Trip to Chinatown and once again Orchard Road.

One thing I learned after my second day in Singapore is: if you don’t know your way around here and plan to get around by bus, don’t do it unless you sit and count the stops until your destination. The buses here don’t announce the next stops, and since I’m still clueless about the roads around here, it’s pretty much get off by intuition, which might not always go so well.

My plan for today was to eat in the food court next to the hotel before I head out to the center to shop and “explore” the city.  I went out around 11 am and it was so hot that it felt like I was walking around in a sauna.  Since the food court’s sitting places are outside, there’s no way a person like me that can’t handle hotness well can eat there. I then decided to go to a more central place in order to eat breakfast. After walking for a while, I found a bus station and apparently there was a bus that went to Chinatown. I though there would be a lot food to eat there, so why not check it out. Of course I did not know that the buses here did not announce the next station. So while the bus was driving around I had no idea where I was. I simply thought that when I’m in Chinatown I’ll probably see a lot of lanterns and such, so I can get off when I see spot those stuffs. My stomach however, did not allow me to wait until I could confirm where I was. I was soooo hungry I felt like dying so I jumped off the bus when I saw Mc Donald’s.  I did not end up having my breakfast there since I was apparently next to a center.  Every center here has a food court in the basement, so there’s no problem finding a place to eat. Although took a while for me to realize it, but I was seemingly in Chinatown. It was pure luck! lol, who knows where I would end up being if I kept waiting for chinese stuff to appear ? (I don’t even know if they would appear or not :S).

So what do you do after you filled up your stomach? Explore Chinatown? Well, although that was my plan,I pretty much gave up after 10 min or so. The warmth totally killed me, and it didn’t help that everywhere I walked all I could smell was fried and oily food. I have to say I don’t have much appetite during the days I’m here, so it just made me feel like throwing up. In the end I, I ended up at Orchard Road. Like yesterday I could not buy anything today either.

I don’t know if it’s because of my nephew’s influence that I suddenly got the thought of taking the bus home instead of the MRT which I’m more comfortable with. (He really dislike the MRT and says that the bus is much better). Anyway, I ended up taking a bus that would take me to Lavender, the place where I stay. Once again I had problems with the bus stops and ended up getting out on a random place. I was afraid the bus would drive to far, and that I might end up in Geylang. Since it was night I didn’t want to take a chance of sitting on it longer. I ended up 1 station away from my planned bus stop, it was 300 extra metres to walk home. Not the longest road ever, but I think I’ll stay away from the buses for awhile for now….

First day in Singapore

After a 15 hours long flight tour, I finally reached the destination where I’ll be staying for the next couple of months – Singapore.  The flight was not the best I had, but it wasn’t the worst either. The first flight from Oslo to Bangkok went fairly well until the last hours. There was some turbulence which made be feel nauseous. I thought I would feel better after we landed, but it did not help when the first thing I saw when walking into the toilet was a women throwing up. She even threw up on the floor! It made me feel like throwing up myself, but in the end I still managed not to. Except for some nauseous feeling the rest of the flight went well.

After landing at Changi Airport, going through the immigration check, getting the baggage what’s left to do is to find your way to the hotel. You can always take a taxi from the airport to the hotel, the fare I heard is around 20 – 40 $ (singapore) which is about 200 norwegian krones. It’s not that expensive if you compare it to the price you pay in Norway. Due to the extremly hot weather, I almost ended up doing it because I simply just coudn’t take it anymore. However, I managed to find a Shuttle Bus that apparently will drive you to any hotel for 9$. It was only me and another lady at that bus, so basically it was pretty much like a taxi.

After resting  at the hotel, I decided to “explore” the city. I can’t say it’s easy to find the way around here (at least not where I’m staying). I had no idea where I was, and every street just looked like each other. After walking around for 30 min, I managed to find the MRT station I looked for and managed to get to Orchard road where I ended up staying for the rest of the day. Except hanging around beauty stores and buying beauty products, I simply had no mood to shop due to the hot weather. You get sweaty, everything feels sticky, you feel ugly so everything you try on seems bad.

Since I did not manage to sleep much during the flight, I was totally exhausted when returning to the hotel. Though I still did not sleep until the clock was about 1 a.m. Anyway what can I say about Singapore so far? It hot, way too hot here =_=

Jardin de Seoul

Last weekend I was invited by the Korean girls from my class to go to this Korean harvest festival (Chuseok) arrangement at Jardin de Seoul. It’s a small park, located inside another park called Jardin d’Acclimatation, with replicas of traditional sculptures and architecture from Korea.

The entrance ticket to Le Jardin d’Acclimatation was kind of expensive… 26 euros! I snuck in for free though because the Korean arrangement staff thought I was a Korean student and she was talking to us and stuff and occacsionally looked at me and smiled. And I thought, why is she asking me questions in Korean?  My Korean friends made me go through the gates with them first and dragged me to another place far from the girl who gave us tickets before they told me that I got it for free because they pretended that I was a Korean student like them. HAHAHA!

They did sell a lot of Korean food but I didn’t get any because I was low in cash and couldn’t find an ATM in there, would have loved to try some of the dishes though!😦

Gotta love how the beautiful colors harmonize so well with each other. This really made me think of sageuk dramas.

Spotted this little guy happily munching away on the carrot one of the kids gave him. “He’s so fluffy, I could die!”

One of my favorites. She looked so happy and peaceful while listening to the traditional music her bandmates were playing on stage.

Life on crutches…

Difficult? You bet it is! Everything takes twice, or even thrice as long time to do! Walking up or down each staircase is like a battle between life and death. Luckily, I can now apply some weight on my operated leg. That makes me able to just use one crutch and walk sloooowly around.  I can’t imagine how I would survive if I didn’t manage to do it.

After I found out that I had ACL rupture, I keep thinking  if only I didn’t do it, or if I had done that instead, maybe I woudn’t be in the state I’m in right now. However, no matter how much I regret things,  it won’t change the fact that it’s torn. The important thing is to accept the truth and move forward right?  Then again, things are always easier said than done. Imagine what it’s like to be told that you won’t be able to walk, or won’t be able to do something you once were able to do again.. ever. It won’t  be easy to accept. Fortunately, it’s not like I won’t be able to walk again. In a few days, or weeks or even months, I will be able to walk properly and slowly do things normally again. It might take a long time, but I will get better, unless something unexpected thing happens of course.

Cruciate ligament rupture…

Last year I managed to rip one of my cruciate ligament at one of my martial arts training. It was supposed to be a self-defense course and I managed to hurt myself.Kinda ironically right? I visited a chiropractor and a physical therapist after the accident. However it wasn’t until this spring that I was told I had a cruiciate ligament rupture. After half a year of waiting, I suddenly got an operation date. It was this tuesday, 7.15 in the morning. Normally you can return home a few hours after the operation. Though in my case, I was too dizzy and felt like vomiting every time I turned my head or tried to sit up. The nurse told me it’s common when you get too much morphine. So in the end I had to stay overnight at the hospital.

I’ve returned home now. I don’t as much pain as I expected. Hopefully I’ll be able to recover soon😀



Aki Boulanger

Here it is, finally!
The post Lina has been waiting for.
The post I have neglected for so long.

This is it, my first trip to Aki Boulanger! (which I made a few weeks ago, haha!)

Aki Boulanger, located on the corner of rue Sainte-Anne and rue Thérèse, is a small Japanese bakery I’ve fallen in love with.
My first thought, entering this bakery, was that it was crowded with French and Asians seated by the coffee tables outside and the tall seats inside. That first thought did not stay for long as I looked to my left and saw all the dessert displayed there. After an excruciating long time with indecisive thoughts and a little bit of a funny “conversation” with the clerk, I finally opted for a Mille-Feuille Aki. This of course accompanied with a Melonpan filled with crème de thé.

In case you wondered what my “conversation” with the clerk was all about…
She came up to me while I was busy eyeing those cakes and asked me something in Japanese. Being the stupid little girl that I am, I tried to speak to her in French. The only awkward thing about that was the fact that I couldn’t remember what “to look” was in French so the only thing coming out of my mouth at that time was “Je… …uh…”. I then decided to say it in English “I haven’t decided yet, I’m still looking” which she replied with something in French (I think she asked me what I wanted to buy, though my memory is a little bit fuzzy…). This is where I started doing this stupid hand signs where I pointed two fingers to my eyes and then pointed at the cakes, to sign the universally “looking” sign. This did not go well as the girl behind the counter started to move to get the cake I pointed at while asking me “stay here or to go” in French. “No, wait! I’m still looking” at which point, I think, she finally understood and left me alone for a while so she could attend another customer. Much to my dismay, I had already attracted some of the French customers’ attention and they were staring at me like some foreign monkey. AWKWARD.

The clerk was, of course, nice enough to not attend to me anymore and sent someone, who actually knew a little bit English, my way and I went happily out of there with my takeaway box and Melonpan in hand.

Although, I didn’t have time to devour them all right away and had to eat them the next morning and evening, they still tasted as good as ever. Which made me wonder how much better they must have tasted if I ate them the same day I bought them.

Melonpan with tea cream and tea leaves for breakfast.

The cute little takeaway box

Mille-Feuille Aki (green tea)

They should have more of these in other flavors like Yuzu but I still haven’t managed to track it down yet…

I’m still amazed that it survived the trip home. I walked around for ever to find a bubble tea shop with the takeaway box hanging on my index finger and a bag full of snacks and noodles in the same hand. You should be proud of me!

I like this place so much I might come back for more one of these days, this time “sur place” just so I can enjoy their cakes while sipping a macha au lait! Surely one of my staples before I muster courage to go to Sadaharu Aoki alone (I don’t want to scare my friends with my excessive shopping skills when it comes to good looking sweets). This one is, I think, less expensive and “closer” to me as Sadaharu Aoki (the main store) is located near Jardin du Luxembourg, which requires a lot of metro lines transfer. –> Too lazy for that😛

If you ever wander into this neighborhood, do try to make a trip there! They’ve got breads and bentos as well so you might disguise that bento as an excuse to eat a lot of their dessert while you’re there! HAHA!

Aki Boulanger
16, rue Sainte-Anne
75001 Paris
Metro: Pyramides (Sortie 1: Ave. de l’Opera)
Opening hours: 7h30 – 20h30 (except Sundays)

Small update

A lot has happened since my last blog.

I got diagnosed with an autoimmune disease (worst case scenario delivered by my GP, I think he might have overreacted but who am I to know these things?)

I flew across the pond to meet people I haven’t seen in 19 years. People of my past.

I tried to be more open and outgoing, to be more of a yes-man as opposed to the me in the past who used to refuse to do anything and wondered what-if.

I came back to Norway and to my co-worker’s delight: “You have changed, I don’t know what but something has changed. Your face is brighter. No not the color, you idiot! I meant that you look happier and more open…”

I moved to Paris, France to become a poor ERASMUS student. Along the way I made new friends in the most random places you can imagine and at times when I least expected it. People of my present.

This is where I am and will be spending the rest of 2012 at. Let’s all hope it will be a time worth remembering and as for what’s ahead? Are the people of my past and my present willing to stay in my life and become people of my future? Will they be able to put up with my difficult and annoying personality? Only time will know. As for now I am proud of the small improvements I’ve made this summer and hope I can keep it up and never step back.

Macarons, because these colorful cuties reminds me of my changing moods and antics. And because nothing screams Paris more than their reputation for macarons in the later years. (Yes, macarons are indeed, in contrary to popular belief, a new emerging trend in France in the last decades)

PS. Please don’t laugh or get a heart attack when I tell you this: I still haven’t bought one yet.