Artwork (2020-2021)

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I haven’t been posting my artwork here so I’m going to share a few select pieces all in one go 😬

Oh, and, just to catch you up, in 2020 I tried acrylics for the first time. The crane, zebra and autumn scene are all water-based acrylics on canvas :’)

The others are mainly pen/pencil drawings.

And I made the little kingfisher with watercolor pencils—another fun medium I experimented with last year.

This first image is a sketch of Lupita Nyong’o. I loved the dress she was wearing in the photo I used as a reference!

In 2021, I bought a Wacom pen tablet and started experimenting with Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Here’s what I’ve got so far.

The second drawing is of a Pallas’s cat and I’d like to claim this beast as my spirit animal!

The last drawing in this series is something I tried to recreate. I don’t know who the original artist is but here’s the reference.

The year’s not over yet so hopefully I’ll make time to create some more stuff.

Until then, adios! And thanks for stopping by!

Once Upon a Multiverse

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Maybe there’s a parallel universe

One where he’s a patron, not a painter

One where she’s happy, healthy, and her heart doesn’t wither

One where he leaves Omelas in search of fairer weather

One where he’s the captain of his fate, not another foot soldier.

One where he sees the world in technicolor

One where he’s found his tribe of outliers

One where he and Icarus know not of the sky’s limitations.

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

Social Posts or It Didn’t Happen

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If you had brunch with your friends but didn’t post about it on the Gram, did you even have brunch with your friends?

If you went to the airport to catch a flight but didn’t check in on Facebook, did you even board the plane?

If you went to the gym but didn’t post a mirror selfie with a dumbbell in one arm, did you even work out?

If you didn’t post an outfit-of-the-day selfie today, did you spend the whole day in your birthday suit?

If you graduated but didn’t post about it constantly for a whole 12 months after your convocation ceremony, did you even graduate?

If you got married but didn’t post a picture of a tray with your wedding ring in it, did you even get married?

If you had a baby and took a million identical photos but didn’t post them on social media every single day, did you even have a baby?

If you haven’t been regularly posting holiday photos from 5 years ago, did you even go on holiday?

If you didn’t post a selfie right after getting your jab, did you even get vaccinated?

If you didn’t post every single moment of your life on social media, did you even live?

Cover photo by Ann H from Pexels

What Is It?

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It’s where the improbable can see the light of day.
Where the absurd can have meaning.

It’s where free will is not marred by destiny.
Where every antagonist can be redeemed.

It’s where time asks for directions.
Where rules must not be obeyed.

It’s a universe outside the Asylum.
Where the wolves remain at bay.

It’s your impenetrable alibi.
Where your story takes center stage.

Cover image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Who Started Playing Jumanji in 2020?

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I haven’t published anything on my blog since December 2018. The current circumstances have, however, pushed me to retreat into my innocuous little writing cave once again.

Dealing with 2020

So far 2020 has been wild, hasn’t it? Bushfires in Australia, flash floods in Jakarta, a volcanic eruption in the Philippines, and then a full-blown pandemic!

It’s almost like somebody pulled out Jumanji and decided ‘what the heck, let’s have a crack at it’.

Honestly, out of all the movies you’d wish you could be living in, this ain’t it. But it’s what we’ve got right now and it feels surreal at this point.

When COVID-19 became a major ‘oh heck’ moment and lockdown was implemented, I wasn’t too fazed at the time. I felt comfortable working from home and kept myself occupied with painting, reading, and chatting with friends.

My outlook has shifted considerably since then. So much so that I am aware that it’s having a noticeable impact on my attitude.

I even cut my own hair during the lockdown. It didn’t go so well, but I don’t care. I’ve also realized that my writing style and tone now reflect my erraticism.

Truth be told, we’re all experiencing this pandemic in unique ways. Mostly due to varying levels of privilege we have or don’t have.

I feel like COVID-19 has just made prevalent inequalities in our society even more pronounced and has highlighted flaws in our collective systems and the global economy at large.

It’s bizarre how everything is right now. We’re living through uncertain times. (Yes, I know that phrase has been tossed around a lot lately, especially in advertisements, but what can you do?)

Right now, I’m worried about my friends and everyone else I care about. I hope we get through this pandemic with our physical and mental health somewhat intact.  And maybe, some years down the line, we’ll look back on all of this and just be like ‘damn, so that happened’.

I’ve also been seeing this bothersome narrative online about how ‘this is the best time to be productive and learn new things! Follow your dreams’. I mean that’s all fine and dandy, but it’s also okay to cut yourself some slack and just binge-watch some of your favorite shows every now and then without feeling guilty about it.

Your version of productivity doesn’t have to fit the version you’re seeing online.

Side note: I’m so glad I deleted my Instagram and Facebook accounts last year. Being away from these platforms has shielded me from a lot of those ‘inspirational’ posts and picture-perfect moments that, frankly, just made me feel bad about myself and my life in general.

No one’s life is as good as it appears on social media, and that’s a fact.

I went on a completely different tangent there, sorry. Back to the pandemic productivity fetish.

This productivity obsession needs to end

It’s natural to have days when you aren’t feelin’ it, you know? I’ve had those, too, and I would just like to get through this rough patch without self-proclaimed self-help gurus making me feel guilty about how I’m spending my time.

I’ve been productive on some days but other times I’ve just been trying to do the bare minimum to get through the mind-numbing madness that is 2020. And you know what? I’m going to pat myself on the back for that.

I watched this video yesterday and it helped get a load off my shoulders. This is exactly what a lot of us need to hear.

I’ve been rambling for too long. I just hope everyone out there is doing okay.

Stay indoors as much as you can and practice physical distancing. Wash your hands frequently and use tech to stay in touch with the people you care about.

I know it’s hard, but we’ve got to do our best right now.

I’m just going to wrap this up and share some music I’ve got on repeat to calm myself down during this nightmare.

Thank you for reading and Godspeed!

  1. Survivor – Eye Of The Tiger
  2. Simple Minds – Don’t You Forget About Me
  3. Led Zeppelin – Kashmir 
  4. Seal – Crazy
  5. Des’ree – You Gotta Be
  6. Aloe Blacc – The Man
  7. Jason Mraz – Look For The Good
  8. JosĂ© GonzĂĄlez – Stay Alive
  9. Capital Cities – Safe And Sound
  10. Tom Misch – It Runs Through Me

The L Resort – Krabi

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While staying in Bangkok, I decided to plan an excursion to Ao Nang, Krabi. I packed my bags and was on my way to Don Mueang International Airport around noon. I boarded my flight and arrived in Krabi a short while later. A bus shuttle from the airport dropped me off to my beachfront hotel, The L Resort, in Ao Nang.

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The L Resort, Krabi

The location and scenery were better than I could have hoped for. I visited in early September, so the beaches weren’t crowded at all. Tranquil aquamarine water and long-tail boats floating in the distance are the sort of images you’d conjure up if you tried to picture Thailand’s seaside paradise. Well, that’s exactly what I got.

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The laid-back island vibe and picture-postcard views were breathtaking. My cozy room at The L Resort was spacious and tidy; it was equipped with all the modern amenities as well. The white and purple color scheme was incredibly relaxing while the wide, panoramic windows drenched the room in natural light and afforded a lovely view of the outdoors.

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The hotel has 48 guestrooms and two beautiful outdoor pools. Breakfast is served at Wanna’s Place where the food selection is absolutely scrumptious. On top of that, the staff is very friendly and is happy to share tips with travelers, so you’ll get the best out of your holiday.

During my stay here, I walked around town and tried out a few restaurants. There are lots of eateries, bars and souvenir shops dotted along the street. While you’re here, be sure to book a tour and visit the nearby beaches. The four islands you can hop to while you’re in Ao Nang are: Railay Bay, Chicken Island, Tup Island and Poda Island.

Railay Bay - The L Resort - Krabi

Railay Bay

On my final day, I stood by the beach during sunset and gazed at the mesmerizing view. The sun dipped beneath the horizon in a brilliant display of warm, peachy tones that painted the sky like an artist’s canvas. It was truly a memorable weekend. The hospitable staff and management at the L Resort elevated my experience tenfold.

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Ao Nang, Krabi

Planning to visit Krabi? Check out The L Resort and book your perfect holiday!

Seasons greetings!

 

Shop Till You Drop – Bangkok!

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The capital city of the Land of Smiles is the best place to shop till you drop. From high-end fashion to budget trends, Bangkok has got it all and more.

Across Central World

Across Central World

The BTS or Bangkok Skytrain makes it easy to travel around. You can visit the MBK near National Stadium and then Siam, which is the place to be for all high-end shopping. Siam Paragon, Siam Center and Siam Discovery are the major malls located in this area on Rama I Road. Just a few minutes away on Ratchadamri Road you’ll find more malls, namely Central World and Big C. As you go down from there on to Phloen Chit Road, you’ll see Gaysorn Village and Amarin Plaza.

I got an amazing tailored jacket and shirt from En Elle Tailors. Their shop is located  on the 2nd Floor of the Amarin Plaza. The fabric felt great and it was tailored exactly to my specifications. This made an excellent addition to my wardrobe. The owner, Mr. Singh, was very professional. I would highly recommend their shop and services.

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If you’re looking for budget options, you’ve got to check out the Pratunam Wholesale Market on Ratchaprarop Road, it’s a great place to browse and buy souvenirs. Practice your bargaining skills and jump right into it.  You can really save money if you intend to buy in bulk.

pratuam market

 

Koh Kut – Back to Nature

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By Maria

During my internship in Bangkok, I decided to take off to Koh Kut on a long weekend. The island is unique because it is sparsely populated by people and feels untamed and untouched by human interference. The lifestyle is laid back and you really get to connect with nature because the quaint town is essentially a jungle paradise.

I decided to travel the long way via the Boonsiri Ferry. From Bangkok, all the passengers hopped aboard the bus from Tani Road, which is in close proximity to the popular tourist spot, Khao San Road; after approximately 5 hours, we arrived in the Trat Province. We were then taken to Laem Sok pier. From here, we boarded the Ferry that brought us to Koh Kut in about an hour and a half. You can book your tickets for travelling on the Boonsiri Ferry website.

Boonsiri Ferry

The Ferry came to a halt at Ao Salad pier; from there,  a pickup transported me to my abode for the day at the Jungle Koh Kood Resort. It was a much needed break from the fast-paced life in Bangkok. The food was great, the atmosphere was splendid and the staff was extremely friendly. Though the the staff did not speak English very well, it was still a good experience.

The next day, I was lucky enough to get a chance to visit Soneva Kiri. It is a renowned luxury resort on the island. They have beautiful beach-side and jungle-view villas that are perfect for a family retreat. The resort is truly heaven on earth. With excellent service and absolutely delicious food, you really will wish you could just stay here forever. I visited the resort’s chocolate parlor and loved their selection of treats. For all chocolate connoisseurs out there, this is what dreams are made of.

I was very impressed to see that the resort is truly dedicated to sustainability and is taking active measures to not only preserve the environment, but also places great importance in giving back to the community.

I was told that the resort seeks to invest in the local community by helping them better communicate in English and provides world-class training. This is an example of a business having an inclusive long-term vision.

I was shown their on-site bio-fuel plant,  composting activities, organic farm and a marine-life conservation program.

Soneva believes in the ‘SLOWLIFE’ philosophy, it is an acronym that stands for Sustainable, Local, Organic, Wellness, Learning, Inspiring, Fun, Experiences. This is the ideology that the resort maintains. Combining luxury, sustainable tourism and the idea of going back to nature rather than declaring war on it. In this day and age, we would all benefit by adopting such ideals.

If you want to travel to the resort directly, well you’re in luck. Soneva Kiri has its own airport on a nearby island, Koh Mai Si! Guests can catch a private plane from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport and arrive via a 1-hour-and-15-minute flight. Then, a speedboat will transport you to the resort’s jetty in a matter of minutes.

After that wonderful experience, I moved on to my next abode, the Mark House. This is an affordable lodging option that is just a stone’s throw away from the beach and lies next to a river. There are also a few restaurants nearby, so you won’t have to venture out too far for a hearty meal while you’re staying here.

The property has numerous bungalows and a swimming pool. The owners are hospitable and laid back. The aesthetic of the cottages is quite quirky with weirdly wonderful decor.

Mark House- etc

Credits: e-Travelers Club

After spending a good amount of time at the beach and watching the sun disappear beneath the horizon in a glorious display of colors reminiscent of a renaissance painting, I headed back to my bungalow and called it a night. The next morning, I was on my way back to Bangkok with a ton of great memories and revitalized spirit.

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Credits: e-Travelers Club

 

 

A Foodie’s Guide to Bangkok – Shabu Land

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Shabu-shabu is a Japanese hotpot dish. An array of thinly sliced meat and vegetables are provided, which you can cook in the hotpot yourself.

I got to experience this style of cuisine at a really cool family restaurant in Bangkok. Shabu Land offers an all-you-can-eat buffet. Great price for great quality food.

Shabu-land

My hot pot was filled with the aromatic and iconic Tom Yum Goong.

The meal was absolutely delightful and the iced lemon tea I had, was refreshing.

Do try it out when you’re in Bangkok.

shabu land

 

A Foodie’s Guide to Bangkok – The Manhattan Fish Market

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Looking for hearty seafood in bustling Bangkok? Look no further, The Manhattan Fish Market has got you covered. Their appetizing menu consists of soups and chowders, pasta; fried, grilled, poached, flamed and baked goodies; salads and sides, sharing platters, desserts and refreshing beverages.

From their menu, I tried ‘Spaghetti in the Sea’ and I loved it. I also tried ‘Passionate Peach’, a delicious chamomile tea with lemongrass infusion. The ‘Lemongrass Cooler’ was equally delightful.

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Location: Central World, 999/9 Rama I Rd, Khwaeng Pathum Wan, Khet Pathum Wan, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10330

Website: www.manhattanfishmarket.com