Survive! : A Personal Guide To A Monotonous Life

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Let's Get Travelling!

So, you finally decided to do some globetrotting? If you're an adventure seeker, backpacking might be for you. Here are some useful tips for travelling in South East Asia.

Travel light
- A pair of durable , light weight fabric trousers with loads of pockets
- A sarong can be useful as a skirt, shawl, bedsheet or blanket, or as a carry-all
- Super-absorbent chamois cloth as towel substitute (takes up less space too)
- Mosquito repellent
- Torchlight
- Food-poisoning and anti diarrhea tablets
- Lightweight, water-proof sleeping bag, that can double up as blanket during cold nights
- Minimum toiletries but always have sun protection if you are going to be near the beach

Do your homework
There are loads of information you can get about your destination on the Internet. There are forums and discussion boards that you can join and ask beforehand about those places. You might get some useful tips on stuff to bring, where to go, things to do while you're there. Need a place to stay? Search for boardings. Most of these hostels/B&Bs have websites and you'd probably get an internet discount when you book online.

How about picking up a travel guide from the bookstore? Map out your destinations and plan your trip. It'll save you more time and you won't be running around like a headless chicken. :D

Basic checklist for travelling

- Passport, visa, student card
- Currency, travellers cheques, credit card
- Innoculations, medications, eye glasses/contact lenses
- Daily expenses, entertainment expenses, travel expenses and incidentals (call cards, postage)
- Accomodations

Have a great time!
Carry a weight your body can handle. Tavel with buddies if you can. Be street smart and stay alert. Have fun discovering places, people, food and lives!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Get That Emotional Energy Flowing

Ever had that dreadful feeling when you have to drag yourself to work/school every single day? I do. I feel all tired and sluggish as my days go by. It's like I've used up all my energy. All this while I've always thought that it's got to be something in physical form. I was quite wrong. I came across an article a few days ago, and it seems this down-in-the-dumps feeling is caused by decreasing or lack of emotional energy. The artcile mentioned how, although physical energy let us do a lot of stuff, the emotional energy is the one that keeps us going.

Here's a few pointers to get that can help you keep that emotional energy level up :

Doing something new
Change that boring everyday routine and sprinkle some sparks in your life. It's time to get that new hair cut or try out the dishes at the sashimi restaurant. Give your self a wardrobe make over! Sometimes a little change can make a big difference in your life. Maybe you'd get to meet a cute guy in that restaurant. ;)

Have fun!
There's nothing wrong with having fun. Who made these unwritten laws about adults not supposed to watch cartoons, or be goofy? Loosen up people. Have fun with family and friends and have a laugh or two. Isn't laughter the best kind of medicine?

To err is human. Forgive and forget
What ever happened, it was all in the past. Yeah, we should regret the mistakes that we made, but don't make it a punishment to yourself. In fact, we should learn from our mistakes and turn that negative thing into something positive. Don't hang on too long to bad memories. It's going to eat you alive. Learn to forgive.

Lost and found - your life purpose
Anything that gets you going in life. What's the meaning of life if you spend every minute of it chasing wealth so that your famly can live better, and yet they don't get to spend their time with you? Find something that's close to your heart, and be inspired. Make a positive impact on others.

What goes around, comes around
A simple "Good morning!" could just make someone's day. Volunteering with needy kids would mean a lot to them and it'll do great for your soul. Spending a little time helping others won't only cost you too much, and still it's going to make you feel good too.

Go get 'em!
Find something that's fun and absorbing, activities that you'll enjoy. Anything from gardening to collecting duck figurines to, these are the stuff that are going to make you jump out of bed in the morning and look forward to for the rest of day.

Just do it!
Quit thinking too much. The longer you think of it, the more time wasted and you'll only give yourself a headache. We're trying to get positive emotional energy here! Go ahead and get that new haircut. Your hair will grow back. This job is not really your thing? Get out of it, and open up that vintage shop that you've always wanted.

Regain your inner strength and rediscover your new self!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Baking Tips

Here's a few tips on baking.


  • Make sure the dough is fully developed. The gluten is formed when the dough can be stretched to a thin film.
  • Prove the dough until it's double the original size, no matter how long you have to wait. If the dough doesn't rise, the bread won't have good texture.


  • Do not overmix. Overmixing will make cookies rise and hard. Undermixing will make cookies flat with no structure.


  • The ingredients will mix well at room temperature.
  • Add the wet ingredients slowly to prevent mixture from curdling.
  • In case your mix curdled, put the mixing bowl in hot water and continue mixing until the mix is creamy and smooth. Curdled mix will make your cake heavy and it won't turn out to be fluffy.
  • Get the right consistency for meringue. Too wet, your cake will not rise. Too light and your cake will sink.
  • Fold in the flour just enough to mix it well. Mixing it too long will form gluten and your cake will be hard. Cake = hard, is not good.

The most important tip, have fun baking! It'll show in your final product.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

A Guide To Playing Hooky

You've been working very hard, too hard in fact. You need a break and you need it now!

You have nothing good to do, just menial, uninteresting stuff that you had to do. You need a break from this mundane phase and you need it now!

This is a guide for those who feel that they need a little adventure in their overworked and/or more-or-less ho hum lives (like mine). A little word of advice, only do this when you have too much work, nothing to do at work, nothing good is on TV or when you have a lot more of sick days to spare. All you need is a little courage; some quick-thinking would be an added privilege.

Disclaimer: I (the author), however, will not, in any way, be responsible for anything that happens to you during your little escapades and will not be associated with any of your activities. A note of warning – this activity could be addictive. If you do not have self-control, please refrain yourself from doing so or improvise your actions. Be creative.

1. Planning

- You have to take account on several factors before you go running into the sky. You don’t want your little trip to be a flop. Make your first journey a success that you’d want to do it again. A few things to consider include destinations, activities, timeframes and excuses.

2. Destination

- Choose a destination that is somehow on the opposite directions of your workplace or some place where the probability of you bumping into your colleagues (or even worse, your boss!) is almost lower than 50%. 10% would be the preferable figure and of course 0% is the ultimate goal.

- If you choose to stay home, then it won’t be a problem.

3. Activities

- The things that you want to do are up to you. The idea is to do something fun and worth doing. Be it going to catch three movies in a row, or go on a picnic by the lake, or trying out futsal at that new place, go shopping for your wardrobe (believe me, it’s much better when there are almost no one at the mall) or even having a quiet afternoon having lunch and a walk in the park later on.

- Be creative and have fun.

4. Time Management

- To avoid any inconveniences, manage your time wisely. Pick a good day to go out. Do not select a day when most of your colleagues are taking leave. Choose some time in the middle of the week; you’ll feel refresh. Picking a day immediately after or before a weekend would be too obvious, but it’s ok if you rarely take sick days and it won’t look too suspicious on your records.

- Check the weather and traffic reports. You don’t want to be soaked while out throwing Frisbee or caught in the jam in a 40 degrees heat wave.

- If you decide to stay in for the day, any day would be fine (although it would be absolutely excellent for a cozy rainy afternoon with hot coco, a great movie and someone in your arms).

5. Alibi

- If you decide to call in sick, make sure you sound like you’re sick on the phone. Calling the office right after you wake up might sound like you’re down with something.

- Make sure you’re not around your workplace area to avoid running into people from work.

- If your plan involves other people, you might want to synchronize your excuse/alibi outlines so that it’ll seem more realistic.

6. Miscellaneous Factors

- Always have a Plan B, in case your strategy doesn’t work out. No harm in preparing for Plan C (Having a Plan E would be a little paranoid).

- Wear comfortable attire and shoes.

- Try not to think so much about being guilty. You should have given a thorough thought of all that before doing this. Anyway, if you feel guilty it will show, you might look pretty weird and suspicious and you won't enjoy it.

- And lastly, be creative, be safe and the most important thing, HAVE FUN!!