REVIEW: Travelling with Y5Buddy

Road trips can be an absolute bore, no matter how strong your wanderlust at the moment. That’s especially so if you’re in a passenger wilting in the backseat because there’s no entertainment, and every sitting position feels uncomfortable, but you’ve just gotten up from a nap. Dilemma of every single road trip to Kuantan.

This time, I decided to get a portable wifi device that would keep me connected all the way from Singapore to Kuantan and back!

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I got my wifi device from Y5Buddy and contacted them about a week before my trip. Thankfully, the day their staff replied me was the day their Malaysian wifi devices were released for use! What a stroke of luck. Christine of the Y5Buddy team rendered me almost impeccable service, even calling me to remind me that I could reserve the device online. Thank you, Christine! I was a little confused as it was my first time ordering with them but it turned out well thanks to Christine’s help.

The Malaysian wifi cost $9/day, which is an astonishingly reasonable sum to be forking out for a device that makes life so much easier for me. Of course, they have devices for other destinations such as Korea, USA, China, Taiwan, etc.  It can connect up to 10 devices and on this trip it accommodated everybody’s phones, iPods and laptops! I opted for the courier service, which entails pickup and delivery to your doorstep at $12. The device came in the above Y5Buddy pouch, containing the charging wires and the device itself.

 

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The device itself is pretty small, almost credit card sized. It will fit comfortably into your pocket so it’s definitely very convenient to carry around. The wires consist of two parts, the charging head and USB cable. This means that you can choose to charge your device from a wall socket or from your computer, whichever is more convenient. I charged the device overnight as per Christine’s recommendation and was able to use it 5-8 hours in the day, depending on how many devices were connected to it at one go.

This device functions like a hotspot, so don’t expect lightning connection. The connectivity of the device itself is pretty decent, although a little sketchy around rural areas, as to be expected. When in the city though, this provides for surfing that’s faster than the local 3G network. Impressive, is it not? It provided stable wifi connection even when crossing states! I must say though, the device can heat up pretty quickly – 5 minutes of use gets it warm to the touch, but it doesn’t get so hot that it’s scalding, even when used for extended periods of time. I kept it switched off when I wasn’t using it to preserve battery. The device is also safe from leeches since there’s an ID and secure password on the sticker that’s on the back of the device. Once you log in on your mobile gadget, you don’t have to worry about logging in again and again since it will remember the password, so that’s convenient as well.

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Before I got this device, I was pretty upbeat about simply testing it to see what magic it was, but I ended up relying on it for most of the trip. I preferred using this over the sluggish hotel wifi and even used this to load dramas to watch in the car. The connectivity has not disappointed, so it’s reliable even for working adults who need stable wifi for work. I’ll highly recommend this for jetsetters who can’t keep their hands off their phones!

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The Boy Inside

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Once in a while, a friend achieves something and I, as a bystander, end up feeling immensely proud despite having done nothing. This is especially so when it’s a creative pursuit. I guess it’s the fact that you see growth, you see improvement, and whether small or big, these things take a lot of courage, wisdom, and aptitude. For this very reason, artists are people I admire endlessly for their gumption in taking something personal and putting it on stage, subject to criticism, and also for their relentless hard work – all the sleepless nights and mental/physical stress the audience doesn’t see. Congratulations, Liansheng! Another tick off your bucket list before moving on to the next endeavour. Thank you for writing this play, for the unique insights only you could have provided.  I’ll be looking forward to your next piece, and I do so hope this gets a proper staging!

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Such an exciting year for all my friends who are literary artists! Plays being put up here and there, translations being worked on and poems being composed. What better motivation than them to write, write, write?

Waging war with the pen.

86 | Coal

We haven’t had a class outing in a long while, and I’m glad this came through. Big budget barbeque + 02’s antics + cooperation = a whale of a time! From ingredient shopping to starting the fire to cooking, it was all such a huge blast. 🙂

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Starting the fire. Behind us the fire was growing bigger and did on a few times get rather out of control. I start fires for most of the barbeques I go to (and I absolutely hate it when people nag beside me saying I should do it this or that way) but this had one of the hugest ones I’d seen!

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The usual gang.
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Janice and I haven’t had a shot together since forever. Going to keep this one cos we both don’t look too shabby here!

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This one’s a quickie before I head to off for a holiday in 3 hours. It’s going to be really quiet. I’m taking it as a “writing retreat” where I just write without the interruptions of dramas, schoolwork, translation or Korean. I’m behind on a playlet and I’ve got some poems to work on so.. step on it Chels. Let’s get this going.

85 | Kopi Break

This pitifully short holidays, Micaela and I decided to take a siesta and run off to explore new cafes. We’d initially wanted to try Arbite but its opening hours didn’t match our timings. So we settled for a few cafes on the Yellow Line – Habitat Coffee, One Man Coffee, and Maple & Market.

Our first stop was at Habitat Coffee, further down Upper Thomson Road from One Man Coffee.
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One thing I must mention here though, is that the truffle fries ($8) at Habitat Coffee are to DIE for. With so much truffle flavour and a generous sprinkling of cheese, the fries are absolutely heavenly. They’re not too soggy, nor too dry. Done just right at a decent price point. Definitely worth a try (and a return trip)!

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One Man Coffee has a lot of hype surrounding it and it all boils (or rather, brews) down to its fantastic coffee blend. I’m not a coffee connoisseur but something was different with this one. Despite ordering the mocha, the coffee was distinct enough to be tasted above the chocolate. Beware though, if you’re coming to visit – One Man Coffee is housed inside Crust Pizza’s sign at 215R Upper Thomson Road. It’s easy to miss, but then again if you do you can always visit Habitat first and then hop over later.

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Our last stop for the day was at Maple & Market. Located at Cassia Crescent (nearest MRT Dakota), it is both secluded and quiet. What stood out here was the decoration – it gave a homely feel. We had the Red Velvet Cake and coffee which were all good so no complaints here. Micaela’s Strawberry Green Tea was outstanding though, and even though I dislike green tea, this tea is definitely more than palatable.


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Sometimes the point of cafe-hopping is not to try new foods or coffees, but for the company, and the talk-time. 🙂