Saturday, February 28, 2009
I was at a launch for a juice bar at Palace of the Golden Horses. I really didn't expect this but the hotel gave me this incredible basket of fruits with my name engraved on a papaya for attending the launch. How personal :)
Papayas as you know are rich in antioxidants so they call them superfruits. What I didn't know is that papayas also contain the enzyme papain which helps to speed up chemincal reactions in the body. Papain has a mild and soothing effect on the stomach and is very useful in helping to aid protein digestion. It helps to regulate the bowels and clean away dead tissues from the body. I kinda wanted to preserve my papaya (since it had my name on it) but guess I should eat it haha since it's THAT good for the system ;)
When I came home, Ruby had her eye on the strawberries...
Not that she can talk but Ruby was asking me to share my fruits with her "but you've just had your breakfast" I say to her "so let Mummy have mine, you greedy little hoover!" :)
This was taken on a shoot I remember really well because I thought the studio was way too cold. That and the fact I never smiled from start to finish. Which was fine by me. I was freezing anyway! Sometimes, you remember a job for the oddest detail ;) Can you imagine I have a girlfriend in modelling (I won't mention your name babe. You know who you are! ;) who was almost NEVER asked to smile.
She did a lot of edgy looking shots with loads of attitude because she had that f**k off sort of expression. That ended up attracting top magazine spreads around the region especially in high fashion. She looked pretty unfriendly when she had to project that sometimes blank expression or half frown (it's funny for me because she's so NOT like this in real person. She's a real sweetie with a quirky sense of humour).
Anyway, she got tired of doing so many fashion shoots in the same vein. She had done so much magazine work but hardly any commercial work which may look all happy and smiling or even run of the mill but can pay big bucks depending on the brand. Models making loads of $ in this way via catalogs, mobile phone or smiley bank ads sometimes wished they could be transformed the way my friend was in high end fashion magazines. Well, the grass is always greener on the other side. It's actually great for any model's portfolio to do radically interesting, different shots which she was doing on a regular basis.
However, my friend needed to make more money to survive but with her 'look', it was hard for her to break into the commercial scene. She was also fully Caucasian and Pan Asians were getting far more work out here in Asia because they could also look local. Having said that, she finally got a print campaign in Thailand. It was for an MP3 player or something like that. Here's the funny thing. She calls me up and says "You wouldn't believe it! Even for a commercial job like this, I'm still hired NOT to smile"
They painted her whole face silver and she had to look utterly miserable. They needed her to actually cry for this because in the ad, she had blue tears dripping from her eye lids! They played weird music the whole day in the studio which they thought would help her get into the mood. It worked, she said. She's never been more depressed on a job. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry myself when she told me this but we definitely laugh about it now!
When I was modelling in Bangkok some years back, she saw me off at the lobby of where we lived and it was hard saying good bye not knowing when we'd see each other again. In this line of work, it's so haphazard with everyone's schedules. And a lot of the models lived in the same building so you get to know each other really well. Plus, I had a toast maker in my room which was quite a hit so I used to make sandwiches for everyone :) Anyway, there we were hugging each other goodbye and she was saying she would miss hanging out with me. Her eyes were starting to go a bit red (you see I told you she's nothing like her shots! She's a real softie ;)
I jump into the cab feeling a bit sad to go. Thailand was rich in experiences and it was really fun for me. I met so many interesting characters. Well, the Thai chapter was closing with another country and another chapter waiting to unfold somewhere else. My friend was still standing on the porch as I waved to her from the back of the cab till she disappeared from sight.
Here's the funny thing. I see about 3 billboards of her all the way to the airport. She was wearing a wig and she had (yup, you guessed it) that f**k off expression on her face! ;) These shots of her were larger than life and so radically different from the girl on the porch without any make up who just saw me off. I stare at the billboard and marvel at the wonders of make-up and the illusionary worlds it can create. They had totally transformed her. She looked ultra cool but it's important to remember, there's a person under every surface no matter how glossy it comes!
Friday, February 27, 2009
Ella Koon and Candy Lo (on right) were flown out from Hong Kong to sing a song each at the launch of 96st magazine. I was admiring Candy's tattoo on her back. She seemed to have quite a few tattoos. The words "faith" and "courage" were printed between her shoulder blades. They're both really strong statements. Important qualities to have, I was commenting. She then asked me why I didn't have a tattoo. I said I was afraid of the pain (hey, it's true) but to be honest, it's a really big decision.
It's not like getting a hair cut and regretting it. Even hair will grow back eventually. A tattoo should ideally hold a special meaning or significance to you that can last a lifetime. I find myself looking but not daring to get any like window shopping. Plus, my mum would freak out. For some reason, she finds them quite scary.
I once went out with an Italian guy who had at least 5 tattoos. Come to think of it, this was years ago so he may have even more now. Though Italian, he was totally into his kung fu and all things Chinese so most of his tattoos (including a rather huge fire breathing dragon on his chest) were all oriental designs. I used to joke about the fact he was like a hard boiled egg. "White" on the outside, "yellow" on the inside. Even his bedroom was full of Chinese figurines. It was like stepping into a chinese temple or Bruce Lee flick ;) This was one guy that made me wonder whether past lives existed because he was so inexplicably drawn to asian culture.
My Mum didn't realise this when she first met him (his many tatoos, I mean) because his shirt covered everything up but I wanted her to see the art work. It was so intricate. She actually shuddered saying "no, it's ok. I'd rather not, thanks" hehe. At least she was a good sport though because she didn't judge him for having tattoos but she just personally didn't like them.
There was this one time I got an airbrushed tiny tattoo on my mid riff. You know how they can spray it on and it only takes a minute? It was a Chinese character. I really loved it. It was the character for 'love' (secretly, I'm a hopeless romantic) Anyway, I showed it off to Mum, totally annoying her because she thought I'd really gotten a tattoo. It looked that real. I thought I could keep the lie going for at least a day or two but I ended up telling her right away because she looked so horrified! "But this is love, Mum. Isn't it a beautiful character?" You should've seen her face! She was NOT amused ;)
Steve Yap, myself and Johnson arriving for the launch...
The Chinese magazine is called 96st, as in 96 Street so notice how we're standing in front of a gate? They even had street signs and a London phone booth as part of the set up so that it would resemble a city street. Christian Capes looked like a formal butler standing at the entrance. All the male ushers were wearing white gloves, don't play play ;)
Part of the organisers Brandon (on left) and Rachel Ng (far right) and the lady in blue is a Chinese actress called Angela.
The models were all backstage (about 30 of them) but these were the elegant ushers out front all dressed in black. They asked me to please remember to upload the photo because they didn't have a camera on them. Girls, I hope you find this shot on my blog because I promised I'd put it up so here it is :)
Owen Yap was my co host for the night in Mandarin and I was of course hosting in English. When I was doing a rehearsal in the afternoon, I realised I wasn't sure when Owen's last sentence was on his side because I don't understand Chinese. It was pretty funny so we came up with this system that whenever he was done speaking, he would lean toward me (ever so slightly) as a cue and that solved the problem. In fact, it was so seamless that people may have thought I understood what he was saying but actually I didn't ;) We had a lot of fun at this event and during our hosting breaks, we went straight for the cakes and chocolates. They were tiny so I had quite a few of them, heavenly sigh. They were so good!
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
You know what's funny? When I was in Singapore, I was trying to hit a few golf balls (quite badly too) in normal attire and a part of my collared shirt was sticking out from my golf shorts. Someone from management actually came up to remind me that shirts must be tucked in at all times. Oh my goodness, it's not like I had it tucked out to begin with but that's how strict it was at this club! Fair enough. I tucked my shirt back in feeling a bit self conscious and hoping no one would notice me or the bad shots coming from my tee box haha
Then I find out I have to do a fashion shoot at this very same club in a ballgown at the tee box! Oh my God! It's so obvious I'm working so I start posing for the shots right? Can you imagine I see a lady making her way over to me. She looked pretty annoyed "this is not the right clothes for golf!" No kidding! Isn't that obvious? "I'm on a shoot", I say to her and she goes off grumbling under her breath.
Somehow, it didn't bother me at all. I was amused someone would stop and complain. Who goes golfing in ball gowns anyway? When I'm in work mode, I can't be worrying about how ridiculous I may look because I'm on a job. The irony is, I was more embarassed when I really was on the driving range. I looked normal, yeah but I was hitting the ball all over the place ;)
Monday, February 23, 2009
My doorbell rang and I wasn't expecting anyone so you can imagine my surprise when I saw these two adorable kids just standing there. I knew they were my German neighbour's children but I had never seen them like this. I ran into my house looking for sweets but then again, it wasn't Halloween so what was the occasion, I wondered? Never mind, I just had to take a photo with them. Too cute!! :)
Just yesterday, I ran into their parents and now it all falls into place. Now, what's the biggest celebration in Germany? A lot of us may think it's the Octoberfest but it's the "Fasching" carnival. It's like the German version of Mardi Gras and it happens every year between Jan 31st to Feb 5th.
This carnival is where normally staid Germans get dressed up in costumes, let their hair down and act a bit crazy. I love the idea of this already! Every country should have something like this ;) What fun! Apparently, in some parts of Germany, kids even stop cars on the road asking for toll money for laughs. It's the season to be foolish. Women with painted faces and fancy costumes may knock on your door and tell you jokes.
I never even knew about this but a piece of Germany just showed up on my doorstep and I feel like joining in on the fun. Maybe I should go buy myself a witch's hat and start sprinkling fairy dust all over my neighbourhood. What do you think? Ok, maybe not, chuckle. So I took a snap shot instead with my little visitors and that made me feel a part of their special carnival :)
Sunday, February 22, 2009
My pug Harley was at the vets a week after I got him. By then, I was already totally in love with him and I got really upset when I was told he might die on me. I mean really upset. Left the vets with red eyes, the works but he recovered! And he was just a tiny puppy back then.
Nowadays, he's a grumpy old man. No I'm kidding. He's just over a year old and its almost comical the procession of my pugs to the vets. I'm starting to accept it. They can get hurt and they might fall sick. Just got to put on a brave face and get on with it.
My smallest one got her eye scratched last month. We rushed her to the vets. She had the satellite dish round her head (that's what I call it anyway) for 2 weeks! Poor thing.
Just when she recovered, Harley is off to the vet for his latest eye scratch. Now he ALSO has this ridiculous looking satellite dish round his head ;)
You should see all 3 of my pugs when they play. I run around them like a referee saying "no", "no" because they are such a rowdy bunch. They take tumbles together off the sofa. It's fun having them around.
There's always life in the house when I come home. Dogs are great stress busters and they don't even realise it. Truly wonderful, loving companions. They're also incredibly loyal.
Well, I hope I won't be going to the vets anytime soon. I've become quite regular there. Fingers crossed. Oh, I've gotta go now. It's time for Harley's eye drops! Laters ;)
I almost expected to see dinosaurs running around. Wow, the Lost World of Tambun really is a lost world. Can you imagine the limestone caves are about 400 million years old! It's seriously beautiful and there's something quite mysterious about the caves. When Jehan, myself and the film crew climbed to the very top, the cave was in total darkness. If you put your hand in front of yourself, you wouldn't even see it. Pretty creepy and when I pointed my torch upwards, I saw a swarm of bats. I was thinking to myself how scary it would be if our torch batteries went dead. Do you know what we heard about Gua Datok? It's a mystical cave.
There's this shaft of light and an old wooden chair facing the prayer position in it. There's also some old artifacts, like bowls and even engravings possibly centuries old. Apparently, there was this one time a researcher tried to remove something from the cave to do studies on it and there was a clanging metal sound that couldn't have been made by anyone because there was no one there. Or maybe there was??? YIKES!! I was hoping I wouldn't even touch or step on anything by accident. It made my hair stand just thinking about unseen eyes following my every movement but what an adventure this was. It took almost 2 hours to get there. Some parts of the climb were gruelling because it was almost vertical but you know what? It was completely worth it. The view from up there once you emerge from the darkness of the cave will take your breath away...
Saturday, February 21, 2009
I had no idea that a few of the world's top rock climbers actually came to the Lost World of Tambun of their own accord. There wasn't even a path for it but they created one for themselves. Then again, just looking at it, I can see why. It looked impossible! Uhm, and why were we stopping??
Jehan was trying look for the first foothold but I was trying to persuade the crew to stick to the plan. "Guys, we were supposed to go cave climbing, remember? Let's not get distracted". We were losing light anyway but truth be told (I can say this now because we're back), I was terrified of this jagged vertical rockface. I would gladly have gotten BEHIND the camera if they wanted to film this ;)
Friday, February 20, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Remember how I was saying some of the best things in life are free? Well, for me a beautiful sunset has to be one of them. It's hard to ignore it. I was so engrossed in my book but I stopped reading and stared. I have a dear friend who was visiting me in Langkawi when I was filming a drama there (a few years ago) and he asked if I could watch the sunset with him so let's make sure we meet for dinner early enough so we don't miss it. He said it was one of the most beautiful, romantic things you can do with anyone but it's so nice to watch the sunset that he would even do it alone.
There we were rushing to get to there in time as if you're running late for an appointment but this is an appointment that doesn't wait for you. The sun goes down whether you catch it or not ;) We made it just in time and I realised how lonely my friend was, how sentimental and sensitive because he just kept looking at this gorgeous scene in front of him.
We still keep in touch though he's relocated and it was a really lovely thing to share even though we were never a couple. As he said, anyone could do it alone and it clears the mind to think. It's like having a quiet moment to yourself, the way I was having one here in Koh Phangan :)
I didn't want to lose the moment. I knew I had to leave this island the next day and return to the hustle and bustle of the city. I didnt want to think about it (you know how we might get a bit depressed when a holiday is drawing to an end and suddenly you have the Monday blues coz you have to go back to work?) Well, I was starting to feel that way when I realised the sun was about to set.
I got off my deck chair watching the sky turning different shades of purple and orange and all those thoughts slipped away. I was taken in by this beautiful sunset. I was able to be 'present', not worrying about tomorrow or the things I had to do once I returned to KL. For that moment, I was simply at the beach and loving every second of it.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
I think the waiter thought I was Thai (I even ordered my food in Thai) until he asked me what book I was reading and I had to break into English. Everyone in Thailand always says the same thing to me "you look like Thai people" not that I mind at all. When I was visiting Hawaii, they thought I was a local kid. I was fine with that too. When you're rojak, hey, anything goes! :)
The book makes me want to see the movie (though I've been told the book is better). It's always like that though. It's so hard to compete with our own imagination! We see the same places differently in our heads. You may even imagine the way a character may look or sound because you had a mental snapshot in your mind and it may be so different from what you see in the movie.
I'm sure it's happened even in every day life on your mobile phone. If you had a stranger's voice in your ear and you can't see the person, you may wonder whether the face goes with the voice. I was speaking to a friend's friend whom I'd never met trying to get directions to her house. It was crazy how lost I was getting. We started laughing because it was getting worse and worse. I was apologizing profusely and joking that he would miss the whole dinner trying to get me back on the right road.
When I finally arrived at my friend's place, he wasn't what I'd expected. He was so friendly on the phone, even in person. I thanked him for all his help of course and it was definitely the same guy but I didn't expect such a hard face. He didn't look approachable in any way but sometimes, a hard looking person is actually a softie trying to look fierce so people don't take advantage of them. Moral of the story is a cliche but true in this case. You just can't judge a book by its cover!
Monday, February 16, 2009
You've heard of the expression dance like there's no tomorrow? Well, this is more jump and start doing the waltz like there's no one watching though I did draw a few stares on the beach (and a few smiles) because I was obviously having fun ;) You know I've said this before. It's good to just let your hair down and if you can't do it when you're on holiday then chances are, you never will.
I arrived in Koh Phangan a few days after the full moon party. I hear the island survives on party goers who come specifically for this party once a month. At this time, hotels are fully booked on the mainland of Haad Rin (which is the beach the party is on) and the island is super busy. The party can attract up to 30,000 people in one night on the beach. Incredible isn't it? I didn't feel bad that I missed the party because I was there some years ago and I danced till dawn ;) It's definitely quite an experience because people come from all over the world.
This time round, I've decided to stay in Haad Yao. It's the furthest away from the mainland but probably the most beautiful. Most of the party people had cleared out so the island was all peace and quiet again. For me, this was perfect. I hadn't come this time round to party. I was here to relax and unwind so I also chose the quietest beach :)
Sunday, February 15, 2009
For as far as my eyes can see, where the water meets the sky, it looks like a razor sharp straight line. Almost as though this boat could just fall of the edge of the ocean if it ever reached it :)
You know what? You can get away without even leaving the country. To think Cameron Highlands is just a drive away....
I went up there with a couple of friends for the weekend. Considering we're so used to hanging out in KL, it was really fun curling up in jumpers in front of a fireplace. We didn't feel like we were in Malaysia at all.
The air is wonderfully fresh out there and a lot of the buildings are colonial style with even European road names. It's a strange word to describe it but I find the whole place really cute! Very quaint.
My friend Hannah is actually from England so when we had tea and scones, she felt right at home haha and we spent a whole day out exploring the strawberry farms and seeing how fresh jam is made.
It was a charming weekend getaway but I recommend you don't read in the car on you're way up, unless you have a strong stomach ;)
Friday, February 13, 2009
Parts of The Beach with Leonardo di Caprio was shot on this island. Funny thing is, I met a local in a shop who proudly showed me his lighter. He's kept it in perfect working condition all these years and it was given to him by Leonardo himself. No kidding! He said to me "You know Leo? He come here for filming The Beet" and I started laughing. The accent is so cute. Everyone here says beach the same way. They can't seem to pronounce the "ch" so they say "beet".
Don't get me wrong. A holiday is still a holiday and a fantastic change of scenery but there are simply different kinds of holidays.
If I wanted to relax and do almost nothing, I would choose an island because its so therapeutic to be surrounded by nature or to wake up to the sound of the ocean. It has to be one of the most beautiful sounds in the world.
I met a German lady on my travels and she said her husband and her never argued when they were in the mountains on camping trips. They only argued in the city. She realised this pattern. She said things were so basic on these trips. They co operated without any drama on setting up the tent together, cooking and were almost immediately relaxed once they were away from all that "noise" and daily stresses in the city. Nature has this calming effect on us.
I can't see myself moving into a forest or living on an island for the rest of my life (but who knows? hehe) but it certainly helps me to recharge my batteries on a holiday, no matter how short.
Live the Moment
Thursday, February 12, 2009
I asked Elaine if I should just disappear to the bathroom and not come back. You know, just make a run for it and we burst out laughing. Of course, I'd never do such a thing but I was cracking up just thinking about it!
On a more serious note, the romantic thing about a diamond is that it's one of the hardest substances on earth. An unbreakable thing which is meant to represent a strong and lasting relationship. Having said that, they're d**n expensive hehe so if you're thinking of a Valentine's gift, just bear in mind its not what you spend that matters. It's the thought that counts! and some of the best things (like a beautiful sunset) are free!
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Monday, February 9, 2009
It is good to find an activity which allows you to express yourself. There's something liberating about letting your hair down whether it's on a dance floor, writing your thoughts down (like I am right now) or singing in a shower.
We often have so many suppressed thoughts, desires or angst which have nowhere to go, no outlet. You could hit the gym, listen to music or lose yourself in an artistic endeavour. Just find something that helps you find your release. Oh, and I know it's easier said than done but it also helps to not take ourselves so seriously. This is what I learn from being around my non judgemental pugs. It's okay to be really silly ;)
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Don't beat yourself up on it either for too long. I've met so many battered souls who should have let go but are still carrying around guilt they can't shake off because they haven't found it in them to forgive themselves. Guilt is a crippling emotion that can hold you back. So learn "the lesson" but move on.
If you looked around in any crowded room, you may notice how different we look, dress or speak but we aren't that different from each other in that we've all made mistakes. We're only human.
If I had a lighthearted regret, it would have to be that my Mum didn't teach me how to speak Chinese. The easiest time to learn a new language would be when you're a kid. It is a part of my heritage since Mum is half Chinese, half Scottish but I grew up speaking English at home.
Oh well, I have just come from a CNY function and these thoughts just flashed across my mind when the waiter passed me a drink and I said "xi xi ni". At least I know how to say that! ;)
Friday, February 6, 2009
Dynas said she felt like having cakes all the time, especially pavlova. The funny thing is she hated cakes until she fell pregnant. Well, I've read somewhere that as much as 40 per cent of women tend to crave for something sweet in their early pregnancy stages and may shy away from bitter foods especially in their first tri mester because bitterness can signal the presence of a toxin which could hurt the foetus. The wonders of our human bodies!
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
I've read somewhere that adults should observe kids and animals if they want to learn how to be more relaxed. It's about being 'present' right now and enjoying the moment, not backtracking into what you did wrong last week or beating yourself up over something you can't change.
Of course it's easier said than done but when you focus on now (which is all you have because you can't BE anywhere else other than now), you feel a release from your past and future thoughts. It's unhealthy to dwell on 'yesterday' or 'worry' about tomorrow because it's not 'here' yet.
That's the cool thing hanging out with my pugs. I feel the tensions of my day just draining away when I'm with them. Pets and kids are like a therapy for us adults. One of them is sleeping on my lap right now as I type this so I should go now. It's bed time for all of us, nightey zzz
And its actually a great thing to laugh. I was doing all this research on laughter (for one of the upcoming episodes on Health Buzz) and there's heaps of medical evidence out there on how incredibly good it is for you. For eg, I knew that laughter releases endorphins, those feel good hormones but I didn't know that it's said to strengthen your immunity, reduce your stress hormones and can even burn as many calories as being on a treadmill. For the last point, you would need to be belly laughing for quite some time so start watching some funny movies and thanking the funny friends in your life because they're doing you wonders!
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
I would run out to the balcony and look down below where as far as my eyes could see, it looked like hundreds of homes with their lights on just got hit by this big wave of emotion. Uh huh. I pretty much figured the whole neighbourhood was watching football! ;) and during any big games or the World Cup period, its like this fever where men move out of their own bedrooms into the living room or anywhere at all they can camp in front of a TV.
It is mind boggling how many people follow the game. Most of the guys I know try to patiently explain to me about all the different leagues and how their favourite players are doing. They even talk slower so I will fully understand them (hey, I'm not THAT bad la. I do know a little bit about football ;)
The thing is, I've always associated football with men but the truth is, a lot of women also follow the game.
I have a really old friend in Singapore who knows this stuff inside and out. When we catch up, she doesn't speak to me about football (though I ask a few questions here and there) but seriously guys, I don't know another female who knows more about football than Collette Wong. Not because she reads the Sports News on ESPN. She actually writes it! :)
- Jojo Struys
- I find blogging quite therapeutic. It gives me a chance to express my thoughts. I'm currently a TV host living in KL and the mother of 3 confused looking pugs! ;) If u have the time, my modelling shots, tap dancing clips, full biography and TV trailers are all on www.jojostruys.com :-)
My previous blogs :)
- Fruity affair
- Give me attitude!
- Chinese Magazine Launch
- Golfing in high heels!
- But it's not time for Halloween...?
- Oh no, not again!
- Lost World
- What would you hold on to?
- This is an airport????
- At Sundown
- Thai people :)
- Finishing my book
- I'm free!!!
- On the boat
- Amazing strawberries
- Middle of Nowhere
- Holiday destinations
- China doll
- Lion Dancing
- Your names please?
- Sing like a bird
- Any regrets?
- Wonders of water
- Pleasant surprise
- Hair treatment
- Oh my goodness!
- Here's my four legged family
- Laughter the best medicine...
- Wish I was taller?
- Its not just the boys....
- ▼ February (33)