Welcome to another edition of “What’s Neue from 9 to 5”.

We here at Neue believe that every person out there has a story to tell.

This week, we find out What’s Neue with Kylie Ten, a bubbly 23-year-old Bruneian who opened a modest cafe called ‘The Dough’ (@thedoughbn) in Kiulap back in April this year after spending a few years in Taiwan to further her studies.

Click on the photo to read Neue’s past article – “The Dough: Brunei’s Hidden Little Cafe”. Photo shows Kylie Ten (right) with her boyfriend, Jing (Photo: Lance Thoo/Neue)

If you haven’t visited ‘The Dough’, I highly recommend you to do so because the positivity that Kylie radiates is amazing.

When I asked Kylie what her secret was to being so positive, she said it was very simple … Be grateful for EVERYTHING in life – the “good” and the “bad”.

She then opened up to me saying that things in life started becoming clearer to her after she was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) Syndrome, a disorder of the electrical system of the heart.

All this happened during her final degree year at Ming Chuan University in Taipei.

This was a very challenging time for her, as she confessed that some of her so-called “friends” had turned their backs on her when she needed them the most.

But it was through this that she discovered some important things about herself – lessons that helped her appreciate all the little things in life.

“I treat all my past challenges as lessons,” she said. “I’m so grateful for what I’m able to do now in life and I’m so happy about it!”

Without further ado, let’s see how Kylie tackles this week’s #Neue9to5 questions.

The First 9 Questions

1. How did you end up baking?

I had initially planned on settling down in Taipei after obtaining my degree in Journalism and Mass Communication at Ming Chuan University.

However, things didn’t go as smoothly as I thought they would.

It wasn’t that easy to look for a job there as a foreigner.

After going through multiple interviews and not getting a single job offer, I felt that returning home to Brunei “to create my own opportunities” would be best.

I mustered the courage to do so after much consultations with my family and boyfriend.

But before returning back to Brunei, I thought to myself, “Hey Kylie! Why not sign up for some baking courses?”

And this was exactly what I did after I extended my stay in Taiwan.

Life’s amazing.

I have no regrets furthering my studies in Taiwan.

For every door that closes, there’s another one that opens. I firmly believe in this.

I’m grateful for every “bad” thing that happened in my life … I consider them as lessons that have shaped me to the person that I am today.

I’m ever so grateful to be back home in Brunei!

2. What’s the story behind ‘The Dough’?

After having spent over 4 years in Taipei, I knew EXACTLY what I wanted to do and what I was truly passionate about as far as my career was concerned. And it was baking!

At first, I was just a simple home-based baker.

Even though my business was what some may consider “very small”, I firmly believe that it’s important to have some form of branding. I want all packaging of my products to come with my own logo.

And so, I got in touch with a graphic artist and before you know it, ‘The Dough’ was born.

Out of the blue, my father called me to ask if I’d be interested in setting up a cafe right beside his vegetarian restaurant, ‘Pureland Vegetarian House’, in Kiulap.

And this is one of the main reasons, why my cafe ‘The Dough’ does not serve meat, as I wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps.

3. In your opinion, what are the challenges that young people are facing in Brunei?

I think it’s not easy to find a job that’s related to what they’re studying. There are a lot of new graduates every year but there are inadequate jobs to cater to everyone’s area of study.

The working hours in Brunei, especially in the private sector, can be quite long.

And I think that most people’s wages are stagnant despite the increasing cost of living.

4. If 8-year-old Kylie were to magically appear in front you, what do you think she’d say?

Wow! You look so much better than I thought you would.

Remember to ALWAYS be that girl who’ll stay happy as long as there’s plenty of ice-cream and lollipops.

5. If you could talk to 50-year-old you for just 1 minute, what would you say?

Please take good care of your body figure!

I hope you’re actively attending yoga classes. Don’t worry 50 years old is still considered “young” 🙂

I hope you have enough savings to travel around the world … after all, this was what you always wanted to do in life.

And have you finally gotten your dream car? It’ll be so cool if you had either a Jaguar or a Maserati!

6. What’s the best advice you have received (so far)?

Whatever “bad” thing you may be going through now, take comfort knowing that all this is just temporary.

You may have felt as though you were struck by “bad luck”, but in reality something really good is coming your way soon!

Life will not always be “bad”. You have to go through “bad” times to appreciate all the “good” that’s coming your way.

7. How did you survive high school?

Hmm … “survive”. Wow! That’s a dramatic word indeed! I can’t say much about that because to me, high school was fun!

In fact, I’m still in contact with one of my best friends I made while in STPRI (Sekolah Tinggi Perempuan Raja Isteri) in Brunei. Her name’s Jacqueline Lau and she’s now a lawyer. I’m so proud of her!

I do miss the good ol’ days of having lunch with my friends before making our way for extra classes in the afternoon to work on lab experiments.

I must admit that I miss the days of talking nonsense with my friends.

And though my friends and I weren’t that attentive in class, we’re fortunate that our results still turned out great! Thank goodness!

8. If you could try any job around the world for one week, what would it be?

I’d love to be a veterinary surgeon. I absolutely love animals and do not want them to suffer.

9. If you could turn back time, what would you do?

I’d skip my ‘A’ Level studies and go straight into culinary school or pursue a diploma in Food Studies.

That’s enough ‘What If’ thoughts for me today 🙂The Last 5 Questions

1. If your pet could talk for 5 minutes, what are the 3 questions you would ask?

(i) Do you love me?

(ii) Which snacks do you like the most?

(iii) How did it feel when you travelled in a plane with me from Taiwan to Brunei?

2. If you were a superhero, what’s the first thing you would do?

(Source: GIPHY)

If I was a superhero, I’d have the financial means to ensure that every single stray animals are well fed.

And if possible, help to find them a forever home.

For me, not all superheroes need to dress up like those Marvel characters.

Anyone can be a superhero as long as they have a kind heart and do good for others.

3. If you could learn any magical power, what would it be?

To be able to communicate with animals. I’d love to “talk” to my dogs everyday!

4. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

(Source: GIPHY)

It would have to be sushi.

Why? Because it has everything!

I think life would be so much easier and straight-forward, if we ate sushi every single day.

All you have to do is just choose the ingredients you want and roll them all together 🙂

5. Think of the time when you fell in love, what song pops in your head?

Oh! That’s easy. That would have to be “Love You Like A Love Song” by Selena Gomez (see video above).

I’d also like to add that if you had asked me what song popped in my head if I were about to get into a fight, it would be “Warrior” by BAP 🙂 You can check out the video below.

See You In The Next Interview!

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