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Liebster Award

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So apparently I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award, thank you Aliyaaa 🙂
It’s also alerted me to the fact that I’ve neglected my blog for a long time now, so I’ll get on to that over the next few days.

Not gonna lie, I’d never heard of it until the nomination – but, as far as I’ve gathered, I now basically have to write 11 random facts about myself, answer 11 questions from the person who nominated me, nominate another 11 blogs, and then think up 11 questions for my nominees to answer. I’m not a creatively minded person, so this isn’t gonna be easy for me!

Here goes..

11 random facts about myself

11 facts would be easy, 11 random facts is not. How random does something have to be to count as random? ‘Random’ is subjective.

  1. I’m currently on my year abroad in Beijing, China, to study Mandarin Chinese as part of my undergraduate degree.
  2. I’m secretly (now less so secretly) quite jealous of people who have artistic talents; my mastery of drawing stick-men just isn’t enough to satisfy me.
  3. I really like languages and words and everything to do with them (plays on words, puns, anagrams, palindromes, even just spellings!)
  4. I have a strong dislike for cereal. I don’t just mean cereals like Weetabix which might sound understandable, I mean ALL cereals. They make me feel sick.
  5. I also have a perfectly rational fear of grapes. Really – perfectly rational, I assure you.
  6. I used to do Tae Kwon Do. Don’t mess with me.
  7. I have three ear piercings in my left ear.
  8. I really like sleeping. Fact.
  9. Even better, I love the feeling of going to sleep when my hair has just been washed. That perfect combination of just-damp hair that smells good makes for some of the best sleep 🙂
  10. I can roll my tongue. I used to think this was a random fact about everyone, until I discovered it was a genetic trait. What a very useful ability.
  11. After coming to China, I’ve discovered that I really like potatoes.

Answering 11 questions

If you could learn to do something new, what would it be?

Surprise, surprise, for those of you who know me: learn another language… and retain the ability to speak it! I like to think I can converse in 4 languages, (English, Gujarati, German and Mandarin Chinese) but when it comes down to it, it’s not as easy as just learning a language, practice is of the utmost importance – as I’ve discovered after having come to China: 7 years of learning German and every time I want to think of saying something in German, all that comes to mind are the Chinese words. 😦

What is your favourite dance move?

I don’t dance. Can’t say I’m all too familiar with many dance moves, if I’m honest. Sorry to disappoint, but PASS. Oh, I think breakdancing is pretty cool, can that count?!

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

As most people do, I’m sure, I went through a number of phases in this regard:
When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a hairdresser (standard, I know). At some point, I wanted to be an event planner – I seemed to like the idea of organising things for other people, even though I’m not an overly organised person. This is probably the same reason for why that idea failed. Possibly around the same time, I wanted to be an interior designer (I’d probably been watching too much House Doctor, because that’s what comes to mind when I think ‘interior design’). As I got a bit older, I thought I’d go into journalism – I wasn’t bad at writing in school, and tricked myself into thinking that writing about political issues is something I’d be interested in. Ironic, isn’t it, that the older you get and the more important it becomes to make a decision on what you want to do, you have no ideas? I’m 19, and in my second year of university, and have absolutely no idea what ‘I want to be when I grow up’.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

I really don’t like these types of questions (clearly I’m going to perform outstandingly in any interviews I ever have), because I can never come up with answers. Nothing stands out as my ‘greatest’, so I guess I’m going to say that considering how reliant and dependent I am on my family and all the comforts of living at home, adapting to the massive change it was to come to China was more than a little tough for me. Realising how much I take for granted back home, I found it incredibly difficult at the start, but I’ve managed, and looking back, that, for me, is a pretty big achievement.

Who is your favourite author?

Tough question. I enjoy reading, I used to read a fair bit,  and I wish I’d make more time for it now. I’m not sure if I have a favourite author though, because that implies having read multiple books by a particular author, rather than just naming the author of my favourite book instead. I think I’ll go for Stieg Larsson, author of the Millennium Trilogy. When I was a kid though, I used to read a lot of Goosebumps, so I think R. L. Stine deserves a childhood mention too.

Which place would you like to visit that you have not done so already?

There’re a couple of places on this list: Australia, Canada (I’ve been there when I was about two years old, so that hardly counts), a bit more of Europe, some tropical islands like the Maldives! (because, why not?), but I definitely want to visit India one day. Although I have to go back at least 4 generations to find traces of my family in India,  I’m 100% brown girl.

Who is your closest friend?

If closest implies someone who knows you really well, someone that you know really well, and someone that you could talk to about anything, it’d probably be a draw between my mother and my older brother. Totally cliché, I know.

If you could change one aspect of your personality, what would it be?

I can only pick one?! This probably doesn’t qualify as an aspect of my personality, but I’d change my thought process. The ability to think logically is something I very seriously lack. This is no joke, and I’m not being modest, common sense evades me, and I genuinely cannot think through something and arrive at a decent conclusion, on my own. This tends to lead to making bad decisions or to never being able to make even the simplest of decisions. It also means I’m pretty much at Level 0 in that very real game called Having Opinions.

How many hours of sleep do you get on average?

On average, around 6 or 7 hours a night. It’s not enough for me, waking up for uni in the mornings is an absolute chore. But, because I’m a night person, forcing myself to go to bed in time for what I consider to be an early wake up the next morning is something I’m not so good at. It’s a vicious circle.

What’s worse: too hot or too cold?

This question is too hard for me, I don’t know and I can’t decide. I’m gonna go for too cold, because I’m feeling a little on the cold side right now and it’s not a nice feeling.

What is your favourite game?

Game? Pffft, I’m too old for games.


I love wordy games and Pictionary and also enjoy RPG/RTS games like The Sims and Age Of Empires.
Unfortunately, Aliya, I never played Neopets 🙂 But I did used to play RuneScape… (The effect of having brothers, eh?)

My Liebster Award Nominees

I’m not sure if the nominees also have to be WordPress users, because I don’t even know 11. I’m gonna take it as a more liberal blog ‘award’ and nominate bloggers regardless of what site they use. Apologies in advance if this isn’t acceptable. Also, I’m still not getting anywhere near 11, I’m not much of a social butterfly in the blogging community. (Might drop some hints to you guys to let you know…)

Kimfucius at ksine
Ni hao, Ningbo
Feepit vs. Cheepit
Siraj Datoo

My 11 questions

  1. Chocolates or sweets?
  2. If you could choose to be fluent in any 3 languages, which ones would you pick? (Assuming you currently speak none). Feel free to provide reasons.
  3. What do you consider to be your best quality?
  4. How do you like your eggs in the morning?
  5. If you could live in someone else’s shoes for a day, who would that person be?
  6. What three objects sum up your childhood best?
  7. On a scale of 1 to 10, how well do you feel like you really know yourself? (1 being not at all, 10 being completely)
  8. Do you think we’re bound for a robot-controlled future? (I’m talking ‘I, Robot’ style, here) And are you for or against?
  9. What is the first film you ever watched/remember watching?
  10. Favourite meal of the day?
  11. Would you rather be disliked for the person that you actually are, or liked for being someone you’re not?

About Ibtehaal

I graduated with a degree in Chinese and Economics, which involved spending a year studying Chinese in Beijing. This turned out to be the hardest but most rewarding thing I think I have ever done. I've now returned to China for another year, to study in Shanghai and figure out my next steps.

2 responses »

  1. Haha some great answers here 🙂 I think you missed out by not playing Neopets though 😛

  2. Thanks for the nomination! Hope that studying is going well!


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