at 12.10pm. We went to Paradigm Mall in the morning at 10am because she wanted to get something from Innisfree, which we didn’t see it in One Utama yesterday. I dropped her at the airport at about 11.20am, went to Citta Mall to grab some bread and reached home at about 12pm. I got a text from my sister, telling me that there was no information for her flight. She went to the information counter twice to check her flight schedule, the staff wasn’t helped but simply shrugged her off by telling her that the information was correct. At last, when my sister started getting angry, this very unhelpful staff (still talking on the phone) checked her flight information and found out that actually the flight was actually re-scheduled to an earlier slot at 10.20am. Funnily, my sister didn’t receive any information via phone, text or email. They had to reschedule her to the next flight which was at 5.20pm. I went again to the airport to pick her. At 4.15pm when we were already leaving to the airport for the n-th time, we received a text saying this flight will again be delayed to 5.50pm. It was a horrible day for my sister, because I think she didn’t expect such unfortunate situation would occur to her. By the time I came home, it was about 5.15pm and I started cleaning the house, and fixing some of the cables and furniture which I have been procrastinating since don’t know when. It’s almost 10pm now and I’m waiting to go and pick up Mr. Hubby.

Verdict: How well did I survive?
I think I survived rather well because I basically did nothing much except shopping. Ironically, I do have things which I have to do but I just didn’t feel like doing them. Luckily my sister was here to accompany me, if not, I think I would have been really really bored. I think it’s good to have some “me” time once in a while but I don’t think I need 5 days worth of “me” time. I think half a day will work great for me. I personally prefer to have someone next to me so that I can annoy them with whatever stupidity I can come up with. Hahaha! 😀

Finally, a BIG THANK YOU to my sister for spending 4 days with me in KL. I had a great sister-bonding time with you.

And, another BIG THANK YOU for Mr. Hubby for buying me the Kate Spade & Michael Kors bags. ❤

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7 Types of Landlords in Malaysia

Jenny and I have had our fair share of renting accommodation. Through our experience, we discovered that landlords’ methods of “work” might vary greatly. In fact, they vary so greatly that it is usually impossible for us to properly set up our expectations in advance. Additionally, as we’ve had “international experience” with renting, we could conclude that these stereotypical landlord types could easily be found in many places around the world. So here goes:

1. The MIA Landlord

You will never see or hear from this guy (or girl) once you move in and pay your deposit. In some situations, you might actually not see them ever at all, because they might have designated all their functions (up to the point of handing out of the keys) to a real estate agent, who handles the whole process. Needless to say, if something unexpected happens, if you might have any complaints, or if you just want to mention that you will be off for a week (just so they are aware), you will be met with silence. An interesting bi-feature of this type of landlord is that he/she tends to appear quickly if you happen to delay your rental payment, or if the next year’s contract needs to be negotiated.

2. The Not-Caring-At-All Landlord

You arrange to check a place. You go in, and you see that there is a 2cm-strong layer of dust, and all the brand-new furniture hasn’t even been unpacked. At your blank stare the agent responds with “the house hasn’t been occupied since it was bought a year ago, and the landlord hasn’t visited since then, either.” Needless to say, this type of landlord is usually a cousin (if not a sibling) of the MIA landlord.

3. The Over-Caring Landlord

Don’t get me wrong, caring for one’s rented property and for one’s tenants is an extremely important detail of good landlord-tenant relationships. However, visiting every couple of weeks to check if everything is OK, and calling every other day to get an update report on anything happening around the area where you are staying might be a bit overboard. You will soon come to realize that this type of landlord rarely cares as much about your welfare, as for if their place is in tact and if you won’t run away with all their furniture. Based on all the horrific stories I’ve heard about tenants stealing everything from light bulbs to auto gates, such type of behaviour might make sense in the Malaysian context.

4. The “Tiny Details” Landlord

You know that deposit you pay when you move in. Well, with this type of landlord you can be sure you will never, ever, get that deposit back. An almost invisible scratch on the table, a stain on the wall (not even caused by the tenant), an unevenness to the flooring (again, not tenant’s fault). No matter how small any of these problems might actually be, and no matter whose fault, this type of landlord will find a way to withhold your deposit to rectify the issue. At later time when you try to follow up and see the receipts for any rectifications that might have been done, this landlord quickly turns into the MIA landlord.

5. The “Wear and Tear” Landlord

You happily move in to your new place. Everything looks relatively fine, although you’ve already noticed (and mentioned to the landlord) that the air conditioner appears to make some noise from time to time. However, the landlord has assured you that it is in perfect condition. A month later, the air con starts leaking. You call the landlord to tell them and you are met with the passive-aggressive “wear and tear” response. According to the Malaysian landlord’s vocabulary “wear and tear” means that you’ve been using the item, and therefore it is your fault and you need to rectify the problem. You call the contractor, and when he comes (together with a solid bill), he tells you that the air conditioner hasn’t been cleaned for at least 3 years and that is the main cause of the leakage.

6. The “I Will Fix It for You” Landlord

This is arguably the best type of landlord of all the mentioned types, because they are pretty much the only ones that do help (at least somewhat). The reason for them to want to fix something on their own is obviously to cut their costs – in which there is nothing wrong, especially if they do know how to fix that something (think boiler, laundry machine). However, the problem is that as it is either them, or their friend/relative, who will be fixing the problem, it might take extremely long time for them to come by and do it. Additionally, they tend to use not necessarily the most suitable materials for the repair work and thus the item tends to get spoilt again after some time.

7. The Perfect Landlord

The perfect landlord signs a contract with you (did I mention that many landlords appear to like to skip this step?) in which there are clearly stated rights and liabilities of both parties. Once something beyond the tenant’s control goes awry, they help get it back on the right track in a timely manner. They come by once every 2-3 months just to check if everything is in order, and if the tenant has any withstanding complaints (with the building management, for instance), so that they could attend to them. We are sure there are such landlords, it is just that we have never had the fortune to encounter them up to now!

Have you had the chance to encounter any other interesting and unique types of landlords?

Best Air Purifier in Malaysia (and Singapore) – What I Chose and Why

*This is a guest blog post by Nyagoslav Zhekov, the loving husband of Jenny Zhekova.

Note! This blog post is solely for sharing purposes. We are not selling or endorsing any air purifiers! 🙂

If you have been following this blog, you most probably know by now that my wife has been fighting with severe sinusitis for many years. As things she tried worked with moderate, short term success, I decided to try something new.

Air Pollution in Malaysia and Singapore

Air pollution in Malaysia and Singapore is a serious problem. If you have ever lived in any of these two countries, chances are that you have experienced the May-July severe haze – a direct result of forest burning in Indonesia. But Indonesia is not the main problem. Overpopulation in certain areas, industrial activity, excessive usage of personal transportation means instead of public transport, are all add-up factors. States of emergency are not uncommon due to pollution levels rising above the Emergency level of 500 API/AQI/PSI.

Air Pollution Index

There have been times when surgical disposable masks were not available in pharmacies. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Malaysia shares an interactive map of the hourly changes in air pollution levels in the country per area. Similar map is maintained by the National Environment Agency of Singapore. In fact, you could even download and install this app that provides the same information via phone updates. Of course, this wouldn’t really help resolve the issue. It could only make you more aware of the threats you are facing in your everyday life. And as different respiratory illnesses have been directly linked to air pollution, I suggest you act fast on getting a healthier life, without having to move up to some secluded mountain.

Buying Local vs. Buying from Amazon

Before starting to discuss the factors that you should take into account when purchasing an air purifier, I should mention that your biggest problem might very well be the undersupply of high-quality air cleaning systems in Malaysia and Singapore. If you try to do your own research, you will probably encounter a number of articles mentioning products that you will later on discover are not available in the local market. These articles are most frequently written by Americans, and as almost all of the best brands are American, there is certain logic into this fact. Unfortunately, if you are reading this article you most probably live in Malaysia/Singapore. What are your choices then?

1) Buy from Amazon.

2) Scrounge the local market and buy from a local supplier.

If you decide to go with option 1, you will discover that the variety is bigger, and the net price is much cheaper. However, you should take into consideration the following factors:

– Warranty is almost always limited to the country where the machine comes from (most frequently the US). If you get a defective product, you would either not be able to exchange it, or even if you are able to exchange it, you would need to bear the international shipment costs.

– Chances are your product will be tailored to the 110 Volt electricity in the US, so  you would need to buy a voltage converter. These usually cannot be used long hours, and are in general not recommended for usage whenever they could be avoided. Sometimes they could be stated as a cause for warranty forfeiture.

– You will be getting your air purifier transported from overseas. Besides the obvious threat of it getting spoilt along the way, the transportation costs are also not to be neglected. A regular home purifier might weigh between 5 and 15 kg, which means that shipment might be in the range of US$150 (~MYR550 by today’s exchange rate) per unit.

– You will not be able to test your air purifier personally. Things such as noise level and design are much more difficult to be comprehended “on paper” than in front of one’s eyes.

Having taken into consideration the above factors, I personally decided to buy an air purifier from a local supplier. As mentioned above, the options are more limited, but many of the negatives a purchase of an Amazon purifier would come with are avoided.

What Are the Options?

There are just a handful of companies that sell air purifiers in Malaysia, and not all of them offer the highest quality products. For instance, Harvey Norman, which is one of the few suppliers that are physically present outside Kuala Lumpur/Selangor, feature a range of Sharp, Panasonic, and Hitachi air purifiers. When I went in person to the Citta Mall branch, I also found a DeLonghi air purifier there. Of these, only some of the Hitachi ones rely mostly on HEPA filter technology for air purification (more about why this is of crucial importance below). Another option for the ones not living in the Kuala Lumpur area would be Lazada, but while it features a wider range of products than Harvey Norman’s stores, the quality level is approximately the same.

If you live in the Johor Bahru area, you might consider purchasing an air purifier from Singapore.

If you, however, do live in or around KL, you would have the following options for high quality air purifiers:

Alen Air – 3 types

Coway – 5 types (not available in Singapore)

BlueAir – 3 types (6 types in Singapore)

Honeywell – 3 types (4 types in Singapore)

Therefore, everything could be boiled down to a choice between these 14 models of home air cleaners.

What Factors You Should Consider

The number one factor, which I will not even write in detail about, but will just share some additional resources on, is the presence of a “True” HEPA filter and the reliance on this filter for air purification. You could read more specialized information about it here and here. All of the products mentioned above do feature such filters.

The second factor I looked into was the size of the filter and the airflow intake. While you might find different statements about what area certain air purifiers can cleanse, this is the one “empirical” factor that could be very telling. You could take a look at the motor of the air purifier. If it is bigger in size, the chances are the air inflow is larger, too.

The third directly-related-to-air-cleanliness factor I took into consideration was the tightness of the casing. If you actually take a look at some of the lower quality products I mentioned above, you would notice that there are holes in the casing, probably left for design purposes. If there are holes, it means at least some part of the collected dust and other air pollutants go back to the room air.

An obvious factor to consider is the cost of the device you would be purchasing. A top quality air purifier (the ones I strongly recommend you look for) would be in the range of MYR2,000, but the price could very well go up to MYR5,000+. It is important to remember that with air purifiers, the higher the net price of the product, the lower its long-term cost. Additionally, the more simplistic the technology, the lower the chances of technical glitches over a period of time. The cost of the filters, and their average lifespan is an added figure of the total long-term price of an air purifier.

There are a few less important factor for me personally, which I am sure might be of primary importance to others. For instance, the design of the air purifier. However, frequently certain design decision are made in expense of technological embetterment. The noise an air purifier produces could also be considered, especially if it is to be used in a bedroom. The electricity consumption is another factor, which could add up to the long-term usage cost.

Which One I Bought and Why

I bought a Honeywell HAP 18200 from House of Air Cleaners. It has the thickest filter of all, one of the largest (if not THE largest) airflow intakes, and a relatively long lifespan of the filters (1 to 5 years for the HEPA filter, depending on usage).

Honeywell HAP 18200 Front

Honeywell HAP 18200 Side

I understand it doesn’t cut it when it comes to design, as it might seem a little bulky to some, but I am far from the idea that an air purifier’s main purpose is to improve the design of a room. Additionally, because of its very powerful motor, it scores lower at noise levels and power consumption, as compared to other similar range purifiers, but as I mentioned above, these are less important factors for me personally. The Honeywell air purifiers have a lot of endorsements from hospitals and independent physicians, and the brand is among the highest regarded in the field of air purification.

At the same time, it is competitive price-wise. I was considering purchasing it from Singapore, where it is sold for SG$599 or SG$609 (~MYR1,600+), depending on the dealer, but I decided to go to House of Air Cleaners, where its “official” price was MYR1,959. My decision was based mostly on the fact that the retail store is less than 15 minutes driving away from my home, and because I got a discounted rate of MYR1,850, as well as a carbon pre-filter as a free gift (worth MYR85 at the same store, but worth MYR120+ in Singapore). You could also purchase substitute filters from the same store – activated carbon pre-filter, and HEPA filter.

House of Air Cleaners’s retail showroom’s address is: 11, Jalan SS2/55, 47300 Petaling Jaya. The street is very heavily congested with parked vehicles on both sides, especially during business hours. Additionally, there is pasar malam (local night market) on Monday, so it is generally recommended that you visit the store during their weekend working hours – Saturday from 10 am to 7pm, and Sunday from 11am to 3pm.

Other Products I Considered

There were a few other air purifiers I considered, or I would have considered in other circumstances.

The first one in this list was AlenAir Paralda. However, the price point is a bit high (MYR 3,188 after discount, MYR3,588 standard price, at the time of writing this article), so value-for-money-wise I consider it worse than my Honeywell device. The price of the same product in Singapore is SG$1,280 (~MYR3,450).

The second one was BlueAir 203 SmokeStop (MYR1,559). Having in mind that neither me, nor my wife smoke, one of its main features was useless to us. It is cheaper than Honeywell, but it covers smaller area and its general inflow capacity is much lower. You could find the same product in Singapore with SmokeStop filter, as well as without that filter. The price is SG$625 (MYR1,680) and SG$588 (~MYR1,570) respectively. You might consider going with the 450E SmokeStop model (MYR2,459 in Malaysia), although I do believe Honeywell 18200 is better.

A smaller, but powerful air purifier, which came close second in my choice list, was Coway Aires (MYR2,100). The fact that Coway directly sell it in Malaysia (and not via a distributor or a third-party retailer) is an added advantage. I would have probably gone with it have I had smaller rooms to purify. It might be a good choice if you live in a suite apartment, for instance. Coway don’t have physical offices/stores in Singapore, though.

Final Words

Choosing an air purifier is a long-term investment that could have significant implications on your own and your family’s health. Do not take my word for granted as what suits one might not suit another, and do your own research. The good choices, specifically in Malaysia and Singapore, are limited, so it shouldn’t take you too long to sift through the available options.

Surviving sinusitis part 2

More than 2 years ago, I wrote a post about my experience surviving sinusitis. You can click here to read about it. I still adhere to the points I mentioned in the first article. This second article is an update to my current condition and some measures I have taken in addition to the points mentioned in the first article. Having sinusitis is really a pain in the *ss!

Note: The author is neither a doctor nor a sinusitis expert. This post is solely based on the author’s experience having chronic sinusitis for the past years. This post is solely for sharing purposes. 

My BFF once mentioned to me that when I sneeze or blow my nose, the noise is as loud as a bomb. She told me that if I continue to blow my nose like that, my nose is going to drop soon. Actually, I’m quite ashamed by this fact (harsh nose blowing). It’s not that I don’t want to blow my nose gently. I obviously don’t want my nose to drop. And honestly, I have developed many bad symptoms like pain in the ear, pain in the middle of my forehead and back pain due to my harsh nose blowing. Can you imagine having back pain while blowing your nose? Yeah, I’m not even talking about being pregnant. I’m talking about my back hurts when I blow my nose. That’s how hard I have been blowing my nose. So, why did I not stop? I have tried to blow it gently but the mucous in my nose is so thick that it refuses to get out from my nose. Gentle blowing doesn’t help me to clear my mucous. I can gently blow my nose for 20 times in a row and the mucous would still remain stuck. But twice harsh blowing helps to clear mucous, but of course I have to suffer pain elsewhere. So tell me, what choice do I have?

When I vent my frustration about sinusitis, many people offered suggestions. In fact, I have been to so many doctors (GPs, ENT Specialists and Chinese Physicians), have taken so many different medicines and have used different nose sprays but none of them really helped to completely cure my sinusitis. They did help to relieve the symptoms in some ways but usually my sinusitis would occur again and again and again. Ggrrrr… I believe my sinusitis condition can only be controlled and not cured. It is like a bomb ticking in my body, which can explode at any time. If my surrounding and my diet are perfect, usually my sinusitis is under control. Under such “controlled” condition, I would still sneeze in the early morning or once every few hours. Therefore, it’s not entirely sneeze-free or mucous-free. However, if there are slight changes in my surroundings and diet (e.g. the weather becomes colder or if I eat a little more chocolates), then my sinusitis becomes so serious that every day I use a box of tissue to clear my nose.

Really, I am thankful for all the suggestions and advice I’ve received. I truly appreciate your concerns. I assure you that I’ve done everything possible to keep it under control. In return, if you are also a sinusitis sufferer, I’m going to share with you which doctors I have visited, which medicines I have eaten, and what I have done to keep my sinusitis under control (not always, not most of the time but just sometimes). If your symptoms are not as severe as mine, I truly believe these methods will help you. However, if you have severe symptoms like I do, you can also try these methods and in addition, let’s pray and keep a positive mindset that one day, miraculously, our sinusitis will be cured completely.

1. Doctors

  • General practitioners in clinics that I have visited would most probably take my temperature whenever I told them I have sinusitis. Perhaps they just want to ensure that it is not a flu instead. Usually they give me antibiotics and flu medicines. Sometimes they give me anti-histamine pills and paracetamol if they think I have additional symptoms like fever or sore throat.
  • I’ve been to ENT specialists in both private and government (public) hospital in Malaysia. I hate going to specialists because there is always long queue. Even if they have taken my appointment, I’ll still have to wait somehow. So I’m not sure what kind of appointments those are. Being frustrated not having my sinusitis cured from GPs in local clinics, I decided to go to this ENT specialist in one of the private hospitals in JB. Waiting in queue for hours was really not a problem. The doctor did nasal endoscopy and laryngoscopy for me. According to this specialist, my condition was “normal”. He sent me away by giving me medicines with nose spray and asked me to see him again in two weeks’ time. I was very confident that I would be cured, since he said it was “small issue”. However, it turned out that the medicine he gave me (Aerius 5mg) almost killed me, eventhough I have already mentioned what kind of medicine I am allergic to. I couldn’t breathe and my heart was beating fast after taking it. I called them to tell them about this and they told me to continue taking the medicine. Seriously, did they want to kill me? What if I died? That was way more horrible than my nose being stuck. I didn’t return to that doctor ever since.
  • After that incident, I decided to go to the ENT specialists in the government hospital in JB. Since then, I’ve been returning for regular medical follow-ups. Sometimes in 3 months, sometimes in 6 months, depending on the schedule they gave me. One bad thing about going to ENT specialists in a government hospital is that I don’t have a regular doctor. Each time I go, there’s different doctor who attends to me. It doesn’t really matter to me because I’m sure they have my medical reports but most of the time, I have to repeat one and the same story to those different doctors. Different doctors will tell me the same thing – avoid dust, avoid pets, avoid cold rooms etc. Seriously,I know all these. I have been there more than 10 times, can you tell me something different? Do you think I would purposefully expose myself to these conditions knowing that I’ll most probably suffer? Some doctors are very nice, they do very thorough examinations (nasal endoscopy, laryngoscopy and x-rays) for me. Some doctors merely ask me a few questions and send me away. So it really depends on luck when visiting them. If I’m lucky, I get to be examined thoroughly. If not, I basically waste my time there. But, I still prefer the ENT in government hospital over other private clinics and hospitals because doctors in government hospital don’t give me antibiotics. They usually give me just anti-histamine pills and nasal sprays. They give me different types of nasal sprays according to my condition. I hate antibiotics! (Read below for the reason).
  • I’ve also visited Chinese physicians. Chinese physicians usually don’t believe in the “western” medicines and they highly recommend you the ‘traditional herbal medicines”. However, these herbal medicines usually require a long period of consumption. The Chinese physicians usually explain that they believe in “healing from the inner side, rather than healing on the surface” (direct translation from Chinese). That means that they believe that one has to cure the “root” or “core” symptom, which sometimes may or may not be directly related to what illness one is having (for my case, it’s sinusitis). These herbal medicines usually come in big dosages. There are several packs of small pills or liquids that I’ll need to take. In addition to these medicines, there are also several foods and beverages that I’m not allowed to consume. I do believe in this “healing from the inner side” principle, but for how long? Usually these physicians can’t tell me for how long I need to consume the medicines. I’ve visited Chinese physician and have taken herbal medicines for some period of time (6 months and above). Has it helped in any way? Well yes, it did help in some ways (not entirely) when these medicines are taken for long period of time with the rigorous and vigorous diet routine. Was I cured? Obviously, no.

2. Medicines

  • I have taken so many types of antibiotics that I can’t remember their names. Some of the recent ones I’ve taken are Zinnat 500mg and Klacid 500mg. These are not the strongest. I’ve taken some which are so powerful that my brain doesn’t work. I also constantly feel tired when taking antibiotics. I don’t see sinusitis as being “sick”. If I have caught a flu, that is “sick”. And I think antibiotics in this case are helpful because I get sleepy all the time. But having a sinusitis relapse should not be considered as “sick”, so it’s really horrible that antibiotics are making me weak and tired. (Note: I’m not saying antibiotics are bad and unnecessary. They are good and necessary when consumed at the right time.) 
  • I’ve also taken so many different brands of anti-histamine pills. I mostly consumed this white anti-histamine pill, which is to be consumed once per day. I’ve also been prescribed the yellow anti-histamine pill (that usually causes severe drowsiness), but only on very rare occasions. Note: I’m not sure the exact names of these pills but as far as I understand, they are all anti-histamine pills. But I hate these yellow pills because they are making my body weak. I don’t like the white one either. But if I have to choose, obviously the white pill is better than the yellow pill. On a short term basis, these white anti-histamine pills work well. Usually after a few days I can see my symptoms get reduced, but not completely gone. Usually, doctors told me to consume the white pill whenever necessary. However, there was a time, my sinusitis was so bad that a doctor told me to eat the pill daily every day until the next appointment. My next appointment was 3 months later. So I ate those pills, once a day for 4 weeks straight. Guess what happened? I notice that my brain somehow “stopped” working normally. No kidding. I started forgetting things very easily and sometimes I couldn’t find the right word when speaking. I was a lecturer. Can you imagine the pain when my students asked me some questions and I can’t find the right word to answer their questions? Horrible, horrible feeling!
  • So far, my favourite sinusitis medicine is Sinupret. It was first given to my by my father-in-law (who is a doctor). I’ve previously told him that I hate all kinds of medicines because I felt like these medicines are destroying my health and not helping me. But he mentioned that Sinupret is a plant-based medicine and that it’s not as “harsh” as other medicines. I would say that this medicine did help in some ways, but also didn’t cure me completely. The last time I asked in a pharmacy, Sinupret was not sold in Malaysia. My BFF (who told me my nose would drop) told me that she got her Sinupret from Singapore. (Note: I don’t have exact information about Sinupret because every time I consume Sinupret, I’m in Bulgaria. Hence, all instructions are in Bulgarian. Therefore, I can’t give you any details.)

3. Nasal spray / Nasal rinse

  • In addition to medicines, I’ve also used various drops and sprays. I can’t remember all the names of the nasal sprays I’ve used. I’ll just list some, which I used recently. Back home in JB, the doctors in government hospital have given me  Oxynase, Budecort, Beconase and Beclomet nasal sprays. In Varna, I’ve tried Vibrocil nasal drops.
  • Not relying on just these medicinal nasal sprays, I’ve also tried sterilized seawater nasal sprays, namely the Pureen Clinzo Isotonic Spray and Ialumar Isotinic Spray.
  • Besides all these spray, I’m also using Neilmed Sinus Rinse to rinse my nose daily.

4. Food intake / Daily routine

  • Going to doctors, eating medicines and also using nose sprays are definitely not going to help if my daily routine and diet are like shit. As per recommended by the Chinese physician, I try to avoid all kinds of cold food and drink (i.e. iced beverages, ice cream, yogurt, etc.), white bread, Milo, nuts, fried food, dairy products, and biscuits. Well, I’ve tried my best but I can’t avoid them completely, right? If I do, I’ll have a completely miserable life. According to the physician, all these foods are mucous-inducing food.
  • Also, I can’t be in cold room. I cannot have pets. I cannot go near anywhere dusty and smoky. Hmmm… I can avoid having pets. Avoid cold room? My office was air-conditioned, should I turn off the air-con so that everyone sweats with me? Avoid dust? I can try my best but I can’t prevent dust from entering my house. Avoid smoke? I can avoid smokers but I can’t avoid if my neighbouring country decides to burn its forest.

Thank you for reading until the end of this post. Thank you for your kind suggestions and advice. From this article, you should know that I tried my best to control it. But it relapses from time to time based on surroundings, which is very frustrating as this is not something I can control.

Are you a sinusitis sufferer? Did you also take similar measures as I did? Sinusitis is very frustrating. I hate sinusitis!!! 😦

Note: Sorry for any typo/grammatical mistakes here. I blame it on my medicines that affect how my brain works! 

Five essentials for the summer

I’ve visited Bulgaria many times, but never had the chance to really enjoy the summer here. My first two visits were during the winter and my 3rd visit was during the autumn. Last year, I came here for the 4th time during the summer but I spent all my 3 weeks preparing for my wedding. This is my 5th visit. For the past 2 months, I’ve experienced the summer more than I have ever wanted. In this post, I’m going to share with you how I feel about summer and 5 essentials you should have with you if you want to visit a country with 4 seasons during summer.

Note: The author is neither a geography expert nor a climate expert. This post is solely based on the author’s experience in Varna (Bulgaria), Rome (Italy) and Milan (Italy) in July 2014. This does not apply to all Bulgaria, all Italy or all countries with 4 seasons. This post is solely for sharing and/or entertainment purposes only. 

I am from Malaysia, a country with equatorial climate. It has either sunny or rainy days. When I told my friends that I’m visiting Bulgaria during summer, they quickly assumed that the weather conditions of “a hot day in Bulgaria” and “a hot day in Malaysia” are the same. If you’ve experienced similar conditions, you’ll definitely know that they’re not the same.

Note: The following information is solely based the author’s experience on a sunny day (without rain) in JB, Malaysia and a sunny day (without rain/snow) in Varna, Bulgaria. 

A sunny day in JB is usually hot and humid. The difference in temperature between day and night is usually small. Except when I’m in an air-conditioned room, I get sweaty very easily even I’m in a sheltered or shaded area (e.g. at home or in open-air cafes). On a daily basis, I use BB cream with SPF50 on my face, but I don’t use any sunblock on my body (unless I go to the beach, but that’s another story). Without sun block, I think walking under the sun is bearable. I try not to be exposed for too long because I’ll get tanned (or “burnt”) and freckles will start appearing. I would say that walking under the hot sun is bearable (but not advisable) without wearing a hat or sunglasses. The glare of the sun is also bearable if you don’t look at the sky directly, but of course you are most likely to be walking with your eyes half-closed (trying to protect them from the sun). Well, this is based on my personal opinion but I may be biased since I’ve lived in Malaysia most of my life! 😀

A sunny day in Varna is usually hot and dry. In the middle of the summer, the difference in temperature between day and night is small too. The temperature at this time is around 30°C (or hotter). However, during the start and the end of summer, the temperature differs quite significantly. The temperature during the day is usually around 27°C but during the night, it can go as low as 16°C. I personally feel weird because I’ve never slept in 16°C back in Malaysia at night. Even if I were to switch the air-conditioner to the lowest, it was 18° but then I would never do that. I usually kept it at 26°C. Here in Varna, I don’t get sweaty easily. Unless I exposed myself to the sun for hours, I usually don’t get sweaty after a 15-20 minutes walk under the sun. It is very weird for me that my skin burns when I’m directly exposed to the sun but once I step under some shades (e.g. trees), it actually becomes cooling. Weird! In JB, the only difference when you are under the sun or under a tree is that you don’t get burnt. Otherwise, the hot “feeling” remains quite the same. I cannot tell you why but you just need to experience the magic of tree shades during summer. Although I don’t get sweaty, that doesn’t mean I don’t get burnt! I get burnt way too fast as compared as I was in JB. Therefore, I usually apply 2 layers of BB Cream with SPF50 on my face, and a layer of sunblock with SPF50 on my body when I walk to the mall. Everyone wants to get tanned here and I’m taking measures to prevent myself from being “burnt”. Without hat or sunglasses, my eyes are almost (not half) closed. The glare from the sun can be so harsh that I can’t see properly.

If you love being tanned, then summer is your best friend. Well, if you don’t like being tanned but still love the summer, I recommend these 5 essential things you must have with you (especially if you plan to visit a country that has summer days like Bulgaria)! But  “hotness” isn’t just what I’m talking about here. Taking care of the “dryness” during summer is equally important!

Note: I like to use the word “burnt” instead of “tanned” but what I really mean is that “the skin becomes darker”.

1. Sunblock & sunscreen

  • This is a serious must! Even if you love tanning yourself, there’s no harm applying a layer or two if you know you will be exposed to the sun for a significant amount of time. I think my explanations are pretty much in the previous paragraphs! 😀

2. All your moisturizing agents!

  • Face moisturizers: If you have oily combination skin like me, please don’t think that being in a dry climate place is going to make you a beautiful princess. Your pimples will still pop up if you don’t use proper skincare. The good news are that you can put lesser layers of moisturizers on your face and that your face will not get oily so easily/fast. The bad news is that “the very moisturizing” formula you used back home is probably not suitable in this climate. I’m not sure about other skin types, you may want search for more information on the Internet.
  • Body lotion: Also a must, preferably after shower. WHY? I can’t imagine myself applying lotion on my body when I already have layers of sunblock. Over time, your skin gets drier without you noticing it. I’m not even staying/sleeping in an air-conditioned room here in Varna and I can sometimes feel my skin is dry and tight, what’s more if you are travelling and are sleeping in a hotel with air-conditioner? Body lotion is a must!
  • Hand cream: The skin around nails sometimes becomes dry and eventually it cracks. Use hand cream whenever you can. It’s not necessary but it’s good to keep one near you.
  • Moisturizing facial masks: If you have invested in good moisturising skincare products, facial masks are not really necessary. But there’s no harm wanting to look beautiful, so you can use some sheet masks. I personally gel mask.

3. Hat

  • This is pretty obvious. You don’t want to have a burnt forehead, right? It’s a good way to keep your eyes “opened” (without the sunglasses) under a sunny day. Seriously, without a hat is not so bad. You’ll just have to live with a “burnt” forehead for a few months. But without sunglasses…

4. Sunglasses

  • Well, it’s a good way to keep your eyes “opened” more (with or without the hat). It helps to shield the glaring sun.  But please don’t look at the sun directly, thinking that you are 100% protected. You’ll most probably be blinded. I’m personally not a “sunglasses-kind-of person”. I prefer to see things in their natural form/colour. But yeah, … without sunglasses, it’s so difficult to see anything because of the glaring sun. Everything seems to be reflective of the sun light. At this point I’m wondering, why does the sun glares more in Varna than in JB? Does it? Or does it not? Maybe I’m just biased. Hahaha…never mind.

5. Insect / Mosquito repellent

  • Seriously, I myself am surprised from this. I came from a place where mosquitoes are breeding like crazy. Yeah, I’m talking about living near to a dengue-infested lake near my previous apartment. But put aside these Aedes mosquitoes, I would say that “normal” mosquitoes are not something new back in JB. Honestly, I’ve very rarely used a mosquito repellent back home. The only time I remember using it was when I went with my parents-in-law to the Tropical Spice Garden in Pulau Pinang. I’m not sure if it is considered a mosquito repellent, it was some lemongrass spray. I didn’t feed myself that much to the mosquitoes there. Perhaps one or two bites which were inevitable. Well, I would say that in Varna, if you avoid “grassy” areas like the parks or the gardens, you are surely safe! But if you enjoy garden dining like I do, you definitely have to prepare insect/mosquito repellent! Initially, I was thinking that I was just unlucky when I garden-dined in Varna. But, I encountered the same when I garden-dined in Milan!!!!! After 2 visits to 2 different restaurants in 2 different countries, my legs are full with mosquito bite marks that I sometimes feel like crying. T_T

So, nothing about what clothes you should wear blablabla. You wear what you wanna wear during the summer. Woohoo!! You don’t need anyone to tell you that. In case you are interested, I usually wear my favourite 3S – shirt, shorts and slippers when I’m going out. Sometimes, with short dresses too. However, if I know I’ll be exposed to the sun for more than 30 minutes, I usually wear long dresses or thin long sleeve shirts with long pants (plus my hat – still not liking the sunglasses). So it really depends whether you wanna get “burnt” or not. If you’ve decided to get “burnt” all over, the best solution is to go to the beach in your tiniest strings! I promise! 😀

Finally, do I like summer? Hmmm….95% yes! Where does the remaining 5% go?! Well, I had “some problems” with summer when I had to pack for my Milan/Rome trip. After all, they are the major fashion cities and I did not want to be “underdress”. I had difficulty choosing “the perfect colour combination” so I ended up with the “safest combination” of black and white. -_-” During that packing session, I was secretly wishing that it was winter so I could just wrap myself in winter coat! Enough said! Hmmm…

Have you experienced summer in another country? Are there any differences between a sunny day in a foreign country and a sunny day in your home country? Share your thoughts with me. You can leave your comments below. Don’t worry, your email address will be invisible to others. 🙂

Alternatively, if you have a story about your experience about summer which you would like to share, find out how by clicking here.

Unexpected inspiration!

I have an exciting blog post which I wanted to share today. But I know that the coming Monday is a public holiday in Malaysia and most of my friends are probably somewhere having their long weekend vacation. So, I’ll save that story for next week as a way to chase my friends’ post-vacation blues away. Hahahaha!! 😀 Happy holiday to my Malaysian friends. And happy weekend (in advanced) to the rest!! 😀 😀

To keep myself disciplined, I’m going to share about how I feel about blogging. I think this post is rather unexciting. So, it’s okay if you don’t want to continue reading. But if you do, thank you so much and I love you!! :* Alternatively, you can click on some old posts (check “archives” on the right if you’re on a computer OR all the way to the bottom if you’re using a mobile device!) If you’re interested, you can also check out Bunny & Bee for some stories I posted 2 or 3 years ago.

I love sharing my stories. I’m always glad that my stories are able to help or inspire other people in some ways. Click here to read why I started blogging, mostly to document significant things that happened to me and Mr. Hubby. Many people think I’m “public” person. In fact, I’m a very private person. From time to time, I’m actually “filtering” my friend list on Facebook because I only keep the ones whom I’m still in contact with. First of all, I don’t see the point of keeping “friends” that I don’t keep in touch with. It’s a waste of space. And it’s not like they take the initiatives to keep in touch with me in any way. Secondly, I don’t need thousands of friends on my friend list to boast my social circle. It’s totally unnecessary. I also don’t accept friend requests unless I personally know the person. I don’t subscribe to any channel to publicize my blog. I only share my blog on my Facebook. In short, I only share my blog to 600+ “chosen” friends on my Facebook.  But of course, not all of them bothered to read my blog any way.

Today, I logged in to the blog I share with Mr. Hubby. I haven’t logged in for more than a year. The blog is currently not active. Haha. Don’t ask me why. I can list you 100 reasons and you will still think that I’m giving excuses. So yeah, it is currently not active. But, I’ll try to make it active again soon. I was amazed that there were actually people (not from my friend list) who subscribed to it. I also received a few comments from strangers who told me that they came across my blog by chance and how did it help them in some ways. Few weeks before I left Malaysia to come to Bulgaria, I also received a message from a friend, asking me for advice about the marriage registration processes (with a foreigner) in Malaysia. She told me that she had read my blog about my experience. 2 days ago, another friend also mentioned that she had read about my R.O.M experience when we shared about relationship issues.

I mean, how amazing can that be? People getting inspired by my stories? This is like the “bestest” feeling (greatest satisfaction) I get from blogging. I was actually thinking nobody cares about my “nonsensical” stories. Apparently, it’s not so nonsensical after all. So, if you do have a story that you would like to share, don’t hesitate! Share it! You never know how much your personal experience can actually help or inspire others. Click here to find out how you can be a guest writer for my blog.

Let’s share our stories and be an unexpected inspiration to someone else!

A little “welcome back” note

I actually wrote this “welcome note” (3rd paragraph onwards in black) 2 weeks ago but decided not to publish it because I wasn’t sure if I’ll be diligent enough to keep my blog active or if I’ll have enough readership as motivation to keep my blog going. Apparently, I have been diligent enough to write for the past 2 weeks, except for Saturdays and Sundays which I declared as non-writing days for myself. In addition, I’ve also been getting so much love from my friends who have told me that they enjoy reading my blog. They even gave me suggestions on things they’d love to read on my blog! So much love! ❤ ❤ ❤  Thank you! 

Because of this blog, I’ve reconnected with many of my friends. I’ve also found out that many of my friends have really great stories that they would like to share. If you are one of these friends, click here to find out how you can be a guest writer on my blog. 

So, back to my little welcome back note.

Welcome back to my blog! After more than 2 months of hiatus, I hope I’m ready to write again. Sorry if you’ve been missing my nonsensical stories. It’s not because I’ve been lazy. It’s because I’ve been tremendously busy. Well, perhaps after that “tremendously busy” period, I did get a little lazy. But anyway, that’s not the point. The point is that, I’m back and the fact that you’re reading this means that you do care about me. Thank you so much for your <3.

In case you’re wondering about my whereabouts and what I’ve been up to, allow me to update you. As most of you probably know, I am currently back in Bulgaria with my husband. Before we came to Bulgaria, we also had a lot of things to settle, mostly work-related things like going to the government administration offices and other things like the terminating the Internet and satellite TV services etc.  Moving out from our rented place was really a nightmare. Arranging who to take care of which stuff was also a big headache. It wasn’t easy but I was glad that we managed to settle almost everything before we left.

Back in Bulgaria, my husband’s working hard as usual while I’m just having fun, doing nothing at home. I’ll just take it as a holiday reward for myself for being busy and hardworking before I came here. Well, I do have proofs. Remember my Happy Spring Cleaning Part 1 and Part 2 posts? 😛

In fact, we’re relocating to Canada soon. When will that be? I’m not sure. It depends how fast the applications get approved. How long will we be there? Hopefully for long, because it’s really not fun to “move in and out” a place, especially when you’re settled and used to the environment.

So, that’s pretty much all about me (or us). And I’ve got some really great stories on my writing list. Stay tuned!

Love,
Jenny Zhekova

P/s: If there’s any specific topic you would like to hear from me, let me know! 🙂

Mr. Hubby is more Malaysianized than I thought!

Last week, I shared some phrases Mr. Hubby uses all the time in Malaysia. You can click here to read the post. Even though we’re in Bulgaria now, he still uses these phrases frequently. And, he is using more Manglish than I thought! Like, seriously?!

Today, I’m going to share with you 10 more phrases/words that Mr. Hubby loves using all the time, even when he’s in Bulgaria. I think the major reason why he likes using Manglish phrases here in Bulgaria (as a weapon against his friends) is because his friends don’t know how to retaliate. By sharing this and the previous post, I hope Mr. Hubby’s friends can understand what is he talking about. You can also have fun by attacking Mr. Hubby with these phrases/words. Haha, fun attack I mean. 😀

1. Ham sap
What it is: Ham sap (a Cantonese/Chinese dialect phrase that means perverted or dirty-minded)
What it means: Perverted or dirty-minded (we usually use it in a joking manner)
Where did he learn it: Definitely from me, especially when guys checked on me when I’m wearing short pants or short skirt.
Sample sentence and what it means: Walao, that guy is super hamsap! (Yikes, that guy is very perverted!)

2. Bo jio
What it is: Bo (a Hokkien/Chinese dialect word for no) +  jio (a Hokkien/Chinese dialect word for ask)
What it means: You didn’t ask me to go with you. OR You didn’t invite me.
Where did he learn it: From my friends who constantly attack each other when one of them didn’t invite the others for some outings.
Sample sentence and what it means: Walao, why you bo jio? (Hey, why didn’t you invite me?)

3. Want to pengsan
What it is: Want + to + pengsan (a Malay word that means faint)
What it means: Literally, it means I want to faint but it doesn’t make sense because who chooses when to faint? It can be used as an indication of frustration or as an indication of being speechless or as an indication of the facepalm action. (Depending on different contexts)
Where did he learn it: From me, when someone annoys me (usually).
Sample sentence and what it means: Seriously, I want to pengsan! (Seriously, I’m speechless!)

4. Lao sai 
What it is: Lao sai (a Hokkien/Chinese dialect phrase for diarrhea)
What it means: Diarrhea
Where did he learn it: I have no idea! 😛
Sample sentence and what it means: Eeerr, don’t eat this, later you lao sai! (Yikes, don’t eat this. Later you’ll get diarrhea!)

5. Pantang larang 
What it is: Pantang larang (a Malay phrase that means taboo/taboos)
What it means: Taboos
Where did he learn it: From me, as a metaphor when somebody does something I dislike, not necessarily a taboo.
Sample sentence and what it means: Eeerr, I very pantang larang to see people write like shit. (Yikes, it is a taboo for me when people don’t write properly.)

6. Lai… (with draggy intonation) 
What it is: Lai (a Chinese word that means come)
What it means: Literally, it means come. It can also mean here you go or here it comes, especially when somebody is giving you something.
Where did he learn it: From a waitress in a cafe we frequently had our lunch at. Everytime when she was serving our food, the waitress would say “lai….”
Sample sentence and what it means: Lai… your coffee. (Here comes your coffee. OR Here is your coffee.)

7. Sayang 
What it is: Sayang (In Malay, it can be used as a noun that means love or sweetheart. Alternatively, it can be used to describe love or affection.)
What it means: To show love, care, concern, affection etc. Sometimes, the word is used together with the action of a gentle pat.
Where did he learn it: From my friend who goes by the initials SS.
Sample sentence and what it means: You must always sayang Jenny, ok? (You must always show love/concern/affection to Jenny, okay?)

8. Da bao (can be “da pao” or “ta pao”)
What it is: Da bao (a Chinese phrase that means takeaway)
What it means: To buy a takeaway meal. Occasionally, as a metaphor to give the meaning of “keeping all things and go away.”
Where did he learn it: From me, everytime I crave for my bubble tea.
Sample sentence and what it means: I’m lazy to eat out. Let’s da bao McD. (I’m lazy to eat out. Let’s get a McDonald’s takeaway.)

9. Don’t kacau me
What it is: Don’t + kacau (a Malay word that means disturb) + me
What it means: Don’t disturb me. Sometimes it can mean “don’t make fun of me”.
Where did he learn it: I have no idea. I don’t remember using this against him. Hmmmm…
Sample sentence and what it means: I’m playing Warcraft, don’t kacau me please! (I’m playing Warcraft. Please do not disturb me.)

10. Lao (+ the name of someone)
What it is: lao (a Chinese word that means old)
What it means: Old. However in this context, it doesn’t necessarily mean old. Usually the elders use this word together with the surname of their friends when they address each other. Nowadays, people from the younger generation use this word together with their friend’s surname to show close friendship or solidarity. Chinese surnames are usually one syllable, so it goes like this lao wang, lao chen, etc. However, Mr. Hubby’s friends’ surnames are usually more than one syllable, he usually uses the word lao together with their first names instead.
Where did he learn it: From my BFF’s husband’s friend. My BFF’s initials are CC. Hahaha…
Sample sentence and what it means: Hello, lao migger! (Hello, “old” Milen! – to show solidarity) 😀

I’m sure all these phrases or words are easily understood by my Malaysian friends but I’m sure my international friends will need some time to digest what is going on. Well, at least now you know what Mr. Hubby is talking about and you can use these phrases/words for future communication with him. Hahaha! 😀 By the way, if you’re interested to know how exactly he learnt all these phrases/words, you might want to ask him directly! 😀 😀 😀

Note: Some of these phrases/words may have more than one meaning. This list of phrases/words is solely based on the communication between Mr. Hubby and the author. 

If you have missed the first part, you can click here to read it!