20 Random Facts about Me

December 27, 2014

Back in September I may have copped out on the '20 Random Facts About Me' tag by volunteering my boyfriend as tribute (he had no say in it). Boo, hiss, spoilsport etc. but the surprising truth is that despite occupying an obnoxious amount of space on the internet with what is undoubtedly the most self-serving form of navel-gazing - that is, blogging - I'm actually quite a reserved person. Pick your rolling eyes up from the back of your skull - it's the God-honest truth, I swear it. Your disbelief is not unfounded, after all how can someone who has been eyeballed nearly 17 million times on Google+ (itself the most barren of social media deserts) profess themselves an introvert? That's the funny thing about people with selective attention whore tendencies - they love to share a very carefully curated version of their selves for validation and love from strangers while furiously hiding the more vulnerable, tender, and awkward aspects of their personalities which ironically is what makes them more human and therefore more endearing to a judgemental yet sympathetic public. 

So here I am, prostrating myself to you, with an offering of 20 Random Facts About me, myself, noone else, in the sincere and humble hope that perhaps you won't judge me too harshly for the lush you might think I am, and even see that behind the seemingly gilded veneer that I present on this blog - itself a performance piece of irony that has gone too far - and beneath all the fauxhemian affectations and trappings of a posh, broke, bored savant I am really just an ordinary person: warts, farts, and all. I'd ask you to be kind to me but then again it's my choice to write a blog, so I expect that dissent comes with the territory of putting yourself out there on the internet.


1. I used to openly pour my heart out but now I’m much more reserved. This is something that evolved as I grew older and realised that most people don't care, they are just curious. Also, never tell anyone about your problems: 80% don't care, the other 20% are glad you have them. 
2. I am generous to a fault. The few people who I call my friends know that I am very giving, always giving everything I have even when I have nothing left for myself. Because of this, I often attract people who need help or want something, and they always take advantage of my naive, giving nature. 
3. Here's a contradiction - I am at once incredibly confident and extremely insecure. I believe myself to be a force of nature (as does Malaysia Tatler) but all it takes is one ill-placed remark to make me question all the good I have done. I can go, in a flash, from admiring myself in the mirror for hours to covering all the mirrors in my house so that I won't be confronted with the sight of myself. 
4. I get extremely affected by sad news and inevitably cry whenever I read horrible things in the paper. I believe it is this reason that I have for so long chosen to insulate myself in a happy little bubble where all is right with the world, where everyone is privileged and born with a silver spoon in their mouths, and nothing as harsh as reality can penetrate this purposely sweet delusion.
5. Despite horrible things that have happened to me that no woman should endure on the basis of being the weaker gender, I still believe I was born under a lucky star. Everyday I remind myself to be grateful for the many blessings in my life and to extend whatever help I can to those who are vulnerable, frightened, and in need of kindness.
Outtake from a shoot with Malaysia Tatler. It's a shame they didn't use this shot as it's my favourite - I really want a high resolution copy of this photo!

Now that we've got the more 'heavy' things out of the way, here are some light-hearted facts about me.

6. I taught myself to sing operatically - or at least to sound classically trained to the novice ear - and my crazy, secret dream is to perform a musical role to a West End audience.  
7. I can sing Let It Go in two languages - English and Malay. 
8. I’m good with languages - I speak English, Malay, and a bit of Mandarin and Cantonese. I can pick up the 'feel' of a language quite quickly and repeat foreign sentences in a passable accent. This is why people think I'm better at languages than I actually am! But it's not all superficial, I actually learn languages quite easily. I taught myself some Japanese just by watching subtitled anime. 
9. Speaking of anime...I was a mangaka (an artist of manga) and I drew Pokemon doujinshi (fan comics) as a teenager. With a group of similarly imaginative nerds, we contributed to our own spin-off of the Pokemon anime with a role-playing comic series. Naturally, my character was a baddie in Team Rocket and her team were the five 'Eeveelutions': Jolteon, Vaporeon, Flareon, Espeon, and Umbron. It may also amuse you to know that the first comic series I wrote and drew was about super-powered hamsters with human bodies and sci-fi costumes. The main character was Rootski Tootski, a golden Syrian hamster in silver knee high boots who could fly and absorb other superhero's powers just by touching them. Rootski Tootski was based on Rogue from X-Men. 
10. Another nerd alert - I love collecting stationery. In high school, I expressed myself past the restrictive uniform code with a collection of baby blue stationery. I had a huge pastel blue zippered bag full of baby blue erasers, pens, highlighters, pencils, rulers - you name it, I had it - in baby blue. 
11. I suffer from mild asthma and carry a Ventolin inhaler on me at all times.
12.  I have a sick obsession with tweezing stubble off men's faces. Nothing gives me a bigger thrill than whipping out my tweezers and plucking out those little suckers. I've begged Henry to let me pluck some of his facial stubble - I started negotiation at two hairs but he bargained it down to zero. Bah. I'll get you one day Henry! *twitches* 
13. I've travelled to Europe, North America, the Caribbean, Australiasia. I haven't yet traveled to South America, Africa, Antarctica, and the Middle East. My dream destinations are Peru, Trinidad & Tobago, and Bora Bora.
My Triptease profile, in which I review some of my favourite places in the world.

14. My pinky fingers curve inward - they look almost like devil's horns. Freak. 
15. I’m extremely superstitious despite not being very religious at all. Whenever I'm in Kuala Lumpur I consult my fortune teller and ask advice for the coming three months, which I am open-minded about (after all, nothing is set in stone - the cards are there, but it is up to you to deal them, or delay and reduce their presence in your life) and type up on a piece of paper to keep near me as a loose reference. 
16. I gained my hoarder tendencies from my late grandfather. The man's house in Bukit Timah, Singapore, was like a museum of dusty artefacts - there were vintage Jaguars rotting on the lawn (including a stunning XKSS which more or less fell apart by the time I inherited it, grrr), swords in the hallway, relics in the dining room...he had a great big front half of an airplane in the garden of one of his houses, which he turned into a whisky bar cum karaoke lounge. His 'if you love it, buy it and deal with it later' nature is very much alive in me and given the chance I'd turn my home into a museum of curiosities. In fact my artist studio is basically an impermanent collection of vintage military clothing as old as the 1890s... 
17. My favourite colours are mint green, taupe, rose gold, and dove grey (sorry baby blue, you've fallen out of favour with me). If it's mint green, I'll buy it - I have dresses and shoes in mint green that I'll never wear, a suitcase in mint green that I'm too afraid to check in for fear of scratching its lovely exterior, and an egg-shaped lip balm in...you guessed it, mint green. 
18. I could have studied design at Parsons or RISD but in the end I came to London to go to Central St Martins. My decision to chose CSM was ultimately swayed by a British Vogue article about John Galliano (back in 2005 when he was the darling of the fashion world) in which he describes the creative energy, resourcefulness, and bohemian spirit of what he truly believed to be the greatest gathering of the fashion world's brightest stars of the future. That the article was about the fashion course and made no mention of the graphic design course (which I enrolled in) was of no consequence to me. I was so desperate to taste that flavour of idealism and wonder that I picked CSM and thought - maybe some of that will rub off on me. Did it? I think it did, at least until I graduated   and became jaded by 'the real world'. 
19. When it comes to making art (or doing anything really) once I’m focused I’m unstoppable. My trouble is getting started - it takes me years to execute paintings because I'm so afraid of failure that I'd rather say 'what if I'm awful' rather than proof myself right. But once I pick up the brush, that's it, you won't hear from me for weeks until I'm finished.

Which brings me to my last point, about how I got into photography and blogging---

20. When I was 18, I was gifted a Canon prosumer camera. Inspired by some of my favourite self-portrait photographers on Deviant Art, I taught myself photography through trial and error. My photos were 'conceptual self portraits' of me drowning, hiding in shadows, expressing pain, rage, ecstasy etc. basically all the self-serving emo sh*t so typical of the Myspace era. I posted my self portraits on my now defunct blog 'Jasiminne the Penguin' which made me somewhat well-known when popular Malaysian blogger Kenny Sia mentioned my blog in 2006. Naturally, I got a mixed bag of attention: some vitriol (my first taste of the poison of internet trolls who hide behind the safety of anonymity and hateful comments) but mostly quite encouraging comments from people who enjoyed my photography. 
In a way I've been blogging since 2006, even though I stopped when I moved to London in 2009 and only took it up again two years ago. Despite this temporary absence from the interwebs, I never lost my love for writing and photography, and it is this love that drives me to share snippets of my live, my thoughts, and pictures of the things I find beautiful in the hope that you too will derive some pleasure from it. It is with this sincere desire to open a small part of my world that I accept that there will always be people who will dislike, loathe even, someone they know little about yet who are brave enough to want to try and share some of the beauty in their lives with a stranger reading another stranger's blog. 
So...those are my twenty random facts about me. I hope they haven't been too terribly taxing or insufferable to read, but you know what? I shared them with no expectations beyond hoping to make a person or two smile. I certainly hope you did. Have a beautiful day. x


  1. I used to draw hamster comics too! I think it is your artsy fartsy-ness that drew me to your blog (quite a few things I can relate with as well from this list), and I think you're too lovable. Stay amazing and happy holidays!

    1. Thank you Michelle! Happy rest of 2014 to you too! xx

  2. Loved reading this. I'm so glad that you chose St Martins- otherwise I wouldn't have met you! (I'm such a selfish bitch hahaha).

    1. Hehehe I too am glad that choosing CSM led me to you! xx

  3. So open and honest! Thank you for sharing! <3

    I was just thinking about point no.4 - even though you say you choose to insulate yourself in a happy little bubble - I think your charity work and volunteering means you open yourself up to a lot - and what is even better is that you are doing something positive and selfless in order to combat the injustice you see in the world! Keep fighting the good fight beautiful lady : )

    1. Thank you for your kind words! I know that to some, my wanting to do charity work to alleviate my pain at the worlds injustices sounds like the 'burden of the privileged' but it's better than nothing - if everyone pitched in and did a little we'd get a lot further. Together we stand!
      Happy 2015! xx

    2. Absolutely! And that would be like saying only people living in poverty can help the poor, only the starving can help the hungry, only the homeless can help those living on the street!! Everyone needs to do their bit however they can! Sending you lots of magical wishes for 2015 - happiness, health, love (and lots of travel!!) xxxxxx <3

  4. A fellow tweezer of male stubble hair! This is strangely comforting; I am not alone in this world. ;) And thanks for sharing!

    1. We need to form a club! Us weirdos need to stick together! x

  5. You just write so, so well.