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The Thai Effect

November 16, 2016

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Haute Hippie kimono
L Space bikini
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It’s hard to choose a favorite thing about my Thailand. The heat. The food. The beach. Phuket was just a small taste of a country that contains endless paradise within just about every square inch of itself. The first thing I would do every morning was throw on my bikini and go sit on the balcony of our hotel room overlooking the main city road that leads straight to the beach. Makeup hardly even touched my face. I even slacked on sunscreen, but none of that mattered. My body grew so accustomed to the heat that just started to get heavy at around 8am every morning. The way it lingered on my skin acted as a sort of wake up call for me every morning in this place. No caffeine required. Vitamin D was my only intake.

Walking along the main road was an energizing experience. But a different sort of energy than the kind you find in a big city like NYC. A slow and steady energy. A humbling sort of energy. A brought down-to-earth sort of buzz where every tiny thing mattered. Where I would stop to look and admire and inquire about everything at each place along the way. The pace of things kept alive by tourists walking up and down the road. Locals wanting to sell and share a little bit of this and a little bit of that of their culture and services. Small groups of Thai men and women gathered in corners having discussions, while slightly amused by out-of-towners who make such a big deal of the local discoveries that they know and see everyday. I loved to watch both sides.

Wish I was back on that balcony right now, feeling that same heat, and eating all the tom yum in the world as I make my way towards the beach. Instead, I’m writing about this in my pajamas, hair a mess and wondering when the heck my landlord is going to turn the heat on in my building because it’s getting a little cold in here.

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7 comments
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The Colorful Phuket, Thailand

November 14, 2016

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Haute Hippie tie dye kimono
Triangl bikini top
LoveShackFancy miniskirt
Proenza Schouler bag // SHOP SIMILAR
Crap Eyewear sunglasses // SHOP HERE
Dannijo earrings // SHOP HERE
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Dressed to match the environment. Inspired by the mangosteens that I can smell from a mile away. They taste sweeter and sweeter with every bite, before being washed down with a pineapple smoothie. Every day charged by sugar and caressed by sweat. Tired feet left to the hands of acrobatic Thai masseuse because we prefer to walk everywhere we go even when we feel we can hardly walk another step more. Knick knacks and local snacks and bargaining our way from day and night. Smiles and fresh coconut water exchanged throughout the process. At night the beach goers who were dormant on the sand come back to life, burnt red on every inch of their bodies. Europeans and Australians mostly, with lopsided grins, beginning to drunkenly dance their way through glowing lights that come on once the sun disappears. As the sounds change from a mild murmur to a buzzing electrical outlet, the city continues to taste exactly how it feels. Hot and spicy with a splash of something cool. And reliably so every single day. More to come . . .

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Sunday Favorite | AP Cafe

November 13, 2016

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I’m take pride in my neighborhood. And yes, I think that the best places to eat are in Brooklyn. Many in Bushwick, such as the lovely, well-lit and very Instagram-worthy AP Cafe. I can walk to this spot on a late Saturday morning from my apartment and never have to worry about waiting for a seat. The burger here is diviiiineeeee. I’ve been bopping around all of New York City since 2013 taste testing what should be the best burger in town, but none have yet beat the one from AP Cafe. The caramelized onions add the most phenomenal touch. Complete with a side of the thinnest, crispiest fries that came straight from heaven I promise you. For those looking for a healthier, and less indulgent option that is still well-rounded, the kale pesto quinoa bowl (I like to add chicken to this), is a great choice. I could take pesto on just about everything. AP Cafe just gets it right every time, all the way down to the succulents that add a simple delicacy that makes this one of the best places to get work done if you are just in a mood for a good coffee. If you ever have the chance to explore Bushwick, make sure to come by this spot for a coffee, a burger, a donut, or any of the other delicious plates they have on their menu. You’ll be back for sure.

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A Bit About Family

November 7, 2016

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Alpha Omega top
Mango shorts
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One of the most important aspects of visiting Kuala Lumpur was reigniting family ties. Growing up, we were sadly never that close to our father’s side of the family in Los Angeles, so big familial gatherings were never a regular thing. It was just something we were used to. And it was never a big deal because my father, my mother and my sister were always enough for me. It was all I ever needed. Family can be a very difficult thing. Differing point of views, a reluctance to go out of the way to catch up on each other’s lives as we head in new personal directions, arguments that can easily get blown out of proportion, etc. There are multiple reasons why the idea of family is a hard one. Growing up, I started to understand this more and more. And I show no bitterness to the side of my family that I hardly keep in touch with due to personal matters. But at the same time, I started to realize the importance of the side of the idea family that stands tall and strong. The parts of family that love you unconditionally and that give the most support (even in my case that support comes from hundreds of miles away). That even from miles away you can feel that love is still there. It’s important to grasp onto these things, and fill in every gap as much as you can. I filled a lot of internal gaps on this trip to Kuala Lumpur. And I found joy in seeing how much my mother’s side of the family has grown and developed in the most positive of ways after the past seven years. And it gives me joy to know that there will be even more good things to wrap myself up with the next time that I go.

Of course, no family is perfect. And this truth stands for both sides of my family. I have noticed and come to learn about a few broken pieces leftover from the past that still hurtfully resonate today with my family in Asia. Of course, this isn’t something I will go into detail here, but it is something that I have honestly been thinking a lot about lately. That at the heart of it, acceptance is one of the most beautiful and important things that come along with the familial territory. Without it, family doesn’t work the way that it should. I’ve opened my eyes to this multiple times. Take for example siblings. Most are complete opposites of each other, seeing eye to eye on the most rare of occasions. But at the end of the day, the contrast between them is what it is. It’s something that should be cherished and accepted. Something that promotes openness. I’ve always believed that family should be the first and foremast example of the act of opening your mind to different perspectives that closes the gap of narrow mindedness.

I felt lucky to go home to a place that I don’t go to that often, but to feel at the same time instantly a part of something. I cherished the time I got to spend with relatives I haven’t had the chance to get to know as much before. I got so used to the feeling of being surrounded by these familiar faces that it was hard to leave. But like a friend just recently told me, it is something that will always be there waiting for me whenever I need it.

So here I am with my some family members at the Thean Hou Temple, a beautiful Hainanese temple in Kuala Lumpur. Hainan is the southernmost and smallest province of China, where the roots of my family is from. I’m always so inspired by parts of my heritage, even if it’s just taking in little bits and pieces at a time.

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