I didn’t, now I do

You know if there’s one thing that I’ve noticed in my life is that a lot of things I used to detest are things I enjoy now.

From the earliest example I can think of – smoking. When I was young, I remember my uncle letting me try a puff of the cigarette he was smoking. What followed was me coughing miserably and spitting out whatever I had put into my mouth (no, cigarette is not euphemism for his cock here). Fast forward to a few years later, when I would accidentally drink a can of ash (I saw an unattended can of Shandy at a party – turns out that people were using it as an ash tray). Also, is it just me or did everybody smoke in their own homes back then? Or did I just grow up around a lot of smokers.

Anyway, for the longest time I wouldn’t touch a cigarette. Every time I was offered one, those experiences I had with smoking would pop up in my head and I’d reject the offer. How I started – that’s another story. But I’ve spent a quarter of my life as a smoker. I also rock a vape and consume the occasional snus.

Spicy food and cilantro. Two more things that I avoided like the plague when I was younger. I had no tolerance for spicy food and I thought cilantro had a terrible scent. I always made sure I didn’t order anything spicy and if my dish was served with cilantro, I’d remove it.

Now – I love them both. Sure, my tolerance for spicy foods still isn’t amazing, but I can at least eat spicy food now. I actually enjoy adding chili to a plate of food that’s bland. Same thing with cilantro. I can even eat it on its own. No idea how it started, but I just started eating them one day for a reason I can’t recall and I’ve been doing it ever since. Not sure if I’ll ever enjoy petai or celery in the future, but we’ll see.

Coffee. I never drank it as a kid (the most I had was Neslo – a blend of Nescafe and Milo) because I thought it was bitter and unappealing. I didn’t understand why my parents, uncles and aunts all enjoyed it.

Now? I drink it more than once a week. Sometimes even daily. My love for the drink started when I had to stay awake for some work and I thought I’d give the drink a shot. Turns out it was something I enjoyed. Initially I had to take it with milk, sugar, or blended with other ingredients. Now I love it black and bitter. Hot or cold depending on the weather.

Pop, folk and electronic music. When I first discovered music, I was very open-minded. I consumed everything the radio had to offer. Then when I found out what I liked, I only listened to songs from that genre. It has been many years since then and now I find myself listening to everything and anything – as long as it catches my attention. I don’t let its genre stop me from checking it out. I remember back then I called all electronic music techno shit. Pop music, ballads and boy bands were for sissies. Not anymore. I can put my mp3 library on shuffle and songs from every kind of artist or genre will pop up. And you know what? That’s what I like.

I still love baked beans and rice, peanut butter sandwiches and cartoons. I doubt I’ll ever stop.

Talking to Strangers

A few weekends ago, I was tasked with approaching some strangers in a mall to get some answers for a survey. While it may seem like nothing to most people, I didn’t find it very easy to do. Fortunately, I wasn’t alone and had my colleague’s help to carry it out. While I had to work up the nerve the approach strangers to ask them the questions, she went in like a pro, approaching crowds left and right with no hesitation. It was interesting watching the immense skill gap between the both of us.
I’m not physically incapable of talking to strangers, but I’m the kind of guy who dislikes being approached by strangers in public. Be it to sell me shit, talk about religion or beg for donations – I’ve never been in a situation where I’ve thought to myself, “I’m glad they came to me!” whenever it happens. For me to put myself in those shoes was immensely difficult.
I’ve had jobs approaching strangers before – but that was as a promoter in a supermarket. Having a product to push and being in a controlled environment made it much easier. It also helped that people would be curious about the stand I was in front of. All I had with me in the mall was a notebook, pen and company name tag.
Anyway, not much to say about that experience except that it was eye-opening for me. I guess we’re all proficient at different things in life, and I’m the kind of guy who’s more comfortable behind the scenes instead of out talking to people on the streets. But it’s a skill I’ll pick up one day, as it’s more beneficial to have than not.

It’s great being an adult

Today, a thought crossed my mind while I was having dinner and I saw a kid a few tables away having his meal with his family. He was the only child seated there, the rest of them were old-ass people chatting and eating. It’s great being an adult.

Sure, these days it’s not too bad being a kid – everyone has got their own tablets and smartphones to keep themselves occupied during a boring dinner. But I remember when I was young, the countless times I had to follow my family out because I was too young to be left at home by myself.

I’d sit down with the aunts and uncles, bored out of my mind, waiting for the adults to finish talking so I could go home to watch my favorite TV shows, read a book or play some video games.

Now that I’m old enough, I’m able to decline invitations to dinners I don’t want to attend. If I do attend them, I can occasionally speak to adults or other people closer to my age. I can order a drink and enjoy some alcohol. I can pull out my phone to browse reddit, play games or watch videos on YouTube. When I feel like it, I can just walk out for a smoke. Assuming I drove to the venue by myself, I can make an early exit to do whatever I want. There’s really no expectation for me to be present (barring important occasions). Everyone’s an adult now – they know I have shit to do with my time as well (these days it’s leveling up my Battle Pass kek).

I don’t miss being that kid who didn’t have a say in his parents’ social engagements. Being old does come with benefits. Now when I think of it, who wants to be young again? I mean, sure – nobody likes looking like an old fuck, but if you are an old fuck then what’s wrong with looking like one? I think I look my age these days, and I’m cool with that.

It’s great being an adult.

Mobile Hotspots are Underrated

If there’s one thing that people don’t use enough of these days, it’s turning their phones into mobile hotspots. Gone are the days where if you visit a cafe and it has no WiFi, you can’t do your work there. All you have to do is turn on the hotspot feature on your phone and you’re good to go. Unless you have a terribly limited data plan (which most people don’t have these days), using your phone to tether your laptop/tablet to is something you should do – unless you have terrible reception on your phone.

Benefits? You get to use 4G speed, which is better than the WiFi you get from a lot of places in KL. Especially when a cafe/restaurant is busy and full of other people leeching it as well. Better security – while most WiFi networks are usually pretty secure these days (gone are those days of Firesheep), it just feels better knowing that you have traffic going through your own cellphone instead of through a router that the public is accessing. You can use it anywhere and anytime you want. You’re no longer bound to venues and their opening hours. Sit in your car or on a park bench somewhere to work if you feel like it.

Sure, on some phones it might affect the speed of your battery drain, but if you have a decent phone (something that most people already do these days), it shouldn’t be much of an issue. You can always use powerbanks or charge your device with your laptop or a power outlet.

Also, if you don’t use up that phone data, what else are you going to use it for? At least in my experience where I have WiFi at home and in the office, my data goes underutilized on most months and I end up spam watching HD YouTube videos before my data renewal date just to feel like I got my money’s worth. In case you’re not sure about how to turn your phone into a hotspot (there are a thousand different phones out there so I can’t give you a guide here) you can do a simple Google search to find out. It usually falls under Settings > WiFi > Hotspot/Tether on Android phones.

Now go out there and enjoy your freedom enabled by your mobile devices! (though some people may say the ability to work anywhere is a curse, and not a blessing)

Back to the Diary

I think I may have writer’s block. I’ve been trying to write something substantial over the past few days but I haven’t been very successful. Even word vomiting hasn’t really been helping. I haven’t been able to come up with topics to write on my blog. Have I finally run out of things to say? No. That isn’t true. I’ll always have something to say as long as I’m alive. It’s just that I haven’t been able to write about things worth writing about (as though toilet thoughts was something that needed to be published).

I guess in the meantime I’ll just post some diary-like entries. Those are the easiest to churn out without having to use much of my brain. What have I been up to? Well, there have been a lot of Dota 2 tournaments over the past few months (another tournament just started last week) and I’ve been following them. I used to think that every time I tuned into a Na’Vi match, I’d watch them lose and it was my fault. But they’ve been winning the past two nights so that’s not true anymore. It’s good to see the team back on form after a rough day 1 at Epicenter XL. Hopefully they keep it up for the remaining days.

I haven’t touched any other game besides Dota 2 on my PC for a while now. In the past, I’d dick around in single player games while waiting for my friends to come online to play. Nowadays I just browse reddit until it’s time to party up. It’s seriously the only game that keeps on giving. Even after all these years. There’s always something new to learn.

Speaking of learning, I really enjoy checking out links from Hacker News. Every time I visit that site I find an interesting article that teaches me something new. Like today, I learned about pun competitions. Then I thought about it and realized – I’m so bad at coming up with puns. It’s not an easy thing to do. Puns also tread the fine line between clever and lame. They’re also very polarizing, it’s not something that everybody appreciates. Anyway, I just thought I’d share a pun a friend came up with a while ago:

probably only funny to people who know Ken Jae and his love for Hai Di Lao hotpot

Today Vanessa told me that her dog passed away. RIP Jasper. I didn’t get to know him well before he went to doggo heaven, but I’m sure he’s having fun with all the bitches up there.

I bought Vegas (a video editing software) for cheap the other day. Might study some tutorials and learn how to come up with my own video edits. Stay tuned for that.