A Malaysian Tinderella Story – How It Started

“Once upon a time, there was a (not-so) beautiful girl who lived in the city of Kuala Lumpur. She had a regular family,.. A mom.. A dad… and a younger sister.. There was no evil stepmother nor stepsister who would barge into her room every morning demanding for breakfast or laundry service. But like Cinderella and every other princess in fairy tales, she was looking for love. So, this is her story. This is her Tinderella story”

The girl who inspires other girls to dream of finding happiness... (Photo Credit: Google)
The girl who inspires other girls to dream of finding happiness…
(Photo Credit: Google)

Well, once upon a time, I was a woman who was skeptical about online dating. In fact, when girlfriends started using Tinder app to meet men, I was afraid. More concerned if things went wrong. So, I never tried it until last year.

I was in a happy relationship with an elderly man last year. I was introduced to Pierre years earlier but never recalled him until I met him again at a reception. Things spiraled fast. From the flirtation and the romance, and then, there was the Big C.

Pierre was diagnosed with colorectal cancer stage 2 and had to move back home for treatment, leaving me alone in KL, just as our relationship was blossoming into something deeper. And being someone who has always believed in love and romance, I believed that one day, when he gets better, he will come back for me.

The Captain and I... Nobody understood how I fell for him, but he was my Great Love of 2016
The Captain and I… Nobody understood how I fell for him, but he was my Great Love of 2016

But he didn’t. Just a month after his birthday, also a month before his first surgery, he had a meltdown. He started thinking twice about everything, including me, saying that he was exhausted living that life that may or may not end soon. His question to me that I remember until today was, “What are you doing with an old man with cancer?”

I guess, when I answered “Love”, there was a noisy buzzer in the background like in one of those game shows you love watching. So, there I was… heartbroken… on my way to an event organized by his former colleagues. Darn it! Could it be any more humiliating and depressing?

So I called Hajar and told her what happened. Her response was, “Once your event is over, come back to Setapak and I’ll pick you up at the LRT Station. I might be late, but don’t go anywhere, just wait and I’ll come for you”.

I met Hajar while working on this TV show, "Jemput Makan"
I met Hajar while working on this TV show, “Jemput Makan”

And she did. I stepped into the car and she just gave me the hug that I needed the most that very same night. I believe, I just slumped into her arms for the longest time and she didn’t say anything until I stopped sobbing and could actually say something. She took me to this nice Middle Eastern restaurant for supper and gave me a looong lecture about dealing with a heart break.

You see, among my friends, Hajar is one of those girls who can set her aims straight. She doesn’t take sugar honey iced tea (learn the acronym) from anyone. She is also very opinionated and one of her best traits is her honesty. She may sound feisty, but she is in fact telling us to buckle up and move on.

The very same night Hajar came to the rescue...
The very same night Hajar came to the rescue…

Then, she took my cellphone, asked for my password and started downloading something. I was curious. Her explanation was simple, “You, my dear sister, need some distractions”.

Voila! There it was. TINDER. The dating app that used to freak me out at the thought of fake accounts, psychopaths and men who only want to jump your bones 5 seconds after saying hello. All sorts of things started flooding into my already cluttered mind. First the break-up and now this???

It's Official, I'm on Tinder
It’s Official, I’m on Tinder

In fact, Hajar was the one who selected my first set of photos from Facebook and she also swiped left and right for me for the first 15 minutes. Sadly, we don’t have the same taste in men, so all the men she swiped right to were not the kind of men I’d go out with. Then, I started to swipe left and right to some men whom I found interesting.

Of course, after that night, I totally forgot all about Tinder because offline, with my old job, meeting men was not a real challenge. Even before I broke up with Pierre, I had some potentials. In fact, back then I had a choice either to go for Pierre or another gentleman, but that is a story for another day.

I saw the notifications on Tinder, but I didn’t know why exactly I was too afraid to open the app and check which guy I was matched with. It took me a month before I dared to open the app and then I saw a few matches. Not bad, Miss Paris! So, I started chatting with some of them.

I was swiping left and right happily for weeks.. (Photo Credit: Google)
I was swiping left and right happily for weeks..
(Photo Credit: Google)

One of my earlier matches was a young Irish guy who has been working in KL for a year. In fact, when we matched, he just returned from a vacation in Ireland and Italy. I liked the fact that he reads a lot and writes too. Two traits that you rarely find in men.

Then, there was an English guy, a little older but fun to chat with. He has a wicked sense of humour. After a while, I realized that I’d prefer to have him as a friend. Yup, I’ve friend-zoned him from the very beginning.

And another English guy who also works in KL whom I had a nice chat with. He was funny, but I was not tempted to rush into any meetings.

Yup, an entourage of men... haha! (Photo credit: Google)
Yup, an entourage of men… haha!
(Photo credit: Google)

Of course, there was a French guy who looked like a hippie and had been around in KL for years. He was the first Tinder match I met. Nice, with a very good eye contact, but I didn’t feel any sparks. So, no. I was polite but I was not interested.

Then, there were two American guys whom I’d so love to forget. Those digital nomads who travel around in large groups and love to exchange notes among themselves. Let’s save this story for another time too.

I’ve met some good dates in the next coming weeks. And some bad ones too. Then, there was the gorgeous but psychotic German guy. He is one amazing story that I will share, just not today.

Hajar was right, the distractions really helped a lot. I was beginning to heal from my heartbreak wounds. Not that my love for Pierre was shallow, but I’ve learned not to let it hurt me anymore. Of course it still does from time to time, but I’ve made peace with the fact that he was never meant to be and that I should move on.

Love? Fingers crossed! (Photo Credit: Google)
Love? Fingers crossed!
(Photo Credit: Google)

So, 21 October 2017 – My First Anniversary as the Malaysian Tinderella!

To Love, wherever you are, online or offline, I will meet you soon. Fingers crossed!

A Malaysian Tinderella Story...
A Malaysian Tinderella Story…




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The First Lunch – La Vie En Rose

*This is part of a series of entries. If you haven’t read the first entry, click here

A day after the Italian reception, I was at home and going through some photos in my phone. I saw the photos I took with the French captain and then, I went through my bag to find his contacts. I was imagining that either I’ve lost it or, I might have not even asked for it.

So, I did what every person in his or her (not-so) right mind would do in cases like this. GOOGLE!

Ogle with Google, LOL!  (Source: Internet)
Ogle with Google, LOL!
(Source: Internet)

I Googled. If you have read my earlier post (click here) about being cyber-stalked by a certain young Russian boy last year, well, I would say, at least I wasn’t so obsessed about finding The Man in White. Mainly because I have never been the computer genius who knows how to do a complex search online.

So, I Googled for the most obvious keywords: Defence Attaché of France to Malaysia. Yes, something popped up but mostly about his official visits to some military facilities in Malaysia. Ahaaa! But at least I got his full name. The next thing to Google was ‘Embassy of France in Malaysia’. Aaaaahhh, only the news related to the defence section. Blaaaaahhhhh! Then, something came across my mind: Why don’t I just call the Embassy and ask to be directed to him? I mean, I could pretend that I wanted to speak to him on some matters, haha! Well, a PR Girl like me can always find ways to work with various organizations.

The only I found when I clicked the Defence link, urghhhh!
The only thing I found when I clicked the Defence link, urghhhh!

Just when I thought I was going to take the desperate measure, his card fell off from my purse. And I thought it was a sign that I should just email him immediately. Then, I looked at his card again. Hello, there was a cellphone number! Ahaaa! Usually diplomats or defence attachés never give out their cellphone numbers. Like the Russians, I guess, very paranoid, haha! So, I punched in his number and prayed that he has Whatsapp, so it would be less embarrassing to email to his official contact, haha!

Aaaaah, somebody up there loves me!
Aaaaah, somebody up there loves me!

Somebody up there must’ve showered me with blessings! The second I saw his name popping up on my Whatsapp list, I started getting a little nervous. Me? Nervous? Really? Yes, I was kinda nervous, which was a little strange.  So, I started tapping some messages at 9.30 am.

Me: Hello, Captain! It was very nice to meet you last night. Sharing photos we took together.

Just a minute later, I received his reply: Hi, sweet lady. Thank you so much.

That was how it happened. The first follow-up. He pointed out that he didn’t get my business card. Yes, I was like a dingbat, I forgot to bring extra the night before. He also told me, he didn’t get my name other than ‘sweet angel’. What a sweet talker! He claimed to have met me before but never got my name. I actually thought when he approached me the first time, he must have known me from my previous works with embassies especially when I was working for HE Liudmila Giorgievna Vorobyeva, the former Russian Ambassador to Malaysia. Yes, at one point in life, I was famously known as the Russian Spy; Agent Lyubov’ S. Klubnichkina (which Polina hates and christened me as Lyubov’ S. Kalinina, sweet and easier to spell too, LOL!)

Codename: Agent Lyubov' S. Kalinina
Codename: Agent Lyubov’ S. Kalinina

And naturally, the first hint of flirtation continued. I told him, I’d be happy to give him my business card in person. To which he replied, he’d be happy to receive it personally. Then, came my spontaneous question, “Lunch today too soon? Next week is already Ramadhan!”

So, lunch actually took place at the Manhattan Fish Market at Ampang Park. I was wearing the Moroccan blouse that my darling Assia gave me before she flew back to Belgium. The funny captain and I started chatting about many things over the course of salad and iced tea. He was very brilliant, a cultured man who had vast of experience and incredibly funny too. I found myself laughing and giggling to his amusing anecdotes on things.

Having lunch at The Manhattan Fish Market with a sailor, LOL
Having lunch at The Manhattan Fish Market with a sailor, LOL (Source: FB/The Manhattan Fish Market)

Then, he asked me the inevitable: The Boyfriend Question! Very daring on the first date (okay, it wasn’t a date, I just wanted to make this entry sound spicy and sexy). I could just lie and say the usual, too busy for a boyfriend, but somehow I felt comfortable enough to talk about the two men I was going out with; Mambo Italiano and the American. I left Mi Amor out of the conversation, not the right time. I also told him, the incident the night before when I caught Mambo Italiano in his uniform surrounded by girls and how I began to put a distance between the American and I because he asked me too many questions about the Russian Embassy; hence he was nicknamed ‘The CIA’.

We used to hang out regularly, but after a while, I realized he was looking for information from the Russian Embassy. WTF!
We used to hang out regularly, but after a while, I realized he was looking for information from the Russian Embassy. WTF!

“Paris, you’re a Queen! Don’t lower your standards for anyone. Don’t forget, a Queen only leaves her throne to meet her subjects,” the Captain said. I have heard of something similar when it comes to boosting my low self-esteem (yes, I have low self-esteem issues!) but I’ve never heard it that way before. Somehow it gave quite an impact on me.

Just as we were pushing away our empty plates, he put my fork and knife away and said, “These are the stupid Italian and the CIA. Get rid of them, forget them”. I laughed so loudly, I thought the other patrons at the restaurant must have heard me. Then, he put a wet tissue and an empty wet tissue wrap together in front of me on the table. He tapped on the empty wrap and said, “This is the Russian ADA”. Aaaah, in case you’re wondering who the Russian ADA is actually he was nobody in my life. I just told the Captain that I was interested in the younger Liutenant Colonel when one of my gay best friends is the one who is dying to get into those army green pants!

Yes, ladies (and gay boys), you will like this one! I'm done with Russians, LOL!
Yes, ladies (and gay boys), you will like this one! I’m done with Russians, LOL!

“This,” the Captain added as he took the new wet tissue. “This is the French DA!”

That was the moment, I burst out laughing. Oh, my God! That was over confident if I might say so. I took the tissue from his hand, smiled widely and replied, “So, the French DA is the good one?”

“The best!” he exclaimed with that adorable smile of his. Yes, despite not being the best-looking man among the diplomatic community (I may share the top pretty boys list one day), the Captain was charming like hell. Plus that British accent, I could imagine how the ladies must have fallen to his feet all the time.

He promised that he was the best, let's see shall we?
He promised that he was the best, let’s see shall we?

When it was finally time to say goodbye, we hugged each other and went our separate ways. I was going to the hospital for a check-up and he had a meeting later in the afternoon. Honestly, I felt so good about meeting him again. Crazy, yes, because although I’ve had diplomats asking me out many times, this is one guy I was quite excited to meet again.

Later, I received his text: “Thank you so much, Queen Paris. What a wonderful time! You made my day! Now I’m back to another reality in my office with a big smile. Have a wonderful afternoon”.

Indeed, the afternoon was wonderful.


I'm imagining a wonderful afternoon in Paris to be something like this...  (Source: www.grayline.com)
I’m imagining a wonderful afternoon in Paris to be something like this…
(Source: www.grayline.com)




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The Encounter – La Vie En Rose

Wow! It has been a while since I last wrote something on The Miss Paris Diaries! Yes, I blame pure laziness for this.

If you’re wondering, why suddenly do I feel like writing again, well, I’ve had a very interesting time in my life recently. In fact, all and all, it only happened in less than 2 months. I met someone… and this is our story.

The beautiful sight of Eiffel Tower from a distance (Source: Internet)
The beautiful sight of Eiffel Tower from a distance
(Source: Internet)


I thought, I wouldn’t attend the Italian National Day celebration this year because a certain someone who was supposed to take me as his plus one told me that he was flying back to Rome for a month and would only arrive after the event. Of course, I was a little frustrated but my Fairy Godmother, Madam Camelia N. Tudose, the Deputy Head of Mission of Romania told me that I could go with her.

Friendship beyond geographical borders. (L-R) Tatiana Gounar (Russia), Dr. Cinzia Giordanelli Kohlreiser (Italy), Madam Camelia N. Tudose (Romania) and yours truly (Malaysia).
Friendship beyond geographical borders. (L-R) Tatiana Gounar (Russia), Dr. Cinzia Giordanelli Kohlreiser (Italy), Madam Camelia N. Tudose (Romania) and yours truly (Malaysia).


Upon arrival (albeit a little late because I was stuck in the very famous KL traffic), I walked into the ballroom and there he was, my Mr. Mambo Italiano (yes, I shall give everyone a nickname) was there in his uniform. I whispered to Camelia and her response was simple, “What a jerk!”

Now, before anyone thinks that I was dating Mambo Italiano, I wasn’t. We were friends, or at least that was what I thought we were.  We had fun meeting up once in a while and I always sent him a box of my famous batik cake which he called ‘chocolate bomb’ almost on a weekly basis. So, I didn’t know what happened actually.

Mambo Italiano and I at the Pakistan Day celebration in March. I was working for the High Commission of Pakistan on several projects.
Mambo Italiano and I at the Pakistan Day celebration in March. I was working for the High Commission of Pakistan on several projects.

Truth is, I was pissed off and I told myself, don’t get mad, get even. Or at least, show him, what Miss Paris is capable off. So I started mingling around, even met Mambo Italiano’s boss whom I’ve met during the Russian Armed Forces Day celebration last year. Then, hopping from one person to another bumped me into Joshua Norman, one of the guys from the US Embassy who lost a bet with me two years ago and owed me RM100. Good thing, he remembered the bet and gave me the RM100, haha! I was happy.

After 2 years! Yeayy! He forgot to calculate the interest though, LOL!
After 2 years! Yeayy! He forgot to calculate the interest though, LOL!

That was when he came towards me with a nice, wide smile and he told Joshua, “That’s not how you give money to the girl, mate”. We were somewhat puzzled at that time. I mean, who was that guy in his navy uniform. Then, he asked, “May I?”.

Being the frivolously happy person that I have always been, I just said, “Sure!”

This old dude just took the RM100 from my hand and slipped it between my boobs. Instead of finding it offensive, I just laughed out really loud. Then, he stepped closer, took my hand, kissed it and introduced himself, “Pierre, French DA”.

What startled me was how non-French he sounded! In fact, he had this sexy British accent that might’ve thrown my guard off if I was not careful. “You sound very British, if I may say so,” I replied. I took the business card he gave me. Yup, he’s French. Captain Navy, uh-huh.

Oh, Richard Gere! You made every woman dream of being held like this! (Source: Internet)
Oh, Richard Gere! You made every woman dream of being held like this!
(Source: Internet)

So, that was how we met. I thought he was delightful, so full of life. Not the best-looking man around, a little too skinny for my liking, not tall enough for a girl who loves high heels, perhaps a tad too old, but I was more interested on the rank on his shoulders. And I will tell you why.

Just several feet behind him, was Mambo Italiano talking to a bunch of girls, probably charming their socks off with his thick Italian accent, rugged good-looks and probably the same sweet lines he used on me and some other girls before this, haha!

Yup, in his uniform, I'm sure ladies will find him incredibly charming!
Yup, in his uniform, I’m sure ladies will find him incredibly charming!

So, in my head at that time, (please don’t hate me!) I was already devising a plan how to use this perfectly available Captain Navy at my disposal. But first, I needed to check whether or not, I could charm him into playing this game with me. So, I was on flirtation mode. The Paris smile, the Paris giggle, the Paris proximity without touching and some more tricks I have developed over the years when I’m around the boys.

Gladly, he was reciprocating, sending out his flirtatious signals. When Mircea, my Romanian friend asked me to accompany him for a smoke, I said yes. And yes, you guessed right, the charming Captain followed us too. That was when we took our first photo together, which I thought looked pretty good. I mean, what woman would not look good in photo standing to a man in a navy uniform?

Miss Paris strikes a pose with the French Defense Attaché, Captain (Navy) Pierre Mesnier
Miss Paris strikes a pose with the French Defense Attaché, Captain (Navy) Pierre Mesnier

And surprise, surprise, Mambo Italiano was out there having a cigarette too! Well, Staff Sargeant, I was with a senior officer, LOL!

So, the Captain and I started chatting about other things too. He was so animated, unlike Mambo Italiano’s boss who often struggled to communicate. Kinda reminded me of Captain (Navy) Sergey Zhevnovatieyy, the former Russian DA. It turned out that they were such great friends. Aaaah, then I knew, I’ve met the right people to mingle with. And all the sudden, I didn’t care about Mambo Italiano anymore. I just wanted to enjoy having a decent conversation with this crazy captain, haha! He was incredibly funny, telling the worst of jokes with the best of stoic expressions! He was proud of it too, saying that everybody knew that he was the joker among the diplomatic community.

I honestly don't remember why we posed like this, but this actually happened!
I honestly don’t remember why we posed like this, but this actually happened!

When it was time to go, I bade him goodbye and went back with my Fairy Godmother. Before I left, I actually went to see Mambo Italiano and tapped him on the shoulder. He just dismissed me and said that he was busy. So, although I did not know what transpired between us, but I knew it was not worth it. On our way back, of course, my Fairy Godmother and I were bitching about Mambo Italiano the whole time, how immature he had behaved.

But the truth is, I was looking forward to something else.


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My Romance with Pies

Oh, my sweet tooth! (Source: Internet)
Oh, my sweet tooth!
(Source: Internet)

I have possibly the worst sweet tooth issue among my family, friends and colleagues. I can just pop everything sweet, sinful and delicious into my mouth guilt-free. The guilt only starts to seep through much, much later when I stand naked in front of the mirror and see folds of skin holding on to the fat I myself brought upon.

One of those sweet delights I love is pie! Be it sweet, fruity pie or something savoury with lots of meat and vegetables inside, I just love pies! Even the ones from McDonald’s are just irresistibly tasty! The new Spinach Pie is awesome too! I hope, they’re gonna be around for a while.

strawberry pie
What wouldn’t I do for a piece of this right now? (Source: Internet)

Pies are just heavenly so I understand the kind of comfort they bring at each mouthful bite. You see, Malaysians are not so high on pies like they are with cookies and cake. That’s why you see many people taking baking classes specializing in cookies, cakes and more recently, macaroons.

When I was on the exchange programme in Germany is 2002/2003, I lived with a family of bakers, the Fesenbeck. My host dad, Horst whom I called ‘Papa’ was possibly the best baker in all of Saarland, the smallest federal state in Germany, but my fondest, most beautiful memories were made there.

My host mum, Mama Karin Fesenbeck was the most loving stranger I’ve ever met. Although we were not at all related, by hosting me, she has proven that you can love almost as much as you would to your own blood.

My home for almost a year, Schmelz (Source: Internet)
My home for almost a year, Schmelz
(Source: Internet)


They loved baking pies for the community there. In fact, many people loved their bread too! I learned to eat funny German bread like the Schwarzbrot and many other brot (bread), which were as hard as rock but once you get used to them, you’ll love them more than your usual Gardenia or High Five.

After a year in Germany, I lost close to 30 kg eating this every day! (Source: Internet)
After a year in Germany, I lost close to 30 kg eating this every day!
(Source: Internet)

Every Friday the Fesenbecks would organize a high tea and invite their close friends and neighbours where they would enjoy food, usually pie and coffee. I’d help out with serving food and doing the dishes in the kitchen.

It was fun because I learned German faster that way. Located so close to France, just about 70 km if my mind serves me correctly (too lazy to Google), people are more motivated to learn French.

One day, Mama Karin gave me a slice of rhubarb pie. It was my first because I never knew how rhubarb looked like, even. It was sweet and delicious and I believe, I have fallen in love right that moment.

My first rhubarb pie romance was in the Fesenbeck kitchen in Schmelz, Saarlouis in Saarland, Germany in 2002.  (Source: Internet)
My first rhubarb pie romance was in the Fesenbeck kitchen in Schmelz, Saarlouis in Saarland, Germany in 2002.
(Source: Internet)

My host family, the Fesenbecks are very good bakers. They would wake up very early in the morning and start baking. I packed freshly baked pastries and bread to school every day. To me, it was a luxury because everything was right downstairs where I used to live, The Fesenbeck House, Robert-Koch-Strasse 39, 66839, Schmelz, Germany.

I spent the entire summer helping them to bake pies and bread. Unfortunately, I’ve forgotten most of the recipes. I don’t think I can find the exact same ingredients in Malaysia, but I’m thinking of learning to bake pies now.

The peach pie looks great and the crust looks very crispy! (Source: Internet)
The peach pie looks great and the crust looks very crispy!
(Source: Internet)

I believe, every dessert has its own strength in bringing comfort and pleasure to anyone who consumes it. Some people like cookies because of the crunchy bites and even better, when the cookies have tonnes of chocolate chips on them! Some prefer cake because it glides smoothly in the mouth and it comes with all sorts of flavours, topping and finishing. And yes, macaroons are crispy on the outside but very soft on the inside, they’re made in small size that you can continuously pop into your mouth at will.

Pie is different. ‘Pie is home, people always come home’. That was taken from Pushing Daisies, one of the best TV series ever produced. Ned, the Pie Maker bakes pie using rotten fruits because he can bring back the dead with one touch. Second touch, die again, forever, as the narrator repeatedly says.

Pushing Daisies, a fantasy forensic romance. (Source: Internet)
Pushing Daisies was my ultimate favourite TV show! I’d anxiously wait every week for this!
(Source: Internet)

Ned bakes pies, a trade he learned from his mother. He started baking pie in school whenever he missed his mother and ended up opening the Pie Hole diner.

Well, the TV series is about Ned helping Private Investigator Emerson Cod to solve murders happening around town with his magical touch. Ned also brought his childhood sweetheart, Chuck back to life but could never touch her again at the risk of causing her death, permanently this time.

One of the only ways Ned and Chuck could kiss throughout the series. (Source: Internet)
One of the only ways Ned and Chuck could kiss throughout the series, with plastic wrap.
(Source: Internet)

Then, there’s a movie ‘The Waitress’ starring Kerri Russell and Nathan Fillion, about a small town married waitress, Jenna who is pregnant with her abusive husband’s child. She works at a pie diner and bakes pies on a daily basis. She also bakes pie that reflects her mood like ‘I Hate My Husband’ pie, to which her friend, Dawn (Adrienne Shelly who also wrote and directed the movie) responded by saying, “You can’t put that on the menu”.

This movie is so sweet, I've watched it a few times already! (Source: Internet)
This movie is so sweet, I’ve watched it a few times already!
(Source: Internet)


She seeks solace in baking pies and yes, having an affair with her physician, Dr. Pomatter who is also married.

I just love this quote in the movie, when Dr. Pomatter came to her house after her first attempt to end their affair. He held her in his arms and she wrote about the feeling in her baby journal.

Dear Baby, I hope someday somebody wants to hold you for 20 minutes straight and that’s all they do. They don’t pull away. They don’t look at your face. They don’t try to kiss you. All they do is wrap you up in their arms and hold you tight, without an ounce of selfishness to it

pie waitress scene
Jenna is teaching her physician how to make Lonely Chicago Pie (Source: Internet)

So, these two shows tell me that pie is love. In Pushing Daisies, Ned bakes pies. Emerson Cod always orders pies. Chuck adds Gruyere cheese on the crust. Olive Snook helps to deliver pies to Chuck’s aunts.

While in The Waitress, baking pies are a way for Jenna to express herself. There are about 18 different pies featured or mentioned throughout the movie. ‘Falling In Love Chocolate Mousse Pie’ and ‘Strawberry Chocolate Oasis Pie’ sound wonderful, right?

Anything with chocolate and strawberry can never go wrong! (Source: Internet)
Anything with chocolate and strawberry can never go wrong!
(Source: Internet)

So, what would my pie be?

How about ‘The Miss Paris Diaries Pie’? Considering the things that are happening in my life, it will be a mixture of everything sweet, sour and spicy with a big dollop of whipped cream on top!

Just the way I love it!


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Top 10 Songs My Gay Friends Love At The Karaoke

I am not a Disco Diva or anything of the sort, but when I find the time and the ‘kaki’ – This is a Malaysian term for buddies, actually it literally translates as ‘foot’ – I will be hogging the microphone at the karaoke like it’s nobody’s business.

karaoke 1
My singing is best compared to Cameron Diaz’s Kim in ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’ (Source: Internet)

Of course, when you talk about karaoke, the best gang to the karaoke are definitely your gay friends. They are a wonder to ‘lepak’ (hang out) with. I’m not promoting LGBT on my blog, if that’s what you’re thinking, I’m merely sharing fun moments I had with them.

Just like many of us, we each have our own signature song set. In my case, friends know me as an avid fan of *gasp* old traditional Malay songs and at some point, oldies from the 60s. I also love ‘dangdut’ songs where I can twerk like an idiot among men who will never had any sexual desires towards me, haha!

My gay friends however share a common passion for some songs. Although they are not from the same cycle of friends, but they’d sing their heart out to these songs. Are you ready?

Top 10 Sings My Gay Friends Sing at The Karaoke

Beyonce – Listen

There’s something about this song that will instantly drive my gay friends MAD! They’ll start strutting and bending and dancing and writhing! Haha!

Ziana Zain – Anggapanmu, Madah Berhelah and other songs

Particularly ‘Anggapanmu’ and ‘Madah Berhelah’, many of my gay friends love Malaysia’s Whitney Houston particularly her older songs from one of her live concerts.

Katy Perry – Peacock, Last Friday Night and others

When this song was first released, my gay friends were more than eager to perform LIVE specially for me. At first, I didn’t get the whole song, but I later realized that it was the perfect song for my daily wake-up call, haha!

I wanna see your peacock, cock, cock… your peacock, cock!

Sadly, this song is no longer searchable at most karaoke places!

Anuar Zain- Sedetik Lebih, Keabadian Cinta and others

Well, it’s not a surprise why gay men love his songs! Haha! I love ‘Sedetik Lebih‘ just as much as they love him! Haha! This is one of his best songs ever, from the official soundtrack of ‘Merong Mahawangsa‘. In case you don’t know, he is the younger brother of Ziana Zain!

Britney Spears – Toxic and other songs

How could any gay boy NOT want to sing a Britney? He must be mad, or perhaps he’s from #TeamChristinaAguilera, yes, if you still remember their old feud between the two pop princesses back in the days when dinosaurs still roamed the Earth.

Toxic is easily the top pick. If you ask me, I’ll go for I’m A Slave 4 U! Woooot wooot!

Alyah – Sesal Separuh Nyawa and other songs

Alyah has recorded many great songs that will continuously be played on the radio and subsequently sung at the karaoke too. We love her sultry and powerful vocal. A couple of years ago, we all sang to Kisah Hati, so this year, we sing Sesal Separuh Nyawa, which was rumoured to be based on real life story. Whose? Well, I don’t know!

Dayang Nurfaizah – Di Pintu Syurga and other songs

Yes, this song was a chart topper back in ‘Ariana Rose’ TV series days. It catapulted Keith Foo’s name to stardom, as well as his leading lady, Fathia Latiff, who looks a lot like my friend, Nik Sara Sofia from Kelantan. Dayang Nurfaizah is also known as Malaysian Beyonce for her R & B Take a listen to this song and you’ll understand why people love it and gay men sing it.

Pussycat Dolls – Sway and other songs

Most of the time, they don’t even know what they’re singing, but they choose this song for the fun of moving, shaking and swaying within that small room we call karaoke paradiso. Another PCD’s song that deserves to be on the list would be Buttons featuring Snoop Dog. Hush Hush ain’t too bad either!

Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza – Bicara Manis Menghiris Kalbu, Kesilapanku Keegoanku and others

Malaysia’s No 1 singer is undeniably an icon among my gay friends. They will sing her songs at karaoke. Oh, and this is another indicator that your supposedly macho, straight friend might be gay after all. Don’t believe me? Well, check their iPod!

Charlie Puth featuring Meghan Trainor – Marvin Gaye

Oh, this is the absolute winner! This is one of my go-to songs at the moment. I could drive around in heavy traffic and sing this song non-stop to ease my boredom. And the video clip is just so … ahem… sexual, but in a cute way. I mean, those orgy scenes are just too high school, isn’t it? Haha!

Honestly, every time I hear this song, I can only think of one person and how I wish I could turn back time and tell him, “Baby, let’s Marvin Gaye it and get it on!”

Truth be told, I miss going to the karaoke with my girlfriends too. Most of them are married, some have moved out of Kuala Lumpur. But my distorted memory of singing our girly hearts out is something like this…

Sex and the City 2 karaoke scene
Haha, naaaah, we’re never dressed up like this at the karaoke!  (Source: Internet)

So, when is our next karaoke session?


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Let It Go… Well, I’m Not, At Least Not Yet

Every Girl Secretly Wants To Be Elsa

Recently, my Kak Erine informed me that her little sister, Asha is getting married this December. So, the Nordin Sisters (yes, all 5 of them) are planning to fly to Bandung, Indonesia to get their dresses done. Kak Erine invited me to join them scheduled some time after Hari Raya. 

Continue reading Let It Go… Well, I’m Not, At Least Not Yet

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Another Birthday, Another Year Older

Celebrating Life A Year At A Time

Aaaaahhh, finally, the day that some of us dread every year, our BIRTHDAY! Don’t get me wrong, I love birthdays, especially my own. I’ve never been those who’d hide my age. Even if I do, I don’t deduct, I’d add on a few years more just for the fun of it. 

Back then birthdays were all about party, celebration and presents. There was never a day in my birthday throughout my childhood all through teenage years that my Dad forgot to buy me a grand birthday cake. Of course, the older I got, the more he realized his taste in cake was never quite his forte; leaving my siblings and I the freedom to choose.

Happy birthday to me! (Source: Internet)

Nowadays, birthdays are just like any other day if not more stressful. Why I say stressful? Well, I’ve been so busy this year that I forgot it was going to be my birthday soon. Actually, I planned to order a great cake from a friend of mine. I know she bakes awesomeness in the form of everything sweet, nice and full of guilty pleasures. 

However, my schedule has been a little hectic for me that I forgot a great cake does not bake in one day. A nice cake, perhaps because you can just go to the nearest bakery and start pointing at each lovely confectionery before making your purchase. But a great cake… ahhhh, a great cake is a masterpiece made by an artistic soul. Surely, each of you has a great cake in mind. Some like crafty fondant cake, some like cool ice cream cake. Some like vanilla, some like fruity. 

Fancy schmancy and pricey, not really my thing (Source: Internet)

As for me, the perfect cake is something with lots and lots of chocolate. Yes, that is my vice; anything sweet and chocolatey. On top of it, show me just how chocolatey my great cake can be; with chocolate sprinkles, shaved chocolate, chocolate Oreo, chocolate balls, chocolate mousse, chocolate syrup, aaaaaahhhh… come up with something chocolatey and I’ll put it on my great cake. I live for chocolate and I swear by eating a large bar of chocolate on a weekly basis. Not to mention the smaller bars every time I fill up my the tank, haha!

The Ultimate Chocolatey Great Birthday Cake (Source: Internet)

But this year, I just completely blank out. I can’t even remember it was going to be my birthday until I started seeing people posting wishes and texting photos and videos and many more. Then it hit me, “Oh wow! Either I’m just too busy or I’m so old, my mind is slipping off and I forgot my own birthday!“. 

What is wrong with my birthday year 2015? 

Honestly, there is nothing wrong, but I believe that a birthday is one of those moments that you really close your eyes, take a deep breath and open your eyes again and finally, ask yourself, “What have you achieved so far for as long as Allah has given you a chance to live on this Earth?“. 

Oooh, now that’s a good combination! Something sweet to ease
 your craving and something sour to balance it all.
 (Source: Internet)

There are many things in life that each and every of us want to achieve. Some want to achieve more at work, some want to achieve more at home. Some want to achieve greatness, some want to achieve recognition and yes, there are some of us who just want to achieve the unachievable. Not that I look down of them, but there is a fine line between a dream and a vision. Just like my dream of one day to marry Hugh Jackman. Well, we all know how that ended up, don’t we? Haha!

Sometimes when I look back, I wonder, what have I done so far and how far have I gone? Could I do so much more and could I go so much further? Well, just like any other human being, I have some pasts that given the chance to turn back time, I’d change it all back and make it better. Of course, we also learn that Doraemon’s time machine has yet to be built and the DeLorean car is in a museum somewhere on the planet. 

I don’t mind some of this!!! (Source: Internet)

When dreaming doesn’t work and time travel is impossible, what is left for all of us? I guess, there is always passion that drives us further in life. There is always some hope that reminds us of all the good things that have happened and all the good things that WILL happen. And of course, there is always our connection to Allah, whether it is visible through our worship and invisible through our tiny voices of prayers at every breath. 

We will find our ways no matter how hard things will be, as life is not about the destination but the journey you take and the people you meet along the way. This year, I plan to live a much better life, at home and at work and everywhere else. I plan to learn as much as I can and do as much as I can. And maybe one day, share as much as I can with the rest of the world.

Now that’s a great cake for a coffee lover such as myself (Source: Internet)

So, with that, I wish myself ‘Happy Birthday’, may all my dreams turn into reality especially the part when I said I wanted to marry Chris Evan (sorry, did I say Hugh Jackman just now?). 

To all other birthday boys and girls out there, enjoy life and make the best of everything you do! When you do, share with us and share with the rest of the world.

Happy, Happy Birthday again! –> Yes, I’m actually that narcissistic!

So, what will my great birthday cake look like? Mmmmm… I honestly have no idea. Guess, I’ll just have to keep my heart open, like I always do in life!

Open your heart and Allah will do the rest (Source:Internet)

All my love, XOXO,
Miss Paris

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I Was Cyber Stalked!

When Someone Googled You

Yes, you read right. I was cyber stalked recently and it was still fresh in my mind like it happened yesterday. Well, truth be told, it happened on Monday, haha! So, yes, pretty much a couple of yesterdays ago. 

*Note: Cyber-stalking, according to Wikipedia, is the use of Internet and other electronic means to stalk or harass others, be it individual, group or organization. Cyber-stalking may also include false accusations, defamation, slander and libel. Anything to do with monitoring, identity theft, threats, vandalism, solicitation for sex or gathering information is also considered cyber-stalking. 

Could this be the face of a cyber-stalker? (Source: Internet)

Okay, so excitement aside, it wasn’t really a scary case of cyber stalking. I’ve met the boy once during the Russian Armed Forces Day celebration at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre not too long ago. Let’s call him AZ, shall we? 

During the Russian Armed Forces Day celebration, I invited my friend, Edlyn to join me as well and I told her, we could have fun and find her a nice Russian boyfriend. So as we scanned through the whole banquet hall, we didn’t really find anyone suitable for Edlyn. Besides, there were many distractions along the way, haha, with military attachés from some countries trying to get my number and all. Yes, it sounds a little vain, isn’t it? Haha!

The Belles of the Ball at the Russian Armed Forces Day in February

Finally, after scanning every inch of the banquet hall, my eyes fell onto one young man in suit. I’ve noticed him before at the event. Although he didn’t strike me as someone familiar, despite my rather long involvement with the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Malaysia. He was standing next to a familiar face though. 

So, I whispered to Edlyn if she thought the guy was cute. She glanced for a while and said, he was okay. Haha, well, I told her, let’s just talk to the guy and we could decide later. So, there I was, devising a plan to talk to the guy. You see, I’m actually quite at good at this after some time of practising to throw shyness away and start communicating with strangers. 

Sharing with Edlyn why I love working with the Russians

Of course, I spoke to the familiar face first, but please excuse me, although I’ve seen him one too many times, I never got his name. Ahaaa, it was Dmitry, a typical Russian name. Then, I turned to the other guy and introduced myself. Unsurprisingly, he shared a name with my Iskandar, which is also rather typical among Russians. That was how I met AZ.

AZ turned out to be very pleasant indeed. A real gentleman too. And then I met his mother. Ahaaaa, apparently, I knew his mother, met her on various Russian occasions, haha! And then only Edlyn and I found out that he was so young! Yes, it is a legal age but I I still felt he was a little too young for Edlyn. Still, again, I think AZ was a real gentleman at such a young age. 

“Manners maketh man” – Kingsman: The Secret Service
(Source: Internet)

Anyway, fast-forward to last Monday, I was chatting with my friend, Polina Matveycheva from the Russian Embassy when I saw a new Facebook friend request notification with a Russian name that I was not familiar with. I just clicked on the profile and saw a familiar face. So, I asked Polina and she confirmed that it was AZ. I also noticed that AZ and I didn’t have a mutual friend which means Polina was not on his friends list. Anyway, she told me that the boy was very sweet to give flowers to Polina and her friends. 

So, I accepted the friend request and clicked on his profile. Then, I posted something funny, “Damn! How did you find me?“. Instantly, he sent me a private message and told me he found me through Google. Anyway, the thing that I didn’t like about Facebook Messenger Apps was, it was really irritating because the phone number thing keeps popping up. So, I gave him my number and in less than 10 seconds, I got his Whatsapp text.

I can’t imagine the detective work involved to find me (Source: Internet)

AZ said, it wasn’t easy to find me. It got me wondering, why would he in the first place. He told me, he went back that night realizing that he didn’t have my contact number. He tried asking another Russian friend of mine, Anita but she didn’t have my number. He could’ve asked from Polina but he chose not too, believing that Google knew it all. 

Curious, I asked AZ to tell me. So, it turned out that AZ was bogged down with studies and all (yes, he’s attending college, so you can imagine how I feel) that he only started Googling for me on Monday at 6pm. He told me, he looked for Paris, Malaysia and Russia; trying to connect the dots. 

Here’s Paris and its landmark, the Eiffel Tower (Source: Internet)

And here’s Russia and the famous Kremlin in Moscow (Source: Internet)

And in all its glory, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and the iconic Twin Towers (Source: Internet)

Of course, coming to think about it, it must be extremely hard, considering Paris/Malaysia/Russia might probably lead you to holiday packages or flight tickets, haha! Yet, he didn’t stop. He even asked his friends to help him look me up on Google using Chinese and Malay keywords; but to no avail. Honestly this part got me thinking really hard and I was like, ‘Huh?’. He even shared with me how he came across: MALAYSIA BLOGGER PARIS RUSSIA-HILTON-SOPHIE-L’OREAL-MIKI-NUXE-FRANCE-ENCHANTEUR. How cute was that? 

How many times have I been jested and linked to Paris Hilton?
(Source: Internet)

Still he didn’t find me. And probably around 10pm, he was led to my friend, Dik Bee’s blog post on ‘Russian Dance‘ which featured AZ’s friend, Lisa Zhevnovataya whose father, Captain (Navy) Sergey Valeriyevich Zhevnovatiyy is an acquaintance of mine. That was when he found my full name and yes, finally he found my Facebook profile. 

I was so touched by such gesture. Yes, people may say, “Oh, come on, he’s only a child!“. To me, what truly matters is the effort that AZ showed to Google me up. If he was old enough, I’d give him a big hug for making me feel so beautiful and sexy. I mean, would anyone really go through lengths to Google someone up like this? Ladies, how many men you met at events or parties would actually do this for you?

Any woman in her right mind would be flattered by such gesture
(Source: Internet)

So, in my defence, I’m entitled to feel gorgeous with such attention given to me. Yes, some people may say, “The boy is developing a crush“, but I think he just found me interesting, considering that we are both Mass Communications people and we also learned German. How’s that for common ground? 

Haha, oh, no! I didn’t mean anything by it. I’m just still very much delighting in such thought that someone just did something absolutely sweet. So, allow me some more time to revel in this cute adoration! It’ll give a major boost to my ego as a woman!

And no! We’re not going to end up like Harold and Maude! Hahaha! Not that much of a cougar!

A famous story of an old lady and a young boy, Harold and Maude
(Source: Internet)

See you in the next confession!

All my love, XOXO,
Miss Paris

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Sending Out A Message – Part 2

Write Right, Please!

So, before this I was writing about the type of emails and letters that I received from other people, BOTH fresh graduates and experienced personnel. Although I’m not an expert, but I’d love to share some of the things that I’ve learned. 

I should remind you, this confession is NOT the complete guide to writing a formal email/letter. It’s just the rule of thumb that I’ve been practising for quite some time.

Put some thoughts into it! A last minute writing can lead to a lot of oversights
(Source: Internet)

Before You Pen It Down

Let’s be frank here, why do you write your email/letter? Are you selling something or asking for something? 

Even when you think you’re only writing to inform the recipient something, it is still considered selling because you’re selling an idea, concept or a belief. For example, when you’re writing to inform people about an event. Don’t you mean to sell your event so that people will attend? BINGO!

Selling an idea might be a little easier than asking for something, mind you. Asking for something, for example, a job or sponsorship requires a much stronger power of persuasion. Always remember, what makes you think you’re the only person writing to the same recipient? 

So, give it some time before penning it down.

Writing letters or emails, well, both require a carefully planned structure
(Source: Internet)

Dear Sir/Madam

Yes, yes, yes! We were all taught to write this for the salutation. When it’s understandable for the recipients that we are not familiar with, just try as much as possible NOT to make it a habit. 

Seriously, in this modern day where everyone is becoming more and more tech-savvy, what’s your excuse not to find out who your recipient is? What’s wrong with calling the recipient to find out? This usually happens when you’re sending a generic email or letter. 

Or, simply ask Mr. Google! Oh, come on! You’re telling me that you can find the driver of CDM25 and you can’ find the name of your recipient? What about your ex who dumped you big and was suddenly rumoured to be getting married soon? If you can find these people and every one else who is related to them, you can work miracles to find out the identity of your recipient. 

Admit it! At least at one point in life, you cyber stalked someone!
(Source: Internet)

Finding out names and titles is extremely important. Might I remind you fellow Malaysians that our country is known for people with the longest names? Hahaha, never mind those names derived from the romantic novels, think of all the Datuk’s, Datuk Seri’s, Tan Sri’s, Tengku’s, Professors, Dr.’s, etc that you might offend by calling them Encik or Puan. 

One of the best examples which happened to an old friend…

Excuse me, I did not graduate with a Ph.D. to be called a Mister!

Yup, some people are actually that vain! 

Seriously??? Unless you’re a doctor with a long queue of patients,
 let’s acknowledge who we are writing to.
 If not, they might not be concerned of your message too.
(Source: Internet)

Hello, Is It Me You’re Looking For?

When I was attending this amaaaazing business writing class conducted by Mr. John Hagedorn (feel free to Google him up!), he taught my colleague and I many, many great things about formal writing. You’d be surprised with the eye-opening revelations of formal writing.

One of the things that he pointed out was the exaggerated usage of ‘Dear‘. Coming to think about it, it’s true isn’t it? Why are you calling strangers ‘Dear‘? Hahahah! Are they so ‘Dear‘ to you? Or are you secretly wanting to be a ‘Dear‘ and beloved of that person? Haha! Besides, is it like a ‘Dear Diary‘ kind of thing? Or a ‘Dear Abby‘ column?

When someone wrote ‘Dear Paris’ nowadays, I just giggle
 (Source: Internet)

During the class, when John Hagedorn asked us, what might be suitable to substitute ‘Dear’, everybody including yours truly Dear Miss Paris Diaries came up with clichés such as ‘Good morning‘, ‘Good day‘ and everything good, except a good answer. Such salutations with specific time may not be suitable by the time the recipient reads your email and letter. It’s like, okay I’ve just had a long day and by chance I read your email which says ‘Good morning‘. Yes, I know you wrote that this morning, but I read it when it was already a good (or not so) evening. 

There we were, trying to figure out which ‘Good…’ should we use and John simply asked us if ‘Hello‘ would suffice. You see, being trained in an old school education system, I actually thought ‘Hello‘ may not sound formal enough and I was shameless enough to ask him back. Why should I be ashamed to ask? My HR Department did not spend thousands on a business writing class so that I come back with zero knowledge and improvement!

So, John made it very clear, it was just like making a telephone call. You use ‘Hello‘ whether you know the person or not, so why shouldn’t ‘Hello‘ be considered formal as well? 

That was the time when my simply was simply “Aaaaaah…“. It does make sense, doesn’t it?

Let’s say it with me, “Aaaaaahhhh….

Feel free to use this…. only with me! Haha! (Souce: Internet)

Another thing that you might want to consider. Don’t simply assume whether the recipient is male or female by just looking at the name. This is when ‘Hello, Miss Sandy Smith‘ might actually be ‘Hello, Mr. Sandy Smith‘. Or ‘Hello, Mr. Lee James‘ is actually, ‘Hello, Miss Lee James‘. This usually happens when dealing with foreign or unfamiliar recipients

*Note: Heck, I had a male Chinese colleague whose name is Bee Leng and a female colleague whose name is Hayatulnizam! So, ‘Hello, Sandy Smith’ or ‘Hello, Lee James’ would suffice!

Don’t Be A Tone Deaf!

And no, we’re not going to turn you into a musician or anything. However in every letter and email, you must determine the tone of your contents. So, how can we do this?

Well, one of the ways is to watch your format of writing. Remember when to use capital letters and small letters. Of course, this one is easy for all, yet some people still think it is a fun thing to practice. Mind you, all-caps do emphasize your subject or idea depending on your usage. When words such as FREE and AMAZING can give positive connotation, others such as WHAT and the name of your recipient (for example, PARIS!) may give a negative tone to your message. 

Yup, strike the right tone in your writing before you strike out!
(Source: Internet)

Other than that, don’t be narcissistic! Your message shouldn’t just be about you, you, you. It should be about your recipient as well. Try to have more second person point of view than first person point of view. Your contents should be about your recipient, not you. Even when you’re promoting your event or yourself to apply for a job; always remember, it must benefit your recipient

Here are some examples:

We want to introduce our newly improved website…”

And compare it to:

You’ll be excited to know of the newly improved website...”

How about when applying for a job?

I am a resilient, hard working and resources person. On top of that, I have years of experience…

Try this:

“For your kind information, I have worked with several years of experience in marketing which will be beneficial for your company’s activities”.

This is what you must avoid (Source: Internet)

Truth is, the more ‘I’s’ you have, the more ‘you’s’ you might bore. Don’t forget, the world does not revolve around you. It also revolves around your recipient. Besides, you write it, he or she receives it. Put yourself in their shoes too! Again, you are not the only person trying to make contact with your recipient. 

A good tone makes a good impression. A good impression makes a good contact. And with contact, the world is an oyster! If you’re lucky, this oyster comes with a big, white pearl in it too!

See? Yes, it makes me want to go to a sushi bar, but you get my meaning
(Source: Internet)

KISS – Keep It Short and Simple!

I know you have a lot to tell, much to share, but why don’t we spare the agony and keep our messages short but straight to the point; write them in a simple manner but with an impact

More often that not, most of us just want to impress our recipient with bombastic jargons and extensive thesaurus, thinking that such would make us appear smarter. I’m not saying your recipient is stupid or they don’t read a book, but is there a need to be a little boastful? 

KISS! And not ‘Keep it (mouth) shut, stupid!’, haha! (Source: Internet)

Being humble yet impressive in a message can be as easy as writing with common courtesy. Nobody is going to judge you for using simple and understandable terms. It makes their lives easier too. Particularly when you’re writing to someone high up there whose emails usually go through their assistants who might not be at all impressed with your attempt to be the next Professor Henry Higgins

And finally, remember to say ‘Thank you’! Nothing seals common courtesy better than a sign of gratitude

Although I’m not really an expert on writing letters and emails, I do however learn more and more from people around me. And finally, have fun when writing. Why should you lose hair over an email? Just take a deep breath and be sincere about what you’re going to write. People are very smart these days, if you mean well, they know it too.

Have fun and keep your head up! Writing should come from the heart
(Source: Internet)

Even if you’ve made some mistakes in your past, don’t fret! Look back, learn and move forward. There is always room for improvement. Besides, once you get the hang of writing, you will be the first person your colleagues turn to for reference. Remember, sharing your knowledge with others also earns you some pahala to last you even when you’re no longer around, Insya-Allah.

If you have more tips on writing or anything, feel free to share with me! I’m always keen to learn new things from others as well. 

And yes, THANK YOU for supporting The Miss Paris Diaries!

Thank you! You really love me! (Source: Internet)

See you in the next confession!

All my love, XOXO,
Miss Paris

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Sending Out A Message – Part 1

The Tiny Little Things You Might Oversee

Yes, yes, I know, I haven’t updated The Miss Paris Diaries in a while. I’ve just been bogged down with work that I couldn’t even sneak time to finish up some drafts. Haha!

Let’s not procrastinate any longer and start sharing something that might be useful for you. For the past couple of years, I believe I’ve gone through some phases of writing for work. The more I write, the more I learn how I can make my official writing better.

Some need to start writing from scratch… literally! (Source: Internet)

Of course, I’m not an expert at writing in English. It’s not even my first language. On top of that, I was never formally trained to write in English nor did I graduate from a TESL Programme. I have always loved learning the language since I was young and slowly I start to write more and more in English. I guess it began when I was in high school when I was selected by the teachers to join the editorial board for the school magazine. I wrote a couple of short stories and poems, just to fill up the English section. 

You see, our school Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Taman Melati in Setapak was not a very popular school back then. Honestly, I don’t even know if it’s popular now. There were whispers of local celebrities attending that school, but I don’t like to kiss and tell. *wink*

So you can imagine why I had to help the teachers with the English Section of the magazine. There weren’t that many of us who could write in English well. Besides, I was always one of those over-achievers who just had to score 100% during English tests and exams. I was so obsessed, the bullies at my school called me Shikin London which was pretty dumb because if they had listened to me carefully, I spoke American English having spent years of watching and learning from American TV. I only spoke  British English during oral tests so that I could pass with flying colours. 

When my teachers told me to watch more of this… (Source: Internet)

I watched more of this… (Source: Internet)
Yes, there’s Yiddish and all, but I enjoyed it anyway! (Source: Internet)
And this… aaaaaaahhhh! (Source: Internet)

Anyway, remember back in the days when our English syllabus taught us a certain way of writing a formal letter, with the specific format and language. There was the address at the top, followed by the date and yes, the famous salutation of ‘Dear Sir/Madam‘, sounds familiar? 

Well, yes, we were all trained with the same format of writing for many, many, many years. Plus many more years. Although the syllabus that we learned had somewhat laid the foundation of writing for most of us, then there is college, but I still didn’t think it was enough nor was it quite relevant once we join the real world. 

Surprisingly, even now I still need to crack my head when
writing letters and emails (Source: Internet)

In fact, I’m actually quite surprised that we do not really give proper training to students on how best to write formal letters or emails particularly to the Human Resources or Public Relations Department of a company. I mean, back during my UiTM time, I was actually quite lucky to have attended several graduate courses on writing. Still, I didn’t think it was enough because I learn more and more along the way. 

To tell the truth, I don’t mean to diss anyone, I just think the Malaysian syllabus might be a little outdated because I keep seeing the same format from fresh graduates who actually made an effort to write a proper letter or email. Yes, I understand they didn’t have exposure, but would it kill to FOR ONCE use Google for a good cause? I mean, back then we didn’t have Internet or WiFi as extensive as we have now, and I still made an effort to go to the Internet Cafe to look for some samples of formal letters. Trust me, back then, you could barely find a decent one.

Never mind the numerous replicas I’ve received, at least again, may I stress here that at least they made an effort. Since I’ve started working in Public Relations two years ago, I’ve been bombed with many, many letters and emails that make me want to meet the senders in real life and just punch them in the faces! Yes, as brutal as that sound, you have nooooo idea what I have to face on a daily basis.

It will take some time but making an effort to write a good letter/email
 comes with great rewards (Source: Internet)

Let me share some of the worst emails I’ve encountered and tell me if any of these sounds familiar. 

No Subject

Okay, you’re sending an official email to the PR of the company and you didn’t put a subject. Surprisingly, even people who have years of experience do this too by mistake. 

As tiny as the mistake might appear, it doesn’t look good on the recipient. It appears just like any other spam that we receive everyday. Most people will simply ignore emails like that. 

The nicer ones including yours truly when she’s in a good mood; will at least glance at it. However, pass mal auf when I decide to reply with some notes in it too. It doesn’t mean that I care about your email, it simply means that I’m actually pissed off. Haha! 

So, what should you do when you realized that you’ve sent an email without a subject? Just resend and don’t forget to apologize. We PRs are used to receiving crappy emails, an apology with resend will turn our days around. 

Email is a very convenient way to communicate on professional basis
(Source: Internet)

No Contents

This is another email that gives me a heart attack. Many a time, senders only attach a presentation or information but not the contents. And surprisingly, these people are the ones who want something from our company; sponsorship, media coverage and so on. 

So, with only attachment and nothing else, what am I supposed to do? Read your mind telepathically? If people ask, why can’t I just download the attachment and go through the details? 

My answer is simple, why should I? You’re the one who sent me the email, so it means that you want something from me. The least you could do is, make an effort and get your message across. 

Once, I’ve received a Whatsapp text from an acquaintance asking whether or not the company I’m working for can sponsor one of their events. I told him to send me an email with details. Yes, he did. With only a subject and an attachment, no contents. Considering he was an acquaintance and because his wife also texted me to remind me of their proposal, I replied and asked for a more formal email with details. Later, the guy just Whatsapped me with this message, “Everything is in the attachment“. 

And that was when I clicked on the BIG BLACK X that says ‘Delete’. Honestly, I didn’t need it. It was disrespectful and the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility fund was better spent elsewhere. 

I don’t mind if you whatsapp me on professional matters
if you’re one of my close friends,
but I still need an official email (Source: Internet)

Informal Contents

Since I started working in Public Relations, I’m actually surprised that many, many people see me as their personal piggy bank; thinking that they can just email me to squeeze funds out to finance their activities. 

Yes, true, most companies have set aside a certain amount of money for Corporate Social Responsibility activities. This fund is more for branding purposes, a way to show the public that a company cares about the community around their business. Most of the time, CSR projects don’t bring much monetary returns to the company. Still, as a company that runs a business, a CSR project is expected to bring in some tangible and intangible returns. 

So considering the possibility of receiving a little portion of this fund, surely people ought to write to impress. Put yourself in our shoes, who would you give it to? 

Would you give it to a stranger who wrote something like this…?

Hi, Paris, I’m XXX’s friend. Hope you’re in a good mood, huhu. TQ!

So, you tell me!

May I remind you, a Public Relations is not your piggy bank.
He or she is responsible for the company’s CSR fund as well.
(Source: Internet)

And Your Point Is…?

Most of the time, when I receive emails from people, I actually have to go through the emails over and over again just to find the main point of contact. Some emails are just toooo lengthy, particularly, ahem, excuse me, those written in Malay. Is it me or am I being judgemental, I just find formal emails/letters written in Malay are just exhaustingly long. 

It got me wondering, how should I react to it?

And then, there’s the nonsensical ones that don’t appeal to me at all. Most of them are written in a narcissistic manner. When I say narcissistic, I do mean, it’s all about you, you, you. What about me and my company? Where do we come in? 

Trust me, you don’t want to bore your recipient before
 he or she finishes reading your email/letter (Source: Internet)

I’ve got so much to share! Why don’t we meet and discuss this again soon?

See you in the next confession!

All my love, XOXO,
Miss Paris

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