Day One, Istanbul

Let me say this now – I HATE FLIGHT DELAYS!! Especially when its been delayed by 4 hours and no one informed us beforehand.. having to spend few hours in an airport is really boring. We were lucky though that mom and dad managed to get us all into the airport lounge.. INTERNET I RABURABU YOUUUU~

Flying with a handicapped person has its benefits I suppose, mostly getting to skip the queues. πŸ˜› but most people were quite accommodating, so we are quite thankful for that.
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Haha we got abit lost looking for the Topkapi Sarayi, but we found Sultanahmet and Aya Sofya cause they’re really quite hard to miss πŸ™‚

The palace itself is really huge and amazing, the architecture is quite something else. They had quite a few displays on armor, the sacred treasury which had a lot of items from the Kaabah.. even an English translation of the Quran which was being read out while we were in that section. And the small section which was the council hall where they held meetings.. and a display of clocks and assorted watches given by people from different parts of the world!

In the evening it was also quite a different vibe to the place. Lots of neon lights, restaurants still packed to the brim… just window shopping for baklava and Turkish delights was fun πŸ™‚

Unfortunately some of the people we met wee pretty dodgy or rude… Lawl kamon la, we’re (potential) paying customers and we weren’t being rude, there’s no reason to think were being unreasonable or demanding. Sheesh.

However, not all is bleak here… we did come across some people who were genuinely nice and welcoming, so that was nice πŸ™‚ like the hotel manager who explained the interesting points and sights for first timers and all.

before I go.

Am kinda excited for this trip cause I’ve never been before! First stop, Istanbuuuu (as aichan calls it XD)~

Did my packing at the 11th hour really, man that was pretty intense. But I managed to fit most of the things in, I hope I’ll still have some extra space for shopping! >_<

Istanbul X London

Soon to be on my list of travels – Istanbul, and back to London! =D

This time things will be exciting – I’ve never been to Istanbul, and I’m so glad we have the chance to go! =D 3 full days, and lots of sights to see! Kinda planned it out already – where we’re staying, what we’re gonna be doing. The Hagia Sofia, Sultanahmet Mosque, Egyptian Spice Bazaar, the Grand Bazaar, wandering around Bosphorus (hopefully), Topkapi and the Dolmabahce Palace and a museum or two! Hopefully the weather won’t be too cold so we can spend some time outdoors – the gardens around the Sultanahmet area are supposed to be really pretty! =D

Then there’s the food, FOOOD GLORIOUS FOOD! All the pide, doner and fish and seafood and.. *drool* OH! and Lokum! =D I can’t wait to stuff my face, drink some Turkish Tea / Coffee too.. Also, I need to ask Mama Ming where she bought her vacuum-packed cheese and olives.. those were totally divine~ and I heard of a place where they’ll allow you to mix your own scent. Sounds like fun, and if it’s < TL40, why not?

Trivia: at this point of time, TL1 is around RM1.75 (round it up to RM2 I guess, for easier counting).

Also means.. I get to experience a totally different kind of currency! Not Euro (yet! I will someday!) and I wonder what the money looks and feels like.
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And London, oh London, how I’ve missed you so! Mainly cause aichan is there, my awesome cousins are there (both akagami & Livvy, Josh & Ell) and no doubt I’ll meet up with some or all of them! =D I’ve asked mom a hundred times, and all hundred times she’s said “yes” to me staying with aichan for most of our London leg of the trip. XD I FINALLY GET TO SEE YOUR HOUSE! And be a stadium lamp/street lamp (you get the idea).

This time, DEFINITELY must do more touristy sights!

  • Watch a musical or two (Les Mis and one other random one, a Sondheim maybe?)
  • See the London sights! =D
  • SHOPPING OMG SHOPPING! the vintage market in Spitalfields, going to Radley & Harrods!
  • Day trip OUT OF LONDON! Hopefully to Cambridge, both aichan and akagami have said it’s nice to visit
  • MORE MUSEUMS ZOMG
  • Afternoon tea! =D hahah each time it’ll be different, I’m sure

Really looking forward to this trip. XD

Day four, μ„œμšΈ

Had a pretty awesome dinner.. Finally we ate some BBQ XD Had some plum wine to go with the meat, and seriously it was good. πŸ˜€

Wandered around Myeongdong again, but it really is a very different place at night. There were plenty of cure girls and guys giving out free hugs. XD I didn’t get any though – I guess they were thinking to avoid the tourists XD ahhhhh well.

Finally bought that super cute bunny jumper from Artbox. And loving it. XD

Also crossed something off the bucket list: eating ice cream outdoors in winter. In a word; AMAZING. also, am professing my love for Cold Stone Creamery ice cream.

Also bought some chestnuts cause I know the parents will enjoy it, and they did. Oh, and the trend of street food seems to be bug stew and chestnuts. Do they go well together or something?

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angry rant, and staying in

This is probably the most inappropriate time to be ratty, but I must make a personal mental note to NEVER EVER TRAVEL WITH WHINERS. All they care about are themselves, no matter what they say about sacrificing themselves good the greater good. I mean, that’s a whole pile of steaming bullshit la.

Ok, so on to the one liner for the tl;dr crowd. I, went to get some coffee sachets for them under her orders, and I tripped coming up the stairs cause I was an idiot.

Doesn’t explain anything? Damn, I failed. Ok then, read on.

Not only did she scold me for getting the wrong sachets of coffee, that she claimed we needed to pay for, she blamed me for not listening to her instructions. On top of that, she was in the mood to be sarcastic with me and adding why didn’t I say anything about the cute little xmas door giftΒ  the hostel gave us.

Oh for fuck’s sake. I went to get it for YOU GUYS, not for MY DUCKING SELF. And even then, those coffee sachets were FREE, YOU IDIOT. I see what you did there, asking me why I didn’t say anything about the xmas door gift. WHAT ARE YOU, BLIND? I WAS IN PAIN. Of course I’m not thinking about the door gift! And you insinuate that I’m trying to ruin YOUR holiday by injuring myself. Brilliant. Just effing brill. To top it off, you didn’t even apologize for the mistake you made, and pretended like everything was fine.

OkΒ  let’s try the tl;dr thing again. I don’t give a crap about all the things you accuse me of, but I DO GIVE A DAMN IF I DID NOTHING WRONG AND THAT YOU DID NOT FESS UP AND APOLOGIZE FOR YOUR MISTAKE.

Ok, with that out of my system, I’m indoors for the day. Hope to get better by tomorrow, at least able to handle long hours of standing. I can hobble slowly, like Guama’s speed of walking, but I can’t really push my luck.

The guys bought me some sammiches so I’ll survive, and damn I really like the milk I bought at the mart. Getting addicted to that stuff XD

Well most likely blog about my travels on Seoul so far, we’ve got write about going on.

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Day Three, μ„œμšΈ

Today’s main itinerary was the National Museum of Korea.

We had samgyetang for lunch at a really small cozy place near the hostel. Probably the healthiest meal we’ve had this entire trip.Still awesome, made even more awesome cause they gave one cup of soju too!

The museum itself was massive and beautiful! Reminded me of MOMA in San Francisco. The special thing about this museum though is that there is a lake and a little pondok kind of area where people sit and look out onto the lake… And there are ducks still swimming about even when half the lake is already frozen in.. And that you can see the marks on the ice where the ducks were waddling on before they went swimming.

Ahem. Sorry. On with the museum.

The museum had a lot of weapons on display for some reason. Even if I wasn’t really paying attention to all of them, I guess I just generally like to explore museums. The children’s museum was quite cute too.

We stayed till sundown, but the museum actually closes at 9PM.

Street food of the day. Tonkatsu and rice where the tonkatsu was too much panko, daejang chicken which was awesome, and taiyaki. The Japanese ones taste better. XD

Socials tonight, and I went to Swing Zoo! Was so much fun to see Mung Chi again, and dance with him too πŸ˜€ it was one dance after another, nonstop! Superb fun. XD

On my way back though, I realized I lost my Tmoney card, so I haas to get another one. XP

Surprisingly I expected the Myeongdong area to be really crowded, but it was empty by the time we got back. Hmm.

Aaaand I got back just in time to greet everyone Merry Christmas! ;D

Day 2, μ„œμšΈ

The day was quite leisurely.. went up N Seoul Tower. It’s basically like a Tokyo Tower.. But the One thing that I really liked was the Teddy Bear museum. Cost us W14000 for both the museum and the tower, but it was pretty and cuteness overload!! Plus, if you’re near the exhibit the bears will move cause they’re fitted wit some mechanics that enables them to simulate some actions in the scenery they’re placed in… Like farming , or some court scene, or telling a story.

The guys and I pooled some money to buy guama a teddy in a nice pink hanbok. And I bought myself a little Teddy as a keychain. XP

We went to the COEX mall after.. The place is basically like a 1U, but not as big. On one end is the mall, and on the others, there’s a exhibition hall, a cinema and an aquarium which har gau said was supposed to be really nice, but I think no one was really interested in going to another aquarium. Ah well.

There was a jazz band performing that day, so I sat around and watched them for abit. They were quite good, but the one at stole the show IMO was the emcee. He is one funny dude. Walked around summore, and I saw them advertising Just Dance 2 for Wii?

There was also this really cute shop called Artbox, bought socks there. Haha! I think if I have the chance I’ll go back there to get that bunny jumper, it looks really cute!

Oh, also went to dance at SwingTime Bar. Hahah it took kor and I a good 20mins to find the place. first time round we went into a really dodgy entry and wondered, “omg where the hell is this place?!” after asking some random dude, WE FINALLY FOUND THE PLACE!

The floor is a dedicated floor,it was packed, and the dancers there are all sooooo good I felt a little embarrassed having to ask one good dancer after another to dance with me. But the thick faced requests did their magic. I was so glad I came. I had a little door gift too cause i dressed for the occasion! I know a lot of them don’t speak English, but swing and lindy was always all bout how the lead-follow connection does the talking, after all XD

It was sooooooo FUN, I didn’t want to leave! but I promised I wouldn’t be back too late, plus kor was getting really bored. So I said goodbye and left as one helluva satisfied dancer.

Then some real winter magic happened. It was SNOWING gently, and it was so beautiful outside! Fluffy, light, and quite an experience indeed at Seocho.

What a perfect way to end the day. πŸ˜€

Day One, μ„œμšΈ

Ahhh that night flight was so uncomfy, but the pair of Korean steward and stewardess was a pretty sight. XD

The first thing we did when we reached was to exhale our breath in the cold wintry air. We are jakun like that. XD hated the taco ride to the hostel though, had the urge to puke a few times cause the car was so jerky half the time.

When we finally reached our hostel in Myeongdong λͺ…동, I was pleasantly surprised cause the room fit 5 people comfortably! Dumped our stuff in the room and set out for the day to Myeongdong.

Myeongdong has like… At least 4 of the same brand of skincare in the same vicinity. Innisfree, Nature Republic, Etude House, Holika Holika, SkinFood. Each with a salesgirl or a mascot outside the store. It’s the season to be shopping I guess, after all, xmas is just around the corner. XD

Had our first taste of Korean food for lunch. Had some kimchi stew, mackerel and octopus in the Korean compulsory marinade… Daejang? Need to find out what it is. XD

Initially we overshot the street, but eventually we found it. The Nanta Theater in Myeongdong! They had a special price for the afternoon show for W25000, and boy was that well spent. The show was amazing, and funny and entertaining, and I’d definitely go to watch it again. the head chef was awesomely funny, and I mean it XD

Had my first taste of ddeokbokki 떑볢이 and that was interesting..the best street food of the day is still ho ddeok ν˜Έλ–‘ though, even if it got all over my jacket. XP the stall owner was abit miffed that I was so slow though, it’s based on the trust system where you put the money in a box, and help yourself to the food.

Managed to take a picture at the purikura too. XD

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on traveling, happenings and what not! I love it =)

haven’t been here for awhile. So many, many, many things have been happening.

and poof, just like that, April’s gone.
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I’ve yet to have a full writeup of my amazing time in San Francisco – I had such a hard time leaving the place. The kind of… mm.. aura that you get from the place – it’s relaxing, goes at its own pace, and really welcoming. Well, in the lindy scene, I really felt that. And I really loved it! =) Even if it meant putting myself out there more than usual, it was worth it. Danced with alot of cute guys, talented dancers, and met alot of new people. Loved the people I was staying with, just sort of living their lifestyle made me wish I lived there. gosh!

Visited Golden Gate Park 3x! Went to the Golden Gate twice, Haight Street is super awesome. Got this really lovely pair of heels there, and I think I wear it more often than any of my other shoes (at the moment).

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Then there was the Labor Day weekend in Kuta, Bali. A pity that it was a guided tour, cause I think we would have seen more things on our own. =P The food generally sucked – except for 2 meals. First meal was the one we had on our own at some nearby Warong in Kuta downtown. Granted, it was nasi goreng, but it was pretty good =) The second meal was the lunch on the last day – I will never forget the awesomeness that is Nasi Timbel Komplit. ZOMG I WANNA GO BACK AND EAT THERE AGAAAINN!!

Then there was the really awesome night we had at Hard Rock Cafe. The band was amazing, their covers were good, and the band really had chemistry – with the audience, and amongst themselves. Had a mix of both male and female singers, so that was a refreshing change. I normally see all one gender or the other. We had a group of 6; but 3 of us drank a fair bit, I remember slurring, and I could barely keep my eyes open. Damn man, that was kind of risky. but daaaaaaaaaaaaaaamnn they were good. I was totally sold after they performed “Use Somebody”. XDXD I would love to see them live in KL.

Hmm the most fun I had was walking around Kuta and just *buying* things. Seriously. They’re nice, and they’re decently priced (as long as you give them the stare of death if they try to con you). Also, they really have master pengukir in Indo – such intricate designs on everyday things. In this aspect, it does remind me of Japan – their culture permeates and is a permanent inclusion in their daily lives, even with the rapid changing of times. This aspect I really love.

A pity we didn’t get to eat babi guling and we didn’t get to play in the sea, but hey, there’s a next time for that – I’m sure of it =)
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Next trip: London for Reading Festival 2011, and being a tourist once more! =D Finally secured my tickets after a long period of dillydallying. Not good for the wallet, but still relatively affordable given the other choices we’ve had to work with o____o
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Work’s been pretty slow after I got back, but the pace has been picking up again. I like. Dealing more with payment processing, and it’s quite interesting to see how messy some code can get simply because of the requirements thrown at the dept. Not entirely our dept’s fault, but I hope to clean it up a little. Ambitious plans for little ol’ me. =D I CAN DO EEEET.
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And this week will be pretty happening for me too =D
Lindy classes on Monday,
Lindy socials on Tuesday,
Borneo Jazz Fest Preview on Wednesday,
Dinner on Thursday,
Karaoke on Friday,
Airport Driver duty and Meeting with Hou on Saturday.

I kinda love weeks like these sometimes =D
I remember having a period of time, 2 weeks where I had events and outings back to back – at the end of it all, I was just glad to have some time to myself. And a few weeks later, I’m thinking “man, I’m SO BORED!”

Satisfaction is a rare feeling for a human. Once obtained, hold on to it as long as possible! =P

combating jetlag

I’ve been really pumped up about this trip for weeks! And now I’m here, I’ll say it’s reminded me of Gipps more than anything, somehow. The spaced out buildings, small communities, cosy cafes, shopping centers like the ones in Traralgon or Morwell.
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First flight to Hong Kong was alright, it just took off late.

Which led to the mad chase of trying to get to the connecting flight on time. We landed 30mins to takeoff, ran up and down stairs and also had to take a shuttle to a different terminal. I really thought I was gonna miss the plane, but really I juuuuuuuuuuust made it 10 mins to takeoff. phew!

The one thing I really hated about this long haul flight was that my legs ached so I had to climb over the rest (yeah I got the window seat, gah) to go out on pretext of going to the bathroom. Haha and for some reason, I kept watching animated/fantasy movies like Alice in Wonderland and Tangled. Tangled is *awesome, btw*. Fell asleep for abit, had my entire body ache for abit, then rounded up the movie watching with The Tourist and Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Angelina Jolie is.. woot! =D
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Landing in SFO was a joy! Well, not the queue at the immigration counter, but the officer himself (and henceforth for this part shall be called CIO – Cute Immigration Officer), hahah! =D

CIO: So, where are you from?
Me: KL.
CIO: Ah, then did you bring any food over?
Me: Nope.
CIO: Not bak kut teh, nasi lemak, nasi goreng, charkuayteow..etc.?
Me: If I did, I’d gladly give them to you.
…. some more idle chatter…
CIO: Ah, I was just going to say that you don’t seem like a Singaporean.
Me: Was that a compliment?
CIO: Knowing the catfights you Msians and Sporeans get yourselves into, yes (laughs)
Me: bwahahha!

Totally made my day, this dude. XD
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Met Jon at Mountain View! First time getting bear hugs from him, haha it was a real pleasure to meet you too after so long! XD Grabbed some Subway (oh BLT, I WUB JOO SO! point #1: they has honey mustard! point #2: they have BACON!) but since I couldn’t eat in the train, had to wait till I got to my hotel room.

On the train ride, I managed to spot some big name logos on buildings, like Yahoo and Aol, haha it’s just as iconic as seeing Microsoft! Or Google, or any other big tech corp that you can think of. You get the idea.

(The bit bout checking in at the hotel, I think the lady incredulously looked at me thinking, “You? Here? But you look like a kid!!”) Thaaaatt slight bit iffy that the room was furthest away, but that was soon ignored once I opened the door and stepped in.

ZOMG this place is like a fully furnished apartment! Proper kitchenette, working table with Internet connection, a living area with a LCD TV, seperated bedroom with *yet* another LCD TV, a seperate wet and dry toilet. I was so jakun XD
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Jon & I decided to head out to the San Jose Marketplace, and that place has so much carpark one could only dream bout of back in KL. Bought some chocos, and wandered around most of the shops.
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Dinner was Mexican food, haha I’ve come to learn that Jon does not like stuff with corn in them. So I ate the tortillas, he sapu-ed a fair bit of the salsa XD The service was abit sucky so I was abit hesitant to tip them, but I had this feeling she was trying to imply we were so cheapo that we had to share a meal.

Sure, it’s pricey, but we can’t eat much (mainly cause Jon had a Carls. Jr burger couple of moments earlier) and now I think what that excellent service they’ve given, I won’t be walking into this resto anytime soon.
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We talked alot about disciplining kids, fussy eating, staff with bad waitering skills, work life.. haha he’s got a list of lessons to learn. Which is very reasonable indeed =D
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Chatted abit with the folks over Skype, and now I’m friggin’ sleepy. Upload photos and tidur I go!