Monthly Archives: June 2014

The Cole Driveabouts: The Mid-year Roundup

Designated driver!

Designated driver!

As I was driving to work this morning (cue cheers and whistles), I was thinking about…driving to work this morning.

I guess I still get all giddy and excited when I’m behind the wheel. It feels amazing to have finally conquered this skill and my fear of hitting a biker and/or pedestrians. Now, I’m just worried about hitting our gate–after multiple minor accidents involving those black bars.

I also thought about all the things that have happened before I started driving or we can call them as what-triggered-my-driving. In one word, change. That’s what happened.

Let’s see *counting* 1) My brother had a baby boy who eventually became my godson because I just received my confirmation from the Catholic Church after *counting again* 13 years of delay. You see, confirmation is a bit tricky. You either get it when you’re really young or when you’re about to get married. I was the odd one out. Everybody thought I was engaged–which is funny because;

2) I got ‘kicked to the curb’ earlier this year. Not that I’m proud of it but you know, it was a unique learning experience. It wasn’t technically ‘dumping’ but for lack of a better term, let’s use it. Yeah, that was a dark moment. Who knew crying was an abdominal workout;

3) Speaking of workout, weight management is hard but fun. My only motivation to keep going? Pretty clothes that no longer look binding on me. Shaun T knows his thing, I tell ya;

4) In celebration of my newly ‘toned’ physique, I decided to go blonde;

5) I was able to visit Vientiane even just for a week and was happy to be reunited with my friends. A lot has changed not only with the place but with their lives. My BFF is having a baby, my other BFF is engaged (sort of) and my former supervisor finally tied the knot with the man she had a super interesting relationship with. I’m very happy that things worked out for all of them;

6) My other brother just recently had a baby girl. Her name is Calista! Not that it has anything to do with my

Welcome, Baby Calista! Photo credit: Marlo Flor

Welcome, Baby Calista! Photo credit: Marlo Flor

airname back when I was in college radio but it was funny how my brother and I had a certain affinity with that name that we both didn’t know of until I was ‘baptized’ as Calista of LBFM 97.4. He just rolled his eyes. Out of disappointment, maybe.

Even if he appears to be allergic to human emotions, I know he is very proud and almost-bawling-happy. He has not one but two Calistas (Calista means most beautiful. Of course Ate Jen is the first)!

Every year, it’s part of my New Year’s Resolution to 1) save; 2) be nicer to people; 3) excel in class;4) lose weight; and 5) drive. Let’s just say I’ve achieved 3 out of 5 for 2014–I won’t tell which ones. It’s a great feeling to be able to cross out some of the things for a change. It’s an accomplishment in itself. You don’t get a medal for it or some kind of recognition but at least to yourself, you already feel like a winner. Even just for once.

When I lost weight, it brought about a new perspective in life. It proved that you can achieve something as long as you put your mind and heart to it. I realized that no amount of encouragement from other people would help you if you don’t have faith in yourself first.

It was time to venture into other things like taking the car out sitting in our garage for the longest time. When my brother left for Bangkok, he left a powerful weapon for independence. I have done sooo many attempts in taking the car out but the moment I sit behind the wheel alone and scared shitless, I turn off the engine, step out of the car and ask my other brother to drop me off at work. Highly unbecoming of a smart, independent, career-woman that I so want to be.

But as an agent of change–or so I think–I need change myself. I asked my good friend not to stop teaching me until I can take it out on my own. I never learned how to ride a bike but JM gave me a glimpse of it. He and another friend, Jastin, became my training wheels. Whenever I take the car out, JM rides shotgun and Jastin is the backseat driver yapping comments as to how I should drive (pretty helpful, I must admit).

The day came when I had to do it on my own. At first we organized a convoy, sort of. JM was on his motorbike and I was following him. The feeling of being alone in the car? Scary. But thrilling.

Car selfie with the instructors

Car selfie with the instructors

JM and Jastin eventually took the training wheels off. And today, everything is well and good. No more hitting gates, no more potholes, no more trouble with humps. I’m smoothly cruising inside the campus, and a bit around town. I still have more roads to explore and perfect parking (for some reason, I can’t get the goddamn thing right the first try!) but like I said, baby-driving. Eventually, I’ll get there.

The first half of the year has taught a hell lot of things. I’ve realized that life is really a happy one if we make it. I guess the #100HappyDays challenge lifted my spirits. Most days I would go to sleep hating whoever and whatever–such a drama queen. But since the challenge, instead of focusing on the bad, I learned how to focus on what made the day happy. Family, friends, achievements–big or small–should not be taken for granted. We shouldn’t regret failures and sad moments either but instead, see them as an opportunity to start over and find better…things.

Somehow, there is still a part of me that wishes things have been different. I could have done things differently and maybe, saw different results. But at the end of the day, I still believe that everything happens for a reason. We find ourselves in certain situations that will inspire or force us to make difficult decisions. They may not be easy, nothing is, but believe that they are for the best.

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After You*

'colewalks' | BKK-VTE 2014

‘colewalks’ | BKK-VTE 2014

My friends are either getting married and/or having babies, not necessarily in that order.

I guess it’s that time in our lives–or maybe the year(?)–when everyone is hell-bent on moving towards their 30s with a partner or child in tow. That’s not really a bad thing; a lot of people would kill to have a life theirs. Not that I’m one of them.

Anyway I spent the last week with babies and happy couples in Bangkok and Vientiane, no less. It was my nephew’s christening in Bangkok. Our bouncy and chubby bundle of joy screamed bloody murder during the ceremony because he thought we were going to the mall but ended up at the Church. I wanted to cry for him and with him. Just kidding.

The Godparents and Jian's 'tears of joy' LOL

The Godparents and Jian’s ‘tears of joy’ LOL

I think my nephew and I are the perfect godson-godmother tandem. We both like malls, freaking out upon the sight of presents and WE ARE BOTH AWESOME (my brother, Jian’s Dad is currently rolling his eyes).

Matchmade in heaven

A match made in heaven

The very same day, we flew in to Vientiane, my second home. Or so I think.

And here I saw my very pregnant BFF. The last time I’ve seen her was during her wedding and now she’s four months pregnant; the happy couple isn’t wasting any moment.

BFFs | (L-R) The 2014 Pose, the Prego BFF, and afternoon foodtrips

BFFs | (L-R) The 2014 Pose, the Prego BFF, and afternoon foodtrips

I spent the whole week pretty much just eating and tagging along with Mina. I also ate like a pregnant woman during that week which explains the weight-gain. And I. Don’t Care.

(L-R) At Tummour, Lao Kitchen, Centre Point

(L-R) At Tummour, Lao Kitchen, Centre Point

I had a food-list for this week and it was accomplished successfully; hoarding makeup wasn’t on the list though.

(L-R) Khao piek at Dongpalan, Khop Chai Der Musts, Pho Zap

(L-R) Khao piek at Dongpalan, Khop Chai Deu Musts, Pho Zap

(L-R) Regrouping at VTE's and my personal Point Zero; Revisiting memories at Joma; Recover at After You in Bangkok

(L-R) Regrouping at VTE’s and my personal Point Zero; Revisiting memories at Joma; Recover at After You in Bangkok–one of the highlights of my trip

The week went by so fast it felt like a dream–crazy, vivid and emotional. But just like a dream, you can’t remember a thing about it. Or maybe, I just choose to forget.

 

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Filed under Food and Dining, Musings, When In Laos