Be different. Why? Why not? – Babytopaz

Almost started another brand new blog for this topic. As WP does not has a simple key feature to ADD A BLOG to your already existing email account (or maybe I didn’t try hard enough to look, I took the easy way by Google-ing how to add the second blog for WP. The first search result was titled How to Easily Add Two Blogs to a Single WordPress Site by BobWP which I decided I am just going to do this in separate posts after the video played for 3 minutes (I’m sure the video would be helpful because it is showing motion screenshot to guide you through the process). Then, I quickly think to myself, do I need a second blog to do so?

I’ve moved from another blog engine to WP a few months back. And it took me months to screen all of the previous posts that were part of my growing journey. As much as I am learning to live at the present moment, it doesn’t mean I am deleting everything from the past! The title says I Am Different and the very reason I am, is because I am exactly what I am and where I need to be from the past experiences. Complicated enough? So let’s just stay where I am, and not make things more complicated than it already is, by creating another blog, and start everything all over again. I know this is going to be an interesting journey to look back in the future. =)

So. Why do I suddenly feel so strong that I am different? Strong enough to have the urge to create a whole new blog and write everything about it. Well, the reason is, that I know I am.

Be yourself; everyone else is taken. – Oscar Wilde

So, I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned this before, this year is a self-discovery year for me. I am looking for myself so much (as if I have lost myself for so long) that I am doing 52 weeks of Self-Discovery challenge by Page Flutter. It is a challenge where I ask myself (and I asked my closest family to join me) one question every week to understand about myself more. There are no hard and fuss rules or limiting how much (or how little) my answers should be. It is a homework for me, by myself. And I am aware that there is only one benefactor out of this challenge – me. I get to know myself more by answering them truthfully (almost the first answer that comes to my mind) and I choose to write it down in a beautiful journal (I’ll draft my answer in Evernote if my journal is not with me and put it down in the journal later). The reason I am doing so is to be able to flip back to my answers and review my answers in the future. As truthful as the answers are at that very moment of my life, I am sure it will change as time pass. And reviewing is one important process of learning! By reviewing, I could understand the past me more and see the transformation I’ve made and the person I am becoming. So, that’s the Self-Discovery challenge part. I did not come out with the prompts myself, of course, and if you are interested in getting to know yourself more, you may simply look for inspiration on Pinterest or Google and there will be tons of articles about it. Check out my bullet journal that I’ve pinned!

This is the first time for me to share my answer publicly. I’m on Week 9 and this week’s question is ‘if you had a theme song, what would it be?’.

I thought for a moment and answered I Am, by Hilary Duff. I’m not sure if anyone is familiar with this or even have heard of this song. But it definitely gives the idea of who I am. Every word in the lyric speaks me.

What happened next was, it reminded me of a conversation I had with a senior colleague. He was telling me that he has set up a group chat among the senior colleagues (of his rank) and made information sharing so convenient. And I was telling him we do have group chats among ourselves (the junior colleagues of my rank) but more often than not, half of the member in a chat (in one of the most popular messaging apps in the world, now) are the same people due to the limitation of member we can have in a group. So no one can be in ALL of the groups. And we have such a big group that we have a chance to need information or even work with anyone. Although our company does set up a channel for us to share information, there are some restrictions especially the hassle of logging on to company site with few authentication steps. So basically, it was a good channel but not yet an ideal channel. And he introduced me T apps. He said T apps could hold 10k members in a chat, which is more than we ever need.

I had a thought of it but did not take it too seriously at that point of time because I do not know all (not even 20% maybe) of them, plus I don’t think it is ever my responsibility to do so. And I wasn’t if I could bring anyone into a group because it requires people to download new apps and some might find it too much trouble to do so. And I wasn’t sure how the group is going to be like. I even did a small survey among my colleagues to see if anyone would be keen on the idea. I kinda thought too much, for one simple task.

I drafted a long message and start forwarding to a few friends and see if they’d like to join me in this project. Because people need to download the apps FIRST before anything else could be done. And how do I persuade someone who I’ve not met to do something they aren’t comfortable with? I need to get my friends to reach to their friends, and their friends to reach to their friends (you’ve got the idea), to promote the group. But, why would people care? It’s not a paid job so there’s no obligation and there’s nothing much I could do if the chain just died half way. It might end up being a smaller number that doesn’t require T apps in the first place.

And then, I changed my approach. I edited my first draft, instead of talking to my friends in a ‘friend way’, I made it sound more official and listed the benefits of doing so. I created a separated group with the initial 6 friends who bought my idea, with a clean history, copied the link, and shared the draft with 3 (so little) different chat groups shamelessly (I am more of a sleeping member) and waited for the response.

And then, magic happened.

7, 8, 9, 10… 20… 30… 55… 79… 88… 102…

What? It’s already 102?

And the number kept growing.

In less than 3 hours, the number of members in the group exceeded the number of members in a chat group.

What made me happier was people actually appreciate that the group was being created.

Some said, “it’s finally here”.

I wouldn’t expect people to say that but apparently, people did want something to happen and I am not sure why it didn’t. I’m sure most of my colleagues have more contacts of other colleagues but why didn’t anyone initiate it? I still don’t understand why. Maybe because it’s unrewarding (monetary)? Maybe because they didn’t know the key features? Or maybe, just maybe, they are comfortable with what they have and find it unnecessary to change? But it doesn’t bother me much now because I have done what I need to do. To be different. Why? Why not?

Rewards don’t always come in monetary form. It could a sense of satisfaction, or it could be just a simple thank you. Understanding the intention of an action always brings the biggest sense of accomplishment once you have achieved your goal. Goals don’t have to be big but if it does add value to your life (feeling positive by accomplishing things that you thought you couldn’t do), and to others, then that’s all the reasons you need to act.

People have different ways to find satisfaction and mine happened to be keeping my environment organized, which includes my phone. So, again, why not?


The total number of members in the group has exceeded the total numbers of members in the 3 groups I was in previously. Which is a good news because it means I have achieved my goal.

This maybe a random story to share, creating a group chat? Really? But I think it goes beyond that. It is me telling myself that do not be afraid to be different, even if people around you might not agree with it. The biggest success always begins with the craziest idea that NO ONE feels comfortable doing it, and ideas will remain ideas if no action is being taken. First steps are always the hardest. Even second steps. Then the third. But do not stop until you’ve reached your goal. And you will thank yourself later.


Girls’ Trip to Milan (Day 3 and 4)

Without further delay, let’s get this started.

Girls’ trip to Milan. Ops! Is it 25th of August already? Lolz. I remember when I wrote day 1, it was 14th of July! =D Read Day 1 here.

And within two months, I’m back in Milan for the second time. It’s a hint for me to finish this post, I guess.

Anyway, day 3. We did a tour: day tour to Lake Como and Bellagio. It was pretty straight forward because there’s not much planning needed on our side. We just need to be present at the meeting place, which was right in front of the visitor center before 8 am.

There were a few other tour buses around that area, we just looked for the one that said our destination. We arrived slightly before 8 am and there was already a line of people waiting to board the bus. The tour lady gave each of us a radio and an earpiece as we boarded so we could tune into the channel and hear her as we walked around. We had to stay within a certain radius, of course, but it made the tour a lot easier as we could spread out a little while she was doing her explanation. It was not the old-school-tour-guide-with-a-megaphone kind of tour, which I appreciate.

It was about an hour drive from Milan to Lecco (where the Lake Como cruise is). We were given about an hour to walk around Lecco town, so we found a cafe to grab a bite. Mom and sister ordered some sandwich to share and I had a cup of cafe latte. I guess Italian really take pride in their coffee because even a simple cafe served a good cup of coffee! Hah! I was impressed. Haha. I’m impressed.

After breakfast, we walked around the town and learned that in Italy open market, only the owner is allowed to touch the produce. Unlike back in KL or most of the Asian open market I believe, you choose and pick your own produce. So one thing to take note of if we are to visit any Italy open market again.

If my memory serves me well, our meeting time was around 11 am and our cruise was about 15 minutes later. I remember the tour lady kept on reminding us to go to the right-hand side of the cruise as there’s more to see there, like beautiful houses, castle (was there like any castle?) and others. We found 3 seats on the right-hand side but we did not stay there for very long because we started to walk around and take pictures. I mean, there were so much more to explore, why stationary at one place right? We walked from deck to deck, front to back.

We cruised for 2 hours before we reached Bellagio.

We walked around Bellagio after we had an amazing lunch at a restaurant, which I tried very hard to get the name but I’m assuming it’s the restaurant next to Hotel Du Lac (I couldn’t recall the name) but they serve one of the best seafood. Do check out this restaurant if you do visit Bellagio. It’s recommended by our tour lady and we have enjoyed our lunch. And of course, what made things even better than what it already was the company and the conversation. It was one of the best meal the three of us had together for a very long time.


Just Sis and the cruise.

We walked around Bellagio after we had an amazing lunch at a restaurant, which I tried very hard to get the name but I’m assuming it’s the restaurant next to Hotel Du Lac (I couldn’t recall the name) but they serve one of the best seafood. Do check out this restaurant if you do visit Bellagio. It’s recommended by our tour lady and we have enjoyed our lunch. And of course, what made things even better than what it already was the company and the conversation. It was one of the best meal the three of us had together for a very long time.


Walking around Bellagio


Sis from different angle

After 30 minutes of walking around and window shopping, we went back to the meeting point where we were supposed to board another cruise to go back to Lake Como, where our tour bus was parked to go back to Milan. And before that, we have granted ourselves the local favorite dessert – gelato!

See how happy we were with a gelato in our hands. Lol. Notice mama at the background with gelato in her hand too! Hehehe! And we were all smile before leaving Bellagio.


One more picture of the lake.

We reached Milan Visitor Centre around 6 pm, where the day was still bright as though the day had not passed. Though we were quite exhausted from the bus ride and the very little walking we had, I suggested we went back to the hotel and unload some of the tiredness. But there was a mission not yet completed, the canal. I think the food tour lady from Day 2 was telling us about Naviglio Grande and we thought we could go yesterday but we didn’t. So despite the tiredness, our final decision was to still go back to our hotel, rest for a bit and then continue our journey to the famous Naviglio.



Just this photo itself makes the whole trip worthwhile. Tired and satisfied. Us at Naviglio. Mother and daughters time. 🙂

We walked up and down along the canal trying to decide what to eat for dinner. Officina 12 was our dinner place because we didn’t want to eat at the White Rabbit. Lolz. There’s something about our family that, well, my family don’t eat rabbit. Haha. And I must say it was another pretty decent dinner and the portion was just nice and the taste was good to our likings. We left the restaurant with great satisfaction.

We had nothing much on day 4. No tour or places of interest to visit, just need to reach Orio Al Serio Airport by 4 pm (I think so) because sister was flying back to U.K. around 5 pm. And since it’s in another city, Bergamo, so we left the hotel around 2 pm so that we have a little time to play around. And that pretty much concluded our girls trip to Milan. We have got just-mama-and-me time after sister left. Coffee, sandwich, shopping, you know, just girls stuff.

Milan has ever become a special place to me. This is my second time here after the girls trip and I can’t believe it has been 3 months. It was the first time I brought my mom, just mom, on a trip and I am grateful that the set of crew was nice and everyone was taking care of us. I am even more grateful that sister managed to reschedule her timetable to accommodate to our trip and made it a memorable one for us. She hadn’t been spending her birthday with family for few years and even though she didn’t always spend her birthday home with the family she was always home. I’m glad that it was something for her as well. As for mom, it was a breakthrough for her to travel so far apart from dad since they got married and I’m glad that she took that step (whether it was being forced or she just let things flowed). Only if the both of them knew how much it meant to me. I hope I have made that trip as meaningful to them as to how they have made it so meaningful to me. =)

Ling’s Facebook album Mum’s Milan Trip – One step out of comfort zone


Girls’ Trip to Milan (Day 2)

After a well rested night, we started day 2 with a food tour. Booked the Milan Food Tour online just two days before our departure to Milan. It was highly recommended by my cousin, who just visited Milan few weeks before us. It’s a 3-hours Food Tour in Brera, which is the oldest neighborhood in Milan, and the size of the group varies depending on how many people book the tour. There was about 9 of us that day which I’d thought it was a pretty good size.

The meeting point was in front of a pastry shop called Panificio Pattini. We arrived around 10 am and apparently that pastry shop was our first stop. After the headcount, we went in and were served with a cup of coffee of our choice (the tour lady recommended cappuccino) and a pastry, I think it was the pasticiotti (mini pastries or pies with a tender crust and rich ricotta or custard filling). The tour lady also explained how Italian loves to stand by the counter and talk to the barista while they prepare their coffee and newspapers that local reads. It was a quick coffee fix before we headed to our second stop – Parma & Co.

There were people inside the deli preparing for business around 11.15 am but it only opens to the public after 12 pm. Our tour group was allowed to go in and was served 3 different types of Parma ham and assorted cheese. The tour lady shared some history of the deli, different cuts and parts of a pig and how the selection of cow milk affect the taste of the cheese. So much input for a morning! Haha!

After that, we continued our tour with more walking, which was good for digestion since we have another 4 more stops to go. We walked about 500 meters and arrived at Grassi e Rossi. It is a gourmet grocery store and has 4.8 out of 5 stars rating on Google based on 5 reviews. It’s like a one-stop-for-all-your-pasta-needs and they do have some outdoor seating in case you are interested in having a quick bite before continuing your day. We were given one risotto alla Milanese each to taste. Basically, it’s a fried rice ball with melted cheese inside. That’s my understanding of this Milanese style risotto.


And we finally arrived the 4th stop of our tour, Jamaica dal 1911 Ristorante bar. It’s a hundred and six years old bar, as you may have guessed from the name itself. Everything interior including furniture, tiles, bar setup and even the toilet is from more than a century ago! A bar that witnessed history. Haha! It is also a popular place for students to chill out especially it’s located near the Brera Academy of Fine Arts. And the bar printed its business card into a postcard! I love that idea so much because not only we could send the postcard home, we would have the name and address of the place we’ve been to printed on it! Who knows we might want to go back there again and we do not have to search everywhere to look for their name and address. Brilliant idea!

After finishing our drinks, we walked another 800 meters for some meatballs at Antico Pastificio Moscova. It’s an old pasta shop where they sell traditional Italian home-cook food supplies. We got to try two different types of meatballs: beef and veal, which I personally prefer the beef ones. One fun fact about this place is they can cook in your cookware. If you bring your own cookware, they will do the cooking for you, in your cookware. I’m guessing this is to reduce waste, like bring-your-own-tumbler-when-you-buy-coffee kind of idea, but it also makes it looks like you are the one who did the cooking! Hah! Another brilliant idea especially for those busy housewives who need a me-day once in a while.


Could you guess what’s next?





YES! You guessed right. DESSERT! Hahaha! How could we complete a food tour in Milan without some gelato? So the next station, Tasta.







Can you tell mom is pretty excited about the ice cream?




My choice of gelato: Chocolate and cheese something. =D

They offer a variety of flavors, as most of the ice cream shops do, and I have yet to try all of them, but I do like my choice of chocolate and cheese. But according to mom and sister, they prefer the one they had the day before, which is located near Duomo. I did not get to try that (because I did not join them for the rest of Day 1) but this was not bad for my enjoyment.

By the time we finished our food tour, it was already 1.30 pm. We had been eating non-stop for the past 3 hours and it’s time for shopping. We walked around Brera and Sempione park for an hour or two, and then took a bus to Via Monte Napoleone and sat down at Pasticceria Cova, located along via Montenapoleone, the upscale shopping street in Milan, for some afternoon tea. It has a beautiful interior and offers a great selection of handcraft pastries, an ideal place to relax and chat after the long 3-hours walking.

We decided we can’t do much later that evening because we have booked our tour to Bellagio and Lake Como the day after. So we headed to Don Raffaele for some pizza and pasta before calling it a day.

Hah! The second half of the day was pretty free and easy considering we did not have anything planned specifically, except for enjoying the mother and daughters time. It was also sister’s birthday so we got her a slice of cake from Don Raffaele (Cova has a good selection of pastries but not so much on cakes) and had our small celebration back in the hotel. There was nothing big but I think she had enjoyed the day! Lolz!


Day 3 and 4 will be out somewhere in the week. Stay tuned!





Girls’ Trip to Milan (Day 1)

This is a long due post. I’ve already known how to begin this post but I just couldn’t get myself to sit down to do it. But I’ve decided, today is the day. I will not postpone it anymore.

It was something impromptu. It only took less than two days to decide, a few days to plan and execute (well, it was just a short trip).

When I knew I was going to Milan, I asked mom if she’d like to join me on that trip. Mom, who does not travel very often and had never traveled without my dad, hesitated a little when I asked. I booked her ticket either way and left the final decision to her. There was so much uncertainty.

As time went by, I knew mom was mentally preparing herself for the trip, though I told myself there might a slight chance of mom decided not to go in the end. To mom, traveling is a challenge. People might not, and will not understand why, but traveling without my dad made things even more challenging for her. I went on planning our stay and itinerary, on the other hand, hoping she could get over the obstacles, and will finally decide to come along.

Long story short, two days before the trip, I went home and saw mom took out their fuschia medium-sized cargo bag. She was excitedly waiting for me to go back and pack with her! I was excited too because it was finally happening! I was going to Milan with mom! Yay! =D

On the departure day itself, the entire family sent us to KLIA and we had breakfast after checked-in. We had about 10 hours of transit time in Singapore.


Me and Mom at holding room. Can you see there’s some color code going on here? =D

We had a quick lunch after we reached Singapore and got ourselves some snacks for the 12 hours flight.

Fast forward to 20-hours later, we had finally arrived in Milan! There was suppose to be a surprise for mom at Malpensa Airport but it did not happen until we checked in to the hotel and it became another form of surprise.



Waiting at the bus stop. Can you see it?


Ta-da! The surprise was here! How many of you actually spotted her in the first photo? Hah! =D

Sister was supposed to hold a Welcome to Milan paperboard at the arrival hall, but she missed the earlier coach and arrived an hour after we left the airport, so she came to the hotel instead, pretending to deliver room service. Mom was resting while she heard someone knocked on the door. Confused but she went to answer the door anyway because I wasn’t moving. She literally took 2 seconds realize what just happened. =D Good job sister! And then, we officially started our girls’ trip in Milan!

First thing first, breakfast! We were starving because it was almost 11 am and we had not had breakfast. We took the bus to town and started looking for restaurants that are recommended by TripAdvisor. Unfortunately, I forgot to check the opening hour and most of the restaurants do not open until noon. Starved and left with little choice, we walked into the first cafe called Di Viole Di Liquirizia to get the hunger fixed.

It was a small but crowded cafe, we sat down after ordering. The cafe only offers Italian menu, but the owner, who is also the one who baked everything in the cafe, explained the menu to us in English. We ordered two cakes and a scone, and I say definitely go for the cakes! They were so good and the owner was friendly too! If you walk passed the cafe, check it out!

After the sweet treats, we weren’t that hungry anymore, but we still need something substantial to last us for the rest of our day, so we went to another restaurant, Mo Puglia Bistrot, which is about 5 minutes walk from the cafe.


I remember we ordered another two dishes but I must have forgotten to take a photo so I could only share these two, which I do not recall the name. The one on the left was some sort of salad and the one on the right was some chef recommended pasta. I would say they weren’t bad but we couldn’t finish them probably because of the cakes we had earlier on. So yeah, maybe I’ll go back again someday and try their food to have a better thought about them.

After lunch, we walked around the area before went to Zani Viaggi to book the Lake Como and Bellagio day trip. You could totally visit Lake Como and Bellagio on your own, which is more cost saving and flexible in terms of how much time you get in Lake Como and Bellagio respectively, but we did the tour instead, which cost us €89 per person, because I thought it would be easier for us since we do not speak Italian. The experience with the information counter in Zani Viaggi wasn’t pleasant which was quite disappointing. Being a visitor center of the city, the staffs were not even close to friendly. Maybe next time I should just get everything booked online instead.

After booking the tickets, we decided to go to the supermarket near our hotel and load up our food supply. Mom and sister rested a little before heading out again while I stayed in for the remaining of day one, to have proper rest before the beginning of day two.


I didn’t intend to break this into a few posts but I guess I have to. My style is normally put everything together because I thought it would be more organized and I prefer to tell a story at one go. I’ve known I will take hours to complete this post because it is about a trip that happened 2 months ago and I will need more time to recall what happened and I’m still trying to get the momentum. But this is taking much longer than I’ve expected so I have no choice but to take a break at Day 1 and continue with Day 2 hopefully tomorrow if not the day after. I will try to complete this trip as soon as possible because as I’ve mentioned in the beginning of the post, this is way overdue. Thank you for your patience and thanks for dropping by! Till then!




Pray for the World








Continue reading


Life is a subtraction


Translation: Life is a subtraction; the chances of meeting only get lesser and lesser.

There is newborn every day.

But there is also death every day.

It is very easy to talk about life but when it occurs, how would you handle it?

So on this trip from Singapore to London, there was this gentleman, traveling alone.

He was seated on the other aisle, so I didn’t have much chance to serve him.

I’ve only learned about him from Van, my partner, who chatted with him when he came to the snack corner, that he is doing an Asia trip for his wife, who passed away recently. From San Francisco, Japan, Hong Kong, Bangkok, to London, then back to San Francisco. 29 days.

Then, he came to the snack corner for the second time. I went forward, and we started chatting.

I did not ask how. I couldn’t.

Instead, I asked how did they meet.

They were introduced to each other through a friend. It wasn’t loved at the first sight. In fact, they didn’t like each other that much in the beginning. But, you know, if it is meant to be, it is meant to be.

39 years of marriage. They have a daughter who is turning 29 years old this 29th. Apparently, they love to travel. He showed me some photos of her on his phone. From Paris to London. He said his wife loves Hong Kong. They had been staying in HK for years. And they planned to do an Asia trip together.

It was just, perhaps a less than 15 minutes conversation, but it touched both Van and my heart as he was talking. It was nothing fancy but we could feel his love towards his wife. A lot of love. And the love has been increasing every day. He is a proud and happy man whenever he talks about her.

As I’m writing this post, I somehow relate this gentleman with Mr. Lee Kuan Yew. His passing is definitely one of the saddest news to the world and videos of Mr. Lee are shared all over the internet. Mr. Lee was not only famous for being a successful politician, he was a loving husband who’d read poems to Mrs. Lee every night despite his tight daily schedule when she was not well. And it all goes down to one reason, LOVE.

Love has no age.

Love has no race.

Love has no rank.

Love has no gender.

And love has no time limit.


Love wholeheartedly.

Love unconditionally.

Love like there is no tomorrow.





而他,毫不犹豫地回答,因为我想保护你啦… 『不耐烦』



来过巴黎无数次的他,带着来过巴黎数次的我,两个像first solo,重游巴黎圣母院,罗浮宫,爱菲铁塔。




然后,就有爱心 soft boil egg喂到我口中。不好意思,我还真的是被宠坏了。


第一站圣母院。真的只是touch and go,拍了两张照片就,早午餐的crepe,他说带我去一间很好吃的… 但是,嗯… 他又说水准不如以前,今天就索性去寻找好吃的crepe… Lolz!但是,一天可以吃多少次crepe叻… 哈哈哈。

第二站罗浮宫。距离第一站不远,所以只用步行。穿过很多小巷,他凭方向感带我去。结果,他的方向感还真可靠的啦。=) 眼看旅客们都摆着一样的姿势…noob…哈哈哈,我们就小发挥自己的创意,至少看起来跟大部分的旅客不太一样。=D 在Rue De Rivoli [差不多是这个名字] 徘徊一下,找到之前我去过的Angelina,甜品是Mont Blanc。

他说,他 highlight of the day是看我玩团团转时掉下来,还坐在地上假哭,旁边的公公婆婆都转头看,然后笑着走掉。而我,没告诉他,我 highlight of the day 就是看着他每一次真心开心的笑,不管是傻笑,微笑还是大笑。 🙂

第三站,那个爱的坐标,爱菲铁塔。幸运的我们,还看到樱花树,在冷冷的季节里有多一点点的颜色。『唯美』 =) 傻瓜还傻傻的像小孩一样跳起来去採树上的果!哈哈哈,然后,我就知道,弹跳力这种东西讲,真的是天赋,不是每个人都有。哈哈哈。晚餐是超市买的汤,配『一路上有你』。暖暖的汤,加你和我,满满的幸福。『幸福中』




感激这个傻瓜愿意付出他的青春陪我一起成长,用时间和耐性证明他的爱。 =)

我也会用时间和耐性让您好好爱我!哈哈哈哈哈! 『得意』 =)