Category Archives: Views & Ideas

Jetsetters Clothing

As much as I am excited to get Jetsetters Clothing back on track, I’m actually afraid and not feeling very confident about it. I’m afraid that I might go on doing the same thing again and not making any obvious progress. By the looks of it, I am doing the same things, same strategies. I’m repeating the things I did.

March. I told everyone that I would kick start things in March. The thing about that is, I spent more than three months doing nothing to come up with ways or strategies to do something different. It’s the second week of March and as I have said before, I’m heading towards the same direction which leads to nothing.

JCKK - Back on Track

Perhaps this is a failure and I hate to admit it. To be honest, the failure here is me and I still have hope that Jetsetters Clothing could work.

What happened to “overcoming the turbulence to achieve all you goals and dreams”? Honestly, I don’t know. Until I can get a breakthrough, Jetsetters Clothing will be where it is. Stagnant.

What do you think?

A Hobby That Takes You Worldwide

Going through all my mails and reading all the letters and cards I received brought back loads of memories. Receiving a hand written letter or card from someone kinda makes you feel special and I love the surprise I got when I open my mailbox and there would be a letter waiting for me.

That is how Postcrossing is like. You send a postcard to a random person anywhere in the world and be surprised to receive a postcard from a random person from anywhere in the world.

At the time of writing, there are 464,575 registered users from 216 different countries. Since the Postcrossing project started there have been 21,678,492 postcards received. In Malaysia alone there are 3,292 members and 165,097 postcards sent.

I signed up for a Postcrossing account four months ago when I met a Postcrosser Gladys David on Twitter. A Postcrosser is someone who sends postcards to all over the world through Postcrossing. I saw her updates on Postcrossing and decided to check it out. After four months of having Postcrossing account, I only sent my first batch of postcards to Russia, Germany and China last week.

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Miss Gladys David.

While eagerly waiting for a postcard from a stranger from anywhere around the world  I decided to ask Gladys on her experience becoming a Postcrosser. Introduced to Postcrossing by her cousin, she started being an active Postcrosser since 2013, last year.

Why did you signed up for a Postcrossing account?
I love sending and receiving things through snail mail. Letters take too much time but postcards are simpler. 

So far, how many have you sent and how many have you received?
I’ve sent 70 postcards and received 73. I have a colleague who registered later than me but she has sent hundreds of postcards already.

Wow. Her postcards must’ve arrived their destination fast. That’s why she can send many.
[Laughs] I think I’m the one who’s lazy. If I’m busy, I put Postcrossing on hold and only start to send postcards when I have less workload.

For first time users, each user is allowed to send five postcards and when the recipient receives the postcard and enters the Postcard ID written, and then only a user sends another. The number of postcards allowed to travel at any single time goes up the more postcards a user sends.

How do you feel when you open your mailbox and there’s a postcard waiting for you?
Of course I feel excited.

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Usually how long will a postcard reaches its’ destination?
It depends on the destination. It doesn’t take too long if the destination is in the South East Asia like Thailand or the far east like Japan. Postcards to Russia will take some time though, according to my friend, @yAn123. [Laughs]

I see. Where have you received your postcards from?
Everywhere! But I haven’t received any postcards from the Middle East.

Gladys shares her statistics.

Did you become friends with the person you sent postcards to o the one you received postcards from, like adding each other on Facebook?
So far I haven’t add any Postcrossing friends on Facebook but there are some whom I became friends with for a regular swap. Basically regular swap is two friends sending postcards to each other without using the Postcard ID.

I see. The extent of your relationship with Postcrossers is sending each other postcards?
Yes. I haven’t had a Postcrosser friend whom I really became friends with.

Where do you get your postcards? Do you buy or your print them?
I bought my postcards most of the time. I print occasionally and I made a handmade postcard once.

Oh. I would like to go back to your previous answer, “I haven’t had a Postcrosser friend whom I really became friends with”. What are the points of the postcards if you haven’t made any friends?
I didn’t spend time nurturing my relationship with other users on Postcrossing. Maybe the point is to have a great personal statistics? [Giggles] You get to know some tidbits from the sender’s country or hometown and I like to see my postcard collection growing. That’s why I keep at it.

Some users have preferences on what type of postcards they like to receive and don’t like to receive. Do you send a postcard that meets the user’s preference or you just send any type of postcards?
[Laughs] I once send a user a postcard he dislikes. Usually, if I have a postcard that a user wants or if I can do something about it, I would meet the user’s preferences. I stick lots of stamps if a user stated that he/she likes stamps. For instance, normally I would use a RM 0.50 stamp, if he or she likes stamps if would use RM 0.10, RM 0.20, RM 0.30, RM 0.05 stamps that equals to RM 0.50. Different images on each stamp.

Postcrossing gave me a user’s address to send my postcard to and in her description box she stated that she is afraid of standard, touristic city views, monuments and art postcards, written in capital letters. Why would someone be afraid of a touristic city view postcard? I’m not sure why. 

What happened with the user whom you sent a postcard he doesn’t like?
Nothing happened. He didn’t say anything in the message box when he registered the postcard I sent.

Do you have any preference on what type of postcards you would like to receive?
My only preference is, the cards must be 4 inches x 6 inches in size so that the postcard can fit in my folder. [Laughs]

[Laughs] No wonder when I look at all your postcards, they’e about the same size. What do you usually write on your postcards before you send them?
Sometimes I write about the weather or any events that’s currently happening. Sometimes I write random stuff pretty much like tweeting.

Gladys’ postcard collection.

Speaking of stamps, how much do you usually spend on stamps for a postcard?
RM 0.50. Maybe more if he/she likes stamps but not more than a Ringgit. So far, I haven’t had any postcard that doesn’t reach its’ destination due to insufficient stamps.

RM 0.50 is quite cheap for a postcard travelling anywhere around the world. Adding that to the price of a postcard, the cost of sending a postcard all around the world is only RM 1.50. That’s what I had in mind when I was at the post office. I was surprised when I was charged RM 2 for a postcard travelling to Russia but I didn’t bother to ask why. While sitting at the corner sticking stamps on my postcards I heard a couple who ask the officer in regards of the price of sending a postcard.

“Why does it cost so much to send a postcard to Singapore?”

It turned out that any postcards that are 15 cm x 10 cm in size or smaller, stamp price will be RM 0.50 to all destinations. Any postcards larger than the size mentioned, the price of stamps will depend on the destination.

Top Left: Mt. Kinabalu postcard; 15 cm x 10 cm in size. RM 1 from Borneo Books, Wisma Merdeka.
Top Right: Random photo postcard bought at the post office for RM 1.
Bottom: KLCC postcard. Much larger than the previous two which stamps cost will depend on the destination.

Do you know any KK Postcrossers? Have you sent any postcards to someone in KK or anywhere in Sabah?
I’ve exchanged postcards with @rungitom who is also a Postcrosser but not through Postcrossing. Some of the Postcrossers I know are @glaydavid, @y4n123, and @sorbesque. Mariah Doksil is also a Postcrosser too.

After having that conversation with her I can’t wait to see the reaction of the user who’s afraid of certain postcards because I sent her a quite an artsy postcard I bought in KL. I would like to receive a postcard from the Pitcairn Islands. But unfortunately, with only population of 46 people (at the time of writing), there are no Postcrossing users from the island yet.

Want to start sending postcards? You can get your postcards from most bookstores at RM 1 each. There are stores you can get six postcards for RM 5 like Just For You in Wisma Merdeka. Most of the postcards being sold in KK are the typical touristic, scenic and cultural if not, orang utan postcards. There are various animal postcards in Times and Tai Yang Bookstore but they cost a lot. As for the artsy fartsy ones, so far I haven’t found any of them in KK.

Or you can always print a postcard by yourself or develop a picture you took and use it as a postcard. Opt for a more environmental friendly approach by reusing old boxes or envelopes and turn them into postcards. There are some concerns as well on Postcrossing leaving an ecological footprint. However, there’s a list of making Postcrossing a greener hobby on the website. Phew!

Fancy a postcard from me? Well give me your address then!

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New Year’s Resolution: The Never Ending Cycle

It’s the last month of the year and I’m sure most of us are anticipating for 2014 aside from Christmas. Come the 1st of January 2014, it’ll be a new beginning and a chance to start over as if being reborn into life, but with goals and aspirations.

Perhaps right now you’re thinking on what are your resolutions for next year as you are reading this post. Now is also a good time to reflect on 2013 – have we achieved what we are trying to achieve when we set our 2013 resolutions?

I started making New Year’s resolution when I was in primary school when the Malay Language teacher gave an assignment on ‘Azam Tahun Baru’. Since then, at the end of every year, I never failed to set my resolutions for the next years to come.

As the year goes by, to be honest, I don’t give much thought on any of the resolutions I made. “I’ll do it next year then” I said when August came. The cycle goes on and on and on. Many resolutions and many failed attempts.

Looking back, I asked myself what were my resolutions for 2013? I can’t remember if I made one at all. On last year’s New Year’s Eve I was barbecuing all night until the clock struck 12. I didn’t have any resolutions made in mind.

Being jobless for more than a year now, what have I achieve? I think my 2013 highlights would be graduating and be debt-free from my college and starting up my own independent clothing line. That’s about it. Do I want to set any resolutions for next year? I don’t think so.

I piled of all of my past resolutions I had in my head. Some I wrote on paper a couple of years back. With those unachieved resolutions, I have a debt that I owe to myself. A promise I made to myself that I’ve broke many times and I think it’s time to make it up.

Having resolutions or goals are not enough. They are dreams, and if we don’t work for them, they’ll be just dreams. And that is exactly what happened with all my past resolutions.

I guess to us, who are having a hard time realizing these resolutions; we need to keep reminding ourselves of what we are trying to achieve. Be resourceful in finding ways to overcome obstacles and achieve. Be strong, be fun, be crazy, don’t be afraid and meet new friends along the way.

I also think, what’s most important is, to share our resolutions with those we love and those we know who will continue to support us.

But, I’m pretty secretive when it comes to things like these. I’ll share one though:

In 2014, I want to go to the Sarawak Rain Forest World Music Festival which I really wanted to go since I was in high school.

What about you? Will you make resolutions for next year?

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Skin Care: A Dude & His Experience

I’m not one of those guys who don’t pay  much attention when it comes to skin care. I don’t have a beauty regime where I have a whole set of skin care range. I only have a face wash and that’s it.

Just recently a friend of mine, Puteri, a beauty consultant who owns an online beauty shop gave me a sample of her home made ‘lulur kopi’ or coffee face mask/scrub and I decided to try and write my experience.

Wrapped in bubble wrap the ‘lulur came in a 200 – 300 ml bottle. Upon opening it, the smell of freshly brewed coffee filled the air and it was somehow therapeutic. I took more deep breaths and I realized that the smell reminded me of something – the smell of milk tea like the ones in Yoyo and Chat Time. I guess it’s probably the result of the mixture of the ingredients. Nevertheless, it’s still coffee.

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At the time of writing my experience, I’ve used half of it.

Ingredients
Pure organic coffee, olive oil extract, Vitamin C & E and Manuka honey make up the ingredients. The coffee beans were grinded into small bits and mixed with the other ingredients into this dark, sweet smelling (or coffee smelling that is) paste.

Benefit & Application
“What are the benefits?” I asked. It gives you a glowing and healthy skin, unclogs pores and gets rid of dead skin cells which could make your skin fairer. “You can apply on your face or any part of your body you wish for two to three minutes and rinse” Puteri added.

———-

My Experience & After Effects

It does really smell good so I decided to try it the night I got it; I applied on my face despite my facial hair. It was Movember so I had facial hair. I wet my face a little bit and applied over my face. The mixture felt cold against my skin. I waited several minutes before I rinsed it of by applying a bit of facial wash on my face, wet it a little and scrub it over my face. It became a facial scrub. The slight coarseness of the grounded coffee beans scrubbed against my skin felt good.

Dried my face and looked at the mirror and I felt fairer. The texture of my skin felt soft and sort of bouncy. The softness and the ‘bounciness’ of my skin lasted through the night. My cheeks felt like a baby’s butt. I can’t stop touching it. I guess that’s a sign of a healthy skin.

Even now as I’m writing this, my skin does feel soft. That’s the obvious effect. As for my skin being fairer, yes it did became fair but I wasn’t able to maintain the fairness. It’s, my fault though because, I spent my time under the Sun a lot without sun block thus, at the end of the day, my skin became dark.

Coffee facial became a ritual. I applied onto my face before I sleep. I think now my addiction to coffee isn’t only to drink it but to put it on my face as well. Gosh this ‘lulur’ smells so good.

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Want coffee smeared over your face? Why don’t you make an order to Puteri at Gorgeous Damias Beauty’s Facebook page? Other products like the Flawless Set is a best seller as well. With great and convincing testimonials from customers, it’s no wonder her products are a hit.

Thanks Put!

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Sabahan Independent Clothing Brands

The independent clothing scene in Malaysia has flourished and up until now, lots of inspiring brands have surfaced, bringing their best design to their fans or followers of street clothing. Abstrax Jingga and Rare Clothing have been in the business since 2008 and 2010 respectively and expanded their clothing line from just t-shirts to other merchandises such as shirts, caps and many more. Other examples would be Pestle & Mortar or Wolfgang. These brands put their names in the local street fashion scene and have been standing strong since.

Just recently, Abstrax Jingga participated the 2013 Streetwear Asia, Asia’s Premier Street & Urbanwear Trade Exhibition, November 14th – 16th at the Jakarta Convention Center.

There’s also The Garment made famous by Wak Doyok, the man with the preppy facial hair and who’s also the co-founder of the brand. Though only two designs released, The Garment has created a huge impact, bringing not only the t-shirts but also the culture or message that comes with it.

The influence of independent clothing movement have spread to The Land Below the Wind and had several Sabahan ‘indie-entrepreneurs’ rose up to the occasion to start their own brand. Some of these brands have been in the business for quite some time but perhaps maybe due to the lack of exposure and overshadowed by big brands in shopping malls, these brands are still under the radar. On the other hand, some brands do excel and have gained overseas customers. Either way, all these Sabahan brands have their own fans and followers.

Jesselton Eleven Clothing

Jesselton Eleven Clothing has been in the business since 2011 and have gained many fans on its’ Facebook page. Selling a wide range of Borneo themed t-shirts, you’re not only wearing a well designed t-shirt but making a statement when wearing it.

The Borneo Brotherhood II 

 

Vandalism Streetwear

With customers from within Malaysia and several countries in Europe, Vandalism Streetwear was established in August 2007. Getting influences from music, street cult and style makes Vandalism Streetwear more than just a clothing line but a lifestyle. Vandalism Streetwear aims to bring their t-shirt designs and expanding their products throughout Sabah.

Redman (Rapper / DJ / Producer / Actor) seen with Vandalism Streetwear’s t-shirt.

 

Last Bloodline 

The Ret Rock, Aylett and several other bands and individuals have been repping Last Bloodline t-shirts. Last Bloodline‘s mission is to bring high quality products with affordable prices. Established in 2009, Last Bloodline’s products range from t-shirts, tank tops, stickers, accessories and more.

LB’s Spade Shirt.

 

Jetsetters Clothing

There are also young brands like Jetsetters Clothing, a brand I started on my own. I started out with a bunch of pocket tees in August 2013. Its’ tag line ‘Ready, Jet Set, Fly’ means to have the ambition to soar and fly to reach your dreams and overcome the turbulence to achieve our dreams. These attributes are represented in the form of clothing inspired by art and initiative to create something new. Currently, I’m working on Jetsetters Clothing’s next design.

Jetsetters Clothing’s Animal Instinct Pocket Tees.

 

Legasi Clothing

Legasi Clothing (2013) also started out with a series of pocket tees. Just recently, Legasi Clothing participated in the 2013 Streetwear Asia, Asia’s Premier Street & Urbanwear Trade Exhibition, November 14th – 16th at the Jakarta Convention Center.

The presence of these local clothing brands brings variety in apparel choices here in Sabah. Now we do not only have those established international brands but also, these locally design t-shirts or, thrift store clothes (bundle). I wrote this blog post in hopes these local brands get the attention of Sabahans that they deserve, that they get more support and recognition from Sabahans especially, and be able to continue to grow regionally towards becoming internationally known.

Other brands to look out for:

Afraid Clothing

Comrade Streetwear

Mondo Borneo

Offers custom illustrations and unique t-shirts line.

Hokus Pokus 

Sandakan’s clothing brand established in 2012. Hokus Pokus aims to provide people with high quality clothing at affordable prices.

 

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No Shave November

Movember is the growing of mustache during the month of November. Is it held every year to raise awareness on men’s health issues such as prostate cancer and other male cancers.

It all started in 1999 when a group of young men in Adelaide, South Australia had the idea of growing moustache for charity  throughout the month of November.

The Movember Foundation was initiated by a group of 30 men (unrelated to the group mentioned above) growing moustache for 30 days to raise awareness for prostate cancer and depression. Since then, the foundation has spread to South Africa, Europe and North America in 2006*. 

Read more at Australia’s Movember website on its’ history here

My first Movember was November last year while I was working in KL. My boss insisted that all male staff grow facial hair during the month of November. It was fun and we even took photos of us mid-November. We had a female colleague who of course, doesn’t grow a moustache. What we did was, we printed a moustache and pasted it on her upper lip. We were one big happy family of  moustache growers… until my contract was terminated that is. LOL. But that’s a different story.

The statistics in the above video clearly shows that the impact of Movember is huge! Men and women as well are becoming aware of men’s health issues.

I know (sigh) it’s already the 8th of November and this blog post should be published before the 1st but I guess it’s still not to late to grow a moustache and tell your bros about it. Besides, it’s for a good cause. Then, we can be ‘Mo-Bros’. LOL. For more infomation and ideas to be involved in the Movember movement, you can visit the US Movember website

Ladies, how do you get yourselves involved in Movember? Watch this video.

This video cracked me up but of course, you don’t really have to have sex with a guy with a moustache on November 18. There are many other ways you can do so. Like, let your husbands, boyfriends, uncles, brothers or dogs be aware about it and get them checked.Use a moustache tote bag, wear a moustahce t-shirt, print a moustache from the internet and paste it on your upper lip. Better yet, get a fake moustache or, have sex…

See. Even a cat grows a moustache. [Source]

Can’t grow a mustache? No worries, here’s how to grow a moustache with Nick Offerman.

Bros, let us get our balls checked.

*Wikipedia

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Injin Puput: Passage to the Heart of Borneo

I was lucky enough to get a free media pass to attend the media preview on the 3rd of May at Sabah’s JKKN Complex, from Nova, who was so supernova enough to give me one. I was ecstatic because I’m keen about the Sabahan culture that never cease to fascinate me.

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Injin Puput tells the story of a grandfather, Aku Arusop and his grandson, Aaron going on a train ride along the west coast of Sabah. While at it, Aki Arusop reminiscences his father, Aki Gounon’s love story with a Chinese girl, Mei Ling. The musical started with a Murut warrior having a premonition of the arrival of British which was also a forecast of the  appearance of Vulcan trains which is extended into the heart of Sabah.

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What I loved about this musical is the forbidden love story between Aku Gounon and Mei Ling which would be a cliche in movie theaters unless you add pale vampires, horny werewolves or aliens. This, I thought, was just classic.

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Falling in love over glutinous rice wrapped with bamboo leaves. Romantic eh?

Watching Injin Puput gave me a revelation, a reminder of how beautiful the cultures we have in Sabah. It was also an educating experience as I’ve got to learn some of the customs/traditions or rituals that I’ve never seen or heard before, especially the Bosilat Mandung – Mandung and the Sazau Modsuhung of the Kadazans of Papar.

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Bosilat Mandung – Mandung.

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Limbai.

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It would be unfair though, if I were to compare this production with the musicals and plays I’ve seen in Istana Budaya.  There were some things I thought in Injin Puput were ‘off’.

For instance, I thought that the screen which portrayed the visuals were over used that to me, seemed to be sort of a short cut to create the scene’s setting. If physical props have been used to create the setting, it would give a sense of awe and would be more realistic compared to just depending the visuals on the screen.

I’m not going to touch on the choreography of the traditional dances because my knowledge is not to that extent. But I did find that the fighting choreography during the scene with Mei Ling’s brother was quite weird and funny. At the back of my mind was ‘Ah, itu seja? Lawan, mati and then lari?’. It was just plain to me and I didn’t give any excitement of ‘wow, these dudes are really fighting’.

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Easy, breezy duel. Notice of bare the stage was without any physical prop create the setting? Instead, the visual on the screen created the setting. The stage felt empty.

At times as well I find the stage was too crowded especially in the scene where Mei Ling sells her glutinous rice. The stage blocking was poor, the extra actors were scattered without any apparent motive, well, other than wanting a piece of the glutinous rice.

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Everybody was waiting for kao chung. It look scattered. The scene would be more interesting there were stalls where some of the actors sell fabrics, fruits or fish, in other words, the local activities of the community. Takkan the activity of the community is just to wait for Mei Ling to jual her kao chung kan?

The story line on the other hand, it was just okay for me. It would have been more dramatic if the tension of the story was build up from the beginning when Mei Ling and Aki Gounon met. Then only the conflict would become stronger, when the conflict is strong, of course the love birds will try to do everything just to resolve the conflict.

I can’t really say if this is the best Sabah Fest production for I cannot make any comparisons as I haven’t attend last year’s Sabah Fest. Last time I went was when Sabah Fest was still held at Sutera Harbour, which is around 2009. But viewing from the whole production, the cultural aspects of Injin Puput is always an amazing educational experience. Production wise, it can be improved, from the story, to stage design and acting. Only then I believe, it would a solid act. Or maybe, this was just the preview night, therefore, the production didn’t went all out?

During this part, the Argus pheasant feather was missing on the actor's headgear and there weren't any tattoos that shows that he is a Murut tribesman.

During the marriage ceremony between Aki Gounon and Mei Ling, the Argus pheasant feather was missing on the Aki Gounon’s headgear and there weren’t any tattoos that shows that he is a Murut tribesman. A friend of mine posted a picture of this scene during the last night of the show and surprisingly, the male’s costume was complete, with tattoos as well. Hhmm.

Despite what the ‘offs’ that I mentioned, I congratulate the team behind Injin Puput for their efforts, hard work and ideas into making this production, a reality. I look forward for improvements on next year’s Sabah Fest. Thanks once again to the supernova, Nova, for the media pass.

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