Yes, it is that time of the year again. The return of….. Tanggachi.
King has given me a new name this time around though – Rani. As she is Raja (King), naturally I should be Rani (Queen). We then devised a new hashtag for our upcoming adventures: #RaniRajaNightOut. Methinks it’s absolutely cutezies… which is what we are most the time.
And so we put on our biggest hoops and headed to The Locker & Loft for our very first #RaniRajaNightOut
Thursday nights at The Locker & Loft means you become the leading mixologist and come up with your very own signature drink (with the help of their resident mixologist, of course)! I quote King, “Wah! Aktiviti!”. Indeed. So instead of just getting crunk, you get to experience being a mixologist and then get crunk.
[Baby] On our way to Locker & Loft, we talked about the cocktails we would come up with and that it should be served in pairs because well, it’s #RaniRaja. We’re super confident that our ultimate cocktails will make it to the menu for good! The name of our cocktails will of course be The Rani & Raja.
Date night! Us with our Tuak Sangria and another girly drink (both are on the menu).
We started off by filling out a little form that basically lets your barman know what flavours you like or dislike, to come up with a custom concoction that will well suit your tastebuds.
To create a new and exciting bubble of life, one has to break out of their old one so they can see more clearly. Old grids and expectations pull one back from moving forwards with their new and invigorating self. Don’t be afraid of stepping out completely so you can look within deeply.
When i came to Ubud, i knew that i was going to do a lot of work on myself. This trip wasn’t going to be a holiday (in the sense where i lie by the pool and do nothing). It’s a trip for me to step out of the city i’m constantly working in, because i felt i wasn’t learning anymore and i needed to get out of familiar grid, so i could reevaluate a lot of aspects in my life.
I came with the intention to reconnect with myself, clear out all the space just for me – so i could look within to get to know who i am – the present me. I knew i wanted to devote my time to read, study, work, hoop, do yoga, move, meditate, and give myself the freedom to be truly me, because i felt like i was falling into a category of what others perceive me to be, also by my own mind and making. And i needed to be free.
I’ve experienced ecstatic dance a few times – in London for Morning Gloryville (it’s like a festival vibe in a club in the morning with no alcohol, but there’s coffee and juice), and in Ubud during the hoop retreat – which was a more primal version (which i really enjoyed). They placed flowers and leaves on the floor, and we began by squishing and stomping all over it to feel connected to nature and the earth, before really getting into the flow.
Ecstatic dance is a session which gives you permission to move your body in whichever way you want and feel comes naturally to you, to let all that energy out and express yourselves in ways we seem to be stopped from doing these days. I think i’m a pretty committed dancer. I dance in my kitchen to de-stress, and at a time when i was happier, dancing was part of my morning ritual as i got ready for work. I seem to have forgotten/stopped doing that.
My journey with my hoop began just because i liked being near one, or in one.
I didn’t even know how to hoop around my waist back then, but would carry it around with me since i was in my early 20s, and even traveled everywhere with it when airasia started their flights (Bangkok, Bali, Philippines, etc). There were a couple of times they tried stopping me from taking it on board, and took pictures of it (i suppose as to exemplify in the next meeting how hoops aren’t allowed on flight), so after that, i had to check my hoop in, pray it wouldn’t get bent, and enjoy the looks on people’s faces when it came out on the conveyor belt at baggage reclaim. Now we’ve got foldable and travel hoops XD
It took me years to discover (thanks to instagram) that there are many other people in the world out there like me – who are innately drawn to the hoop and find peace, meditation, solace, healing and discovery in this simple yet powerful circle. When you think about it, the circle is the middle of every atom, planet, etc. I find that being in the middle of it or getting into the flow of it, puts one into a meditative state. Honestly, i didn’t even know how to hoop till a few years ago. But i loved the hoop so much, i would just SIT IN IT like a child when i’m at my happiest. At times when i needed comfort, i could curl up in it on the floor and cry, feeling like it was protecting me.
Before IG, i always felt like the odd one out in Malaysia, always bringing my hoop around with me (to clubs, parties, festivals, holidays) but later on, discovered the existence of the hooping community especially in Australia, the States, Canada, etc. Plus many of the girls were into colour, sparkles, nature, and shared the same belief system too! I felt like i had found my tribe.
Halfway wrote the below a long time ago, then something went wrong with my iphone – i lost a whole bunch of notes and got so down i never finished writing it. About time i just released it as it is.