Monday, September 30, 2013

I have enough of this life. God has been good, in fact very good, with me in this life that I am ready for the next life. Perhaps not really "ready" for the sins and spiritual stuff but if I die now, I will not have any regret of leaving my life now. My family is not perfect but I have experienced a good and loving family life despite me living away from them. I have been given a chance to live overseas so that is something to be grateful too. I don't really have friends but I am pretty satisfied with my pathetic social life now. Haha.. Nope, I don't need sex and wife and children, etc. It's okay. I had several good overseas trips and I have definitely had enough joy and happiness from my hobbies i.e toys, anime, games, etc. Yea.. I am good to go :)

Anyway, I don't mean this as an emo thing. I am honestly feeling grateful and satisfied with my life now. I am tired of endless rat race in this life. Everyday I wake up, go to work, earn money, go back home, sleep, and the cycle repeats itself. What is the point? Even with the money, I feel "emo" when I have to spend it for travelling. I am happy to spend money to buy toys, but I am desperately running out of space so that too will stop soon. So what am I working for? What will I use the money for? Relatives come and ask me whether I have a girlfriend bla bla bla.. I don't even feel like finding one or even think of settling down. Why should I prolong my suffering in the rat race? Bleah..

If there is such thing as reincarnation, I hope that I can be reborn as something else. I have had enough of being a working professional/office job/academia or whatever you wish to call my job now. If I can be reborn, I hope I can be a royalty: wealthy, live in a palace, etc. I hope I can be famous.. I hope I can be talented either in sports or perhaps as a celebrity.. Yep.. I don't mind dying now and being reborn 3x to experience each of this thing. Haha..

Okay, enough of this nonsense blabbering.. 3 more days before CQSC Level 2 exam and I am still halfway through the material T_T

And last thing, today is 30 September so it is the feast day of Saint Jerome, my patron Saint chosen during my baptism.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Caffeine overload

I had 4 servings of Starbucks in less than 2 weeks! Wew!! I don't usually go to Starbucks unless they have new drinks. The current promotions (Salted Caramel Mocha and Ristretto Bianco) are not appealing to me as I am not a huge fan of coffee (I prefer tea or chocolate-based drinks). I was not even tempted to try.

I was very tired last last week when my aunt was here for her knee surgery. On the Thursday, she was waiting for a relative to come via ferry. The estimated arrival time was 8pm and I was told to just wait at the hotel rather than going to Harbour Front termina. No way that I was going to stay awake from 630-800pm so I thought I should get something from Starbucks to keep me awake. And just nice that the new promotion is coffee-based: it should keep me awake and I got to try a new flavour too. Hehe..

I tried iced salted caramel mocha and I love it. Lol!! Kinda rare for me to like a coffee-based drink. I was told that I had a free drink already. Wow.. Did not expect that I already had 12 beverages. Haha.. Since I ordered only the smallest size, I said no. Ooops..

On the Saturday, since I was with my sister, I thought that I should use the free beverage for a Venti-size hojicha tea latte. Oops so paiseh that actually it was also in the menu in Indonesia. I thought I wanted to get that for my sister to try. I purchased that at Tanglin Mall and after making payment, to my regret I saw that to celebrate the opening of Tanglin Mall branch, reloading $20 would get me a free drink! Damn it!! Haha..

Lucky the promotion was still going on up to today. I actually made use of it on Friday for dinner as well as for my mugging. And I specially made another trip this morning. Yea.. Cheapskate me!! Ohohoho...

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sister vs Sister

My aunt came to Singapore last last Thursday to get her knee checked up and in the end she decided to go for a surgery: total knee replacement. That is a term I commonly come across but what I thought as total knee replacement has little resemblance to the actual procedure. In arthritic knee, there is cartilage loss which results in exposed bones rubbing and hence the pain. Total knee replacement is actually about replacing the lost cartilage with metal (or plastic?) plate to prevent the bone from rubbing. From the words "total" and "replacement", I thought there is going to be a new knee altogether.

Enough of the medical things then. My aunt was accompanied by my elder sister and I was honestly disturbed with her attitude. She is unable to control her emotions and easily raises her voice over petty things. Some things that she said were immature, unthoughtful, and downright rude! I tried talking to her and she said that she was tired listening to parents and adults since she was a child so now she wanted to assert herself. Geez.. She is almost 30 years old but the way she behaves and thinks is really as if she is still trapped in her teenage days. She will get very angry over little things like being told to eat, being told to tidy up her room, etc. Things like "I don't like to be told what to do" is such a passee. Which children never experience being told to do something by their parents? I see no reason for complaining over little things as if my parents are the lousiest and most horrible parents on the planet.

She has made up her mind that she is not going to pursue her dentistry further. She wants to learn how to cook and bake for a living. Of course my parents are worried. Their reasoning is simple: as an employee, it is guaranteed that she can bring home perhaps Rp 4 million a month. Suppose a profit for a cake is Rp 5000, can she be sure that she can sell 80 cakes a month? She can easily say things like if I don't earn much then I don't spend much but looking at the way she spends my parents money, that is really talking big.

My aunt was very sad with my sister's rudeness. Everyone will be worried to make big decision like whether to go or not to go for a surgery. Being told "fickle-minded" and "What makes it difficult to make a decision? If you go for surgery, it will not be you but ME (my sister) who will have to be troubled and to take care of you.". That was not being downright rude but FUCKING RUDE!

There are 2 types of self-insufficient people. The first type will become quiet and "humbled" when they get criticised. The second type will act "boastful" despite of lack of evidence of the things that they boast. My sister has changed from the first to the second. It is very difficult to talk and reason to her as she gets emotional very quickly.

I tried talking to her in a very neutral tone. That helps to invoke responses from her although I can't get the answers I am looking for. Occasionally I saw her rubbing her eyes so there is still love and guilt within her. I spoke to my parents about her. My advice is for both parties to speak and reach a consensus. Leaving things at it is now will just hurt everyone. My parents say they are supportive of my sister but when they say the word, I can sense their sadness and disappointment. If that is the way, my sister will know and feel guilty. That will end up like emotionally black-mailing both parties. Sigh.. my parents always take a step back when my sister cried. I told my mum how about if she is the one crying to see how my sister will respond. Haiz..

My dad is another pain in the ass. I know money is important but I find it very disgusting that he advised my aunt not to go for surgery because of the hotel fees! Haiz.. F1 Singapore race is on this weekend and as expected, hotel occupancies are up and prices are high everywhere. He does not take into consideration my aunt's knee or inconveniences if she has to fly on another time. Everything is about money money and money. Similarly also for the choice of airline for her to fly back. In the end, he actually wanted to help my aunt by paying for the hotel and the air ticket. I became even more disgusted: he wanted to pay but wanted to make sure everything was cheap?? I swear that I will not become someone who values money more than people.

My younger sister made things more "exciting". She came on last last Friday after work and went back on last Sunday as she had to work on Monday. My aunt's surgery was on last Saturday and she did not want to wait at the hospital. I scolded her to ask whether she came for a holiday or for my aunt. Really disgusting leh!! In addition, she is becoming more and more like my dad when it comes to money.. And she learnt nothing from the Europe trip. After my aunt decided to have surgery, she needed to extend her hotel stay. There were 3 choices: 1) my sister to buy from travel agent in Jakarta and she had to change SGD before the money changer closed or 2) I buy using credit card via online hotel booking tickets or 3) walk-in to the hotel. When doing price comparison, she wanted to mention every type of room available in the 2 hotels which my aunt was considering. That was via phone!! Sigh.. I had to raise my voice that my aunt just wanted to know the rough price range. Telling us "deluxe", "superior", "whatever shit" room types from 2 hotels serve nor purpose for us because we had no idea how the room looked like!! Sigh.. In the end, buying directly from the hotel was the cheapest. Yea I got scolded by dad and stingy sister for even suggesting that in the first place -__-"

I had my dental appointment on the Saturday while my aunt was doing her surgery preparation. That left my sisters to go out together and they quarreled o_0 My elder sister was offended for being told that her walking speed was too slow and she put on a black face. My younger sister asked whether she wanted to go somewhere and the answer was "No.". She went to where she wanted and she looked an even blacker face. She was pissed off: she asked for suggestion and she got no answer but when she made a decision, she got an unhappy face. My elder sister stayed in the hotel while my younger sister continued going out.

It was ridiculous. They have been sharing the same bedroom for so many years and how on earth such petty fight would occur?? It was just a misunderstanding. My elder sister answered no because she really had no idea about the things to see in Singapore so she honestly had nothing to say. Her black face was because she already walked as fast as she could and she was criticised for being slow. I am not going to take side. I just think both of them are equally wrong. My younger sister should know my fat sister was slow and she should have slowed down. On the other hand, my elder sister should know that my younger sister only had 2 days in Singapore so she should walk faster also. It is all about communicating and compromising.

My aunt stayed in the hospital for 4 nights and I visited her every evening. My elder sister seemed to be in a good mood and I was hopeful that she sort of changed her attitude after some self-reflection. I was wrong. She was in the good mood because she was not tired and just spent the whole day in the hospital taking care of my aunt. She did not mind not going around as long as she did not feel tired. Can't imagine that happens with my younger sister who constantly thinks of shopping shopping and shopping. After discharge, my sister temper came back.

Anyway both left for home this morning. It had been a tiring 2 weeks for me but I would certainly miss having a private toilet in Orchard i.e the hotel room. Haha.. I always went to the hotel to shit before going out to meet them in the evening. Now I am just worried with my parents if something happens to them. My elder sister can't be bothered while my younger sister loves money more than parents. Haiz.. Seriously, I rather my parents migrate and get me a house here la.. At least I will be a filial son who does not mind spending money for my parents health and comfort.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Be careful with what you are asking for...

Gosh!! What should I asked for then??

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Sky: The Art of Final Fantasy (Slicapsed Edition)

The first thing I noticed when I reached my room after the 2 week trip was the big dirty ugly looking package shown above. It was like an early Christmas present but from Black Pete instead of Santa Claus because I had always been a naughty boy. Haha..

The content was The Sky: The Art of Final Fantasy (Slipcased Edition) by Yoshitaka Amano. My holiday was so good that I forgot that the item was ready for shipping in early August. Having missed the hardcover version, I was looking forward to this. I was excited to notice how bulky and heavy (it was even heavier than the Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Memorial Ultimania) it is but I was also disappointed with the way USPS handle the package.

To my disappointment, Amazon packaged the item in an oversized box with no padding. As a result the box was badly dented on few corners. The good news was I was offered a replacement or a refund. I chose a refund as a replacement might came in the same damaged state.

I am impressed with the hard case box which is covered with fabric material. It gives an exclusive feel upon touching. Unfortunately, mine has a loose string coming off. Bleah.. There is a small ribbon on the right side to open up the case and get the 3 books.

Book 1 (144 pages) consists of illustrations from Final Fantasy I (28 pages), Final Fantasy II (46 pages), Final Fantasy III (47 pages), and miscellaneous Final Fantasy I to III pictures on the last few pages. No idea why they put it under miscellaneous when the arts are easily distinguishable coming from which game.

Book 2 is the thickest with 276 pages in total. It is expected because it covers illustrations from Final Fantasy IV (58 pages), Final Fantasy V (70 pages), and Amano's personal favourite Final Fantasy VII (124 pages). The last few pages are again miscellaneous images from Fintal Fantasy IV to VI.

Book 3 (156 pages) has arts from Final Fantasy VII (20 pages), Final Fantasy VIII (20 pages), Final Fantasy IX (58 pages), Final Fantasy X (36 pages), and miscellaneous artwork from these four games. I find it really shocking that there are so few arts from FF VII and VIII which I believe to be the most popular games in the series.

Overall, I am not too pleased with this collection. I just don't quite enjoy Amano's style which appear as random lines and scribbles to me. However, part of his "magic" is to have great illustrations in the midst of these apparent random lines and scribbles. The illustrations from early FF games have more monsters than humans so that was a meh. And frankly, Amano's drawings of humans are not pretty too. That makes me really appreciate the character designer in the game who designs handsome guys and gorgeous ladies out of the not-so-pretty illustrations. Plus the fact that there are only 20 pages of FF VIII which is my personal favourite game. 20 out of 576 pages is just ridiculous. Haiz.. If I have to choose, I like Amano's illustrations from FF IX best: great penciling and coloring. In addition, the illustrations of the characters look very much like the end product which we see in the game.

The fact that I did not get the hardcover edition despite having pre-ordered for it still stings. This slipcased edition does not come with all the bonuses, a card signed by Amano himself, and most importantly All About Yoshitaka Amano book. I am sure I will enjoy reading more about this man more than his pictures alone. Oh well.. picture time. I took the pictures using my digital camera instead of my Galaxy Note. Brighter pictures but some appear rather "red" if I did not place the focus correctly :( The reddish hue is because of the red light from the camera.. No idea what that light is called. Haha..

The front (left) and the back (right) of the slipcase/box

Sideways views of the slipcase/box

Showing the front covers of 3 books
The back covers of the 3 books. Squall & Rinoa picture is the best of course :)
Lastly, the insert (a piece of paper) which comes is sort of the "back page" of the box with brief summary of what the item is all about. On the opposite side is an advert showing other Yoshitaka Amano artbooks which are released by Dark Horse. Hhmmph.. no longer interested!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Post-trip reflections

I am still living in the past. It is close to a month since I returned from the trip but I still exhibit withdrawal symptoms. Haha.. but it is time to reflect on the good and the bad.

Firstly, I admit that I sort of fall in love with Europe. In fact, I was thinking whether I should consider taking up a higher studies there. Haha.. I love the generally slower pace of life there. Yes it can sort of suck when shops already close by the time you leave work but I can live with minimal shopping. Based on my aunt's testimony, I think it will be cool to have like 40 days of leave every year. I love her house too. Yes it is sort of small but it is big enough for one person to stay. And according to her, the house prices are dropping and they can be cheaper than a condo in Singapore. And for the Netherlands, I think it is very cool to be able to have bikes as a mode of transportation. I also love the fact that I can travel around to neighbouring countries to experience different cultures and sceneries. Would be lovely to be able to visit famous places of interests often :) Yearly trip to Disneyland would be awesome too! Yeah!

Weather is a big dilemma. I love the windy and cool weather of the Netherlands even at summer time. It simply unimaginable to have a summer temperature of less than 20 deg C. On the flip side, the weather can fluctuate very fast too. On the days before I arrived from Singapore and returned from Vienna, my aunt shared that it was as hot as 40 deg C. Lol.. Not to mention if the summer can be that cool, I can't imagine how freezing the winter will be. At other places, like Paris, Swiss, and Vienna, it is sort of scary when the summer hits 40 deg C. Well, the good thing about the wide range of weather is that there are plenty of clothes to wear. Talking about fashion, I had a good laugh at my sister. She was mocking my fashion style with green top and green pants. I saw many people, in different countries and from different countries, were in green-green combination too! I saw a lot of green pants in shops too. It is a summer style of 2013 I guess!! Lol..

On the less appealing side, learning a new language will be challenging and it sucks to live somewhere where you can't even converse in local language. Not to mention that people are generally unfriendly there. Not sure if that is the normal or I got all of the nasty encounters because of me being an Asian or perhaps a Chinese (yes.. thanks to the PRC tourists for the global "branding" of "Chinese" tourists). I find food can be quite boring too haha.. At the same time, I find it quite intriguing that food which are considered fattening here (eg. sandwiches, salami, pizza, pasta, cheese, etc) are sort of normal food in Europe.

Anyways, it is premature to talk about living at places which I only visited ONCE as a tourist. I hope I can return there, preferably with friends, preferably with guys too. Haha.. No offense to the ladies but I hate to spend time for shopping. When I travel, I would like to see things and experience things. Yes, I still dream of returning to Switzerland for a hike or for a skydive. It must feel heavenly. And hopefully I can find someone who can take good photos of me.. and someone with similar interests and food. But seriously, I also don't mind to be able to stay there with the locals to experience more of their daily life. Aaah.. if only my job allows me of such things.. It is only a dream with my current job.

**SMACK!!** Okay it is time to return to reality and stop my wishful thinking.. Monday is coming... This ends the series of my Euro Trip posts. It will be back to the same old boring things again for the future posts: either bitching about work.. or showing off my toy collections. Boring...

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

End of the trip

There is no day 14 because it was only our flight back home. However, the day itself worth a mention thanks to a bitch at the Global Blue tax refund. Honestly, we were honestly clueless how the tax refund process would be. Our previous experience was only in Changi Airport so we had no idea whether the same process is the same across the globe. In Changi Airport, there is one counter before checking in for the inspection of items which will be in check-in baggage. After immigration, there is another counter to get the actual refund. This is to make sure that only outgoing tourists are getting the refund.

It is rather different in Schiphol. There is a counter for "approval" by customs officer. Items were not being inspected, no refunds given, only "approval stamps" are given on all the receipts that we have. There is another counter just before the immigration for us to get the actual refund. Weird isn't it? You can actually get a refund without guarantee that you will be flying off!

Anyway, the bitch was here. Seriously.. is there a problem with answering questions nicely instead of being sarcastic? Jeez.. You know that people who are in airport are mostly tourists and most people ask you because we are not sure what to do. If this happens in Singapore, I will definitely send a complaint to get that bitch reprimanded. So in the end, I really don't have a good impression of the Dutch because of this bitch and the bitch at the souvenir shop at Delft. But hey, the girl at the check-in desk and the immigration officer were friendly.

Security screening before boarding the plane was something I had never seen before. I stepped into a large cylindrical machine, raised both my arms, and the scanning plates rotated around me. On the screen outside, the "suspicious" parts were highlighted and the security officers would only grope this area. Well, that was less invasive than the one I experienced in Vienna. Haha..

It was also my first time trying to use inflatable travel pillow which I just bought the day before. I didn't know whether I was using it correctly. Firstly, I had no idea how to inflate it. Blowing it was already embarassing and it was worse when the pillow failed to inflate. My dad did it for me. Secondly, I thought the pillow was making my neck more painful and uncomfortable. Sigh..

I tried a new alcoholic drink today (unfortunately I forgot what it is called). The airsteward offered to have it mixed with 7-up or orange juice as it tasted quite bad on its own. I chose orange juice. The drink was awesome and he served a generous amount which made me rather drunk and feel uncomfortable for a good 1-2 hours before my body cleared the alcohol. I hope the next time I see the menu book (in my future overseas flight with SQ which will be I don't know when..) I can remember what drink that is.

And the trip ended with a family quarrel. On the plane, I put my backpack with my dad because my leg room was rather small, thanks to the weird grey box there. My mum put a dirty spoon, dirty fork, and uneaten yoghurt, cheese, butter, etc. Of course when I opened my bag and I saw all of these things, I WAS FURIOUS! Firstly, she did not tell me that she put all of these things which potentially dirtied whatever thing inside my bag. Secondly, if she really intended to keep the utensils, why didn't she take a clean one or at least wash it in the lavatory first!! Jeez -_- When my sister and I took utensils during our flight to Amsterdam, we took clean ones even though that means we only ate with only a spoon or a fork.

I went to toilet to wash the dirty spoon and fork and when I was back, my parents were gone. Oh yea.. so they were even more furious than I? Ridiculous.. Anyway.. I did not care. I was leaving at Changi anyway.. And up to now, I still exchange no words with my dad.. Well done..

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Euro Trip Day 13: Leichendam, Leiden, Den Haag, Delft, Scheveningen Beach

All good things must come to the end and it was finally our last day of holidays. It was time to think about others and thus the main purpose for today was to get souvenirs. I sort of bought a few boxes of Chocolate at Vienna airport but I had not got inedible souvenirs for my friends and colleague. My dad was still looking for Dutch traditional shophouses miniature for his colleague. My mum was looking for sausages. My sister still needed chocolates for her collagues and of course her own shopping. It was another day when she became a pain in the arse, or perhaps an arsehole, as she still wanted to get a Kipling bag which we did not have the time.

Firstly, we went to a megamart (is it called Selegro?) for chocolates and sausages. We limit our time to 1 hour so that we still had time to look for other things. We were done in 45 minutes which was great. However, my dad was still unable to find something (a food which I can't remember what) so we went to another supermarket on the way home to put back our sausages first.

We then went to Leiden as my aunt would like to show my mum the traditional wet market ala Holland. Haha.. We also went to a bag shop and my sister was fighting over a bag with my mum. My mum would like to buy it as a gift for someone while my selfish sister wanted it for her own.. Zz.. Yes.. First time on the day I said: Do you believe when she said I was selfish in Paris? Look who is the selfish one now..

We happened to come across de Burcht which is sort of a disappointing mini castle. I did not expect that we would visit any other tourism areas so it was still a great pleasure to be able to take photos here. Hehe.. And the weather was great to be outside although with the dark clouds made lighting for pictures rather bad. The view surrounding the castle was in fact nicer than the view inside it. Lol.

We drove quite far for lunch because my dad wanted to eat this atrocious chinese restaurant which he heard from his colleagues. This time I would have agreed with my sister: it was damn ridiculous to waste time travelling that far to chase after a meal! I got pretty irritated because it was past 2pm and I still had not got my souvenirs yet!! It irritated me more when we went to De Bijenkorf department store on our way back to carpark. My mum wanted to buy some "slimming pants/stocking" sigh..

We reached Delft at 4pm and we gotta shop fast because shops would close pretty soon. I spent quite a lot for the souvenirs leh :( I wanted to get myself a figurine as a souvenir to remind me of the Netherlands but I could not decide. In the end, I bought Miffy plushie who is wearing Dutch soccer team attire. Not a figurine to display but at least it can play with Peter Pan, Mickey, Aladdin, and Jasmine :) In case you don't know what Miffy is, don't worry. I initially also did not know such thing exist if not because of my colleague during the Hello Kitty saga in Singapore. Miffy is basically a rabbit version of Hello Kitty. Or perhaps, it is more apt to call Hello Kitty as a cat version of Miffy because Miffy is 20 years older than Hello Kitty.
I did not expect that these kinds of souvenir shop could offer tax refund but unfortunately I only saw the tax refund sign after buying. It was obscured behind various dangling objects. It was too late to ask. And the shopkeeper was a bitch. Hey I knew you wanted to cheat money from tourists but even if we could not get the refund, you could say it nicely instead of nastily. What a bitch. My sister and I spent more than 100 Euros there.

From Delft, I thought we would be going home already. Then my aunt had this great idea to bring us to a beach!! Whee.. It was a cold day that day and the beach would be quite vacant. I knew it was quite crazy to go to a beach wearing a winter wear (including the scarf) but heck.. I always enjoyed touristy places. Haha.. We drove around den Haag passing by the various embassies, Peace Palace, and the millionaires' houses.
You won't believe that during the warmer days, cars will cause jam on all the roads going towards this beach

Before the end of the day, my aunt wanted to bring me to the traditional windmill near her place. Then suddenly my dad mentioned about dinner. Sigh.. Bye bye windmill as we ended up spending the evening having dinner. The Thai restaurant was superb though. The food was great and the toilet was even better than the toilets in the hotels which I stayed at during my trip. Haha.. There was one waiter-waitress pair who is a brother-sister from Malaysia. They were friendly as they did not really see Asians often, I guess.

And finally, the time we were all dreading came: packing time. In order not to share luggages with the rest, I decided to just alighted in Singapore ba. Hahaha..

Monday, September 2, 2013

Euro Trip Day 12: Dusseldorf

On the 12th day of my Euro Trip, we went shopping at Dusseldorf.. Okay that was a lame attempt to mimic Twelve Day of Christmas. Basically, my aunt drove us to Dusseldorf. We arrived at about 10+ and went to a pizzeria. The pizzeria has 2 entrance and thus 2 seating areas: 1 for dine in and 1 for take away. We were clueless but we entered via the take away entrance. After ordering, we just went to the empty area which happened to be the dine in. I thought it was rather rude to be told that we were seating at the wrong place. Apparently the price of the food would be different depending on whether we ate take away or dine in. Bleah.. Rude Italians.. It was clear that we were tourists and we were genuinely clueless so they could have told us nicely. In the end the owner said it was okay for us to sit there because we were tourists.. just for this one time we would not need to pay the "dine in" charge. Well, you can be assured that this would be my last time here too!

From there, we walked towards Rhine River. I loved the weather here!! It was windy but it was not as cold as in the Netherlands. Perfect weather! We made a stop at an ice cream store and although it was already quite cold, I still bought something green. The taste was rather unusual and I had no idea what taste. Haha..
Rhine River

We detoured and walked towards Konigsallee which is the shopping street with all the expensive boutiques. Yeah.. again I repeat this, just like Singapore's Orchard Road, Paris' Champ Elysees, or Vienna's Mariahilferstrasse. Of course it was the ladies who were so excited as they had lots of things to shop while I was spending money for toilet stops. The weather was so cool that I had to pee like once every 30 minutes. I was interested in green shirt for my work attire but unfortunately there was no size. Sigh.. I was bored to the point of falling asleep. In my boredom, I played with a display cheese grater. One detachable part was detached and I was quite shocked. In my attempt to prevent it from falling, I knocked the whole grater and it flew. I was watching it literally in slow motion as my sister was screaming my name.. Jeez -__-" Instead of screaming and attracting attention, if she could not help to catch it, the least she could do was to keep her mouth shut. Haha.. That was the skill I learnt in lab.. When something went terribly wrong, do not scream or shout haha.. Anyway, it did not break but it was still very embarassing haha..

I am not aware of the brand Mandarina Duck prior to this. And surprise, it is actually an Italian brand. Haha.. There was a luggage that I was interested in: it can be dragged like typical luggage and it can also be carried like a backpack. I was looking for something similar from Kipling but unfortunately the cabbage colour was from spring collection. It was almost autumn so of course there was no way I could get. Anyway I did not buy the Mandarina Duck luggage for a few reasons: 1) the bag is kinda heavy and I thought it would be quite impossible for me to carry it as a backpack 2) I already bought the Kipling luggage bag and 3) the colour is not green haha...

We were planning to go back since 5pm but in the end we still loitered around until close to 7pm. To make things worse, we sort of lost our way to get back to the car. Haha.. Anyway we ended at the canal at Konigsallee and while the rest were trying to figure out the way back, I took the opportunity to take a picture there. Haha..
Canal at Konigsallee
The picture looks rather akward because I cropped my body off haha..
We ended up having dinner at Maredo. We sort of had no idea about what to eat and I just suggested Maredo because along the way I saw a few Maredo restaurants so I thought it would not be bad. Well, it was pretty good, in fact, better than the Western food we ate in Vienna.

When we finished dinner, the area outside was already filled with dinner crowd with many were watching the football match. We seemed to be getting lost very often today as we were having problem going back to our car. The lift from where we exited the carpark was already closed!! The rain, the group of half-drunk youths, and the dog which suddenly barked at a stranger made the whole thing messier but fiuh.. finally we were back in our car.

Hmm.. not over yet.. we were having problems finding the way to exit the city too!! LMAO.. By the time we reached the halfway, it was already quite dark. My dad, mum, and sister fell asleep and I had to keep awake to talk to my aunt to keep her awake. The highway was really dark and with the rain, she could just easily fall asleep while driving, and that would be dangerous. Haha.. The moment my mum woke up, I was so happy because then it was my turn to rest. Haha..

Despite all of this, my feeling remains the same: I LOVE DUSSELDORF!! Haha..

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Euro Trip Day 11: Stranded at Vienna International Airport

Our flight back to the Netherlands was scheduled at about 12 noon and honestly I would like to rest and pack my stuff in the morning. My dad still wanted to go to Mariahilferstrasse for another round of shopping. Sigh.. From the night before, I already said that I did not want to go leh :(

Mariahilferstrasse is basically Viennese version of Singapore's Orchard Road or Paris' Champ Elysees. Nice to walk, nice to see, but nothing to buy for me. Of course my sister and my mum were the ones who did the shopping. It was the end of summer and most shops were already selling their autumn-winter clothes which are not very practical for me to buy and wear in the tropics. Of course there were some summer clothes on sale but male clothes were not exactly cheaper in Europe so I gave it a miss.

The only thing I was looking forward to was having Kebab. In the end, I had one near the West Bahnhof on our way back to the hotel. The Kebab was disappointing. Haiz..

The trip to the airport was slightly better than when we went to the hotel from the airport. We took a tram, instead of dragging our luggages, to West Bahnhof and then it was train all the way. Upon arrival, we sort of lost our way. I was quite pissed with my sister who walked in front. She did not see the board to see where our flight would be and we ended up in a wrong terminal. To make things worse, our flight was delayed to 330.

This time we took a budget airline (Transavia) and the check-in was at a budget terminal. Terrible experience. The check-in counter was not even open and the queue was snaking up to the entrance. And it was my dad's turn again to sulk. He insisted on cutting queue because the queue was rather messy. My sister and I refused and we stood behind people who were queueing for the same flight. We were pretty sure that that was the queue. Why risk getting scolded by strangers sia? And anyway, was there even a need to rush? We had more than 3 hours to kill because of the delayed flight!

I never had problem passing through security checks but I had to be groped in this airport! Jeez.. seriously I think something is wrong with the machine! Anyway, I don't know whether I should be upset about it or I should pity the security officers who had to grope strangers as part of their daily job. This time, it was my mum's turn to be ridiculous. The bus to bring us to the plane had not arrived at the gate yet and yet she wanted to start standing up and joining the queue. What's the rush -__-"

The flight was unremarkable. I forgave the delay because the cabin colour theme is green, my favourite colour. Haha.. And I find that the leg space was rather huge, unlike typical budget airlines which I took previously. My sister reminded me that this is a Western budget airline. Westerners have bigger build so what we Asians feel big may not be so for them. Haha.. She got a point.

We arrived at Rotterdam Airport which I thought looked better than Schiphol. Haha.. Upon arrival at my aunt's house, we just had dinner. The day coincided with Idul Fitri in Indonesia so my aunt actually prepared some Indonesian dishes on her own. For someone who is very picky about food, I would have to say that the food were SUPERB. No.. I am not trying to be curteous here.

If the flight was not delayed, we were planning to go to a luggage shop as I wanted to buy a green Kipling cabin bag. Again, thanks to my aunt who picked up the bag upon knowing our delayed flight. Yay!! I did not know that each gorilla has its own name. Mine is called Johnny. Lol..
The colour is called "cabbage green" Lol..