Written while Drunk on Thoughts

29 Apr 2013

I've got myself an Acne from Stockholm

A wallet that is. It actually stands for Ambition to Create Novel Expression. It was founded in Stockholm, Sweden some 15 years ago, so its not a very old brand.

I like the simple, non-fussy, straight to the point design. This should be the highest level of design - less is more.
The gorgeous chestnut hue is just too good to pass although I did hesitate to get the black one since black is my lucky colour this year. Told the sales assistant about that risk sounding superstitious but she told me with age, the leather of Chestnut colour will become darker and more seasoned while black will remain so. So, I chose beauty over luck. The friendly pretty girl told me its a new colour along with a black one (They had 4 colours: blue, yellow, black and chestnut).

Plus I was delighted to find out its £20 cheaper in Sweden than in UK. It was an impulse buy but I am really pleased of it. This sparks my obsession on Swedish designs. As a fan of simple designs, I firmly believe the statement "less is more", I always love Scandinavian designs, but it is almost always too expensive to indulge. Here's my leathery finds on my trip. I love it. Triumphs over generic souvenir, I had a story to tell or I am always able to subtly hint the certain someone that you would not be able to get it locally because I got it while on holiday somewhere at the other part of the world *show off much?*

The yellow isn't as vibrant in real life

Pictures above are from Liberty's website.
I suppose this colour was sold out at the particular department store counter I bought mine in.

Ok, genius me didn't take a picture before I yanked the sticker off. So, I replaced the sticker and try to pretend that its as good as new. I love the packaging of "designer" items, its always carefully & thoughtfully packed.

This is mine, it comes in black but perhaps due to the reason that its new (according to the pretty girl and the box actually had a PAW13 - I suppose it meant Pre- Autumn/Winter 13) I couldn't find picture online anywhere) and perhaps its new, only stores in Stockholm has it. =) Hehe. You can see there are slight difference, the words ACNE STUDIOS are larger and the L.NYG. 23 is not there. Not exactly sure what NYG stands for but could mean their flagship store in Stockholm, Sweden.

Photo doesn't do it justice, it was the perfect leather backpack, even one that my father would approved. =)
And a picture of my proudest find, a vintage leather bag that has a hole in it and I discovered it only when I am back. I thought I was the one that might have created the hole, but I tried scratching the bag (quite hard i might add) with my fingernails and it won't budge, so I conclude that the hole was there and its part of the charm of a vintage item. It is (IMO) cheap considering its entirely leather, it has the most beautiful shade of dark brown, I have this thing about leather, it must be brown, because leather comes from animal and brown is the most "natural" colour. Even though lots of shades of brown are also dyed on the leather but its more realistic than a blue cow or yellow lamb.

I found it at the huge vintage store on the first day while roaming around the area recommended by a waitress in a cafe I had my lunch in, I want the local perception, how the locals see Copenhagen. I didn't buy it only to find myself thinking about it the whole day and as the salesgirl said "if you had been thinking about it, means you really want it." Its mainly true but also kudos to her selling techniques. They are really kind, I was actually few minutes late and I lied telling them I am leaving Copenhagen the next day and begged for them to let me get the bag since I knew what I want.

I ended up chatting with them for a while and got a free LEATHER shopping bag (I had the "face" to ask for another colour because I spotted brown and black but they gave me a black one due to my "leather has to be brown" theory but they only had black) together with the purchase just because the owner was kind enough. The leather shopping bag cost DKK 280 and my bag cost DKK 320, I paid DKK 320, I got a free girl worth DKK 280. I think its a pretty good deal. Free spirited people, I like. I don't think British would succumb to that though, since I am late, its my fault.

So now, I have a leather shopping bag, I tell you, its darn cool. Who owns a leather shopping bag? It just injected a whole lot of cool into grocery shopping.

25 Apr 2013

I see people in relationship, I see happiness

I apologise for not telling the stories for my trip to Copenhagen and Stockholm yet but I am too lazy to upload the pictures, will post soon but for now, I had a thought after I posted the weight lost article.

This is a good year, lots of people getting pregnant, lots of people due to give birth, lots of people going steady. I can see lots of people being happy and getting the "side effect" (gained a few pounds). So, does this mean while people are gaining, they are happy and since I lost, I am not? I often find myself wondering this particular theory I have. Don't get me wrong, I am happy that through healthy lifestyle I managed to lost and now kept the weight constant, but the theory sometimes does bother me and prompt me to re-think what makes me happy or will anything make me happy. (I would like to apologise of all these in advance to my Boy, because lets face it, who would want to hear his girlfriend say this).

I was talking to a new friend while at a party at my friend's apartment a few days ago. She mentioned that she wouldn't want to make the same mistakes a lot of girls made, gave up their career for the love of their life. But instead of marriage or an actual person, she said the love of her life is Paris. She gave up living in Paris so that she could have a career in London. Some of you might think its odd but I somehow think its rather true. Not everyone is fortunate to share the same perspective and views in life. I don't think I did, yet.

I always wanted to go out and see the world and live life, with some luxuries of course. I was never content on staying where I am. The recent trip changed my mind, I used to love Amsterdam, its a city but its so relaxing that I wouldn't mind staying there for good. Then I visited Stockholm, I had the same feeling yet again. I now start to believe that the love of my life is myself, do whatever I pleased. True, I did think of a million reasons that things might not got my way and being in Malaysia could be the only place I would end up but somehow, I always am not content in staying in Malaysia. So much to the extend that I freaked out the moment I realised I couldn't bargain the way out of compromising with the former one and decided to take stupid actions.

Don't get me wrong, I am still very materialistic and not a person that could survive much on a strict budget but after getting a taste of how its like, I am so eager to do it again, so much that the idea of getting married and settling down got lost. Few months ago, I was having this thought that I would want to be with a person that I would ended up marrying and I firmly knew that I wouldn't be marrying this one. But right now, I don't really care if I don't, I wanted to go out there and focus on what I want. I am not ready for any restrictions or commitments in life. I want to see the world, slowly and through my own way, my own eyes. Its beautiful and right now, I think its worth giving up everything (almost). I may end up like most people, settling down, but now, I would have stories to tell my kids. I am extremely fortunate to be able to travel like I did and live like I did. I am thankful for all of these but deep down, out there, there are something better waiting for me to discover and to experience.

22 Apr 2013

What living alone and started eating healthy do to me.

I am actually hesitating to post this particular post because I didn't want to sound like a know it all. Trust me, I am no where near fit yet, not enough to run a full on marathon but I am happy that I am slowly treating my body healthier. Well, this will serve as a motivation to everyone that are willing to listen to my rambling. =)

About a year ago, I realised all the late night dinner after work followed by a cup of huge latte had taken a toll on my body, a toll worth 6 - 7 kg. Yikes. One day, I stepped on the scale and discovered that I had gotten to a new record of heavy.

I was sad and depressed. I exercised on and off but never really kept it consistent. I fit into my once too loose pants and grew out of my favourite Jack Wills shorts. It hit me hard!! Very hard! I knew I had to do something after taking comfort in food after breaking up with the former boyfriend. So I decided to take matters in my own hands (literally), I cut up vegetables every morning sometime between showering and drying my hair with a hair dryer. I bring those vegetables to work as a snack or as dinner for the day.

Even though I still eat after late night work, the vegetables kept me half full and I had less for supper. The weight steadily goes down, slowly but surely. Then comes the time that I decided to take a break in between working and starting the new chapter in my life at the same country that was once a part of my history. During the break, I travelled, dealt with red tapes, day in, day out and also finally take advantage of the gym facility at the club. I went in whenever I could, about 5 times per week, an hour session every time, sometimes longer, sometimes slightly shorter.

I had sleepless nights, even though I was exhausted, my body refused to slow down. Yes, it was a sign of over exercising but I ignored it. Soon enough, I saw my weight dropped more and more. I still eat unhealthy hawker food but my appetite went down. I started liking salad and is on a journey to try all of them. Word of advice, salad in most Malaysian Western food restaurant are just a fraction of the actual salad that exist in the world. I blame them for my lack of interest in salad.

Salad doesn't equal to ONLY VEGETABLE. You are allowed some meat. The one bad thing about salad offered in Malaysian Western restaurant is the salad dressing. Mayonnaise, thousand island are so unhealthy that downing a bacon double cheese is probably more worth the calories. I learnt that by including balsamic vinegar and grape seed oil with some sprinkle of flaxseed would make a very good salad too, as well as fulfilling the healthy fat criteria.

I managed to shed another few kg and by the time I moved to London, I was half way to my goal. And I suppose my body is not used to the climate, even though most days are cheat days, I had chocolate (MALTESERS!!!!) almost everyday, my weight went down without me trying to lose it. I am not being cocky but I guess its the cold, the amount of walking. But to be fair, I eat healthy and not much oily or processed food went through my mouth. Only the chocolates. Just like that I reached my goal and lost a few kg more.

I fit into my old jeans that I couldn't button a year ago and then some. It is now too baggy for me. I dropped a dress size and had to get new jeans. I bought a pair of new jeans a couple of weeks after getting here, now the jeans are too big around the waist, sitting in the cupboard most of the time. My belt that had been with me for 7 years now is too big even at the tightest. I felt comfortable in my clothes, no more muffin tops. My parents noticed the difference when I talk to them via Facetime, my friends commented that I look skinnier. I feel skinnier and hotter. Hahaha! Most importantly I felt more confident. I couldn't be happier.

I am at my healthiest, I can walk miles and miles without feeling tired and run miles and miles without stopping. My advice in losing weight is eating healthy, it is the most important element, find something you like and improvise. I found love in salad and improvise, since I make my own meals, I made up my own salads, I mix around vegetables and food that I like. I love cheese, all kinds of cheese, well I say, add it in the salad, just not too much of it. I couldn't live without bacon. I said, chuck in together with the greens. Again, not too much of it. Ice cream? Sure, why not? Make sure you don't down the whole tub at one go.

I walk everywhere if possible, if there are 2 routes, one by bus to the door step of my destination, another by tube and I had to walk 10 minutes to get to my destination. The latter is favoured due to the exercise factor and also I prefer the tube to a bus, always. Without knowing, I add up my "exercise time" without actually have to exercise. Now that I went below my goal weight, I tried to maintain by having the same amount of exercise if I ate more and allowed myself to be lazier if I ate less.

This is how I lost about 8 kg, even lower than my weight when I started to gain weight though I wouldn't complained if I lose a couple more. I would say eat everything, just moderately. Don't cut out carb entirely, you don't want the weight to come back when you started to enjoy some french fries. What you eat IN, must be walk (or exercise) OUT. Nowadays since I no longer want to lost weight, when I went for an hour jog, I treat myself to a brownie. Oh, I too discovered adding berries into cottage cheese is a great snack & dessert. And who knew, greek yogurt with berries, dates and some cashew nuts / almond flakes make a great substitute for a chocolate parfait.

It is about changing the way of eating and taking the healthy route, not the "easy" route. Well, most of the time. If I were treated to a huge piece of chocolate mousse, I will NEVER EVER say no, perhaps just half of it (and keep the other half for the next day).

20 Apr 2013

Election and I just realised...

Election 4 years ago, I am not around to vote, ok... I was too young to vote, 4 years later, I am old enough to vote but I am still not around. I am excited to know where I will be in 4 years time when there's another election. I have a feeling yet again that I won't be around to vote. And honestly speaking (even though my friends would not approve), I am looking forward to it. Hopefully, I will be at my *dream city* and not around to vote yet again. 

17 Apr 2013

Of Vikings and of Modern, Ages that is

Today, I got a history lesson from the Boy. The first question he asked is "So, how is it that you had visited the land of the Vikings?" My first thoughts is "Vikings?" To some level, I knew the Danes and the Swedes are associated with the Vikings, because of the vast selection of Vikings head souvenirs available in the souvenir shops. 

But I was too obsessed of buying the "right" souvenirs, as in souvenirs that bears the word Copenhagen or Stockholm or any attractions that are associated with the city. My only reason is because I visited Copenhagen and Stockholm, not other places in Denmark or Sweden, so it only make sense that I ONLY get those.

I am abit beaten up by the fact that in spite of the Vikings heads reminded me of the Viking history, I was too fascinated by the Renaissance era of their history. Beautiful tapestry, elaborate designs and decorations that perhaps a wall in the palace cost more than my house back home. To illustrate,

Christiansborg Palace
Frederiksborg Castle
Frederiksborg Castle

Kronborg Castle
Kronborg Castle
Kronborg Castle
All the pictures above are taken in Denmark which includes Christiansborg Palace, Kronborg Castle and Frederiksborg Castle. 

To state the obvious, Kronborg Castle is the oldest - it has a blend of Middle Ages and Renaissance Era, so the decoration is not that elaborate. Christiansborg Palace got burned down 3 times and its fairly safe to say that its completely Renaissance, look at the hall and that is not the most lavish room in the Palace. Frederiksborg Castle, is built by Christian IV, I think its the start of the Renaissance era with all the artist and painters, judging by its lavishness. Sorry, I don't really know how to appreciate these art, well, if it belongs to me, perhaps but otherwise, I just kept thinking how much will it cost and how nice it is I could own a few, sell it off and actually get a house of my own, I don't need a palace or castle, just a studio apartment will do.

Truth be told, after the third palace / castle, I was a bit bored with it, so the Swedish palaces had an unfair advantage of my "boredness" towards Renaissance style Palace. Although I am not keen on the fact that they don't have corridors, to get from a room to another, you had to past through other rooms, imagine when someone is sleeping, you just walk right through, someone is in the midst of changing, nevermind. I bet modern people would probably be sued for INVASION OF PRIVACY. Guess the term doesn't exist a few hundred years ago. 

But then again, sometimes I was reminded that there is nothing vague similar in Malaysia. Our royal palaces aren't even open for visitors, for all we know, perhaps its covered head to toe in gold and diamonds or its completely painted in yellow, like a giant post-it. So, apart from the fact that they are willing to "share" it to the public, royal palaces combined with a frozen lake, nothing could resist that, not even my lack of interest and "boredness". 

Drottningholm Palace

Drottningholm Palace
This room reminded me of one of the rooms in Versailles, France.
I don't have to say much, do I? These photos taken by me doesn't even do justice for the perfect moment, more like perfect couple of hours. 

Its moments like this that life is worth living for and roads are worth travelled for. 

(not to mention the leg work that my poor legs had been through the last 6 days) - I walked a total of 148, 960 steps over the past days. Its safe to say that I exceeded the quota of an average Malaysian annual steps.

15 Apr 2013

Live from Stockholm

Hey!!! I am now at a more civilised (meaning with internet) hostel in Stockholm. I really enjoyed this hostel, its call Stockholm Hostel (don't let the name fool you, haha). Even with the lack of creativity in the name, the hostel is anything but. The staff are really great. In fact, both hostel I've been to was great but this hostel wins slightly with the very cute Swedish receptionist.

*If you were directed here when you research for Stockholm Hostel, I would highly recommend this hostel, you won't regret your decision. Its everything you would want for a night during your stay, even though I was woke up by the fire alarm yesterday, I still think this is a great place. You might want to consider staying here if you are visiting Stockholm. Ok, I hope I give them credit enough.*

Oh, did I mention that Swedish guys look like they just got out of the Abercrombie & Fitch advertisement, plus the clothes and minus the spray tan. Ok, minus the muscles too. Guys here are generally taller and to the slim side. And almost 90% of the people here have blue eyes and light hair. Oh, how I envy.

Almost all the attractions I've been to are manned by very cute Swedish guys with blue eyes. So, now I changed my mind, I prefer Swedish guy better. Hahaha, perhaps if I go to Spain next, I will change my mind again. But for now, Swedish guys.

Also I find the Swedes are quite friendly. Its easy to start up a conversation with them. I went to a candy shop and the sales assistant are so fascinated by me i think not me in particular but the situation I am in, you know coming from Malaysia but speak "perfect" English, she thought I am American - darn you, American tv series. She was surprised that to get into Sweden, I don't need Schengen Visa that was needed by quite a number of nations and started asking me where I've been to. 

Then there was this cute receptionist, just by asking him where I could print my boarding pass, we managed to start up a conversation which always lead to me asking whether he had been to Malaysia. The answer is almost always "No, but I've been to Thailand". =.= We need to have cheap beers and you know, if not all Europeans just go to Thailand. He told me he been to Singapore (due to me bringing up the neighbour country "feud" e.g. Danish - Swedish (He agrees that Swedish are more friendly than Danish when I told him so), British - French (don't quote me on this, but this is what I observed) and of course, Malaysia - Singapore) and Bali. He told me that he would like to go back to that part of the world again, I asked about Thailand especially Bangkok because I knew almost 99% young Europeans, especially guys, they like to go to Thailand. He replied "of course, I've been there 4 times" with a smile. (The smile, Oh my god!! Sorry B, he has the smile where when he smile, there are  excess skin at the side of the mouth, just like the former boyfriend). Here's an example of what I meant, in case you thought its bulldog like excess skin.

Something like this but slightly "more skin". Just pretend you get what I meant even though you didn't, I can't possibly and I don't want to post a picture of the former boyfriend to just prove a point. Point being the cute receptionist, despite his glass and shaved head, he managed to look good. You know, some people just won the genetic lottery. 

Ok, all these are to prove how easy it is to strike up a conversation with them. Swedes are really friendly people and I think if I am Thai, I would fascinate them even more. Haha.

Then I shamelessly promote Penang to him when he asked where he should go if he happen to visit Malaysia. Haha. Don't say I don't love home. I am actually proud of Penang because of our English past. Hahaha. Ok, its because of our English past, so I don't really love home THAT much. But I still did promote. I am proud that Penang used to be one of the port that European companies stopped by, like Carlsberg for instance, during the 1800s. Of course, Bangkok too. =p

I went to Drottningholm Palace today. IT WAS PERFECT. period. Here's a little sneak peak before I had the time to write up a proper post. Breathtaking isn't it? I am really lucky that today is so sunny with clear blue sky, it makes it even more picturesque.

There's a dark shadow at the upper right corner which bugs me a lot, its because of the phone cover. =.=. I need to learn photoshop to get rid of it.

Ok, to sum up, my thoughts on Sweden - models, male models everywhere. Apart from the cold weather, its so cold that the sales assistant from the candy shop actually envy our weather and told me that since its so cold out, people doesn't want to stay out, if only she knows that we avoided outdoor like a plague too, I only complain about ONE thing, its slightly more unsafe than Copenhagen, but to be name as the Capital of Scandinavia, it has to have a mixture of different races and people from different parts of the world, that can't be help. So, thats about it, apart from that, I really enjoyed this place, this trip, albeit alone and panicking sometimes, I learnt a lot. Everyone should do that if they had to chance to. Things that you learnt and the feeling, I would do this again in a heartbeat. So, right now, I am planning perhaps Norway and Germany? Finland maybe?

Any suggestion for another adventure? For a girl like me?

12 Apr 2013

Copenhagen with Love

Hey guys,

I am just updating abit on my Copenhagen trip so far. I have quite a story to tell as even though I am still in Europe, it is really different compared to London. And also, travelling alone is just completely different than travelling with a companion.

I have no one to be impatient of, so I found myself to be more patient. Also, asking around, talking to people is pretty easy, Danes are really friendly, I start to think they are more friendly than British and British are really friendly to start with. To my surprise, even the young people in Copenhagen are friendly and helpful. I asked a couple of them how to get to a certain place. They happily pointed out and even wished me good trip and good day after I thank them for their help.

Young people in Britain? Well, I don't really have much to comment about. Perhaps just slightly better than young people in Malaysia. =)

More stories to come when I get back and when I have the time. Hahaha, exam is coming and I still have lots of gathering and parties going on. Hehehe. Gonna turn in soon, I love all the walking, I treated myself to fatty food and I don't allow myself to have. Also, with 7-11 that serve fresh croissants, who wouldn't?

11 Apr 2013

Journey back to the 60s and 70s

I think I am trotting around Copenhagen at the time you guys are reading this. I am slightly obsessed with the 70s again after a trip back to 40 years ago. Have I told any of you that I planned to have a 70s inspired birthday party for my 21st but I ended up spending the day crammed in the tube sending my father and brother to the airport and nearly get left at a random station after almost not making in the train after letting a mother with a buggy out the underground? I sat on the luggage bag, lean on my sweaty father the rest of the journey till the airport.

Ok, fast forward 2 years and 9 months later to April 2013, no longer 21.

In my journey to discover markets all around London, I had to go to Portobello Road Market, I suppose you could say, if you never been to Portobello Road Market, you never been to a flea or second hand market.

It is only open on Saturday and thanks to the lovely weather, its a treat to walk around without the chilly air and everyone seems to be in a good mood. How much the sunlight can do to people.

Even though its a market, its really a few market combined, including antiques (I found a few vintage rings, they are not cheap but are extremely gorgeous, if you could afford it, you can guarantee you will be the only one having the ring, I think I know where to point my potential guy to where he should get my future engagement ring - thinking way ahead but how unique it will be if you have an engagement ring that are almost unique & had witness at least one love story before you) *don't gimme the second hand curse thing that my mother told me, I don't believe in that, its too beautiful to be*, second-hand market (where things are really cheap and there are awesome vintage finds for only 1 quid or 2), food market, new goods, you can find almost ANYTHING there.

These cameras are working cameras in case you are wondering and not expensive but of course, the films are not really available now, so basically its working but can't be used. 

Bubble tea shop that are quite a hype here at the moment. 

In some way, going to Portobello Road market is like a trip back to the 60s and 70s. I love both decades, the sharp, full colours, the high platform boots and its the time when young people rebelled (hippie) and followed what they believe. They are so carefree and they are living life. I constantly tell my parents that I was born in the wrong era even though I won't be dressing like Lana Del Rey anytime soon. I love those tragic stories of musicians, rockers. 

Its also around the time my dad spent some time in England, he was around my age when I first step foot on the English soil. He was in the middle of all these happening event. Even though he is not a Hippie nor a Punk but he shared the same music taste (60s, 70s music) as I am and he always tell me stories that happened 40 years ago. Its a true story of "Back in those days...." Good story to tell your grandchild, don't you think? "Back in those days, your grandmother is quite a rebel, she travelled from city to city not knowing where she will be the next day." as opposed to "Back in those days, your grandmother studied everyday." =) Again, thinking way ahead. Its quite an irony, our parents strive to let us have a comfortable life and here I am thinking to throw everything away to follow my passion. But the problem is, I don't know what my passion is and I don't have the courage to throw everything away because I almost did once, it hurts too much. Hahaha. So much feeling but so little time to say. 

Of course, I don't support their rocker lifestyle but everything was easier, they have groupies that could actually interact with their idols. Idols now have a wall of bodyguard. I didn't think being a youngster then is easy but at the very least the first concern is how to live life, not how to earn big bucks which sadly is what most of us think about these days and I am no exception. Spending a few hours in 60s and 70s temporarily just had to do for me.