Saturday, 22 December 2012

Random things I have decided I will miss Singapore for

1) Choping tables at kopitiams/food courts with my bag, and not having to be afraid that my wallet/laptop/or even my entire bag will be gone when I return

2) Relatedly, the kind souls that will return (or have always returned) me my wallet/phone that I seem to enjoy misplacing. It is a miracle that I have not lost anything in London yet.

3) GREENERY. BUSH. (the existence of) LEAVES.

4) Going home late every night since a male escort is not needed to feel safe (lol)

5) No breakfast in hall at 8-9am everyday --> No need to force myself to wake up + don't need to eat some fattening fried egg and hash brown breakfast lololol

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Since I'm at it, random things that I am missing London for:

1) Walking everywhere. Strangely enough, I enjoy walking to my destinations. Not only does it give me a sense of control over my time, walking clears my mind better than public transport does. Singapore is too freaking warm to walk. I missed my shuttle bus to the driving centre the other day, and I decided to walk since Google Maps said it would be a 16 min walk (I would have walked by default/ without hesitation in London). Super bad decision. I could have soaked a whole towel wet with my sweat.

2) Colder weather. The grass is always greener at the other side.

3) The proximity everything is to my hall.

4) THE MOTIVATION TO STUDY AND FINISH MY POLICY DEBATE REPORT. RAWR!

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Pss I highlighted my hair red/pink! Super love. Blog about it soon (: It's one of the most exciting things to have happened to me so far lol (lame life I have I know). Can't stop ogling at those highlights~~~ :DDDDD *vain ttm D:*

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Geography

I really love geography.

I am so glad I decided to study it, despite almost everyone asking me what I'm going to do with this degree when I grow up. I am adamant geography is a very relevant discipline to life, and part of my goals in Uni is to change the perception that geography is not just about rocks and countries, but about an understanding of our world, our people and how we all interact for the better or the worst. And yes, you have no idea how many people have told me "wah, you study geography, you must be very good at all the countries in the world right". How to irritate me 101. xD

Alright, back to continuing my report on how TNCs have positively impacted communities socially and culturally... Haha as much as I always whine about writing and the massive amount of reading we have to do in school, I always feel super inspired and motivated after every essay and after reading insightful reports :D Yay, go shu! :D Enjoy studying while it lasts...

Monday, 10 December 2012

So, I skipped 2 days of school to visit Prague... (Day 1)

Prague is amazing.
I am so glad I made the decision to disappear from UCL to visit this enchanting city. Even though I had a massive amount of work to complete when I came back hahh.

We took EasyJet to Prague's international airport from London Stansted, and I experienced one of the worst airplane delays ever. We boarded the plane about 30 minutes late due to some delay, and then after sitting/sleeping on the airplane for another 1.5hours, I woke up to find out to my horror that we have YET to take off and were still in London. Apparently the airplane had some fault and hence we had to wait for another plane to fly over from Luton to pick us up. So yes, the entire delay was about 2-3 hours long, and being incredibly sleep deprived (we barely slept the night before as our bus to the airport was at 2am -.-"), you can imagine how annoyed and impatient I was haha. But I guess on the bright side, we did manage to catch some sleep on the plane during the delay lol....

Anyway, we made it to the hotel around noon, and I was pleasantly surprised by the hotel! There were mixed reviews online on TripAdvisor and the such, and I didn't really know what to expect but anyway I am quite happy with the stay.

Pretty lift lobby and comfy spacious rooms
They had the most amazingly soft pillows and mattress EVER. Even MBS cannot compare to this. Totally dreaded going back to my hall bed....

 
View from hotel windows!
We were on the 12th floor :D

 
Even came with pretty toilettries!
But I tried using them and they didn't feel very nice. Thankfully I brought my own haha (:

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Hotel Corinthia Prague
Kongresov√° 1, 140 00 Praha, Czech Republic 
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Anyway, another plus for the hotel was that it was literally outside the metro station. Super convenient, and I remember the first day I was there I had no coins to buy tickets to take the metro, and I just walked back to the hotel to ask for change and then walked back to the station ahhahha. 


 
Prague Metros! The stations are all really really pretty and well designed!
And another cool thing about the trains are that you have to press a button for the doors to open hahaha, if not they won't open at the station (:

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This was my first time travelling solo, and I think the experience was quite fantastic. I didn't have to care about other people's preferences nor schedules and I could take as long/short a time as I wanted at each location hehe. And, no more spending a long time deciding what to eat.... lol. So, on the first day I decided to take it easy and just wander around the Old Town Square. The festive mood was seriously overflowing!!


Christmas Markets @ Prague's Old Town Square
Ahh, so festive right!! Christmas in 2 weeks! :D

Random roasting ham at one of the christmas market stalls!
Yum looks so delish right! haha!

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So after wandering around the old town square for a bit, I decided to make my way to a chocolate cafe nearby that I read was highly recommended on TripAdvisor. And indeed it was incredibly crowded (with tourists) and I had to queue for about 20min before I got a table. Nevertheless, I thought the quality of the chocolate and cake was quite good (:

 
The exterior of the chocolate cafe!

Pretty cafe interior! :D


A cup of Tanzanie 75% hot chocolate from Africa.
Was accurately described by the menu as being "very fruity, extraordinary flavour, extremely rich and wild earth". Costs 89CZK which is around 2.80GBP, pretty value for money in my opinion! :D

Carrot cake to go with the choclate.
Was pretty decent, not spectacular but gave me a good break from the super thick hot chocolate. Got pretty sick of the thick bitter chocolate after a while so I just drowned the cake in the chocolate to add a bit of sweetness to the chocolate and a bit of chocolate to the cake hehe.


Verdict: 
pretty good cafe that is quite value for money haha (: In fact, I think everything in Prague is super value for money especially after living in super expensive London! D: I would book a reservation next time though, especially if in a rush as the queues are quite long! D:

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Choco Cafe
Liliova 4, 250 Praha 1, Prague
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Didn't do much for the rest of the evening. Just wandered (literally wandered with no real sense of direction) around Prague haha. Prague feels amazingly safe. There are so many street lamps and not many dark alleys and random hobos unlike London. I would NOT dare to wander around London at ALL. Not especially at night :/


There is a lot of graffiti in Prague....
Not a bad thing I guess though haha

 
Random shop filled with dolls
Does it look freaky to you? It does to me! D: 

 
Random bakery along the streets

 
Watched the christmas tree light up at the Old Town Square as well
It was EPIC CROWDED OMG. I took at least 30minutes to get out of that place after the light up ): Everyone was literally standing shoulder to shoulder IN THE ENTIRE SQUARE!! (which is like a little bigger than the size of your school morning assembly area maybe?) 


 
Had burgers for dinner at Yes Burgers!
  Super random decision, didn't really know what to eat and this was fast and decently cheap haha. Pretty and colourful interior! Burgers were alright.

 
I look like a toot but I blend in with the grey wall!
But gah, the orange plastic bag (yes ordered burger take-away so I could take a stroll down the river and munch, BUT super stupid idea cause in the 0 degrees weather, the burger would cool damn fast!!!) 

 
Pretty metro station again! :D
And yep, back to the hotel I went (: Pretty satisfying first day in Prague I think! So glad I found the chocolate cafe hehe. Chocolate really makes people happy!


Alright, end of my super photo heavy post! Will continue with the next 3 days of visit soon. I have TONS of work (i.e. essay and report ARGH can you please just write yourself?!) to do... ):

xx 

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Bath & Stonehenge travelogue

 
Stonehenge
Mandatory touristy shot

Yep, Raffles Alumni organised a trip to stonehenge and bath about 2 weeks back, and of course I'd be interested to go, given how stonehenge is a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the definite must-sees while studying/travelling in the UK. Stonehenge has a long history of many different cultural uses, the main being that of a burial ground, but what puzzles me most is how these large rocks were transported and drilled into the ground by mere human strength. Some theories have even been suggested that superhuman strength was used...



 
HI BIRD! :D
The crows at stonehenge are SUPER FREAKING BIG. D; 

Afterwards, we got back into the coach towards Bath, a pretty little town with pretty buildings and pretty parks! Bath is most famous for the Roman Baths (hence the town's name). We were given a guided tour inside where we found out about the many queer and intriguing habits of the Romans when they bathe hahaha. Anyway, this site is the only hot spring in the United Kingdom, and the water actually originates from a limestone aquifer (underground reservoir) not too far away where geothermal energy heats it to about 96 degrees celcius. The Romans thought the hot springs were the workings of goddess Sulis Minerva and there was this special pool where they will throw down inscribed curses for the goddess to act upon (e.g. cursed be the man who stole my pants).


 
Interior of the Roman Baths
This was the location of the public pool in those days. The water wasn't actually that hot haha, we tried dipping our fingers in xD


That was about all we managed to cover in the day, especially since the sun sets at like wth 4pm now??? Plus, we had an important task to complete that day hahahahha (i.e. film a music video) so we didn't manage to visit the other attractions at bath ): But the music video filming was SO MUCH FUN. Super shameless omg!

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Pretty sky!!!
Clouds artistically coloured by the setting sun :D 

 
Autumn leaves scattered around the park
They look like they could form some pattern? 


Ahh, autumn is going to be over soon ): It's getting freaking cold, and temperatures are predicted to dip below 0 this weekend, sigh. Alright, short random post, not much has transpired over the past few weeks so yeah. Trying to catch up on work, and have less 'life' HAHA. :P xx see you!


Saturday, 24 November 2012

Life is good when ___ (complete the sentence)

Life is good when you have friends around you to do stupid random things with.

Screenshot of video that was taken at Bath.
Don't even ask what we were trying to do HAHAHA

And life is good when you're heading for Prague NEXT WEEK! I am so mega excited. Even though I will have to travel alone most of the time haha ):

But, for now, life is so not good because I have not done any work since last Tuesday, and I have choreoraphy bid in3 hours time which I am TOTALLY unprepared for. Way to go, shu!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Life in technicolour

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Stunning view from my 6th floor window
How to sum up the past few weeks in a word: thankful. Thankful that life has been so good to me. Not just about London. But about life in general, and how amazingly fulfilling every step of life has been, and can be. I think studying overseas has really broadened my worldview, what with the new people you're always getting to know, and of course the new physical places and social cultures you're always trying to understand and get used to. In any case.... never too early for a new year's resolution!
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The past few weeks in photos~
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Food from Bella Italia at Oxford
Was really good. And total LOLS at what was underneath the plate of pizza! <3
Very unfortunately though, I had this massive cold when I was there so I think my blocked nose inhibited my sense of taste a little bit; what a waste!




Oxford is too picturesque!!
Every alley looks so photogenic haha (:




Freaking amazing cupcakes you can get from Lola's at Topshop Oxford Circus.
As good as twelve cupcakes in Singapore I would say! Cupcake in bottom picture is red velvet (MASSIVE LOVE!!).


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Where I spent my reading week
At some mega ulu place in Devon, England doing fieldwork. Thankfully the rain held up till Friday when we were about to leave!
But it was a pretty good experience though, got to know more coursemates and breathe fresh air for 5 days in a row before coming back to polluted London. HAHA.



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Bench in the middle of shrub along the roadside
So quaint and pretty! I would have loved to sit here for half an afternoon watcing the birds, dogs (there are so many cute dogs in Slapton!!!! All the owners have good taste! HAHAHAHHA) and the occasional car go past.


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Our Dorm
Which was surprisingly decent and comfortable haha! Went there not expecting a lot and hence was pleasantly surprised! (:

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Alright, have to leave now and get some sleep! Write again next time! x

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

A post on London is overdue. I can't believe it's been a month since I arrived. Life is beginning to settle, and strangely enough, the initial idealism and gungho-ness is already beginning to wane. That's not a good sign. I was way busier in secondary school and JC, but somehow I always managed to find energy to get involved in so much other stuff. Today, I just feel like this blanket of lethargy and inertia is threatening to pull me down. My guy friends here warn me about the dreaded 20s. HAHA. Apparently, once you hit 20 you will notice a very significant change in your pace of life and activeness. Maybe it's merely a placebo effect of sorts, but anyway me being me, I told them I will prove them wrong. >:) Oh man, it must suck to be depleted of life. Maybe it has to do with autumn here. All the leaves are falling, and the sky is permanently overcast.


 
My 2nd day here in London. What a great first impression! D:

Yesterday clocks got shifted one hour back for daylight saving, and because of that it was already ridiculously dark at 5pm. Now I understand people's winter woes. But I think it would be beautiful in the cold days if you were in a nice little cottage sitting on the edge of the lake. Winter would mean no leaves yes, but sparkling still waters and the gorgeous fog you can wake up to every morning. Give and take but still effortlessly beautiful and redeeming. Here, all the leaves just drop to envelop everything else - cars, chimneys and the incredibly boring architecture of London. I am currently making plans to visit Lake District in January; I really hope it happens. Dream come true! I'll get to live by the lake and finally breathe frosty fresh air muahahha


 This amazing sunny day I got when I went to Oxford. So gorgeous! 
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 Oh, and I must complain about the food. Can someone enlighten me to places with good, and INEXPENSIVE food in London?? Meals here are decent, but not satisfying. I don't feel as happy here after a meal than I felt satisfied in Singapore. Food here has generally been boring, devoid of texture, and hmmm actually now that I think about it, maybe it's the company. I am beginning to make friends here, thankfully, really nice and great friends at that. But, I miss people to just mull over lunch with and eat without talking without feeling awkward. And I completely miss snacking. Like, just randomly buying random stuff to eat when I pass a nice cafe/kopitiam/stall... Anyway I feel better now after I ate the £3 pancakes from old dutch. OMNOMONOMZ and SO CHEAP PLEASE. But the offer is only available on Monday, and I think I'll get tired of them after a while...

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Pancakes from the Old Dutch at Holburn! Smoked salmon and mushroom super yumz cause those are arguably my 2 favourite foods!! Plus, cream dressing so it's jut pasta sauce on a pancake and I LOVE CREAM PASTA SAUCES. :DDDDD
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More amazing pancakes! This time berries compote with ice cream! Plus lots of visual effects and editting hehe.  I love sweet stuff oh yeah~
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In any case, after all that whining, I am still enjoying myself I guess. Geography is exciting and super interesting (though not all the lectures are). I wish they would feed us with more information though! Haha, reading on your own is so much more boring but I guess more rewarding. I'm getting my first report/project next week when I go on fieldtrip to Slapton; I hope I'll have time to take more photos of nice stuff and not just like soil and samples lol.


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The geography library: where I will spend a good half of the next 3 years in...
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Got to go off for hall dinner in 30 minutes time. I think part of the disdain for hall food is having to drag yourself down at the same time every evening to the same place. The food is actually alright most of the time, and in the interest of saving money I shall try to eat at hall as often as I can... Anyway, I shall just photospam this place with interesting snippets of life here. Till I write again next time! x
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 I have been buying chocolate like nobody's business. D: But they all look and taste so good though! Plus, they are only 2 for £3!!!

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So glad I got to be part of the 24h dance show! Super tiring and intense because we had to learn (and Abi had to choreograph) in 24hours!!! LE MASSIVE STRESS. But was really fun and I got to know other nice people! :D
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And, lastly, my big fat pooh whose only reason for existence is to bring happiness to Shu and everyone else who cuddles it. 
EVERYONE'S BEST FRIEND~~~ XXX

Sunday, 2 September 2012

The countdown~

3 more weeks till I leave Singapore ): Too little time, I realise! ): Need to catch up with so many people and do so many things before I leave!

 
Friends I will dearly miss! ):

What I'll miss most about Singapore: FOOD. Food in Singapore (good food) is EVERYWHERE, EVERY CORNER. No such luck in London though ): So while I'm still here I'm going on a massive feast and recording some of them here.

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Melt - the world cafe @ Mandarin Oriental
Verdict: Pretty amazing. Too much good food. Stuffed to the brim. Unfortunately, also very expensive but pretty worth it methinks!


Seafood Stew
I don't eat seafood but this looks pretty damn good and apparently did taste good too so mmm.


A medley of Indian Dishes
OMG these were the best! Loved the briyani rice, and every curry is rich and flavourful. OMNOMNOMZ.


Dessert Shooters
I go for buffets mainly for their dessert selection. Melt - the world cafe didn not disappoint with a huge huge variety of desserts that were of pretty good quality on average. Left: Yuzu jelly that was amazeballs!! It was one of the first few desserts to run out, unfortunately. Just the right amount of tanginess and sweetness, super refreshing. Right: Raspberry creameux that was alright. A little too sweet but still satisfying enough. Nothing spectacular though.



Asian Desserts
Yup, they even had at least 8-10 varieties of asian desserts. Pardon the rather bad photo though ): Didn't manage to try them as I was seriously too full after eating all the western desserts HAHA. What a waste! I spent much of that night regretting heh.

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Chocolate buffet @ the Fullerton Hotel
Verdict: Once in a lifetime experience. I never knew I could ever get sick of chocolate but this time it seems like I did LOL. Some cakes were pretty good but some just average. Worth it? Yes, but only for that one time experience. Probably will never go back unless I suddenly have this massive chocolate craving. (Though I think I can probably satisfy that without forking out close to $50)



Noir Chocolate Orange 56%
Pretty alright, not a fan of orange chocolate though.



Another chocolate mousse shooter
Truth be told, none of the sweets here really left a lasting impression. It might be because my tastebuds were numbed after eating so much chocolate though.

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Random Amazing Singaporean Dishes
Verdict: Always worth the money. Intensely satisfying for a mere $5 or less even sometimes. OMNOMNOMZ. I will miss you, Singaporean food. ):


Fish Soup
One of my Favourite fish soup stalls at Raffles City Shopping Centre foodcourt!



Ya Kun Kaya Toast
Need I say more? Perfect with runny half boiled eggs and a steaming cup of Teh.

Economical Bee Hoon
An amazing plate of breakfast for $2.50. Available just about everywhere. :D



Mee Pok
I will miss this dish the most in UK. I LOVE YOU MEEPOK *public declaration of love and allegiance*
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Alright, till next time! More food to be savoured before I leave omnomnomz (: