Thursday, 20 April 2017

Minimum Wages

The policy of minimum wages has been implemented in many countries to reduce poverty and tackle the issues of extreme low pay. Over 100 countries worldwide, among 28, national minimum wage (NMW) have been put into effect in 22 European Union member states for their workers. Recently, New German Minimum Wage has been set at € 8.50.

In July 2016, a committee elected by the National Wages Consultative Council (NWCC) has implemented in Malaysia. 4 years prior to this much needed move for Malaysians, the first and previous Minimum Wages Order was gazetted in July 2012, although under legislation, it is to be reviewed biannually.

Meanwhile, In the history of the United Kingdom, NMW was first introduced in April 1999, setting the NMW at £3.60 per hour for adult workers to reduce poverty and to enable poorer, low-skilled workers to have access to basic life necessities. Furthermore, many policies and programs including job search events have also been implemented to help remove the burden of poverty from these people. The result of this successful implementation of NMW was brought about with the effort of the Low Pay Commission {LPC), an independent body that advises government on the minimum wage. It comprises of 9 commissioners of different backgrounds and experiences to allow open discussions on the recommended wage level with different perspective. This produces a result best for not only the workers, but also the wage makers like firms and companies to create a balanced impact on the economy.

In 1997 after LPC was set up, many economists, policy makers and politicians worry about how helpful NMW would be on solving the current issues of poverty and unemployment. They are worried that implementing minimum wages would lead to job loss and wage inflation. The Economist quoted, “coming up with a minimum wage that will not seriously harm the economy, and destroy jobs, will require the wisdom of Solomon – or extraordinary luck” in 1997.
The implementation of the NMW in 1999 was generally regarded as a nationwide success. Before NMW, about 9% of the workers make lower than £3.60 per hour. Since its implementation, in 2013, the trend is seen as such that the NMW is £6.31 per hour and less than 1% of the population of workers make below this number.

Despite ongoing effort to eradicate low pay, in 2012, about 21% of the workers are paid below the 2/3 of the median pay, which means that they are underpaid.

Compared internationally, The United Kingdom performs poorly on NMW. In 2010 despite NMW, there are still 22% of people who make below 2/3 of median pay per hour. The countries with similar or higher percentages are Germany, and Eastern European countries like Macedonia, which generally have lower income as the economy is slow due to its post-war recovery. The median of the amount of people underpaid in the European countries is about 18%.

When looking at NMW and the possibility of NMW causing unemployment, it is important to consider it from the view of economics theories and public interest.

Being underpaid means having the wage lower than 60% or 2/3 of media pay in comparison with the population, setting, nation or environment. The target of £9.00 per hour is what NMW aims to pay the workers by 2020. After meticulous calculation, this amount is chosen as it is 60% of the median of the wage the British gets. At first glance, this is a figure which the public would be happy with, as poorer, low-skilled workers can now afford to feed their families and meet their basic necessity. Meanwhile, it has raised concerns among the policy makers and economists as the implications and consequences of NMW to the British economy are still unknown and unpredictable.

Possible risks and consequences of the implementation of NMW to £9.00 per hour have been identified. Firstly, when NMW is implemented, a party or another may take the hit. It could be the government, the employers, the employees, the consumers or all together sharing the burden of NMW. Government may feel that the firms and wagemakers are paying more to their workers, and to help this companies run smoothly, taxes may be reduced. In cases where government do not show any actions, some employers may be happy to pay the NMW while accepting the reduction in profit. When unsustainable, the employers may either let go of some full-time workers to cut cost, or increase the productivity and work hours among workers to meet the level of profit which they use to make. These firms may also raise the prices of their products which affect the consumers. Another way the employers can cope is to invest in technology that replace low-skilled workers. For example, the use of the dishwashers potentially leads to job loss.

The policy makers been so divided over the topic of NMW, generally categorized into 2 groups. The first group thinks that NMW destroys jobs, causing unemployment and further increasing the rate of poverty in the society. They argue that although NMW is intended to help low-waged, low-skilled workers, NMW may be counter-productive as these may well be the first workers that a company would let go of. On another hand, many regard implementing NMW a great idea because this would attract more workers to want to work which in turn increases the purchasing power of the people, stimulating the market. We also face another big question: how much to raise? This should be explained with some economic theories.

In a supply-demand curve, a perfectly competitive model, the equilibrium occurs when an employee is happy with his wage and an employer is happy to pay him this amount of wage for his skill. if the workers are paid lower than the wage equilibrium, NMW up to the equilibrium not only raise wages, but also employment rate as more people are willing to work for a better wage now. However, if the NMW is set to be higher than the equilibrium, there may be a disparity between the number of people willing to work and the number of workers the company wants to hire. Now, it simply means that people who want to work, cannot get a job, leading to unemployment.

However, the market is not always perfectly competitive. This is because sometimes, there could be only a single purchaser of workforce in the market. When this occurs, we require the Monopsony model, a different diagram to explain this.

It is evident that they have equilibriums at different wages. MRPL stands for marginal revenue product of labour or simply, demand. Marginal cost is the cost a company spends on hiring one more worker. It costs more to not only hire more workers, but it also costs more to keep the existing workers. The employment rate with monopsony model is lower than the rate we see with the competitive model. This limits the options of the workers as this is the only company they could work for.

Although the company spends more money on hiring more workers in (marginal cost), it will pay the worker how much it thinks the worker’s skill is worth. This means the profit the company generates is the difference between the marginal cost and wage it pays to its workers. When NMW is set between these 2 points, it could increase employment rate as it is still within the company’s ability to pay the workers. However, when NMW is set higher than the marginal cost, the company may hire fewer workers to be able to maintain the profit level.

As long as we keep close to the equilibrium, NMW will bring positive effect to employment rates and the economy. Whether a competitive model or a monopsony model, both show that once NMW exceeds the equilibrium, unemployment occurs. Therefore, it is evident that the identification of this equilibrium is mandatory. However, we have not been successful in determining this point.
Many studies have been organised since the 1970s on the effect of NMW on the economy. They typically study young adults from the age of 16-24 years old, most of whom with low skills. After a meta-analysis, it is found that implementing NMW leads to a slight negative effect on the economy and workers.

Card and Krueger 1994, a research done to compare fast food shops in New Jersey, offering $5.05 hourly and Pennsylvania, $4.25 have shown that increasing NMW is beneficial to employment rate. Meanwhile, many other studies have shown an ambiguous effect. As £9.00 per hour is 60% of the median pay in the UK, evidences must be studied carefully to decide whether this will be beneficial to the economy as a whole.

Therefore, the policy makers and economists must be careful in deciding whether the implementation of NMW is beneficial or harmful, and if beneficial, how much the raise should be. More analysis should be carried out in different political and financial settings, to discover and examine all factors that may alleviate or exacerbate the impact of NMW on the economy. Most importantly, we should also consider the implementation of NMW not only about the revenues a company may get, but also decipher social factors like welfare, justice, equality while maintaining an ethical approach to this matter.

In 2050, I foresee a beautiful Malaysia, with our fellow Malaysians living comfortably in a setting in which poverty is eradicated.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

A Year Have Flown By And I Am Still Me

About a year has passed since my second last entry here. My last entry is updated just an hour ago wtf lol one hour has passed and here I am trying to submit a second one coz I am such a desperate righttt

One year has flown by. Many things have changed. 

1. I began meditating and jogging regularly

For health, concentration and for a peace of mind.

2. I am re-learning how to make friends and stay friends with others

I have always been afraid of my feelings not being reciprocrated, which is reflected in the dynamics of my relationships with others. I am slowly learning how to communicate more sincerely with others. I learn that body languages are often as important, if not more, in keeping an open and affectionate bond with my friends. 

3. I am single! 
I am now out of a happy relationship. As a creature of love, I am surprisingly a lot happier than expected. This was a relationship which we decided to hold on to our relationship as long as we could, despite foreseeing a breakup since much earlier on. Over the years, despite being close colleagues, our journeys of growth have slowly diverged, and by the time we realised, we are already too far apart- in thoughts, in soul and physically. By the time our insecurity overshadowed our affection, we fell into the trap of an endless vicious cycle - trying to hold onto each other with negativity, taunting each other emotionally. A rather peaceful end, we have both moved on swiftly and I am so happy for him. This is an entirely newfound emotion to me- feeling happy for an old love. I can't quite fathom it, yet I understand that this is the result of my growth over the years. It has been an amazing 3-year. He has made me a better person, I am eternally grateful and I owe it all to him. 

Looking back, this is the ultimate result of Relationships vs Travelling to me lololololol wtf. If I am to pick one main reason that contributes to the breakup, it would be travelling. Yet I don't regret this decision to travel and to end the relationship - and never will even if I am granted an opportunity to choose, over and over again. 

4. More travellings!  

During this one-year gap from writing, I have also travelled to 
      1. November 2015: Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Cambodia fking hot weather fml
      2. December 2015: Hangzhou, Suzhou, Nanjing, Shanghai, China pretty girls everywhere i am a potato
      3. January 2016: Saigon, Vietnam still fking hot shit, almost got hit by motorbikes several times
      4. May 2016: Miri, East Malaysia; Brunei Darussalam peace for champion!
      5. June-Aug 2016: United Kingdom; Lithuania; Latvia; Estonia; Finland almost died falling off a cliff 
      6. September 2016: Philadelphia, United States work

And very soon in December, to Sichuan province, China.

5. I studied abroad again!

I went to study in Brighton and Oxford during the summer, taking up subjects and falling in love with particularly Economics and Philosophy. I will hopefully be able to elaborate on my experiences and also travel tales in the next post lol hopefully la hahahaah fml medical student very busy one ya know every hour cost a thousand bucks

6. I am studying in a whole new different way now

Surprisingly, upon coming back to Malaysia, I have become more interested and committed to my medical studies. I no longer study, but place more emphasis on learning, critical analysis and debating skills, all of which have significantly increased the standard of my academic performances lol now I go for exam I just talk bullshit and get good result LOL kidding wtf

Many things have changed. Many more haven't. 

I still want to be a Doctor.
I still want to be an Economist.
I still want to be a Theatre Performer.
I still want to travel.
I still want to love.
But for now please let me stay single lololol wtf.

I still am me, and I am happy :) Thank you every one for being in my life. 

The Faces That Dance Across My Mind

Is it normal to meditate and begin weeping quietly?

As I meditated today, the unforgettable faces of my patients flashed across my mind. Just like a merry-go-round, slowly rotating in circles, our conversations took form as words flew and led onto images which I thought I have long forgotten - the smallest gestures and the tiniest changes in facial expressions, which I did not see whilst in the middle of the encounter. Then I turned around and observed as the grim reaper rolled his dice. It was seemingly surreal, yet felt truest than ever. 

I see patients suffer due to pain or treatments everyday. Few years ago, I used to get comments from my peers about how I easily get overly involved with my patient's emotions, to an extent that it becomes unbearably unhealthy for the state of my mind. Hence from then I practise to not bring home the emotions from the healthcare setting, with which after tremendous mental effort, I have been successful in striking a balance between emotion control and empathy. I care for the patients so much that whether they are truly complaining or just whining, when others step back, I would always report it to the nurses and doctors, even if it was annoying or looks bad on me, simply because I don't want to miss out on any patients whom we could save. Today, I am able to watch a patient wince in pain without affecting my precision and capability at work, but that doesn't mean that I am unmoved. Whilst maintaining a professional demeanor, undeniably when a patient screams of pain, a part of me died inside. I don't fear death. I only fear my patients having to suffer needlessly, or dying without dignity.
The populations that garner my biggest concern are the psychiatric and the geriatric patients. 

People raise flags all the time claiming that all lives are equal. But media often screams law suits against Obstetricians but seldom about those to protect the lives and dignity of the elderly. We seem to have been acquainted with the perceived fact that while new lives equate with celebrations, it is "kind of"acceptable that old people die all the time. A doctor once said to me, "old people are aware that they are becoming forgetful but they did not seek for treatment until it is too late because they regard forgetfulness as just a process of aging." We are taking it for granted. On another hand, people tend to disrespect what an elderly wants. We have encountered so many situations in which the family members tried to convince doctors to hide the diagnosis from the patients who are begging to find out about their illnesses to plan about their will and funerals. The worst was to have family members fighting for money as their parent is put on ventilators at the verge of his demise.

I have said something like this before: Psychiatric patients live in a world contrastingly different from ours. They see patterns in numbers. They watch the rain pour with an air of melancholy as the sun glares. They hear voices in deafening silence. People deem them insane. But what if they are the ones who live in the real world? Who are we to judge that we are right and they are wrong? What if in truth we are the ones who live only in our minds but are deemed normal solely for the reason that we outnumber them? Give psychiatric patients our respect and empathy just like how we would to others. It is hard to live a life unrecognised by the world. 

The most significant issue regarding these patients is either their insanity nor their advanced ages. Instead, it is the consequence of how others treat them due to their perceived insanity and senility. However unbeknownst to us, we must be aware that they are vulnerably susceptible to abuse. So often do we forget that these people have a voice. Sometimes their lack of defence brings out the evilest of others. More often, we want to do the best for these patients, so much so that we forget to ask, "is this what you truly want?" This is the most important question a healthcare worker should ask. After all, who bears the repercussions of the chronic side effects? Who bears the effect of the stigma against them? Ultimately, who bears the pain? 

I have met many patients who have transformed my life: a prisoner, a police, a refugee, migrants, drug addicts, housewives, bankers etc. I watch them cry just as I celebrated their recovery. I thought that I have shaken away the images of their suffering faces, I thought they are already far behind me. However, despite my regular effort to separate emotions, I discovered that subconsciously these memories have crept up on me gradually and shaped who I am today. As I meditated, to my surprise, sadness did not come. What came in place was instead, a sense of void, an emotion hauntingly beautiful and more powerful than sadness - emptying yet satisfying.

It was not sadness. 
So I will never be able to understand why tears surged. 

From the beginning till now, I have never doubted that I will make a great doctor. I do have some flaws - too relaxed, sometimes too excitable. I can't deal with administrative work. I have little knowledge with how to deal with hierarchy. Nonetheless, I am improving, and I am happy about my progress. As some of you would have known, I am not your typical studious medical student. I travel all the time and rarely do I study. However, I am passionate about learning, I truly understand the meaning and importance of learning without boundaries, and I never do it blindly. Above all, I have experienced life from its lowest to highest- from busking on streets to wrapping myself in luxury, from sharing food with the homeless, conversing with slaves to fathoming the value of money. I am resilient, and I always have faith in my ability to overcome obstacles. There are still a lot more about humanity to be discovered, and I am willing to walk the world to meet and learn from people from all walks of life. I truly comprehend the fact that by the Hippocratic oath, all are equal. In the face of health and medicine, there are neither social classes nor genders. There are only humans as one, and this is a principle which I will hold on to dearly, for life.  

I would not be who I am today without y'all. So this one is for all of you. 💓

With this I say, "Some faces are to be forgotten, and only resurface upon recollection. Cheers to life!"

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Midnight Reflection on People Who Changed Our Lives

A Facebook conversation popped out the other day. A friend of mine sent a message to thank me for empowering her life.

I was puzzled as we have not met or talked for a while. She explained that my posts on Facebook have taught her to finally have the strength to decide her life for herself.

Since then, occasionally some acquintances come to tell me that I am an inspiration to them, that they can be brave, that they also want to find out what life holds for them. They say they can relate to me personally, that after they read about the things I do, they realise that they could too. They learn that the only thing that is stopping us is ourselves.

This is becoming more and more frequent.

These are mostly people I have little interaction with during my daily life. Yet they take the trouble to text me, meesage me, or talk to me just to tell me how I have changed their mindset and their lives.

It got me thinking. How did these happen?

As a child and teenage, I had a tough time looking for an identity and my place. I come from a small fishing village. I didn't know who I was and should be. Oppressive and competitive education, peer pressure and canings from school didn't help.I wasn't academically bright either. I had social anxiety which nobody, not even myself was aware of. Ultimately, I was nobody. I probably wasn't the only one who felt this way, pretty sure many of the teens are facing this identity crisis now.

But as time goes, I have been incredibly lucky to have many who have inspired me.

When I joined Musical out of boredom, people told me I could sing. So I became a singer.

I couldn't dance but Kingsley, my mentor encouraged me. So I ended up dancing on stage. Since then, my life transformed.

I sucked in studies but my mum said everything will be fine. So I have since received 3 academic scholarships and I am certain that there are more to come.

After a breakup, I had an identity crisis and lost all confidence but my friends told me that there's no way they can watch me wilt. So they built me up instead.

When I started looking for an identity, my parents gave me a green light and sent me to China. I was thrown into an unfamiliar place for 2 months but people valued me. They said that I spoke well, they that my travelling experiences are of utmost importance. They say critical thinking should always be encouraged not oppressed. They let me express my opinions. So I led thousands of people, an entire community.

When I didn't know what options I had beside medicine, a Spanish university offered me a business scholarship. I went to my favourite country in the world and I realise that I could change the world and help the poor and sick from a bigger picture.

When I felt lonely, I made friends from all around the world. They say the world is big. We can be anything we want.

There is a similarity which these statements share. Do you know what it is?

It is FAITH. These people, they listened to our stories. They didn't give up on us. Instead, they believe in us. Faithfully. Goodness oozed from them. I began mirroring them, learning from them. In the process, I found myself. I become fearless. I become humble. Most importantly, I become happy.

Honestly, I didn't think that my life is extraordinary. The more I travel, the more experienced I become with my emotions, the humbler I become. I begin talking to people more, and seeing only their strengths. I become very willing to work hard to understand a person's life. I work even harder to want to be part of other's lives. I start listening. I start sharing and indirectly, educating and inspiring. I didn't know that what I was doing was inspiring. But soon people began noticing how after talking to me, they learned. They felt empowered. They felt thankful. They think that I changed their lives.

But I think they have it inside them all along. I strongly believe that everyone has gems in them, waiting to be discovered. Today, I am still learning from them.

I strongly believe in this because in the beginning, I was the one who started watching them, learning the way they talk, learning the way they see life, learning the way they love. I tried very hard to imprint these images and values in my mind, so much that in time, their beautiful values become mine. It is their quality from the start. I want them to know that if they think that my life is amazing, their lives could be like mine and more because they are more amazing than I am. I want to tell them that they are me and more, for everyone is special and irreplaceable.

2 days ago, I have a friend whose name is Bobby, whom I have known for 3 years, told me that I have changed, matured and am inspiring. I didn't have the time and capacity then. But if I could turn back time, I would have told him that I learned how to be sincere and caring from him since we became friends. He didn't know, but he was one of the greatest people whom I have met in my life. He is my inspiration.

I think we all have a very incredible superman in us. Let's unleash it. Life is limitless. Remember that you're amazing. Never let yourself limit your soul.

Monday, 21 September 2015

International Summer School 2015

 I am officially a Business Communication minor!

Have you ever dreamed about studying abroad in a relatively unconventional country?

The usual trends are Malaysians and Singaporeans studying in the United Kingdom, Chinese in the United States and Indians being tech support everywhere in the world and so on. But what if one day, we have an opportunity to break out of our comfort zones and go somewhere else? 

I spent a summer studying in Spain. But it wasn't an immediately easy decision to come to. 

I am currently in the medical profession. However, I have long felt the need to explore about my identity and my existence. I found that I have an interested in business and speaking. 

Most importantly, after travelling to Switzerland, Italy, China and Mongolia in 2015, I was looking for a cheaper alternative to travel in summer 2015. I wanted to be sponsored to travel. I considered making a travel blog as the source of my income beside my current scholarship allowance but I have my medical commitments. I would love to be a vacation tester but I have no experience or whatsoever. 

So one day it just struck me that, I may not be qualified enough as a travel advisor. But I would definitely stand a better chance on getting some academic scholarships.

I received this summer scholarship but I initially put going to Spain as a backup plan. I put a lot of hope and moved on to apply to some schools in Switzerland and UK where I was offered vacancies but without scholarship. 

As you read my blog, you would more and less know that I am working for financial independence. So since I received the scholarship and it is a country that I have never been to, WHY NOT? Let's get out of our comfort zones!

So there I was, in the University of A Coruna, Spain!

I have no idea about typing the n with a ~ on top.

Frankly, I dreaded a little before departing because:

1. I was so geared going to either UK or Switzerland. I was confident.

2. I was googling about the university. I couldn't find much.

3. I can't speak Spanish for nuts.

Turned out the 3-week academics I dreaded going for became the best decision I have made up in 2015.

I went to La Coruna, the capital of Galicia, Spain knowing nothing about it. So I was quite astonished when I arrived in the city simply because I didn't expect it to be so beautiful!

In the city, you can never be more than 200 meters away from the beaches Orzan and Riazor! Because they are both facing the Atlantic Ocean, the waves are big. I went surfing and looking into the waves is like watching tsunami pouring over me die die die. 

The beaches are usually just doorsteps away. Most Spanish spend their siesta from 2-6pm just sunbathing and playing beach tennis with their children here. I jealoouuussss.

La Coruna is a peculiar city because the Galicians seem to consider themselves as just Galicians. Some rather identity themselves as Portugese than Spanish. Either way, the city is cheap, peaceful and above all, has beautiful beaches and street arts!

I was the only Malaysian in the International Summer School in the University of Coruna, most probably the only one in the history too. I wouldn't be surprised if some of my classmates have never heard of Malaysia, this small country in Southeast Asia until the crash of our flight made it to international headlines in 2014.

I studied Organisational Leadership and Business Communication with Social Media while taking Spanish lessons in la Universidade da Coruna. My daily schedule looks somewhat like this:

9am-11am: Spanish course
11am-2pm: Leadership/ Business
2.30pm-3pm: Lunch
5pm-9pm: Going out with friends
9pm-10pm: Dinner
10pm-1am: Parteeeyyyyhh! *plays Pitbull*

My business classes focused mainly on how companies rise and fall with the use of social media. We investigated a remarkable case study on the Qantas Airline PR mistake.

Because Qantas Airlines and its unions couldn't come to an agreement, many passangers were stranded in many places without being able to fly home in 2011. Very soon, a ill-timed move with the hashtag #qantasluxury was campaigned on twitter, asking people to describe their "dream luxury in-flight experience" with Qantas to win premium pajamas and toiletry kits.

As soon as #qantasluxury was up, all the angry passangers went on frenzy.

Can't say I didn't get a good laugh haha.

I LOVE my leadership classes because Dr. Ana Aleksic, my lecturer from Croatia is gorgeous, sweet and humbly caring. The materials she gave were mostly self-help, which incredibly allowed our personal development.

One of her lessons that struck me the most is that however despite the damages he has done to the world, Adolf Hitler remains a great charismatic leader in history. This is important because while we instinctively know killing is immoral, Hitler was able to move an entire army, who obeyed thoroughly, to carry out a genocide against the Jewish. It keeps me wondering about how powerful one's speech can be, so moving that we leave our values and morals aside to die for such leader.

I have learned and gained many valuable experience and knowledge. But the most irreplaceable part of the summer school is the people.

We are from all around the globe! 

Ukraine, Brazil, Switzerland, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Spain, Lithuania, Holland, Morocco, Portugal etc.

We usually have classes together in the mornings. Then city tours together in the evenings and lots of drinkings at night. These are some things that we have done together:

We partied almost every night. Or at least hang out at somebody's room for crap emo talks and dirty games.

Due to our excessive drinking and noises, one night at 1am, a hostel guard appeared and started scolding us in Spanish crazily !@#$%^&* Even though we understood nothing, we had no choice but to be forcefully driven into the jungle to continue our games and drinking. It was freezing at 10 degrees that night. We heard barkings and crickets and all sorts of creepy animal sounds in the jungle. But for some reasons we all fell in love with the jungle and we even had a bonfire farewell at the same spot later that week.

It is amazing, how the things that we deemed casual at the moment, turned out to be our favourite memories in life. :)
I initially joined the business summer school to travel and also explore my future option of venturing out of the medical field. What I didn't foresee is to form such close bonds with my favourite people from all around the world. Getting to know them and understanding each other's culture was deeply intriguing and their laughters are something I would never get tired listening to.

We shared great memories.

The Brazilians introduced me to Paellurhus, a Brazilian cigarette which you can lit and unlit and keep for another day. The Dutch walked 1 mile and picked beautiful wild flowers for me in the middle of the forest. The Ukrainians are gorgeous and incredily humourous and happy to be around with. The Lithuanian understands all my girly concerns. The Kazakh is my Asian sister. The Georgians studied in 7 universities and worked in 4 cities. Both should hold some sort of crazy records haha.

Above all, we laughed at different things. Because we all laughed at different things, eventually we laughed together all the time. Sometimes it was just a usual bus ride or a casual meal in a bar. All the things they say, they never failed to make me laugh. :)

Let the photos speak my words.
Buying alcohols for the night parties.
Yuri the Brazilian has Italian ancestry and his nose is too big for the shades lololololol!
Asian sister in action.


There are 3 things I learned and gained in this summer school:

1. Spanish language. 
2. Business European Credits
3. How to club with latin musics.

This is something I wrote before leaving the summer school. 

To the best people I have met in the summer school,
From now onwards, we are leaving each other one by one. Most back to their home countries. That's the end of our academic period. But our journeys have only just begun. All the best in life. May you find love in everything you do.

While wishing them luck, ultimately, I rediscovered my ability to be genuinely happy for others, and for myself. 
Now you know you can study and travel for FREE! What are you waiting for?

P/s: Read the 25 Backpacking Travel Guidelines For Asians to see how I travel.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Things Arvin and Jane say #9: Good Looks corrupt people

Yesterday was one of the usual days when we went for movie premiers together. We got 4 free tickets for Poltergeist but it was just 2 of us. We tried to give people the free tickets but everyone seemed to only want to watch Jurassic World. Sigh. There burned our premier tickets.

Anyway while on the way to movie, we had a conversation like this in the car.

Me: Do you know Google interns get paid like $6000 with housing allowance omg

Arvin: Yea exactly, just need to be really hardworking and talented and lucky.

Me: Yea sigh. Too bad we don't have any talent lo haiyoooo

After 5 seconds of silence.

Me: You know, if I get to choose between being talented and good-looking, I seriously would wanna be talented and smart. Cos' I feel like talents will never destroy a person but good looks could corrupt a person's mind.

Arvin: Yea man, so I bet you're really corrupted heh heh.

Me: AHHH what a pick-up line hahahahha <3

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Italy 2014 Part 1

This entry should have been done 1 year ago. Today I thought I have to complete blogging about my stay in Italy before flying to Spain in June.

Prego Italy!

Italy is a peculiarly passionate country. Italians are so friendlyyyy and warm just like their climate! If you're cute you may get butt pinches while walking. They get even more excited if they find out that you can speak English and you're from US because many Italians migrated to New York wtf. Our mate told us this is how a typical Italian male expresses his admiration to a girl.

Ooouuuii you so kiut! Come home to see my Maa-ma
My maa-ma will lurv yuuu! <3

Somehow Italian males are very attached to their mothers. Apparently when a couple divorces, the mother almost takes the child's custody ALL THE TIME. Besides, child support for the man doesn't end when the child turns 18. Child support only ends when the child LEAVES the mother LOLOL wtf lucky dudes.

LOL what if the child stays with the mother until 40yo. Dads be paying them forever.

We left Switzerland and arrived in Pisa in the afternoon.

Pisa MUST-SEE: The Field Of Miracle

All the main tourist attraction of Pisa are gathered here, in the Piazzo dei Miracoli, the Field of Miracle.

The field of Miracle has 3 things. From left to right, the Pisa Baptistry, the Pisa Cathedral or Duomo in Italian, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

The cathedral took 300 years to build because the design was difficult and halfway through the construction, a war started.

After building the cathedral, some Italians decided to build a baptistry to make babies christians. Then they realise the need of having a bell tower to wake everyone up for festivals or funerals. And the leaning tower is a bell tower.

After construction of 2 floor, somebody noticed that the bell tower was slanted to one side.

If you look carefully at the leaning tower, you would realise that the topmost part of the building is actually slightly straighter than the rest of the tower parts. Apparently a genius thought that by constructing the bell top part closer to the vertical straight line, it would put the rest of the tower straight too lol wtf.

Anyway there's a myth. If you're still a student in a university and yet to graduate, don't walk around the baptistry or you will fail your studies wtf. Not sure how true this is but for this reason, I didn't walk any closer to the baptistry fml.

So in short, if Pisa tower isn't leaning,

Nobody would go to Pisa wtf LOL

Oh, Galileo is from Pisa!

After leaving Pisa, we arrived at Florence.

Italy is a country where wives are responsible for every household chore and conveniently, take up ALL decision-makings lol. In a way, the role of a man at home is really small. Italian families are deeply bonded together. Most of the times when you gather all family members, the conversation tends to get so heated and they look like they are shouting at each other but actually they are just talking about the weather wtf -_-

Because mothers usually take up responsibility, most of the times the relationship between the mother and the daughter-in-law gets heated. When the mothers scold their sons they tend to go, 


LOLOLOL wtf. The only thing mothers and daughters-in-law agree about is FOOTBALL which is like the biggest entertainment in Italy.

Italy has this law in which all tourist groups must be assigned to a qualified guide who usually is at least a master or PhD holder in history LOL they will tell you about every single story they know about they city.

Florence MUST-SEE: 
1. Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, the Florence Cathedral

This cathedral, which took 100 years to build, is the prettiest and most colourful, but also the most unphotogenic cathedral I have ever seen in my life. It is hard to get an angle to include the entire building because the details of the carvings are so FINE and it is SO HUGE!!!

Anyway I was really shocked to find out that there's a city buried beneath Florence!


2. Piazza della Repubblica, the City Square of Florence
You can never go missing in Florence because it is built in such a way that it is rectangular with all 4 major roads leading up and intersecting at this square.

3. Palazzo Vecchio, the Town Hall of Florence, in Piazza della Signoria, the Square 

There are 2 statues in front of the town hall: Michelangelo's David on the left and Hercelus & Cacus on the right. 

Michelangelo's David is 6 tons heavy while Hercules killed Cacus the fire-belching monster.

3. Loggia dei Lanzi

Which is right beside the town hall. LOL the name sound like lansi wtf. There are about 8 statues in the gallery, one of which particularly caught my attention. 

It stood out as it was, unlike other marble statues, carved on bronze. It was Perseus holding up the head of Medusa by Benvenuto Cellini. 

4. Uffizi Gallery, a Florence Art Museum

5. Ponte Vecchio
There are shops on the bridge itself!!

Italians are different. Unlike French who drink coffee all day long, Italians take coffee shots and drink for a minute and ciao! Which is why their coffee is called expresso wtf lol.

Anyway, in Italy, enquire more info prior to booking an accomodation in especially small towns. This is because some suburbs are unofficially run by MAFIAS, yes they still exist, especially in southern Italy. Towns like this have exit and entrance time limit. If you don't follow unwritten rules like this you'd probably be stuck in the town forever wtf lol. 

Here comes a photo of me with the entire Florence having my back ;)

Perdono for my small Asian eyes.