Sunday, April 27, 2014

Such is life

One moment you get crowned Princess, the next moment life throws you sour lemons. Just when you’ve thought you’ve got the hang of what people call the momentum, the “drowsy” label on the medication that you’ve read and consumed, starts hammering. You’ve been warned.


Such is life.


The emotional baggage that weighs you down. The clock-watching reaper that we all have been trying to count time; time that we have left till the end of the day. The days we’ve been through painfully and painlessly, and sometimes making nothing, or something out of nothing. The bruises that we get on our skin, but like paint marks they go. The many countless hollow sighs. 


Such is life. 


The times we get into troubles wishing we knew how we could fix them. The days we feel so hopelessly unhappy wishing we knew a better way to overcome these struggles. The life that we always find ourselves saying, “I’d give anything to be happy again.” But have we? 


Things happen either months too early or days too late; they just never happen on time, or the moment that you’d want to freeze it in time, ever. We could have had so much more, if we knew what to do with the time we’ve spent wasting on the nothings that we did. And only then when the time is up you realize there’s nothing that’s left for you, anymore. 


So we all get the awful pressure in our mind every other day, on days when you’re sick, or when you’re not, you get sick from work, from school, from struggling between life choices. I’d like to call them the mid-life crisis. And even if they’re not, these thoughts, like haywire, go on rebuilding on the trust and dreams that our minds have furnished them with. Our pillars fall. Defenses crumble. 


Life is for the better or the worse. 


.. Such is life. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

In Spring, we fill your heart with flowers

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Singapore has almost 30 degree weather all year round, and I’ve gotten pretty much used to the heat at constant. And now I question myself, how did I really survive 23 years of that? We have to pay for our own A/C, and right now the heat and humidity is buzzing around in the room that my fan cooler alone is not able to suppress. The fact that I have discovered 2 new lymph nodes on my neck this morning, together with the heat at 28 degrees is not making me feel better. Right now I’m nursing the week-old hacking cough and coagulated phlegm with off-the-shelves lozenges, some medication from home and sea coconut cough mixture.


Let’s see how it works out. 


And after drinking cha tea (cha for tea) once, we just kept going back. Located in Eslite Bookstore at Causeway Bay that requires 2 transit from where we are, no tea beats that at the moment. The taste of dense oolong with the meltable soft chewy pearls in every sip of the straw… But one thing. 


I’ve missed taking photographs. 


If you know me, you know I love doing that. But it’s been a while and, sometimes we get lost, but we all have got to find our start somewhere. 



.. I am sitting around my desk, still on the white Macbook with a liter of water in my belly trying to nurse myself and get solid work done. 


.. My mind is thinking about stir-fried broccoli with carrots, onions and garlic with a bowl of hot steamed rice. Anything but liquid food.


.. It’s almost 6 now with the curtains drawn, it looks like it’s time for bed but it isn’t, and it isn’t a good work environment but I’m staying away from the heat. 


.. It’s a Sunday that I woke up wanting to work out to, but my body stops me from it. We need our rest days; signs of overworking. 


.. I think I will miss my personal space that I’ve curated and made in Hong Kong when I have to go back in May. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Taipei Adventure - D2/D3

It’s been some time since I earnestly felt like updating my travel site on the Taipei Adventure that I’ve embarked on last December here. Well, I managed to purchase air tickets for Taipei in December 2013’s departure during March when there was a sale (SGD$300 each, all-inclusive and a 20kg baggage each). The best time of the year to travel and the cool weather in Taipei seemed to beckon us on our trip in anticipation.


Tip: Book your flights early! A week ago, flyscoot had promo fares to Taipei at <SGD$300. Sign up for travel newsletters to get first-hand updates on such deals! 


This trip was no different. We spent most of our time shopping and eating, and exploring new places (without heading for museums or Taipei 101 tower) - mostly getting lost, taking the metro and walking more than a distance to visit a place we’ve already had in mind. If you’re looking for a “Things to do in Taipei" blog, I may not have the best information that could guide you. But yet some extraordinary food places that I’m so excited to fill you with! 


Zhongxiao Fuhua Station Exit 3
Ming Yao Department Store, turn right upon facing Uniqlo to the end of the road, and turn right again. Google map MIGHT help a bit.


THE COMPLETE STUDIO
Brands: NH, SVG, KIDS
1F,NO.115 Sec 4 Ren-ai Road, Da-an, District, Taipei City 106 Taiwan, R.O.C P・886-2-2771-9709


Here’s how we managed to find the only store in Taipei that sells Neighborhood, SVG and KIDS apparels. It wasn’t easy looking for it; Taipei’s roads and districts are not really clear; we asked around for a while before chancing upon it (literally). And it was almost dusk when we were done and the sky set to an almost light pink purple hue. It was amazing. Upon getting lost while finding our way, we found the entire stretch of hippie mini stores (alike our Haji lane). Some hidden cafes with roasted coffee beans permeating the area, and some Japanese dining hidden between the streets. 


天天利美食坊
No. 1號, Lane 32, Hanzhong St, Wanhua District Taipei City, Taiwan 108‎ ‪+886 2 2375 6299‬


Some reviews here on Google Plus!


We honestly didn’t know about this place, considering that we were staying in XMD, but the thing about XMD is that, no matter how late into the night or how hungry you are, you’ll be able to find something that fills your stomach or fits your needs. So we scrambled down from the hotel for some authentic taiwanese dinner and we found this store filled with takeaway orders and quite a queue. Some store that my cousin recommended us during the night in Club Lava, selling the best lu rou fan! So we found a seat for two and tried. Please order an additional egg on top, as well as their carrot cake! It was so pleasantly well-cooked, tasted so homely that we went down two days in a row for it, as snacks. These meals are cheap, but do not expect them to fill your stomach for dinner; there are so many food choices in XMD you’d probably be spoilt for it! 


Recommended to have蚵仔煎, 蘿蔔糕, 荷包蛋, 青菜湯, 滷肉飯


Taipei Breeze Center
Zhongxiao Fuxing Station
Google Map on how to go here


We decided to visit Breeze Center during the day, for a few hours because we wanted to get some Magazines that were only available in Kinokuniya. Another specialty stores as such would be Eslite Taipei, that you’d be able to access via Taipei City Hall! Somehow the name “Eslite” always reminds me of the one in Hong Kong, Causeway Bay where Silver and Jeremy recommended me to have 天仁喫茶, a signature Taiwanese Bubble Milk Tea. In United States and many other places, they’d like to call this Bobba. 


Shihlin Night Market


We took the metro and alighted at Jian Tan Station (red line) and followed the signs! We were meeting my Taiwanese friend (Lu Lu) on that day, but we were early so we decided to walk and explore on our own a bit before she ends school. We had beef noodles from a random stall (which was pretty okay~) nothing spectacular about it. However when Lulu arrived, she introduced us to a store that sells traditional taiwanese chicken cutlet (as above) that had a queue with at least 10 people before me. It was a huge portion and I’d advice you to share it and it’s definitely worth a try. We also walked the other side of Shihlin (I’m still confused as to how the directions work) but this other store sells cooked egg with fillings and choose your own toppings that was also another hype! Thank you lulu for the recommendations! They are not pricey AT ALL! 


 


Ju and I decided to head to XMD for lunch one fine day before heading to Beitou hot springs! During lunch, Ju checked his phone and saw Romeo’s instagram checking in at XMD’s starbucks, but that post was dated 2 hours ago while we were at lunch. So I was sad that I wouldn’t be able to “find” him there anymore. Right after we walked out of the restaurant on the way to the station, I nudged him and said “Isn’t that Romeo? IT IS! I’M GONNA TAKE A PICTURE WITH HIM.” Ahhhh what coincidence. Then it pretty much made my day :) 


It’s been 4 months and it’s almost bits and pieces as to what I can remember, but I still have photos from Beitou Hot Springs as well as random food places that we dined at throughout our vacation. Not including the malls or places that we’ve shopped at. I’d really love another vacay to explore other parts of Taiwan and we are in the midst of working it out! x

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Mana, Fast Slow Food, Hong Kong

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Mana Fast Slow Food, Hong Kong

92 Wellington Street, Central
中環威靈頓街92號
Mon-Sun: 10:00-22:00
Call: 2851 1611

I found myself in SOHO area, and chanced upon this place (Mana) that was filled with caucasians on a Sunday morning. It’s sits in corner of Wellington Street, near the mid-levels escalators; with bar tables right in front and outdoor dining (more seat options) available at the back. You’ll see keywords like vegan, gluten-free, organic, eco-friendly everywhere on their site as well as in store. There’s nothing about it that makes me not want to walk into it, so I got myself a burger (70HKD) and a cup of black coffee (35HKD). Filled with Haloumi, tofu, roasted veggies, portobello mushrooms, picked cucumbers in a wholemeal bun and egg, it was almost perfect, except for the lack of seats (especially on a rainy day) and be prepared to take-out if you’re in line wondering if you should dine-in or to-go.

The salads and the wraps were also a hard hit for Mana. The couple seated right next to me (which I awkwardly asked a photo to be taken) shared a wrap and a salad. You could also conveniently pick your toppings off their menu too. I don’t think I’ve tried enough to explore more on the unique food that they serve here, though on the pricier end as compared to what you may pay outside, but the quality and the food is definitely worth 100HKD~ a meal, especially if you’re vegan or eat gluten-free food. It defo didn’t taste like one to me, to be honest. And I’ll be back (after wandering) with my friends for more taste choices.

My Sunday was spent walking in the rain with my brolly, still got half my suede shoes soaked (wrong choice of footwear) but still feeling emotionally happy. Jo is definitely not shaken by the thunderstorm! My Monday had also never been better. On a side-note, my crypto class in the morning got cancelled! Just in time when I was about to get ready for class and leave my room :) And I like watching how my to-do list shrinks with time, typographically.

Ta!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Nike Dunk, Sky high Spring 2014

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One of the days that we’ve decided to go for a coincidental “Spring” themed shoot at a park near our school, and we came clashing in the same color of Tiffany green or blue. Well, the whole idea behind this notion was to showcase the new pairs of shoe choices that we’ve made while shopping at different Nike stores, until we’ve finally decided to settle on this pair at a discount (it was God’s calling) so we couldn’t say no to it. 


Located in Kowloon Tong, this was shot and taken at Shek Kip Mei’s Park. Times like these I wished I actually decided to bring my trustworthy Nikon with me, but then again on a long break it feels like carrying a brick around with such heavy baggages. Maybe the next time, I will (I think I miss it quite a bit now). And no, I’ve never upgraded since the last time I even thought about it. 


You know sometimes how you as a person, pretty goal-oriented, suddenly becomes really laid-back and disoriented? This pretty much sums up what I’ve been doing here. I go for classes, I still do work and now it’s the last lap of projects before I can finally go back, work for one more semester and graduate. I used to write about the mid-life crisis; where I’m stuck and pretty much unsure of what I’d want to do (still) after so much exploration and opportunities. I can never walk out of my comfort cave alone (since when anyone did?!) It’s horrible, my night remains as listless and dry like my days that I struggle to find myself within. It’s not how we’re supposed to feel when we’re 23, or struggle to prioritize what things in life are more important. 


I’m not being bitter… I’m just, maybe there’s something holding me back before life gives thrust. If so, what is?