Cover Photo: Courtesy of Amelia Tan

Foodie talk, long-distance relationships and more with Getha's business development director Amelia Tan

What was life at home like for you when the first MCO started? 

During our first MCO, the whole family was together, including the pets. Those weeks passed breezily. When we weren't doing our own thing we planned meals together, played board games, watched TV and played with my new baby niece LiAhn!

Related: Catching Up With Celebrity Couple Aaron Chin And January So

What brought you to Hong Kong lately? 

I came to Hong Kong for love. The pandemic has brought many challenges to everyone in such different ways. It separated me from my partner Tim, who is based in Hong Kong. When we were separated earlier in the year, the situation seemed to have a positive outlook to improve over a few months. But after a while, we decided that it would be better not to continue with long distance – so here I am!

Also: Dr Farid Razali & Dr Fazliana Abdul Rashid Prove Love Knows No Distance


Home quarantine versus hotel quarantine: tell us about your experience with both.

Although I’m naturally introverted, going through 16 days of hotel quarantine alone took a toll on my spirit. My daily routine wasn’t different to the norm – I was occupied with work and I had purposely bought a Nintendo Switch, books and Netflix to keep me company. Home quarantine was easy in comparison! 

I also did a 14-day home quarantine with Tim. The real estate in Hong Kong is smaller, but it was still a huge improvement to quarantine with someone in a home versus alone in a hotel. We ordered groceries and cooked every meal together. It was great bonding time!

Any takeaways from the whole experience? 

A daily routine in solitude and a confined space somehow nudges you to get to know yourself deeper. Most of the time I felt a tranquillity that I don’t normally experience. There were times I found myself being judgmental, wondering if I was putting my quarantine time to good use. After the first week, I learnt to tuck those judgments away and carry on happily.

See also: 4 Tips On Creating A Beautiful Work Space At Home



What's #WFH life been like for you?

Since my team already had everything on the cloud, accessing my work from home even before the pandemic was straightforward. However, I struggle with working from home full-time! Especially in terms of workplace ergonomics and body posture. At the office I have my standing desk, an ergonomic chair and my Getha back support cushion. Although I have the cushion with me at home, I find my body easily agitated and sore. 

Related: 6 Myths About Productivity At Home

Favourite activities to unwind? 

I was never fond of yoga before my spine injury three years back, but I picked it up as a form of recovery. The longer I stuck to it, the more I got into it. My body feels great after a deep flow and I find myself feeling more lifted.

I also find cooking and baking therapeutic. I always have some cookie dough ready in the freezer. They take a quick 15mins to bake and I get to enjoy some freshly baked chocolate chip cookies with a cup of ginger tea.

Related: The Top Home Bakers In The Klang Valley


What's one dish that you'd love to be able to make this year? 

One of Tim’s favourite desserts is carrot cake, and I promised to make him one months ago. I have never made a carrot cake but I’ll be making one for an intimate Christmas get-together. Fingers crossed that it turns out well! 

What's at the top of your Christmas wish list this year?

If this were like a birthday wish, it would be that we're close to the end of the pandemic. Otherwise, I’m looking forward to unwrapping something from Le Creuset or KitchenAid (haha). 

See also: 10 Brands To Refresh Your Home Interior In 2021

Tell us about your pets.

At home we have three dogs, stingless bees, some tortoises and a few strays that come to seek refuge from their predators. I love that each of them has their own quirky personality, even the tortoises! Titan the Samoyed is my favourite; he's a fun-loving, goofy fur ball that loves to destroy. But he is extremely adorable and such a sweetheart. I also really enjoy the honey we harvest from the stingless bees. They produce a unique fermented sour honey.

More: 12 Adorable Dogs In Hong Kong And Their Proud Owners

Which destination in the world do you miss the most right now, and why?

I love travelling around Southeast Asia. It's close and convenient, and we used to be able to just take a short weekend getaway. I miss Vietnam, the beautiful greenery of SaPa Valley, scenic views of Ha Long Bay and the quaint town of Hoi An, Vietnam is my absolute favourite destination which I visit every year.

I was lucky enough to explore more of Malaysia this year. The most memorable visit was to the stunning Batu Batu Island near Mersing Johor with my high school besties. It was our first trip together, just a short and sweet getaway to a pristine private island.

See also: Private Retreats In Malaysia For A Post-Quarantine Staycation

What Netflix shows have you been into?

I love food and am addicted to the cooking and food series on Netflix! Crazy Delicious is my all-time favourite, I hope they release another season soon. I also enjoy Sugar Rush, The Big Family Cooking Showdown and The Final Table. Right now I’m savouring through The Chef Show which is a follow up to the movie Chef by Jon Favreau. I’m also really into thriller and horror movies. I loved The Invisible Man and was glad I managed to catch it in the cinema before the lockdown. I just watched The Call on Netflix: a Korean thriller film that kept me on the edge of the sofa.

What books have been on your reading list lately?

I’m not usually one to pick up fiction, but I'm currently reading a book recommended by my sister Melissa called A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, about a young girl and her life in Afghanistan in the 1960s. I've also enjoyed A Monk's Guide to Happiness by Gelong Thubten. 

Other great reads include Primary Greatness by Stephen Covey – great for identifying and developing the best you; Dave Asprey's Game Changers, about hacking out biology and overcoming unhelpful thoughts and behaviours; and Carlos Gil's The End Of Marketing, a great reminder for brands to be real, have a genuine brand personality and sincere engagement with customers and employees. I've also read Eight Dates by Gottman, Abrams, Abrams, and Schwartz, which is great for understanding relationships and developing meaningful communication.

Related: Tengku Zatashah Idris's 12 Recommended Books For The Holidays

Tatler Asia

What are you most grateful for in 2020?

I feel extremely blessed to have good health during these difficult times. I've not had any severe medical issues. When I was recovering from my surgery at the hospital, I was lucky to be constantly surrounded by friends and family who made time to see me and kept me company. The experience would have been very different with the current environment and social distancing regulations.

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