Disabled Theatre: Disabling Misconceptions, Enabling Dreams

Disabled Theatre

Earlier this month, I had the most interesting theatre experience ever. I went to watch ‘Disabled Theatre’, whose director is the renowned French choreographer, Jérôme Bel, at the Singapore International Festival of the Arts (SIFA). It’s not everyday that you get to see professional actors with learning disabilities on stage. Plus, the way that Disabled Theatre is presented gives you surprises at every turn. Starting from the beginning…

11 seats are placed in an arc facing the audience, and the translator, Chris Weinheimer, explains that Jérôme Bel would like the 11 actors to stand before the audience for a minute, one by one. So each actor came on stage, and then left, one at a time, to stare at (or stand before) the audience in utter silence.

People started shifting in their seats, some cleared their throats, most just didn’t know what to make of it.

The actors just came on stage and stared at us, and us back at them. Some took close to a minute, while at least one came up to the front, did an abrupt about-turn and marched right off, providing some comic relief.

I can only hazard a guess at what Jérôme’s intention is. But I came to understand that these actors with learning disabilities are not that different from us. Are we able to look upon them as equals? If you have to avert your gaze, or stifle nervous laughter, or find yourself shifting in your seat, then you have something to think about.

Then came the round of introductions. One by one, they told us their name, age, and occupation (which was either actor or actress). After that, they each performed a dance solo and you can see the immediate transformation of each actor and the unbridled joy in each performance. I love the pieces imitating Michael Jackson and Psy (in Gangnam Style)! :D

And that got me thinking, there is so much potential in the Singapore arts scene, great musicians, actors and actresses, sculptures, and the list goes on. Yet, theatre and acting has never been a flourishing industry in Singapore. Recently, the hot topic on ASPIRE addressed issues about moving away from this “paper chase” mindset to one that focuses on skills and experience. Also, it is not the first time we hear about the emphasis on skills and experience. The Labour Movement in Singapore has also been pushing for Singaporeans to respect every job and worker regardless of their paper qualifications. Mr Seah Keng Tia, Chairperson of Young NTUC once said “The Singaporean society must be one that respects every worker and every job. We must strive to create a culture that supports the pursuit of happiness and balance, as success is more than economic growth and wealth alone.”

Not So Different From Us After All

One actor shared that he has a fear of asking questions because he doesn’t know what the answer might be. And I thought that’s not too bad. Many students, even in University, don’t speak up in class for fear of asking what could turn out to be a stupid question.

These actors are not that different from us. We have similar fears, similar aspirations (get famous and travel around the world) and we just learn things differently.

Standing Ovation

The audience was, simply put, blown away by the cast of Disabled Theatre. In 90 minutes, we were made to confront our perceptions of people with learning disabilities, marvel at their unique skills and talents, and come to the realization that we each have our own weakness and there is no need to think any differently about people with Down’s Syndrome – they are just like us.

I noticed, too, that some of the actors had a really good sense of humor, delighted in making the audience laugh, and in general, just loved to have fun. One lingering thought remains though…

With ages ranging from 21 to 43, the actors truly succeeded in making us wonder – “Are these selves presented on stage fictionalised or real?” (Germaine Cheng / The Straits Times 5 September 2014)

~

It’s truly wonderful how people with learning disabilities can turn to theatre as an avenue to display their talents. I think parents of children with Down’s Syndrome would be comforted, after watching Disabled Theatre, in the knowledge that their children are not disabled, they are simply able in other ways.

I hope more opportunities open up in the arts scene in Singapore, especially for this community so that the next time we see someone with Down’s Syndrome, we’ll think ‘He/She has Down’s Syndrome. So what?’ and know that we are all the same – humans with our own fears and weaknesses.

Emma Watson’s Speech At HeForShe 2014 (with a transcript)

Today we are launching a campaign called HeForShe. I am reaching out to you because we need your help. We want to end gender inequality and to do this, we need everyone involved. This is the first campaign of its kind at the UN – we want to try and galvanize as many men and boys as possible to be advocates for change. And we don’t just want to talk about it. We want to try and make sure it’s tangible. I was appointed as Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women 6 months ago.

And the more I’ve spoken about feminism, the more I have realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop. For the record, feminism by definition is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes. I started questioning gender-based assumptions a long time ago.

When I was 8, I was confused at being called bossy because I wanted to direct the plays that we would put on for our parents, but the boys were not. While at 14, I started to be sexualised by certain elements of the media. At 15, my girlfriends started dropping out of their beloved sports teams because they didn’t want to appear muscly. At 18, my male friends were unable to express their feelings.

I decided that I was a feminist. And this seemed uncomplicated to me. But my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word. Women are choosing not to identify as feminists. Apparently, I am among the ranks of women whose expressions are seen as too strong, too aggressive, isolating and anti-men, unattractive even.

Why has the word become such an uncomfortable one? I am from Britain. And I think it is right I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should be able to make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decisions that will affect my life. I think it is right that socially, I am afforded the same respect as men.

But sadly, I can say that there is no one country in the world where all women can expect to receive these rights. No country in the world can yet say that they have achieved gender equality. These rights I consider to be human rights but I am one of the lucky ones.

My life is a sheer privilege because my parents didn’t love me less because I was born a daughter. My school did not limit me because I was a girl. My mentors didn’t assume that I would go less far because I might give birth to a child one day. These influences were the gender equality ambassadors that made me who I am today. They may not know it but they are the inadvertent feminists who are changing the world today. We need more of those.

And if you still hate the word, it is not the word that is important. It is the idea and the ambition behind it because not all women have received the same rights that I have. In fact, statistically, very few have been.

In 1997, Hillary Clinton made a famous speech in Beijing about women’s rights. Sadly, many of the things that she wanted to change are still true today. But what stood out for me the most was that less than 30% of the audience were male. How can we effect change in the world when only half of it is invited or feel welcomed to participate in the conversation?

Men, I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue too. Because to date, I’ve seen my father’s role as a parent being valued less by society, despite my needing his presence as a child as much as my mother’s. I’ve seen young men suffering from mental illness, unable to ask for help for fear it would make them less of a man. In fact, in the UK, suicide is the biggest killer of men, between 20 to 49, eclipsing road accidents, cancer and coronary heart disease. I’ve seen men made fragile and insecure by a distorted sense of what constitutes male success. Men don’t have the benefits of equality either.

We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes but I can see that they are. When they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence. If men don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted, women won’t feel compelled to be submissive. If men don’t have to control, women won’t have to be controlled.

Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong. It is time that we all perceive gender as a spectrum instead of two sets of opposing ideals. If we stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by who we are, we can all be freer and this is what HeForShe is about. It’s about freedom. I want men to take up this mantle so that their daughters, sisters and mothers can be free from prejudice but also so that their sons have permission to be vulnerable and human too, reclaim those parts of themselves they have abandoned. And in doing so, be a more true and complete version of themselves.

You might be thinking: who is this Harry Potter girl? What is she doing speaking at the UN? I’ve been asking myself the same thing. All I know is that I care about this problem and I want to make it better. And having seen what I’ve seen and given the chance, I feel it is my responsibility to say something. Statesman Edmund Burke said all that is need for the forces of evil to triumph is for good men and women to do nothing.

In my nervousness for this speech and in my moments of doubt, I’ve told myself firmly “if not me, who? If not now, when?” If you have similar doubts when opportunities are presented to you, I hope that those words will be helpful. Because the reality is that if we do nothing, it will take 75 years or for me, it’s nearly a hundred before women can expect to be paid the same as men for the same work. 15.5 million girls will be married in the next 16 years as children. And at current rates, it won’t be until 2086 before all rural African girls can have a secondary education. If you believe in equality, you might be one of those inadvertent feminists that I spoke of earlier. And for this I applaud you.

We are struggling for a uniting word but the good news is that we have a uniting movement – it is called HeForShe. I am inviting you to step forward, to be seen, and to ask yourself “if not me, who? If not now, when?” Thank you very very much.

What To Look Out For In A Man & Relationship Advice for Women (Part One)

Le Jia

[Picture: gcpnews.com]

Le Jia (乐嘉), from the hugely popular Chinese game show 非诚勿扰 (If You Are The One) has the following words of advice for women. You can read the full article in Mandarin here. I’ve only had time to quickly translate his first 10 tips. :D

1) 不要去找不主动和你联系的男人。不管他有什么样的借口,都说明他不在意你,真正爱你的人,一天没有你的消息就会六神无主,他不会,说明不爱你,最起码不是深爱。

Don’t look for men who do not take the initiative to contact you. No matter what excuses he gives for not contacting you, it all shows he does not really care about you. A man who really loves you will feel uncomfortable not hearing from you for even a day. If he’s not like that, it means he does not love you, or at least, is not deeply in love with you.

2) 远离不舍得为你花钱的男人。一个男人不舍的为你花钱,别指望他以后会对你有多好,

Stay away from men who are unwilling to spend money on you. Don’t expect such a person to be good to you in future too.

3) 坚强地面对分手。不要哭天抹泪,别干撕照片、烧信、毁日记这类只有傻瓜才干的事。坚持相信爱情,相信好男人还存在,还在茫茫人海中寻觅你。别说“男人没一个好东西”这样使别人误以为你阅人无数的话。

Be strong when going through a breakup. Do not cry, tear up photos, burn letters, or destroy diaries like a fool would do. Insist on believing in love – that good men still exist, and that someone is in fact looking for you in this sea of people. Don’t say that there are no good men – this might mislead people into thinking you have been in a countless number of relationships.

4) 不要做拜金女。 爱物质没有错,但要适当,永远记着,精神更重要!

Don’t be a material girl. There is nothing wrong with loving material things, but know your limits. Always remember that the ‘spirit’ is more important.

5) 不要以貌取人。 爱一个人不要看他的相貌,相貌是虚幻的东西,只有灵魂才是真实的,空有好的相貌而没有内涵的人,多半是昙花一现。当感情陷入危机时,再好的相貌也会令人憎恶。情人眼里出西施,相貌的好坏会随着爱与不爱转换的!

Do not judge a person by his appearance. Looks are fleeting, only the soul is real. With just good looks and no substance, it’s all short-lived. When there is a relationship crisis, even his good looks could become detestable to you. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Your perception of his looks will change based on whether you are in love with him or not.

6) 找一个忠厚、侠义,跟你合得来的人。他喜欢你做的一切,你喜欢他做的一切,这就是好夫妻,否则,花无法为悦己者容。

Find someone honest, chivalrous, and who gets along well with you. He likes everything you do, and vice versa. This makes for a good relationship. Otherwise, you won’t find someone who takes pleasure in what you do.

7) 不要为爱情增添附加条件。婚姻是搭伙过日子,不是谁养谁。男人要有养家的能力,但并不代表你不需要工作。

Love should not come with additional conditions. Marriage is about a partnership, not one person living off the other. The man must be able to support the family, but it doesn’t mean that you do not have to work.

8) 会动手打女人的男人绝不能要。高大魁梧的男人,如果对你不好,打起你来又狠又重,弄不好你的小身板就被打散架了。

Never accept a man who beats women. A big, burly man, when nasty to you, can break your bones.

9) 不要爱上帅气的男人。这类男人通常都是大众情人,中老年妇女的偶像,今天是你的,明天说不上就是别人的,如果你甘愿跟别的女人共同瓜分他,那么,就请义无反顾的爱吧!

Don’t fall in love with a handsome man. He is usually attractive to many, idolized by middle-aged women. He could be yours today, and perhaps someone else’s tomorrow. If you don’t mind sharing him with other women, then go ahead and love him.

10) 不要爱上没有道德的男人。有道德的人远比别墅、名车金贵,金钱能给你带来享受却不能带来幸福,人是有灵魂的,精神的充实远比身体的享受令人愉悦。

Don’t fall in love with a man without morals. A man with good morals is more valuable than villas and fast cars. Money can bring you enjoyment but not lasting happiness. The soul derives more joy from spiritual fulfillment than physical pleasure.

~

Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for the accuracy of the English translations – I’ve done my best. Such translation work usually gives me headaches. But I thought that people who can’t understand Chinese might appreciate the translation. Let me know in the comments below if you’ve enjoyed this. And I’ll go on to translate the rest. :)

Maku Store: Now In Singapore! :D

Maku Store Singapore

Maku Store has finally landed in Singapore, and I’m happy to announce that I’m one of their Preferred Bloggers! :D So watch out for more giveaways and promotions featuring Maku Store’s products! :D

Located at Bugis Junction, #03-20, there is a wide range of merchandise to choose from: tees, caps, backpacks, wallets, luggage, totes. And they are all at wallet-friendly prices! You can even download the free Maku Store Singapore mobile app and view some of the products on your phone, including the newest items you can pre-order:

Maku Store Singapore

The backpacks are their bestsellers. And I love backpacks because carrying totes always cause shoulder aches. I get even weight distribution with backpacks.

Maku Store Singapore

Maku Store Singapore

The best part is that Maku Store items usually come in small quantities – about 3 to 5 pieces only. So it is unlikely that you’ll spot someone else on the streets carrying the same bag as you (try carrying a Crumpler bag :P)

Maku Store Singapore

Their luggage with that unique denim design is very cool too. And for the guys, check out the special features of some of their bags – ask the sales assistant to recommend the coolest ones to you, like this one I call the Transformer:

Carry it like a normal backpack:

Maku Store Singapore

Or as a cross-shoulder bag:

Maku Store Singapore

OR stuff the straps into the hidden back compartment and carry the bag like you would a briefcase:

Maku Store Singapore

~

Follow me on Facebook for more Maku Store updates and giveaways! :D And oh, if you pop by Maku Store at Bugis Junction, you get 15% discount storewide if you’re a fan of my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thegracetan

And that’s not all…

(1) FREE SOCKS

Maku Store Singapore

(2) GIVEAWAYS

Maku Store Singapore

(3) See the NEW ARRIVALS

Maku Store Singapore

I polled my fans to find out which color they think this clutch looks best in: pink, blue or black. And…

54% chose black

30% chose pink

16% chose blue

And yes, I do agree. Based on my outfit choice that day, black seemed like a better match. Pink is definitely pretty, but I’ll need to choose a matching outfit AND take good care of the clutch to ensure it doesn’t get dirty. :D

~ Stay Tuned for more Maku Store Singapore updates !!! ~

What Makes Happy People Happy?

Some people I meet are just so happy all the time. And I can’t help wondering what’s the secret. Are they on drugs? Can we bottle ‘happiness’ and sell it? So I’ve asked a couple of them, discovered my own secrets to happiness, and in this blogpost, I’m HAPPY (hur hur) to share with you the 4 keys to happiness I’ve discovered. Let’s go…

#1: Have Many Things Which Make You Happy

If you have just 1 thing that makes you happy, you might not be happy very often. For instance, if ONLY becoming a millionaire will make you happy, then for the number of years you take to get to that level, you’ll be unhappy. And if you die without becoming a millionaire, you’ve just led a sad life.

Find joy in as many things as you can. Little kids who smile at me make me happy. Eating ice cream makes me happy. Eating soggy fries makes me super happy. Great books, wonderful conversations, good food, a yummy cup of bubble tea, a funny movie, comments from readers and fans who love what I do, clients who love me, travel, shopping, etc – all these things make me happy.

#2: Be Happy For No Reason

Most people don’t know this. But I was a teacher at an enrichment center before I started work at Adam Khoo’s company. And I taught the most adorable 4 to 6 year olds, who came in to class every single day just brimming with joy. And they can’t tell me why. I ask if it’s because they went to McDonald’s before class. The answer is no. They’re just happy to be in class, happy to be with their friends, and maybe, happy to see me too. :D

#3: Allow Yourself To Be Happy

Then, of course, I have met some people who are unhappy or just stuck in that middle zone (between feeling happy and feeling unhappy). Some don’t give themselves permission to be happy because of something that happened in the past, something someone (or a fortune teller) said to them, something they are still beating themselves up over, or because they just don’t think they deserve to be happy.

Truth is, all of us deserve to be happy. And in the search for the meaning of life, we are given clues into our life’s purpose. If something isn’t what you’re meant to be doing, you’ll likely not be very happy doing it. Take that as a clue to move on to something else, till you find one that makes your heart sing.

#4: Help Someone Out, Even When You Need Help Yourself

When you help someone, even if you don’t meet the person, you instantly feel good about yourself. And good things will start happening too, miraculously. Give to charity. Volunteer your time, even if you have no money to give. When you are feeling down and out, being able to help someone else will immediately help ‘elevate’ your position. You don’t feel powerless anymore. You feel empowered.

Give – every time you get an opportunity.

~

Someone bought my $22 ‘Blogging For A Living’ book today and gave me $30. I didn’t have change for him – I said I can do a bank transfer to him later. He told me to donate the change to charity instead.

 House Of Joy

Later on, I spotted a booth at Vivocity selling these handicrafts made by the elderly at House of Joy in Mounbatten. And I just wanted to support them in some little way for providing these elders with meaningful activities in their centre.

So I bought $24 (multiplying the book change by 3) worth of gifts for my friends.

It made me happy knowing that I’m contributing to a meaningful cause. I believe it’ll make the book buyer happy that I not only gave away the money on his behalf, but tripled it! Also, I’m sure the elderly folks who pop by House of Joy daily will continue deriving joy from the workshops held at the centre. And I believe the people who receive these handicrafts as gifts will get a slice of the happiness pie too.

Make someone happy today. You cannot put a smile on someone’s face without putting one on yours too. :D Go be happy!

Up Close With An Electric Bike in Singapore :D

I gave my friend, Jiahe, a lunch treat at Carousel yesterday, and he actually cycled to Royal Plaza on Scotts on his electric bike! Here he is, all geared up with cute helmet and anti-UV clothing. I have NEVER seen anyone our age on an electric bike before, and I’ll confess I’ve never ridden one either. SO this is exciting! :D

Electric Bike Singapore

[You may have seen him modeling in my blogpost about *celio some time back]

He bought the bike for S$888 and cannot stop raving about it. :D He also made some cool modifications to the bike, such as adding on a basket and a holder for his handphone so it instantly becomes his vehicle’s GPS system. Smart fella, this one!

I could not resist a photo:

Electric Bike Singapore

There are a number of restrictions from LTA regarding electric bikes. So it’d be good to get familiar with them before making your purchase!

“For the safety of cyclists and other road users, only low-powered models approved by the LTA and affixed with an LTA seal are allowed for use. The electric motor can cut in only when the rider starts to pedal, and it must cut off when the bicycle reaches a speed of 25kmh or when the pedalling stops.

Motorised bicycles are permitted for use only on public roads, and should not be used on pedestrian pavements. Anyone found using or keeping an unapproved motorised bicycle may be charged in court and, upon conviction, be subject to a fine of up to S$1,000 or three months’ imprisonment.

For modifying a motorised bicycle illegally, the person found liable would be subject to a fine of S$2,000 or three months’ imprisonment upon conviction.”

(Source: todayonline.com)

Jiahe shared that the battery requires charging for 10 hours, but such a bike is friendly to the environment as it does not produce fumes, unlike motorcycles and cars. Also, despite the 10hrs of charging, it’ll only cost you 20 cents! In Singapore, these bikes are only allowed to go at 25kmh though, so it makes sense only if you need to travel back and forth multiple times within a small area, e.g. if you do food deliveries in the CBD area. :)

Carousel’s Award-winning Buffet – At Royal Plaza on Scotts

I had lunch today with my pals at Carousel Buffet at Royal Plaza on Scotts. For the price I paid, I felt it was a really good lunch, though 2 hours seemed like too little time for makan and catching up with my friends. :D

Here’s the buffet price list (accurate as at 15 Sept 2014)..

Carousel Buffet - Pricing [Source: Carousel's website]


Menu Description:

Carousel Buffet - Menu Description

I really liked their sashimi, which was really fresh. The prawns and shellfish were good as well. What blew me away was the Black Chicken Ginseng Soup – I’ve never visited a buffet that served Chinese soup. It was nothing short of amazing! After you’ve been eating the sashimi and drinking cold water, that little bowl of hot soup just hits the right spot and make you want to go “Aahhhhh”. :D

Carousel Buffet - Sashimi

And of course, dessert was flawless. One chocolate fountain might need company. So why not have three of them? :D (The middle one tastes the best)

Carousel Buffet - Dessert

They also had what looked like a giant lava cake (which they called chocolate pudding, or something along those lines) with an amazingly chocolately centre, which I paired with their Chocolate Obsession ice cream. It was a nice mix of warm cake and cold ice cream, and lots of chocolate. I died and went to dessert heaven.

I didn’t eat any of the salads or cheese, nor too much seafood. But I really love the selection of Asian cuisine at Carousel. I just DID NOT HAVE ENOUGH TIME!

I’ll definitely be back. For dinner in future. So I can eat for three hours instead of rushing to complete my meal in two. :D

If you’re heading there, do make a reservation first! The easiest way to do this (the hotline’s really busy) is to head online – to the Carousel Buffet website: http://www.carouselbuffet.com.sg/.

Hai Di Lao Hot Pot Clarke Quay 海底捞火锅: It’s All About The Service

Hai Di Lao

Some time back, I went with my pal, Steven, and one of my trainers, to Hai Di Lao at Clarke Quay. It’s apparently fully booked most of the time, unless you go for an early dinner, for instance.

I was curious to find out how this place draws the crowds. The answer is simple: the impeccable service.

A waitress constantly hovered near our table to attend to our needs. The staff are also generous with their compliments, and they were happy to call us “美女” and “帅哥”. It always makes me feel uncomfortable when a PRC man or woman calls me 美女. Case in point – the other day at the MRT station:

Me: (engrossed in the fb newsfeed on my phone)

PRC lady: “美女”

Me: (Giving her a look that asks “What do you want? My money or my phone? Or both?!)

Turns out she just wanted directions.

~

Dinner that evening at Hai Di Lao was passable. Two soup bases (tomato and chicken), lotsa meat, a fruit platter, some vegetables and the bill came up to S$122 for 3 pax. There’s also a fruit buffet corner where you can eat all the fruit you want.

Too bad I didn’t get to experience the free manicure. But we were given plastic ziplock bags for our handphones, warm towels, cloth to prevent splashes onto my bag, wiping cloths for handphone screens (which the guys took home).

I’m not exactly impressed with the quality of the food. It just ranks as ‘normal’ to me. But if you order some noodles, a guy will come by your table and stretch and swing the dough around your head like a super long whip, crafting noodle strands out of it while you wonder if the dough touched your hair, or the floor, or the back of that chair. Clapping is optional.

If you’d like to impress a visitor with the awesome service standards in Singapore, then head to Hai Di Lao. If not, just eat anywhere else. ;)

Address: 2nd Floor, 3D Building, River Valley Road, Clarke Quay,Singapore
Tel: +65 63378626 / 63378627

Opening Hours: 10.30am to 3am (yes, 3am! Supper for you?)

I Created My Own Perfume at Singapore Poly’s Scent Lab! Woohoo! :D

Boys and Girls, you can call me Professor Tan! :D

SP Scent Lab

Upon SP’s invitation, I made my way down to their Scent Lab today. Truth be told, I once took a module on cosmetics and perfumes in NUS, so I’m no stranger to top notes, base notes and all. But making my own perfume? It was definitely a first for me, and super exciting. :D

SP offers a Diploma in Perfumery & Cosmetic Science (DPCS) – the only full-time diploma course in Asia for people interested in perfumery! For more information, head to http://www.sp.edu.sg and search under ‘Courses’.

And back to the perfumes I created…

SP Scent Lab

I’m holding Grace No.1 in this picture above, named after Chanel No.5. LOL. There is a Grace No.2 as well – it comes with a hint of jasmine.

The perfumer and lecturer were both impressed with my formulations. I guess it is because of several factors:

1) I chose only the scents I liked. So cedarwood, for instance, did not make it into my formulation.

2) I wrote the ‘ingredients’ down on paper first and listed the quantity by the side, before trying to put it all together. Sniffing and mixing as you go does not help. Even if you get a fantastic scent, you’ll have no idea what went into it, and in what proportion too. :)

3) I used more of the Apple Base and the ‘CK One’ base (the CK One fragrance is one of my all-time favs)!

Did You Know?

  1. There are Top Notes, Middle Notes and Base Notes. So do not hurry to buy a perfume at first sniff. Once the top note wears off, you may or may not like the middle and base notes. ;)
  2. The ‘Apple’ scent is synthetic. Unlike oranges, you cannot extract oils from the skin of apples.
  3. If you are experiencing nasal fatigue from smelling too many scents, you can take a sniff of coffee beans OR smell your own sleeve!
  4. Any scent with jasmine is likely to be expensive because you need 8,000 flowers to get 1gram of jasmine for your perfume.
  5. CK One is the first unisex fragrance ever created.
  6. There is a machine which can distill any perfume and figure out its composition. So you can re-create your favorite ‘branded’ perfumes in the lab. Hehe. ;)

If you’re a student about to enrol in this diploma course, good for you! *envious* You’ll definitely have a lot of fun! :D

Factory Tour: Julie’s Biscuits, Malacca

Julie's Biscuits

Thanks to Julie’s Biscuits / Perfect Food Manufacturing, I had the opportunity of touring one of their factories in Malacca and also bringing home lots of their yummy biscuits! :D

I’m doing a giveaway of the biscuits in a LINE collectible tin. So if you haven’t participated already, hurry on over to my facebook page:

Julie's Biscuits

The company, Perfect Food Manufacturing, was established in 1981 and since then it has exported its biscuits to countries all around the world, been accredited with ISO 9001:2008, GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices), HACCP, OHSAS, etc. Also, many awards have been won – recent ones include the ‘Industry Excellent (Food Industries)’ award at the Malaysia Business Awards 2013, Gulfood Highly Commended Best New Baked Product 2013 and Best New Bakery Products 2013 by Fine Food Australia.

I love their Peanut Butter Sandwich and Cheese Sandwich biscuits. And the Le-Mond Puff Mango Flavoured Sandwich has been my favorite for a very long time. My Dad has also been purchasing their Oat Cookies recently. I guess we each have our favs because of the stunning variety of baked goods in the Julie’s Biscuit range!

All of us bloggers were met with a really warm reception at the factory…

Group Picture with all the other bloggers:

Julie's Biscuits

Lunch was Malaysian style and nothing short of amazing. I loved the sambal prawns. I really need to learn how to cook those. And though we were all starving from the long coach ride, we still took the necessary pictures first. Hahaha. As I couldn’t get near the food, I gave up and took this picture. LOL…

Julie's Biscuits

We also sat through a very informative session after lunch and got to learn more about the company. What impressed me most was not the emphasis on baking with love (‘cos we know that already, don’t we?) but the care for their workers. Those who joined the company and were deemed “too skinny” were given 2 eggs everyday with their meals at the staff canteen, for an entire month! Also, there’s a hostel for them, and they get free food at the canteen everyday (unless they get sick of the food and venture outside for meals).

Here I am with Regina and HP, two of the nicest bloggers in the group. :D

Julie's Biscuits

And one final picture… from the presentation. At the launch event of their Julie’s x LINE biscuits, they had the awesome mascots go on stage for photos and some fun. However did I miss this?!

Julie's Biscuits

Thank you Julie’s / Perfect Food Manufacturing! :)