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A Special Energy in Malacca City

November 29, 2016

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Reformation dress
Sezane shoes
Salvatore Ferragamo purse
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Malacca City is a very special place indeed. I haven’t visited since I was a teenager, but the place still stood out clear in my mind since that visit. It was at the top of my list of places to come back to during my Malaysia trip. Malacca City is full of rich history and colorful diversity. This old city once had a major role in the trade routes, catching attention from all over the world, and especially that of Portugal, and then the Dutch and then the British, up until World War II when the Japanese invaded. It wasn’t until 1963 that Malaysia as a country declared its independence. So, as you can tell, there has been many stories told, and I’m sure many to tell, about this beautiful city. And the city, you can feel it as you walk through its streets full of restaurants and shops and temples, all the different sorts of feet and cultures that have made their ways down them, too. Malacca doesn’t work to hide its past, but embraces it so much as a matter of fact, that it’s inescapable in the present time. The smell of a type of food in the air, one that pulls ingredients from all over the world to create something so unique for our tastebuds. It’s hard not to salivate while walking the streets made up of Portuguese-style architecture. My favorite dish here is the Hainanese chicken and chicken rice. The city is actually known for their unique take on the chicken rice. Instead of served freshly steamed in a bowl, the rice is rolled into little balls that are to be eating as a whole after being be dipped into soy sauce, some chili sauce and maybe a dab of garlic. It’s something you can hardly find anywhere else in the world, and made as well done as it is made in Malacca, where the dish has been perfected through many generations time. The city is famous for snacks so delicious, it’s almost unimaginable that they could be real, and packaged in such an exquisite way. After the afternoon gloom broke up, the sunshine hit the buildings and the city seemed over-saturated in such a way that you feel you are walking around with tinted glasses on. It’s a city that feels perpetually rose-tinted, even when it rains. It’s undeniably amazing. The energy is wild, especially on the weekends, when tourists from other parts of Malaysia, not to mention from all over the world, explore the city and create their own path through it, leaving remnants to be built upon as time goes on. What a lovely thing to think about, ya?

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Magic at The Batu Caves

November 26, 2016

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Alpha Omega blouse
Vintage Levi’s jeans
Proenza Schouler bag from Farfetch
Sezane shoes
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A different kind of post-Thanksgiving post since I’m in the midst of still catching up on so much from my travels. So here we go . . .

This part of my trip to Malaysia was one of my favorites. It’s been far over ten years since I’ve last visited the Batu Caves, and I was itching to revisit since I was little. And it was perfect timing since we decided to go on the major Indian holiday called Diwali (also called Deepavali). Malaysia is home to many, many people of Hindu Indian descent. It was amazing to see parts of the city come alive with color in celebration of this Hindu festival of lights, signifying the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair. It’s a beautiful reason to celebrate! Lights and candles lit up the dark Batu Caves, filled with bats in its crevices and acting as a playground for playful and curious monkeys who aren’t afraid to get up close and personal with the guests who decided to take the 272 steps up to the famous caves. I remember as a kid, always being a little fearful of the monkeys after one almost jumped on me to snag my bag of peanuts out of my small and trembling hands. But this particular day, I showed only love for these little creatures, trying to get as close as I could to snap a picture of the mother with her small baby at her breast.

It was a breathtaking view to stand at the bottom before my trek up, watching all kinds of feet, many Hindus going up barefoot as is the tradition, take purposeful steps up to the top. Every color imaginable decorating the backs of these people. Women in stunning and multicolored saris that lit up the entire stairway with every color imaginable. A mix of every skin tone, ethnicity, and cultural background together created a buzz on each and every one of those 272 steps. Once I got to the top, I decided to linger for a while longer to watch the crowds below and horizon ahead. There was an approaching storm cloud making its way towards us in the distance. It was a grey color, but it didn’t feel sad. It was peaceful and complementing to all the action happening where I was standing. Once we made our way into the cave, past the crowds admiring the colorful statues of Hindu gods, and all the way to the back, the rain began to fall through the cave’s opening where a mist hung over us all. The mist to me seemed like a kind of protector that I couldn’t stop staring at. Droplets coming down in a way that felt like life turned into slow motion. Landing on our faces and cooling our skin, for the day was extra humid. It washed our sweaty stickiness away. Kept us calm. The rain lasted for what seemed like nearly an hour, but we were in no rush at all. We sat and people watched while others did the same. Trying to figure out who was a tourists and which ones were the locals. Malaysia is so multicultural that it’s actually quite hard to figure this out. But that’s the beauty about this country. It’s always unexpected and there’s always something new to discover. This day we were celebrating the Festival Lights. And even though it got dark and grey, the light still kept on shining through.

Hope all you guys who celebrated Thanksgiving this week had a wonderful time off with those you love. Talk soon 🙂

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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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