Confession: this lil red bag does not belong to me.
    Or......maybe it does now, I'm not quite sure. Here's my recollection of the full story.

    I was playing with my 5-year-old niece at my parents' house a few weeks ago when she declared she wanted to show me her new toys. "Wait, I go get my bag."

    She came back with this red bag in her hand and I, in astonishment, asked her as she purged the bag with mini figurines, "Arya, where did you get this bag?"
    "I dunno. Mummy gave it to me."
    When my mom came into the living room I said, "Mak, this is bag is so pretty!" and she casually answered, "Oh yah I gave to Fiza after my trip to Vietnam...wait did I buy it in Vietnam?"
    At that moment it mattered less to me where the bag came from than why didn't my mom give it to ME?

    PS: Fiza is my elder sister a.k.a. Arya's mummy, fyi.

    So, me the stealth aunty asked Arya very sweetly if I could borrow it just so that I could take photos of it, only she replied, "But where am I going to keep my toys" and me the generous aunty (but undoubtedly devious) told her that she could follow me back home and choose a different little bag from my collection.

    For some reason, my 8-year-old nephew Rayyan and Arya think going to Caca (what they call Shah) and Cunli's (they call me Cunli) place is a treat so Arya enthusiastically agreed. Both nephew and niece followed us home right after and started playing with their toys — uh huh, they keep toys at our place — and even though I was secretly hoping Arya would forget about our pact (toldja I was devious), after 20 minutes she casually asked, "Cunli, remember you said you wanted to give me a bag?"
    Nope, no such luck, Cunli.

    As I went into my closet room to scan my selection of bags, I realised I had made a grave mistake of making the offer to my niece, as none of my bags was (1) little, or (2) something I was willing to part with to a 5-year-old who occasionally misplaced her stuff/give her stuff away to her friends without her parents' permission.

    But then I thought of this thin, short-chained cat-face tote (similar to this cat-face sling bag that I no longer own)I got from my favourite secondhand shop in Tokyo — bought years ago but still unused, resulting from my unsureness of what outfit to match it with, so at that moment I figured that was my best option of fulfilling my promise.

    Arya was utterly delighted when I presented the cat-face tote to her which made me really happy. I made her promise to take good care of it and she nodded.
    Fast forward to last week when I said to her, "Arya, I've finished using your bag, can I have my cat bag back?" And she went "Errr, I don't know where it is."

    Ahhh, the limitless love one aunty has for her nephew and niece.

    •     •     •     •     •     •     •

    By the way, I don't know about other hijabis living in tropical climates but it is a good day for me when I discover a pretty sleeveless maxi dress to be worn under a good outerwear layer, like this sky blue polka dot dress. I almost wanted to match it with my blue Adidas sneakers with red polka dots, but maybe for next time?
    (Unless it's overkill, what do you think?)

      Wearing: Pull & Bear blazer  |  Zara sky blue polka dot maxi dress  |  Adidas Stan Smith  |  Arya's bag (which was my Mom's, then Fiza's, then now mine, I suppose?)

      This blazer is about five years old! Click each image below to go to really old posts from 2014 featuring my perennial powder blue blazer:
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