Success

What does success mean to you?

Earlier this week, I attended a funeral for one of the biggest players in the Food and Beverage Industry. Rather than a solemn gathering, it was held as a celebration for his life.

The man was in his mid-40s when he passed, definitely taken too young.

But in his life, he carved a name for himself, his company, becoming a key player in his industry. He had a successful business, a loving family, beautiful kids. He was humble, smart and willing to lend a helping hand. A rarity.

It was an afternoon of learning about the man behind the scenes, his adventures with others and how he dedicated his life to his two loves, his family and his business. You look at his life and you know he was successful.

As I was heading home, I ended up in an uber with a man in his mid-40s as well. He explained to me how he chose to become a full-time uber driver after he paid off all the mortgages for his family, allowing him to quit his job. He had very little financial obligations after the mortgages. Another humble man, he said I would not be able to see him for another 6 months because he was flying to Tokyo to study dog care. He wanted to return to HK to build a dog care centre.

Whether its building an empire or being able to live your life in your own means, success is what you make of it.

It got me thinking, what do I want my success to be defined as?

What is my legacy?

-b.

Review: Keto OS


Ketosis in a nutshell is when your body uses fat as fuel rather than glucose. This either happens when you are on a low carb diet or through taking ketone supplements to tell your body to burn fat. 

KetoHK gave me a sample of their Keto OS formula. They were also very informative and guided me through exactly how to take it and what to expect. 

  1. Take it in the morning as it has caffeine 
  2. Take it with 500ml of water
  3. Drink it slow: 30min
  4. Your stomach will feel funny especially if you’re not used to ketones

My other suggestions are to avoid taking your morning cup of joe because you will feel the gradual kick and you may not need the extra caffeine and to eat 30min after you finish Keto OS. The reason why I say that is because it generally takes, on average, 30min for stuff to move through your stomach. And with any change to your diet, it’s best to do a slow introduction. 

I was surprised at the colour because it looks like a yogurt drink whereas it’s chocolate flavoured so I expected a deep brown colour! But hey, less colouring.

Overall – it’s easy to drink – it tastes like a less thick version of a chocolate protein shake. You do have to remember to keep stirring it because the supplement sinks to the bottom. 

If you aren’t used to the chocolate taste in protein shakes, you may not be used to the taste. 

What really surprised me was how focused I was for the entire morning. It felt like I was on Red Bull. I drank it at 8:40AM and by lunchtime, I was still quite alert. The feeling did fade a while after lunch. It also kept me quite full. I actually didn’t feel hungry until around 11AM. If you have a light breakfast with it, it can take you straight to lunch without snacking. 

Even though my body has gone through cycles of ketosis before through my training, this time, I felt less tired and my body didn’t seem to reject it because I wasn’t trying to force ketosis through carb restriction. 

Your digestion system will feel different. Mine felt like it was working harder so there were some grumbles in the morning but no bloating.

Let’s see what the effects are tomorrow.

KetoHK
-b.

Want


For the longest time, I’ve been thinking of what exactly I want this blog to be about.

Do I want it to be my open book?

On the other hand, I know exactly what I don’t want it to be. Back in the day, the world knew exactly how many calories I ate in a day, the breakdown of my foods and my exercise routine. For 2 years, people knew my daily weight, my progress photos and my measurements.


It motivated me to keep going, to come up with new recipe ideas, exercise routines and to look better.

Unfortunately, the ugly side reared its head.

I had 200 odd followers on my weight loss blog and a few girls decided that they were to become anorexic and bulimic because they wanted my progress photos but not the process I took. Instead, I found my photos all over Xanga, with the tag THINSPO.

It broke my heart to see girls writing about their daily struggles to lose weight through anorexia. And when I did have the courage to reach out, I was told it was their only way.

That’s when I closed my blog down.

Now, I’m at odds, what exactly do I want this to be?

-b.

Kawasaki Warehouse

Sorry for being MIA, I was in Tokyo for the past week and am slowly uploading my ventures both on Instagram and on here.

One of the most interesting places I went to was not a temple or one of the busy shopping streets or an owl cafe, but a warehouse in the outskirts of Tokyo.

So why was this warehouse so enticing?

Because it had a small replica of the Kowloon Walled City, a dystopian slum with no laws within Hong Kong.

Think of dense, dark underworld of Blade Runner, Dredd, Total Recall, and Neo Seoul from Cloud Atlas. Basically, all things cyberpunk would have found some form of inspiration to build that dystopian future setting we know and love.

The original Kowloon Walled City was demolished in the 90s and a park was built in its place. There were stories about life inside the city and photos, however, to really be in that atmosphere is an entirely different experience.

The Kawasaki Warehouse is actually a 4-storey arcade with the first 2 floors dedicated to a recreation of the Kowloon Walled City.

They even have a broadcast of Chinese aunties talking about visiting it to buy some necessities. If you play the video, you can hear it in the background.

Like the original KWC, there is hardly any light in the corridors.

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The entrance to KWC through the parking lot.

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The doors slide open and you enter this eerie walkway. You have to walk across the stones while an ominous music plays in the background and green liquid spills from both walls.

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The backdrop of the arcade in KWC.

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They say the buildings were so close to each other that no sunlight entered the city.

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Meat in the market.

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On the second floor, there are narrow walkways you walk along to peek into some of the building windows.

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One such window.

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True to culture, clothes dangling precariously outside windows.

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It reads 1 bedroom and 1 living room, 395 sq. ft. for rent at 3800HKD/mo.

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A prostitute’s home.

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In KWC, it was not uncommon to find such small rooms and people living in them. Crime was rampant inside.

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Upon exiting – photo from the video.

If you were in the Yokohama area, it is worth checking out. I wouldn’t make it a day trip as you only need to spend 1 hour there.

Here is the map:

 

-b.

Restless

Being Asian meant I have to uphold the Asian values:
1. Do well in school
2. Find a reputable profession
3. Become wealthier than parents
4. Get married

Lately, I find myself asking the same questions over and over again; do I really want to live a checklist life?

When I was younger, I admit, there was always an air of loneliness that loomed over my head. I didn’t quite understand it at the time, but now I do.

It wasn’t loneliness that I felt, it was insecurity. That feeling of uncertainty and the need to be with someone, like an anchor stopping a ship from drifting off into the sea.

I was alone in Hong Kong, with no friends or family. When you’re scared and alone, you desperately want someone to lean on.

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I remember looking up the statistics on the ratio between women to men. The population of women to men was 2:1. That scared me and it still scares me.

But what scares me more is the loss of my freedom.

While it is amazing to have a partner to lean on, I value my freedom more.

Yes, it is great to have someone to go on adventures with.
Yes, it is great to have someone to talk to.
Yes, it is great to have someone you can spend your weekends with.

But at what cost?

The older I get, the less afraid I am of dealing with everything alone.
The older I get, the more I value my alone time.
The older I get, the less patience I have for servitude.

Growing up, my family was unique. Rather than placing importance on face time, the importance was placed on support. Even though we see each other once or twice a year, for a duration of 24-48 hours max., the support is there. You never feel alone.

In Hong Kong, it is the contrary. The importance is placed on face time.

Because my family is not in Hong Kong, I am at a disadvantage because more often than not, I am forced to conform to other peoples’ standards.

 
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The same patterns of people exist here and I realized none of those patterns fit me.

And yet, in the 3 years I have been here, I have not met anyone who can understand my values.

If that is the case, why should I continue to conform?

My life is not lived to serve anybody else.
My life is lived to become a better me.

-b.

Cloud Atlas

Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others, past and present. And by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future. Sonmi-451:Cloud Atlas

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Last night, I took a friend to a speakeasy, a getaway of sorts.

Not many people know about my past, and those who do, only know tidbits.

It’s not the immediate past I am concerned about.

Every person has their own belief system. Some call it religion, others call it a soul.

Do you believe in karma?

I do.

The first time I watched Cloud Atlas, I was fascinated with the storyline, how, through the actions of the characters, the decisions they made in every lifetime, shaped their next life.

To me, it was a masterpiece. Critics dubbed it an impossible to film book. But they did it anyways. Some criticized the film as “yellow-facing”, making Caucasians look Asian so they don’t have to hire Asians. But what they missed was that, the characters spanned through ages, genders and race. What they missed was that the Asian actresses were also made to look like other races in the different timelines.

Karma does not discriminate.

There are moments of redemption, just as there are moments of deterioration.

And that’s what the book and film tries to illustrate.

We move through our lifetimes. Each time, we are dealt a different hand. How we choose to live our lives determines the next hand. And with every hand, do we choose to be a better self or do we choose to live a life of pure consumption and excess?

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People ask me why certain things only seem to happen to me or why I seem to attract an alarming amount of bad luck.

I joke, saying in my past life, I must’ve done some pretty bad deeds.

On the other hand, I would love to know who or what I was in a previous life.

-b.

Steampunk

Growing up, I loved Steampunk because it was a fantasy of living both in the past and in the future.

I was lucky enough to have a close relationship to my maternal grandfather who shared with me the stories of his youth and his time in the service during World War II. And that led me to have a healthy appetite for history.

I remember the first time I went to Disneyland in Orlando, Florida, being in awe of Tomorrowland and Main Street USA, bringing back some retro elements from the 1950s.

There was always a sense of adventure.

I guess that’s why I keep re-watching cult classics like:

20,000 Leagues under the Sea
Cloud Atlas
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
The Mummy I and II
Sky Captain and the Land of Tomorrow
Suckerpunch

And yes, I do imagine what life would be like if we actually did live in a steampunk world, it seems pretty awesome.

I’m also lucky enough to be in Hong Kong, where we have both Ocean Park and Disneyland, two large theme parks.

My favourite is (hands-down) Disneyland even though it is much smaller with more vanilla rides. It is due to the ambience and their strict attention to detail on the most minute things. When you’re in Disney, you do feel like you’re transported to another world.

Over the weekend, I decided to hit up their newest hotel, Explorer’s Lodge. At first, I tried to pinpoint the era, but it had both elements of the late 1890s and 1950s. It reminds me of the opening scene of UP, when Carl and Ellie talk about Paradise Falls when they were kids. It’s also an extension of the Mystic Manor ride in Mystic Point, a dark ride in the park.

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-b.