I apologise for getting off a bit slow and behind on the blogging front the past few days, but I'd still like to wish ALL of you a very warm and HAPPY NEW YEARRR!!! I truly hope that whatever unhappiness that you faced in the past gets left in 2011 and that you bring with you whatever hopes and aspirations you have to this brand spankin' new year. This is what I'm telling myself, at least =)
So I've been back to my hometown of Kota Kinabalu (KK for short), in Malaysia, since the 30th December and will be around till end of Feb before I fly back to pursue another year of Masters in Melbourne. Lots of flying (and you can bet even more eating) in between as I'll be making trips to KL, Penang as well as Kuching during this time too, w00t!
2011 really was an amazing year for me. A couple of highlights include:-
1) Summer Exchange to Singapore
(photo creds to Nguyen)
AWESOME experience! Formed amazing friendships with people from uni that I've never met before as well as our counterparts from NUS. Living in Singapore for a month was amazing.Good food everywhere and I loved the energy. It was also because of this Exchange that I got to do one less subject (WOO-HOO!) in my final semester of undergrad. It's only because of this reduced workload that I decided to relaunch this blog in August =)
2) Celebrated my 21st Birthday
(photo creds to Aun)
What an unforgettable night it was. Felt so blessed to be able to share it with 60 of my closest friends and family at an amazing venue (function room of The Metropolitan Hotel)! I was a really, really thankful because I also had several friends flying in from interstate and even more changing their air tickets just to make it for the event. Also, my friends had organised games, performances, speeches and there was even a video. Shucks, the whole night was flippin' fantastic. Even got more gifts than I've ever received. Basically, some of my friends called it a"Wedding Style" lololol. I really can't tell you how thankful I feel to have the most amazing friends ever! (Thanks SO much for everything, guys. LOVE YOU ALL!!!)
3) Adam Liaw interview for Meld Magazine
Was asked to be the official photographer for an interview that Meld Magazine was doing with Adam Liaw earlier this year. It was good and all, but DANG, you wouldn't believe what a dork I was the whole time hahaha. I couldn't help but feel so star-struck. It wasn't because I thought of him as a "celebrity", but this was one cook that I've really admired and respected for a very long time. So, meeting him in person and having him sign my cookbook was really something I'll remember for a very long time =)
4) Food Trip to KL
While I went back to Malaysia in July, I decided to stop by KL for a few days to catch up with some of my pals. Actually, that was just an excuse for me to fly there to gorge myself silly with KL food. This picture was taken over an amazing meal we had at this small Malay village that served super delicious and authentic Malay food. Loved it so much!
5) Food Trip to Sydney!
(photo creds to Ann)
Been to Sydney a few times before that for different reasons, but decided I wanted to go back for one sole reason: The FOOD! We really had a blast (over)eating during those few days and I take to heart each experience that I have with my friends. Our most memorable meal? DEFINITELY Porteño, Surry Hills... WEEE~!
6) Grad Trip to Cairns
4 years of pursuing our Engineering degree was really a tough journey. So, the group of us decided to go on a grad trip almost immediately after our FINAL exam of undergrad. Really breath-taking experience diving in the Great Barrier Reef (though no one warned us of the sea sickness!). Was also great cause we've been so burned out that we really had lots and lots of time to just chill and hang with one another. Probably the last time we got to do so before we all go our separate ways =(((
MAN. If I knew how hard this course was gonna be before I signed up, I prolly would've chosen something else. But it really is because of these bunch of guys that really made the WHOLE experience so fun and enjoyable (despite the workload) each and every day. We share so much laughter and fun conversations each time and have become so comfortable with one another. Really have grown a lot together and I absolutely love each and every one of these guys to BITS!!!
8) Became an Uncle =)
Elder brother and his wife welcomed their first newbown child in September and our whole family's lives has never been the same. This kid has brought so much joy to this family like you wouldn't imagine. I'm such a proud (and sometimes clingy lol) uncle now and I can't wait to see(and hopefully play a part in helping) this kid grow to an amazing person one day.
Finally, I really do want to thank you guys for giving me a chance to do what I do on this space. I never knew that when I relaunched The Hungry Excavator in August, I would enjoy it as much as I do now and more than that, get to know and connect with so many truly remarkable people in this community. There's a few people that I'd particularly like to give a shoutout to for helping me grow so much as a blogger the past few months.
Leaf, for always showing so much kindness to this community, your words mean more to people than you know! Christina, for being so selfless in sharing your wisdom and guidance. I have so much respect for you, thanks! Julie, a really good friend that I've come to know over the months. I hope you know much I appreciate your support and please never stop blogging! Yasmeen, one person that I always enjoy having cultural exchanges with over the Internet lol. It's friendships with people like you that make blogging such a fun and enriching experience! Hannah, dear bubbly and fun-loving Hannah. You've got such a friendly personality that you never fail to bring a smile to people's faces through everything that you do! And last but not least, Marie-Anne, for your continual support from very early on. You've been nothing but encouraging and I really do feel like I've found a long lost friend in you =). Thank you SO much for everything!!
Again, 2011 has been such a blast. But I know 2012 is gonna be so much more kick ass. Hope you're all having a smashing start to the year!! Will blog again soon!!