Moving to a bigger place

We have a studio apartment in Bangkok, which we are moving out of very soon. At just under 30 square meters, it’s a cozy space sufficient for 1 person, but a slight squeeze when you have 2 people sharing it. It came fully furnished, and we only had to get our own mattress and electrical appliances. The building has a pool, a library and a small gym. It also has a laundry room with coin laundry available, so you don’t have to get a washing machine if you don’t want to.

Our new place is now ready, and we’re moving over soon. We just need to shift our things over, tidy up this place and hopefully we’ll be able to rent it out. It’s been nice staying here whenever I’m in Bangkok, but I’m looking forward to living in our new place now!

The floor plan

That’s how the whole place looks like, minus the balcony.

The toilet

The view from our balcony. It’s a garden with a sheltered area where you can sit.




Tales from the baby spa

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We’ve been going to the baby spa once a week since Ethan was 1.5 months. I wasn’t sure if he would like it at first, and I also didn’t feel confident about bringing him out when he was so young. But he took to it the first time he tried the pool out, and having something scheduled each week forced me to get out instead of cooping myself at home. It’s been good for me too since I get to talk to the staff and some of the other parents as well.

1. The new baby and the young mother
Our last trip there, I saw a young couple bring in their baby. The mother was in perfect shape; she looked energetic, had full makeup on and her hair looked great and well-maintained. Her baby looked younger than Ethan as well (he’s almost 4 months now). I wish I knew her secrets to looking so good! I just don’t have time to do that much for myself. Perhaps I’ll have more time for self-care when Ethan finally sleeps through the night? At least I’ll have more energy then. But man, I’m so envious that she manages to look so good despite having such a young baby. My tummy doesn’t seem to want to shrink anymore.

2. The baby with the black hair
Another baby came while Ethan was in the big pool, and while the baby looked familiar, I didn’t recognise the people who brought him in. I remember the baby since he has really black hair, and has a korean actor look to him. His mother was the one bringing him to the spa, and she looks around my age. Turns out that his mother, whom I had met previously, decided that she wasn’t good at looking after the baby, so she hired a domestic helper and went back to work. The helper and his grandmother were the ones who brought him to the baby spa. I understand how she feels. No matter how much you love your baby, looking after one full-time is no easy task. Sometimes it’s just easier to hire help and go back to work, especially if bring a SAHM is taking a mental toll on you. I’m thankful that I have my MIL to help; we don’t always agree on certain things when it comes to baby, but I can’t do it without her. It’s exhausting to take care of a baby alone, especially when he still doesn’t sleep through the night.

3. The older baby girl
For some reason, most of the babies I meet at the baby spa are boys, but there’s a girl whom I’ve met a couple of times. She’s 1+, and is able to interact with the adults. Most of the babies I’ve met at the spa are less than a year old, and can’t interact much yet, so it’s nice to meet one that’s able to do so. She’s able to come over when asked to, and likes to grab the toys the adults are holding. I can’t wait for the day when Ethan gets to the stage.

We still have 4 more sessions left, and I would gladly pay for more if not for the fact that we’re moving to Bangkok soon. Hopefully I can find something equivalent over there.




Keep chugging on.

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As I’m writing this now, I’m just hoping that I’ll actually finish and post it. It’s been almost 3 years since the last post here. I’ve been meaning to write, especially in the past couple of months, but it’s been difficult to.

The biggest change in my life recently was having a baby last October, and life has been rather challenging since then. I had a normal pregnancy, and delivery was fine except for the postpartum haemorrage, which made recovery slower and more difficult. While my wounds had more or less healed by 6 weeks, my energy only came back at around 2 months.

I’m physically fine now, but mentally, perhaps not so much. It’s been difficult transitioning from having a full-time job to being a stay at home mum. Loosing the freedom to do whatever I want when I feel like it, and being stuck at home with a baby that’s fully dependent on me has been rough. It’s tiring, yet boring at the same time because it’s repetitive. The hardest days to get through are the ones where he doesn’t nap and just keeps crying. It’s difficult for me when I can’t take a break and have some time to myself to recharge mentally, and as a result my patience runs thin and I get frustrated easily. I wonder why the baby just doesn’t want to cooperate, and then I get upset with myself for getting frustrated with the baby. And then I wonder why other people seem to have such an easy time while I’m struggling.

Reading forums and other blogs has been a great help. It reminds me that there are many other mums who feel the same way and share the same struggles, and seeing posts containing words of encouragement gives me more confidence and hope and things will get better, and that I will become better at this. I’m sure some of my friends have had similar difficulties as well, but we just tend to not bring them up unless we’re asked.

It’s difficult to talk about these things, even to your partner sometimes because it might seem like you’re falling into depression or complaining too much. But not getting it out just makes things worse. I see people resenting their partners for not lending them a listening ear, and not helping with the baby since they have a full time job while the wife stays at home. I read about mothers who are about to give up because they lack the support and understanding that they need. I just wish more people would understand how being a stay at home mum is a full-time job, how tough it is, and how there is hardly any rest or freedom in the early days if you have no one to help you out. Sometimes we just need to get away for a break, not because we don’t love our babies enough, but so that we can recharge and continue caring for them.

I love my son; I love his smiles, his chubby cheeks and his tiny hands and legs. I love it when he babbles and when he looks at me. Everyone says it will get better, and I’m just doing my best each day, hoping that things will get easier, and we can enjoy being with each other even more. I’m grateful that he’s healthy and has been developing well, and I’m grateful to have my mother-in-law helping out.

I want to talk to him, teach him new things and bring him to see the world. I’m sure we’ll get there.

There is light at the end of the tunnel.





160 days, 6 hours and 52 minutes

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Half a year before our thesis due date, you can see the change happening amongst the final year students. There’s an increased pressure to finish up experiments and get as much data as possible to include in the thesis for an on-time submission. You see some people putting in more late nights and weekends in the lab, while others continuing their experiments as per normal, while writing their thesis in whatever free time they can get.

That’s the life of a PhD student – you spend your first year learning techniques and figuring out how this whole PhD thing works. Your second year is largely spent figuring out the direction of your project and coming up with a sound hypothesis based on whatever data you have. Your progress then increases exponentially starting from the third year, escalating to the final rush to complete enough experiments to prove your hypothesis if you haven’t already done so by the middle of your final year. And then the time comes to start on your thesis, and you start to spend more time looking at your computer screen than your cells, pipettes and eppendorf tubes… until the day you submit your thesis and you can finally relax for a while till your thesis gets returned.

It’s in a way pretty scary how 4 years is about to pass just like that, and you’re once again forced to think of what you want to do in the future – to stay or to leave; to continue with what you’re familiar with or to go somewhere else and learn something new?

There are so many things to consider, so many decisions to make, so many changes on the way and yet so little time.




After You Dessert Cafe @ Bangkok

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It’s been a long while, hasn’t it? I’ve spent close to a month in the USA since then, and catching up on work after getting back. I did take a short trip to Bangkok with some of my lab mates last week though. We had a good time eating, shopping and relaxing, and we didn’t encounter any problems there during the whole trip, despite some concerns my boss had about the protests.

We came across After You Dessert Cafe when we were looking for somewhere to take a break after a hot morning at the Chatuchak Weekend Market. The place looked cozy and inviting, and we ended up having tea there. Pictured is their signature Shibuya Honey Toast and Panooki. The Panooki is small, but tasted really good! The presentation was great as well. The honey toast looks like something you can easily find at other cafes, but their version is nicely done and very satisfying. I personally think it’s better shared than eaten alone though, since you might get sick of the taste once you eat too much.

They have a lot of desserts that look great as well, and I’d love to go back to try the rest of their menu if I’m in Bangkok again. 🙂