elyse: (dailycandy: travel galore!)
Although a bit late:

I've been in Singapore since Saturday with my family, partly spending Easter holiday and partly accompanying my bro in surveying universities for his MBA next year.

Actually I almost decided not to go. My flight was at 8.30a and we had to leave home at 6a. I went to sleep at 4a with a slight stomach ache, and was abruptly awoken at 4.45a with acute GERD attack and cold sweat due to the pain! x_X As far as I could recall, that was the second gastric colic attack I've experienced. The first one led me to ER in the middle of the night for BuscopanZantac injections. This time I woke my mom (who's a medical doctor) to ask for medications, but there was no sign of Buscopan or Librax at home. So I had to make do with hot water and Pankreoflat. Initially we planned to stop by the ER at Medistra hospital for quick injection en route to the airport, but then the pain slowly subdued and we headed straight to the airport instead. I've been keeping my activity in Singapore low & eating very carefully due to the problematic stomach.

Ibis on Bencoolen is minimalist, compact, modern, and very clean! The rooms might be too small for everyone's liking, but I don't mind it at all. I prefer new & clean hotels (albeit small) than large ones but old & dirty! There's free wifi inside every room (see this speedtest!). I've been abusing it for torrents and video downloads like there's no tomorrow *lol*

Easter Vigil mass at Novena Church (St. Alphonsus) took 2.5 hours and the ceiling/wall fans were too strong! GAH, I totally hate the winds, especially coming from fans -_- Wee Nam Kee hainanese chicken rice wasn't as good as it's always been.... whyyyyy! >_< (No, it wasn't because of my still-sensitive stomach, coz my dad also said so)

Going to Singapore is never complete without eating at No Signboard Seafood! xD So today we had lunch in its branch at 414 Geylang (supposedly the best according to locals & from our own past experiences). Too bad my stomach still wouldn't compromise, so I really had to control myself to have veeeerry little of the restaurant's most famous white pepper crab (which I REALLY LIKE! ;_;). My favorite dishes include the very tasty geoduck clam soup, white pepper crab, crayfish with mee hoon, and No Signboard special beancurd.

After visiting [livejournal.com profile] caramichi's place, we went to Takashimaya for kakigori green tea dessert at Aji Tei :9 This is another not-to-miss place to eat when in Singapore! xD Although my Royce chocolate stock is somewhat still complete, I bought the nutty bar chocolate and potatochip chocolate ^^ And you know what.... the Royce shopping bag with the chocolate boxes was left in the taxi on our way to the hotel!! o_O;; But luckily my bro took the driver's name card, so the taxi delivered the bag to Ibis! THANK YOU SO MUCH, Mr. Kind Taxi Driver! m(._.)m  To think that I almost lost S$40 worth of chocolates...! ;_;
elyse: (full metal alchemist: not a morning pers)
This is my third (and last) night in Singapore, and I can't fall asleep yet. Jetlagged? Maybe. But I'm back to my 'normal' sleeping cycle :P
On the first two nights, I went to bed after 6 am, and slept all day long until dinnertime! O_O And so, I skipped shopping, eating lots, and walking around Singapore, because my whole body wanted to sleep instead!

Actually, it's good to transit in Singapore for a few days before going back to Jakarta and starting work the next day. I can rest a lot and recover my fatigue body much better here. Fighting against the insanely cold weather of wintertime in Italy & Paris has taken quadruple the energy, and thus on Jan 2 (the day I left Paris en route Singapore), my body reached its peak fatigueness. I really wonder how I had managed to survive living in the USA for 5 years before (4 years with all the snow!). Well, I did manage to get sinusitis as the result >_<

Moving on to another topic:
There's a pretty funny conversation between me and a French immigration staff at the luggage screening point in Paris Orly airport, on my way to Lourdes:

Him (while checking my hand luggage): Are you Chinese?
Me: No
Him: Nihonjin?
Me: No :D Keep guessing ~~!
Him: Korean?
Me: No
Him: Taiwanese?
Me: No

- pause for a while -

Him: Je t'aime?
Me: ...... HAA!? O_O (silently in my heart: you think I don't know what that means, huh?)
He grinned, looking satisfied that I seemed to not know the meaning.
Him: American?
Me: No, I'm not American
Finally he gave up...
Him: What nation are you from?
Me: I'm Indonesian
(Many people had said that I look very North Asian, so no wonder he guessed China / Japan / Korea / Taiwan)

Actually, when he said "je t'aime", I had wanted to reply with "je ne t'aime pas", but I totally couldn't remember it! >_< I was caught off guard and couldn't think of a good answer, for I didn't see it coming. I mean, who could've predicted that a French immigration staff would've said "je t'aime" to test my French ability? O_O
Too bad I didn't say it, because I really wanted to see the look on his face if I had replied with "je ne t'aime pas"! xD

Paris makes me want to learn French again! My 1-year of French lesson in high school has totally disappeared... leaving me with only a few words and sentences that I could still remember.
elyse: (dailycandy: travel galore!)

Australia, here I come...!

My flight to Perth leaves at 2.30 PM today. I may sleep very little this night morning, since I'm still busy preparing. This has got to be the most unorganized trip I've ever planned. Well, in terms of luggage preparation. I'm packing in the last minute, that's pretty rare of me, being so organized that I've always been. Flights and hotels were booked way ahead of time and the visa was ready 10 days ago. But somehow the mood is still not too excited nor feels like holiday. Perhaps because I'm only going with dad. Mom & bro won't be going with us. I feel bad for them >_<

Bro obviously has to work, but mom could've gone with us! It's because dad wanted to save money and there are other considerations, such as my grandma (mom's mom) is very old and mom needs to take care of her. But that's just an excuse, I guess. In the first place, dad only wants to pay for 1 more person to accompany him. Because my schedule is pretty flexible and because mom doesn't want to go only with dad alone, it's then decided that I should go instead. Lucky me, poor mom ;_;

Oh, I rambled before stating the purpose of this trip :P Forgive me, I'm sleepy already ~_~

My cousin is getting married this Saturday in Perth. He doesn't have parents anymore (his dad died when the siblings were very young, and his mom died 2 years ago). My dad was asked to be the witness in the church ceremony.

After the Perth trip, I want to see Melbourne (because I haven't been there), and dad wants to visit Sydney. So we're covering those two cities. Melbourne first, then Sydney, before going back to Jakarta on Nov 9. A total of 11 days of trip.

It's gonna be awkward, just me and dad. But maybe I could talk a lot with him, like in the old time before my university days. Hopefully he won't be too annoying, though. Wish me luck! :D
elyse: (dailycandy: travel galore!)
Yes, I love travelling to the point that I live & work to travel :P
But nowadays I can't travel without internet access, honestly. That means, I have to stay in a hotel that provides broadband internet access (be it free or not) in the room. I'm paralyzed without internet. Why?
Because I do a lot of research there, especially when travelling.

For instance, when I went to Hong Kong last month, since it's been more than 12 years of my last Hong Kong trip, I don't remember anything about it except for The Peak.
So I have to research on the net as to where to stay, in which area, what tourist spots are present around the hotel area, where the shopping centers are, where to go for sightseeing, where the closest Catholic churches (preferably with English mass) are, which restaurants are recommended, how to go there (if the city has train or subway system, I usually prefer that rather than bus), save/print the train/subway map, etc.
The research can be much simplified if I can ask someone (either a relative or a friend) who lives in that city. Good thing I have a cousin in Hong Kong, so she helped with the hotel booking (she's the one who chose the hotel, because it's close to the place we had to go, and also because there's a very big mall right next to the hotel. So she thought it would've been much easier for us to shop & eat). I really like her choice. If I'm not too lazy, I'll post the Hong Kong trip's story next time ^^

I usually do research a few weeks or even months beforehand. Just to be sure that I'm well informed & prepared. If I haven't been to the place, I like to prepare way beforehand, so that I won't be clueless when I arrive at the place. I usually create an itinerary of where to go on which date & save it in my laptop, so that I can easily access it anytime.

My Japan trip last January was created purely out of my research, because I hadn't been to Japan previously, I don't know anyone there (well, I actually do have a friend, but I forgot to contact her :P), and my mom - who had been to Japan 10 times before - didn't know the tourist spots because she always went there on a business trip! Good thing I have a pretty vast knowledge of Tokyo, so at least I know where to go and what to do. Oh, that reminds me, part 3 of my Christmas vacation (which is the Japan trip) hasn't been written yet. Oops :P

The research is not only done beforehand, but also when I'm actually there (in Hong Kong or Tokyo, for instance).  Sometimes we have a sudden plan of going to a certain tourist spot & we'd like to know more about it, thus I research. In Hong Kong last month, we suddenly wanted to visit Macau for a day trip. So, in addition to asking the concierge about the ferry details, I researched: checked the Macau map, searched for public transportation, decided which places (casinos & tourist spots) to go, etc.

Two of the primary sites I read for my travelling needs are Wikipedia and Wikitravel.
Although I don't have travelling plans in mind, I love to browse through those sites and other travel sites, such as Lonely Planet, Frommers, Travel + Leisure, Concierge, Time Out, etc. I also read travel books a lot.
On the main page of Wikitravel, you'll see "Destination of the Month". I'm currently browsing on the Previous Destinations of the month and stumbled upon so many beautiful places I want to visit / revisit, such as:
elyse: (gokinjo monogatari: mikako - sewing)
If you won two free round-trip plane tickets anywhere in the world, where would you go and who would you bring?

Of course, JAPAN! :D

Need I say more? I've always loved Japan. I can keep coming back there all the time. I would travel from north to south, west to east of Japan. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but if I have the money, why not? ^^

About who would I bring... it depends on when I would go. Could be my mom, my future husband, or my whole family (that means buying more tickets, which is fine, since I got 2 free tickets anyway).


"There are those relationships that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just fabulous..."
~ Carrie Bradshaw (from Sex and the City)

May 2010


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