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Former makeup enthusiast and bookworm. Currently adopting a minimalist lifestyle. Contact me at phylliciarobert@gmail.com for inquiries.
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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Phy Is Confused..

Okay, so I have made my decision to resign from the Government. Now, my dilemma is the next step from here. Where do I go? What do I do? Boo suggested that I apply for banks here in KK. However to be honest, I am trying my best to branch away from Finance.

I graduated with a Diploma in Business Studies and I studied accounts and finance as much as I studied economics, PR, HR, Sales and Marketing. I'm a bit concerned that if I take up a position in Finance once again, I'll be stuck in that line forever when in actual fact, I am perfectly qualified to take on other line of work.

I attended a friend's elder sister's wedding at Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort last Saturday with my sister and both of us worked there before. After the wedding we took a walk to the new building which was the Ocean Wing and were bowled away at the changes and beauty of it all.

Last week I also met a British young lady who happens to be an English teacher at Tamparuli. She came to the Traffic counter to pay for her parking fines and as we were chatting I felt so happy. I totally felt my hotelier side come out. Suddenly I remember how I used to meet such people everyday.

It made me really miss working in a hotel. Or rather, it made me miss working under Shangri-La at their resorts. It made me miss working in the front line, meeting new people and learning new things everyday. In case you didn't know, I was once a Guest Relations Officer Trainee and I was the happiest I've ever been during those times.

 Bird's Eye View of Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort

How can you not be inspired with such beauty?

I got inspired everyday by the beauty of my then-workplace and I love being surrounded by luxury. I'm a shy person but I managed to break through and make small conversations with guest, show them around, making courtesy calls, etc. Those short two months really did have a deep impact in my life and how I conduct myself.

So, what's the prob? you may ask. If you love it so much just work in the front line of a resort then. Well, the downside to that is the pay. I'm not sure about other resorts but the basic pay for front liners are pretty crappy. And the evening and overnight shifts? I'd need a car, which I won't be able to afford with the measly pay that I would be getting.

I've also worked in the offices of another one of Sabah's local Shangri-La's resorts. The pay was slightly better but not by too far of a stretch. It's office hours though and I figured if I go into the Sales Department, it would be the best of both world's now wouldn't it? Then again, I would still need a car to meet potential customers...

Okay fine, just work in a company that pays handsomely. Yeah, well you see I don't do that well with 4-corner offices or jobs that requires me to be at the offices typing letters all day. Don't get me wrong, I love typing when I'm 'writing' but typing company letters? It makes me feel like my soul is slowly shriveling and dying. No offence to those who actually do this kind of job. Hats off to ya'.

This dilemma has been going around and around in my head. Don't even get me started on whether I should stay here in Sabah or move back to KL. Yeah, as in Kuala Lumpur and not Kampung Luagan. I love Sabah and I sincerely prefer being here in my 'planet' of familiar faces, way of speaking and food than there for all it's glory. I know that I would miss Sabah terribly if I move but unfortunately, the pay is higher there..

Can you imagine how nauseous I feel every time I try to figure things out? Yes, it does look like I am being a bit picky over my next job but I just have a better idea of what I am, what I like and prefer. I want my next job to be something that I won't regret to be a mistake in a few months time. Hardly something that could be guaranteed but still, no harm in trying right?

Gah! Help! I'm so confused. Deciding one's career path is seriously tiring stuff..

Sunday, May 29, 2011

13 Personal Questions Tag...

1. What do you order at Starbucks?
-   My favorite is the Hazelnut Hot Chocolate. Yummy!

2. What's one thing in your closet that you cannot live without?
-   My jeans.

3. What's one thing that most people probably wouldn't know about you?

-   I am creeped out by small, furry creatures such as hamsters. 

4. Name one thing that you want to do before you die

-   Travel the world and live to write about it..

5. What's one food that you cannot live without?

-   Chocolate!

6. What quote/phrase do you live your life by?

-   It's pretty cliche, which is 'Everything happens for a reason'.

7. What do you like and dislike about yourself?

-   I like the fact that I am very driven and determined when I badly want something.
-   I dislike the fact that I am a procrastinator.

8. What's your number one favorite song of the moment?

-   On The Floor by Jennifer Lopez.

9. What kind of style would you define yourself as having?

-   Romantic. I love floaty fabrics, lace, soft pastel colors and flowy silhouettes.

10. Favorite number

-     My favorite is number 5.

11. Two hobbies
-     Reading and blogging

12. Two pet peeves

-     People who are slow in actions and in comprehension.
-     People eating smelly food in enclosed spaces.

13. Guilty Pleasure

-     Singing in the shower.

I tag:

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wah, So Calerful One!

I swear I have come down with Purchasinus Indecisivikus Syndroma, also known as the Curse of Indecisiveness. It seems to have started when my barely adequate pay was further reduced because of the increase in EPF contribution percentage a few months back. The lack of funds transformed me into a mass of nervous jelly, constantly over-thinking my decisions over my purchases.

Is this a need or a want?
Is this necessary?
I deserve this treat.. But then again, what if I fall sick and need to go to the clinic?
Is this worth the money spent?
Should I buy this over that?

All these questions run rampant on my mind constantly. They may seem like normal questions, smart even. Just what someone who's financially savvy would ask themselves in order to avoid making unnecessary purchases. Thing is, I doubt Suze Orman asks herself those questions when let's say, buying a pack of Strepsils (like I did).

My point is, because of all that stressing I can't seem to make any decisions off the bat. Not even simple ones such as what to eat, where to eat or even what to read. It's awful! This was especially evident to me today when I was asked by boo to pick a wallet. He wanted to treat me to one as my coin purse has been a poor substitute to a for the past 6 months.

Thanks for being my wallet all this while. Time for you to do what you do best.. Being a coin purse..

I would have taken longer to pick one up if my tummy wasn't insistently singing the Gardenia (bread) song. Another reason for me being relatively quick was that as kind and loving as boo is, he, like most men is 'allergic' to shopping. I ran back and forth between the 2 final 'candidates', frantically checking style, versatility and practicality with 1001 question and doubts running through my head.

In the end, I chose the one that I would have overlooked and dismissed as 'not my style' simply because I wanted a change. What's a change in the color choices of a wallet as compared to a change in career right? I must say.. I FREAKIN' LOVE IT! The more I look at it, the more I fall in love with it. I have gone even as far as to name it.

Without further ado I present to you the newest material love of my life, Lila!

 Lila's front view.. Wah, so calerful one!

From the back..

So not my usual choice of color but I have no regrets. Lets just hope my next career choice will have the same outcome. Hehe.. Cheers!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Last Straw..

Today was surprisingly pay day for Government servants. Usually on pay days I would feel like I am given a new tank of oxygen and that I am able to breathe easy again even if it's only for a few days (yes, you read right. Days, not weeks). I would indulge in one meal at 'expensive' restaurants like Kenny Rogers, Michi Japanese Restaurant, etc. and buy either an outfit, a makeup item or a novel (not all three).

Recently my financial situation got to the point where I was literally living on RM50 for the final 2 weeks by eating 2 RM0.50 mee/meehoon for each meal. Which resulted in me coming down with fever, sore throat and cough at least 4 times in the past 6 weeks and getting infections at the drop of a hat. With no nutrition going into my body, I loathe to even think how low my immune level is.  

Today I went to 1Borneo Hypermall intending to eat at New York, New York and buy a novel (it was either The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown, I Heart Hollywood by Lindsey Kelk or The Prodigal Daughter by Jeffrey Archer). However the past 2 weeks experience has left me, well, traumatized so to speak.

I kept changing my mind on whether to go to New York New York to get a square meal and their Mud Pie for dessert, or going to  Secret Recipe to have only their cake then finally reducing my choice to going to Starbucks for a mere Frappucino. I ended up doing none of them. Just as I ended up not buying a novel.

When I tried to decide on what I wanted to spend my money on, instead of feeling the pleasure and anticipation the only thing on my mind is the money I'm spending and it totally ruined everything. I knew if I tried to force my feelings aside and just spend the money, I would feel really awful and guilty.

Needles to say, I felt and still feel really gutted. To go through such hard times and not being able to get a break from the situation feels so frustrating to me. This is the last straw, I really have to move on out of the Government to better things. It's no longer a matter of self-actualization and mental health, it's now become a matter of surviving.

Those of you who have been reading my blog for the past year would know that this has not been on my mind only recently, but has been for a long time. Before I even moved back to Sabah actually. It hasn't been an easy decision either. Lord knows how much I've bawled my eyes out, feeling torn and confused. I'm now accepting of the situation though, So, yeah, will be looking for job vacancies starting tonight and beyond. Keeping my fingers crossed...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

When Minikins Join The Rat Race..

A friend of a friend's baby just turned a month old and I was invited to the Full Moon party in Penampang. Me and boo went with few others and when we arrived I was surprised to see so many women there who are new mothers. I don't know whether to salute them or shake my head in wonderment at their willingness to brave the heat with their poor little babies in tow. Anyway..

It is said that birds of a feather flock together so naturally women flock together and within those circles of women, the new mothers uh, flock even closer together. It all begins, of course, with one asking the other how old their baby is (soalan wajib tu). The conversation flowed freely and languidly between the new mothers and you can really see that they share a special bond.

 (I couldn't really join in too much as I myself am not a mother and no matter how many new mothers I've interviewed, no matter how much I watched the Discovery Home and Health channel or tune in to Oprah about child-raising, nothing beats the real deal. The lack of bond and conversation however, enabled me to be an observer and keen listener.)

You know how it is. One would tell what she worries that her daughter isn't getting enough nutrients because she refuses to eat rice porridge and if the other responded with something along the lines of,"Oh, gosh! I know how you feel. My little minikin wouldn't touch that stuff either until I started blending it with fruits and honey. Why don't you try it? I'll give you the recipe" they would become friends for life.

However, it turns out new mums do collide, especially when they start talking about their babies achievements. Oh, it starts innocently enough. One would maybe ask,"Can your baby sit yet?" and the other might reply, "No, she just started to turn over by herself and crawl a bit" The first mum would then say,"Oh, but she's 6 moths old isn't she? That's quite slow. My little minikin could turn over when she was 4 months old." And so on it goes..

And here I thought competitions are only reserved for grown-ups on who has the biggest car/house or better job/higher pay. Turns out the wee little minikins are joining the uh, 'rat' race too (on who learns to flip over/crawls/sits/stands/walks/speak sooner) albeit via their mothers.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Phy Does A Jig..

Hi there,
I was supremely happy that I was selected to got to a talk at Mes IPK this Friday. Unless you're new to my blog, you would know how much I loath my work and that I would be the first to sign up to go anywhere out of the office.

This morning however, Fate intervened. I was sitting at my CC's office and he was on the phone when he suddenly turned to me and said urgently "Can you replace 'N' to go for a course at the Imperial tomorrow?". What he meant by the Imperial is the Imperial International Hotel. Yup, the one I stayed at just last month.

Of course I jumped at the chance but I sincerely thought that it was a 1-day thing because he said 'tomorrow' and not 'starting tomorrow for 3 days' or something along those lines. I really was itching to break into a jig as that would mean I wouldn't have to be at the office for 2 days.

Turns out the course was held for 3 days just like the one before and my 'jig' slowed down a bit when it dawned on me that it would end on Saturday. My weekend has been cut short. Argh!  Oh well, you get some and lose some I guess. And I couldn't say no either as I was the only one eligible to go since I'm a woman and they have already set the quota for male and female participants.

It wouldn't be so bad since I'm not doing much on a Saturday anyway (I mean, duh, isn't that what Saturday's all about?).  I'll be staying in a spacious air-conditioned room with hopefully, a nice roommate if I get one and eating free, albeit crappy, food 6 times a day. So yeah, despite the Saturday thingy, I'm still doing a jig.

This course is organized by Bukit Aman and not KDN like all the previous overnight courses that I had ever attended so I'm not sure what to expect. Let's hope that they are not too strict with dress codes for our night classes. I also hope that the speakers make the course interesting and are not a stuffy lot. And lets just hope that classes finish early on Friday night. Hehe.. Fingers crossed. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

May Updates.. Super Long Post..

Gee.. I've taken another long hiatus haven't I? Between having a tug of war with boo over who gets to use the lappy and not having a lot of pictures of each event, I felt like I have a lot of events to cover but not a lot to say or show about each event so I wasn't sure if I wanted blog about it or not.

Then again, I miss blogging so much that I decided to write about each event briefly, kind of like a mini update. So here goes, with minimal (if any) pictures and all:

5th May 2011
I was selected to got to the Perhimpunan Khas Pegawai Awam PDRM. To be honest I didn't know what it was about until I got there. It turned out to be a pretty big event. 1st of it's kind actually and was done in grand style. 200 Police Administration Civilian Staff from West Malaysia were flown to Kota Kinabalu for it as Sabah is the host for this year's assembly.

Basically it was a gathering of said Administration Staff working under the Police Department. The TKPN was there instead of the KPN. The President of QUEPACS as well. They were kind of telling us that they have our interest at heart and PDRM is the best place to work because everyone is like family. Yeah right.

Notice the theme of the assembly? "Setia Bersama PDRM".. I'm guessing the fact that lots of civilian staff (from NKRA) applying for transfer and some even willing to quit from working in the Government rather than having to  keep working for the Police has something to do with it.. Anyway, more pictures...

 Farina and moi..

The Police Band.. We made the mistake of sitting too close to them..

Sabah Police Administrations Civilian Staff Union (SPACSU) Logo

7th May 2011
Our Majlis Perpisahan was held on this day at Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort here in Tuaran. As part of the entertainment there was supposed to be a Karaoke session. Turns out there wasn't much time due to mismanagement on the organizing committee's part but they did squeeze in 1 person to sing.. Me.

Being my first time ever singing in front of 200 people on top of a stage, I nearly peed in my pants. The only thing that saved me from THAT embarrassment was the fact that I had gone to the loo only minutes before. I wanted to sing Dan Sebenarnya by Yuna but they didn't have it (seriously? and that song is quite 'old') so I sang Lagenda by Sheila Majid instead. 

So, yeah, as I'm sure my dear friend Amanda would say, I broke my Singing-In-Front-Of-200-People-On-The-Stage virginity with unfortunately zero entertainment aspects as my eyes were quite glued to the screen and did no actions in conjunction to the lyrics. If Ogy was in front of me she would definitely be screaming at me and demonstrating how I should have done it with her non-awe inspiring rendition.  But I did lived to tell the tale so that's something.

Kak Diah and Kak B

 Yours truly

The stage... And people doing the Poco-Poco on the floor in front of the stage..

13 May 2011
Okay, I'm kind of embarrassed to share this because it just occurred to me that there may be a lot of girls out there who are no stranger to doing this. Nevertheless I feel that I have achieved something that I never thought that I could, or rather, would have to do in my life and that is I managed to put on a chain bolt to my bedroom door all by myself! My mum has been pestering for me to do it for months as I am unfortunately renting with a man as one of my house mates. 

Now, before you judge me you should know that in a small district like Tuaran you are left with not much choice for a place to rent especially when you don't have your own transport like in my case. I have to rent above shop lots and as most of the shops in Tuaran are pretty old, the rooms can be less than desirable. This one however, male house mate and expensive rent aside, is perfect in terms of location and it's on one of the newer shop lots.

Anyway, there hasn't been the need for me to put a bolt on the door before. The press lock was sufficient enough. Unfortunately something happened that made me pissed off at having my privacy invaded even if that person felt they had a valid reason to do what that person did. Thus, I decided to just bite the bullet and put up a bolt.  

The outcome of my perseverance. I'm so proud of myself.. Haha..

I must say I almost gave up after 2 screws. My arm was screaming in agony and I was sweating profusely. The door was made of thick hardwood okay.. The only thing that kept me going was the rewards of feeling safe and having my privacy back. It became easier eventually. Who knows, I might be the next DIY Queen. Okay, so I'm getting ahead of myself. Whatever it is, I rock! Oh yeah!

First 2 Weeks of May 2011
 I've been really been tuning to my 'bookwormness' and reading books like there's no tomorrow. I've completed 2 books so far.. I'm the type who can read several books at  a time (I'm impatient that way) so in a previous post I had told you that I was reading the Ivy Chronicles by Karen Quinn which became quite interesting in the end. Before I completed it though, I laid off it for a while and started to read I Heart New York by Lindsey Kelk which is the first of the I Heart Series.

I must say that I heart "I Heart New York"! Pardon the pun.. Hehe.. It's a chick lit obviously and a very light and easy read. Nothing serious, deep or meaningful but it did kept me guessing till almost the end. I highly recommend it for those of you who are looking for a light and entertaining read.

Needless to say, I completed it in 2 days (would have been sooner if I didn't have to work). I am looking forward to buying the next 2 books in the series which is I Heart Hollywood and I Heart Paris. The main character, Angela, is a blogger (which I must admit is why I picked it up in the first place) by the way and if you go to the website here, you will be able to read her blog.

 The site..

Angela's blog..

I'm currently reading Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love. As before she manages to reel me into her story with little effort and I find that it's one of those books that I can't put down. This time it's about her research on marriage including the history, the customs, the changes in the purpose of marriage throughout the century and the factors that change them.

There is a part that she touched in the book which is about infidelity that I think everyone should read especially married couples and those in a serious relationship. InsyaAllah I will be posting that excerpt in my future, if not next post.

Wow, for someone who doesn't have much to say, I certainly said a lot didn't I? Hehe.. Well, it has been a long time. What with blogger. com having problems the past few days, I'm just glad to be blogging again. Until the next post peeps. Cheers!  

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Let's Be Honest: Hotel Room Freebies..

Now, lets be honest. When you stay at a hotel, do you take home all the free coffee 3-in-1's, tea, sugar, and toiletries? What about the drinking glasses ans towels?

The first thing that my mum would do when she goes into a hotel room is collect all the hotel complimentary thingys. She would even have 2 small plastic bags handy; one for the 3-in-1's and the other for the toiletries. I kid you not. Whenever she does that me and my elder sister would be like, "Oh God, mum's 'harvesting' again". Mum would always say,"What? It's not like I'm stealing or anything. It's free anyway and I want to get my money's worth".

As you guys know, I've had the opportunity to stay at the Imperial International Hotel recently. I notice that while I do not 'harvest' the freebies like my dear old mum does, I do have the tendency to try them out at least once. It's not bad though and I'm not OCD about it.

For example, I wouldn't make 3-in-1 Nescafe even though I'm not a coffee person just for the sake of getting my money's worth. Since I prefer tea I would make tea at least once in the room just so I feel like I'm actually a resident in the room. Sounds weird? Or does it sounds familiar?

I also know that some people who don't normally have nimble fingers would suddenly seem to magically  acquire them when they are staying in a hotel. These people don't just take the freebies, they take things that they are not supposed to either, such as drinking glasses, ash trays, etc.

My elder sister who used to work at a 5 star resort here in Tuaran once told me a horror story where this one local family were not able to check out because the Housekeeping staff  discovered that the pillows, sheets and towels were missing from the room.

When the Duty Manager (blushing furiously and delicately) told the family that he is unable to allow them to check out because they, ah, 'unwittingly' took a few items with them and do they want to purchase the items since they liked it so much?

Upon hearing that they opened their luggage, extracted the items and returned them. Just like that. No shame, no stuttering explanations, no blushing, no high-pitched nervous laughter. Cool as ice they were. In, fact, the DM blushed enough for all of them combined. Hm, me thinks that family are no virgins to pillow and towel harvesting.

Anyway, what do YOU usually do with the hotel's complimentary items when you're staying in one? Do you harvest it for another day? Do you finish everything within your stay? Do you try everything at least once? Or do you leave them untouched?

Very Important Note:
If you're the farmer type (harvesting = farmer, get it?) and you're travelling overseas, do NOT harvest until you have looked for a note in the room that says the items are complimentary or otherwise. It will save you a lot of awkwardness and embarrassment later, believe me. Most hotels overseas are not as generous as the ones in Malaysia so the toiletries are not complimentary. Neither are the laundry bags. Or the face towels. Or the ash trays. You get my drift.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Imperial International Hotel

Hi all,
Last week I was given the opportunity to attend a work-related course which was held at the Imperial International Hotel for three days and two nights.

I'm not sure what type of room we were provided with but I find my room to be really spacious. You can practically dance and tumble without hitting the furniture and fixtures. The way the beds were arranged helped to make the room look that way I suppose. The overuse of mirrors too. Hehe.. Seriously, there were mirrors everywhere! I'll let the pics do the talking..

From the room door..

The tiny, doorless closet

 The room has a safe, which is opposite the teeny tiny closet

 Can you see me?  

 And another mirror.. Hello!

 The doorless shower area.. 

I do like the shower despite it not having a door. Surprisingly, the water didn't really flood to the outside of the stall. At least, not too badly. The jet is strong and it has one huge shower head that's fixed over head (especially great for washing hair) and another small hand-held one with a unique design for when you don't want to get your hair wet.

The loo's mirrored sliding door.. Told ya there were lotsa mirrors..

The flat screen tv. Has 9 channels including the mandatory local channels, AXN, ESPN, etc.  

 A 360 on the room.. 1st corner: The beds..

 2nd corner: The huge space, coffee table (which looks really lonely) and desk..

 3rd corner.

4th corner

I have nothing to complain about the room except for 2 things. As I as walking to my room, some of the other rooms had the doors open and I saw that they had this really big, red, comfy lazy chair. When I entered my room I saw that my room didn't have it. 

The 2nd thing is that each room doesn't have it's on iron and ironing board. We had to borrow it in turns which was really inconvenient. I noticed some of the course participants from Sarawak going into the conference rooms with creased baju kurungs. Imagine the impression that they would bring with them about hotels in Sabah (even though they only stayed at one hotel, the impression would effect their view in general).

That's about the room. Now let's talk about the food. I must say that the food was really crappy. I've never ever had such a bad experience with hotel food before. It as so low quality that it's embarrassing. The food is almost the same for lunch everyday and they have the tendency to mix the vegetable (which is most of the time, kangkung) with ikan bilis.

As a Sabahan, we all know that the smaller the ikan bilis, the higher the grade and the more expensive it is. The ikan bilis used at the Rooftop Restaurant at the Imperial Hotel were massive! I think it as the lowest grade possible. C'mon, even the poor mak ciks selling Nasi Lemak at the road side use medium sized ikan bilis. They also left the head on which shows laziness in my opinion. The desserts ere divine though, especially the puddings. 

My most unpleasant meal was the last day's breakfast. Now, I must say that the breakfast is okay although a bit repetitive (no one wants to see sausages swimming, yes swimming, in tomato sauce every day no do they?) . I had made up my mind that I was going to try out the porridge. After putting on the condiments (sesame oil,  peanuts, fried onions and black soy sauce) I tried it and I cannot stomach it. It was runny and tasteless despite  the soy sauce. I ditched the porridge for cereal instead.

Big mistake because I had my first experience consuming fake food Koko Krunch. Yup, Koko Krunch 'palsu'. You know, the one with the humongous bag and a tiger in front of it instead of a cute koala. I felt like expiring on the spot. If you want to cut budget, isn't it better to provide fewer high quality options rather than have it all minus the quality? Needless to say, I passed that over too.  

I'm kicking myself for not taking pictures of the food but most of the participants were not the age group that would understand the reason of one's endless clicking pictures of one's food. Or blogs. Or the Internet.. Okay, only joking. About the Internet part that is.

Anyway, in a nutshell, I love the room and the positioning of the hotel which is near to the Filipino Market Handicraft Market, Warisan Square, Center Point and within walking distance to the Wawasan Plaza and the Wawasan Plaza Bus Terminal. The food? I'd rather eat somewhere else. There are a lot of good eating places around the area anyway.

That's all for now. Cheers!