“9 to 5: What’s Neue” is a new segment where we ask random people in Brunei random questions about themselves, their opinions and everyday thoughts. Typically, we start with 9 tough questions and end with 5 that are more chill and tongue-in-cheek.

This week, Nabilah (@nabzybeau) was kind enough to have a chat with Neue (@whatsneue). Without further ado, here’s her 9-to-5!

The Tough 9’ers:

1. Describe an adventurous day out.

Anything outdoors with sunshine and a cool breeze. I’d be up for anything. Seriously. You want to climb a coconut tree? Dig a hole and pretend it’s a pool? Let’s go! Anything outdoors is already the start of adventure.

2. What was the most memorable gift you have received?

When I was about to leave Brunei for a few months, my boyfriend wrote about 20-30 little love letters for me, each supportive, each caring. During my travels at the time, it was hard to get mobile reception. We have been together for almost 8 years so that gift reminds me that romance will always be a part of our life.

3. How would you convince a friend to get over a breakup?

My breakup kit includes: an aggressive pep talk, unlimited trashing of the other party, the creation of an involuntary (often protested) Tinder account, and then proceeding to swipe for you. Effectiveness? Not so effective in achieving closure but a good laugh is guaranteed.

4. What would you say to a teacher (from your past) who had an impact on your life if he/she was in front of you now?

I would take this chance to say thank you to those teachers who have gone above and beyond to exude a parent’s love and care. I would also like to say thanks to them for not laughing at me when I mistakenly replied, “Yes, Dad!” that one time during registration.

5. If you could go back in time and bring something from 2018 with you, what would it be and why?

I would bring the mobile that I accidentally dropped in my fish tank back to life and rescue all of my photos and videos. Here’s what happened: I was cleaning my fish tank, while charging my mobile and YouTube-ing all at the same time. However, I accidentally stepped on the charger cable and my mobile fell into the tank. So while I was watching a Rich Lux makeup review from outside the tank, my fish was watching from inside the tank – with my mobile submerged.

6. You can travel anywhere in the world for free. Where would you go for a vacation and why?

(Photo courtesy of Conrad Maldives)

The Maldives! Do you know how expensive it is to go on a honeymoon in the Maldives?! Since I’m being given the opportunity to travel for free, I would get myself a honeymoon package there and chill in an all-glass underwater hotel suite.

7. What makes a baby cute?

Overfeeding. Chubby babies could melt my butter.

8. What is the most exciting thing you’ve done this year?

2018 has really been a work-focused year and was not as exciting as 2017. In 2017, I went around Southeast Asia under a leadership programme called the Ship For Southeast Asian and Japanese Youth Programme (SSEAYP), where I had the opportunity to shake hands with the Japanese Prime Minister and members of the Japanese Imperial family. I also met the Prime Minister of Cambodia, as well as Ministers from Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. This inspired me to come back to Brunei in 2018 to help members of my community. In the beginning of 2018, I formulated ‘I Love Reading’ classes with government school students who needed help improving their reading and writing skills. This year, I also wrote a children’s book called “The Little Fighting Fish”. I also cut off all my hair and donated it to ‘Locks of Love’. I also had the privilege do the makeup for princesses throughout His Majesty the Sultan’s birthday celebrations.

9. Please share a beauty trick that never fails? Or what’s the best life hack that never fails?

Use Pears brand soap for an industrial brow wax (found at Hua Ho Department Store). Wet your spoolie and rub it on the soap to get a thick consistency and then brush through your brows. The only fail to this hack would be if you forget that you’ve had soap in your brows all day and when you rub your eyes or wash your face it gets in your eyes. So be careful! Brush horizontally for the neat Asian style, brush upwards for bush style.

The Easy 5’ers:

1. What’s your go-to stress-relief song and why?

If it’s really bad, I’ll pretend I’m the character Andy from the US hit show, ‘The Office’ and dance to the song ‘Footloose’.  It’s Season 8, Episode 13! Or a 2-hour loop of rain on a tin roof with distant thunder would be fine too.

2. If you had to spend the next 24 hours watching movies (non-stop) in your home, what movies would they be?

Home movies. I wish I could compile every single video shot by camcorder, digicam, or phone that had me in it from when I was a tiny baby, through my teens and young adult years. I would literally be watching my life .. and I could pretend to be an old woman on her death bed reminiscing of her friends and lovers who have long passed on. 

3. Name one of your perfumes with a memory attached to it.

There was this perfume by Vera Wang called ‘Princess’. The first time I smelled it was when I was 14 and there was an advert for the perfume in the first ever magazine I bought. The advert had a fold that you opened and you could smell the perfume. Buying that magazine made me believe I was a finally an adult. I sniffed that page for days obsessing over it. I finally bought the perfume when I was 24. I was finally a woman with a perfume that had a crown shaped lid, purple  rhinestones, called ‘Princess’. I still think it smells great, though.

4. We are fast approaching 2019. Have you achieved your 2018 New Year’s Resolution?

I lost 10 kgs but in reverse, so not yet.

5. What’s your 2019 New Year’s Resolution?

To lose the 10 kgs I gained and to get rid of the 10 kgs I carried forward from 2017.