Batam food

Rain might have disrupted plans to visit the duck restaurant, but I can still show you the food court, the other main place we eat at and pack food back to the hotel whenever we visit.  My cousin, Kelly, and his family, sometimes tag along and they enjoy dinners here too 🙂  What can I say?  Singaporeans are born and bred foodies after all 😛

Dotted with stalls selling a variety of local seafood, meat and vegetable dishes, the food court is popular with tourists and locals alike.  It can be hard to decide what to eat when there’re so many options available!  Outdoor seating is especially pleasant in the evenings.  The breezes are so strong that sometimes menus and paper plates, still stained with remnants of food and sauces, are sent flying.

The place is packed on weekend nights.  During this visit, we managed to finish our shopping early and bagged a choice table in front of the large screen before hungry hordes arrived.

A must-try is the live mantis shrimp.  According to a Hong Kong general manager of the now-defunct Noble House restaurant back in Singapore, Cantonese establishments serve the freshest live seafood steamed; only dead ones are deep fried to disguise the lack of freshness.  Ever since then, I only ever order steamed seafood if stall or restaurant owners are Chinese.

Mantis shrimps have a naturally sweet taste and the clear briny broth with egg white, julienned ginger and carrot is fantastic spooned over white rice.  We weren’t too happy with stall owners who fleeced us when we ordered some fries.  $3.50 is too much to pay for a small plate of them when the potatoes aren’t as nice as MacDonald’s once they’re cold.  You’re better off ordering fries at your hotel.  Don’t say you weren’t warned 😛

Dinner on our first night was excellent.  The stall was generous with the chopped dried shrimp which they used to cook our sambal okra.  It is perfect with white rice.  Eat it alone and your mouth is on fire after a few mouthfuls.  Beer lovers like us will like the omelette with shrimps, onions and slices of chilli, drenched in brown gravy.

Fried fish and roasted chicken for lunch on day 2 were poor substitutes for what we could’ve had at the duck restaurant, but I’m just happy that we didn’t need to go hungry.

I hardly look out of hotel windows, but hubster beckoned just before the downpours started on day 2.  Swollen dark clouds made Batam look gloomy yet so beautiful at the same time.  I couldn’t resist capturing it for posterity.



Are we suffering from #FirstWorldProblems?

Devouring fashion blogs is a second favourite hobby – after exercise, of course 😛  Whilst I absolutely love the colourful and cute outfits the authors put together, their constant lamenting about the lack of trendy clothes in their sizes, body image and beauty standards leaves me confused.  These women have enough style to last the rest of us a lifetime, enjoy delicious meals that are aesthetically pleasing yet affordable, earn more than many of us do in this region and have tons of fun at amusement parks, pumpkin patches and flower fields.

What are they complaining about? *puzzled*  Try coming to Southeast Asia.  The only Disneyland can be found in HongKong.  Good luck trying to locate a single flower field in Singapore.  Many Indonesians work for a pittance.  Our food, which I’ve blogged about before, may be fresh, but they don’t look like culinary works of art.  If we want those, they cost too much for us to eat them as regularly.

I’m not dismissing the bloggers’ issues.  Everyone has them and I’m sure their feelings of inadequacy are very real and valid.  But looking at their lives through the eyes of someone living in Southeast Asia, I can’t help thinking that they’re incredibly fortunate.  Do they know that, in some parts of the world, people brave traffic in order to knock on motorists’ car windows and sell snacks for a few cents?  Whenever I see this, I count my blessings that I’m seated in air-conditioned comfort and not working in the sweltering sun.

In Batam, I saw a family walk to the drain to wash their dirty dishes because their electricity had been cut off.  When people don’t have enough money for basic necessities such as fresh water, suddenly, not eating aesthetically pleasing but expensive food every so often seems trivial.  Maybe these fashion influencers need to open up their minds to this part of the world.

Singapore is considered a developed nation, but we lag behind western nations in terms of modcons, fine dining experiences, the sheer amount of cute fashion and high salaries.  We work far harder for much less money and fewer opportunities.  And yet, after seeing what life is like in countries that are less modern, I consider myself incredibly lucky.

Sure, I could focus on what I don’t have and complain incessantly.  But why do that when it only makes me unhappy?  Instead, focusing on what I do have leaves me filled with gratitude.  It keeps me positive and cheerful on most days.  I think hubster prefers me like this.


Shopping in Batam

Tourists generally gravitate towards 2 main shopping areas – Nagoya Hill and BCS.  With malls, food and accommodation clustered together, it’s super convenient.  The former houses trendy international retail shops; the latter, what locals wear.  We prefer BCS 🙂  This mall is a treasure trove if, like me, you like mixing cheap basics with whatever you already have back home.

In this entry, I’m introducing you to 2 shops I always MUST visit during our monthly getaways – 1 where I bought an elastic fuschia bead bracelet (tiny wrists are a nightmare when you’re looking for sparkling bangles) for just S$1.50 and 1 where I buy casual tops, bottoms and heavenly light knit bodycon dresses.  Staff are incredibly friendly and, once they’re familiar with your style, they recommend you designs from amongst their new arrivals!

First, clothes.  I adore the sales lady here so much that, if she’s not in the shop, I won’t buy anything and head to another outlet on level 2, which is where I scored the black lace-up top which I wore in the photos.  This particular shop is my apparel haven.  See the red and white striped dress?  It’s a bodycon and I HAD to have it!  The dress, together with 3 casual tops, set me back a hefty…….. S$35/- 😛  Fashionistas will know what scoring a bargain does to a girl’s mood.  Most clothes are free size here, since lightweight knits are incredibly stretchy.

Accessories are a girl’s best friend and a shop that stocks everything from bags and girly cosmetic pouches to all kinds of hair clips, scrunchies and rhinestone bobby pins to sparkling crystal or bead jewellery at rock bottom prices is every girl’s dream.  That’s the reason I always pop by this oulet whenever I visit Batam.  Alas, I was looking for bracelets and all of them were too big for my tiny wrists.

So we headed to the supermarket where I bought shampoo, milk facial cleansers and an everyday lipstick in coral.

Batam is a shopping haven if you like electronic gadgets, clothes, accessories and footwear.  It may lack the glamour and glitz of Jakarta, but for laidback charm and a slower pace of life, it is the place to be if you visit Indonesia.  And it suits this chick just fine ❤


Dear #BodyPositive advocates: you don’t know our story either – from a thin chick

The fat positive activists remind society that, whilst some people love to judge the obese, they don’t always know everyone’s story.  Some might have already shed half their weight or may be fighting for their health.  Moral of the story?  Don’t judge.  I totally agree!  Similarly, although skinny folks enjoy so-called thin privilege, like everyone else, each of us has our unique struggles – some with weight, some with other issues.  So please, don’t juge us.

Before hitting 30, the effects of my spinal injury from the auto accident weren’t apparent.  From my late teens to late 20s, I had no idea how debilitating the pain would eventually be, or how it would affect me later in life.  Imagine having to make 3 supermarket trips instead of 1 for the same amount of groceries and you’ll have a glimpse of my life without hubster around to help.

It’s not that I don’t want to support your feminism causes to the fullest; I’ll always back women if inclusivity means even slim ladies can participate in a movement.  But, at the same time, I cannot deny that men have made my life easier.  When life throws you curveballs, you truly learn to be grateful for all the help you can get.  And when you can’t be as active as you used to be, you appreciate the muscles you could build when you played basketball or went canoeing with friends – activities I can no longer participate in.

I used to be heavier, but it was pure fitness.  I miss that.  My thin build now isn’t the old physique I remember from teenage years.  But when I think back to that fateful day when my doctor diagnosed my spine injury and the depression that followed after giving up all the sports I loved, I’m filled with gratitude that I can still exercise and remain active.

I may not know your story.  Neither do you know mine.  I accept you as you are.  All I ask is, please accept me too.  Likewise, skinny shaming is hurtful to those with frames like mine.  I may be confident about my body after embarking on my health journey, but not all slender ladies feel the same way about their figures.  Please treat us like how you want to be treated – with respect and courtesy.

Ultimately, we’re all just human beings trying to survive in a harsh world.  If we can all be nice to one another, perhaps it will make life easier.


#BodyPositivity #BoPo #BodyPosi

I Hotel Baloi – the pool and gym

Hubster coined the term, ‘liedownsitis’ – it causes one to not want to get up after lying down.  To illustrate, this is him afflicted by the condition once he made himself comfortable on the warm and comfortable hotel bed 😛

Anyway, we did manage to start the day.  The gym, or fitness centre, is the single most important factor when this chick is deciding on our travel accommodation.  It doesn’t matter if a hotel is shabby, old or no-frills.  I can live with that.  But if it doesn’t house a gym, forget it.  Not happy 😛

Looks familiar? 🙂  This is THE gym which is featured most often in my blog! ❤  And since we go on quick getaways once a month, you can guess how embarrassingly low my gym visits are :/  Happily, there’re other exercises to do when we’re not on vacation.

I Hotel Baloi is about 2 years old, so the equipment is still brand new and modern.  At least the treadmill doesn’t snag in the middle of your inclined brisk walk!  It can get a little crowded with Singaporeans during peak season, such as public and school holidays, but on a regular weekend, it’s wonderfully empty and spacious.  I love how bright and airy it is 🙂

Heavy lifters often step outside for a short break between sets.  Leaning against the wall, they catch their breath as they gaze at the surroundings.

Staff clean the pool early in the morning, which is usually about the time we start exercising.  The peace and quiet is lovely when we’re the first to use the gym since we can fully concentrate on our sweat sessions 🙂

Done!  The weather is rather iffy this time of the year.  The downpour has just started, bummer.  Keeping my fingers crossed that it eases up so I can go to the mall and buy what I need later.


Sending thanks to the men

With women dominating the conversation nowadays (oh c’mon lads, surely you know by now that women talk too much? :P), we’ve left the poor dudes to languish in a dark corner.  So this post is for the neglected guys.  I need to send an enormous virtual hug and thank you to those who’ve taken the time to drop me some kind words.

Body shaming is so huge now that online publications feature tons of articles about men criticising women’s figures.  With little mention of those who’ve been sweet (save for virtue signallers such as Robbie Tripp), it’s easy to forget that, for every jerk out there, there’re just as many, or even more, nice fellas.

To restore women’s faith in men and, possibly, in humanity itself, I decided to regularly share the uplifting and kind words I receive from the lads.  And I’m not even a model!  Men are misogynists?  Nope, not at all.

So to these wonderful folks, thank you.  Not only have you brought smiles to my day, you’re bringing positivity into the lives of other women.  I truly appreciate your time 🙂


#BodyPositivity #BodyPositive #BoPo #BodyPosi #Feminism #Feminist #HowToSpotAFeminist #SocialJustice #SJW

Hello from Batam and Ta’lor Pinkspen’s fashion

Everyone excels at something.  I may have a modestly solid grasp where health and weight matters are concerned, but when it comes to fashion, blogger with sass and tons of pizazz Ta’lor Pinkspen completely blows me out of the water.  All hail the style queen!  I just saw a post in which she accomplished the impossible – look hot when most of us would just look sweetie pie in a feminine romper.  What the heck, girl, gimme some of your attitude in a bottle!

Anyway, helloooooo from Batam!  I just reached the hotel (it’s the same one we stayed in the last time, so the room doesn’t need an introduction).  It’s been a long day and we’re tired as hell, so we’ll be grabbing dinner and some beers, then call it a night.  Tomorrow, I’m taking you across the street from the mall with me to a restaurant that specialises in duck.  We’ll see more of the shops in the mall, the food centre where we usually buy dinner from, as well as the hotel gym and swimming pool.

Gotta go.  Arrivederci!  Cya tomorrow!