Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Love.



Sometimes love is not just romantic dinner and bouquets of roses. It's not just grand romantic gestures

I'm a very picky drinker. I don't drink unless I absolutely have to. And even then, I only drink chilled drink.

My husband meanwhile, doesn't really favor chilled drink. He likes his drink either hot, or in the case of plain water, luke warm.

I never really gave this a thought, but, the cold water bottle in the fridge is always filled. So, one day, I caught my husband filling the bottle and I asked him about it.

"Sayang, why do you always keep the water bottle full? It's not like u like your drink cold"

And his answer melted my heart.

"Well, YOU can only drink chilled water. So, I have to do this to make sure you get your share of liquid in your system, so that you don't get dehydrated and fall sick".

He  never complains about it, or even say anything  while doing it. He just keeps filling the water bottle day in day out quietly, even though he doesn't have to. For me. I think I really really got lucky with this one. I'm spoiled. :)

Sometimes love is just that simple selfless act you do for others.

Like walking barefoot from the car because you gave your shoes to your wife because her feet hurt from wearing heels (my husband did this)

Like making your husband's favorite food.

Like making sure you buy that pastry you know your mom likes so much before going to see her.

Like sewing your brother's favorite sport jersey when it ripped.

Like being there for your friends when they need you.

And sometimes, it's just quietly filling up that cold water bottle so that your wife can drink from it.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Day 11 - LDN 02

Since this was the last day of the trip, we decided to take it easy. We've been running around the whole trip that our kneecaps started making squeaking sounds that sound unmistakably like "stop.walking.now" with every step we took.



So in the morning, we took a cab to the Natural History Museum, because that was one of our favorite spot from the last time we were in London. We hoped that THIS TIME we could see the whole place (the last time we were there we could only visit half of the place), so with renewed enthusiasm, we marched into the building. But, because the place is SOOO big, we ended up seeing only half of the exhibiton. Again.







If you ever visit London, and do not know what to do while there, I highly recommend this place. The displays are amazing, it's full of knowledge, and there's no admission fee (at least the last time I was there). There was also an ice skating ring just outside the building during winter. So, that's at least a day's worth of trip.

Once we were done with the museum, we decided to get some lunch. We foolishly hoped that the marvelous fish and chips stand we found 4 years ago near the museum still stands, but unfortunately, it was replaced by a cheese fries stand. The cheese fries were pretty good too though.



After that, the parentals wanted to visit this factory outlet just outside London, and asked us whether we wanted to come. But thankfully, none of us kids (kids la sangat...padahal dah tua bangka) wanted to go, so the parentals gave us some money for lunch and cab (they didn't want us to get into the underground), and left us to do what we wanted.

After my parents left for the factory outlet, we looked through our still-valid London Pass for places all 3 of us wanted to visit. My sister has been nagging about wanting to go ice skating, and we found a place in the London Pass with an ice skating ring and a bowling alley (which my brother loves), which coincidentally was located really close to Noodle Oodle, so we decided that that was where we wanted to go.



I have had my ice skating training since I was in elementary school, so I had no problem at all but it was hilarious watching my sister and my brother wobble about in their skates, and falling down countless times.
After they decided that they were covered in enough bruises and ice, we walked to Noodle Oodle to get some lunch, and walked back to the ice skating place for a round (or two) in bowling. Now, this was something I really suck at. I'm really bad with hand-eye coordination, so naturally I got my ass kicked by my brother in bowling. I couldn't even throw the ball straight to make contact with the pins, let alone getting a strike. I sucked so baaad at this game.




Having lost my dignity to my younger siblings, we got a cab to Oxford street to meet our parents because, surprise, surprise, they wanted to get another round of shopping done. I don't even... nevermind. It turned out to be a fruitful shopping trip for me too though. I went to Boots and stocked up on my liptint (because they don't sell those in Malaysia). I bought about 10 of them because it was on sale (score!). And then I went to Primark and almost went crazy because everything was on Christmas sale!! It was pure lady-frenzy in there. It was buzzing, the air was thick with adrenaline. People don't even bother with changing rooms anymore, they just grab whatever they wanted to try on, and stand in front a mirror and strip. Frenzy I tell you.




How I managed to walk away with only 2 dresses I don't even know. I somehow obtained the self control of a Buddhist monk probably.

After that shopping frenzy, we met up with my mom's former student who's currently studying in UEL, and had dinner with her in Tuk Din (yes, we only ate in either Noodle Oodle or Tuk Din in London. We need our riceeee!), before going back to our hotel, and packed our luggage.




In the morning, we lugged our (many, many) luggage in the airport transfer, drove to Heathrow and said goodbye to London. :)






And that, dear readers, (FINALLY) brings us to the end of my Europe travelogue. See you in my Japan - Tokyo trip post next!

Till then!
Lots of  XOs



Sunday, April 13, 2014

Day 10 - Walking around LDN

Madre had bought the London Pass for all of us (details here), and we decided that we wanted to visit the attractions listed on there on the 10th day of the visit.

The way that the London Pass works is that we pay a certain amount of money for the pass, and we get to visit whatever tourist attraction listed in the pass for free within 3 days (those were the pass we bought). The pass included various tourist attractions you can visit, however, since the pass we bought can only be used for 3 days, we were very selective of where we wanted to go.

So, in the morning, after breakfast, we set out to walk around Hyde Park to get to the Royal Palace. We visited the Palace the last time we were in London, but the novelty just never wears off. It took us about half an hour to walk across the Hyde Park, which I imagine was no easy feat for the parentals, but because it was soooo beautiful around that time of year, it was worth the muscle strain afterwards.







Hyde Park was bursting with the vibrant hues of gold, and red, and orange leaves, and the crisp autumn air carried with it that chilly lovely smell of winter. My sister chased around squirrels, and attempted to feed it. It was a lovely walk on its own even without the prospect of visiting the Royal Palace.



Once we got to the Royal Palace, we took pictures around the square while waiting for the change of guards. Being obsessed with statues, and due to the fact that the square is swarming with it, I naturally enjoyed the whole process.




I was too busy trying to get a good picture of the statues (did I do a good job?), that I almost missed the changing of guards at the palace. But here, I got a bit of it. Say hello to the royal horses' butts.



The London Pass included London Bridge experience, so we decided to get there. It's on the opposite road of where London Dungeon is located, so it's pretty easy to spot.

What London Bridge Experience is, is just an elaborate haunted hause. So my brother, being a chicken that he is, decided to sit this one out, and my dad had to accompany him outside. So that leaves us 3 delicate, women to go into the unknown ourselves. Teruk betul.



We showed our London passes, and we were good to go. Didn't even have to get tickets or anything like that. Once inside, we were seated in a narrow room, with dim lighting and eerie music, facing each other, forming 2 lines. Each line consists of about 8 people. And we had to grab on to the shoulder of whoever is in front of us to get into the haunted house. It was good for what it was, although the person behind me almost strangled me out of fear (she kept on violently pulling the collar of my coat whenever some "ghost" chased after her). But I wouldn't go back a second time. I guess it just wasn't my thing.

After that we grabbed a quick lunch on the street, on our way to the next London Pass destination; Shakespeare's Globe Theater. We came across a fish and chips selling van, and decided to just get that for lunch and eat it by the roadside. Rasa urban sangat uols.




Once we were done with lunch, we walked to the theater because it was really nearby.

I really enjoyed it, because I'm an artsy snob. They displayed costume and props of the plays that Shakespeare wrote, and at the end of it, there was a tour that you can join, where you get to enter the old theater that was built for Shakespeare himself, an listen as the guide explains the details of the structure, and the history of the plays. I absolutely loved it. BUTTTTT. My family isn't exactly the artsy kind, so like a budak sekolah serong, we (my father made us) ditched the tour halfway. We sneaked around like thieves, and giggled like mad once we were out of that place. The artsy snob inside of me wept with sorrow.







By this time, it's just a little after noon, we decided to pay Madame Tussauds a visit because "we better do something fun, and not go to a snoozefest like that theater place just now" T_T. Madame Tussaud's unfortunately wasn't included in the London Pass, so we had to buy the tickets in. 





At the end of the tour, we notice that there was a new addition to the attraction from the last time we were there (to be fair, the last time we were in London was in 2006, so of course there's bound to be new attractions lol). The wax display was pretty much the same, but the latest addition was awesome! We weren't allowed to take pictures within the attraction so I'm straining my brain the hardest I can to remember it. It was a 3d movie thing with chair that moves, and that water spray thing. I'm doing a really bad job explaining it. I know. Sorryyyy! It was a year plus ago! Anyway, it's awesome, you should check it out.

After Madame Taussauds, the next thing on the London pass that my family wanted to visit was the London Zoo. Yes. The zoo. I don't even... but in all fairness the zoo was really well-kept, and the animals were all adorable and were in great condition. So I didn't have much to complain about.






After the zoo, we decided to give the London's Eye and Big Ben a visit. And since it was misty and hella cold, we didn't stay long there. After about half an hour of shivering our behinds off, we headed straight to dinner.




Having had Tuk Din the day before, there was no way that we'd go back to cold sandwiches again. Being well-prepared, yours truly had researched halal food in London before even being there. So with "halal food" list in my hand, we headed to Noodle Oodle, halal chinese food about 15 minutes away from our hotel in Oxford street. Check their menu out  here!

Having been deprived of asian food for a week, again, absolute silence fell during dinner. The food was, needless to say, excellent! I still have withdrawals sometime from their salted egg chicken wings!

Right after dinner, being happily full with chinese food, an exhausted for being out the whole day we headed back to our hotel, and slept soundly until the next morning.

See you again in "Day 11"!

Xs and Os

I'm back (yet again)

Hellooo everybody!

I just got back from Japan. It was one of the best trip I've ever been to.

But before writing about that, I owe you guys (and myself..well, more myself than you guys) the complete euro travelogue entries.

And the following Japan - Tokyo trip.

And maybe Jogja trip.

And maybe Gili, Lombok trip.

And THEN hopefully (although I don't really trust myself to be able to keep up with all the blogpost I promised to write), I can write about my Japan - Osaka and Kyoto trip.

Alright then, I'll get right on that Euro travelogue entries.

Till then!

Cheerio!
Xs and Os


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