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.

#TheMissParisDiaries

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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‘Ohana’ Means Family

When you find family in the face of strangers


Recently, my Bumblebee (yup, I call my car that, despite being orange) had another incident. I was off to a food review in Bangsar South’s new attraction, Hotel Capri by Fraser. Just as I drove into the basement, suddenly my car stopped moving. Noting something wrong, I just did what I do best, panicking, haha!


This is how Bumblebee would look like on a
good day (Source: Internet)



A nice tomboyish lady came up and asked me if anything was wrong, she even tried to drive Bumblebee but to no avail. So, yup, it was official, Bumblebee had another episode. The security at Nexus, Bangsar Southhelped me to push the car into the parking box, for that I’m so grateful.

I went out of the basement quickly to call my sister, Erine Nordin. She’s been recommending this mechanic who helped to fix her car a while ago. Of course, at first, I wouldn’t go, thinking I’ve had a pretty decent one. But this time, I thought, I might give him a go. I mean, I’ve spent a bit more than RM3,500 on Bumblebee last year and still Bumblebee is giving me a problem. Kak Erine said, she’d call back with information. 



Other than orange, I think Naza Suria looks best
in GREEN like this (Source: Internet)



So, I went to the food review as planned with my editor, Ms Lira J (www.lirajamaluddin.com) and writer, Mel. Lira J and I often joke about finding sugar daddies to cover our daily expenses. We often talk about car maintenance, buying stuff, going to places and so on if we had rich sugar daddies, haha!

Later, while chatting with the potential client, Kak Erine called again and informed me she’s spoken to her mechanic and she’d come immediately after work to pick me up. So, she kept telling me to calm down and finish my work first. 


She is someone I really can rely on, she’s my Kak Erine



One wonderful food review later, I walked to Starbucks at Nexus, Bangsar South and waited for Kak Erine there. I ordered my usual Hot Caramel Macchiato and added a dash of cocoa and cinnamon. While waiting, I began drafting my next confession for The Miss Paris Diaries.


After a while, Kak Erine arrived all the way from Putrajaya and comforted me. She said, she’s spoken to her mechanic about my car and he needed to check my car before I start panicking and all. Actually, it has been a couple of weeks since Kak Erine and I last ‘lepak’, but we often keep in touch through Whatsapp



A friend/sister in good times and bad



Much later in the evening, the mechanic arrived with his tow-truck buddy. They had to drive down to the basement with their car to tow it back up outside the car park because the tow-truck couldn’t fit into the basement. 


So, we drove to the mechanic’s workshop in Selayang. He popped the hood in front of me and asked me questions about the last time I serviced the car. I told him everything the other mechanic, Ah Sang told me. 


The mechanic, Zul explained to me some of the damages he suspected. Later, he checked under the car and he asked me if I requested for specific spare parts. I told him, Naza/Kia cars are known to be very sensitive, one simply couldn’t just put in other parts or else, they won’t last.


Guess what?


Apparently, my trusted mechanic, Ah Sang cheated me. When he told me he’d replace everything I needed with original parts from Naza/Kia, well, apparently he lied. This new mechanic, Abang Zul told me, there were a few things that Ah Sang didn’t even change. Some were actually parts of Proton



Can you see that?

It clearly is a Proton part

So, as you can see, I was totally ripped off by my trusted mechanic of close to 4 years. Not only that, when he changed my radiator the last time, he used a non-Naza/Kia part too. According to Abang Zul, if the radiator was an original Naza/Kia part, it would’ve fit perfectly. Instead, the radiator in Bumblebee now is actually a little smaller, causing it to shake when the engine is running. 

Bumblebee’s experiencing oil leaks 

And not only that, apparently, the Auto Oil in my car is an old one. Since the older parts Ah Sang changed are not the original part, Bumblebee is leaking like crazy. Hence, the further damages they cause over time. So, I asked Abang Zul, how much would it all cost me. He said, he’d change the most crucial ones first. The radiator, he said, he could tie it up to the other parts of the engine so that it would at least stop shaking when I’m driving. So, with the torn drive shafts both left and right and everything else, yup, that’s another RM 3,000 for me to spend on Bumblebee. 

Torn drive shaft, RM 400 at least each


As a sign of good faith, I gave Abang Zul RM 200 to start working on Bumblebee, promising RM 1,000 by the coming week. So, at least while waiting for my salary by the end of the month, the mechanic won’t be so pissed off since I’ve told him, I needed my car for work. So, that’s the thing. I am sooo going to be broke just to fix Bumblebee again, but I know it’s very important since I’ll be driving around a lot. 

So, later, Kak Erine, sent me back. On the way, I texted my so-called boyfriend who recommended Ah Sang to me. I sent him the photos too. He replied and said, he’s never had problems before. Fine, if he thought I was lying.

Imagine this, when Kak Erine sent me home, I just realized I forgot to bring the house key which was attached to the car key. So, we had to go back to the workshop and took it. Yet, my Kak Erine didn’t even complain. She was willing to drive back and she kept shushing me for repeatedly apologizing over the key thing.

Kak Erine and I at the Russian Centre for Science & Culture 


What I really want to share here is not so much about Bumblebee, but about Kak Erine and her kindness to help me when I’m in dire need.

You see, I met her during one of those Media Trips to Penang when I was working as a Broadcast Journalist. She was working for the Ministry of Tourism at that time and I was with the newsroom. The trip was poorly managed that somehow Kak Erine and I bonded over the so-called Trip to Hell. It was NOT hell because it’s Penang, it was hell because the organizer was treating the media AND the home-stay owners very badly!

When bad things happen, you might find some good in it too


After a couple of years, we’re still friends. In fact, we became closer and could share practically anything with one another. After I worked for the current company, we will occasionally meet up and ‘lepak’ together. I’ve met her biological sisters, Kak Diana and Asha and they’re great girls too. 

The Nordin Girls and Blogger, Kak Hanim 


With Kak Erine, I can share anything. I’ve gone through some very bad experiences in the past couple of years and she was always there for me, to lend a shoulder to cry on and to give me great advice. Even sometimes, when she and I couldn’t meet up, she’d spend some time time to chat over the phone. She’d accompany me to work too sometimes, to some of my events/assignments. 

Kak Erine is a sister who understands my work and
she supports me continuously


When Bumblebee acted up again this time, I was touched, she actually called her mobile phone service provider to increase her credit limit so she could make some calls to get help for me. Later, once she spoke to her mechanic and asked him to tow my car, she came to Bangsar. She even ‘kow-tim’ with the mechanic so that I could pay for the car in instalments instead of one lump sum. 

Truth be told, even my own biological sister wouldn’t do that for me. Even when I helped her with her wedding preparations, or tended to her daughter, even rushing to the supermarket to buy a proper birthday cake for her daughter’s first birthday, so that the little baby would have good memories throughout her childhood; well, my sister just never appreciated me nor even said ‘thank you’. So, let’s not waste time talking about someone who’s selfish and would never treat you with respect. Let’s just focus our energy on someone who truly loves and appreciate you in good times and bad times. 

The sister I trust with my own life

Well, to me, family are not necessarily related by blood. Family are the people who’d be there for you. As pathetic as my confession may sound, I am truly blessed because whenever I feel lost or down, I find family in the face of strangers

To my beloved Kak Erine, thank you for being there for me through thick and thin. Thank you for being the inspiration and guide for the past couple of years that we’ve been sisters. I love you and will always love you. Hope that our friendship/sisterhood will last for many, many years to come!

See you in the next confession!

All my love, XOXO,
Miss Paris


Ohana’ means family, made famous
by Lilo & Stitch (Source: Internet)


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When you love someone, you let go? No, you tell!

Don’t let the moment pass you by


Wow, recently a friend, Matilda NY shared a video of an episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon with the gorgeous Nicole Kidman as guest. Starting with a recap on how they met in the early 2000s, Jimmy shared his version of memory upon meeting Nicole. Later, Nicole revealed that she kinda liked him when he was known as a SNL star but due to his lack of response, she got embarrassed and left after an hour and a half. She even thought he was gay. 


Here’s the video:


Oh, wow! Jimmy Fallon really blew a chance to date Nicole Kidman, one of the most beautiful Hollywood Divas. Just because he didn’t think Nicole was interested. Of course, Nicole being a woman, naturally she didn’t feel that she should start the first move. Oh, well, when you look at the video again, you’ll notice how embarrassed both people were, turning completely red; Nicole blended well with her hair, while Jimmy’s red face affected his speech as well.

Aaahhh, doesn’t it remind us of The One That Got Away? Surely, in our lifetime, there was someone whom we totally adored, possibly loved, but due to various circumstances, we never said anything and we just let that person walk out from our lives. 

Actually I wrote about The One That Got Away a couple of years ago and posted it on my Facebook Note. I was actually inspired to write about it after reading ‘Second Chance’ by Jane Green, my Numero Uno British author. Although the title of that FB Note was, ‘Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid‘, but after watching this Jimmy Fallon & Nicole Kidman video, I realized, I should’ve said something.

Here’s an excerpt from my FB Note:


The early inspiration – Jane Green’s Second Chance (Source: Internet)


      Second Chance’ suddenly reminds me of someone. Someone I haven’t been able to see in such a long time. Someone I used to hold so close and dear to my heart. 

       To make things easier, let’s call him S. (There were so many S’s in my life, you’ll have to figure out which one!)

I remember meeting him for the first time at UiTM. It was at one of the events that I was MCing. I did that a lot at university. Hehe, trying to work my way from there.

He was standing at the entrance, in his black suit. I was instantly taken by his good looks and persona. In fact, I remember there were butterflies in my stomach. Oh, my God! Didn’t that feel so good?



Some people fall in love at first sight (Source: Internet)

Then, Mr. Gorgeous walked towards me. 2 feet away from me, he extended his hand with a smile. I reached for it and the butterflies just flapped harder and faster in my stomach. 

Hi, I’m S, from XXX Faculty,” he said, introducing himself.

I smiled back. I hope I didn’t look embarrassed or embarrassing at that time. “Paris, from Mass Comm Faculty”.



One of The Ultimate Paris’s Boyfriend Material (Source: Internet)


I thought he was more than just his looks. I mean, hey, he’s a guy my best girlfriend, Azie would call, “The Ultimate Paris’s Boyfriend Material”. For details, please refer Azie, haha!


And that was how it all began. We exchanged numbers and e-mail accounts. Well, back then, we had Friendster. (So, now you know how long ago this was, donkey years, I tell you!)

S knew he was good-looking without being cocky. He was funny without trying so hard to make me laugh. He was brilliant, yet he did not make one feel stupid with him. He was just being himself.

We hit it off immediately. We would SMS each other. Sometimes, commented on each other’s profile. We would meet up for drinks and talked about almost everything. He was the reason why at one point I got a bit smarter. I had to read more just to stay connected to him. The more I knew, the more I could meet him for so-called smart conversations. Meaning, more time spent together. Politics, current issues, health, gossips, my god! I read it all for S.

He was a real gentleman. Even when the chance permitted it, even when I was dreading for it…. S never touched me. Not even my hand when we were talking, not even my forearm when he opened the door for me, not even my hair when a dry leaf was stuck on it… But he touched me so deeply inside, I knew he was one of the most important pieces in my life.



I won’t break any friendship for love (Source: Internet)


But of course, I couldn’t deny the existence of a girlfriend at that time. Yeah, a girl. Quite decent, but most of my friends would say, I was the better catch. Haha! Can you blame me? 5-foot-6? Already (secretly) gracing some magazines and modelling for calendars? MC of events? Not famous at my own faculty, but definitely a diva at the other schools? Haha!

So, that was how we were, S and I. Close but he was attached to her. I respected that. I wouldn’t do anything to come between them. Yes, Miss Paris Ashiqin who changed boyfriends more often than clothes actually wouldn’t break a relationship so that she could get the boy. Much unknown to people, I am also capable of falling in love so sincerely and so loyal when in a relationship.

I moved on. Dating other guys as I didn’t think, moping over S, wishing, hoping, thinkin’ and praying (my favourite song from ‘My Best friend’s Wedding!) that he’d leave the other girl for me. 



Wishin’, hopin’, thinkin’ and prayin’ for the
right one to come along (Source: Internet)


Some guys I liked, some I went out with for the sakes of being Miss Paris Ashiqin. Some guys lasted months. Some guys lasted 2 days. Some did not make it past the first date. (I know, Azie will be laughing reading this and she’ll start jotting down their names, haha!)

But I always had S close and he was the best friend. 

Then, I was introduced to M. Not quite “The Ultimate Paris’s Boyfriend Material” but he was funnier than S, taller than S, in a way cuter than S, had a crazy smile… and by God, those buns looked soooo damn hot, I had to restrain myself from molesting him. M was just so adorable. 



M was my Tom Welling, rather nerdy but cute
with a BIG heart (Source: Internet)



A year passed and M and I were going well fabulously. We had talks about marriage and kids and spending the rest of our lives together. I was completely madly in love with M. Azie liked him too. She thought he was THE ONE. I knew he was THE ONE.

An SMS one night sort of shook my foundation a bit. 


Congrats, didn’t know you have a bf!” It read. Short but piercing like a knife straight into my chest.

It was from S. I did not know what I felt exactly at that time. S and I were drifting apart. I was no longer on campus and he was finishing his stuff. Of course, there were still SMSes between us. Like once a month?

I replied the SMS, stating what I thought he needed to know. Which was, not much. I wasn’t going to tell him too much. Leaving it to fate is what I do best.

Then, a couple of weeks later, S asked to meet up. I hesitated at first, but he was my best friend, I couldn’t just leave him. Besides, he did say it was urgent. 

We met in Shah Alam and had drinks after what may seem like a hundred years. Ice-breaking never felt so long, haha. The compulsory ‘hey, how you’ve been?’, ‘hey, you look different’… blah blah blah. 



Yes, some people are worth melting for (Source: Internet)


Then, S told me, he broke up with his girlfriend. Caught her cheating on him. Wow, for a girl one might say 100 times more decent than Miss Paris Ashiqin, she was refreshing. S told me about the unexplained absences. The stammers and stutters whenever he surprised her with a visit. Suddenly her cellphone became a national treasure. 


S looked at me. “You knew it was bound to happen, right?” he asked me.

I just shrugged and told him. “Babe, I’m your best friend. Best friends don’t break relationships of other best friends. That was just pure evil,” I said.

He went on and on, expressing his frustrations. I listened half-heartedly. It was all over and done with, I thought, which remained as my inner monologue. 

You know, I had the biggest crush on you when I first met you,” S said suddenly with a chuckle.


That line left me staring blankly at him. Oh, my God! Why was that happening at that time? I did not need that. I did not need to be reminded of how very much in love I was with S. I needed that 2 years ago, dammit!


He knows he can’t let something so beautiful go (Source: Internet)


When I finally managed to compose myself, I giggled, like I always do when I tried to cover something. “How could you say that? I’m your best friend, silly. Best friends don’t say that to bestfriends,” I said defensively.

Then, for the first time ever, S reached for my hand. “Of course, you are. But I can’t lie to myself. I’ve always thought you were fun and amazing. You were YOU! And I’ve always loved you from a distance,” he said.



Perhaps I should have said something (Source: Internet)



Loved me? Loved me? Loved me? “Loved me?” came a blurt from my mouth. (Peachy red lippie was my colour at that time! Haha!)

S laughed. “I think so. You know why she was jealous of you, right? I mean, hey, even my friends thought you were hot,” he went on. “I guess it’s okay to tell you now that you’re getting engaged. Not that anything’s gonna change in that department, right?”

It would if you had told me 2 years ago! I would be you I’m getting engaged to and not someone else! It would be you and you alone that I want to spend the rest of my life with…. 

And yet, nothing came out of that nature. I couldn’t possibly hurt M for S. 

My instinct at that time told me to squeeze his hand and tell him that I felt the same way about him. But, the ring on my finger at that time froze all my movements. 

The ring on my finger… the ring on my finger… flashing its gold colour right into my eyes, reminding me there was a guy by the name M, waiting for me at another part of the world. 

I’d so love to stay and chat, babe, but I’ve got something coming up,” I told S as I rose from my seat. 



Some love stories are just not meant to be (Source: Internet)



Aah, always the busy bee Miss Paris,” S said, which put a temporary smile on my face. He always knew the right things to say. The nicknames he gave me. ‘Always the crazy beautiful Miss Paris’…. ‘Always the funny bunny Miss Paris’…. ‘Always the sexy notty never bitchy Miss Paris’…. S was my Sunshine for months, and I hoped he knew he meant something to me.

Goodbye had never felt so painful. I felt tears welling up my eyes.

Driving from Shah Alam to KL had never been more adventurous, too! 160 km per hour was made easy with my mum’s MPV because:

a) it was designed for speed and precision! (Yeayyy, Naza Ria!)
b) I was confused and crushed by S’s confession
c) I do not cheat on the guy I love so, S’s confession was out of question.
d) I needed to get away from all those shitty things that might’ve happened if I stayed longer with S


I reached home and called M. I needed to hear his voice. I needed assurance that he was still THE ONE. I didn’t tell him about S, though. I didn’t think, he’d be able to handle that fact either. 

You know how some people said that some loves are meant to be, and some are not? Well, I had talk with some random not-so-close friends of mine. They threw in ideas. Some said, leave M and go for S. Some said, stick with M and let S figure out his own feelings. Some said, give myself more time to think.

And I did what I do best.

Yes, leaving things to fate. If it was meant to be, S would always have me. 



Sometimes fate has a cruel sense of humour when
it comes to love (Source: Internet)


And things were left at that. S moved on. I moved forward. We did not keep in touch with things the way we used to. Perhaps, it was best that way.

Well, so I thought. 2 years down the road with M, things got rocky between us. My job at that time left me with barely enough time to get some shut-eye. Almost no time to see M regularly.

Things got really bad when he finally said one line that I swore on my own life, I’d never forget. Suddenly, I didn’t think growing old with M was a good thing. Suddenly, the thought of seeing his face for the next 60 years was just unbearable.

I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t focus. I wondered, how did I manage to get up and go to work.

I was shamelessly seen crying at the most unorthodox places…. Yes, including a mamak stall. I was in a wreck, I felt the world was tumbling down. I didn’t even go home for weeks, staying at a friend for comfort and flooding her bed like it was nobody’s business.

One night when I was nursing what I might call a never-ending headache, my phone rang. It was an unknown number. I thought it was one of my clients calling. Yes, I had to entertain their calls at night when a piece of proposal and a sales pitch were not enough to make them sign the advertising agreement. The bigger the money they invested, the bigger my commission, haha!



Love has many faces, maybe in the face of someone
so familiar to you (Source: Internet)



Babe, are you okay?” came a question from one voice I swore I would recognize anytime, anywhere. 

I cried more and more. S’s voice had never sounded so good to me before. My knight in shining armour. 

It was horrible! I didn’t even see it coming. I didn’t think, he’d say something nasty to me like that!” I think I practically screamed every word at S. And S, with the best shoulder to cry on, understood my situation.

S said, he heard from one of his juniors from UiTM. Yeah, it was quite big news wasn’t it? Miss Paris and her mysterious Mr. M decided to split and travel on separate roads. 

S, as usual, said all the right things. Things I wanted to hear and things I needed to hear. It felt so good instantly. S made me laugh and smile again, all in one night, all in one telephone conversation.

S, I’m going to run into a huge bill soon. Let’s meet up, have coffee somewhere they don’t mind seeing a mad b***h from hell crying her eyeballs out,” I suggested. “Besides, I miss you!”

There was a pause on the other end. Oh-oh, not good!



Is he or she worth all your pain and sacrifices? (Source: Internet)



I miss you too, Paris,” S finally said. “But, I can’t because I’ve promised my girlfriend I’ll take her shopping for raya. I know, raya is still months away….”

Girlfriend? My heart dropped to my feet and rolled into the longkang right next to my friend’s apartment. Yup, the big old ‘HANCUR HATI’ theme song suddenly played in the background. After that word, everything else just did not register in my head. I didn’t even know how I managed to say something intelligent throughout the conversation. 

S told me to be strong. He said, I should be patient. He said, M would come to his senses. He said, M would regret leaving me. He said, M would beg me to come back any time soon.


All the sudden, M did not seem important to me anymore. At that point of time, I just felt a sudden revelation, I needed to pick up pieces of my shattered heart and glue them back together, FAST! 

Love might be right in front of you all along (Source: Internet)

I wiped my tears away. “S, I promise you, I won’t make you worry about me anymore. I promise, I’ll be the good old Miss Paris you know. Just give me a few days to come around. Thanks a lot for being there for me,” I said to him softly.

Hey, I’m your best friend. That’s what I’ve signed my life for, to serve you with life-long friendship and lots of love,” he said. Now, he was being funny again.

Yes, you were the best friend. 

We said our goodbyes. I started packing up my stuff. I missed my bed, I missed my TV, I missed my kitchen, I missed my old self again. I went to the washroom and washed my face. You, the old hag in the mirror, get out of my life, pronto!

Epilogue

So what happened to our friendship? 

Well, S is still happily married with children and I’m still me. Many years after our last encounter, we drifted apart and I don’t blame him. I don’t think his wife will understand our friendship without feeling jealous or overprotective. 



To The One That Got Away, wherever you are, you’ll always be special to me. So, the next time, I meet someone who makes my heart skip a beat, I’ll do some digging first and then, execute Operation Snagging Mr. Right!  


How’s this for Mr Right? (Source: Internet)



So, how to execute Operation Snagging Mr. Right? Well, I was checking www.thedatereport.com, Scott Alden and Chiara Atik listed 50 Ways to Tell Someone You Like Them (Without Just Telling Them)

1. Touch your face and hair when you’re talking to them.

2. Touch them, casually, on the arm or knee when you’re talking to them.

3. Laugh at their jokes. 

4. Touch their arm or knee when you laugh at their jokes.

5. Notice when their glass is empty, and always offer to fill it up or get them another.

6. Make eye contact from across the room at parties, smile.  

7. If you get an inside joke going between just the two of you, bring it up as much as possible. Never let it die. 

8. Say their name when you’re talking to them. (It’s true! People thrill at the sound of their own name — especially when uttered by someone they’re interested in.)

9. Find a common enemy: another party guest, an annoying guy at the bar, a broken jukebox, the lack of pizza joints in this part of town. It’s you two against the world.

10. If they mention an ex, or a date gone bad, tell them that they’re too good for that person, anyway.

What’s the other 40? Well, read more here.


Some friends do end up together in the end (Source: Internet)



See you in the next confession!

All my love, XOXO,

Miss Paris

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A Male Boss Vs A Female Boss

Who is the better boss?

Recently, I was called by my current Head of Department (HOD) and I was informed that, after this there will be a restructure in the company and I get to choose to either stick to the current position, only focussing more on collaborative projects or work entirely with the editorial team. 

The editorial team is headed by a female HOD, while the Media & Agency Department is led by a male HOD. The female HOD has been around for a while, while the male HOD is relatively new. Which sort of triggered me to write this confession, since my current HOD asked earlier whom I’d like to work with.


The reason behind the rise of female bosses
today, do you agree? (Source: Internet)


My current HOD is a female, a strong-willed, extremely bright and very focussed in her work. Truth be told, it was quite difficult to work with her at first due to some miscommunication and the non-existent chemistry between us. We had our differences, sometimes leading to arguments.  In fact, after 3 months, I actually tendered my resignation, thinking it was not going to work. I actually thought, I’d rather work elsewhere with a more understanding boss. 

During that so-called Sentap Period (although not necessarily Saturday, nor was I having my period), I was highly considering to take up another offer at a private broadcasting station. I actually thought perhaps broadcasting was what I’d prefer to do after all. 


Inspired by Vogue’s Anna Wintour, Meryl Streep portrayed
the Boss from Hell in ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ (Source: Internet)


Counting down to the days of my resignation, somehow fate brought me together to our HOD of HR (a lady in fact) who surprisingly hailed from the same kampung of Batu Pahat. She convinced me to stay and help the company. Actually, at first, I refused to share what was bothering my head, but I tell you, this petite lady didn’t give up on me immediately. She kept asking me for answers.

And finally, I broke down and told her everything. I told her, I often felt inadequate and I couldn’t commit to do hard-core sales which was initially not in the job scope. It was impossible for me to do something that I’ve told from the very beginning, I would NOT do. The HOD of HR actually said, nowadays companies especially a big GLC such as our company are actually working smart and based on the employees’ strengths instead of working on things that they are not capable of. At the same time, trainings will be organized from time to time to better enhance their performance and improve the weaknesses. 


Although Charlie Townsend is never seen, he is possibly one of
the iconic great bosses of all time. Good morning, Angels! (Source: Internet)



Of course, at first I thought it was just another HR pep-talk to make me stay. And I started hanging out with her a lot and listened to her advice on various things. Before people think that I was just being biased because she and I came from the same kampung, well it wasn’t that. 

I decided to withdraw my resignation on the last day before it was made official and saw how my current HOD sort of backed off a little. Yes, there were still NO CHEMISTRY between us. I couldn’t even sit with her and the rest of the team during lunch. I don’t hate her, I just prefer to have lunch with other people. Working together was fine, just not socializing with them.


A female boss has never looked hotter than
Wilhelmina Slater of Ugly Betty (Source: Internet)



After a while, I guess, I have performed better at work. I managed to do something new at the office, breaking new accounts; just as my HOD of HR had recommended; to work on my strength instead of fearing my weakness to do hard-core sales. At the same time, I started learning from other departments how best to turn my weakness at doing sales and processing the required documents into something doable. 

You see, my current HOD is not a bad person. Perhaps we just don’t work too well closely. Like I said, the chemistry is not there. Once she has started putting her faith and trust in me as an employee that was when I started to perform better. I begin to enjoy my job more. In fact, I even find myself working extra, attending events at night and during weekends just to get more contacts and be seen out there. 

I know there are many people out there who always fear having a female boss, probably from watching too many clichés on TV about female bosses, but there shouldn’t be an issue about the gender. It all goes back to either you have a good boss or a bad boss. Looking back, I’ve had a few GREAT FEMALE BOSSES here; people who I can really learn from. 

Women can lead a spaceship too, as Captain Janeway
did in Star Trek Voyager (Source: Internet)


Although I’m not an expert in HR or the working world. Perhaps I can share some things that I’ve learned along the way, since I started working at this company 2 years ago.

1. Start working with an open heart
When you start working with an open heart, you’ll see things more clearly. When I left the broadcasting station, I really promised myself to keep an open heart and push myself to work very hard. Particularly, considering myself jumping into an entirely new industry all together. 


Work with an open heart like Spongebob, even for
a stingy boss like Mr Krabs (Source: Internet)


2. Don’t listen to gossips
When I first started, I realized there were a few people who told me to avoid certain people within the same company. My fault was, I listened to them immediately, thinking they were there to protect me. Well, my bad! Big mistake! But I learned my lesson well. I pulled back from all those people who love sharing and spreading gossips. Instead, I start befriending those who were supposedly the bad bunch. Turned out, they’re not half as bad as what I was told they were. 

Seriously, in the working environment, you ought to find the good ones and the bad ones. It’s unavoidable. Just remember, people who love to gossip are the people who have nothing else better to do. Besides, you’re old enough to experience this so-called office back-biting and politics. No need to play any cards here, just come to work, do your stuff and get out. If you don’t feel like socializing, then don’t. Even if someone is b***hing when you’re not looking, just ignore it. Nobody has ever actually died from a HEART-BREAK. Don’t mistake it for HEART ATTACK, haha! Now that, yes, you may die from it. However, unnecessary stress can lead to heart attack, so let your heart be light (in Luther Vandross’ Have Yourself A Merry Christmas tune). 


Gossips are only good on TV shows, never real life (Source: Internet)


3. Don’t start gossips
Yes, you don’t listen to gossips and you don’t start gossips too. Whatever you may hear at work, simply ignore it. Never appoint yourself to be the unofficial broadcaster, and never even ask people about it. Keep your focus on your work and you’ll realize the vast of time that you can save and actually utilize it into something positive. Remember, gossips or slanders are among the biggest sins among Muslims.

Referring to the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia, JAKIM’s website

Rasulullah s.a.w bersabda, bermaksud:

Sesungguhnya orang-orang yang paling aku kasihi di kalangan kamu dan orang yang paling dekat tempat duduknya denganku dihari kiamat ialah orang yang paling baik akhlaknya. Sesungguhnya orang yang paling aku benci dan paling jauh dariku pada hari kiamat ialah orang yang banyak bercakap perkara sia-sia, dan berlagak angkuh, sombong malah ia merasa bangga dengan kesombongannya. Para sahabat bertanya lagi, wahai Rasulullah, sesungguhnya kami telah mengetahui maksud perkataan orang-orang yang suka bercakap banyak yang sia-sia, dan yang berlagak angkuh dan sombong, tetapi apakah maksud orang yang bangga dengan kesombongannya? Jawab Rasulullah ialah orang yang takbur.
Huraian Hadith: 
1. Orang yang berakhlak mulia adalah orang yang paling dikasihi oleh Rasulullah dan diberi tempat yang paling dekat dengan baginda di hari kiamat nanti.
2. Bercakap-cakap kosong atau perkara-perkara yang sia-sia dan membuat fitnah adalah perbuatan yang dilarang oleh agama kerana ia tidak mendatang apa-apa kebaikan bahkan bakal mengundang azab di hari akhirat kelak.
3. Islam juga melarang umatnya bersifat membangga diri dan memandang rendah serta menghina orang lain tetapi hendaklah bersifat tawaduk dan rendah diri demi menjaga hati dan perasaan orang lain.
This is the English version, I found online of the same Hadith:
The Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. said, “The dearest and nearest among you to me on the Day of Resurrection is the best of you in manners; and the most abhorrent among you to me and the farthest of you from me will be the pompous, the garrulous and Al-Mutafaihiqun”. The Companions asked him, “O Messenger of Allah! We know about the pompius and the garrulous, but we do not know who Al-Mutafahiqun are”. He replied, “The arrogant people”. 

(Source: At-Tirmidhi, translation by: abdulrahman.org

4. Can’t get along? There’s plenty of fish in the sea!
So, you don’t like someone, that someone doesn’t like you. So what? As the saying goes, there’s plenty of fish in the sea! Unless you don’t have the luxury of working with more than 20 people in the company, then, I do pity you. Haha, kidding! Why should you be worried? Keep it strictly professional and when the time comes to go home, pack up and leave. Making personal attacks will only make you look petty and unprofessional. 

And just in case you do feel the tension working with people you don’t get along with, just take a walk outside for a while and take a deep breath. This is when the art of meditation and relaxation comes in handy. Or simply plug your ears with earphones and listen to your favourite music. You’ll forget the war zone outside your bubble and be more productive.

Well, they couldn’t get along too at first (Source: Internet)



There will always be haters, so just be the bigger, better person. Surprisingly, when I stopped thinking on how I couldn’t get along with some people from the same team, I found friends in other departments who were much better friends and support system. 

5. Practice respect, or just keep quiet
No matter how horrible your boss may be, he or she is still the boss. Respect your boss as a boss and as a human being. Of course, this should be a mutual relationship, the employees respect the boss and vice versa. 

Although, some bosses can make it extremely difficult, that you don’t think they deserve your respect. When I worked for the broadcasting station, I was often victimized by this evil dwarf I had for a boss. Foul-mouthed, dirty-minded, short-tempered (shorter than his actual height), just to name a few. In fact, I’ve never met a boss as horrible as he was. 

What type of a boss who’d call his employee a s**t or h**ker? A boss who got away since we were not prepared with evidence to actually bring this matter to justice! The only reason why he got away, or else, he’d probably be kicked out within 24 hours. 


A foul-mouthed boss? Yup, I’ve had that too,
Schmidt and Jenko! (Source: Internet)


So, I knew I couldn’t fight back, not legally at least. I just kept quiet for as long as I could, and finally, I requested for a transfer. Six months later, I received an offer from the current company and I ran off with a rather hefty increment and endless possibilities to grow. 

In case, any of you have experienced such horrible bosses, my advice, bring your mobile phone with you at all times. When your superior start to speak something inappropriate, get it recorded immediately. A lost evidence is a lost case


Han is always the butt of the girls
 jokes in 2 Broke Girls (Source: Internet)


Keep quiet if you’ve lost respect. You don’t want to say anything that can be used against you later. Besides, it goes back to rule number 2 and 3, people will gossip (even if you didn’t say it), but you shouldn’t. Trust in Allah, He will show the better path to you in time. Allah rewards His servants who are patient. 

6.Speak to HR if necessary
Do you know that the HR Department is abide to the rule NEVER to disclose personal issues to a third party? Personal issues include your marital status (if you choose not to share), your salary (a BIG no-no), your employment records (another BIG no-no), your request for assistance (particularly from the mental and emotional aspect) and many more. So, basically, a good company should be able to give you good HR support

I’m quite blessed that we have a very strong HR support here, well, at least for me and at least for now. 


Why are people afraid to speak to HR? (Source: Internet)


7. Set your priorities right
You work for the company and yourself as well, not just the boss. When work is no longer making you happy, it’s time to reflect. Don’t give up too soon. Give it another go. For me, I do things that I enjoy to ease the tension. A day at the spa, a nice movie, a short relaxing nap, or worse comes to worst, CRY. It helps a great deal, even for men. 

When you work for the company, the company will reward you for your contributions. Rewards don’t necessarily means in monetary value, but also other perks. Sometimes your boss cuts you some slack when you come in late. Sometimes, your boss just doesn’t mind to allow you to take long leave. Sometimes, the boss sends you to the best courses ever, like my current HOD when she sent a colleague and I to the best business writing class ever in 2014. A good boss will know how to value your worth as an employee


J.J. Jameson of Spiderman buys Peter Parker’s photos
to slander Spiderman (Source: Internet)


And when I say work for yourself, I meant, work for something that you can be proud of; not something that you quietly stash into your own pocket. Now, that’s dishonest. 

It reminds me of a couple of years ago when I met Tun Musa Hitam (yes, yes, another Johorean, haha!). I actually met him during one of my assignments and we exchanged cards. Then, it was somewhat a tradition at the old office to get iftar sponsorship for Ramadhan. Although I was with the Malay desk, I was helping the English desk to get sponsorship since there was only a handful of them. So it seemed unfair for them to fork out too much money to provide iftar food for about 120 personnel working the noon shift. So, I sort of remembered Tun Musa and contacted him personally to ask for sponsorship.


Tun Musa Hitam’s best advice, do not take bribe
no matter how small (Source: www.malaysia-chronicle.com)


I spoke to my former Director at that time, Datuk J. Engson who was extremely nice and very helpful and he suggested that we provide the letter of proof to show that we’ve received some sponsorship. So, the agreed amount was RM1,000.00. So, I went to collect the money from Tun Musa. I was afraid anything might happen that I asked Oliver to accompany me.

When I met Tun Musa, he shared some of his experiences and gave me the best advice that I still hold on very strongly to. He said, no matter how tempting it could be, but never take bribe. In fact, he said, always be honest to yourself when you’re working. Even if the company doesn’t reward you, then Allah will. But always start with an honest heart. Before he handed over the promised cash, he asked me again if RM1,000 was enough. I told him the truth, we estimated less than RM10 per pax, so it’d be enough. Besides, I had another VIP to sponsor kuih raya on the same evening. Again, he thanked me for being honest about it as I handed over the letter that Datuk J had signed with the specific amount of RM1,000 in it. 

Among the best male bosses on TV,
Mr Sheffield of the Nanny (Source: Internet)


8. Strive and Succeed
When you’ve strived and succeeded, nobody can say anything about you at work. Remember when I mentioned the haters? Well, these people are usually the type of people who don’t want to change for the better. They don’t like you to do something new. To them it is a taboo to break tradition. 

Of course, in business, exploring something new should be a continuous effort. You never know what would work for you, if you haven’t tried it. No long-term success happens over night. Some efforts may take longer than what you planned. But once you’re reaped your rewards, that’s when it’s the sweetest thing ever.


Even the hardcore of bosses have the heart of gold (Source: Internet)


At the same time, whatever that you work on, always keep the boss in the loop. As irritating as it may seem, I usually keep two HODs cc-ed in my email and calendar, so they know what I’m working on. Other than that, I usually refer to my seniors when it comes to SOPs and paperwork to avoid issues later. Of course, when you’re doing something new, you need to pave the road for others to follow. I’ve actually cried my eyeballs out several times when it comes to paperwork, but eventually things come through and towards the end, I have something that I can be proud of

And always remember to credit your boss for your work as well. Yes, some may ask, why? It’s simple, when the boss allows you to be creative with your work and encourages you, why not? It’s never a solo effort to begin with.

9. Have faith in Allah
If all above fails, well, this is when prayers and tawakkal will work miracles. Have faith. If it’s meant to be, it will eventually happen. Believe in rezeki, you never know when luck might strike.


It doesn’t matter if your boss is male or female. I’ve had experience with the best of each gender. What matters is, your boss is a good person inside out. 


Jennifer Aniston runs away from the sweet
image of Rachel (Source: Internet)

Mr. Harkin, the Boss you’d love to hate (Source: Internet) 

Is this how Collin Farrell will look in 20 years, balding? (Source: Internet)



A good boss will share knowledge and experience with you, not boasting how good he or she was back in the good old days and bla bla bla and nothing else.  

A good boss will open doors for you, not shut your face with it.

A good boss will appreciate your strengths as a person and not mock your weakness.

A good boss will not judge you on how you look but what you’ve done for the company.

A good boss will reward you with ‘thank you’ and not punish you with ‘stupid’.

A good boss inspires you to do more for your own credit, not take credit for your work. 


Malaysia’s favourite boss, haha! (Source: Internet)



Additional Info


  • Rebecca Rifkin (www.gallup.com) wrote in her article dated October 14th, 2014 that Americans still prefer a male boss to a female boss. 33% respondents prefer a male boss, only 20% prefer a female boss. The rest said, gender doesn’t make a difference to them. However, women are more likely than men to prefer a female boss. Apparently, younger working Americans are more receptive towards having a female boss.
  • However, in one article published on www.businessweek.com on October 16th, 2014, in a 2008 study, women working for female supervisors experienced more stress than those with male supervisors. While another study in 2011 found that 95% women felt that they were undercut by another woman at least once in their professional life. Among 142 legal secretaries in 2010, none preferred to work with a female partner. The article was written by Vanessa Wong and Natalie Kitroeff also stated that there is a lack of faith in female leadership among women and at the same time, the tendency to mistrust and undermine one another.
  • When the other two articles stress the difference between preference between the two, Chad Brooks of www.businessnewsdaily.com actually highlighted the biggest percentage; the 46% of employees who don’t mind if their boss is a male or female. According to the article published October 15th, 2014, the number reflects a steady increase from 28% from the Year 2000′s result. 


So, which is it to you? A male or female boss?


My new motto, perhaps? (Source: Internet)



See you in the next confession!

All my love, XOXO,
Miss Paris











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The Miss Paris Diaries is One-Month Old!

Surviving My First Month As A Blogger


Yes, as tacky and as childish that may sound, I’m still more than proud to announce, the 2015 New Year marks my first month writing for The Miss Paris Diaries! And I survived!

Although I’ve always wanted to do this for many years, but I often hesitated because I knew the high amount of commitment to manage a blog. Most bloggers have their posts scheduled way before, mine is probably written a couple of days earlier if not the night before. Yes, I’m still trying to get the hang of it. 

Originally, I had wanted to start writing for The Miss Paris Diaries on January 1st, 2015, but I was so excited with Potia Casadelarossa‘s effort to help me this this blog, I showed it to my editor, Miss Lira J (www.lirajamaluddin.com) and graphic designer, Dekwan (www.nawked.com) that they encouraged me to post it immediately. Lira told me, “The first entry is always the hardest“, which I totally agreed because I knew, once I hit the ‘Publish‘ button, there was no turning back. 

The forever cool, Miss Lira J and I after Magnum event
Haha, Dekwan (middle) is a talented graphic artist who takes beautiful photos too!


Yes, it was actually dramatic, how I held Dekwan’s hand for comfort while hitting the ‘Publish’ button. Yup, that’s something that you see in American comedies. Being a guy that he was, he just laughed it off and said, “Just post it! post it“. 

And I did!

I posted ‘The Miss Paris Diaries – The Prologue‘ on December 1st, 2014, just a month before my original plan. But it’s not too bad. 

In fact, Lira gave me an idea on how to stand out at events, an extremely great advice which will soon be put into action. Once I found the right item to go with it. 

Oh, my God! I’m actually getting more and more excited about The Miss Paris Diaries. Of course, at the moment, I’m not going to be too ambitious like most senior bloggers. I’d prefer to post things that are close to me. At times, I’ll also be posting on breaking news people share in our Whatsapp group. That’s the least I can do, since my magazines are more inclined towards tourism and lifestyle

On a more serious note, I’ve also noticed, some people were not quite keen when I started talking about The Miss Paris Diaries. Of course, before I actually have this blog, some would say, “Yeah, yeah, you should do it!” but now that I do, I realized that a portion of bloggers actually see me as a nuisance. Not a threat, just another annoying creature trying to be popular with a blog. 

Unlike some people who can really commit to post something numerous times on a daily basis; getting invitations here, there and EVERYWHERE; and so much more out there, I’m more often than not restricted in many ways. For example, I’m also writing for my magazines, and unlike most, which thousands or millions of hits/page views everyday, I’ve just started The Miss Paris Diaries. It will be another thousand years before I reach the top. 

So, what’s up with this whole jealousy/unwelcoming nature among bloggers? I just don’t get it. Even before I have The Miss Paris Diaries, I noticed the hostility among some groups and some individuals against another, which got me thinking, wow, you guys can be really immature huh? Never mind those who think that they want to be friends with me so that they can gain something out of it. Hmmmmm, really? Try knocking next door, please. And now, with The Miss Paris Diaries, I can see that more clearly. 

I’ve once spoken about this openly among friends and acquaintances and some people who might know me from other events, Malaysia is so small! If you keep fighting and arguing over petty little things, then what’s to become of us? I just don’t get it, but I’m not really worried. Just stay away and stay friends with positive people. That’s the way to go. 


My positive support, Lira and I having Greek food
for dinner prepared by Mr Miltos Tenediotis
My colleague and confidant at work, Dekwan



So, Happy One-Month to my baby, The Miss Paris Diaries! Praying and hoping for another great month and another great lifetime!

Now, I need to get my page better organized. Dang, when will I have the time or find someone to do it for me?

See you in the next confession!

All my love, XOXO,
Miss Paris

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Emares Spa & Beauty, Plaza Idaman, Kuala Lumpur

A Weekend to Pamper Myself


I was born with dark skin, so, as you all know, in Malaysia that’s considered not beautiful. So, I’ve tried all sorts of whitening products. During my younger years, products from Thailand and the Philippines with excessive amount of hydroquinone to bleach my skin.


What was the result like? BIG MISTAKE! According to Wikipedia, in human medicine, Hydroquinone is used as a topical application in skin whitening to reduce the colour of skin. It can also cause skin sensitivity. Hydroquinone is sometimes combined with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) that exfoliate the skin to quicken the lightening process. It was actually common to find beauty products containing up to 2% Hydroquinone, including in the US. The use of Hydroquinone is banned in some countries, including member states of the European Union, EU. 


So, there you have it, my skin was red all the time. I had to stay away from direct sun due to the burning sensation. Skin peeling was unavoidable. It looked as if I had residues from one of those peel-off masks, only the mask was actually MY own skin. And although I noticed my skin was much fairer and seemed flawless, not even the , I couldn’t bear the pain anymore. So I stopped.


The side effects only came much later. Due to the skin sensitivity, my skin gets acne very easily. Although, I’d say I was somewhat blessed my acne problem was nothing super serious like zits the size of Rudolph the Reindeer’s nose, still it didn’t look good and eventually, I felt somewhat embarrassed when most of my friends had very beautiful skin.


My girlfriend and neighbour since I was 12, Izyan Farhani actually took me to a spa near our beloved Setapak. I was introduced to her classmate, Dalila Shaharom whose future mum-in-law, Puan Rosidah Sohod at that time owned the spa, Emares Spa & Beauty. I tried their facial services. Of course, after damaging my skin for many months, nobody could expect speed recovery.


Emares Spa & Beauty at Plaza Idaman, Gombak



I went to the spa a few times for the next few months and noticed positive changes on my skin. Aaaah, I’ve found my second home there. From the facial services, I tried their full body massages too and most of the time, I’d opt for both at the same time. Massage first, then facial. Now that’s relaxing. 

Now, I’m proud to say that I’m a satisfied regular customer at Emares Spa & Beauty. In fact, I no longer call Puan Rosidah by her name, instead, I just call her Mama. Back then, I’ve got more time to come over for facial treatments and massages. Then, I started working shifts and mostly ended up till late at night. I didn’t have the luxury to go for facials and massages anymore. At times, when I came, Mama couldn’t slot me in since there were a lot of customers. 

So, I tried other spas within the Plaza Idaman Complex. The first spa I went to did a terrible job during the facial. I was quite shocked with their style of conducting facial treatment. They actually used one of those ‘Good Morning’ towels to wipe my face and it got me wondering, why use towels instead of facial sponges? Guess what happened when I woke up? I saw a guy lying on another bed just behind mine and doing his facial too with his shirt off. Eawww!!!

The other spa I went to was right upstairs. The owner boasted about her products that were more superior than others. Okay, let’s see. And again, I was unsatisfied with the service because the next day, I see tiny pimples growing on my T-Zone. Oh, no!

I ended up crawling back for Mama’s mercy, and of course, being the lovely mother figure, she gave me a special treatment for sensitive skin. After a couple of sessions, my skin was better. 

I love coming here when I’ve got the time 



So, let me tell you why I love going to Emares Spa & Beauty, Plaza Idaman.

1. It’s a Muslimah spa
Although it’s not an all-Muslimah spa, however, only facial treatment is available for men. Emares Spa & Beauty does not perform massages and body treatment for men. In fact, the spa has two separate rooms in case there is a male customer. Only husband and wife are allowed to share the two-bed spa room for facial treatments. 


You can choose to get facial treatment here, if you prefer privacy
If you bring your friend or spouse, this room is perfect!


Other than that, they also have ample space for customers to perform their prayers. Hence, shoes and slippers are to be left right at the door. 

2. Head-to-Toe Health & Beauty Treatments
As a teenager, I was only exposed to doing facial treatment. As I grow older, I realized the need for regular health and beauty regime, including body massage, sauna, scrubbing, waxing and mani/pedi. 

Aromatherapy Massage Oil that will leave you
feeling refreshed with trails of floral scents



Emares Spa & Beauty also offers treatment such as Lulur Bath (mandi lulur), Milk Bath (mandi susu) and Floral Bath (mandi bunga). Mandi Lulur is an ancient beauty treatment originated in the Javanese Island centuries ago in the palaces of central Java as a purifying ritual for Javanese princesses usually before their wedding day. Traditionally, Mandi Lulur uses herbs and spices rich with nutrients and minerals, fit for the Royal Family. The ingredients are mixed and used to scrub dead cells from the body, to reveal a fairer and softer skin. 

For lulur bath

For milk bath



Its milky counterpart, Mandi Susu or Milk Bath is as simple as bathing in milk instead of water. Cleopatra, Elizabeth I of England, Elisabeth of Bavaria and other legendary beauties have historically acclaimed the beautifying benefits of these baths. It utilizes lactic acid; a chemical compound (alpha hydroxy acid) found in milk that can dissolve proteins that hold together dead skin cells


A nice time to soak in beauty secrets 


Mandi Bunga or Floral Bath is famously known by the Asians, especially in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and China as part of their ritual practice for beauty, good future, to dispel bad luck, to refresh the mind and body and of course, to get rid of unpleasant body odour. Over here at Emares Spa & Beauty, it’s better to call Mama for an appointment and to prepare items such as kaffir lime (limau purut), key lime (limau nipis) and sweet-scented flowers; all in 7s or extra just in case. Flowers like red roses (mawar merah), white roses (mawar putih), ylang-ylang (bunga kenanga), michelia champaca (bunga cempaka kuning), michelia alba (bunga cempaka putih), jasmine (bunga melur), gardenia (bunga cina), bullet wood flowers (bunga tanjung), tuberose (bunga harum sundal malam/bunga sedap malam), bread flower (bunga kesidang/bunga kerak nasi) and Orange Jasmine (bunga kemuning) are quite easy to find in Chow Kit Road Market actually. In fact, Mama told me, the person who wants to experience mandi bunga must choose the flowers that she personally likes so that the positive energy from the colourful flowers will better enhance the person’s aura


Here’s an article written by Meran Abu Bakar from Utusan on Floral Bath at Emares Spa & Beauty.

http://ww1.utusan.com.my/utusan/Feminin/20130514/fe_03/Mandi-bunga-naik-seri

*Note: Floral baths known as banos florales are a tradition in Peru, a shamanic healing from high Andes to the Amazon basin to wash away bad spirits and to correct the energy and universal balance. 

Or you can also go for a monthly or fortnightly sauna session. As for either the regular, aromatherapy or herbal sauna; whichever that you prefer.


Sauna usually last between 15 to 30 minutes,
so drink lots of water before and after each session 


3. It’s clean, comfortable and safe
Of course, a spa needs to be clean and comfortable. As a woman who is working all the time, I’d attend events at night and in the weekends; going to Emares Spa & Beauty is one of those little luxuries I have to strip naked and relax for a therapeutic bath, massage and facial. In fact, don’t be surprised if I say, more often than not, I fall asleep and usually will only be awaken later, haha! Mama and her staff know that I’m usually exhausted after work. 

A better view to show how clean the place is

This spa is also equipped with security cameras. Don’t worry, there is no camera installed at the actual spa area. And the spa area is also covered, nobody can peek in while you’re enjoying a relaxing journey to a beautiful, healthier you. 


The main entrance and cashier
The other entrance 



4. As a regular, I get extra services
Of course, I get the occasional discounts on special packages, but it’s unfair. Although, Mama is like my second Mum, but she’s still a business woman. I’d rather pay for the services that I enjoy here. Naturally, I get extra services such as prolonged massage time, extra facial massage during treatment and many more. So, you need to come here to find out.


Extra service also means that popping my zits
will be a real torment, haha, in the name of beauty!



5. Mama is a qualified spa operator/owner
When you go to any spa, surely you’d be at ease when you know that you are in the safe hands of a qualified spa operator. 


Emares Spa & Beauty at a glance



About Emares Spa & Beauty

Puan Rosidah binti Sohod, or fondly called Mama, a local Gombak resident, was a graduate from Universiti Teknologi Mara in Secretarial Science. When she got married and have 3 children, she took up Islamic Studies in Syariah at Universiti Malaya

According to Mama, she just accidentally ventured into the beauty and spa business as she was formerly a full-time house wife. She took up various beauty courses organized by MLVK, Mustika Ratu and several more, thus earning her licence to open a professional spa. Starting off operating at home providing services for her family and neighbours; her late husband encouraged her to open a spa.

She believes in honesty and takes full responsibility for services provided to her customers. She always ensures that she gives the best to them, a reason why most of them are her regulars for many years (including yours truly). 

Like ‘Emares Spa & Beauty‘ on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/emaresspa

Feel free to call Mama Rosidah for an appointment at +6019-223 7619 or walk-in for a nice, relaxing get-away at Emares Spa & Beauty:

Lot G43, Plaza Idaman, 
Batu 5, Jalan Gombak, 
53100 Kuala Lumpur.

Find Emares Spa & Beauty on Maps or GPS:

Coordinates: 3.213343, 101.713266

Among the services provided here:

Facial Treatments:

  • Skin tags and oil cyst (by appointment only)
  • Sinus treatment
  • Acne treatment 
  • Whitening treatment
  • Regular facial

Therapeutic Baths:

  • Mandi Bunga
  • Mandi Lulur
  • Mandi Susu
  • Mandi Bunga (by appointment only)

Sauna:

  • Regular sauna
  • Aromatherapy sauna
  • Herbal sauna

Massages:

  • Spa massage (full-body, back, leg, etc)
  • Traditional massage
  • Post-natal massage (by appointment only)

Other services:

  • Waxing, manicure, pedicure, etc.
  • Make-up services (by appointment only)
  • Bridal rentals, etc. 

These services are available ala-carte and in packages. Packages range from RM160 to RM220 (except make-up and bridal rentals). 

I usually go for facial treatment and full body massage. Occasionally, whenever Mama is free, I’ll pop in for mandi bunga, haha! 

See you in the next confession!

All my love, XOXO,
Miss Paris



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The Most Popular New Year’s Resolutions Worldwide – Sound familiar?

The clichés of New Year, EVERY YEAR!


Happy New Year, everybody!


Let’s start this year with a bang! (Source: Internet)



Wow, 2014 has been quite an experience for us, Malaysians! As I earlier mentioned, instead of becoming what might’ve been the most colourful and cultural year with the Visit Malaysia Year 2015, it was somewhat filled with shocking tragedies, social media riots and many more. 

But let’s not dwell into it so much, let’s look forward to a new and better year for all of us.

So, surely you see people around you talking about their New Year’s resolutions. Some speak of achieving them, some speak of failing at some. And I believe, more often that not, ‘recycled’ the New Year’s resolutions. 

Let’s check what are the famous New Year’s resolutions globally, shall we?

Let’s all try to make our new year’s resolutions last the entire year! (Source: Internet)


1. Lose weight
Don’t tell me THIS is not on the top of your list. Surprisingly, even the already-skinny ones want to lose weight. In a society where how you look plays an important role, we are often pressured to lose weight to achieve that dream image. 

As for me, it’s almost impossible to lose weight, haha! Genetically, our family especially on Dad’s side are mostly overweight. Besides, I love food so much and now, since I go to a lot of events and food reviews, I am eating all the time. 


No more excuses for me, I hope (Source: Internet)



2. Get Fit
Yup, lose weight, get fit, pretty much the same difference. Only people who say they want to get fit, they usually start off by signing a gym membership. Sounds familiar? Either that, or they say they want to jog more every evening. 

Haha, honestly, I tried. I really tried. But most of the good gyms are too expensive, with membership fees and monthly fees and additional fees for personal trainer and all. The pay per visit ones usually have limited equipment, most of the time, they’re crowded. I don’t go jogging around the neighbourhood anymore, it’s far too scary. Let me informed you, snatch-thefts around Setapak is extremely common. I myself has experienced it 4 times, twice they succeeded to snatch my bags. So, no jogging, I’d rather be fat than be slashed again over a few hundred ringgit and a cellphone in my bag. 

Maybe I’ll consider classes or just go to the gym at the office. Keyword: MAYBE.

This is how gyms really make money! (Source: Internet)


3. Quit Smoking
Oh, how many people, especially Malaysian men who say this? Hahaha! Well, good thing is I don’t smoke. I tried smoking, in order to look cool, but then I decided, nahhh, I can go without. 

Habitual behaviour is usually very hard to get rid off. Although many believe that smoking should be cut down gradually, I’ve known some people especially women who have gone cold turkey. Most of the time, it happened after they found out they were pregnant and amazingly, they really managed to stop. 

In fact, I’ve also known a military officer who went cold turkey after the birth of his first son. He told me, “There I was at the hospital, thinking, ‘What would be the best gift for my wife and new-born son?’. Finally, I decided to stop smoking for their health and I haven’t smoked a cigarette ever since. My son is 14 now, so, it’s been 14 years off nicotine“. See? It’s workable!

It is workable, really! (Source: Internet)



4. Less Alcohol
Many write this in their new diary but how many actually managed to do it? People work and get stressed out, they party and they start drinking. It’s as easy as that. Besides, unlike the USA where the drinking age is 21, Malaysia actually starts rather early, 18. Although not as early as Germany, 16. 

Still, less alcohol is better for health in the long run, so the doctors say *wink*

Besides, you don’t wanna be a party pooper and end-up not ‘too sexy’ at parties, haha!

Anyone you know? (Source: Internet)

Or how’s this for the after-party look?

You do want to stay alive, don’t you? (Source: Internet)
5. Save Money
Yes, this proves to be very heard for most, especially me. With XXXX salary every month, and no other additional income (sorry, I don’t know how to do business), I need to be extra thrifty. Actually, most of my money goes to gas and car, having to drive around a lot on a daily basis. When some are claimable, some are not. Then, perhaps, entertainment (that’s eating out and weekly cinemas). Thank God, I’m not quite the shopaholic. I try to buy good shoes that last forever, no more Vincci‘s for me, their soles always fall off. I’d rather spend between extra money at Marks & Spencers and not only their shoes are comfortable, they last longer than a year too. You should see my black and nude pair of pumps! Love them the most! And I only use one handbag and one cluth at a time, until they start tearing, as simple as that.

So, I signed up for monthly pay-cut for investments instead. Nothing such as SKIM CEPAT KAYA, I spoke to my banks instead. Perhaps, this year, I will make time to sign up for another one. Hopefully, by the time I’m 60, I’ll have extra cash at hand. Besides, signing up for investment plans means, you’re already good to go with your New Year’s resolutions involving money for years to come, isn’t it?

A penny saved is a penny earned (Source: Internet)

6. Eat Healthy Food
Now, we all know healthy food are not exactly cheap. It’s true! Especially if you’re talking about organic food grown without chemicals. But they are still ways to be healthier when it comes to eating.

I personally do not like to eat vegetables as a child. But when my aunt, Mak Lang, came to live with us when I was in primary school, she started cooking a lot of delicious vegetables for me. Ever since, I just love eating vegetables. As I get older, I’ve also tried many vegetable dishes. Even the bitter vegetables, I still eat them like French fries. 

Even when I eat rice, I’ll make sure there will be more vegetables on the place. I’m still trying to practice to eat just a scoop of rice, though. 


Have fun with your vegetables, and no, not THAT type of fun (Source: Internet)



7. Manage Stress
This has proven to be easier said than done many times over! Oooohhh! I honestly don’t know what workaholic spirit that possesses me every time I land on a job, I tend to fry my own brains thinking about work, even when I’m at home. In fact, while driving, I tend to look around at buildings and roads and people to see if something can inspire me to do better.

All that said and done, I end up with stress most of the time. In fact, a couple of months ago, my editor, Miss Lira J from www.lirajamaluddin.com and I took a stress test. And guess what, not only Lira and I are rapidly aging from inside, but we are also highly prone to getting developing cancer cells, due to stress. It was actually very scary considering Lira and I are off the same age, working for the same company, and will probably die of the same cause, cancer; if we don’t start managing our stress.


If all stress-managing methods fail, try this! (Source: Internet)



8. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
Wow! Turns out that this is one of the top new year’s resolutions worldwide. I was quite surprised. I guess, it’s not too bad now since most private companies are heavily practising this. I know this for a fact because the company that I’m working for is also doing the same. In fact, there were times when I accidentally printed out approval papers on recycled papers and was heavily criticized by my beloved CFO, Miss Z. 

I don’t think it’s too hard to reduce, reuse and recycle. We’ve seen the ads everywhere everyday. Those tips are actually very good. All we need now is to put them into practice.

From plastic bottle to bench (Source: IWantToBeRecycled.org)

Gotta love these two ads (Source: IWantToBeRecycled.org)



9. Volunteer to Help Others
Of course it’s part and parcel of living in a community. Of late, I see a lot of young Malaysians are stepping out and stepping up to do community services, which should be given attention and encouraged among youth. 

When some of us don’t have spare change to donate to the needy, there are always other ways to help out and volunteering is one of them. I’ve never actively volunteered in something,  but after returning from Germany, my neighbour and I volunteered at this orphanage in our neighbourhood area. We were teaching English to the kids. We tried to make it as fun as possible. However, Sheera and I didn’t quite agree with the management and we left. Not because we didn’t want to help the children, but we believed, there was some hanky panky going on there and we’d rather not get involved. Besides, what’s Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat doing about it? Surely, they monitor every orphanage in Malaysia.


Check out their website http://www.im4u.my/ for
upcoming volunteering gigs (Source: iM4U)



10. Take Trips
Oh, this is one thing, I normally could NOT stand. I swear, something is wrong with my body. I could never enjoy a holiday ever. I’m a known party-pooper among friends who’d cut vacations short over ‘the simplest emergency at work’. Although I love seeing photos of friends enjoying their trips, domestic and international; I just couldn’t push myself to enjoy one. 

Perhaps, it’s about time, I should. Like what my soul-sister, Erine has been telling me to do. Shut off the cellphone, leave the laptop and go somewhere far from people. In fact, she’s been trying to get me to enjoy vacations, but even she fails. And I don’t blame her.

Of course, taking trips means you need to start saving to really enjoy your trips. The worst thing that could happen is running out of cash when you’re nowhere near home. Always prepare extra stash of cash for emergencies. Most of the time, food and transportation could really burst your budget other than buying gifts. 

Remember, you don’t need to buy gifts for everyone, you’re not vying for everyone’s affection nor are you buying votes for bi-election, haha! So, just stick to those whom you truly love and care about. And seriously, there’s no harm is asking for money from those who specifically ask you to buy them something. I usually give Oliver some money whenever he goes back to Sarawak so that he can buy all those ikan terubuk masin, Sarawak’s pepper in all variations, gula apung and so on for my aunts. There is NO such thing as free lunch. And people should be considerate when asking you to buy stuff too.


Money talks, baby and they don’t grow on trees! (Source: CartoonStock.com)



So, what’s my New Year’s resolutions? Usually, I don’t have any, since I think, one doesn’t need to wait until new year to make more positive changes in life. Of course, when you don’t plan, you don’t achieve something. When planning is important to keep you focus and on track, it’s also important to give yourself a break. Just don’t get too comfortable and you’ll begin to laze around.


Oh, Calvin and Hobbes are simply adorable! (Source: Internet)



If these are considered as New Year’s resolutions, well, here are mine:

1. The Miss Paris Diaries
I try to be more committed to this blog and will try to publish one confession or info on a daily basis, even during weekends and Public Holiday. Even a Photo Diary would be good. Fill my days with activities, so that I can write more and share with the world–> that’s me thinking global! Haha!


Let’s see, what do we do this year (Source: Internet)

2. Be A More Positive Person
Let’s just say, 2014 has taught me more about friendship. There are some friends that you should keep and there are some that you just don’t need to. Always remember, positive people give you positive results. Stay far, far away from negative people who just want to use you for the their own benefits. Any relationship should be symbiosis; give and take. The minute you feel somebody is taking advantage of you, move away. Then, slowly you’ll see their true colours.


Yes, I’ll be more awesome this year! (Source: Internet)



3. Work-out
Yes, I’m not too crazy about gyms nor jogging around the neighbourhood for reasons I’ve mentioned above, but I’m highly considering classes, either yoga or belly dancing. Haha! At least, I will vow to 15 minutes daily to do something physical. Skipping looks like a good choice that I can do at home on a daily basis. 


Haha! Let’s pray for a stronger will this year (Source: Internet)



4. Make Investments
Yes, I will definitely sign up for another medium to long-term investment. At least, I won’t get to spend the money and by the time, I won’t be working for money, perhaps that money will work for me.

5. Read More
I haven’t even read some of the new story books I’ve purchased. So, I will spend some time to read before I go to sleep. I want to have a bigger book collections too! Besides, I need to improve my English. I’ve been working around typical Malays who don’t speak English for the past 7 years, so, it’s time to amp up my game. And before anyone calls me a ‘Minah Salleh Perasan‘, let me remind you, there’s nothing wrong with mingling with different groups of people of different ethnicity.  Besides, I do want to go away some day. 

I first read a Jane Green in 2002 and I’m hooked ever since (Source: Internet)

My first love with Jane Green, Babyville (Source: Internet)
My other favourite author, Tasmina Perry (Source: Internet)

This is one of my Guilty Pleasures by Tasmina Perry (Source: Internet)

6. Learn Something New
Every year, I’m committed to learning something new. That’s why, I’m always open to attend courses or seminars organized by the company. In 2014, I attended what I still think as one of the best classes ever, Effective Business Writing Skills. Yes, it sounds boring, but wait until you meet and learn with Mr. John Hagedorn himself. Truly an eye-opening experience. I don’t know what I might learn this year, but I’m looking at something related to skills, perhaps making costume jewellery? Nothing specific crosses my mind at the moment.

7. Work on More Collaborations
See? All I think about is work! Haha! But I’ve definitely had something in mind already with Miss Lira J and Mel. Also planning something with our HR Department to make money for the company. Oh, don’t get me talking about work, it’s addictive!

Happy New Year, everybody! And welcome back to work for the first official working day in 2015! For those who are only coming back next week, well, reality will b***h-slap you soon enough! Haha!


So, what’s your New Year’s resolutions? (Source: Internet)


See you in the next confession!

All my love, XOXO,
Miss Paris



Whatttt??? Still thinking about your New Year’s resolutions???? (Source: Internet)






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In times of grief – I, too, have lost

Dealing with Grief As Best As We Could

Recently, it hasn’t been all good time and laughter for all of us. In fact, I dare say, for Malaysians particularly, 2014 had been a rather challenging year. 

What we expected last year (2013) to be a glorious Visit Malaysia Year 2014, turned topsy turvy with one tragedy after another. 


MH370 – Plane disappearance

It all began with the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, commonly known as MH370 on Saturday, 8th March 2014. This scheduled international flight last made voice contact with air traffic control at 01:19 Malaysian time just as it flew over the South China Sea, less than an hour after take-off. Up until today, MH370 is yet to be found.

The question remains, where is MH370? (Source: Internet)



MH17 – Plane Crash

Not too long after that, another scheduled international passenger flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 or known as MH17 crashed on 17th July 2014, having been shot down. The major shocking event caused the deaths of 283 passengers and 15 crew on board. In fact, one of the co-pilots, the late Muhd Firdaus Abdul Rahim was a close cousin of my ex-colleague, Edlynn. I was also involved in assisting a Russian TV Crew from Russia-1 Broadcasting Station with their documentary. 

Please excuse me, even the subtitle is in Russian (Source: Russia 1)



Flood Disaster 2014

And recently, when most of us were thinking of relaxing until year end, again, we were shocked with what people deemed as the worst flood disaster in 30 years, hitting most states in Peninsular Malaysia with the East Coast recording the worst case of all. A senior meteorological officer from the Meteorological Department National Weather Centre, Dr. Mohd. Hisham Mohd. Anip said, the full moon phenomenon; when the moon is closest to Earth and causes high tide; is among factors that triggered extraordinary flooding this year. With everything we see on local and foreign media, we could only pray for the best until things get better. 


The worst flood ever hit Malaysia in 30 years (Source: Reuters)



AirAsia QZ 8501 – Plane Crash

Just when we thought, we could focus our energy to help the flood victims as much as we could, again, the world was shocked with the missing of AirAsia Indonesia QZ 8501, which was later confirmed to have crashed in the Java sea, off the Indonesian part of Borneo. One of the passengers was Malaysian. Among others, the flight from Surabaya to Singapore also had 155 passengers (including 16 children and 1 infant) and a crew of 6 (including 2 pilots) on board. 

Be it a global tragedy or a small incident, a loss is still a loss and people grieve over losses. Although I’ve never faced a dramatic incident like losing someone in a plane crash, but I’ve grieved over loss too. In fact, I believe I’m still grieving over the death of my brother, Mohd. Hafiz Mohd. Supian who was just 17 at that time.

In fact, my brother died on Friday, 19th December 2008, just as I joined the broadcasting station. To make things worse, he died just 10 days after my Mum’s birthday and he was on a holiday with his friends (one of them was Amir, his BFF since we first moved to Setapak in 1991) right after his SPM exams (that’s Malaysian equivalent to O’Level). When SPM is supposed to be the turning point of every teenager in Malaysia to step into adulthood, well, SPM was Hafiz’s last stop; and a turning point for our family. Only not in a good way, as we drifted apart ever since. 

Hafiz is the third one from left, top row (Source: Hafiz’s Facebook)


Hafiz was always the link between every member of the family. He was the only boy, and youngest too. Born 27th April 1991 (so you can imagine Hafiz and Amir grew up together, Amir is just a year or two older), he completed the April Triplet. You see, I was born on April 7th and my sister, April 28th. Being the youngest and having two much older sisters, he was always the spoiled one. 

I remember the first time, my Mum brought him home from Hospital Besar Kuala Lumpur (now Hospital Kuala Lumpur), it was drizzling and our maid at that time, Kak Yaya brought an umbrella to meet my Mum at the car. My sister and I were very happy, there was a baby at home. Only to find out much later, it was a boy. Well, growing up as girls, Sasha and I had always wanted another girl in the house. We even asked our Mum to return to the hospital and exchange the baby with a baby girl. Mum being the smart one, she said, the hospital ran out of baby girls, so the baby boy was all that was left


My aunt Whatsapped me this photo just a few weeks ago


After some time of being upset, finally Sasha and I opened up to the little baby that we had at home. Well, there wasn’t going to be another baby at the hospital for purchase, so we thought, why not settle for this one for the time being? 

Of course, growing up, we were constantly jealous of the baby. Well, when you’re a girl and you have a sister, you’ll have to share your dolls and toys. So, with a new baby boy, everything was new! 

We had a lot of fond memories growing up together, perhaps, I will share that in my other confession. Hafiz had always been closest to me, perhaps being the eldest, it was always easy to give in to the younger siblings. It just so happened that we both looked more alike compared to Sasha. The April Triplet might even be the face of 1Malaysia, with me looking obviously Malay (sometimes confused with Mexican or Filipino, haha), Sasha was the Ah-Moi (with her Chinese looks) and Hafiz was the Indian boy (he was often outside, so his skin was very tanned). 


Always the funny boy 


When I started working with the broadcasting station, I knew that I was not going to do well unless I worked really hard to learn all the tricks of broadcasting; broadcasting was not quite my favourite subject at the university. I was trying to fit in too. Working for an English radio station at that time, clueless about the tech-bits, and going out with one of the DJs there, I usually came home late. So, I didn’t really have time for Hafiz.

So, on that 19th December 2008, I was working during one of our Christmas outdoor events in Klang. I wore a Santarina outfit. Then, I saw my sister’s texts, saying that something happened and she couldn’t go to the grocery to buy the ingredients I needed to make pasta. Hafiz had always loved my spaghetti bolognaise. She didn’t specify why. It was much later that my aunt, whom I fondly call Ibu, called me with the worst news, Hafiz was gone. 

What started out as a fun, Christmas celebration to cheer up some orphans in Klang, ended up in a tragedy for me. I cried and told the senior producer about it, asking to go home. With a flat face, she just said, “Sure, go ahead“. I asked the driver to send me back to Setapak, he refused. He said, it was too far from Klang. I explained that my brother died and unfortunately, it fell on deaf ears. Finally, after some time begging for mercy, the driver agreed to send me to KTM Klang. 


Hafiz followed our parents to perform Hajj when he was 16 (Source: Hafiz’s Facebook)


On my way, the DJ I went out with (by then, we’ve broken up over certain issues unsurprisingly sparked by rumours) called and told me to get off the car, offering to send me straight to Setapak. At first, I didn’t want to because I knew, nobody at work liked us hanging out. Some even told me he was married, when he told me he was already divorced. Long story short, I’ll be forever grateful to his good deed when I was in need. 

I managed to call a few people, including an ex-boyfriend from Singapore and my lecturer/mentor, Puan Hajah Kamaliah Abu. Other than my aunts calling back, asking to confirm the news; Puan Hajah Kamaliah whom I usually called ‘Bonda‘ called back and reminded me to ‘istighfar‘ repeatedly for comfort. She told me she was already at her hometown in Kedah and couldn’t visit me, but she called a few times to ask how I was doing. 

Reaching home, the DJ parked a little further and gave me one of his biiiig spare shirts to cover my Santarina outfit. It wouldn’t look good coming home as Santa’s Little Helper when your brother just died. Also, another of his good deed that I always remember until today. Perhaps, he felt guilty because Hafiz had wanted to meet the DJ. Once Hafiz waited outside a club at Avenue K where the DJ was spinning to just meet him for a while, but the DJ didn’t come out even after I went inside to call him. But, let’s not dwell into that anymore.


Like me, he loved taking photos of places he visited (Source: Hafiz’s Facebook)



I was informed Hafiz died on his way to the hospital after taking a fall at Telaga Tujuh, Langkawi, head first; breaking his skull, knee-cap and leg and his shoulders. Apparently, one of the bones from his shoulder (forgive my lack of knowledge of the human anatomy) could’ve poked through his skin. 

His funeral was held the next day. At first, the Langkawi authority only planned to send Hafiz’s body to Kuala Lumpur much later, it being a Friday. Through my Dad’s connection (with him formerly a navy officer), he managed to push for the body to be returned immediately. It arrived on Saturday, around 11 am. 

I woke up on Saturday, thinking I was dreaming. Only to realize there were so many people at our home, downstairs, crying and mourning with us. Hafiz was a well-liked student at his school. He was known as a very kind boy, who often helped his teachers and friends. It was not a surprise, many came to pay their last respect. I looked at my brother’s face one last time, wishing I had spent more time with him. But I guess, everything was too late. 


Hafiz and his friends (Source: Hafiz’s Facebook)


We Muslims believe, some people can sense their demise within a certain time frame before ‘the last stop‘. These people who are going to leave us, also leave clues or show signs that are so ordinary, that most of us rarely notice, but afterwards, you’ll remember those signs as THE SIGNS

Before he left for the Langkawi trip, he took a lot of photos with our Mum with the digital camera. Our Mum actually told him, “Save the memory space for your photos, so you can show me when you come back“. To which he replied, “Oh, come on, Mum, you never know, we may not get to take photos together again“. And he was right.

He also told our Mum to give away all his clothes to the needy, especially the branded items. He also said, “Those so-called victims of landslide in Bukit Antarabangsa don’t count“. My aunts told me the same story and we all loved him for his kindness. 

With me, I remember it very well. It was on my off-day and I just wanted to stay at home, lazing in front of the TV when my brother approached me.

Hafiz: Hey, it’s your off-day? Do you want to go out?

Me: No, I just wanna stay inside.

Hafiz: Along (a nickname common among eldest children), when was the last time we had that yummy ‘nasi kukus ayam berempah‘?

Me: Yeah, it’s been a while.

Hafiz: Can we go and eat that today?  

Me: No, I’m too lazy!

Hafiz: Oh, please! Let’s take the scooter and go.

Me: No! Too lazy!

Hafiz: Please, please, please, I’ll pay my half.

Although I knew very well that RM7 was nothing to me, I often told him, he should start paying for his food, no more treats or ‘belanja‘. So, we went to his favourite stall near our house and bought two packets of steamed rice with marinated chicken. I even remember how he liked it, drumstick and extra spices or what we usually called ‘sampah’. 

Upon reaching home, we both enjoyed the food. My brother showed THE SIGN.

Hafiz: It’s so good, thank you for the treat.

Me: Sure, sure, next time, I won’t ‘belanja’ you again (I always said that, and still ended up treating him. He was after all my only brother)

Hafiz: Don’t know when we’ll eat together like this again.

And I didn’t see THE SIGN. I really didn’t see THE SIGN

A few weeks later, Hafiz’s best friend, Amir (he lives just 2 doors away) met me and told me the actual truth of the day of the incident. He told me, my brother’s death was swift. He didn’t suffer at all, just one fall and that was it. Amir said, he and the others were hesitant to tell the truth to my parents, worrying of their conditions. I didn’t blame the boys, they were only boys, with Amir being the oldest of the group. So, they boys had to say that Hafiz died on the way to the hospital. 

In fact, before I was drafting this confession, I posted something on his Facebook timeline, hoping that his friends will notice and remember to pray for him. One girl replied. I’m so grateful, at least his friends still think of him.


I post a reminder on his timeline every year



So, a loss, no matter how big, no matter how small, as long as it was of love, it will leave a deep mark in your heart. That mark doesn’t really heal over time. It just closes up like a wound and leave a scar. Once in a while, the old wound acts up and reminds you to look back. 

Losing my brother was one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever faced so far. I dream of him once in a while, something from our childhood together; usually funny things that he said to me to get my attention.

 I often wonder what it’d be like, if he’s still around. He’d probably grow close to a foot taller than me, I’m 5’6 by the way. He was already 5’9 or 5’10 when he was 17. I know he will be the protector of the house and family, just as he had always been. He’d probably bug me to ‘belanja’ his favourite food whenever he has the chance. I often wonder, which girl he’d marry, he was quite popular among the girls too. Even when I was studying in Germany, little blonde German girls developed a lil’ crush seeing his photos. 


When he first showed me this photo, I couldn’t stop laughing at
his ‘model pose’ (Source: Hafiz’s Facebook)

Of course, Allah has better plans for all of us. No matter how much I hope things are different, but deep inside we all know Allah is great and He decides to give and take some things for a good reason. I guess, when my brother was taken, at least we didn’t have to worry about him anymore, as he is in a good place now. 

I’m sure many people have lost along the way. And sometimes, we got lost along the way too. So, when you feel lost, you don’t know where to turn to, turn to the Creator, and He will show your way back. Al-Fatihah to my beloved brother, Allahyarham Haji Mohamad Hafiz bin Haji Mohamad Sapar. 


Recite this and you’ll sleep better (Source: Internet)



*Note: Last year I met a nice lady working at TalentCorp Malaysia, Farah Delah. We met at an event and started chatting immediately, since we have a mutual acquaintance, Ardi Gunsuh; a friend who was there for me during my 2013 Tragedy (perhaps, another day). After a while, we found out that my brother’s grave and her mother’s were next to one another. How small the world is! 

Have a Happy New Year, everybody!


See you in the next confession!

All my love, XOXO,
Miss Paris

















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The Rustic Woodland Christmas @1Utama Shopping Centre- The Christmas Diary

It’s all about love and joy


Oliver and I usually go to 1Utama Shopping Centre for our weekly movie date. And he knows how much I love to take photos every time 1Utama Shopping Centre sets up their special theme at the New Wing. 

Oooh, this year is quite a festive! The theme is ‘The Rustic Woodland Christmas – Love & Joy’. I felt like I took a journey into the wardrobe and on the other side, I discovered the snowy, magical world of Narnia like that of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Just look at those adorable forest creatures celebrating Christmas!


Some are playing musical instruments
The squirrels hang around to enjoy the music
And the birds watch on from high above

Of course, hats off to 1Utama Shopping Centre for making those polystyrene snow for the children to enjoy.  When some countries may not experience snow until much later, it seems like Malaysia welcomes snow flakes right here at 1Utama Shopping Centre.


Even the smallest things do matter to make one happy
The whole floor is covered in snow for the little kids to enjoy
Awwwww, isn’t that cute?
She probably asks mummy and daddy to stay longer
This little princess is enjoying the snow as much as the other children

Of course, Oliver and I couldn’t stay long since we’ve got a movie to catch.

So, I’ll share with other photos that I manage to snap.


The happy woodland creatures



Of Love and Joy



A favourite Christmas classic, the Nutcracker Prince



Christmas decorations



Plushies for Christmas!



The whole gang is here!


Glass works are lovely Christmas gifts

Santa and Elf-Monsters, aaarrrrrggghhhh!!!!

Something for you

A word from the wise, shop and celebrate in moderation

Have a great Merry Christmas, everybody!

About 1Utama Shopping Centre

  • 1Utama Shopping Centre is situated in Bandar Utama Damansara, a township in the north of Petaling Jaya, Selangor and is also adjacent to the Taman Tun Dr. Ismail township in Kuala Lumpur; the capital city of Malaysia. 
  • Its gross built-up area totals 5,000,000 square feet (465,000 square metres), making it the largest shopping mall in Malaysia and the fourth largest in the world as reported by Violet Kim for CNN on 19th February 2014
  • Wittily tag-lined “It’s all in one!”, 1Utama Shopping Centre is indisputably a premier lifestyle and entertainment mecca with something for everyone.
  • 1Utama Shopping Centre is an award-winning shopping centre that redefinces the shopping scene, achieving many industry firsts such as the Skybridge, a lush tropical Rainforest inside the mall and its Secret Garden, South East Asia’s largest rooftop garden.
  • 1Utama Shopping Centre boasts 6 retails levels for your shopping pleasure with over 650 trendy shops for an experience like no other. 
  • For easier navigation, 1Utama Shopping Centre has various themed zones: Highstreet, Oval, Rainforest, Secret Garden, Promenade, Promenade Lakeside, Centre Court, Sportszone and the Entertainment Zone

(Source: www.wikipedia.org & www.1utama.com.my)

Yours truly enjoying the Rustic Woodland Christmas
Have a Merry Christmas, everybody and Happy New Year 2015!

See you in the next confession!

All my love, XOXO,
Miss Paris

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The Sweet Escape- The Christmas Diary @Quill City Mall

It’s the sweet tooth, baby


We all know the story of Hansel and Gretel, we’ve been reading it since we were such wee toddlers. Hansel and Gretel is a well-known fairy tale of German origin, recorded by the Brothers Grimm and published in 1812. How two siblings, a brother and a sister were sent to the forest by their mother (some said, stepmother) and nearly became victims of a children-eating witch.



Beware of everything nice and sweet, there might be evil inside of it (Source: Internet)


Reading the story over and over again, watching some TV drama and movies based on Hansel and Gretel often make me think what will it be like to see such appetizing gingerbread house with candies, lollipops and cream all over it. 


My recent visit to one of the latest shopping attractions in Kuala Lumpur has answered my prayers. Quill City Mall is a new lifestyle mall located along Jalan Sultan Ismail with shopping, dining and entertainment attractions. When my brother invited me for a free movie screening at the recently opened GSC Quill City Mall, it marked my first official visit to Quill City Mall. 



You can’t miss this lifestyle shopping mall (Source: Internet)


Quill City Mall is very spacious for a shopping mall right in the hustle and bustle area of Kuala Lumpur, where most of the actions are. It’s accessible by public transportation with the Medan Tuanku Monorail just a few minutes away by foot. Of course, driving might be a little bit of a problem when you’re stuck in the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad traffic in Kuala Lumpur. Just make sure you’re driving on the correct side of the road or else, you’ll have to make a big U-Turn to reach Quill City Mall.


Landmarks close to Quill City Mall:

  • Medan Tuanku Monorail
  • Sheraton Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
  • UniKL (Universiti Kuala Lumpur)
How to get to Quill City Mall (www.quillcitymall.com.my)


Anyway, while waiting for my brother, Meor Arif, I took some sweet time to snap photos at the centre court, where the beautiful Christmas set-up was. Oh, my sweet Lord! I mean, literally SWEET! I immediately found myself in the midst of Hansel and Gretel fairy tale; just before they discovered that they were going to be kidnapped by the Witch, haha!


It was breath-takingly beautiful! Adorable more like it. The Christmas theme at Quill City Mall was ‘The Sweet Escape‘, yes, like Gwen Stefani‘s song. When I first arrived, I was actually at the upper floor of Quill City Mall, so I got some great angles to snap photos. 


Isn’t it SWEET? You got the candies AND the LED screen!

Don’t you feel like grabbing the cupcake hot air balloon?

Ahhh, the cupcake has flown away!

 What I really love about this Christmas set-up at Quill City Mall is the vibrant pop colours used when pulling everything together. Of course, once I went downstairs to take a closer look, it felt like I just stepped into Candy Heaven! Even the floor was so colourful with swirl lollipop concept that you wouldn’t want to stain it!


The journey to a sweet life begins here

You love swirl lollipops? Well, I do too! In fact, imagine swirl lollipops as trees with decorative lights to bring out the colours. They make you want to pull one and start licking, haha, if that didn’t sound so wrong!



A tree with lollipops for branches! Yummy!

As the lollipop branches touch the roof of the gingerbread house… Aaaahhh, bliss!

 Not into lollipops? Well, how about cupcakes? Quill City Mall also has the production site set-up. This is where all the delicious giant muffins are baked. It will definitely remind you of either the Sugar Rush game in Wreck-It Ralf or CANDY CRUSH!


Which flavour would you like for your cupcake?
How about chocolate with cream and cherry or sprinkles on top?
Some prefer strawberry and cream!
This strawberry cupcake looks like it’s about to take off! Delivery order perhaps?
Let’s buy fresh strawberries at Cameron Highland!

Naturally, the highlight of every Christmas theme at shopping malls is the Christmas tree! Just like some people feel empty without a Christmas tree at home when celebrating. Even a small one would do. Just for the spirit of Christmas. Well, here at Quill City Mall, it’s huuuge and it’s made of lollipops too!


Lollipops are stacked in multi layers to create this Christmas tree.
This is me looking up the Christmas tree



Congratulations, Quill City Mall! Can’t wait to see the Chinese New Year theme soon!

Let’s strike a pose, shall we?
Any closer, you’ll see the bulges I meant to hide
This is my brother, Meor Arif. You should watch his funny videos!


About Quill City Mall
As a lifestyle destination, Quill City Retail Mall will accentuate a vibrant city lifestyle. This 7-storey shopping mall, encompasses a nett area of 770,000 sq.ft. and has been designed to create a modern destination for people to meet, gather and socialize. Essentially, the exterior façade of the mall was created to complement the surrounding commercial area and neighbourhood to reflect what the area was missing.
(Source: www.quill.com.my / www.quillcitymall.com.my)

 See you in the next confession & Merry Christmas!

All my love, XOXO,
Miss Paris



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