Love Live Cosplay Documentary feat. MilkyWay

MilkyWay

Yes, I’m calling it a documentary coz I’m being pretentious and I spent 12 hours editing it. I was actually quite lucky coz I never read my emails (sorry guys but it’s true). It just so happened that I couldn’t sleep (see previous post) so I was going through all my stuff and I found a flyer about a cosplay event by Evolve Mall. I went to the event page and came across a promo video featuring the MilkyWay girls.

I thought it was really good. I’ve been watching a lot of cosplay dance covers by Love Live groups coz I want to make my own and also to improve my video editing skills. I creeped on the MilkyWay posts and found a girl called Vicky, who turned out to be one of the leaders. I messaged her the night before (yesterday) and asked if I could tag along and film them, not just their performance, but also shadow them and eat with them and interview them.

I gave her my number and she said she’ll discuss it with the other group members and got back to me 20 minutes later saying it was okay with everyone. Thus, I went there this morning to film them. They actually had two performances but I only managed to get the first one since I had to leave at 3 pm. It was a really fun experience since I’m a huge fan of Love Live and it’s always nice to see a local group do so well.

MilkyWay Love Live

I have been trying to make more YouTube videos lately – this is my second one specifically for this purpose. My better half and a LLSIF friend told me the first one was ultra shaky and barely watchable and I took that feedback to heart. This time, I spent 12 times the amount of post-production work on the video. Well, it probably won’t take so long for a pro but I just installed Adobe Premiere CC a few days ago!

I did learn a lot of things about video editing too, and I found out that I really like doing it. I like talking to people and getting good video and I like arranging the sequences to make a cohesive film. The music sequences in this one isn’t as good as I want coz I didn’t have a tripod with those swing/tilt/stabilize things. I’ll need to get one so next time I do something like this, I’ll have one static camera pointing at the stage (like how the music video is) on tripod while I actually hold the second camera.

I did have a second one today but I couldn’t operate both. The idea is the static one is for wide screen whole stage shots while the one you’re holding (with stabilizer) goes for close ups. Thus, I can focus on the trio who’s currently singing and this will allow me to cut from the full stage shot to a close up. Also, in the interview segment I had a lot of trouble deciphering the words.

That’s completely my fault coz I didn’t wire everyone up. I also didn’t have 9 microphone units but they’re actually quite cheap so I’ll definitely get some if I want to explore more on doing videos like this. When you record something with external sound, it gives you a lot of flexibility especially with B footage and the voice overs can even go on unrelated stuff, which I wish I did for editing ease.

Also, my Chinese isn’t very good. I can understand conversational Mandarin but once you get to difficult words, I’ll be totally lost. I went to New Zealand at quite a young age to study and I didn’t learn Chinese in Malaysia anyway. I had to puzzle out the meaning via context (very useful) and a bit of guesswork so I hope the translations are somewhat accurate.

I wanted translations and closed captions for YouTube coz the video is almost entirely in Chinese. YouTube is a very English-centric medium, unlike Nico Nico Douga or Youku so English subs are necessary. I want it when I watch the Love Live Sunshine radio dramas and skits anyway, wouldn’t be able to understand otherwise. Turn on CC if you want to read the English subs, I also spent a few hours writing them.

I’m getting a lot better in many ways and even though I’m very frustrated at not being able to sleep (the insomnia is killing me) at least I’m learning new skills and doing stuff that I love. Thanks to Vicky and the rest of the MilkyWay cosplay group for letting me hang out with them today! It was a really interesting experience and I’ll see you all at the next event.

I’ll be concentrating more on YouTube videos now so let me know what you think – feedback and criticism is always welcome. Cheers!

My Suboxone withdrawal diary (2016)

Suboxone is the hardest thing in the entire world to quit. I’ve been addicted to methamphetamine (also really hard but mostly psychological), heroin (very hard but it’s short, less than a week, so you can knock yourself out with benzos for 3-4 days), benzodiazepines (probably the second hardest, the withdrawals are fucking out of this world), and OxyContin (don’t even know why this is legal, you basically go into withdrawals within 12 hours after the dose so it’s so compulsive).

Suboxone is so insidious coz it’s very long lasting. You don’t even feel proper withdrawal symptoms until 72 hours after your last dose. Of course, you won’t be pleasant to be around after 24 hours but it’s not that bad until the 3rd day, when hell really breaks loose. The withdrawals are VERY intense and VERY long. It’s the longest opiate withdrawal you’ll go through. I read a lot about people withdrawing from Suboxone and it really helps to see their progress so I can also look forward to feeling better.

I’m going to start my own so if anyone comes across this while you’re sick, tired, unable to sleep, crying, going crazy, just wanting to drive out to score some heroin, thinking of heading to the ER with some bullshit ailment to score some opiates to stave off withdrawal, about to kill yourself etc – STOP!

It really can and will get better. It’s the thing where one day at a time really holds true.

I have been taking 16 mg of Suboxone daily since 2011. I was on OxyContin (oxycodone) before that, around 240 mg per day, before I switched to government approved Suboxone at RM 40 (USD 10) per 8 mg tablet or film. I was taking tablets before but switched to Suboxone film before switching back to the tablets coz it was easier to split. I tapered down to 8 mg this year (2016) before tapering down to a further 4 mg.

I quit at 4 mg, which in hindsight was a bit of a bad idea, but I wanted to do it and I want you to know it’s possible. It’s really hard though, so try tapering from 1 mg or 0.5 mg if you can.

Day 1

I have used a wide range of opiates in the past. In light of the nature of the post, which is about recovery, I won’t be linking my old experience reports on drugs and pharmaceuticals coz it might be relapse triggering if you’re in a particularly sensitive time. You can search for it if you want to read them (Caution: All drug reports have photos/videos of drugs and use of said drugs) but take my word if you don’t want to, I’ve been hooked on a lot of different shit in the past. I quit benzodiazepines earlier this year and I’m quitting Suboxone now. After this, I’ll be totally clean, with no illicit or prescribed drugs and medications. Day 1 doesn’t feel bad at all.

To be perfectly honest with you (and I’m sure you’ve done it too) Day 1 is a walk in the park. I do it sometimes if I want to lower my tolerance – just stop taking it for a day, and the usual dose will feel EXTRA WONDERFUL the next day. I know what to expect. I’m a little grumpy. I feel minor aches. I’m horny. I’m more buzzed and alert. It feels like a mild dose of meth but it’s actually just your body acclimatising to reduced opiates. It can honestly be quite fun if you like a more stimulating experience. It’s not tough at all.

I slept 7 hours and woke up feeling refreshed.

Day 2

Suboxone lasts really long in your system so you won’t feel the full brunt of withdrawals until late into 36 hours or so. It’s supposed to last 24-48 hours but for long term and high dosage users like us, it doesn’t, coz our bodies have tolerance and clears it faster. Today is the start of bad feelings. My body hurts. My muscles hurt. My joints hurt. I’m sniffing and I have a runny nose. I also have a mild fever. I had diarrhoea and felt like I needed to go every hour. My asshole feels painful from the toilet paper friction.

I spent the day feeling very sorry for myself but it wasn’t bad until the 36th hour or so. One of the worst things about opiate withdrawals is restless leg syndrome (RLS) – nothing I do feels right. My thighs feel like it needs a long, good stretch but when I stretch it, which will normally make it better, it feels worse instead. I feel like squeezing my toes together and contorting my legs into strange and interesting positions, not coz I want to, but coz I NEED TO.

I thought I could sleep like yesterday. Alas, I couldn’t. Not even a few minutes. I tossed and turned and got angry at myself for the insomnia.

Day 3

I feel exhausted from lack of sleep. My body hurts and my brain is screaming for opiates. I CRAVE opiates. Anything would do. Even shitty codeine with paracetamol (APAP). I just want to feel better again. I want to feel like a human being so I feel like I’m in a body which is not my own. Everything hurts. I called my better half and nearly cried coz I felt so bad. It’s emotional lability, also another symptom of opiate withdrawal.

You’ll cry often and much during these few days.

Don’t worry, it’s normal to have wild mood swings and jagged crying fits. I’ve seen tough guys bawl their eyes out when I gave them benzos after a hard meth smoking session (which also causes emotional lability). It’s interesting to note that common people who don’t know this thinks the drug user has “turned over a new leaf”. Bullshit, don’t kid yourself. I hear that so often in church last time that I want to puke. Please guys, don’t fool other people, it’s not about turning over a new leaf and regretting the past, it’s just the chemicals in your brain getting all messed up. That’s why you’re crying. Not coz of anything else.

Opiates make you feel good and emotionally distant. Now your brain don’t have the usual opiates anything and everything seems ultra emotionally intense to you. It’s fine. Cry and bawl your eyes out.

I also couldn’t sleep at night and I got so frustrated I cried in anger and hit myself (also coz I was hurting all over). The restless leg syndrome has spread to my whole body. I can’t sleep coz I feel muscle tension all over. I had to stretch all the time and maintain the awkward pose so I feel better. I was contorting my body in interesting ways the entire night, tossing and turning.

I nearly gave up.

It’s so hard. So fucking tough. Your body screams for the blessed sweet release of sleep.

The insomnia is the worse part coz if you’re able to sleep, you’ll feel much better. I did on the first day and I was ready and raring to go on Day 2. Sleep solves things, rests your mind and body and lets you approach the beautiful new day with newfound energy. Suboxone withdrawals cause terrible insomnia so it saps your willpower and it makes you want to give up.

Hold on.

I’m not going to say the toughest times are over coz it’s not. There’s more to come.

Day 4

I feel drained after 72 hours of no sleep, not even an hour or a few minutes or a cat nap like some nights when you feel you haven’t slept but you actually did for a while. Not here, not with opiate withdrawals, you won’t sleep one wink. It’s so hard, this insomnia totally breaks you. It makes you feel so tired instead of optimistic you feel depressed and pessimistic and just want to give up. Everything sucks.

My record was 7 days without sleep in Melbourne while on a wild drug binge with dexamphetamine but I regularly went for 3-4 days without sleep in KL and Kuching when I was on methamphetamine. It’s very easy when injecting and smoking meth – time flies, it feels like hours instead of days and when it was time to crash, I just swallowed a handful of benzos and slept for 12-24 hours before doing it all over again.

This is nothing like it. You feel like shit the whole time coz of the withdrawal aspects. It’s so hard. I was so ready to throw in the towel. I want to drive out to the pharmacy and get some 30 mg codeine tablets. Anything, anything to make me feel human again.

I don’t even want to get high. I just want to sleep. I want to rest and feel better.

In desperation, I took 2 x 1 mg of Xanax and 10 mg of Valium. I quit benzos earlier this year but I still have a lot of pills lying around the house. I’ve never been tempted to take them and was about to throw them out when I moved but I thought I might need them when I kick Suboxone.

It made me feel worse. The emotional lability became magnified 100x. I felt several times worse than before – my aches were more prominent and my stretching grew more crazed and compulsive. I spent 4 hours hitting myself just so I didn’t have to feel the muscle cramps and the restless legs.

I punched myself in the head. I slapped myself hard till my ears rang. I hit my legs and went at my stomach. I even (accidentally on purpose) gave myself a hard sock on my heart and solar plexus. That was painful but it wasn’t as painful and annoying as the muscle aches. I also won’t stop crying. I cried for almost 12 hours until the tears wet my pillow. I felt sooooo sorry for myself and I felt soooo, soooo, sooooooo bad. It’s a million, a billion, a trillion times worse than dengue and benzodiazepine withdrawals combined with aspects of both.

I was drained. I needed help.

It’s 3 am and I was losing my willpower from lack of sleep. I didn’t know what to do. What am I going to tell my partner? That I gave in again?

I can just imagine the conversation:

Dear, so sorry but it’s really so hard and it’s so bad. I can’t do it, it’s impossible, I gave in and just got a few Suboxone from the clinic. I’ll quit next month k? I’ll be sure to taper down to 0.5 mg so it’s easier next time and I know what to expect. I quit from 4 mg and it was so hard, I really can’t take it dear. Hope you won’t be disappointed…

Yeah, like I haven’t done that or said that before already. Sick, sick fucks, us addicts. We’re sick, manipulative motherfuckers. I wouldn’t say it’s malignantly manipulative, it’s just real hard to quit and I already tried once in 2014 and failed after the 3rd day. I’m at the 4th day now. I won’t give in.

I just need to wait it out till dawn. Things will look better in the daylight.

I took a cold shower to see if I can feel better and to take my mind off the pain with some cold instead. It didn’t help much but it’s good to shower.

I tossed and turned and cried some more. The benzos didn’t help. I’m not going to take anymore, even if I don’t sleep for a week. It made things so much worse and it made my body feel so much more pain. I also was a little afraid coz 4 hours after the Xanax hit, I felt the familiar calmness which I liked and I don’t want to get hooked on it anymore. This will be a no supplementary drug withdrawal, it’s going to be pure willpower from now on. Fuck it, if I don’t sleep, I don’t sleep.

Note: This is not advice but sometimes quitting with another substance can be easier and thus more beneficial. I quit methamphetamine by switching to opiates. It made it a lot easier. I quit benzodiazepines also by using Suboxone (was taking both before) and with the opiate calm, it makes it easier although you’ll feel really bad withdrawals. I had one really bad seizure when I quit benzodiazepines earlier this year when I was alone at home. Please be careful – benzodiazepines and alcohol are the only two things where withdrawals can kill via seizures.

Day 5

I know I won’t die from opiate withdrawals but it feels sooooo bad. Words can’t describe it. Think of the worse pain you’ve been in. I would gladly take that instead if you’ll switch with me. Today is worse than yesterday. Isn’t the worse supposed to be 72 hours after you stop taking your last dose? No! It depends on how much you’re taking, it’s all about bio-availability and half life. To put it in simple terms, if you took 4 mg as your last dose, you’ll still have 2 mg in your body 72 hours later, 0.5 mg at 144 hours etc.

This was my worse day. I don’t know what to say. I fear I wouldn’t get through it, that I would cave in.

Would I suck dick for opiates? No, but that’s only coz I have money and I have connections to get the drug. If I didn’t, maybe I would. That’s how bad opiates are. The only other thing which has made me ask this question was during my methamphetamine abuse days. Most people would suck dick for meth. You feel the cravings so badly when you’re coming down. Again, life has been lucky to me. I was a (small time) dealer at the time so I had my own supply. I partnered up with a few old friends and we’ll drive to Kota Kinabalu from Kuching and pick up 1 kg of methamphetamine for RM 35,000 (it was that cheap in 2004). The stuff came from the Philippines and it’s really pure, we’ll break it up and sell it in sets (5 grams) for RM 1,200 (again that was the price then, you won’t get that now). Needless to say, the profit margin was insane but so were the risks – I got caught and lost almost all my earnings to the police in bribes so I only got a fine and conviction instead of jail time. In a way you could say that the police ended up being the big time dealer raking in all the money. *shrugs*

Back to opiates, it also causes the same desperation for relief, for a high, although for me it was more of a need to sleep. I know if I can sleep I would be able to see things clearer, to attack the day and to soldier on.

I still cried a lot out of frustration and have HUGE cravings where I just wanted to get some opiates, any opiate from the ER or clinic or pharmacy. I didn’t. I held on till 3 am and then went out and got coffee instead.

Coffee helps a lot.

Let me tell you something interesting but again I really don’t recommend this. You remember what I said about using another drug to quit one drug? I’ve been in drug rehab 3 times and I met a lot of heroin addicts at my first whose stomping grounds were Chow Kit. It’s common to use meth to make the withdrawals from opiates more bearable. I used to be really addicted to meth though so I’ll never try that again. However, caffeine is also a decent stimulant and if you drink a lot, you’ll feel much better.

Better at not having slept anyway. It makes the insomnia easier by waking up your mind. I almost feel human again. It doesn’t last very long though and drinking more doesn’t help much. It’s just the initial rush of chugging coffee that gives a mild high. Damn drug addict thinking. Fucking disgusting. Actually no, that’s what I imagine my emotionally abusive mom would say, I don’t think it’s wrong to use chemistry to hack things at all. Of course, it’s not good but hey coffee is legal, what can you say?

It kinda helps with the cold too. I’ve been shivering and needing a blanket the since Day 2. It’s SOOOOO COLD! That’s a strange thing for me to say coz I always hate the heat but again this is also normal. You’ll have cold shivering spells (actually for most of the day) while withdrawing. Get a blanket, it helps.

I also learned that I shouldn’t force myself to sleep. I’ll just stay up since the time tossing and turning and feeling miserable doesn’t help at all and ends up making you more frustrated. You’ll get wild sleep deprivation hallucinations like on meth runs so be careful driving and such coz sleep deprivation can be worse than drinking and driving.

I read that it’s the insomnia that really does you in. When you’re awake for days, your brain accumulates more waste, you turn moody and you start being more impulsive (it’s well documented, probably why meth users are so messed up). It does a number on your thought process and it’s why you feel so shit. Most people don’t know this coz most people can’t stay awake for days, but with constant meth use, you’ll be awake for days. This is similar, if only I could just get a couple hours of sleep. Even two. Please. I just want 2 hours of sleep after so many days with no sleep.

Day 6

I haven’t slept since Day 1 but I feel slightly better. Not a lot better, just a fraction. If the pain and suffering yesterday was at 120%, it was 119% today. I feel like I have rounded a corner. I’m sure the nights will still be sleepless and miserable but at things seem to be getting better now. I need to soldier on.

I need to be strong and take it one day at a time. I don’t believe in that NA stuff, I quit all my addictions by myself, but that’s just me. I’m not extra strong or extra special but I noticed that as I got older, the things that seemed impossible are much easier now. It’s not easy (hell, not at all) but it’s slightly easier e.g. it’s doable. I also feel hungry again. I had to force myself to eat something so I feel more energetic the past few days and I had to shove Mars bars down my stomach without liking it (it’s my favorite candy usually) for so long that I was surprised I actually wanted chicken rice today (though I could only eat less than half.

The night is dark and full of tossing but I will wait till morning and I will write in my journal and I will do active things to pass the time. I just need to pass the 7 day point. I know I’ll start to feel better again. Maybe I won’t even need to write here anymore. If I don’t, it means that the pain and the suffering, the tribulations of Suboxone withdrawals have gotten better. I have read that you won’t actually sleep until after 2 weeks and only a few hours at that but even an hour sounds so good to me right now.

The nights are depressing, real bad so watch out for them. Drink coffee, you can’t sleep anyway and it will boost your mood in a very mild way so it might help with staying sober.

Day 7

144 hours without sleep. It’s driving me insane. I would have probably gone insane if I have not had ample experience with sleep deprivation from my methamphetamine using days. Today the sleep deprivation hallucinations are out in force – I can see shadows everywhere, flanging vision like DXM and blurry edges of items which I sometime mistake for something else. I wanted to pick up my electric kettle and recoiled in fear when I thought the handle was the leg of a huge spider. That was the most vivid hallucination.

One time when I was on several days without sleep while injecting and smoking meth, I saw an old woman rocking in my apartment. I live by myself so that was strange. Even stranger, she wouldn’t go away after I blinked. I tried to close my eyes and she was still there. Even after I knocked myself out with benzos, when I had to use the toilet at 2 hours after I slept – there she was. That was the most vivid sleep deprivation hallucination and my (superstitious) friends in Kuching all freaked out. I didn’t though, I even said hello to the poor old rocking woman coz I know she ain’t real.

It sucks though. I’m a little afraid of driving coz my reaction is impaired and I have visual disturbances. I walked to a local shopping mall today for some exercise. I was wearing a tatty shirt, old shorts and flip flops. No fucks given. I rambled like a zombie, forcing myself to walk every square inch of the mall. I stopped by a pet store and saw two kittens playing – that made me smile for the first time in a week so it was good. Didn’t last long though.

I walked for 1 1/2 hours at the mall and felt like giving up and dying each step due to fatigue and exhaustion and muscle pain but I forced one foot in front of the other. I sometimes grunted in pain and exertion. I got weird looks from other shoppers. Moms dragged their kids away from my path. People went to the other side of the aisle to avoid walking past me. I didn’t care though, I just want to exercise so my muscle cramps don’t feel so bad. Also exercise induces NATURAL endorphins, so it’s like a super ultra very mild opiate. Good enough.

I went home and took a very hot scalding shower for 15 minutes and tried to sleep. No luck!

My brain was racing, and my heart was pounding. I had terrible anxiety. My arms ache. My legs hurt. Muscles I didn’t know I had felt sore. I cried in frustration again and after 5 hours of turning I gave in and swallowed 1 mg of Xanax.

It didn’t even make me sleepy. I was so angry I took another 2 of the blue 1 mg Xanax pills for a total of 3 mg Xanax and popped a 10 mg Valium to boot. This might be considered a high dose for most people (hell, 2 mg is too much for most) but I had taken TONS more than this, and I really, really wanted to sleep.

Alas, I had lost all my tolerance coz I quit benzos earlier this year. I totally blacked out after 20 minutes. Well, if you’re familiar with high dose benzos, a “black out” doesn’t mean you pass out. It’s like if you get too drunk until you forget the things you do. It’s called anterograde amnesia. I apparently called my partner but I can’t remember a word I said and I talked for an hour!

Unfortunately, still no sleep was forthcoming.

I tried and tried and tried until now at 6 am before giving up. I must be careful, this is the second time I’ve taken benzos. You can take it for 1-2 weeks before you get addicted but I won’t even chance that. This is the last time, you can’t get hooked if you take it twice in two days.

It’s hardest before dawn. I also heard a bit of bad news today. It’s personal and it really sapped a lot of my willpower. If I had heard this on Day 3-6, I’ll probably have straight up relapsed. But today is Day 7 and things are not as bad as the nightmare in the past few days so I’ll keep on maintaining my sobriety.

Day 8

Fuck me upside down, I still didn’t sleep a wink. I had a bad attack of RLS which even affected by body and arms, just like Day 3. I told myself I’ll go to the pharmacy to get first generation antihistamines to help myself sleep but I read there’s only one which can really help (doxylamine) and the others like Atarax will even make the RLS worse! I wasn’t hungry despite not eating for almost 2 days too (except bananas). I went to get some food and forced myself to eat it down, even though I had no appetite. I want to give a shout out to Wendy’s Creme Brulee Shake – that shit is the bomb! So sweet and nice and nutrient dense.

I also forced myself to eat some meat coz I read iron deficiency will also contribute to RLS. I felt cold and shivered while waiting in line and then noticed that the worst of the cold shivers have passed! I have gone to the next stage! I still get it sometimes but it’s mot like hot and cold flashes instead of just pure cold flashes.

I also keep on sneezing for no reason and had explosive diarrhoea. Today was the worse in terms of shitting – pure liquid and bits of fecal matter, totally unlike the first few days. I also feel drained, tired, and depressed. No motivation at all. I wonder how long I still have to stay awake with no sleep coz I feel like going crazy already. I know the world record is 11 days but I need sleep.

I took benzos again for the third and last time. No more Xanax coz that’s too short acting and strong. I took Valium instead. 15 mg at first – 3 x 5 mg pills. Nothing. I found my 10 mg blue diazepam pills and started to push one out…then another, and another. I was angry at myself that I was doing this stupid thing in an effort to sleep. I swallowed 50 mg of Valium, 65 mg when you count the 3 I took an hour earlier.

I felt drowsy and calm but not at all sleepy. I threw away all my benzos already, it doesn’t help and honestly, it feels too nice. The calmness I mean.

Now to concentrate on kicking Suboxone unassisted.

I feel so nauseous and threw up twice despite not having much food. On the plus side, I have lost a lot of my belly fat. On the down side, I probably lost a bit of my hard earned muscle too (have been working out lately). My stomach just cramps and I don’t feel like eating at all (or drinking for that matter) but I’m dehydrated and I should eat something.

I also talked to a good friend and that helped a lot. Man, if I didn’t have support and people willing to listen to me complain and moan and bitch about my pain and suffering I might have given up long ago.

Day 9

Today was both a good and a bad day. I wanted to do something so I don’t feel sorry for myself and feel sick and have muscle cramps and RLS at home so I decided to go out. I felt better when I forced myself to walk around malls and since there was an interesting event today, I thought I’ll go and spend some time there. It’ll be good.

I drove out and nearly had 4 car accidents within 2-3 minutes. Fuck me, I haven’t slept for 8 days and I was starting to microsleep. I didn’t even realize when I was at home but when I was driving out this morning, I went up the curb and swerved back to the road. I had fallen asleep for 1-2 seconds WHILE DRIVING. That’s stupid and dangerous.

I told myself I’ll do better and started doing all sorts of things to keep myself from microsleeping again. I sang, I shouted at myself, I sat up in uncomfortable positions…and I microslept again…and again! I’m thankful there aren’t a lot of cars that early but during the 3rd time I nearly swerved into another car beside me and I didn’t even know until he/she leaned on the horn.

Too close for comfort right? Not going to happen again right? If you’ve experienced extreme sleep deprivation like I have you know that’s not going to happen. I tried so hard to keep myself awake that my hands are full of bruises from pinching myself. Didn’t matter, I drove over the curb and swiped a tree the 4th time I fell asleep. -_-

It’s a good thing it’s a short and thin shrub. I told myself I’ll park my car and take a Uber back. I haven’t slept for more than a week and I shouldn’t be driving. I should have taken Uber here. I didn’t know why I didn’t think of that – your mind stops functioning well after so long without sleep.

I felt better at the event and managed to feel human again. They (meaning people who have successfully withdrawn from opiates before) says it helps if you’re in public and with people. I think it’s true too coz I barely felt much withdrawal symptoms except a bit of joint pain, muscle pain, RLS and of course depression.

Hey, even my depression wasn’t bad coz I was doing something I enjoyed. I felt better than normal at times. The worst part was my insomnia, I couldn’t sleep and it affected everything I did and my state of mind.

I felt like I was really getting better and except for the insomnia, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I felt very positive. I even felt a little sleepy (for the first time in 8 days) and decided to sleep for a while at home.

It turned out to be a false positive. I was tired. I was sleepy. I even microsleeped while fucking driving. But I couldn’t sleep normally. This was the start of the bad times, it was even worse than Day 3-6.

I think that I’m starting to get mentally affected by being unable to sleep for 8 days. I had a bit of a psychotic break. It was quite ugly.

I trashed my entire room. I kicked my TV, smashed my notebook, tore my clothes, bit anything I could from pillows to my arms in anger. I have A LOT of bruises on both arms. Some aren’t bruises but open cuts. I don’t know what came over me. I don’t do this rock star trashing of rooms and I love the data I have on my notebook and computer so I’m not sure what happened.

I think it’s kinda like the psychotic breaks you have when you stay awake too long on methamphetamine.

It’s dangerous and it’s unpredictable and you have a high chance of hurting yourself. I did things as strange and curious as throwing new, unopened packs of spicy Korean ramen to the ceiling fan for it to smash and scatter everywhere. I punched walls, I screamed and shouted and threatened and causes enough of a ruckus for my (usually) tolerant neighbor to say he’s going to call the police if I keep it up.

And yet I kept it up coz hey, you can’t control psychotic breaks. The cops didn’t come though, I wouldn’t have cared if they did anyway coz I’m clean with no drugs and part of me wants to go to the ER to get a strong anti-psychotic so I can sleep for at least a few hours. Benzos like Xanax and Valium can’t even get me sleeping, that’s how bad post-opiate withdrawal insomnia is.

Tonight was the worse coz psychosis is setting in. The human mind isn’t meant to be awake for 8 days. I don’t know what I’m going to do if I still can’t sleep. I called my partner and cried and said I want to relapse so badly coz I’m going crazy. I don’t even want to get high, I just want to fucking sleep!

She was very honest with me and said if that’s what I want then she’s not going to stop me. I stopped myself though, I didn’t want to relapse after over a week of being Suboxone free. I know if I started again I’ll be on it for life coz I know how bad the withdrawals are.

I am going to keep being sober.

I really think the worst is over. My restless leg syndrome is getting better. I still have pains and aches but nothing compared to the hell of Days 3-6. I keep on yawning and sneezing but that’s nothing. I have to run to the toilet every hour but that’s expected. Even the depression and anxiety from sudden opiate withdrawals is bearable. I want to say it’s more than bearable.

I’m not sure if I’m kinda used to feeling that way already but if you’ve taken real MDMA (Ecstasy) in ridiculously high amounts, you’ll be quite familiar with post-use depression. MDMA depression is a lot worse than this. Opiates are more subtle, you just don’t feel as happy but that’s fine coz I can still be happy doing the things I like (unlike with post MDMA where even things you normally like suck). There’s quite a bit of lethargy too but it’s not bad.

I still have no appetite. I forced down some salmon today (for the iron) and that’s about it. I have lost weight which isn’t good since guys losing weight means losing muscle. I will hit the gym again this week and swim today. I want to be stronger and buffer coz that’s something I neglected when I was still on Suboxone.

Despite the psychotic break from sleep deprivation, I feel better now. I even managed to sleep 40 minutes just now. It felt so good! This was the longest I’ve slept in 8 days. I already feel better and more positive. I don’t think I’ll update this anymore since I’m pretty much alright except for the insomnia (which is the worst part of this).

Suboxone can be useful for drug users who take faster cycling stuff like OxyContin and heroin but if you already have a stable life and you’re well off enough to afford RM 80 per day (that’s how much 2 x 8 mg costs) I sometimes feel like the addiction doctors just want to use you for a constant income.

I don’t think I’ve said this before but since she’s not working anymore I can feel free to. I started Suboxone coz it was a legal and relatively new thing by the Malaysian government. I went to a doctor at my old apartment – it was a very old clinic with not many patients. I’ve only seen 3 including myself and we’re all either on Suboxone or methadone.

I was the one who brought in the most money for the clinic – at RM 80 per day, I paid RM 2,400 per month and RM 28,800 per year. Minimum. Sometimes I took more than 16 mg daily. I kept her clinic afloat for YEARS coz she didn’t have any other patients.

Guess what? When I started tapering to 8 mg then 4 mg, she said it was bad and that I needed the full 16 mg per day. I didn’t listen coz I know better and when I got to 4 mg and visited once every few months, her clinic closed down. She had lost her #1 customer – me.

I hear stories like this all the time all over the world. The company that owns Suboxone is rich and the doctors that prescribes it are also rolling in dough – your paycheck. What else can make a person spent almost RM 100 each day, without fail, no holidays, each and every day.

That’s not why I quit coz to be honest I can afford it (although being able to afford it and wanting to pay that much are two different things). However, I didn’t want to feel numb (but happy) all the time and mostly I did it for my partner. You’ll enjoy live more without the artificial happiness from Suboxone.

Even better, Suboxone gives a lot of “wrong learnings”. This is what I all the effect – you feel happy about everything since you’re on a strong but legal opiate so everything becomes positive reinforcement. You don’t even know what’s really good for you or what’s a false positive from just being on opiates. You don’t know who your true friends are and who’s just there coz you feel the same both ways with the strong opiate positive reinforcement.

Nobody talks about this which I find strange. Have they not noticed it before or is it just my unique personality? I won’t be falsely modest, I’m very intelligent and I’ve also used so many different drugs and I’ve self aware enough to think, analyse, and reflect so maybe I notice things faster. Humblebrag aside, do think of this little known side effect too and life live with a clearer head without false positives messing with your head coz falsely reinforcing behaviour can cause a lot of bad habits to build up without your knowledge.

I hear a lot of Suboxone users complain that they still DON’T feel normal after months or years after withdrawals.

Well, duh! That was an artificial feeling! It’s opiates, of course it makes you feel good. No regular human is supposed to feel that good all the time, so you better get used to the more mediocre real world. Don’t keep thinking about the fluffy cloud you experienced in the Suboxone days. It ain’t real yo, you gotta live in the real world now. In the real world, happiness is fleeting and sadness is constant. Deal with it.

Ending thoughts:

It help a lot to read other people’s Suboxone withdrawal journals. You can see the timeline and commiserate and best of all, you know what you’re feeling is normal (well, it’s not normal per se, it’s just expected) and you’ll get through it. It’s okay if you don’t sleep for a week, even though you feel shitty, you’ll get over it. The depression that comes after 2 weeks to 1 month can be overcome with exercise and activity. You’ll get over it, just like many of us have. You just need to take the first step. Don’t be scared, there’s nothing to fear but fear itself. It’s going to be bad. It’ll probably be the worst thing you’ve ever experienced. Suboxone withdrawals is hell on earth and it’s not pretty.

However, try doing some things to take your mind off it. I always thought this was a stupid thing to say but it works. I poured my energy into writing and doing stuff. Do something active, not passive. You’ll feel bad if you watch TV all day long. Go out and exercise. It doesn’t even need to be strenuous, just a walk around the mall. You’ll feel terrible. People will stare at the weird guy/girl shivering and hunched and shuffling along like an old person. Fuck them, you do you and get better.

This journal is also for myself. Don’t forget the hell you’re going through. It is worse than meth, worse than benzos. Just in case you ever think it’s okay to take even a little bit of opiates in the future, stop yourself and read this again. You might think, whats a little insomnia, what’s a little pain in the arms and legs but you’ll want to remember how bad and hopeless it actually feels.

The nights are the hardest and where you will want to lose hope. I don’t know exactly why it’s soooo bad at night – it’s when all the doubts and depression and frustration sets in and you think you’ll never be happy again and you’ll never live a happy life and this fucking hell is all you’ll feel and your willpower is sapped. Try to talk to someone if you need to (you will need to) and you feel like relapsing. I had my dad and my partner who are solid 100% supporters and got me through some real dark times. You will need someone, if only just to bitch and moan and cry and complain.

It’s possible. I hope I helped you get through the hard nights with this journal of my experiences. Life is a beautiful thing, don’t waste it under the influence of Suboxone. I know you’re hurting right now but think about the next day. You’ll have gone one more day in this long withdrawal hell if you just wait it out for 1 more morning. Then set your target on the morning after that and the morning AFTER the other.

You can do it.

Moment Cuisine Steak House @ Kota Damansara

Moment Cuisine Steak House

I have watched this new restaurant with interest. It wants to be a higher end steak house but the menu items have a decidedly local twist to it. The Dataran Sunway F&B scene is very competitive and many restaurants have tried and failed to make it big here. I have a seen a very promising new entry this year (a pho place) but this one doesn’t look like it’s going to be successful. It didn’t help that the restaurant was empty all the time.

Moment Cuisine Kota Damansara

I walked in this evening to see what they’re all about. They have plastic dishes on the front, so I know it’s all steaks but I wanted to try it for myself. Moment Cuisine feels like a steak house for local palates and even has the definition of rare, medium, medium well and well done on their menu. The interior looks a lot like a budget hotel trying to look classy, with linen covered high back chairs flanking glass topped tables.

Banana Milkshake (RM 10.90)

Banana Milkshake

I was interested to see they have a range of real milk shakes…meaning, milkshakes made with real fruits. I opted for banana and was pleasantly surprised to see it’s made with real bananas and not the nasty artificial flavoring from a bottle (looking at you Monin). It’s pretty good. I nearly ordered another one when I finished mine, but at RM 11 per glass, it’s a little on the high side.

Moment’s House Grilled Australian Ribeye Steak (RM 43.90)

Moment House Steak

I ordered the house specialty, which is a ribeye from Australia. It comes with 3 choices of sauces – black pepper, mushroom and something called “Aromatic BBQ Sauce”. I went for the last one since I’m not very keen on the first two localized ones. The steak was very high quality. I was surprised – it’s all good meat with no gristle.

Moment Cuisine Steak

I had it rare and it came out rare. This is the most expensive item on the menu. The ribeye steak was juicy and tasty and goes very well with the apple barbecue sauce.

Moment Cuisine

Moment Cuisine Steak House surprised me. I expected them to do localized bad steak, and while the first part was correct (it is indeed tailored to local tastebuds) the second bit wasn’t. The cuts of beef were high quality and I enjoyed eating the steak. The cold sides could do with more work though. I don’t think they’ll do very well here since it’s neither here nor there but I’ll like to be proved wrong. It’s targeting Chinese customers e.g. the food isn’t halal and they serve pork chops too. Problem is, Chinese traditionally don’t eat a huge amount of meat. I don’t mind dropping in for another juicy steak, though at RM 63 for dinner, it’s not going to be a daily thing.

Grand Taipei, Sunway Giza Mall

Grand Taipei

Grand Taipei is a relatively new cafe, restaurant and tea house (that’s what they call themselves) in Sunway Giza. If you thought it looked kinda familiar, you’ll be correct. There was a place called Taipei Taipei inside the mall a few years back. It didn’t do well and closed permanently. The old Taipei Taipei has been relaunched as Grand Taipei but the chopstick covers still has the old name.

Grand Taipei Sunway Giza

This spot seems to have bad feng shui or something. There has been a lot of different bars and restaurants at this exact spot which shuttered and got replaced by a new one. The latest to try is the ex-Taipei Taipei from inside the mall. The interior looks really nice – there’s an old movie projected to the walls, vintage furniture, jukebox, and a small stage.

Taiwanese Style Pork Chop with Rice (RM 15.90)

Taiwanese Pork Chop Rice

This is their signature dish! Grand Taipei does a mean pork chop rice. There’s a large slice of savory and delicious pork chop on top of a mound of rice. The rice isn’t just plain rice but mixed with minced stewed pork (what the Taiwanese called kou rou). There’s also a triangle of vinegar tofu which balances out the dish with a bit of acid, as well as vegetables. It’s pretty good, reminds me of the food I had in Taiwan.

Brown Sugar Red Bean Milk Tea (RM 9.90)

Red Bean Milk Tea

This is Taiwanese milk tea but with red bean instead of tapioca balls. They have a tapioca ball style bubble tea version for RM 8.90 too. It’s better to order the “RM 8 Business Lunch Set” which allows you to choose a drink and provides you with a daily side dish (pickled cucumbers shown above) so you save between RM 1 – RM 2 on your drink and get a small side.

Grand Taipei Me

Grand Taipei will have familiar food if you’ve been to the old Taipei Taipei. They specialize in pork chop rice and they’re pretty good at it. The pork chops are fried to order and it’s served hot. I like how they have multiple sourish sides (pickles, tofu) coz the oily pork chop can be a bit hard to stomach after a few bites and the acidic dishes help cleanse your palate. Lunch for me cost RM 23.90 which isn’t bad for the amount of meat they serve.

O Bahn Mi, 1 Utama

O Bahn Mi

I want to eat bahn mi, my better half told me. “Pan mee?” I said, aghast. I hate the stuff. I had misheard. She meant the Vietnamese sandwich inspired by the French. We were at 1 Utama coz she wanted to look at mooncakes. O Bahn Mi is located on the ground floor and I thought I had been to one of their branches before (turns out not, that was quick bites). It also serves other Vietnamese street food.

Bahn Mi 1Utama

The place was packed on a Sunday morning which is surprising since the other F&B outlets were practically empty. O Bahn Mi is a popular destination due to their extremely quick turnover and relatively lower prices. You order at the counter and the food gets delivered to you a minute or two later. Besides bahn mi sandwiches, they also have pho and broken rice – one of my favorite Vietnamese dishes in Melbourne.

Grilled BBQ Pork Sandwich (RM 10.90)

Grilled BBQ Pork Sandwich

O Bahn Mi actually has a wide range of bahn mi sandwiches. This is one of their most popular ones. It’s served in a Vietnamese baguette about the size of a 6″ sub. I’ve been to Hanoi before and eaten this. We’ve also had bahn mi in Cambodia during our trip there. It’s a great option for breakfast, it’s sold out of carts in Vietnam and people eat it in the mornings. The one here is pretty decent too.

Combination Beef Pho (RM 14.90)

Combination Beef Pho

I didn’t feel like eating bahn mi so I had their pho instead. The pho at O Bahn Mi is awesome! The soup is beefy and has tenderloin, brisket and meatballs inside. The also serve lots of herbs and aromatics on the side, including Thai basil. You really need this to make the pho better. A lot of places skimp on the fresh herbs and it’s not the same without it. This place makes it right. Delicious!

Caramel Flan (RM 5.90)

Caramel Flan

I love crème caramel. It’s actually a very common desert in the 80’s in Malaysia but not everyone knows that. Our house had a box at all times and in the past, coffee shops would serve this. Nowadays it’s very rare to find it while eating outside except at Ramadan bazaars. I’ve only seen it once when my dad came over to visit. We went to a random place and found it on the menu. The sprig of mint on the dessert adds a lot.

O Bahn Mi Us

I didn’t realize it at the time but they only charged me RM 1 for the Vietnamese coffee by upgrading me to one of their meal sets instead of charging it separately, which would have cost more. The meal for the two of us cost RM 31.60 at O Bahn Mi. It’s very reasonable compared to our usual brunch bill. The food is pretty good too. There are so many pho places nowadays compared to a few months back and there’s no one happier than me by this development coz I love pho!

Sanook @ Sunway Pyramid Hotel West

Sanook Sunway Pyramid

It was a public holiday yesterday so I went out with my better half for dinner. We usually don’t eat outside on weekdays. I remember the banners advertising Sanook in Sunway Pyramid (it’s actually in the hotel beside the mall) and wanted to check it out. Sanook is billed as Thai-Japanese fusion cuisine and I thought that sounded really interesting.

Sanook

My dear likes to eat Thai food while I’m partial to Japanese so this is the perfect place for dinner. They spent a lot on branding – the entire outlet is colored in their orange trademark hue and the plates and bowls are all heart shaped. Ordering is done via an iPad on your table, which has beautiful photos and descriptions. You can also order something and set it to be delivered later, like for dessert.

Tiger Prawn Skewers with Sanook Sauce (RM 25.90)

Tiger Prawn Skewers

Sanook is well known for their skewers. This one is made with unshelled tiger prawns layered with some kebab-type vegetables. There’s 3 big prawns on 2 skewers for a total of 6. One thing about BBQ skewers is that it’s usually pretty bland and tasteless. Not this one, they have a strong garlic based Sanook sauce which miraculously stayed on the shell and added a lot of flavor to the prawns. Very good starter.

Grilled Unagi and Pan-Fried Beancurd (RM 38.90)

Grilled Unagi Beancurd

This is the main dish that I ordered. It’s unagi (saltwater eel) grilled with teriyaki sauce. There’s also two large slabs of beancurd which soaked up the sauce really well. I thought it was pretty good and the portion of eel is very generous for the price. I’ve always wanted more eel at Japanese restaurants and tried cooking my own eel once. I love the oily taste of eel.

Thai Spiky Lemongrass Tea and Thai Pandan Honey (RM 10.90 each)

Thai Pandan Honey

These are our drinks. I like my lemongrass drink coz of the lemon they put on top. It’s super sour and refreshing when squeezed. My better half had the pandan honey. It’s a little too sweet for me but it’s decent too. All the drinks are presented with a fresh pandan leaf tied to the side. It’s quite expensive for a normal drink but restaurants usually have a higher mark up.

Roasted Duck with Thai Red Curry (RM 25.90)

Thai Red Curry Duck

My dear had this coz she wanted a more Thai taste. It’s a whole breast of roasted duck that’s been deboned and put into Thai red curry. The curry is really spicy, but in a good way. There’s a lot of other things in the curry too. I thought the cherry tomatoes were a really good addition since it cuts through the richness of the duck.

Thai Volcano (RM 18.90)

Thai Volcano

This is my dessert. I was curious about the “Volcano” and ordered it to try. It turned out to be just Thai milk tea that’s shaved into a bowl. There’s also taro balls and slivers of nuts down there but it’s mostly just frozen milk tea. We like bingsu and I thought it’ll be something like that and while the concept is similar the execution is rather boring. We couldn’t finish it.

Mango Sticky Rice with Ice Cream (RM 15.90)

Mango Sticky Rice with Ice Cream

This is my dear’s dessert. It’s ice cream topped with glutinous rice and fresh mango slices inside a cone. I thought it was clever and she loved it too! It’s a well thought out dessert, a lot better than the Thai Volcano I ordered. The presentation was great, and it comes in two cones so we could each have one. Lovely stuff.

Sanook Us

I had seen the posters for Sanook last time I was in Sunway Pyramid. We were actually thinking about a Hokkaido ramen shop and a Korean celebrity chef restaurant (both beside it) before we settled here. The 3 F&B places are located side by side so we browsed the menus before coming to Sanook. It turned out to be a wonderful dinner during Merdeka. The bill came up to RM 168.65 for the both of us but it’s mostly coz of drinks and dessert. It’s good value for money though, we’ll be back again!

Check out my new smile!

Fixed Teeth

This is the latest version of my teeth. It’s not 100% perfect yet but I’m really happy with it! People have commented that one of my fillings is very visible – it’s on my front teeth and you can see the yellow discoloration it made from the back. I never paid much attention to it until my better half told me she noticed it the first time she met me. I felt rather self conscious after that and made it a point to fix it.

Drill

I just went to Imperial Dental in Bangsar to re-do the filings. My orthodontist Dr Salima was concerned that I would need a root canal coz of the rot but in the end it just needed another filling. It’s one of the gnarlier procedures to go through coz of the sensitivity of the teeth (drill goes into the root) but I’m glad it’s all done. I never thought the yellow bit would be so visible but it actually shows each time I smile and affects my overall look.

Filling

I did 2 fillings for RM 270. This is not covered by Invisalign as it’s a cosmetic procedure that I’m doing on my own and thus paying out of my own pocket. It’s RM 150 for one and RM 120 for the other. I think it’s money well spent as my front teeth are all the same white color now. Teeth is one of the things that I never paid much attention to coz honestly I look pretty decent (above average anyway) but it’s one of the things you can easily fix to make yourself look A LOT better. I’m glad I did it and my Invisalign is going well too!

McDonald’s Burger Syok and McFlurry Mangga

McDonalds Burger Syok

No, this is not a sponsored post. I’m not here to tell you about Lat or ask you to go eat Burger Syok. I’m not even going to mention the promotional period. I’ve always felt that paid or invited food reviews are inherently dishonest so all the cafes and restaurants I’ve reviewed are done at my own expense with no invitations. I don’t even eat McDonald’s that much nowadays although I used to enjoy writing about their new products (mostly due to a lack of content ideas haha).

McDonalds Syok

This entire thing came about when my better half told me to get her the new Hello Kitty toy from McDonald’s. It comes with their Happy Meal and I dropped by after work to get her one. Since I was already there, I thought I’ll order a meal to eat and I saw the multitude promotional materials for I Love Burger Syok Ayam. The front of McDonald’s was covered with Lat cartoons.

Burger Syok Ayam

I’m one of those unpatriotic Malaysians who has no interest whatsoever with Lat cartoons. I never related to them. I went to New Zealand to do high school at 15 but even before then, in Chinese majority Sibu, no one read or even knew about Lat. I always thought it was a low quality local wannabe cartoonist when I was younger. I’ve not read anything to suggest otherwise or bothered to change my opinion since.

Burger Syok

Burger Syok is RM 11.95 on its own. Since I had a drink, fries and another burger from the Happy Meal, I didn’t bother getting the set. It tastes surprisingly good! I was fully prepared to dislike it since I’m into healthy eating lately. However, the spicy Thousand Island sauce combined with the fatty chicken thigh (with skin) drew me in. It’s not worth a special trip to get but if you’re in the area, you could do a lot worse for dinner.

McFlurry Mangga

There was also another related promotion going on called Mangga Mangga. Mangga is the local Malay word for mango and it features two different executions – Sundae Mangga (RM 3.95) and McFlurry Mangga (RM 4.95). I went for the latter and it came in a horrible radioactive orange sludge. It tastes like bad artificial mango. I don’t know why someone would go through the trouble of making this when we have perfectly good fresh mangos, and worse, we know what fresh mango tastes like. Avoid like the plague.

McDonalds Me

I like the sound of the Burger Syok though. It’s a burger exclusive to Malaysia and made for local tastes. That sounds pretty awesome. Furthermore, it’s made with a skin-on piece of chicken thigh! Skin on! Shit like that would never fly in another civilised country. Only heathens eat chicken skin, especially soggy ones like this. The fact that this burger is rocking a slimy chicken skin kinda appeals to me. It tastes decent too and I would eat it again, just not anytime soon. I was mostly here for the Hello Kitty toy though.

Tudia! Crabby Fatty Char Kueh Teow @ The Food Bank, Kota Damansara

Tudia Crab Char Kueh Teow

The Food Bank is a collection of Malay hawker stalls in The Strand, Kota Damansara. I eat here quite often since it’s just opposite my condo and the halal options here are limited. Tudia! Char Kueh Tiaw is one of the stalls I frequent. It’s from Penang but it’s not Chinese style CKT – this is Malay style CKT with gravy. They also have a premium option with crab!

Tudia CKT

I like eating Malay style char kueh teow. The first time I came across it was when I started working in KL and frequented the Malay stall behind my office. I thought the gravy was simply mouth-watering! I have had kueh teow ketam in a lot of places since I also love eating crab. Tudia charges RM 6 for their kueh teow but the crab version goes for RM 15 – RM 25!

Deep Fried Crab

Tudia! crab char kueh teow is made by deep frying the flower crab. That’s quite unusual since most places just steam it. I thought it’ll come out greasy or overcooked due to the way it’s prepared but it’s actually quite good. The flower crab is huge too – the claws overflowed from the plate and they gave me a separate one to eat from. Haha.

Crabby Fatty (RM 23)

Crabby Fatty

The price fluctuate according to season, it was RM 23 yesterday. The kueh teow here is awesome! I love the sweet gravy that floods everything. I think it’s made with a combination of peanut sauce, sweet soy sauce and sambal. It’s very savory and sweet and makes you want more. There’s also an egg in addition to the deep fried crab. It’s yummy but not very filling. I had to order a ikan keli penyet (also called nasi lalapan in Sarawak) to fill up.

Tudia HB

There’s quite a lot of meat in the flower crab and I had fun picking at the shell. There was a Chinese couple who just got off work beside me who ordered the dish after seeing me eat it. The bomb ass sauce goes very well with the crab too. This is a problem in other crab kueh teow places since you don’t have gravy to eat with the crab. It’s a little expensive and you should probably go when you’re not wearing a white shirt but it’s delicious!

Chin Hua Vegetarian Food, Melaka

Chin Hua Vegetarian Food

I was in Melaka for a durian trip with Lindsay over the weekend. She’s a vegan (no dairy, no eggs, no animal byproducts) so we went to Chin Hua Vegetarian Food for dinner. I think this is only the second or third time in my entire life that I’ve gone into a vegetarian restaurant. It’s not high on my list of preferences since I eat just about anything, including exotic animals like dog, snake and rat. I have no religious or social taboos against any type of meat. I just don’t discriminate like that. smirk

Vegetarian Food Melaka

The woman manning the place looks Thai but she speaks fluent Mandarin. They have a rather popular chap fan service. I saw quite a few people eating here, including a large family. Lindsay chose six items for RM 6 from the warmers and I tried some of them. I thought the fungus was quite decent. It doesn’t taste bad at all but I feel like they use a lot of seasoning, oil and salt to boost the taste profiles.

Vegetarian Water Chestnut Ball

This is the Vegetarian Water Chestnut Ball (RM 5). It’s made to order and you can either choose to have it fried or boiled. This is the latter – it’s actually meant to be an analog of the ubiquitous fishball soup. The water chestnut balls have a springy and yielding texture like a fish ball and the soup is flavored the same way. I would never have guessed that this was made with water chestnuts. It’s remarkable! It really eats like fishballs.

Sizzling Mee

I had the Sizzling Mee (RM 5) which came with generous portions of vegetables. The meat is replaced with mock meat (either gluten/seitan or soy) in a variety of textures. It was alright. The noodles are perfectly edible, just not downright delicious. I feel like this is one of the problems with vegetarian food, together with over-seasoning to replicate meat or enhance neutral flavor profiles.

Lindsay HB Melaka

It was a great experience though. The meal just cost RM 16 for two and I wouldn’t have stepped foot into a vegetarian or vegan place otherwise. My parents don’t do the vegetarian cuisine during CNY thing coz they’re Christians so I have limited exposure to such food. I would eat it again but not by myself. I’ll be perfectly happy to go with a vegetarian or vegan though. That’s about the best thing I can say about vegetarian food. Haha.

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