Archive for January, 2016

Of 2015

Well, it has been quite some time that I was here updating some words (or paragraphs)…

2015 has been quite uneventful. I read through some of my friends’ achievements and feel very proud of them. Despite not having done much, but enrolling in PhD was the highlight of my year! Others made many achievements but I just only had one major one. I did not feel like sharing with everyone on FB that I am doing PhD. Not sure why so, but whenever people ask, I hesitate about telling them what I am doing (of course not my family members or close friends!).

Honestly, it is a milestone for me. But others will just think “WOAHHHHH you manage to get into a PhD Programme!”, “WOAHHHHHHH future Dr.!” etc.. I do not really like this kind of attention (regardless of where this comes from; happy for me or otherwise). I am sure I will be able to finish this PhD but please don’t give me pressure by calling me a future Dr.! Anyway, I am very thankful for everything (no, not lip service).

I have been missing life in France and UK for some time, especially being idle in Brunei doing nothing much makes me yearn to live abroad more! And that dream came true when my family are so supportive of me continuing my studies. I will have to work harder given what I am blessed with!

I am also feeling some guilt… the fact that I am supposed to be working and paying for the house but now returning back to life of a student; my family has to pay for my share of mortgage and my living expenses! I try my best to reduce my expenses (but I cannot give up part of my living standard — “slightly” spoilt haha). I cannot help but keep reiterating how blessed I am. I have a great supervisor (well, also a great co-supervisor). My supervisor accepted an industrial project (which he initially refused) just because I can manage a large part of it and earn some money. I also managed to get some demonstrating work (well, other than money, the experience will be CV-worthwhile!).

I rarely compare myself to others but then I think I am a very lucky and blessed person (please don’t pop my bubble and let me be the happy person I would like to be =P). And another thing worth mentioning is… I am rather stable in terms of health. Well, I see four specialists (rheumatologist, dermatologist, gastroenterologist, ENT specialist) and I have been told I am rather ok (well, skin and rhinitis will always be like that, nothing much I can do right?). I am very grateful for that till now it has been more than five years I don’t have any severe joint pains, just some slight/odd pains once in a while – especially when I overwork myself!

Oh.. I did not mention, I also went into a local bakery in Brunei as a bread/cake assistant. I firstly joined as a bread assistant working graveyard shift from 10pm to 8am in the morning but on the very second day, I changed my shift to working at 2pm to 6pm as a cake assistant and 7pm to 12 midnight as a bread assistant. I learnt some good techniques for making bread but otherwise, it is such an eye opening experience (not sure good or bad) and I don’t think I will actively buy bread/cakes from outside source. Maybe factory is not that bad an idea given everything is mechanized. Bakeries are small businesses and I guess, it will involve more “handling” haha…

And to some extent seeing how some people manage their own business (though I think people will think that business is a successful one) makes me feel sad. How can we expect to pay someone so little and expect so much? How can locals be paid so little and expected to maintain a proper living standard? Not saying foreigners don’t need more (well, foreigners are usually paid more anyway), they made the option to work overseas because they can earn more, sacrificing times with family and friends back home. Anyway, there are more to discuss on my one month long stint and I don’t plan to hahaha.

I made some nice friends (and realised more faces of different people – guess they are not naive? haha). However, I do realised I can make friends regardless of their background. Thanks to my upbringing since young. I am proud of that. I do not know if others will feel a wall in between if I told them I am bound to start a PhD life (I did not tell them until I was leaving or left). I never imagined myself working in such a labour intensive job (especially with such low pay – even my first part time job was double-pay!!!). But I was just going to go in and have a look at how bakery business is like haha… their recipes (though many Malays love their cake/bread) are not keepers… especially using low quality ingredients and repackaging them as “healthy, high quality products..” – debatable! If I were to really open a bakery/cafe, I think I will take a year or two to learn in an appropriate school. Or be an apprentice in a more reliable bakery HAHA… never work in a bakery whose owner know nothing much about making bread/cake/desserts LOL Well probably it is ok for the boss to not know, but at least they should hire qualified baker/cake decorator rather than just train any cleaners or so to do the job – and not creating a good work environment and culture. The people who are unsatisfied will leave and alter the recipes before passing them to others. So where will your standard be? Haha

Anyway, all other times I have just been at home cooking/baking for my family and some friends. Experimenting with ingredients are very fun! I also did some jogging, hiking and yoga in between. The family also got a stationary bike which I did use quite diligently for a few times HAHAHAHA

I don’t quite remember being someone who would do new-resolution-for-new-year kind of thing. So likewise, I do not have a list of resolution for the new year but just some thoughts…like… just to finish my PhD successfully (for 2016, I hope I have some data for writing! Many said there won’t be much to do in your first year and it is not surprisingly to not have any data in your first year! Again, I have been busy since the start and I am very thankful for that – slightly workaholic haha), stay healthy and happy continuously, living a down-to-earth and contented (Bring contented doesn’t mean I do not chase after my dreams; just it is a state where you make do with what you have =D) life holding my grateful heart tightly (for fear I might lose it and be an ungrateful person!). Oh and never forgetting this, always do my best to keep in touch with my family and friends (we are blessed with technology and it will be super ungrateful to not make good use of it!).

So summary, 2015: PhD. In the next few years: PhD! HAHAHAHA


Let’s have a great year ahead,

The one who is contented and thankful for everything I have or do not have ❤


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