One Havoc Night in Batam!

It was one of those times when we were just randomly talking about going away for a short trip, and the next thing we knew.. whoa! We were going to Batam!

Okay, maybe not exactly like that.

We have been talking about it for weeks but we were procrastinating until the very last day when we had to be like HEY GUYS ARE STILL GOING THIS WEEKEND OR WHAT? It’s like.. 2 days away!

Anyway, I always say, what matters is the result, not the process.

Oh wait, isn’t it the other way around? Don’t people say ‘it’s not the destination; it’s the journey that matters’? Wait, WHAT?!

Ah, I’m getting distracted.

Where was I? Ah yes, I was talking about how much of procrastinators we were.. But who knew, on a Sunday morning the three of us showed up bleary eyed at the train station while saying, “I need coffee.”

It was a great, albeit short getaway! I felt like we were just boarding the ferry and just like that, it was time to head back. Well, I guess, time flies when you’re having fun, right?

We came back with many stories; mostly funny.

Uhm, yes mostly.

The not so funny (read: horrible, awkward) moment happened during a foot massage in one of the random massage places we chose opposite the mall.

The guy masseur tried to massage me in inappropriate places and I was super horrified to the point that I just didn’t know how to react.

Wait, is this PUNKED? Am I on candid camera? This can’t be real life?

I have had many foot massages with guy masseur but this was the first time such situation happened. It was also my sore luck that I was separated from my 2 friends as there were no more spots in the public area so I had to sit inside a private room.

THANKS, LUCK!

Other than having massage (which we had 3), we mostly ate and being typical tourists, we ate A&W and being typical Tina, I had KFC. Hooray.

At night we went to karaoke and sang our hearts out! My 2 friends happily did their own Jay Chou concert and we attempted to sing some Big Bang songs. Ambitious.

I’m pretty sure we butchered the Korean songs.. WHY IS KOREAN PRONUNCIATION SO COMPLICATED?!

URISARANGHAJIMARAYOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

From dancing, singing, yelling, rapping to full-on dorking out, it was already 11pm by the time we finished and we finally checked-in to our hotel.

Funnily, even at my own country, I was still being haunted by Chinese language as the hotel concierge asked me if I could help him translate what this Chinese tourist was saying to him.

“Sorry I don’t speak Chinese,” was all I could say – my most-repeated line ever.

Before we knew it, the next day came and we were on our way back to the ferry terminal. Another funny thing happened at the baggage check.

As people were lining up and dropping their bags at the conveyor belt, I noticed that there was no one even looking at the monitor! These people were actually putting their bags down for nothing, bruhhh. I somehow found the whole thing really funny, I started laughing hysterically.

Also during the immigration queue, someone actually stood on the line where there was NO officer working at that counter.

A guard came over and tapped him on the shoulder, “Why are you standing here? Nobody’s there.” 

Cue: laugh guys, LAUGH. It’s funny right?

Why is the trip so short?!

Ehm.. because it is? After all, it’s just 1 night!

(Stop with the internal dialogue Tina.)

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Road Trip Series: Flashing Lights and New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas

(If you miss what happened when I was lost in LA trying to get to Disneyland, read the story here, or when we left to San Diego and encountered some very nice stranger and few scary ones on the train, read here.)

This story will be the next installment of my graduation trip to the States back in 2009!

Vegas is something else. It’s a city full of energy, of excitement, of contagious wildness. It was intoxicating just being there, in the midst of crowds on the evening of December 31st.

We weren’t ready to leave San Diego yet at that point, so we were pretty sullen in the Greyhound bus to Vegas. It wasn’t a short ride, either, and the bus was full that we had to sit separately. I had a black kid sitting beside me during the first half of the drive, and the next half to this gigantic, talkative elder man who wouldn’t shut up. He just wouldn’t. 

I was still slightly hungover (excessive drinking!), so I spent almost the whole ride sleeping. We stopped at this small town called Barstow, which consists of nothing more than open land and short-buildings and a transit centre where we grabbed a bite. I was this close to fainting, and seeing the faces of the girls, I was sure they weren’t far behind me either. By the time we reached Vegas, it must have been at least 8 pm at night. I was disoriented, tired, and feeling sick to my stomach, literally.

The first thing that greeted us when we alighted at this sin city wasn’t the dirty smell of cigar, or the sexy sight of roulette tables, but a full-packed bus station. People were everywhere, their asses at the big risk of dropping down due to their low-waist pants they were wearing.

What is it with this desire to show off piece of cheap underwears?

Oh, I can make a whole new entry on this subject itself, I need to stop myself now.

Our hotel was out in the boulder area, it was a typical casino-hotel. The casino was always full with middle-aged people playing slots machines. My friend called it a ‘retirement hotel’.

We were the hottest people there, yeah, because we were the only ones under sixty!

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We spent the next four days exploring the Strip. With the new year looming in, Vegas was at its most crowded state.

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The three of us didn’t love Vegas as much as we thought we would. Looking at the pictures now though, I thought, “What didn’t you like it?” and I came up empty. I didn’t know why we weren’t loving it as much as we were San Diego or San Francisco!

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It could be the fact that we couldn’t watch any shows because everything was sold out, and it could be because we weren’t swimming with money that we couldn’t simply spend a hundred bucks to get inside a club for new year’s eve countdown. It could be because our hotel was far away from the Strip that it took us 2 bus rides and at least forty five minutes to go back and forth between the two. It could be because walking around in the Strip with heels was tiring and waiting for cab for two hours at 3 am on a cold, chilly night wasn’t much fun either.

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Normal sighting in Vegas..
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Why would you name your hotel that, hmm..

But I guess that’s just the circumstances. The city itself is crazy beautiful and only there I have seen a beer bottle so big!!!

We certainly had eventful time there, that’s for sure. Everyone was in a good mood, it’s easy to make friends wherever we go, or even as we were walking on the streets.

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Most buildings in Vegas have this painted roof – I guess so you wouldn’t know the time of day so you could continue partying and gambling?

Every day we had to take this bus from our hotel to the Strip.. The view sure looks different during the day light!

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Seeing Vegas pictures leaves me feeling the most nostalgic! I wish we could have given the city more credit, I hope we can go back there one day and re-experience it again.

Bangkok Adventure!

After coming back from a 5-days-4-nights trip in Bangkok, I came up with a conclusion: Bangkok, you’re giving Jakarta a run for its money! 

Even on the way from the airport to our apartment in the city centre, I couldn’t help but thinking how much the city reminded me of my own hometown. The street signs, the highway, the countless billboards with actors smiling widely, each showcasing different products from mobile phones to cosmetics.

The only thing missing was the traffic jam. Or so I thought. 

But of course I spoke too soon because on our last day, we were trapped in a bad traffic jam that made us almost miss our flight.

But I had a memorable and wonderful time in Bangkok, and here’s why!

The Food

This has got to be the first on the list simply because… well, do I need to say more? Everything we ate were delicious, even when we just ordered from a random food court or an eatery we’ve never tried before.

On out first night out, we went to Siam Paragon to have the notorious dinner from Greyhound Cafe. When I say notorious – it’s simply because 2 of my girlfriends couldn’t stop talking about it! So of course we’ve got to give it a try.

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The amazingly tasty Thai Milk Tea!
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Ahem! It certainly did not disappoint!

Plus, it was super affordable and we only spent less than $100 for a full meal for 4 of us, including drinks for all!

We wanted to continue on to drink, but soon found out that on that weekend that we were there, Thailand was celebrating Buddhist Day so no alcohol was to be served anywhere in the country! Even when we visited Big C (a local supermarket chain), they had to barricade the whole alcohol section haha!

Oh well – I guess the alcoholics have to wait til Monday to quench their thirst..

The following days, we tried another restaurant highly recommended called Roast – for brunch, After You for dessert and a lot, and I mean, a lot of tomyum soup. In fact, I think we ate tomyum soup every day for each of our meal. I love it, what can I say?!

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Lychee Milk Tea from Roast
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Brunch for champs! My fave was the scrambled eggs – too good!
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Matcha Toast from After You

Another highlight when you visit Thailand is – their Mango Sticky Rice!

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Oh hello there, see me on the top right hand corner? I’m Mango Sticky Rice, nice to meet you.

I feel like such a noob saying this – but I don’t think I have ever tried mango sticky rice before. At least none that made an impression – so the first time my friend suggested buying mango sticky rice, I couldn’t have been less enthusiastic.

“Oh…” – that’s probably all I said.

20 minutes later…

“OH MY GOODNESS! THIS IS SOOOOOOO NICE!!!!!!” I said in disbelief. The combination of the mango (which is very sweet!) and the slightly salty, flavorful sticky rice and the coconut sauce.. I think I have just been reborn.

Okay, that’s a tad exaggeration, but no joke, it was so good I insisted we have that for every meal from then on!

We also went for a nice mookata dinner in this very huge, spacious restaurant by the street. It was only S$8 for all-you-can-eat food! My tummy rejoices!

The Shopping

Everyone who have gone to Bangkok have praised it as a shopping heaven and I had no expectation prior. The last time I’ve been to Bangkok was when I was a tiny cute little girl (I still am!), and the only recollection I had was watching a singing show performed by transgenders. (I couldn’t believe those women were previously men – they were so beautiful!)

But yes! Now I can testify that it’s a great place for shopping! I love it as much as shopping for clothes in Seoul. The styles were plentiful and the prices were cheap!

I ended up getting a few off-shoulder tops, pants and dresses! It was great!

We mainly shopped at Platinum Mall and Union Mall. Although we went to Chatuchak Market and another night market, we didn’t really buy anything much there.

The Massage

Another thing you must certainly do in Thailand is get a massage! Massages are cheap – 1 hour body massage was only 300 Baht (which is around S$12?) OHMY! TAKE MY MONEY!

I can’t emphasise enough how much I love getting a massage. I love it as much as sleeping – and boy, don’t I love sleeping.

We went to the massage place in Platinum Mall because it was very convenient (our apartment was just on top of the mall itself). It was pretty good – the only downside was that the surroundings were noisy!

Okay, what am I talking about, the masseur themselves were noisy!

They were talking to each other while massaging us and even answering phone calls during the massage. Haha!

I thought massage places should be tranquil and super quiet – with only soft instrumental music behind.

But oh well – beggars can’t be choosers. The massage shop itself is quite small – it had just 3 small mini rooms with beds for the body massage.

On our second visit in the evening, the neighbouring stalls were closing down so it got even noisier with the sound of the metal doors being pulled down and locked.

There goes my quiet, peaceful ZEN state.

HOWEVER! I still enjoyed it – after the hour massage I felt so refreshed and pampered my body turned into jello.

Bless you whoever invented massage!

The Drinking

Beer is ridiculously cheap in Bangkok as well! A big bottle of beer only costs S$3! We did check out a rooftop bar called Wanderlust and had this really awesome apple cider, and a bar which supposedly had an open mic called The Iron Fairies.

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Cheers!
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Good vibes at Wanderlust Rooftop Bar

However, there were no open mic that night that we were in – instead, the band was playing full-on jazz music!

I’m sorry guys, but I just can’t appreciate jazz!

We ended up mostly nibbling on buffalo wings and chugging down Hoegaarden while chatting away about our celebrity crushes.

I wish we had more time to explore other bars in the area but time was not on our side! Soon enough, our 5 days were up and we had to fly back very soon.

See you again Bangkok!

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My fellow Bangkok-travellers!

Memories in Jeju

It was a cool spring season in late April when we landed in Jeju. First time setting a foot anywhere in Korea, I did not know what I’d expect to find in Jeju. My knowledge about Korea is all about its makeup brands, tall good-looking oppas I always see in those addictive k-dramas and songs from Big Bang that my sister just introduced to me on the train from the airport.

Okay, so far I was quite impressed in all 3 areas:

  1. I already saw plenty of makeup brands in the airport that I wanted to get my hands on!
  2. I already saw one cute Korean guy on the train; standing tall with sharp suit and his bangs sweetly sweeping his forehead..
  3. Yes, these Big Bang songs were pretty catchy… *puts on repeats*

Ah Korea.. what do you have in store for me next?

Throughout our 5 days in Jeju, I found myself in awe, enjoying every minute of it.

Jeju is the perfect mixture where the city girl in me could shop til she drops, and my nature-lover side was equally fascinated its the amazing scenery and rich cultures. Above all, my tummy was definitely a happy one!

Although we found it hard sometimes to communicate with the locals, they were always nice and friendly. During our first dinner, we spent 15 minutes using google translate and pointing uselessly at words we did not know in the menu. But it was a delicious BBQ meal, and the owner of the shop graciously helped us in cooking the meat!

It’s hard to go wrong when it comes to food in Korea. We always had a good meal everywhere we went…

Seogwipo

A large city by the seaside, Seogwipo was a good 1 hour+ car ride from where we stayed. Settled on a rocky volcanic coastline, it was a popular tourist attraction with many things to offer. When we came, we were greeted by this amazing scenery…

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And we decided to try going for a submarine tour, which apparently is on Guinness Book of Records for being the longest tour submarine attraction without accident!

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Err.. that’s very reassuring.

Thanks Seogwipo Submarine for that seal of safety and confidence!

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The approaching submarine, ready to take the next group

Side note: I took this picture not just to show the submarine, but also because the guard was quite dreamy. But he turned his back on me!

AH I’M HEARTBROKEN…

(I’ve been watching too much drama)

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Snacks by the road side
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Happy me!

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innisfree Jeju House

Still located in Seogwipo, this is a place you have to visit if you love innisfree! Although the highlight is not innisfree per se, it’s the cafe located inside! Look at how cute and pretty the food here is!

I can’t bring myself to eat… and we made sure we took plenty of pictures beforehand.

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Halassan Cake. The symbol of Jeju!
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Oh my goodness.. those colourful drinks!

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Also, around the house, there are these tea plantation that’s soothing and too pretty not to take pictures in!

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Interesting note: The shop here only sells their skincare products.

I’d still be the first one to admit that I bought a lot of stuffs here! Take all my money innisfree!

Seongsan Ilchulbong

Possibly the highlight of Jeju, we took the hike up to on top of Seongsan Ilchulbong (called the Sunrise Peak) to enjoy the full scenery from above!

The hike up was exhausting but the view is well worth it.

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180m only?! Whaaa.. It sure felt a lot higher when we climbed those steps!
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Ah, stop teasing us with your view!

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If you don’t drive there, I would suggest renting a car with a driver for the whole day to take you to wherever you want to go, especially if you’re looking at nailing down a few spots in a day. We tried taking a cab before, but it ended up to be more expensive rather than if you just get a car for the whole day. We were quite lucky to come across a nice old uncle (ahjussi) to take us around, although it was hard to communicate! However, all you need is a map, and a finger to just point!

When you come down after the hike, you would find these small hills covered with flowers!

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Maze Park

This wasn’t very high on our list, but our ahjussi (our taxi uncle) recommended this for us to check out. We still had some time in the evening so we decided to go indeed! Made up of 4 different mazes from easiest to the hardest, this is something fun to do!

I saw a lot of couples in here. And I’m thinking, wow, maybe it’s a good first date spot for guys to showcase their excellent navigational skills and protect the girls from being lost!

I see your intention there, highly hormonal teenage Korean boys!

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After taking a fun walk around the maze, it ended our full day in Jeju and we were ready to eat more good food afterwards.

We also had the chance to visit some traditional Jeju houses – which is an attraction in itself. We were told that Jeju women had to walk miles every day to and from their house to fetch clean water while carrying this heavy pot over their shoulder! Not only that, they still looked after their children, cooked meals for the family, cleaned the house and did everything while the men were useless, watching tv or drinking all day long.

You’re amazing Jeju women!

To this day, you can still find a lot of female divers who are already in their 60s or even older!

What do you do with your life, Tina?

Hats off to you Jeju women!

And of course, I had to mention the most iconic attraction of Jeju – Hallasan. It’s a shield volcano on Jeju Island, and also is the highest mountain in South Korea! People would hike up the mountain and were told that the view would be phenomenal.

We planned to hike there one morning, and we woke up very early to make sure it wouldn’t be hot as we made our climb. The climb itself would take 2 hours! And all in all, it was about 10km back and forth (and it was one of the easiest routes!)

As we woke up that day, the weather seemed very cloudy, and as we were on the taxi, it started pouring and raining cats and dogs! And by the time we almost reached, it became clear that the God of Hallasan didn’t want us to do our hike!

Depressed, we had to make a u-turn and went to our hotel to….. continue our sleep because it was too early to go anywhere else.

Hallasan 1 – Us 0

Fine, we’d settle this debt next time! I would climb you one day for sure!

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Thank you for your hospitality Jeju!

(Sadly, I didn’t see any more good looking oppas for the rest of the trip!)

Tina, you *really* need to sort out your priorities.

Road Trip Series: Leaving our hearts in San Diego

(If you miss what happened when I was lost in LA trying to get to Disneyland, read the story here.)

This story will be the next installment of my graduation trip to the States back in 2009!

Next stop: San Diego!

When we were in Los Angeles, my friend whom I went with had a relative who was living there with his family. They were so nice and offered to take us around the city as it was quite difficult to get around with public transport.

Alas, the getting lost part previously.

Having no more privilege of being driven around everywhere, we had to make our way to San Diego the old fashioned way.

Well, by train.

We were supposed to take this train to Oceanside from LA, where we would later transit to take another train to San Diego. Long story short, we got there pretty early and the next train wouldn’t leave for another two and a half hours, so we parked ourselves in some chairs outside, bought burgers from Burger King and camped there, talking nonsense.

I remembered I was actually looking for the grilled mushroom burger, and my friend was initially confused to see no rendang burger in sight! Hellooo, we are not in Singapore anymore, guys. We are hopeless.

So there we were, just talking loudly and eating our burgers (at one point I even spilled my Coke..errr, good job Tina.), until the guy beside us who initially had his headphone on, ended up talking to us (because our voices probably surpassed his loud RnB songs..)

Always classy.

Anyway, we were finally inside the train and we must have looked pretty eye-catching because of our gigantic luggage, pink and bright red some more.

We had quite a scary episode in the train as we saw two guys eyeing us weirdly throughout the journey. We had a feeling that they knew each other, although they sat separately, which made the whole thing seem even more suspicious.

“Anyone has a scissors in their bags?” I blurted out, dumbly. Granted, it was our first trip unadvised, we were pretty much safe in Oklahoma and LA.

Their blank faces was all I could need to freak out. We all stared at our luggages, hopelessly.

“I don’t care if they take that suitcase, as long as it’s not the pink one. I put all my make-up in there…” my friend said, not comforting me at all.

“Oh, so you’re okay with being completely naked as long as you’re fully made-up?” I teased her. She looked at me as if saying, duh.

We ended up approaching the guy whom we talked to on the train stop earlier, and asked him to sit beside us ’til our destination. Thankfully, he agreed.

So that’s how we spent the rest of our trip to San Diego; having the guy there made us feel at least a bit safer. He was supposed to alight at the stop after ours, but he offered to come down and hang out with us for the night. Uhm, we declined politely.

As soon as we alighted at our stop, we saw the two suspicious guys talk, so they indeed knew each other! We hurried, we couldn’t even like, stop for a second to breathe the cool San Diego air! We were too busy getting away as far as possible from the train. We only felt relieved once we got in a cab. What a ride!

But, that had to be the only slightly minor bump on our San Diego trip; the rest was truly amazing. We loved San Diego, and we met really great people there. Everyone was super nice and friendly.

When we checked in our hotel, we met this guy, Tim, who worked as the driver for the hotel shuttle bus. We told him that we were going to Sea World the next day, and he told us we could just take the shuttle which would take and pick us up to-and-from the hotel.

The next morning, Tim drove us and we were the only people in the shuttle. Out of nowhere, he handed us some papers.

“Well, my friend works in Sea World, so he’s entitled to free passes; I asked him and got these last night,” he said.

“Eh? For us?”

“Yeah, yeah, so just show those tickets in the entrance..”

“Eh? So we can get in for free?”

Seriously, we asked such dumb questions!

“Yeah..” Tim-the-driver smiled, looking like an angel.

We were probably making a scene by laughing and screaming loudly, “Thank you soo muchhhhhhh, Timmmmmmmmm” like fifth-graders. But we don’t care. Heck, the entrance ticket was supposed to be like 60-70 bucks each! He completely made our day.

We also went to Coronado Island in a ferry with our high heels (quite a scene) and had an awesome fancy dinner by the seaside. That was the first time I had sake and got pretty drunk.

San Diego was beautiful. Throughout our stay, we made a bunch of new friends and had a lot of fun! It’s a place filled with good vibes and memories!

Nara Circa 2016: Ham-Eating-Deer

My relationship with the animal kingdom is a complicated one.

We started out as friends, but not until one of you (a dog) decide to chase me down when I was cycling as a kid, that I decided to go my separate way as you have scarred me for life.

So imagine my surprise when I found myself actually enjoying my trip to Nara and making friends with these adorable deer!

If you are in Kyoto, this is definitely a place you should check out! Nara was wonderful, it was an big open park with wild deer roaming around amongst humans.

You would sometimes see them crossing the main street, even, and cars would stop patiently to wait for them to cross.

Japanese people are so zen with life, I’m jealous. I can imagine myself coming here one afternoon to just walk around and enjoy the outdoor.

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You can see that I was a bit scared even being very close to the deer, but they were very chill!

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Look at how pretty his antler was!

At the park, you can buy these biscuits to feed the deer, and boy, they loved it! As soon as they smell the biscuits in your hand, they would run towards you in a flock and keep following you until you show both your hands as if saying, “I have nothing left! See? See?!”

Damn, they are smart.

The biscuits were in a round shape, and they were brown. On first glance, they looked like ham, and I impulsively asked my boyfriend, “Are these ham?”

He looked at me, his brows furrowing.

“DO YOU THINK DEER EATS HAM?!”

Err.. okay. It just dawned on me that deer is herbivore, but HEY THE BISCUITS REALLY LOOK LIKE HAMS OKAYYYYYYYYYYY.

(Tina’s bimbo moments #255)

Korean Beauty Brands I Absolutely Went Crazy For!

So guys, as you know, I just came back from my virgin trip to Korea a few weeks ago, and honestly, I’m already counting down to the days that I can come back there again! I absolutely love Korea!

(This is something that if you were to tell the five-years-ago-me, you would have received so many eyerolls you couldn’t even count . But hey, I’m mature enough to admit when I’m wrong. Because WHY HAVEN’T I BEEN TO KOREA UNTIL NOW?!)

But anyway. I just decided that I will absolutely make up for the times that I deprived myself of the experience of being in Korea.. and their awesome beauty products. (Brb while I check out Tripadvisor for any flights promo..)

TEN MINUTES LATER….

Ok, I’m back. No cheap flights yet. I can continue writing.

So in this post I shall not go into too much details of the trip itself (I shall save it for the next post because hey, any excuse for writing and I can relieve the trip more), but focus on the beauty brands that I absolutely went crazy for over there!

If you are my friend on Facebook or Instagram then this first brand would probably come at no surprise. I mentioned this so many times, you would think I’m a shareholder. Or an ambassador. Voluntary, unpaid ambassador, more like it.

A side note, the brands that I mentioned here are those that I personally went gaga over. Some are those that I bought for myself, and therefore could vouch for, but some are those I purchased as gifts because they were too cute!

Innisfree

Oh my goodness, Innisfree, wouldn’t you take all my money already! And I said this as if I can’t find it back home, which I’m already a fan here anyway, but man, in Korea, Innisfree is on another level! Their stores are so much nicer, and some of the products are only available in Korea! So if you were there, I highly recommend you to check it out! Over the 10-days trip, I think I visited Innisfree stores more than 30 times. I was still even buying stuffs on the last day of the trip because they just launched this new makeup collections (blushes, eye shadows and their customizable palette that is so adorable!)

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We bought tons of their It’s Real Squeeze Face masks because they are awesome and you can buy one at less than S$1 (the retail price here in Singapore is S$2 each)! We bought so many that I think I have enough stocked up for 1 year worth of masks!

I’m also loving their various BB cushions! I got the Ampoule Intense Cushion, which I realize is not available in Singapore for some reason. It has UV protection and 24-hr coverage without any dryness. What I noticed was that, when I was in Korea and wearing this, my face tends to be more shiny which I did not like at first. But when I wear this in Singapore, I don’t encounter that issue and I’m loving it! Also, who doesn’t love the cute cushion packaging that you could choose yourself?

Aside from these, I also got their other products, like their Green Tea Sleeping Masks, Green Tea Seed Eye Cream, Green Tea Face Cleanser (their green tea collection smells super good!), some of their newly-launched eye shadows and blusher, and their nail stickers!

Side note, we also managed to visit their original store in Jeju, which hosts a cafe with amazing food and drinks presentation too. Innisfree, I think I’m ready to take the next chapter with you. Will you marry me?

Tony Moly

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This is one of those beauty collabs that are too cute to pass up! I have not tried any Tony Moly products before, but I got plenty of their Pokemon collection for gifts, how adorable are these! Now I wish I would have bought some for myself 😉

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Their lip tints which are equally adorable! I got some of these for my colleagues and they were raving about it! Since I actually brought a mixture of lip tints, masks and pressed powders for them to choose from, all the lip tints were quickly snapped within minutes! I guess girls just always have a thing for lip products right? 😉

Actually you can find many similar collaborations (like Face Shop coming up with Disney Princesses collections, Peripera and Powerpuff Girls, etc) and do get ’em as they are usually limited editions and it’s something you rarely find in the future!

Clio/Peripera

So you know that Koreans are very big on their lip-degradation style, and if you want to try this out, I recommend the lip collections from Peripera! You can find their products in Clio and goodness, there are just so many nice colors and I felt like buying ’em all!

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What I got were some colors from their Ink Velvet collections, which is matte on the lips. For more glossy finish, you can try their Peri Ink collections instead. The Ink Velvet’s texture is so creamy and very whipped-cream feel, and it’s easy for you to tap and create that ombre-lip effect. The colors that I got are more reddish, coral and pink. When I swatched some of the red colors on my hand, they actually looked quite dark and very pigmented, so I thought the darker colors may be too intense for me. However, when I applied it on my lips, the colors actually turned out to be lighter than those in my hand! I still adore them, but I wish I did buy some of their darker colors too!

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How pretty are these?!

Etude House

Oh my goodness, another brand that I did not think I would have so much fun trying is Etude House! Yes, they are available here in Singapore but I hardly ever visit their store, and I’m not very familiar with their products. I always have the impression that their products are more geared towards teenagers due to their princessy store design and cutesy packaging. However, the image just seems very different in Korea. I found myself wanting to check their stores and try some of their best-sellers.

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One product that they kept recommending at that time was this BB Cushion called Any Cushion All-Day Perfect. It’s advertised as lightweight cushion that would last the whole day and perfect for any occasions, and I actually got this for only 9,800 won which is only about S$12! I wore this religiously during my trip, and no complaint so far, it did the job and gave me decent coverage without making my skin oily or shiny.

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And.. another product from Etude House that I’m loving is their Dear Darling tint! Oh my goodness, I just saw this photo and I love the wine color at the very right end. I need to check it out if the Singapore store has it! I purchased their deep red color to try, and surprisingly was hooked!

What is also impressive is their lasting power because it stays in your lips practically the whole day! In Korea, there were many days I only put this on in the morning and at night I could still see the color despite having full meals and snacks and being out and about the whole day. What I do is apply it in the inner corner of the lips (again, for the ombre effects) and just smack the colors with your lips together or use your hands to pad on it, and voila! The colors are so pigmented too! However, as this is a lip tint, the finishing is more glossy and watery so if you prefer a matte effect, then you probably would prefer the Peripera Ink Velvet!

O-Lens

Okay, this is technically not a makeup brand, but I guess it still falls under Beauty, therefore I shall put it in here because guys! I am loving their contact lenses! I am obsessed and I. WANT. TO. BUY. THEM. ALL!

The only reason why I did not rob their stores yet is simply because I did not know whether their lens would be comfortable! As some of the colors that I liked are for monthly use, and I’m used to wearing dailies these days, I’m worried for the comfort level, so I only bought 3 different colors to try. But I have since tried their lens, and they are comfy guys! I do not even feel like my eyes are dry at the end of the night, and their colors are so unique and pretty! It’s not the same as just the usual colors you can find here in normal optics.

Check out these amazingly pretty colors..

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I can’t, guys…

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I know the photos are probably photoshopped, but seriously! TAKE MY MONEY ALREADY!

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The colors are so ridiculously pretty! Also, they are priced reasonably cheap! The monthly ones is just 20,000 won for 2 lens (=S$25), and their daily lens is 30,000 lens for 20 pieces (S$37). The store often has buy-1-get-1 promo some more, which makes it even cheaper! It’s definitely something I would highly recommend you guys if you like to wear colored lenses! 🙂

Other Worthy Mentions..

Face Shop for their Aloe Vera Gel which is cheaper than Nature Republic’s ones (in fact, the Face Shop one is 99% aloe vera, as opposed to Nature Republic 92%’s!)

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I use this daily guys, as a moisturizer too, and it leaves a very cooling sensation which is surprisingly absorbed by the skin fast and does not leave your skin feeling oily or watery. Also, good to bring for travel as your skin normally gets dry overseas and this can help you soothe dryness and patchiness.

Holika Holika if you like anything Gudetama!

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This is another collab that you can’t miss if you’re a Gudetama fan! I am not, so I did not really buy anything from here, although their packaging is just so cute!

Pony Effect because of… well, Pony!

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I love Pony and her videos! She’s so pretty and a very talented make-up artist, so I was really excited to check out her collections there. You can find Pony Effect at Memebox store in Myeongdong or.. I also found them at Watsons over there!

I ended up not getting anything tho, just because I was not looking for something in particular and the prices are not very cheap either. Perhaps I’ll go back and read on more reviews on her bestsellers before picking up any!

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I did, however, get the Pony Effect Favorite Lip Fluid (how pretty is the packaging?!) as a present for a friend. I wish she would come out with darker and deeper colors for this though, as the darkest color in this collection is still pretty light for me!

Okay, I’m seriously going for Korea withdrawal now thanks to writing this post! 😉 Let’s just say that my sisters and I brought a big empty luggage to Korea, and went home with an overweight luggage which we had to pay extra for! We did not just go crazy over the beauty products, but we did end up getting plenty of clothes and snacks too!

Korea is indeed a shopping heaven and if any of you are going to Korea.. ping me so that I can ask for a favor and bring me home more of these products and lenses! 😉

Meanwhile.. let’s google those cheap tickets again..

Frat party in a police car

We were young, we were carefree, we were shameless.

It was another day during our university exchange program in the States. At that time we were very excited and daring (I remember partying with a group of friends at a bar outside campus a night before we even had our first class, literally on the day that we just landed.)

And the people whom we went out with was this group of guys that a friend of mine just met on the plane on the way to the States.

It hardly sounds safe at all, but please refer the young-part above.

Anyway, after probably a few weeks there, we got invited to a house party by this American senior in the university and being us, of course we excitedly said yes.

I think it was 5 of us, all girls, who were going to go to this party. We didn’t know anyone besides the guy who invited us there, and it wasn’t even at his house. We were given the address of the party, and I can’t remember whether the house was on-campus or not. It probably was, since our plan was to walk from our campus residence.

But bear in mind, the campus area was huge.

And the fact that I forgot about so-called venue is quite alarming to me. I’m either very forgetful or my mind has subconsciously blocked this memory.

I remember us getting ready for this party and left our residence somewhere around 6-7pm maybe? And it was winter at that time, so it was freezing cold and we were huddled in our thick jackets, trying to find this place.

We probably had no data at that time, which was why we couldn’t really just google our way there. After about an hour trying to make our way, we realised that we were, one hundred percent, lost.

By this time, the night was getting late, and we weren’t making any progress. During this whole expedition, we subsequently went inside this building just to seek warmth. I remember 5 of us sat around on the floor in this random building, chatting away and trying to figure out what we should do next.

We didn’t want to admit defeat and drag our silly ass back home, because.. the party! We were nothing if not full of perseverance… (at the thought of cute university boys waiting for us.)

Sigh. Tina, you’re shameless.

I can’t remember how long we stayed inside the building, but it must have been quite some time. My friend was trying to text this guy who invited us to get help but we were still stuck.

It was probably 9pm by this point, and what happened next was either really smart (or totally ridiculous) on our part.

During one of the classes we had, we remembered our professor saying that the university had a campus police. We were given the number in case of emergency if we ever need assistance.

AH yes.

“We need assistance right now, we’re lost, we’re cold, and we need to get to this party. Let’s call the campus police,” said no sane person ever.

However, we were not sane people.

So that’s what we did. We called the number for the campus police. We told them where we were and they sent a unit over to our location.

The police came in a legit police car. The officer came out and looked at us.

“Officer, we’re trying to get to this house for a party, and we’re lost.”

(My brain totally blocked off the next part cos I couldn’t remember the officer’s reaction. I assumed he must have had a major reaction to our stupidity bravery.)

He must have been in his very best mood ever (maybe his wife just gave birth, he probably has just won a lottery, or hey, maybe he just got promoted!) but he actually offered to drive us to this said-house party.

So there we were. We stuffed ourselves inside this police’s car and he drove us right to the entrance of the house where the party was in a full-blown mode.

To say that we made a memorable entrance was an understatement. We came in a police car! The look on the guys’ faces. Their jaws dropped. They probably thought the police came to tell them to lower the noise down or to check on the party.

Instead, he was dropping us off… to party with them.

Anyway, we thanked the officer profusely but at the same time, was very embarrassed about how we made use of a legit police campus to take us to a frat part.

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This is the part where you applaud us for being very resourceful. *ahem*

 

Manchester Bound 2012

Now this will be a recount of experience of our trip to Manchester circa 2012.

I thought this will be a fun way to share some of my travel logs, sorry it’s a bit jumbled. That’s just how I am. Jumbled. A lot going on up here. (points to brain)

I promise I will get into the ‘frat house party by a police car’ story soon! *laughs*

Anyway, back to Manchester. This was the first time Dearie and I stepped foot to UK and we were beyond excited! Being a Manchester United’s biggest fan, it has been his lifelong dream to watch his favorite team in the one and only Theatre of Dreams, and I was more than happy to oblige!

He has bought us tickets to the United – Arsenal match and it cost us both our arms and legs (ah! We’re limping! Get me a cane – Dr. House’s style!)

However, I have to say that our accommodation history throughout our stay in the UK has been really pleasant. The hotel we stayed at in Manchester was Travelodge, and it was much bigger than Stanley House Hotel in London. But even in London we were pretty happy with our place since we didn’t spend much time inside the room anyway, and they provided decent daily breakfast. The most important thing to us was the location – it had to be convenient and near to the metro station.

Anyway, back to Manchester again! (duh, the short attention-span-me.)

So, we made our way to Manchester by train from London. The train ride itself was uneventful but really nice (uneventful in this way means we didn’t get robbed, or took the wrong train, so yeah, uneventful is a good adjective here). Our seats were pre-allocated so it was relatively easy finding out way.

Fast forward to a few hours later…

Hello Manchester! You’so pretty!

We arrived in the late afternoon so the sun was shining brightly and the wind was blowing and I was freezing and my luggage was heavy.. Oops, okay, I’m not painting a very good picture here, am I?

Seriously though! We managed to drag our luggage and we initially decided to take a bus to the city near our hotel since we saw there was a free shuttle from the train station. We hopped in, but I wasn’t very certain because I couldn’t see the stop name where our hotel was at in the bus route. Luckily we asked the driver and turned out the bus didn’t go to the place that we wanted to go! So we quickly hopped out and after deliberation, decided to just opt for train!

The train there was nice because it wasn’t underground and we could admire the view along the way! The ride wasn’t long, in no time we arrived in our stop! It was a beautiful place near the river and our hotel was perched nicely in the side of the bridge that connected this side of the road with the one where Old Trafford was.

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After checking in at our hotel, it was probably around 4 or 5pm, and Dearie couldn’t wait to go to the stadium! The match happened the next day, so we still had that evening to go check out the place first before the big mayhem the following day. What was memorable about it too was the weather!

The moment we stepped out of the hotel, it was hailing! Real ice falling down from the sky!

What a welcome, Manchester.

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The walk to Old Trafford itself probably took 15-20 minutes. And there we were, at the Sir Matt Busby Way! Throughout our 3-days stay in Manchester, we probably went to Old Trafford like 5 times. Well, that’s the main purpose we were there! Anyway, that evening we just walked around the stadium, took obligatory pictures and checked out the United store. This was when Dearie bought the thick black jacket that would survive him throughout the rest of the journey.

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The next day passed by like a blur! We woke up early and quick to dress in our Manchester United’s attire – Dearie in his red jersey, topped with Cantona scarf that he bought the day before, and moi in the blue one. The atmosphere was so lively on our way to the stadium as we saw fellow fans going there as well. The surroundings of the stadium now resembled a flea market, with booths and people selling match scarves, shirts and all sorts of memorabilia!

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Oh! Another awesome experience I must share here is the pre-match lunch in the Red Café! People who bought the VIP package were entitled this lunch before the match and it was amazing! We sat with 6 other people in the table, two from Ireland, two from Malaysia, the other two from the States and then there were us. What’s fun was during the meal itself, they actually distributed a quiz that we could fill in as a table, and the table with the best score would win some prize! The questions in the quiz itself mostly circled around sports, although I remember there was one question of:

“What is the name of Jamie’s Cullum’s wife?” to which we answered, “Mrs. Cullum.”

Well, that certainly isn’t wrong!

Next, the match! All I remembered was walking and trying to find our seats, and all I could see was people, people and more people! We had really good seats at Sir Alex Ferguson stand and wow, the view from up there was simply sensational! I think these pictures can describe better than any words. I could see Rooney, Van Persie, Ferdinand and all those players I usually could only watch from the television screen at home.

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The game was fantastic and we won! The energy was contagious, people were cheering and shouting and singing along, and it seemed like everyone was in pure sync. We were like droids army, systematically standing in line and following orders. (Weird metaphor, but you get the drift, don’t you? Don’t you? Don’t YOU?)

The match ended with a 2-1 victory! Woo-hoo! I nearly had to drag Dearie outta there, cos he was kept asking me for pictures with his Cantona scarf. Going out after the match was a pandemonium again! We made a stop at the store again to buy even more stuffs and we both bought the table-cloth jerseys and other souvenirs like coasters, mugs, and figures.

The next time we were at Old Trafford again was the following day when we went for the stadium tour and museum tour, checking out the football field up close and personal, hanging out in the players’ dressing room (no biggie..) and getting too much info on the club and its history that I cared to know. Haha, kidding! It was really fun!

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One evening in Manchester, we went out to the city and had quite fancy Italian dinner with a friend of mine who was living there. I think otherwise we wouldn’t have figured out a way to go to the city beyond our hotel and Old Trafford so it was pretty special. Oh! Near to our hotel, there was this shopping center that has Nike’s factory outlet and I’m sure Dearie loved it because he bought tons of cheap football jerseys for his friends back home!

Thank you Manchester for the awesome experience!

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