lion city

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Well, hello 2019!

It's been awhile since I've typed in on my browser, though every time I leave and come back to the kopsalad, it feels like home where I can pick up where I left off.

Of course a lot has happened and changed since my last post - I mean I've ventured into the business world and opened my own coffee shop! Super excited and proud of this little side hustle but also nervous. Very, very nervous. Business is a whole other ball game and the risks are high! More on the cafe in the next post but here's a little tease - its not in KL, it's located in Singapore.

Yes the motherland, home and birth place of my late mum. Which looking back now seems seredipitous in the bigger scheme of things.

So we launched the cafe over the weekend and aside from the support of my partners, I'm so humbled that the community has embraced us too! We stayed at the Swissotel Merchant Court which is a stone's throw from Clarke Quay, and this is literally the view I woke up to in the morning.

I got such a warm welcome from the Swissotel team and was given a personal tour by Amanda and Jennifer upon my arrival.

If that wasn't enough, when I got into my room I found little NiuNiu, their mascot waiting for me along with some local Nyonya treats. How cute and thoughtful!

Swissotel focuses a ton on their guests well being which they theme as 'Vitality' and you can find these Vitality stations throughout the building like complimentary apples and refreshing water to boost your, well, vitals!

They've also got one of the largest hotel gyms in Singapore that's open 24 hours with an on-site personal trainer at all times. The gym comes fully equipped with an ARKE Core Centric Training Equipment and you can train on the elliptical cross trainers with a view of the Singapore River. Makes the workout more bearable when you have an amazing view to distract you, if you ask me.

Of course what is a hotel without a pool. I fancied a little tan on the day and found myself this cozy little nook to soak up the rays.

And once you've worked up an appetite my favourite spot to grab a bite is at the Ellenborough Market Cafe which serves a mix of Peranakan and Western food. Love how the decor is traditional yet modern all at once!

Now for the most unique part of the hotel though, they've got a self service laundry bar. I've been to a pretty decent amount of hotels in my lifetime and have never come across one within the hotel grounds itself. Clean clothes and underwear are the real unsung heroes in life guys. It's one of those things you take for granted until you run out.

Couldn't ask for a better stay for a perfect short weekend to Singapore and now that I've got my own little coffee shop, I'll always have an excuse to come back!

xo Reem

malaysia masters

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

So I spent most of my Sunday afternoon hanging out with Viktor Axelsen, Tai Tzu Ying, Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong. Not that I’m name dropping or anything.

Okay so maybe, “hanging out” is a bit of stretch. But I got pretty close! After months of anticipation the Perodua Malaysia Masters presented by Daihatsu came to life at the Axiata Arena. The arena was full of life, making no mistake that there’s only one mission here today - for the players to take home a slice of that USD350,000 prize money and for us fans to give them our full support.

With Daihatsu as a sponsor this year, the tournament has been given new life. Not only is the cash prize bigger, but the branding both in and out of the stadium plus the way the matches are presented make the tournament feel much more prestigious than ever before.

My favourite part of the day was probably when Viktor Axelsen ran around the stadium with his shirt off after beating Kenta Nishimoto in the Men Singles category. The pure joy from him and the supportive home and visiting fans was electrifying! Aside from the Jalur Gemilang, it was nice to see fans from the other countries represented like Denmark, China and Japan waving their flags around the arena as well.

Probably the only disappointing part of the day was when our Men's Doubles team of V Shem-Wee Kiong lost in the finals to Indonesia after a considerable lead. However they gave it their best shot, and it was still a pleasure watching them play live right in front of me. Big, big thank you to Daihatsu for inviting me to the Malaysia Masters and their hospitality. 

I even got to take a photo with this cute Myvi signed by all the players during the tournament. Overall a stunning debut for this partnership between Daihatsu and the Badminton Association of Malaysia. Can't wait to see what else this collaboration will produce. See you next year hopefully!
xo Reem

badminton gold

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

My earliest memory of watching badminton was that defining match when Rashid Sidek beat Joko Suprianto to reach the semi finals of the Olympics in Atlanta.

I was 11 and it made me want to pick up a badminton racquet which then turned out to be one of the sports I'd frequently play. Was I a pro? Not at all, but I could get in a couple of forehand smashes every now and then!

Ask any Malaysian, and badminton will always have a soft sport in our hearts thanks to the men's doubles bronze medal won by Razif and Jalani Sidek back in '92. First Olympic medal ever for Malaysia.

Also, we've had 4 world number ones since including one Dato Lee Chong Wei. You may have heard of him. He's only held the title ranking of World No 1 for more than a year, a triple silver Olympic medallist and basically a national hero.

Fast forward a few years later and I've had the pleasure of covering various badminton tournaments on the job. Some of the highlights include the Legends Vision Exhibition and the Sudirman Cup 2017 in Gold Coast.

One of the most anticipated badminton events locally is the Malaysia Masters, and it's going to get significantly bigger.

I had the chance to witness the signing ceremony between Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) with Japan's car manufacturer Daihatsu Motor Corporation.

This collaboration raises the status of the tournament from GP Gold to a Super Series level with an increased prize money from USD120,000 to USD350,000.

To quote BAM President Datuk Seri Mohamed Norza Zakaria at the ceremony - "With the Malaysia Masters upgraded to Super Series, the level of competition and status of the tournament will also increase and feature at least 10 top players in the world".

What that means to us fans, more exciting matches and possibly the chance to take a selfie with players like Viktor Axelsen and Son Wan-ho! 

Staging premier tournaments locally will also benefit our national players to thrive and inspire the next generation.

Speaking of the next generation of players, the executive officer of Daihatsu Motor Co, Osamu Naruse is commited to support the development of badminton in Malaysia saying, "Daihatsu will continue to deepen its interaction with customers and local communities through sports thereby bring new optimism to their lives".

Mark your calendars as the Perodua Malaysia Masters 2018, presented by Daihatsu will take place at the Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil from the 16th - 21st of January 2018. Can't wait!
xo - Reem 

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