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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Giorno 78 - Switzerland

Some part of the Alps. This is the closest of me seeing snow. Lols.


I was told that Switzerland only sells Rm12 for one pack of chewing gum and even the Cobalt 5 is expensive for me. I've concluded that it will not be one of the country that I will visiting anytime soon or even I can forget about it. Living there wouldn't be a problem if you are working there of course and it will be a sweet life as well if you manage to stay make a living there, it also meant that you can go anywhere if you can make a living out of Switzerland. The first perception on me was a country which was always raining, architecture which will not defer with Italy as much because it is still an Europe country(which a month ago they aren't anymore), snow, cold, watches and chocolate(Lindt!). I was then told that Switzerland is divided in 4 parts of natives who spoke German, Swiss German, French and Italian. Majority have English as their second language. Zurich is more to German.

Instead it Zurich was sunny.
What's missing on the left is a horse. It is common to have a horse as your neighbour.


I don't know am I the fortunate one or my roommate is because she is going back to Zurich for an interview for one of the top bank in Switzerland and I could tag along because she is only going back for a few days!

One stereotypical fact about Swiss people : They are very punctual.

Upon arriving at the station with a luggage that weighed more than 25kg we arrived at the same time as the train was arriving, believe me. When I was walking to my train cabin number, I was laughing on how accurate it was on the fact.

I swear you can die if you fell on one of those pointy roof.

This is the first time me being on a train to Europe or first long trip of mine in the train. There seated two golden-ager next us and they were the sweetest, they had a bag in between them and every few minutes the pappy will press the bag down so he could see what is she doing and if she was doing fine or just to smile with her. Somehow my roommate find them weird, though it wasn't for long then they left at their station.

Before arriving at Zurich, my roommate's mum asked what was my religion and was wondering do I need a Buddha doll on my bed head. I sat there amused at her question. Though I have to say her mum is the sweetest! Her mum prepared the bed, prepared the warmer, prepared pyjamas, welcome cards, welcome cake, dinner, breakfast etc etc. Really, I still can't tell who is the luckier one.

Travelling to a country with a native really meant you could immerse yourself in the culture completely I think. You can then see how they really live in their own town or city I'm going to Zurich as an observer, or a third party, maybe a temporary inhabitant rather than tourist. Apart from her appointment with the Bank she also had a few appointments with her friends who I will meet as well.

Cafe Lang.


Her lifestyle in Zurich is almost the same as when I was in Malaysia, the 'yumcha' sessions held in quainty coffee shops. Within the few days in Zurich I've met almost all her close friends and I might have a hard time remembering their names as I've met 12 friends (more or less). Though of course usually the one who made an impression, will always be remembered. Like how I will always remember the first time I use the toilet in Zurich.

Herren / Damen

I was running back and forth at the corridor not being able to decide which is for the women! Also my roommate did not warn me about! I took my chance and open Herren. I found urinals installed on beautiful golden mosaics, and someone flushing. I then paused and thank God that a woman came and entered "Damen" and so I followed.

Having to pay a lot of taxes in Switzerland they were provided with really good train system, trams and also autobus. I was impressed with how clean, how conform the transport system is. I wouldn't say it is the most easiest because Hong Kong and Singapore is easier in that sense. There was one time I was describing the geographic location of Malaysia and its neighbouring countries. She said that they would pick Singapore as another aspect of their country. Clean, well system and moving country. What I don't understand is the price. Come on, 20 swiss francs for a 24-hour ticket.


Look. Mario is working




Lucky me, there was one night where I forgot my ticket. Great.
I then did what most Swiss would not do. I got on board without a ticket.

Thing bout this is they don't really break the rules I feel. I was with her friends walking through Zurich and we stopped at the Zebra-crossing. It was red. We were waiting until my roommate crossed when it was red. I looked at her friend a bit and wanting to see how she will react. She was shock and I said "Maybe this is what happen when you live out of Zurich for these past months." she agreed and responded immediately with her shocked tone "I know right"

"Next we have THE tallest building in Zurich !"
I hold on to my shoes awhile and look. I couldn't help but to laugh abit.
My roommate was so cute because she felt a little ridiculous after saying that. 
Far right. Click on it.

One of the day when I was in Zurich it was raining and according to Google there will be sun at 4o'clock. Being in Florence I couldn't depend on Google weather all the time as sometimes it should be raining whole day but instead not one drop. I was walking around that day when it rained, while she was having her interview with the bank. She will also meet me at the station at 4. I didn't want to be late so I arrive 15mins before and at the struck of 4, the clouds subsided and the sun shined as she get down the tram with her other friend.

Dang. How!
Typical Malaysian says to meet you at 4.00pm might probably be reaching at 4.30pm.


The Amazing Freitag tower. Such sustainable brand.

Condomeria.

She is still trying to find a Starbucks in Italy after me telling her numerous of times.
No there is no Starbucks in Italy.
Movenpick was claimed to be the best Ice-cream you can get. I just think thats because they only have Movenpick ;/
Italy still have the best gelatos! ;p
I really did learn a lot with this travel on how they actually live even they have high paying salary they will not eat out and if they eat out they will buy from supermarkets or buy take away because it is cheaper that way. Coffee might not be the cheapest but when you need somewhere to sit at for internet or any cause there is always Starbucks. Zurich is more international where it has a lot of japanese, asian, italian food and their name of the Churches is somehow impossible to remember for me.

The only thing that is true about my perception on Switzerland was: Watches and Chocolates. lols.




Friday, April 4, 2014

Vague Post

Logged in, logged out, and logged in again to Blogger haha. 

Recently Ru, Ca and I have been busy; Ru has Italian class and lots of sight-seeing to do (I guess. We haven't have a skype session!) while Ca is having the toughest posting this semester. Sometimes, she has on call (milder ones like around 12 hours - 18 hours if I am not wrong) too! As for me, I will be graduating soon so I am looking for internship to get a head start since I am unsure of which industry I would like to work at. I had underwent an interview lately but I got rejected. I am fine :). Having been living under a privileged life, I am truly blessed. Upon deciding to step out of my comfort zone, I feel rather uncomfortable now lol. Anyhow, this year has started off exciting and will be exciting for me. 

I know this post is rather vague but I will just leave it as it is. Logging out now! 

Chloe

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Giorno 61 - Primavera

Spring time is where carpets of daisies fill the fields and birds are finally chirping while pomegranates rotted. I'm somehow wishing the day would come sooner during winter. I was constantly asking my teachers when will winter end. Despite being in Italy and it isn't as cold as other countries (whatever) I still feel what I feel, as a matter of fact, I don't feel my toes sometimes. Winter was constantly raining for almost 2 weeks if I had not remembered wrongly. I felt weird when I put on my shirt and my arm was exposed. I looked at them and smile, what brutal things had Italy did to me. My finger tips converged and teetered back and forth, out comes the word "cazzo.." I've been eating lots of bomboloni I bet.

But heck, it was so warm when the first day of spring came. My winter wear serve me well and now its just going to take up half my suitcase till winter comes by again. Dang.



I should just enjoy spring because at times I will be sweating and it just scares me to think what will summer be like if I sweat in spring. Trust me there are a lot on my mind when the season change because during winter I was wrapped up and walking really fast through the streets of Florence. Though during these few days when the temperature was barely 20 degree, I see more weird people on the street. I was wondering to myself, wow the weird people are finally coming out from their caves. I never thought that I was weird when I had blue hair in Malaysia, but Europeans with blue, pink, green hair is weird as hell with their punk style fake glasses just makes me stare twice. Sorry but it is just horrible. My mum laugh when I told her that these people are starting to lurk around more instead of during winter. I swear there was none to be seen in winter just old people in their long trench coat walking in the streets with their dogs.




As I walk at the peak of Piazza San Miniato I look down at Florence having pink, purple, green and all sorts of flowers blooming then. It is just amazing having to experience this and the change of season is truly a change in feeling as well. As we walk pass a field of daisies with benches and a aluminium tapered fluted lamp post with roof mounted luminaires. Yeap there's where I will be buried in when I die. hahaha I felt instead of sad creepy cemetery as all picture the place should be somewhere where you loved ones sit and have nostalgic moments of you ;/ heh too much.

It was a nice day anyway, hollers from cute Italian guys from the passing cars and coming home to a new beautiful room mate that speaks Russian and nothing but Russian.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Day 3 Shinjuku & Shibuya

Good thing about traveling on our own; we need not follow a packed schedule provided by tour guide. And, we get to take our own sweet time getting up and ready. After traveling to various places, I learnt not to be greeady and try to squeeze as many tourist attractions and places as possible into my itinerary. I used to do it that way and forgot to eat as Ken and I hastily hop to one place to another.  On the ensuing days, we usually ended up with sore feet haha. So, it was a really bad idea!

For my trip to Tokyo, I created my itinerary by referring to www.japan-guide.com. :) 

Our first destination for day 3 was Shinjuku Gyoen (Shinjuky Garden). It was around 15 to 20 minutes walk from our hotel. Throughout the trip, Ken and I had a keep-calm-and-do-not-be-grumpy-rule since getting lost was almost inevitable. Indeed, we were lost everyday. While we were searching for the way to Shinjuku Gyoen, we saw Starbucks so we went in, grabbed some drinks and asked for the direction. Each time we travel, we will definitely visit Starbucks and McDonald's. Guess it feels at home? haha

Ken and I had Capuccino and Iced Chocolate respectively. 


As instructed by the staff of Starbucks, we headed off towards west. On our way, we saw a young mummy trying to lift a pram and bring it down to the bottom of a staircase so we stopped by and lend our hands. Speaking of young mummies in Japan, majority of them look very young and pretty. Men, now you know where to look for pretty wife! haha

Along the sidewalks, there were tall trees on my left and the streets were empty, it felt serene hehe. Still looking for Shinjuku Gyoen by the way..


And then, we saw a poster somewhere near a primary school. I wondered if the kids will be terrified when they see this? :/


Upon entering Shinjuku Gyoen, we were a little confused since most of the trees were as bald as a coot. To some extent, it felt eerie just like how a horror movie should be haha. That is me posing with trees. 


After walking deeper into Shinjuku Gyoen, we saw more non-balding trees and some flowers too! We had a cute discovery; we found a lot of professional-looking elderly people bringing huge-ass DSLR camera in the park taking close-up shots of Narcissus 'Paper White'.


So, I decided to take one too. haha


For Ken and I, the attractions of the park were Shinjuku Gyoen Goryō-tei and the Old Imperial Western-style Rest House.

Shinjuku Gyoen Goryō-tei was presented by voluntary Japanese in Taiwan in commemoration of the Imperial wedding ceremony of the Crown Prince (later the Emperor Shoōwa) early in the Shoōwa era. It displays the architectual style (the Minnan style architecture of the southern China) which had previaled in Taiwan since the middle period of the Ch'ing dysnasty, showing a swastika pattern in the plan of the former retiring room.
resource from: the descriptive plaque provided near the entrance of Shinjuku Gyoen Goryō-tei.

The Old Imperial Western-style Rest House was built in 1896 for a rest place which was used when Emperor and Imperial family came to admire plants at greenhouse in Shinjuku Gyoen. The House was designed by the Bureau of Construction in the Ministry of the Imperial Household and built based on the style of architecture called Stick Style which was popular centered in housing around the U.S.  
resource from: the pamphelt provided upon entering the rest house.
Regarding the greenhouse mentioned in the description above, it was located just 1 to 2 minutes walking distance from the resthouse. Ken and I did not spend much time lingering inside the greenhouse as all the plants in it can be found back in Malaysia. 


We actually spent about 90 minutes in the park and it was not all thoroughly discovered lol. Anyhow, we headed to Takashimaya Department Store and went to Tamazushi for lunch. Upon entering the restaurant, there were people assisting us to to take off our winter coat and hung it. We then sat at the sushi bar. The chef recommended us to have ebi (prawn), freshly delivered from Hokkaido, for lunch. Additionally, we had Omakase (Chef's recommendation) and a sake named 'Akai Akari' (if I am not wrong).


Spot the bigger ebi in the middle of the plate! That's the one from Hokkaido! It was really different from those I ate in KL. The ebi was really fresh and juicy.


After lunch, due to the after-effect of sake, my face turned red and I felt a little tipsy but it was not too bad. I was able to walk but Ken forbid me from drinking any sake thereafter. :/ ohwells.

 At noon, we rode on the train to Shibuya. Next stop, Shibuya crossing! Each train station in Japan has numeral exits that lead to different side of the town (like north, west, south, east). Without fail, we got lost again. On the brighter side, we got to see other parts of Shibuya before arriving at the right exit to Shibuya Crossing. The picture below are restaurants located under a flyover. That fascinated me since we do not have that in KL. Do you see the bicycles in the picture? Japanese often travel around the town on bicycle. :)  


Just realized that I did not capture much pictures in Shibuya as I was too caught up in shopping and sightseeing. Anyway, I snapped this picture when I was standing at the crossroad of Shibuya Crossing. :)


Ken and I went to 109 Men's, Marui, and Parco (shopping malls) and eventually got bored with it. Ken is more of a fan of Nike and Adidas so he is not interested in anything less or beyond that. As for me, I bought two sweaters and a winter coat (if I had not mentioned it already, I did not have any winter coat since day 1 as I could not find any in KL)! We continued wandering around Shibuya and suddenly, we came across this cute truck that reminded me of Kiki's Delivery Service haha.


I am not sure if it is a trend in Tokyo or all over Japan, but I noticed a lot of dessert shops around town! And, they all looked really nice. After looking around, we both settled at a dessert shop inside Parco.  I had a chestnut chocolate cream cake and Ken had a black tea sponge cake.


This is my favourite place in Shibuya; the Spain Slope! This slope is lined by boutiques, cafes and restaurants. Additional to that, the shops are in different size and structure: one-storey, three-storeys, and some even have basement! In KL (at least at the place I live), the structure of buildings and shops are rather monotonous hence I got really excited as I walked on the slope. I actually walked up and down on the same slope for twice (that showed how excited I was lol). 


On the side of the slope, we discovered Tsukada Farm which serves chicken (mainly chicken since they has a farm in Hokkaido and chickens are freshly delivered across Japan). The waiter in Tsukada Farm named Yasu was really friendly. He actually briefed us through the origin of Tsukada Farm before taking our order. We had salmon served with avocado, charcoal-grilled chicken and soft-boiled eggs.


Before leaving the restaurant, Yasu gave us a surprise. He presented us a 'pan' of rice fried with chicken oil obtained from the charcoal grilled chicken we had earlier, that explains the blackish-colored rice.  


Then, a note on the plate, some yoghurt-like food in the spoon and stickers of Tsukada Farm (This restaurant has its own sticker. How cool!) haha. Last but not least, when we left the restaurant (for real), he ran out of the restaurant and gave us two mini bags of soy sauce as gift. Haha I am not sure about the custom of giving soy sauce but Ken and I really appreciated the warm welcome. 


After a plentiful meal, we took the train back to Shinjuku. We decided to visit Kabukichō, a famous red-light district located in Shinjuku before heading back to the hotel. As usual, I had to ask people for direction haha. So, I was asking this man, who probably just got off from his work, for direction to Kabukichō, he was trying equally as hard to reply me in English (he found out that I am a foreigner since I spoke awkward Japanese) just like how I tried to ask him for directions in Japanese and that was really funny haha.  

The entrance to Kabukichō.

For men's pleasure, I saw various types of services being offered here. Some of which I spotted were: massage, a date out with a girl you picked,  and private room for viewing porn. This was a real eye-opener!



Chloe


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Giorno 15 - Day 15 in Italy but Day 3 in Malaysia

I was remembering it is Chinese New Year in Malaysia. Everyone would say I would feel lonely since I'm abroad and I don't have anyone to celebrate it with. Instead of that I don't feel any difference actually. There was one secretary from school wished me Happy Chinese New Year! I smiled my largest as I think no one would know about it. There was a girl in my class from Israel who look at me strange "Why is your new year in the middle of January?" I like how people look at me strange. I then explained how the Chinese calendar only have 30 days that's why our dates are always different for new year. In Malaysia we could celebrate new year 4 times actually hahaha.

While we share stories about how we all celebrated our New year back in our own country, Laura black hair, pointy nose and had lots of rings on her fingers said her and her family would run around the boundaries of their house(and their neighbours as well! Couldn't help myself I was laughing so hard) once the clock struck midnight with their pocket filled with a good luck charm. She showed us later but I forgot what was it but I remembered it was weird. ;/ hahahaha. This was her story in italian which was my second week of Italian language. I hope I heard it correctly if not I would be finding a wall to bang into right now.



I felt nothing on "Chinese New Year" this year as I walk the streets of Florence there was commotion of course it just another day to get to work. What I find it funny was I kept wishing my parents on Chinese New Year eve and my brother was like "... not yet.." My nostrils frilled and wondered "wtf. I just told the secretary in our school it was CNY tomorrow." Heh heh . Thank God he didn't needed that information about it. As well I told the dates so wrong when the next day I wish my family again they say "tomorrow is only the first day of Chinese new year today is just the eve where we are going to your grandparents' house"
Finally on the first day of Chinese New Year I give up, my younger brother sending me a picture of my red packet and mum told me to go find bird saliva in Florence.

Haha no mum. There is no bird saliva in Florence.


I was evading the rain.



Weather in Florence is terrible as it was raining the whole day and almost the whole week for that matter. I stayed in my pyjamas and made myself minestrone as I was sick and mum should not know. It was day 3 of CNY where all my relatives would gather in my house. I remembered telling my Italian teacher Valentina, I had 6 nieces/nephews, 40 cousins, 18, aunts and uncles and 1 grandparents. Her mouth opened wide and asked how we fit into one house. While everyone fitted in my house they skyped with me as well. How sweet. I don't know but I think it is the first time my grandmum encountered skype and she cried literally in front of the screen where she was shocked to see me. hahahaha. As awkward as it was I felt so loved by everyone.

Nom toast is a comfort food when you have cold (Thats what I read at least)



Now I understand why went you are abroad "studying" you can really know alot of series. I finished a few seasons of series of my own. I should really say FML at that moment as I'm in Florence but heck. It's winter.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Le Purple Hair!

Hellos I have yet another update of my hair dye colour again :) I dyed this a little late this time, after Christmas.
Such silly decision.
This time I only dyed it one colour, dark purple! I chose this because I saw this girl from lookbook which has light purple hair.
Since school is starting in a month I don't think the colour will fade in time for me to back to school having brown hair instead of bright purple hair. Sadly.

So then I saw another blogger who did dark purple and it turned out really nice! So I thought since I can't choose light purple why not go for dark? 

No regrets the colour turned out pretty cool! Since my last dye, I had bleach highlights on my hair still with the original colour already washed off. So even though I only dyed dark purple my hair turned out to have two colours with the bleach highlight having very bright purple.

Check out my previous dye here ! 

This colour is amazing because when I just dyed it, it look really dark almost like black(excluding the highlight).
Then as I wash it, it turned more red-marroon-pinkish which look sooooo gooooddd under the sunlight! I think it looks good in my preference. Heheheh and my lighter purple looks pinkish-magenta-fushia-ish? So I really liked it!

I have pictures of both when it is dark and light.

Now after having it for more than a month plus the colour is still there but is slowly fading to brown already. Just in time for school!
This colour is quite lasting compared to the red hair and pink brown hair I had last time.

I dyed my hair colour at number76 Mont' Kiara branch by Hikky! 


Notice the lighter purple (highlight streaks) are still the same as my previous dye.

 

This is the 3rd day after I dye, after first wash. Still very dark.



This is after I don't know how many washes, probably 3rd where the colour in my opinion is the best! These photos are taken indoor.


Side view.

 

Back view with sun and without sunlight.


See the difference in colour one in sun and the other without.


And finally a random picture I took that make my hair look super purple! 

 



 Erica