"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."

Oscar Wilde

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Spectacular Seven: August

Until very recently, I put off making a proper blog simply because I had no idea what to write and no time to think about it. (Or, more accurately, no time I was willing to spend thinking about it.) Now that I’ve successfully bullied myself into making one and writing more, however, I have no idea what kind it should be – Beauty blog? Lifestyle blog? No? – so I doubt such a day lurks anytime in the future when I will actually be self-actualized enough to pick. In light of the indecisiveness, I think I’ll be fumbling my way through this and one way of doing so is, apparently, making a Spectacular Seven feature.

The Spectacular Seven post will most likely be a monthly event and feature whatever seven most notable things I’ve encountered in the past month; be it strange, awe-inspiring, disturbing or just things that made me really very happy. Here’s this month’s list:

1. The coolest taxi driver in the world, basically: I’m not even kidding, he existed. My father asked if he would be willing to take us to Kuala Lumpur from Putra Jaya later in the day. His reply? “No. I don’t like KL.” Father then proceeded to ask why, as one can make a lot of money doing inter-city, especially if it’s later at night when buses are harder. He snapped back with a quick, “No need for money. I got wife, kids, home and car. Don’t need money; I have all I need.” Personally, I found his contentment with life and brusque (but not intentionally rude, I don’t think) manner delightfully refreshing.

The beautiful cherry on top is the frankly scandalised sound of disapproval he made in his throat when Dad mentioned breaking traffic rules. It was offended, disapproving, and altogether amazing.

2. Forever 21 sale: For some mysterious, delightful reason, Eid is a never-ending affair in Malaysia. This means two very important things: open house parties neighbours invite you to, and sales. On a random browse in a mall – Pavilion in Bukit Bintang, I believe – I saw a sale sign at Forever 21, wandered in and immediately fell in love with the hair accessories on sale. The purchase that I’m still gleeful about almost a full month later, however, is the bracelet I also bought. Brought down to a mere RM10, it is a gold bangle with rounded-edged conical studs all around it and it may be one of those pieces that everyone has one of but it is just so cute? Adds flair to any ensemble – even though I’m more likely to slip it on with a random t-shirt and jeans than to pre-plan outfits – and is just a really great general piece to have that goes with almost everything.

I also got a set of 3 headbands that were all equally lacy and/or braided and bohemian and adorable.

3. Melt-in-your-mouth dreams: Malaysian food and drink company F&N has an ice-cream line called King’s Grand. I tried out a couple of flavours, Tin House Brownie and Triple Chocolate the other week. Although Triple Chocolate was decent for a supermarket ice-cream carton – chocolate ice-cream with chocolate sauce and chocolate-covered sunflower seeds, it was Tin House Brownie that is the new love of my life mouth. Vanilla ice-cream, chocolate sauce, brownie and almonds. Mm.

4. Seashell curry: It was an actual Malay dish that I encountered the other day: a seemingly innocent meal that looks harmless and quite a lot like Indian curry and then woah, oops, seashells. Seashells in the curry, ‘nough said.

5. On the shelf: Queen’s Own Fool (A Novel of Mary, Queen of Scots) by Jane Yolen & Robert J. Harris involves, as the title aptly puts, Mary, Queen of Scots and her fool. The tale is fictional, told from the point of view of one of Mary’s three female jesters, La Jardinière. Although the book is classed as fiction, La Jardinière is a known figure in history as Queen Mary’s personal French fool who was sent back to France with a large payment when Mary went off to England. Through embellished fiction entwined closely with history, the authors have woven a beautiful tale that features both fictitious events and history that kept me reading until the last page into the wee hours of the morning. (Yes, I did read it in one go. And yes, it was completely worth it.) As the author’s note prettily sums it up, “Where history ends, storytelling begins.” [I got the book at a discount book store a few months ago for about a dollar, maybe, but it is available at Amazon for $8.68 for paperback and $16.99 for library binding.]

6. Home comforts: Update: I finally have a home to live in – a cute little apartment – and since it’s a condominium building, there is also a pool and gym, etc. This all pleases me greatly.

7. The Coldplay Collection: Coldplay’s online store has the most gorgeous merchandise for their new album on sale. Seeing as how pretty the album and singles’ cover art is, this was to be expected. However, for my part, I find the pieces so gorgeous that I am willing to get a job, work my butt off and actually buy an iPhone after I conveniently lost my last phone in a taxi, just so I have a use for one of their iPhone covers. The best mate might vehemently agree and also agree to cry over the merch with us all.

Now playing: Laura Palmer by Bastille
More soon! 
Anum xx

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