As luck would (not) have it, in Prague.

I know I have promised to write more often when I’m in Europe, but to be frank this is the first time I have had some down time, just sitting down for a few hours and staying awake. Other times I had been simply walking around exploring and getting lost (my laptop lying forgotten in the hotel room) or collapsing either on a train couchettes or on my hotel bed out of exhaustion after the said walking.

So many things have happened over the past few days, and most of them have been really good. Apart from that day in Paris when we were panicking because we thought that we were going to miss the train but we actually ended up really early at the train station; or the time in the train from Paris to Berlin when I did not know I had to activate my Eurail tickets at the train station and almost cost my family a total of EUR 1,000 just to buy another set of tickets (luckily the ticket inspector took pity after a little bit of pleading, tear shedding and some help from a nice German passenger who shared our compartment). But other than those minor glitches, we have seen beautiful buildings and structures, eaten yummy food and ice cream and taken in much history lessons.

The point is travelling had been good so far.

Until Prague.

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The city was very pretty alright, and I loved the rustic and ancient feel of it. But I think everyone has their own kind of luck with a city – some places are just meant to make your lives difficult and you just want to leave. Just like how Pisa was to me five years ago (I will write a post about my disastrous time there one day), by the end of it, I felt my money was cheated dry and I could not wait to leave Prague.

Continue reading “As luck would (not) have it, in Prague.”

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Train passes and sunflower.

I must sincerely apologise for the slow posts over the past few weeks. It’s been hectic, almost manic, with so many things going on. Apart from completing the long to-do list, a few more things have cropped up, like recovering from annoying sickness and preparing myself to be a wedding emcee for the very first time and I had to do it in Mandarin. (Fortunately, it all went very well yesterday, with only very minor glitches when I mispronounced some of the champagne toasts, but everyone thought it was all scripted so my reputation is still intact).

Anyway, just when I thought that I might collapse anytime soon under all the pressure, two things arrived at my doorstep that lifted my spirit up immensely almost immediately.

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First, my Eurail pass is here, much earlier than expected! Opening it was extremely exciting, just like unravelling some long-lost treasure. It even came with a map of Europe showing all the railways connecting one city to another.

Continue reading “Train passes and sunflower.”

A long to-do list.

With my upcoming trip of the year looming closer, I can’t help but feeling a little stressed about it. I’ve got so many things I need to do, perhaps jotting them down here will make me feel a little better.

  1. Applying for my UK visa, and actually doing it instead of writing a blogpost about visas.
  2. Start collecting all the necessary document for the said visa application, which includes these.
  3. Change my return flight to extend my trip for another 3 weeks.
  4. Book all hotels in Europe.
  5. Research on all the trains that I have to take.
  6. Figure out how I’m going to pack 5 weeks worth of clothes into a shared luggage.
  7. Start saving money to cover for my trip expenses.
  8. Search for inspiration on what to make my family wear this year. For my Europe trip last year, we all wore matching shirts that I bought them from Nepal.

    Not sure if they still hate me for this.
    Not sure if they still hate me for this.
  9. Give Netherlands my full support in the World Cup (now that England is ousted) through this pixelated live streaming.

    Go Dutch!
    Go Dutch!

So much to do, so little time.

Lost and found photos from Europe (and Taylor Swift).

Yesterday felt like a day of second chances. When my brother announced a few months ago that his laptop got stolen along with his camera SD card which contained pictures from my family’s Europe trip last summer, I was pretty bummed. I spent weeks after that trying to get over it and trying not to think of what pictures in there that I would never see again. Of course, the more I tried, the more I would remember what were in there.

So when my brother told me yesterday that apparently his SD card had not been lost with his computer, I was thrilled beyond words. After an unbelievably long week for so many different reasons, my spirit was considerably lifted up.

I have then decided to take the initiative to back up all these photos into a few different places because really, how often do you get second chances?

Well as it turned out, you may get second chances twice in a day! Just a few hours before this happy discovery, my friend managed to get us tickets to Taylor Swift’s Red Tour in Singapore – a concert that had been sold out the first day the tickets were on sale and because we did not sit and wait in front of our computer to purchase them, we did not get our hands on them. However, since her sold out concert in Bangkok is cancelled due to the political situation there, the organiser had decided to hold another one in Singapore and voila! the tickets were miraculously available again. We snatched them up in no time and I am going to see Taylor Swift live in Singapore on 9th of June!!!

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Anyway, I have digressed. What I really want to show you through this post are some photos from my brother’s camera that I’m glad could see the daylight again.

So let’s start with my photo looking naturally lost at Copenhagen Central Station. I guess this is how I look most of the time, with my close-to-nonexistent sense of direction.

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Bearing in mind that this was probably my 50th time there.

Continue reading “Lost and found photos from Europe (and Taylor Swift).”

Awesome Scratch Map and Bieber.

I love birthdays. I think it is such a happy thing to celebrate the day you were born into this beautiful world to meet all the awesome people you meet.

Especially when you meet people who know and understand you so well that they give you just the right present that you have been looking for. Anyone who knows me will know that if you buy something travel-related, you will never go very wrong. But if you get me a scratch map of Europe, that’s like hitting the bull’s eye. It’s the kind of gifts that when you unwrap them you will go, “Oooh, I have always wanted one of these!”

I have always had this fascination for maps. I don’t even know why since it’s not like I read them particularly well. I’m almost a map illiterate, but I suppose I do pretty alright for those high-level maps that just show a country’s borders and its major cities. There is something simply fascinating about knowing where in this big, big world I have been.

So you can imagine my excitement when I unwrapped my very first birthday present and found this!

Here comes my perfect reason to travel to Europe again.
Here comes my perfect reason to travel to Europe again.

Continue reading “Awesome Scratch Map and Bieber.”