twiinklex ❤

Bad decisions make good stories. And I always have a good story.

Category: Photographs

September highlights

Been such a year of blessings and I’m so grateful for it all 💕 I do feel that I’ve worked very hard and am reaping the rewards and am deserving of all the nice things, but I feel lucky nevertheless. Thank you, life. I’m so in love with you ❤️

Here’s a look back at September…

Desaru Coast

Short but very luxe and very nice. Already went on a work trip (Genting) earlier this year so wasn’t expecting a second one but woohoo. I love media trips because they tend to be very indulgent (the ones I’ve been to anyway) despite the itinerary always being tight hehe more pls!!! Will gladly do all the work.

This one had a group interview segment and each publication was allowed to ask one question. I felt very proud of my news background because at the end, the organiser said there was time for one last question, any takers? I gave it one second out of courtesy before jumping in and loved the answers I got. Everyone else (mostly lifestyle/magazine writers) was so meek… I guess old me was like that.

Azhar would be proud lol I really learnt so much from him. Not just about work but about life 😂

Marked 11 years of work

September 2013 was when I joined the company full-time, after 6 months of internship and another 6 months of temping. Crazy how a decade has flown by!!! I’ve learnt so much and am still learning (also writing lifestyle pieces at another publication now).

People are always shocked by how long I’ve worked here especially after they find out my age and wonder how I can stay for so many years. But maybe we should normalise not job-hopping. Not everyone wants to hustle day and night.

I am happy, I enjoy the work, I am constantly learning, I feel satisfaction each time I hit the ‘publish’ button, Most importantly, I love the time and flexibility and freedom it allows, none of which came without lots of hard work during my early years here. I earned it!

I guess it depends on what you value. For me, time is the most priceless commodity.

Disney Studios quoting my movie review

This feels so surreal even now. When they asked for permission/approval, I’d assumed they would be just using the one-liner quote and crediting TNP. So I was pretty stunned when they not only included my full name (it’s not like I’m Roger Ebert or something LOL) but also pushed it out globally.

It’s funny how life works. I used to be skeptical about things like manifestation and affirmations and law of attraction but there’s no other way to explain.

The first few lifestyle articles I helped TNP with were for lesser-known / not-so-popular stuff. I did them anyway, in hopes of building relationships and getting the popular stuff in future. Didn’t take long for Oppenheimer to fall into my lap (I was so bummed when I had to pass on the premiere because it clashed with my Penang trip, but then I got another invite to a reviewer’s screening days before official release!!!) and Nolan is one of my two favourite directors so cue lots of fangirl screaming internally.

Same for how I was a bit sian about having to get my ass outdoors to cover Nomination Day (and subsequently Polling Day) but it turned out to be a very good day. Then the Desaru Coast invite came not long after so I feel like it was my reward in some way 😀

I do feel tired and overwhelmed and stressed taking on so much, but at the same time I appreciate the change of scenery and different exposure.


I was in Greece in May when Deborah suddenly asked if I wanted to go and of course I was like yes!!! Funny that when planning my Greece trip, I had contemplated visiting Istanbul for a few days before flying home. Italy and Bulgaria were contenders too because everywhere is just 1 hour apart. But ultimately I decided to just focus on Greece because 2 entirely new-to-me countries felt overwhelming.

Before I knew it, four months had gone by and off we went. I’d been too swamped and tired to do much research (she did most of the bookings + logistics which I’m sooo grateful for) so I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I had the most amazing time!!!

Cappadocia was magical and stunning with all the hot-air balloons, paragliding in Pamukkale was super surreal, Selcuk was a dream with all the cheap eats and shopping. And the people!!! So warm and generous and welcoming. I thought Japan already set a high bar but the kindness I experienced in Turkey was seriously of another level.

I also said yes to drinks with a local on my very last night and I’m glad I did because it was nice seeing Istanbul’s buzzing nightlife and just very refreshing overall after all the hiking and shopping etc.

Oh gosh I hit the big 3 this month 😂 Excited for October and all that is to come!!!

The Epic Life of Nigglet Ng

I usually don’t announce or post about pet deaths because it’s very depressing even when they’ve lived a long and happy life. But I feel like Nigglet deserves a tribute because his life was more happening than the average human 🤣 Been meaning to post this since he passed away in his sleep at a ripe old age a month ago (not sure of his exact age).

No need for condolences and I’m fine 😊 I just wanna share his epic life story with everyone. I mean, how many people can say they:

  • Got dumped on Carousell
  • Travelled home in a box
  • Found a wife
  • Fathered 8 kids
  • Suffered a broken leg
  • Nearly killed his son

It all began in July 2018 when my brother came across this listing on Carousell:

syrian hamster

The photo looks nothing like Niggie so I’m not sure if that’s even him 😂😂😂 My brother went all the way to Pasir Ris to collect him and his ex-owner placed him in a shoebox. And Niggie was such a good boy even then, accompanying my bro on the bus ride home without a fuss. I think he was a few months old and his most distinctive trait was his nuaness.

On the same night, I brought Jojo (white female Syrian) home. Little did we know what we were in for!

black syrian hamster

In his shoebox, dark as night 😈

Actually we named him Momo (cos Momo Jojo) but it never stuck cos it just didn’t suit him. Then my bro started calling him Nigglet which somehow became Niggie and it stuck very well. Sometimes we also called him Nuaggie because he was so damn nua.

All my hamsters have their ‘official’ names and their literal ‘pet’ names and nonsense nicknames 🤣🤣🤣 Like Jojo became Jochilla because she was sleeping like Godzilla one time.

Anyway, Niggie was an imp in his early hamster years! Forever trying to escape, chewed my brother’s wires until the speaker broke down, chewed out leather stuffing from our beds.

teddy bear hamster

There were a couple of mornings when we woke up to find him out of his cage 🤦‍♀️ Even when you make adjustments, he would find a way. Another distinctive trait is his never-give-up attitude, which is very admirable and worth learning from.

All good until one day…

He escaped and fell into Jochilla’s cage!!!!

syrian hamsters breeding

When we awoke one morning, he was already inside her cage. I’m not sure how long he was in there but thankfully, no fights and Jochilla appeared asleep. So I assumed nothing happened.

Side note: Please do not keep hamsters (especially Syrians) together because they will either fight to the death or breed, both of which are NOT ideal.

can syrian hamsters breed

I now pronounce you man and wife 🥰

What happened next aside, I thought it was the cutest and sweetest thing 🥺

After this encounter, Niggie continued to try escaping and if I remember correctly, he went to visit her once more. But nothing happened this second time and that was the last time they interacted. Though I feel like he never forgot his wife and was constantly trying to find her…

Anyway, fast forward two weeks and one night we realised Jochilla was pregnant 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️ She was gaining weight but her behaviour was normal so we didn’t think much of it. Until that night when I realised her stomach was quite hard and her nipples were quite prominent lololol. The gestation period for Syrians is around 16 days so she was actually almost due already.

The very next afternoon on 26 September 2018, she gave birth 😂 I think there were at least 10 pups (which is considered a lot wtf), but she ate 2 – 3 (very normal). We were blessed with 8 beautiful babies.

syrian hamster breeding

This photo was taken when the babies were almost one month old and just before I separated them from Jochilla so that she could have her confinement rest 🤣 The whole thing was the most incredible experience ever but that’s a story for another day.

The whole time his wife was busy caring for their kids, Niggie remained blissfully unaware and went about his life as normal.

tuxedo hamster

I love his white paws (they look like gloves on him) and his white chin (search for ‘tuxedo hamster’). This photo was taken in April 2019 and you can see his fur turning brown.

Then came Labour Day (May 1). Niggie escaped again but instead of reuniting with his wife, he fell into his son’s cage! When we woke up, a terrible fight had already happened and Niggie was licking his wounds at one corner.

The fight seemed to have stopped only because Melon (white male Syrian) had gotten stuck in his hideout’s entrance in his panic. He was still panicking and struggling to free himself. We ended up having to cut open the whole hideout.

Melon was not injured but very traumatised. Niggie was quite badly injured but his demeanour was still the same: Chill and nua 🤦‍♀️ There were blood stains in the cage and I cleaned both boys up.

injured Syrian hamster

My bro holding our ghetto rat afterwards. Does he look bothered to you?? 🤦‍♀️

Brought Niggie to the vet on May 4, where he was given oral medication and cream for his bite wounds (a big one on his thigh and a big one on his back).

We also did an x-ray that cost $200+ and he was found with a broken leg. The vet was very worried (especially over possible bone infection) and recommended surgery but I didn’t go for it. I generally avoid surgery unless there is no choice because small animals do not react well to the anesthesia and stress.

hamster vet

hamster vet

hamster broken leg

Ever since then, he walked funny but he would have told you, the limp never bothered me anyway~~~

And oh ya his name is registered as Nigglet Ng at the vet.

hamster injured

In his carrier to and fro the vet.

hamster carrier

We returned to the vet for a review twice more that month and the doctor was damn amazed by Niggie’s recovery. She kept exclaiming how well he was doing and I was very proud of him.

Some lessons are learnt the hard way, while some lessons are never learnt, period:

black syrian hamster

Still trying to escape after recovering and despite his bad leg!!!! I’m not sure if he wants to find his wife or continue the duel with his son. Here you can see how one of his ears is chipped from the fight… 🤦‍♀️

In August 2019, history repeated itself and he ended up in his son’s cage again 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️

Half of Niggie’s nose was like… gone. And he hurt his other leg (I think, cos he walked even funnier from then on). Some minor bite wounds/scabs if I remember correctly. The amazing thing was his legs aside, he was back to normal (both looks and behaviour) after a few days. He had a bloodied hole where his nose was but even that healed fully. Can’t help but feel like he has regenerative powers sometimes.

Melon, on the other hand, had a serious bite wound on his back that got infected and he had to go back to the vet a few times. He is currently two years old as I’m writing this.

black hamster

Not a single damn was given and Nigglet Ng continued living his epic life.

Anyway, he mellowed a bit after that since he was getting on in age and did not cause further drama other than the occasional mischief e.g. chewing things, running away and hiding under the fridge and prompting an hour-long search etc.

cute syrian hamster

Although he walked a bit funny and didn’t use a wheel, he led a normal life like any other hamster.

Sometimes he would have fur loss but regenerate new fur. Sometimes his fur would go from black to brown to black to brown. The only thing that he did not regenerate was his chipped ear. A very extraordinary hamster indeed.

male syrian hamster

You can see his fur looking sparse here due to old age and his leg bent funny but #nofucksgiven.

Sometimes I feel like he lived so long because of his heck care attitude, being nua and not stressing over anything 😂 He was also the most appreciative boy because whatever accessory or hideout I gave him, he would use it. And he was perfectly content with his simple but cosy cage setup.

sleeping hamster

Soon, he reached his golden years and spent most of the time sleeping. But he remained in great health the whole time, which is rather unusual considering his havoc days and compared to my experiences with past hamsters. They sometimes struggle with old age but Niggie’s transition was amazingly smooth.

hamster sleeping

My ultimate good boy 🤣🤣🤣

sleepy hamster

Looks like a baby sucking his thumb 😍

black hamster

Very whiskery and wise-looking. I find it interesting how his looks constantly changed throughout. Does this look like the pitch dark rat we brought home? 😂

syrian hamster playing

Sometimes he would still come out for playtime.

cute hamster

Sleeping in a funny pose.

A long and vibrant life until I woke up on August 1 and realised that Niggie has gone over to reunite with his wife and kids (yes this fella outlived most of them; 6 out of 8 I believe) 🌈

We wrapped him in a towel with his favourite food and treats, and buried him the same night.

Here lies Nigglet, a superhamster ❤️