On Early Starts and The Paper Menagerie

Like I said, over the past few weeks, I’ve been starting my days quite early. Well, perhaps not a 5-am kind of thing going on because I’m not there yet. However, this is my current take on it, one that’s been prepared around my class schedule at the moment.

During weekdays, I usually would get going at around 8 ish after a shower and putting my face on. On that note though, I haven’t been wearing any base products such as my under-eye concealers and powder which is rather freeing. Then, I would enjoy a cup of joe, scroll through Instagram for a bit, do my morning pages and brainstorm for blog posts. Mind you this is a great improvement for me because usually, I would be okay with rolling around bed fixated on my phone, which results in a deadly realization of just how much of my morning has been wasted.

This routine also rings the same for when I have my 1-o’clock classes. In the beginning of the semester, I would stay back until around 12 o’clock, continued by me rushing to the train station in the blistering heat and pollution. As a result, I would end up completely feeling overwhelmed. Now, I’m feeling all the benefits. There’s never one item forgotten to be put inside my bag, blog post ideas are ready for execution whenever I need one published, I have more time on campus to take a breather, enjoy my 8 minute walk to the faculty, settle down, chill with the girls, mindfully prepare for class and even spend a good solid hour drinking coffee with a good (no, it’s amazing) book! Just like I did this morning.

My faculty actually has a humble, little cafe called Coffee Toffee nestled beside the main auditorium. It’s literally one strip of space that manages to fit two small sofas, big windows, and chairs on either side of the room. I chose a cafe latté which was incredibly smooth and light in my tummy. Then I went over and picked a seating area directly facing a window because I can’t resist that picture-perfect natural light. It was one of the most blissful mornings I’ve had so far and I didn’t regret bringing Ken Liu’s collection of short stories with me.

That being said, I hope it’s alright that I quickly gush about how I’m loving this book. But first, I don’t know if I have told you this but short stories haven’t always been my cup of tea because I thought they were lacking in depth, charm, substance and bla, bla, bla. Now, I’m taking back all my stuck-up opinions on it because of a few I’m reading and I think Ken Liu is doing one helluva job!

It’s called The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories which houses an array of stories wrapped in magical realism, a little bit of sci-fi and steampunk. I know, it might sound kind of strange, but I’m glad that I got the chance to read some Artemis Fowl as a young teen to which I thank my parents for allowing me to get a bunch of books in the series. Anyways, his stories are quite the literary material with delicate words and vivid imagery. They will draw you in even with all the fun and mesmerizing sci-fi/magical realism bits slipped in between.

My favorite one so far is The State Change. It’s about this girl whose soul takes the form of an ice-cube and it revolves around the question of simply; what happens when it melts? It’s enough to intrigue you, and you’ll see how Ken unfolds his little dystopian world but then boom! He will leave you reflecting on your own life because all of a sudden, his prose became so relatable and universal that you’ll start to smile or cry. Two other stories almost did the job of making me tear up this morning so thanks, Mr. Liu! *sigh*

I can do a proper review once I’m done with the book but until then, thank you once again for reading this post and ta ta for now.