WIYB with Kathy Lim, 26
Kathy is mad about all things Japan – from the country’s most sensational mascot Hello Kitty, to the language & cuisine. A true blue Hello Kitty fan, Kathy has been collecting Hello Kitty items since forever. Her room is filled with all sorts of accessories, soft toys & stationery from Hello Kitty. Fueled by her love for Japan, she has picked up the language and has completed level 3 of JNPT besides making frequent trips to different parts of Japan.
What’s in Kathy’s bag:
- Paulo Coelho’s “The Winner Stands Alone”
I am currently reading Paulo Coelho’s ‘The Winner Stands Alone’, which is a fictional novel that explores the darker side of human desire, and what desire drives people to do. Since I read my first Paulo Coelho novel (the best seller, ‘The Alchemist’), I have been hooked on Coelho’s style of writing, and the deep thinking that goes behind each intriguing story. I have read most, if not all of his other books, and none of them have disappointed me.
- “The Little Prince” book
Speaking of books, The Little Prince is my all-time favourite. This book reminds me of the little things that matter around us which we sometimes forget/neglect. I was first introduced to the Little Prince by my brother (this is actually his copy), and have read it more than a countless times. I also love the illustrations in the book. I like the book so much that I have the English, Japanese, and Turkish versions. Everyone should read Le Petite Prince/The Little Prince/Xiao Wang Zi/Hoshi no Ooji Sama/Kucuk Prens!
- Kate Spade card holder
This pink Kate Spade card holder was given to me by my team at work, as a farewell gift before I embarked on a 6-month posting in Shanghai in early 2009. This has come in very handy, and currently holds all the cards I carry around (from credit cards, to discount cards, to EZLink cards, to business cards).
- Marc Jacobs coin purse
This bronze Marc Jacobs coin purse was a gift from a close friend of mine on my birthday a few years ago. I like it because it is simple, yet hardy. After my wallet got stolen during a netball game late last year, this loyal coin purse has been its substitute since. I know I ought to get down to getting myself a wallet that wouldn’t crumple my notes, but this purse is just too handy and easy to take around!
- Food post-its
These are little tabs that help to tag recipes. The different tabs read “Chicken”, “Meat”, “Vegetable”, “Fish”, etc. My boyfriend is into cooking, and I bought them for him to organize his recipes. They are from KiKi (in ION Orchard). Not sure how well they would serve their purpose, but it was too cute for me not to buy them.
- Hello Kitty comb
This Hello Kitty foldable comb was bought years ago (I suspect in 2006) in Hong Kong. I don’t usually carry it around, but had left it in my bag after my recent trip to the US in late May. I had taken it with me so that I could still look half-way presentable after 18 hours in air.
These are pictures from my recent holiday in California. I had such an incredible time on the trip, and not printing them out would not do them justice! They have since been arranged in a picture album which I love to flip through and recollect everything that happened on the trip.
- Mickey Mouse keyring
This Mickey Mouse key ring is something I share with a very good Japanese friend, Hitomi. We had gone to DisneySea in Tokyo (my fourth time, always great fun!) in mid-2008. Before leaving the amusement park, she decided that we should buy identical key rings so that they would remind us of each other while being miles apart.
- Ryuukakusan throat candy
I bought this throat candy from the Narita Airport during my transit on my way to San Francisco. My mom finds this brand of throat medicine (Ryuukakusan) very effective, and I bought a few tubes of the candy equivalent for her when I saw them in Japan. I did however keep one for myself. It has a very strong medicinal herb smell though, so not everyone would like it.
- XLISH gum
I bought this gum also from the Narita Airport. I am not usually a gum chewer, so this XLISH gum has not been getting much attention from me since I came back from my trip.
- iPod nano
This is another hardy item in my bag which I have carried around for a long time. I bought this red IPOD nano years ago when it was first released in the US. I carry it around so that I get my daily dose of music, typically on my commute to/from work. I use it with a pair of noise cancelling earphones which is especially useful on flights and on the train. I have been tuned in to Royksopp for the last two to three weeks consecutively — simply just can’t get enough of them!
- Hearts-all-over pouch
I think this was a freebie from years ago, but I don’t recall where from. It now holds all my security tokens and thumbdrives, which I take around just in case I need access to various web-based portals/accounts. Who knows when in the day I would need access to my bank accounts?
This is one amazing umbrella that every girl should own. My mom has been using this brand of umbrellas (Aurora from Japan) for the longest time, and bought me one too. It is feather-light, and very dependable for its weight. People usually gasp when they hold it and realize how light it is, but also assume that it gives way during a downpour — it does not. Plus it provides UV protection too! It is however, a selfish brolly that covers only one each time. You can find it in Isetan or Takashimaya for about $40 (I think).
I like Japanese organizers that are easy to carry around, and happy to look at. I use this solely for personal appointments and reminders. I like seeing my days on the pages fill up, and sticking the stickers that come alongm for special days (e.g. birthdays, holidays, appointments). I also tie a 5-yen coin to the string of the organizer because I like what 5-yen in Japanese also means (read: Go-en) — destiny/fate.
Q) What is one item you can’t leave home without?
My keys! I always dread the day that I would finally forget them and get stranded outside the door till someone comes home.
Q) Describe yourself in 1 sentence
Strange, but not difficult to comprehend.
Q) Tell us one thing about you we don’t know
On top of English, Singlish, and Chinese, I speak casual Japanese, and will soon speak better Turkish! At some point, I also hope to pick up some French and Dutch.