Wednesday, 27 July 2016

92\\ vlog, random #1

Posting this before exam is probably one of the most inappropriate thing to do, I wasn't going to update the blog until exam ends, but I was so stress and then I started to watch random clips I took throughout the year. Then I began to edit and compile them together, and here are some of the important events I've attended, weddings and birthdays.

at 0:38 records down the first meeting of Caryn and Shan. Two of my best friends hearing so much about each other for years, and finally met for JM's birthday. Thank God, they love each other, just like I knew they would because we are equally crazy. teehee.

On the side notes, some people might think that it's ridiculous for girls having so many best friends. One of my guy friend actually asked, 'how many best friends do you have?' Not to me, of course, because I don't have that many friends tbh, but another friend. But hey, why limit the good things in life? I can have as many best friends I like, friends that I really really like, and those whom I feel happy to be with. I'm not the most friendly person, because I'm socially awkward. I don't mix well with new people, and it kinda kills me to actually think of any subject to talk about because I got absolutely nothing in my mind. It happens, I was too comfortable being quiet and it turned out to be really awkward, not me, because I felt comfortable like that. Lol.

casually photobombed

But once you get to know me, I might just be the craziest person you ever know, like maybe on the Top 3?! Humble is virtue. Hahahah. And I think having different best friends on different stage of life, that's not betrayal, it's normal. Your best friend will stay your best friend, and will totally understand that, if they're your real best friend. Lots of love to y'all (you know who you are *wink*) Anyway, enjoy the video!


Wednesday, 20 July 2016

91\\ 2015 summer vacay - Venice in a day and a half.

When I was planning my summer trip, I sorta took Joann's schedule into consideration knowing that she will join me somewhere around so we could visit our dream place, Greece together. After much thought and consideration, we decided to meet in Italy as flying from Rome is one of the cheapest way to get to Greece.

I was supposed to touch down at Venice a day earlier than Jo. Unfortunately, I booked the wrong date for our transport. Ever since I've started planning my trip, I wanted to try all kind of transportation. So I picked an overnight train to Venice from Vienna. Clearly, it was a wrong move. We were already in the train, unpacked our stuff and getting comfortable with the tiny room space, the ticket inspector came and knock and asked for our tickets.
Just because it is an overnight ticket, there's a confusion on the train time and so, I booked the ticket for 1st instead of 30th of June. I called Anna, our Airbnb host immediately to tell her our situation. Fortunately, she took us back. (Un)Lucky for us, the ticket is usable the next day. We earned another day in Vienna and still get to ride to Venice without spending another penny on the expensive train ticket. You know, there is two sides to a coin.

The ticket cost us 124 per person, where we get a triple bunk bed sleeper compartment with a bathrom all for ourselves. It wasn't exactly comfortable, but sleeping while rolling down the track saves time and cost of a hotel. Also, they prepared us simple breakfast with buns before leaving the train. It is a good experience, although I'm pretty sure I'll not do this again if it is not necessary.

Jo & Jeff landed a little bit later, by the time they meet up with us, it was already lunch time. So we head out lunch before heading to the apartment. I supposed the train station we got off is one of the main central in Venice, there were plenty of choices. We just have to pick one we're comfortable with. 
 squid ink everything.
 the seafood pasta 
one does not simply say no to tiramisu, in Italy.
Reunited with my love!
Meet up with Jo and Jeff, dropped our luggage and off to the mad color houses 
Venetian Island of Burano - 

brightly colored houses
Venice is famous for its bad food, or its expensive food. Or, bad and expensive food. I've done enough research to know that. Yet, we chose to dine at Burano, the main tourists area. Mainly because when we were strolling around the street, this (seemed to be) very friendly lady talked to us, knowing that we are from Malaysia, she speak to us in Malay as she's from Thailand. We sort of had a short conversation and she invited us to dine at the restaurant she's working at. Biggest mistake we'd made! Mumsy prefers tomato based spaghetti so she ordered a mushroom spaghetti and another friend of ours ordered a chicken spaghetti. When the bill comes, we're shocked to know that the mushroom spaghetti and chicken spaghetti is priced at (almost) the same as our seafood spaghetti. I feel like we were being ripped off.
€2 per head for these breads/cover charge. 
applied to most (if not all) restaurant here in Italy
so not worth it!
So mushroom is more expensive in Venice, I guess?
 more squid ink
 and seafood!
 beautiful sunset while waiting for boat ride back to our stay. 

day 2

We didn't leave Venice until early evening. Packed our luggage and put in the store provided by our apartment host (they charged us, I think.) and did a little explore before leaving. 
fairly good brunch at Gino's
 Trust me, we really wanted to take the gondola ride.
but it was scorching hot we'd pass that and stay under the shades.
 food porn. smirk

Till we meet again, Venice.
maybe when it is cooler.

xx, Shan

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

90\\ cheese tart craze

Disclaimer: this is not your average food review.

The baked cheesetart is the lastest hype in town. Jeff and I have been tempted many times to try but there are so many good possible choices it took us a while to consider. We were on our way to 1 Utama and the cheesetart post of Tokyo Secret and Uncle Tetsu appeared on my Facebook timeline at the same time. I turned to Jeff and showed him the video of cheese filling ozzing out when the tarts were cut into half. He was like
"Okay let's get them!"

There was a long queue at the Tokyo Secret which most certainly because of the limited tray of tarts they're baking each batch. We happened to meet my cousin's friend and he offered to help us to buy. (we went to queue up and he offered help. The queue was really long and we only wanted 2 pieces, so.. yeah we gave in.) He queued for 20 minutes before we were there and we waited for 10-15 minutes for him to get to the cashier. This is utterly crazy on a Monday evening!

So I thought since we are already here in 1 Utama, why not get Uncle Tetsu as well and compare them so we know which to buy/recommend in future. Uncle Tetsu is famous for their fluffy cotton cheesecake, their cheese tart might be good too because well, they are all cheese. As opposed to Tokyo Secret's rather slow service, we get everything done in 5 minutes at Uncle Tetsu. There was no queue, the tarts were all ready on the display rack and we just grab-and-go. Note that Uncle Tetsu cheesetart is in limited supply daily and each customer is limited to 6 cheesetarts only.

We didn't have it immediately after we get our hands on it. We only had it in the car before Jeff drops me home so the cheese wasn't exactly melting. Took our 1st bite of Tokyo Secret Hanjyuku cheesetart, and we both exclaimed in excitement. The cheese filling is so soft and creamy, you can taste the fragrance of cream cheese all filled in your mouth upon the first bite. 

By comparison, the Uncle Tetsu Kurimi cheesetart has rather flat taste. Not sure if it's because the Tokyo Secret's one is covering the taste of it or it simply taste bland. Besides, I prefer the Tokyo Secret crust better since it's more on the crumbly and crispy side than the egg tart/cookies kind of texture like the one from Uncle Tetsu.

I try them again at home as my midnight snack lol. Also, I lightly toast them in the oven before to check if the cheese will melt again after reheating?

Pardon the blurry photo, I took them at 1am after my revision, with my study lamp.
 - Tokyo Secret -
comes in a handy paper bag which is handy and also, very instgramable
- Uncle Tetsu -
While Uncle Tetsu put our tarts into a tiny paper bag like this. This is a bag for two tarts. 
Judging by the look, I think Tokyo Secret's packaging is more attractive. 
Uncle Tetsu priced at Rm 4.50 (they have buy 5 free 1 promotion) 
      Tokyo Secret priced at Rm 7.90 - Unquestionably, it is an expensive tart. 
Notice also how the Tokyo Secret baked cheese tart is significantly bigger in size than Uncle Tetsu.
I guess that's an even match here.
The filling isn't entirely melting even after toasting them
I tried Uncle Tetsu first this time. No, I still didn't change my mind. I don't like their crust. It is more like the ordinary egg tart kind of crust. Nothing to shout about.
I still think that Tokyo Secret is more flavorful and has crispier crust and thicker cream cheese filling. If there's something that I have to complain, that will be the cheese filling is too thick, finishing the whole piece all by yourself is gonna make you stuffed. 

More complaints: one cheesetart breaks your quota for the week, and I had.. one and a half of each. You do the maths! *start running in the room*

In both comparison, clearly, I prefer Tokyo Secret because I think if I'm paying that much to taste the heavenly cheese tart (that's what they said), Tokyo Secret would not lead to huge disappointment. So yeah, Tokyo Secret has my vote this time *toss vote into ballot box*

Look, I'm not saying Tokyo Secret is the best. I've seen reviews about how they're overrated or just another 'social media food'. But it suits my taste, better than Uncle Tetsu in this case. Give it a try if you haven't! 

Can't wait for the legendary Pablo cheese tart to open in Malaysia, I heard they're opening in October.


Thursday, 7 July 2016

89\\ Brussels, Belgium

currently playing: CosmosPeople宇宙人- 10,000 Hours一萬小時

I regretted not knowing this band earlier, I only came to notice them when I decided to hit on the autoplay button on my YouTube and they start playing random songs and BOOM! this band gives me eargasm. I've always liked 盧廣仲, quote JM '他的歌好听到你不舍得睡觉‘, true enough, except I still falls asleep very easily. And this band, plays just the right thing I love. I know nothing about good music, all I know is whether I like it, or not.

So here's my part of the summer vacay, I went to a few places before joining Shan in Italy. First stop, BRUSSELS. Took a night coach from London to Brussels alone to meet up with Sharon, Mel and Esther (flew from Greece). It was a seven hours ride, reached Brussels at six in the morning and will only meet them girls in the afternoon. Been wondering what can I do for that few hours, as it was sorta solo travel for me for the first time, so I was pretty excited, but was also too sleepy to feel anything at that moment.

Unlike my previous experience of taking coach to Paris(by eurolines), I have to be extra careful with my own belongings as I was travelling alone, and also this time(by megabus) it's a lil different because we have to go by a ferry, everyone has to get down from the coach and take a rest in the ferry.

Victoria Coach Station (London) - Canterbury Dover Ferry Port - Brussels

Explored the ferry for a moment as I have not been in one this big, and it's mostly food hall and nothing much. Then I realized that I shouldn't have took my own sweet time walking around. Everyone, literally everyone found themselves a spot to take a nap, and lucky me, I've got an arm chair. Trust me, it wasn't a pleasant journey, as it was all about getting sleep and switching places (from coach to ferry and back to coach). It's torturing, not everyone can do that, but I just have to as I was on a budget (it cost me less than £15 for a single trip).

∆ Brussels, Belgium.

Grand Place, Brussels

Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert

The Manneken Pis

Brussels is a city famous of chocolate, beers, waffles and the peeing boy (Manneken Pis). The story of this peeing boy, although seems a lil ridiculous to me, is that this boy has actually saved the city by urinating on explosives that was gonna bomb the city. But it make more sense than the second version of the story which tells of a tourist father who lost his son in the city and after receiving help from the locals to find the boy(who was found happily peeing in a small garden!!), he gifted this statue to them. But I don't understand! As much as the westerners love statues, why would anyone wants a statue of a peeing boy that brings them trouble? And this statue has been repeatedly stolen, what?! Trust me, I've rolled my eyes countless times listening to this. At least the first version is more heroic.

 According to reviews, Maison Dandoy serves the best waffles in Brussels. It is only steps away from the Grand Place. We ordered a homemade ice cream and strawberry waffle. There are two types of waffles, Belgian-style or Lèige-style. We picked the latter, thicker and denser in texture.

The Belgium Fries (2), served in paper cones, with a dollop of andalouse sauce (0.6). Yeap, you gotta pay for the sauce. 

The city centre is pretty small, everything is in walking distance, and also pretty safe to walk alone, let alone the terrorist attack. It's still safe, I guess? I remember when I was waiting in line to hop on the coach, the driver asked the man in front of me where's he heading to, and he said Brussels. The drivier told him good luck, because it's small and dead boring. Lol. I couldn't agree more, except chocolates and waffles made it a little better.

updated 2:05am. 7 July 2016.
signing off.


Monday, 4 July 2016

88\\ my hair dye adventures

When I was younger, my mom would bring me to the family saloon and I'll leave the place with mushroom haircut. I hated it. Towards the end of my primary school time, I told my mom I want to be like a girl, I want to keep my hair long. I have always had loved me in long hair and had my hair cut short only twice for the past 12 years and regretted them immediately. 

I remember when I was 13/14, my mom was utterly unsatisfied with my unkempt hair because I always leave my hair wet after shower. I simply slung a towel over my shoulder and walk around the house in damp hair. She brought me to the saloon out of annoyance and told the hairdresser to cut my hair short. I was crying the whole time at the saloon and the kindhearted hairdresser couldn't stand watching me crying like it's the end of the world, she trimmed my hair to make it more manageable instead of following my mom's order. Still, I remember I cried the 1st time I wash my hair after the haircut because they're no longer the length it used to be.

2 years back, before I leave to UK, I dip dyed my hair grey because I thought, if not now, when? I'd never go for a haircut/trim when I was in UK because the prices for haircut is fairly expensive, which makes my damaged bleached hair even more rusty. You'd see me sitting in the kitchen, go through my hair and bite off all the split ends while talking to them. That's a bad habit I know. New year's eve of the same year, I chopped them, all by myself. Say bye bye to dead, splitting ends.

Just when I thought I wont be bleaching my hair ever again after going through all these hassles of cutting my hair and waiting for them to grow long, I can't believe I did it again. Number76 hair saloon came out with the monthly promotion where the new members are entitled to 25% off the total bill. Being an adventurer myself, I made a booking with Lucas at Publika branch and showed him the color I wanted to have on my hair and let him work his magic.

Outcome taken by Lucas, loved it.
Bleached the bottom of my hair for the violet color and darker shade on my root so it wont be too awkward when my root grows. It cost me around RM370 after 25% off.
I didn't like them merely because Number76 is famous but also their superb service. Lucas found out that the color was not showing at the top part of my dip dye after the whole process. He asked if I got time for him to redye them or I can always go back the next day just so he could fix it for me. I like how he pointed it out and fix it for me right away instead of telling me that it wasn't his problem my hair didn't take on the color. Or worse, he might not even tell me about it and let me find out myself few days later thinking, oh I bleached my hair so I should expect the color to fade in few washes. 

Photo taken a month later. Notice how the color of the top part faded into the brownish blonde?
It aches me to see the purple color water on my toilet tiles whenever I wash my hair. So I'd always make sure to rinse my hair with cold water. 

This was after 3 months. frizzy, dry, tangled end.

Eventually, I got tired of having to maintain such a long hair. Especially when they are no longer manageable. Showers took forever, took them even longer to dry before I go to sleep. Hairs everywhere be it in the bedroom, living room or the kitchen. I didn't like spending so much time  maintaining them. This time, I made my appointment with Calvin from Bangsar branch and told him I want my hair short. While cutting my hair, Calvin asked if I would miss my long hair. Looking at my hair on the floor, I told him no. It has been so long since I had my hair short, I'm more concerned about how I'd look like.

It has been so long since I last cut my hair short. I thought I'd leave the saloon in medium cut but no, Calvin didn't stop at the shoulder length. I was anxious, constantly turning to my side to look at Jo who's having her haircut at the same time to observe her reaction. If she freaked out, I know I would regret my decision. Every time Calvin made it shorter, I'd turn to Jo and she kept assuring me that I look good.

From waist to chin. lighter shade cost me Rm214 with 25% off
I go back to Number76 again for their promotion, where the new member (Jo) visits with a current member (me) and both will be able to enjoy 25% off our bills.

Bangs weren't part of the plan, I swear. Thou I secretly thought about it. 
Calvin asked if I want to get my fringe cut I was like okay, since I've already made up my mind about letting him to do whatever he thinks it's nice on me. Until I told Jo about it and she's like how short? Did you ask? He did told me this is how it would be, and I decided to get along with it. He's so nice he guided me on how to trim it myself when it gets long or I can always walk in anytime and he will help me to trim it, FOC. Anyhoo I think I'll pass that, bangs isn't really my thing.

Shorter hair, so much lighter.
and the world didn't end this time. 

xx, Shan