Rabbit Milk

Rabbit Milk

Does this have rabbit??”

It probably didn’t mean ‘rabbit’ but from my minimal Chinese vocab, I assumed it was rabbit because it sounded like ‘rabbit’, but given the context… it probably wasn’t it.

I was in the supermarket looking at teabags when an old Chinese lady and her husband came up to me holding a bag of Devondale Full Cream milk powder, I was the only Asian in the aisle at the time.

Do you speak Chinese?” – in Mandarin
“a bit”
“can you help us read this?”
“yeah sure…”
“Does this have 兔子?” (tu zi aka rabbit)

Huh?

In Mandarin, the same sounding words can mean a million other things due to the vast number of chinese characters… tu zi could mean anything, but to me I only knew rabbit.

Clearly Devondale Milk isn’t from rabbits so I told her no… She thanked me profusely and walked away with her husband, insisting she was right the first time. My heart sank…

  • I did not know what on earth she was on about
  • I answered her
  • She was happy with my answer
  • I messed up so much but I didn’t know how to say that in Mandarin

I’m of Chinese descent. Born in Melbourne raised in Malaysia and speaking only English at home. My parents don’t know Mandarin themselves. I went to a Chinese school in Malaysia as my parents didn’t want me to repeat their mistakes of not knowing Mandarin, but ever since moving back to Melbourne… the need for me conversing in Mandarin has reduced and eventually I’ve lost it altogether.

It hit me with a realization walking back from the supermarket

Seeking advice from people who seemingly look like they know it… isn’t right. Representation isn’t everything.

She came to me because of my looks. I’m Asian. I’m meant to know and understand what she is on about. I even thought I did. I clearly did not.

It made me realize that in real life, when I’m seeking people for answers in terms of my spriritual walk or just life in general, they can perceive to know it all, did all the right things… but do they know it. Is it even right.

The importance of picking the right mentor is so important. We could end up in very different paths with the choices we make, either we ended up feeling inspired or driven, or completely confused and down the hill from where we started.

 

Just making my rabbit milk experience applicable to real life. It just made me realize how much I need to pray and seek God during this process of finding a mentor in my life. I do need one and I want one. As much as seeking God for advice is nice, my peers advising me on things that I find it relatable, it would be nice if someone older than me who has that actual wisdom I can learn from is present. Someone other than my parent, someone I know that she/he will be right and be on my side. My peers are lovely and I love them to bits, but as much as our experiences are relatable and we can share it with each other, we are of the same generation and we can only know so much.

Praying I won’t get Rabbit Milk.

Of course I won’t… I have Jesus.

 

The Quest

Note: Fungus is the name of the youth group I serve in. It’s Fun, Us with God in the middle hence funGus. No judgement please. It’s not funghi 

“Juanlin made me cry so so much oh my god”

I was in the toilet when I heard one of my youth homegroup members said that, there was a hint of gratefulness too. I don’t think she knew I was inside. We had just finished a night session on the second day of youth camp and I had prayed for her during ministry time and she bawled her eyes out halfway through. She thanked and hugged me after the prayer but I didn’t think she would be talking about it with her friends after it. It was a session where youth were being filled by the holy spirit and emotions were running on a high and we were running out of tissues from all those crying.

This was my first Fungus camp. First time as a leader and I have never even gone to Fungus in my life. Tell me about it, to say I was scared shitless during the lead up to this camp is an understatement. I had a respiratory attack in the morning of the first day of camp to add on to that anxiety.

10 years ago, I attended my first ever youth camp of my life and accepted Christ into my life. Shucks, 10 years… (writing this makes me feel old and it didn’t help when a youth told me I looked 27 during camp).

I knew the importance of youth camps and how life-changing and impactful it can be on a young person’s life due to my personal experience… however, my walk was never uphill ever since my own. I grew to despise youth groups due to my inability to feel belonged in one. Camp was amazing and God was amazing to me but the youth never seemed to love me the way Jesus did so weekly meetings seemed painful, especially when a bunch of people didn’t want to talk to you. The feeling never changed when I moved to Australia (hence I never went to Fungus). I loved Jesus, I hated youth groups. (I had actually hated church in general).

Ironically, 10 years later. I’m a youth leader and I went to a camp as a youth leader and doing the things I use to be skeptical of other youth leaders. 

My 15 year old self will laugh so hard if she hears where I am right now. 

I honestly didn’t know what to expect during the lead up to this camp. My well-hidden anxiety didn’t improve when I was told to lead deco for the camp and being part of the games group. 

I mean seriously, what is this angel & mortal things these fungus kids do. What are skits. Why do they do flags. What are round-robin games. Where is this place called Camp Howqua that everyone has been to and I haven’t and how am I suppose to know how big the place is to design the deco-layout… lol omg.

I had an assignment and test due during the week leading up to camp. I had a number of silent break-downs during shower time and despite the chaos… I heard this silent inaudible voice in the back of my head…

Do you trust Me

I knew Who it was and He was the only one carrying me to prevent me from cracking.

I trust you God. I do.

It was this trust that pulled me through. I knew that He could and He will. He had pulled me through Kids Ministry and Youth Ministry was no difference. 

He showed me this by placing people who were understanding to work with me and guide me. I was blessed enough to have a group of leaders who were supportive of each other as we worked through preparing for this camp. I didn’t even feel like I was leading deco, it felt like it was all done. It was only until the eve of the camp when one of my fellow leaders realized that it would be my first Fungus camp ever (like I didn’t even go to one as a youth, all these leaders have been in Fungus as youths themselves). Apparently, I was heading it up like I knew everything… well I didn’t know a lot of things but God did, true story

Back to where we were, it was ministry time on the second day of camp. Youth were stepping out during alter call to be prayed for, it suddenly dawned on me that I was a leader and I had to pray for these kids.. omgosh I was never the kid that stepped out during alter call, let alone as a young adult. What am I gonna say.. OH GOD PLEASE HELP ME OH MY GOD PLEASE.

Leaders were stepping out to their homegroup members and I saw my girls in front with their arms lifted high in surrender. They were hungry for God. They want more of Him. They want Him.

A mini time-travel began to occur in my head and suddenly I was that 15 year old again. The frustrated 15 year old who disliked youth group and never wanted to go. What did I do. What did I want.

I wanted to be prayed for…. but no one did.

Time for you to pray for these girls. Don’t make them feel like how you did. Make them feel Jesus’ love and your love for them. Let them know that they have a purpose and that they belong. Be the youth leader that you never had as a youth.

Early during the year when I just started being a youth leader, I was enjoying it. I told my friends I liked it, I was there because I think God wants me there. I wanted to work with youth in the future and get into the Youthlaw department for my legal clerkship. Being a youth leader will help my CV and my youth pastor really wanted me to join the ministry anyway. I took those as signs that God wants me there but never knowing the true meaning/calling behind it. I mean remember that time I was torn between leaving kids and joining youth…

That night I knew. Hearing Amanda’s words in the toilet and receiving the little notes of appreciation from my homegroup throughout camp made me truly realize God’s plan for me in this ministry. It made me understand the power of trusting without always knowing what is next and the faith involved with all that. The theme of our youth camp was The Quest and I was on a quest without knowing I was on one and that night ended that subconscious quest of mine as a youth leader.

This is the story of the girl who hated Youth Group. You truly will never know where God brings you next.

I love youth group and I love Fungus.

p/s: I’m in the State Library La Trobe reading room while writing this. Teared a tad bit during my writing and I think the girl next to me thinks I’m a loony LOL.

 

 

 

How to Busan in Winter

How to Busan in Winter

I honestly should’ve done this post sooner than later but right after the day I landed back in Melbourne, my trimester started and the uni grind began. I decided to edit the footage I had before leaving it to the last minute.

So here it is, edited 2 weeks ago but shared today…

If you’re someone looking at traveling on a budget without compromise, this will be a little handy for you on the lead up to your trip, if you are planning one. If not, welcome to my rambles on how my friends and I survived our first 3 days in Busan, Korea.

1. Flights

So my friends and I are uni kids on a budget, henceforth budget flying on AirAsia. Crampy seats are the way to go if you’re tight on your cash but you do save heaps considering the service and lack of smiles you get from their air-stewardess. We took night-flights and it stopped over in Kuala Lumpur before heading to Busan. How we survived it? Neckpillows. I can’t stress enough on the importance of a neckpillow if one is to embark on a night flight. Forget about it if you are getting on business class. Your money, your comfort.

2. Transport

0 taxis were used over the 3 days. Plenty of walking and public transport was used (because budget life).
How to get about it
T-money: The Korean  transport card. We bought it from the 7/11 store in the airport and it cost us 2500 won per card. Topping up cash was done at the Gimhae airport train station (we topped up 20000 won). English option was available on the machines too (thank GOD).
Google Maps: Unfortunately and strange enough, Google maps only provides information for public transport. It is helpful as it gives you the names of the stations to get on/off, number of stops, line colours, etc. However, no GPS was available for walking. Lots of estimation was required to walk to our destinations by following the blue dot tracker on the app to our destination. As annoying as it sounds, it’s a much better alternative compared to the paper maps people had to use back in the day.

3. Accommodation

Budget freaks we are again. We used airbnb.
airbnb: A fraction of the amount you would pay for a hotel. Not the place to go if you would like a gym and swimming pool at your disposal (honestly why though… it’s winter). The place was clean and basic utilities all provided, I’m talking from toiletries to washing machine and stove. It’s like your home. However, we took the “towel” description too seriously and came to discover only hand towels were provided. Bringing your own towel is highly recommended if you are to use this. If it’s you first stay, you can get a $30 credit discount with the link.

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Location: We stayed in Seomyeon. 5 mins walk away from Bujeon market and 1 minute walk away from the entrance to the underground shopping mall. Honestly did not realize the magic that Seomyun had to offer until the last day. Shops. Food. Entertainment. WOW. Getting about was easy considering that it had it’s own train stations with multiple exits (we were at exit 15). Reviews have said that it’s known to be a place famous for plastic surgery, true to it’s nature there have been ads of plastic surgeons around the corner but honestly, it has so much more to offer than that.

4. Food

I cannot begin this section. I’ve taken countless of photos and will let them do the talking.

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Jajjangmyeon (Shinsagae Food Court)
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Dolsot BiBimBap (Shinsagae Food Court)
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Kimchi Mandul (Haeundae Market)

 

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Diced Beef Steak, Street food on Nampo District

 

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Flaming the diced Beef

 

 

 

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BingSu, Sulbing – Seomyeon

 

 

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Cotton Candy, Gamcheon Village

 

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Cold Buckwheat Noodles: here

We honestly did not follow any food recommendations. It was fully out of instinct and hunger, with walking into random stores just to replenish ourselves. Suprisingly, nothing was upsetting and I am jealous with the quality of food Koreans in Busan are able to easily access 24/7.

This will be the end of my rambles. Jeju post will be up after my assignments are done.

Do like and subscribe to my youtube channel for more travel videos in the future!

 

 

Lone Pancake Adventures

My Contract law exam is tomorrow, last night… in the midst of panicking and onset exam anxiety (that I still sometimes suffer after years of exams), I procrastinated (like a true student) and discovered that Pancake Parlour’s postcode deal has finally reached me.

It’s a deal where if you live in a particular post code area, you get free food. Free Food. Well just a short stack.

Thing though, there was a catch. It’s from 11pm-6am only. Clearly, when everyone is asleep so chances of wasting precious flour on freebie suckers (like me) is slimmer.

Can I just say, this isn’t my first time freebie hunting/sucking from Pancake Parlour, it’s like the only/closest thing we get to an American 24hr diner besides our drive-through Maccas (McDonalds) and the only place generous enough to accomodate people like me. Currently it’s summer here down under and during the days it hits 30 degrees, you’re entitled freebies before 11.59pm of the day. Days like these, the freebie suckers will be unleashed from within the community and you’ll see PP flocked and flooded with them that you have to queue for seats, because it’s the only time they really get business (or not). I was (obviously) present for most of these freebie deals, along with almost 7-8 of my other friends, who would hog a 10 seat table at the place till midnight, eating/drinking our freebies and leave paying 0 dollars like a true freebie sucker. Shameless.

However, these friends don’t live in my postal code area and the deal hours are so awkward. None of my friends are morning people either and everyone has day jobs so staying late wasn’t an option.

I made a decision to freebie suck alone.

At 5am, my alarm rang. My reflex action was the usual fling-phone-across-the-bed but then…running on 5 hours of sleep… I realized, it’s freebie sucking morning.

After 15 minutes worth of snooze and contemplation, I decided to proceed with my absurd decision and changed my clothes. I had mentioned this to my mum earlier before I slept but it was such an absurd idea she didn’t even bother responding. To wake her and wait for her, the deal would end, so I grabbed my keys, wallet and Contract Law book and left.

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This was the time I arrived. 0 cars in the parking lot. The only inhabitants in the building was 1 chef and a 15 year old looking waitress. This is a stark contrast to all the freebie nights I’ve been at this place.

The waitress asked me if I’d like to start with a coffee. I went straight to the short stack order because there’s 28 minutes left to my deal and I wasn’t going to pay 16 bucks for pancake at 6am in the morning.

But then she returned later after putting in my order and asks, “Are you sure you don’t want me to get you anything to drink?”

Usually I would say no. I’m stingy that way and 7/11 $1 coffees are the way to go for me. But this was the first time I was freebie sucking alone and for some reason, walking out paying absolute zero without my friends was just..baad. So I ordered a latte. I broke my freebie sucking streak coz I felt bad for the waitress working a nightshift and serving a freebie sucking 22 year old.

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The girl made some pretty good coffee. I guess I gave her something to do. Then came the world’s longest 2 minutes of my life.

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It is bigger than you think. On a regular basis, I would share this (I’m a small eater). But clearly I have no one to share with and to leave my plate half finished is a let down to the freebie sucking community, I mean have the decency to finish what you’ve been blessed with.

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I didn’t let down. This is the fastest I’ve finished such a plate, or meal even. I’m like always the last to finish. Then again, I had no one to distract but just me, myself and I.

Tradies were trickling into the place by 5.45am and I was no longer alone. I had 10 minutes left before my deal ends so I decided to go to the counter and pay/redeem my offers.

Guess what, I couldn’t find the offer because Facebook decided to fail on me when I needed it at the counter when it was fine just 10 minutes earlier while I was browsing it on my table.

Waitress asked me for $16. Shucks, 16 bucks for flour and eggs is like food pooped out of royal hens.

Thank God for grace, I told her about the deal and you know what… she actually gave the pancakes free for me. She didn’t even look at my ID to check my postcode. OMG. To be honest, she didn’t even know which postcode had the deal was on. I swear I could’ve been any other lying freebie scum (but I’m not). So I paid $4 for the coffee. It was good coffee but honestly the price was just so hiked I would’ve never ordered it any other day.

The road was still clear like as though my grandfather owned it. I even slowed down to take a shot.

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This is so illegal on so many levels so kids don’t do this when you start driving. Though I must say I’ve done a complete stop in the middle of the road once last year while Pokemon Hunting (the levels of insanity right there), not just any road but Doncaster freakin Road (same road as above), that was at like 12am though. Also, a clear road with nobody. Joyrides.

I officially ended my lone pancake adventures the exact time the deal ended.

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It made me now question if I’m really a morning or a night person. I mean really now…

If anyone were to ask me what is the craziest thing you ever did?

Freebie sucking at Pancake Parlour at 5.30am. Alone.

I need a boyfriend who is willing to do absurd crap like this with me because we’ll either not get along or it’d be absolute fun ahaha..

PSA announcement to all fellow freebie suckers to follow Pancake Parlour’s Facebook page for more free deals. Thank me. you snooze you lose.

God Bless you ❤

Unfollowing a Following

Unfollowing a Following

I have an assignment due tomorrow, just the conclusion and proofreading to go… but like the true form of a procrastinator, I decided to go on Instagram.

I went beyond just the natural scrolling of the normal feed (thanks Instagram for the Stories, what a tool for a procrastinator like me… many precious minutes/hour wasted).

The thing with InstaStories, unlike Snapchat, is that it can link you to another account, which links you to another and the next thing you know… you are 50 links in deep and you forgot how you ended up there or which account got you started with the chain of stalking links.

(I am a professional stalker and I know it)

After spending a good almost hour just going through linked links of links from the stories and still bored (more like trying to avoid my assignment), I decided to stalk myself… I had reached the mad point where everyone became boring and I found myself interesting.

Then I got myself into the links of my followers and followings (you know the ones you have on the top of your profile). Ever since I owned Instagram, there’s been a preconceived ‘ideal’ profile on instagram where it’s ‘better’ to have more Followers and Follow less people. There’s like apparently… an ‘ideal ratio’ to make you seem ‘popular’. I know this because I come from a girls school where the “Instafamous” status is highly favoured and everyone’s goal. I know people who take at least 2 days editing a single photo before posting…101 filter options later.

Clearly, I’m not that popular because my ‘Following’ is greater than ‘Followers’. Plus I don’t put that much effort into editing. Instafamous status takes hard work. I decided to filter my ‘Followings’, half of them were celebrities and half of them I had already fell out of love with since high school. I managed to get my following count down but it was still a great deal larger.ere’s where I’m really getting at.

Here’s where I’m really getting at.

I stumbled upon one of my “Instafamous” classmates from highschool during my filters. She has a solid following of almost 5000 followers and probably follows around 300. She wasn’t just a high school mate, we ended up in the same course, same university and even shared a couple of classes and lectures together. She’s currently a jet-setter after graduating and living in some exotic place in Europe. Naturally, her Instagram reflects it (as all instafamous people like to portray #jetsetter).

I was pretty sure she followed me and had followed more back in the day (she used to like my stuff), but somehow I decided to search the people she followed.

I wasn’t there.

She unfollowed me.

Okay, I’m not going to start a bitchfight, she’s halfway across the world now and clearly, as someone we have drifted apart so much that she even doesn’t see me worth being followed. But the thing is, we were friends. We actually hung out before in high school and university. I’m not talking about acquaintances here, people who had only met me a couple of times still followed me. Am I really that unworthy of a follow??
(People who say Instagram starts friendships… well they do the opposite too)

I know it sounds petty to make this an issue but it really got me thinking with the word ‘filter’.

Clearly, Jess has unfollowed me for unknown (or for the instafamous ratio) reasons. But truthfully, is there a reason to follow everybody?

Instafamous ratio issue aside, maybe filtering who we follow actually matters. The people we follow actually do make a difference in the way we feel, act and perceive. I’m lying if I said I’ve never copied some styles off the pictures I followed on Instagram, reacted to them, laughed at them or even be angered by them (case of FOMO when a friend goes to a party you weren’t invited to). Maybe some people are not worth following.

I follow people who I look up to, people who had been a part of my life, people who are in my life and people who (despite apart) I know I will meet again, people worth keeping.

Those who don’t fall in those lists, who don’t view you the same as you do to them. I don’t know why you should give them the “Follow” button. Sometimes it’s not just things, but people too, who need to be discerned.

Don’t waste your emotional space, time space and follow space.

A man with many friends can still be ruined, but a true friend sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24

A few hours of procrastination later, I will officially now complete my assignment.

The Pork Belly Challenge

The Pork Belly Challenge

I’ve always been aware of my indecisive character, in fact, the struggles of making decisions just frustrates me itself. But when you’re confronted and told off about your character, you know it’s pretty much a hardcore problem. I’m talking about being told off by a non-family member, I get told off by family so much but others, not really.

As a Christian, I’ve always loved the fact that I could escape this problem by “Letting God decide”, “give my problems to God”, “It’s in God’s hands”, “Jesus take the wheel”, I-don’t-need-to-do-this attitude. I feel like I got it all handled, when people ask me of my decisions, I’ll respond (to their annoyance), God is still handling it.

I know you hate those type of people.

You’ll hate me.

I was told by my friend while discussing my problem, that God has given us the abilities to make our own decisions too. It kind of struck me in 2 ways:

  1. God blessed me with a brain to use
  2. God also dumped the problem back to me

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one to be pushed about and have people make decisions for me. But when I’m stuck with situations where I seriously have no idea what to do, I struggle big time. Sometimes I’ll narrow it down, but sometimes choosing between the best of 2 favourite options kills me even harder.

For example, today’s given situation:

To eat Potato Rosti for lunch or a Pork Belly Burger.

I love Pork Belly, I don’t eat it often. It will also cost me more money and it’ll make me take a step back in weight-loss goals. But it’s not offered everywhere.

I also like potato rosti, but I love pork belly more. Potato rosti was cheaper and available in more places, also a healthier option.

After much internal debate, I went for the pork belly. It was delicious, no regrets… in the first 3 hours after.

Currently, I can feel my tummy fats has increased in thickness. Definitely post-feed guilt. The meal turned out to be paid for.

Right now, the wise thing to do, with the brain God blessed me, is to hit the gym tomorrow and burn off that pork belly.

I view this as a challenge, not a complaint (I know it sounded like one in the start). God has given each one of us our own individual and unique weaknesses, to challenge us to grow into better people. This is mine, and it will be my 2017 challenge to work on.

A Christmas Gift

A Christmas Gift

Before I begin, apologies for the long absence.

It’s been a post I’ve meant to do since I got the news but got a bit carried away since arriving back in Melbourne.

Late last year I was told that I had a lump in my right breast and was to go for half-yearly checks for growths and risks. It dawned on me the seriousness of my condition when I was referred to a breast cancer surgeon this year and was told that my lump grew. A biopsy was performed but by the grace of God, benign.

I’ve cut alcohol, tried to be healthy. I’m not gonna lie and say it was smooth sailing, I struggled. There were times I’d even wanna forget about it, that there was no such thing. I was only 22, to face the news that women receive only when they hit mid-life crisis… here I am, not even hitting the quarter-life.

As the date for my next scan approached, it dawned on me that it’s time to face the news again, this time without my mother. I was back in Melbourne, alone. I started rebegan my fervent praying for the lump to not grow, or maybe miraculously shrink…

I told my parents I could do this, the scan had to be done, it’s for my health. But just the day before, I had a mini-breakdown at my cellgroup with the fear of receiving bad news alone. Thankfully, 2 of my friends agreed to come along to give me support.

God had better plans.

The ultrasound technician spent a good 10 minutes rolling the stick around my boob, the warm gel had turn chillyy and no news about the lump. (This was meant to be a good thing, but the technicians confused face just made me worried).

That’s weird… I can’t find the lump” She was squinting her eyes at the screen. “I think I will call in another specialist to find for me.”

The specialist came in, this time having my previous scans, they were trying to scrutinize the scans as hard as possible. “This is an unusual case, here I was thinking you’re an easy one but no…” she said. The specialist chimed in and said, “Looks like the problem solved itself”.

It was then I knew, that miracles happen.

God heals. More than I’d even asked for.

The breast surgeon I was seeing did a final check, and told me that the lump was gone.

God’s early Christmas miracle on the 30th of November.

I’m writing this down, because it is a testament of God’s love. It is something I had always believed in, but never occurred in my personal life until that day, where my lump fully disappeared.

Bear in mind, I did not think I’d deserved it. I’m a normal human being who makes mistakes, commit failures and occasionally falling into temptation. There were times I succumbed to worldly things despite my faith, I was the last person to deserve such a miracle but God gave it to me.

You may believe you are underserving, but God gives miracles and gifts to those He believes in, those He believes that deserve, no matter how undeserving we feel we are.

My heart was so full that day, typing this makes my heart full again as I was experiencing a bad day just before. It will serve me as a constant reminder that I am loved, that God loves us so much that He sent His only begotten Son for us, this Christmas day.

The Greatest Christmas Gift.