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Master of None Review

Thursday, November 26, 2015
I have a new addiction and that is 'Master of None' starring Aziz Ansari (notable works- Parks and Recreation and his best selling book- Modern Romance) and now stars and writes his own Netflix exclusive TV show 'Master of None' to describe it in one word, I would say it's refreshing. So great to see a show like this and makes us question, why has it taken this long?

Master of none deals with the complex ways of being an adult, from learning how to find your calling and way in life to the social issues that we face. One of social issues that it covers is mostly race but paints such a true and accurate portrayal of how society treats different ethnicities. Clearly exampled in episode 4, titled ‘Indians on TV’ where Dev has to face castings and put on the ever famously racially stereotyped “Indian accent’ and that each Indian actor or any other actor of colour has to be racially cast as the background actor. Repeatedly put into the boxes of the same rolls- store owner, taxi driver etc.

As a first generation born Brit, I definitely can relate to all the things that Aziz highlights in his show, he exemplifies how difficult our parents childhoods were compared to ours and that we shouldn’t take it for granted that they sacrificed their lifestyle so their own children could have a better one.

As for the casting of this show, it’s racially diverse too, expected when the show itself talks heavily about current race issues that underpin our society as of now. The show packs a lot of funny punches and comedic timings, as well as summing up the problems that no one really wants to talk about. Feminist issues, racial issues as well as societal pressures such as getting married and being expected to have children.

I’m looking forward to seeing another season of it, as I only have one more episode left to watch! I’m already anxiously hoping for its renewal. I highly, highly, highly recommend you to watch it.

Master of None, a Netflix series.

20 Things We've Learned From Working In An Office

Tuesday, November 24, 2015
1. Always keep a jacket at work.

2. Most meetings are a waste of time. If you are leading one, prepare a meeting agenda, and always send a meeting summary email afterwards.

3. You will grow fatter, very quickly.

4. There will be people who are very cool outside of work, but you just can't stand them as a colleague.

5. Sometimes you just have to learn to let shit go.

6. People know who performs and who doesn't.

7. Hard work isn't enough, sometimes to get noticed, you have to ask questions, you have to do more than was expected, you have to speak up.

8. Work smart, not just hard.

9. Take notes, find a good project management tool. I'd recommend Trello, Evernote and Wrike.

10. Who ends up being your manager says a lot about your future career path.

11. There will always be someone who shows up later than you for work.

12. Meetings will almost never start on time and will include some technical faults

13. If you have a Finance team, you can go to them for Excel help

14. Make friends with the IT staff, they are the best people and the most useful

15. Ask for things after 10am (when people have had their coffees)

16. If your office is cool and lets you listen to music while you work, bring headphones, and if you can't listen to music on your desktop, use your phone.

17. You'll be super grateful for the genuine people you meet at work.

18. Monday's are just the worse, but Fridays are the best day of the weekday.

19. If you have free time, you will never be more appreciative.

20.You really appreciate the people who have great work ethics.

Finally, and most importantly, eventhough this is said too often that it's a cliche - find what you love to do, and don't stop until you get there. Take classes outside of work time, read books, find your passion.

-Apple & Sophia

The Illusion of Perfection

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Yes, that looks perfect! And other lies we tell ourselves.

We're all under this spell, that is there is something called perfection. We're surrounded by images of the idea of perfection, perfect bodies, people, cities and perfect instagram photos. However, you have to remember that all these pictures and things are faked, oh the wonders of photo editing. Also people only capture the good moments. They aren't real life. After 23 years of life, I've come to realise that nothing is perfect and everything is flawed in some way. Whether it's people, places or feelings, perfection is just an idea and it should stay this way.

Now I can't lie and say I wasn't a fool of chasing perfection, I thought that moving to another country would mean that I would find my idea of a perfect life, but it has been far from it. It hasn't been disappointing but it's definitely not perfect. Accept your flaws, they make you- you. Remember that no one is perfect. I've spent a lot of time watching interviews of people that have been titled 'the most sexiest person of 2015 etc' and none of them claimed they were perfect. In fact, they revelled in how far from it they were, listing each thing that they do that was considered wrong and disgraceful. This was eye opening, how do perfect people not see themselves as how we do? They look perfect and fit in this idea of perfection. It's because each person knows their own flaws, and I doubt anyone sees themselves as perfect. Therefore, highlighting that this notion does not exist.

I will put my hand up and admit it too, I am a flawed human being. I have my weaknesses, my own flaws but that's what makes me human. I get to learn from my flaws, try to improve on them and be a better person. I guess, if we were all perfect, we wouldn't have that wonderful journey of self- individualism and being able to realise what type of person we are. Accept that and you will have a happier non-perfect life.

We shouldn't live to chase perfection because it doesn't exist and that's okay, it's perfect to not be perfect.

-Sophia x

Cheung Chau (長洲)

Friday, November 13, 2015

On an island far away from the city, where pirates buried their treasure and the mango mochi was born. Welcome to Cheung Chau! Home of the famous pirate of Hong Kong Cheung Po Tsai (張保仔) and where he hid treasures in a tiny cave (oh hey, it rhymes). 

A few weeks ago on a spontaneous week off from work, we decided to go to Cheung Chau as I heard this was one of the islands you should visit whilst you're in Hong Kong and I have to agree! After reaching solid land from the 40 minute ferry journey, we were welcomed with Cheung Chau's famous mango mochi stalls, extra large fish balls and other street vendor snacks. However, I wouldn't recommend going for the mango mochi at the first stall you see. After wandering around for a little while, we came across the bike rentals. Being a nervous bike rider, I attempted to control the joint carriage bike but it was far too heavy for me to operate. So instead we rented two smaller bikes. 

We were so lucky that day, the weather was perfect for a bike ride and my soul felt so happy and content slowly cycling along the pier front. It reminded me to let go of my fears about balancing on the bike and just to ride as much as I could. We came across the famous cave of Cheung Po Tsai and decided to ditch the bikes (with the locks) and hiked up the mountains. I have to say though, if you're claustrophobic then these caves really aren't for you. You definitely need a flashlight or light from your phone and to carefully duck and crawl through the cave. It was definitely an interesting experience to wriggle through them and gain an understanding of what the pirates had to do to protect their wealth.

Because we ended up riding to the other end of Cheung Chau, we cycled past this bustling mochi shop and decided to give it a try after we gave back the bikes. After biting into the durian and mango mochi, we realised why people were queuing up and grabbing boxes of them. The mango was delicious and soft, with a light juice that flowed through it. The durian was so soft and was wrapped lovingly in the mochi pastry. If you're in Cheung Chau definitely try the ones where people are queuing because it will be worth it- sadly I didn't get a picture of the name of this shop. But when you're at the pier, turn left past McDonalds and walk for 5- 10 minutes.

After indulging in the mochi and having our tiring bike ride, we decided to fill up on food before we headed back to the city. We chose a quieter restaurant and decided on individual dishes, the whole dinner with two bowls of rice only cost us around 140ish HKD and tasted delicious! Pictured are- salt and chilli prawns, stir fried bitter melon and stewed aubergine in chilli bean sauce. I would definitely recommend Cheung Chau for a day out and a place to retreat to when the urban city gets too much.

-Sophia x

UN Global Goals

Monday, November 9, 2015
Recently I heard about the Global Goals, which was a list of 17 Global Goals to achieve these three aims:
  • End extreme poverty
  • Fight inequality & injustice
  • Fix climate change
These 17 goals aimed to help the above three points, hoping to be able to improve it for the next 15 years time. I wrote a little post for my own Instagram & Facebook pages, sharing my main goal which is number 10- reduced inequalities.

 "I first heard about the UN Global Goals a few weeks ago, and loved the idea of it. But it's just an idea, people need to make it a reality. They asked which one you supported the most and although I like what all the goals aim to achieve, the one I relate to the most and feel strongest towards is number 10- reduced inequalities. As a female and also, if you haven't noticed, Chinese. I've faced a lot of inequalities throughout my life, and even now I still struggle with it. Life has definitely improved compared to how it used to be, but it hasn't fully changed. There are still barriers, so, no matter your sex, race, religion or sexual orientation. Everyone deserves to be treated equal. I hope I can make a small change towards this"

Number 10 means so much to me personally because I feel as though my race really impacted my life, when it shouldn't of. I don't want to focus too much on this, but I was bullied quite a bit during my primary and secondary school days. I would get teased and picked on, and even now I know that if I walk down a street there will most likely be a sly comment directed towards me. Stupid things like a crappy 'ni hao' or even some made up Chinese to try and belittle me. I don't know if they are doing it spitefully, but from the looks on these people's faces when they do it, it's not out of love.

It's a shame really, that as a society race/sex/sexual orientation/religion is still an issue. Sure, it's definitely improved, but not 100%, you are still disadvantaged because of the colour of your skin, how your hair is and if you look 'different', whether you follow a certain faith. You might think, oh I'm just one person, what on earth can I contribute? Then you're wrong, you can contribute everything, as one more voice can make such a difference. Look, I'm not forcing you to follow these rules and pick one, but realise that as a human being, you have a voice and can be heard. Use that power wisely. If you ever see someone else get picked on because of their race, sexual orientation, religion or sex, CALL IT OUT. You'll feel so much better and you will be doing the biggest favour for mankind. 

This is one world after all, we all have to live in it. Also it's 2015, we're inventing things like teleporters but people are still being treated unequal, how is this social justice?

-Sophia x

psst- find more info about the UN GLOBAL GOALS

The Triple Threat

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Let's just say that I adore a good face mask, and these are my top of the bunch (yes they are all origins) but recently they were promoting their campaigns about combining their masks together so I thought I would have a try too. Previously, I used these masks on their own on seperate occasions but now I like to combine them together for better results.

Firstly, after washing my face and steaming it with a hot cloth, I apply the Clear Improvement Mask on my nose. Then, I use Out of Trouble for the rest of my face and wait for it all to dry. After using some warm water to wash the masks off. I apply the Drink up Intensive for an overnight use. This stuff smells delicious and leaves my skin feeling plump in the morning.

Both Clear improvement and Out of trouble are clay masks, I would also recommend Lush's Catastrophe Cosmetic face mask for giving your skin a good cleanse. For other hydrating masks, I also adore the Annie's Way Brightening Mask

If there are any other mask suggestions, please let me know!

-Sophia x

The Allure of Winter

Monday, November 2, 2015
Winter has finally arrived in Hong Kong! Albeit a few months later than I would of hoped, however Winter brings excitement and cosy times. Here's a few of my favourite things about Winter:
  • Scarves! Nothing better than bundling up in several layers
  • Hot chocolates
  • Opening the windows so you have feel the cold breeze but wrapping up in dressing gowns
  • Hot apple juice
  • Breathing outside so you can see dragon's breath
  • Being able to wear dark clothes and fit in
  • Boots
  • The cosiest socks, bed socks are the best
  • The countdown to Christmas
What are yours?

-Sophia x