Sunday, May 29, 2011

Once upon a time in "Tiong Kok"

When I was young, I had friends telling me about their holiday experiences to China. The only thing that left an impression on me was that their toilets are perpetually filthy. So with that notion, I wrote the country off my list of holiday destinations for years.

This is until I had to go to Shanghai for a business trip in early May.

I love it when there's hardly anyone on the flight, even in the business class cabin. It meant that I could sleep and possibly snore without embarrassing myself.

So with an unimpressed feeling, I arrived at Shanghai, at the front door of my hotel - Langham, only to be awe-ed by the 5 star hotel decor.

Our hotel rooms in Singapore pale in comparison to this. And Langham is not even an international brand name. They had an elaborated walk-in wardrobe, the toilet floors are heated (mind you, not toilet seats but floors!) during winter, they had two toilet basins for god knows what, and even a personalized toilet bowl cleaner to wash your ass when you're done!

On top of that, all their hotel accessories are in pink! So chic!

I love travelling to countries during winter/spring. This is the time where I can be more adventurous in my dressing and not worrying to sweat under my armpits. So that's me camwhoring in front of the full length mirror. Must make full use of their walk-in wardrobe mah...

I'm pretty glad that I get to travel alone this time. So that meant some "me" time off work and I could venture around Shanghai at my own pace. For the first night, I visited the night alleys opposite the hotel. It was like a mini Holland Village.

I didn't dare to try their local restaurants so the best solution was to choose something familiar to home. I stumbled upon coldstone creamery and we had a franchise at 313 but it's always long queue! Their mud-pie coffee peanut combo mix really made every calorie intake worth it!

The 3rd night, my Shanghai colleague recommended to go to Yu Garden - something like our Chinatown version. So it's more camwhoring.

I only had time to shop at their factory outlets on the first day but look at what one day of damage could do!

And when you're cold, you just crave for more comfort food. So all these damage done during grocery shopping. *gulp*

Coming to Shanghai really changed my perspective although that are still some unhygenic places and seeing people spit in the shopping mall!!! is still something I need to get used to. But overall, it was a pleasant visit. And my co-colleagues treated me to Shanghainese cuisine where I had ducks tongue for the first time! *cringe*

I am secretly hoping that my job scope revert to Korea market. After all, that place is a shopping haven. :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Something about Jayden at 3.5

Hello Everyone,

Today is a public holiday and my mummy is not blogging. So I decided to take over the keyboard and introduce myself at 3.5 years old.

Yes, at 3.5 years old, I still sleep with a hankie and pillow. Mummy cannot grumble much since I've managed to wean off the pacifier at 2 years old and am diaper-free too. Hey, as a kid, I do have human rights too.

I enjoy taking photos now and know how to smile at the camera though most of the time, I smile so hard, I can't see my eyes.

I have been sleeping on my own bed since 3 years old but some nights I still do creep into Mummy & Daddy's bed because it doesn't really feel good to sleep alone right. I don't understand why Mummy wants me to do it? *scratch head* But anyway, I still love my fire truck bed and would play imaginary fireman when I can't go to sleep.

I finally understood the meaning of Christmas and even helped Mummy to decorate the tree. Because she says that Santa will only give presents to good boy. I'm not sure how true is that because somtimes when I do misbehave, I still get presents under the tree. *cheeky shrug*

My favourite toy has got to be The Chuggingtons. It all started with 2 DVDs that Grandpa got me during X'mas and one innocent trip to Toys R Us. I got my first interactive Chugger - Frostini. I never liked the main characters - Wilson, Koko & Brewster and only collects the rest of the chuggers. Mummy thought there are only 3 characters but look at my collection!

I have all 10 of them now and I'm still trying to get Mummy & Daddy to get the Chugwash for my birthday. Mummy says it's an expensive hobby for one chugger cost $29.90. So 10 means nearly $300! I hope she used her own money to buy my toys. :p

At 3.5 yrs old, I'm still very much a water baby. I love swimming and have recently opened up to the concept of water play. I used to cringe at water showers and sprinklers but now as you can see, I'm enjoying them!

Of course, there are times when you just want to vege out and be a couch potato on the iPad. I even know how to use Youtube to search for my favourite cartoons.

So at 3.5, I'm doing what an average kid would do - eat, play, sleep and sometimes abit of study. I don't have any favourite sport or activity at the moment. I can read 1-10 and only half of the alphabets. I can only write 1 or 0. So that worries Mummy alot. But fret not Mummy! All kids learn naturally so let me play first for now ok? I love you Mummy! xoxo

Signing off,
(Mummy's imaginary impression of me)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Day 8 - 10 : Paris

I don't think much introduction is needed for this city. The picture says it all, the bags people carry say it all and even people smooching at the park says it all - Paris.

But of course, when you come to Paris, you must do what tourits do.

The Eiffel tower

The Napoleon's Arc de Triomphe

The Louvre - yes where Mona Lisa is

Taking the cruise around the Seine River

And if that wasn't enough. We visted the Eiffel Tower 3 times - Day, Sunset and Night.

Eiffel @ Sunset

Eiffel @ Nightfall

I think the Eiffel @ Nightfall was the most spectacular. There was a brief moment where the tower will dazzle in various colours of lights and at that instant, everything seemed to come to a standstill. Everyone just looked at it in awe, oohs-and-ahhs. You could see couples hugging each other tightly, families embracing each other. It was a magical moment to be in the romantic city. :)

So when all the sight-seeing is done. It's time to get down to business - SHOPPING at Gallery Lafeyette. Even lunch had to be brisk as time was limited. 没时间啊!

Best quiche I've eaten at a French bistro beside Lafeyette

We had a 5-course French dinner but sadly, even my favourite foie gras didn't whet my appetite. How can French food in France go so wrong? :(

When food didn't go so well, desserts are always to the rescue. Macroons from La Duree. *nom nom nom*

Of course, all that eating and shopping makes one very happy indeed. :D

So what was the damage?

I think going to Paris makes one have the disillusion that you have an unlimited credit limit to just spend, spend spend! We never batted an eyelid when we saw something we like. The philosophy was "If you don't buy it now, what if you go back lamenting and become "the biggest regret in your life" (ok pun intended)?" Warped philosophy indeed.

My long awaited Classic Jumbo in Caviar!!!

Even buying bags also must be in matching color

Clothes from H&M, G-Star. We even bought shades just because Dylan forgot to bring his

The highlight of the trip - Daytona & Submarina

(steal my Chanel limelight *hmph*)

My humble Tag Heuer Aquaracer in mother of pearl face and diamond number dials


Sorry if this sounded like an arrogant post flaunting our purchases. I see it rather as a reflection on some of the impulsive buys. And then again, how often do you go to Europe?! Ok, I'm just trying to excuse myself out. :p

It must be a blessing that retail shops close on Sundays in Europe. So our group decided to take the sub and head down to Champs Elysee to embrace Paris life for the last time.

Where we're staying - some CBD area

Lunch was at Hard Rock which was mad yummy. Perhaps it was the overdose of poorly cooked pizzas, pastas, risottoes and what not.

And this is where we bade farewell to Europe. I'm sure we'll be back again. :)

Au revoir!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Day 7: Switzerland - Geneva

While people are busy summing up their thoughts on GE2011, I am trying to trace back my long over post on the Europe trip.

For the past 2 weeks, I have been busy reading up forums, watching videos, even when I was in Shanghai, I never stop short of watching the news so as to keep myself in tune with the hot discussion topics and eventually make my informed vote, rather than an influential one.

Ironically, the place that I'm about to mention is Geneva - one of the highest standard of living city, a worldwide centre for diplomacy and home to the reformation protestants.

Before we left for Geneva, we stop-over to take a photo at the Lion Monument. It is built to commemorate the Swiss Guards who were massacred in 1792 during the French Revolution, when revolutionaries stormed the Tuileries Palace in Paris, France.

If you look at the outer edge of the sculpture, you can see that the lion is lying within a pig. It is said that the sculptor was denied of being paid. But out of respect for the soldiers who sacrificed their lives, he maintained the lion sculpture but made the outer edge look like a pig to express his frustration. I would have done the same too if I was treated like free labour.

Funny looking trees outside the UN building

Interesting advertising attempt by a furniture company to get consumer's attention

The infamour flower-clock. Perhaps it's me and my knees don't go weak on flowers. I almost missed out on this so-called 'sight attraction' as it didn't occur as spectacular as it should be.

And that very much sums up Geneva. Bye bye Rolex, bye bye Patek. I hope to see you again soon. But next I need to meet up with Chanel and Prada in Paris.