Unexpectedly Back

Posted on Updated on

You know those days when you are feeling nostalgic, of a place you fell in love with, of those younger days, full of innocence and vibrancy exploring a foreign place. I got that a couple of months back, dreamy about San Francisco. Back in 2008, I fell in love, of the cool crisp weather, the coastal side, its neatness compared to other US cities. And unexpectedly I am back. As I am writing this, I am on board a hop on hop off bus, under direct sunlight, on the roof top of this bus, in Sausalito. 🙂 


And while we are waiting for the trip back to the city, I decided to compose this, a simple ode to being grateful for moments like this. Oh you might ask why unexpected, it’s because I am here on an unplanned business trip to Las Vegas and they just told me about it a lil over a month ago. I’m actually glad I said yes. 


So yeah, just a couple of minutes of putting into writing the thankfulness I am having deep within. 

Watch out soon for this trip’s blog post. 🙂

Lonely Girl by Josephine Cox

Posted on Updated on

9780007476732

It just dawned on me that the first three book reviews in my blog so far, has a “girl” in the title.  Is it recently becoming a fad, especially in the mystery and thrillers section? =))

Anyways, this book was a quick read for me. Just couple of days and I managed to finish it. It was an easy read though there are some parts of it that are quite repetitive. I don’t know if it is some style of writing to give out further emphasis. lol.

It is a sad story I may say. I am always weak when it comes to family especially parents. So it was kind of devastating for me during that storyline on John Tanner’s incident especially with how he came to meet death. For a man so depicted as an amazing father to Rosie, it was just downright depressing.

Molly Tanner’s character was really too much I guess. If she wasn’t really that happy with the relationship she should have just moved on, but yes, I guess there really exists in this world people that are just suckers for material things and will do anything to hold on to that security, regardless of the situation. The ending also gave away the character of a person she really is. I mean, tragedy happened, she did the vilest of things and yet she just wanted to hop on to another man she can possibly control and amass wealth from. The part on the truth about Molly and Rosie was 50-50 suprising and anticipated I guess? Since there’s not even a single bone in her body that has an affection towards Rosie.

Harry’s love for Rosie is quite timeless if I may say. Maybe those very rare kind of love nowadays where he has been loving Rosie since she was 15 til they married and have their happy ending. Good thing though, the sad life that Rosie had was turned upside down in the end by him and it also is a blessing for Rosie that she has Harry’s parents who was there to the rescue since the night of the incident.

Overall an easy read personally, I can check what else Josephine Cox has contributed to the book shelves.

Bookie Scale: 3.5/5

1232067170214215300914 (1)

 

 

Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins

Posted on Updated on

the_girl_on_the_train_us_cover_2015

If there is a story, that I’ve read by far, that has the most number of characters depicted as having challenges mentally, it would have to be this story. From the protagonist Rachel to the antagonist of the story, every one is suffering from something.

The start was a bit slow as it narrates her daily routine to and fro her seeming occupation. Until I find her fascination to Megan really too much, to the point that it affected her entirely and went way beyond, where she wanted to approach Megan, which she did and which started building up to the climax of the story.

Also, for an alcoholic, isn’t what she did after the tunnel incident too much? So much so that she pretended to a number of people that which she is not. She tangled herself up to others’ lives completely but maybe she is also this “sad person” who badly wants to help a missing person – well, a missing person that she seems to have an inclination to.

Until the story gets even more vivid, that I almost topple over my seat =)) , when I learned that those things she did or rather, her husband said she did, where actually the other way around. It was a really good twist! And I love twists like this one! And the person that you would least guess or not guess at all to be the culprit, turns out to be the one. It was insane.

Really, the story builds up from a slow to a very hook-onto-your-seat type of plot. In the end, I really pitied Rachel, for she really just wanted a good life – home, family and kids and had been perceived as the bad person in the story and turned out she isn’t. Though, she fought hard and strong not just for herself but for those entangled in the messy web of their lives brought about by Tom.

Bookie Scale: 4.5/5

1232067170214215300914 (1)

Garosu-gil, Rodeo Drive and Gangnam

Posted on Updated on

One of the avenues, if it’s the right word to call it, that I fancy the most out of all the streets that I’ve walked on in the city of Seoul, it would have to be Garuso-gil. The idea of the street being tree lined is so fascinating for me and it did not disappoint when I went to be there in person.

DSCF0741

Hours of walking out and about, we decided to hit Gangnam, a place famous not just for the phenomenal song but also for … plastic surgery! And yes, there are gigantic buildings, some are plastic surgery clinics that are just normally sitting (in a Korean sense) along the strip.

DSCF0782 But in addition to that, this street is quite posh, where it’s actually the first time I see big shops of this designer brands, when I say it’s big, it’s really spacious and most have multiple storeys. And they are side by side each other.  DSCF0767

DSCF0766 DSCF0765

DSCF0761 There are just so many luxury brands that make up the street of Gangnam.

Garosu-gil is just within few blocks and we didn’t have difficulty finding it. It was just a short strip comprised of nice shops and cafes and I find it less crowded and neatier than other districts. People seem to just be idly walking and the place is downright relaxing. To think it was actually raining the day we visited. DSCF0760

DSCF0758 DSCF0757

We also found this burger nook across 8 seconds store and I must say, the burger’s really a must try. The patty’s juicy and tasty and the cheese that they put really made the burger even more palatable. The place is called Alley Burger. Very fitting.

DSCF0753 8 seconds also has a coffee shop nearby and it is a really beautifully decorated cafe. DSCF0747

Another district that I fancy is the Rodeo street in Apgujeong. It is even smaller than Garosu-gil, likewise, it is also comprised of shops and cafes and restos. Koreans really have a lot of places to hangout in!

DSCF0784 DSCF0786

DSCF0792 DSCF0794

DSCF0795 DSCF0796

DSCF0797 DSCF0798

If I am to go back to Seoul, these will for sure be my go to spots again to just walk non chalantly, find a cafe to sit in and people watch. Oh, how I wish every days could just be like that! =))

1232067170214215300914 (1)

Suspense while suspended in the air

Posted on Updated on

In response to Daily Prompt’s Panic

I am not sure if it’s part of aging, but trust me when I tell you that I am beginning to get panicky and scared on air turbulences. I have been on plane rides for countless of times where during my younger days, it wouldn’t really bother me at all if the plane gets shaky, maybe then, partly it was because excitement was still in my system that it simmers down any anxiety or panic that I may have.

Recently, it’s a different story. Yes I love to travel, having been in the airline industry for more or less 10 years, but now, I tend to get taken aback when air packets disturb an otherwise smooth ride.

I was thinking long and hard of when was the last time I panicked and it came vividly through me that it was in my recent trip to Cebu, Philippines. Midway through the flight, it gotten shaky, abruptly that is, a split second of a snappy and sharp descent and back up again where it shook my entire system completely and then the plane got back to descending again where then my initial thoughts were, what’s happening, are we crashing? (funny as it may sound when I start recalling it but it was a totally different feeling at that moment in time). I held tightly on to the arm rest and even held on to my friend. I began thinking about those documentaries that I saw on plane crash (I guess it’s my inclination towards documentaries like this and mystery and thriller novels finally taking its toll on me). My friend even got a migraine from the sudden jolt that we experienced. I kept praying that time and grateful that we got safe to the destination. Phew! Talk about panic.

http-signatures-mylivesignature-com-54494-301-8ad90049dcb60ed9efe97c08c2df7baa

The Girls by Lisa Jewell

Posted on Updated on

lisa-jewell-the-girls

My very first book review! And yes, this section in my blog has just been created days ago. Because, why not? Recently getting hooked on thrillers and mystery novels, well I must say books such as this are already piling up in my cabinet.

Like most book reviews’ preambles, I would opt out of giving you a summary of this, because, hey! you can just google it out and most reviews would tell you that. Let me then attempt on going straight to the review and give my personal opinion.

I was encapsulated, completly engrossed on this book for days as the author had given something to look forward to in the middle of the story since the first few parts are a beautiful narration and walkthrough of this communal garden and the people that live around it, and their stories that is. It builds up, making you ask more and more, the typical “who did it”.

I was just not impressed of the way it depicted the characters for example Pip, which to me, is wayyyyy intelligent and smart for her age. I guess most kids’ here are portrayed as way to matured and reckless especially in terms of their actions and thoughts.

Eventually, I found the ending is anti-climatic, I was left with “that’s it?”. To be honest up until this point, I couldn’t figure out who really was the culprit as it gotten messy for me in the end. Or was I just to slow in fathoming who this person is? =)) It was also disappointing, that even though there’s this vague declaration of the culprit, they just moved on as if nothing happened and no sanctions whatsoever was given to the antagonist.

Do shout out… who do you think the culprit may be. 🙂

Bookie Scale: 3/5

1232067170214215300914 (1)

Seoul Strolling: Itaewon, Insadong, Ehwa University

Posted on Updated on

I wanted to have one blog post for the entire trip in Korea, but I dont want to bore the hell out of you =)) So I’d just section them out. There’s heaps of streets and avenues that you can visit in Seoul, but of course there are those inevitable lists in most people’s suggested itineraries. Among these being Itaewon, Insadong and Ehwa University. I find that they somehow look the same, selling korean fashion clothing, cosmetics, cafes and Korean restaurants, not that it wasn’t pleasing at all, as I truly enjoyed all the walks and strolls that we did. 🙂

Insadong is crowd packed when we went. The street was just plain busy where everyone is walking, taking selfies, checking out the sidewalk stalls or like us, exploring and looking around for cool discoveries, cheap thrills or bargains. We stepped foot in Insadong, not directly at the street where most people flock in but we passed by narrow alleys with heaps of traditional Korean restos, it was like a maze!

DSCF0335

DSCF0338

DSCF0339

DSCF0346

In Insadong, we also passed by Sszamsigil, a youthful shopping enclave which looks industrial and the colors that paint the place are the stuffs being sold and the artsy stickers on the walls.

DSCF0349

DSCF0347

DSCF0348

Youngsters flock and congregate on this place. You would see them chilling out on the steps, young couples being cute together, boy band like type of groups. =)) The place looks quite cool, selling mementos, tiny items, souvenirs, anything cute basically. But of course, I still find them pricey. Like $35.00 for a baseball cap, the quality of which you can find in Bugis street market of Singapore or Mongkok in Hongkong.

DSCF0351

DSCF0352

DSCF0365

Back outside, at the main street of Insandong…

DSCF0346

DSCF0366

DSCF0369

DSCF0370

DSCF0375

DSCF0376

Coffeeholics that we are, we foraged Insadong to find where we can sit down and to have nice coffee at, as it was a seemingly nice and bright afternoon to just chill out. At one of the alleys, we find this establishment, I think about 3 floors of a cafe. Oh, we also wanted to finally try the Bingsu here, since we had the first taste of it in Singapore.

DSCF0378

DSCF0379

I wanted to get the chocolate bingsu which we saw on the poster outside but they said it wasn’t available that time so we resorted to the red bean one.

DSCF0386

It was quite alright, not the type that I was expecting. The service crew wasn’t very pleasant too, they were not smiling and they do not seem accomodating. There’s quite a number of cafes to choose from in Insadong…

DSCF0381

DSCF0392

DSCF0393

Itaewon looks similar, reason why I put them together in this post, is that they are like sisters, they do look the same. =))

DSCF0394

DSCF0396

DSCF0397

DSCF0400

Before going to Ehwa University, we went to Cheonggyecheon Stream. Though I believe this looks nicer in autumn or winter, we thought it might be nice to take pictures there.

DSCF0418

DSCF0412

DSCF0404

It doesn’t have that much of an appeal at this time around compared to other seasons but I was amazed by how people actually visit this place and sit down, some even lay out picnic mats and kids are playing in the stream.

DSCF0422

DSCF0424

Continuing our walk to Ehwa…

DSCF0430

DSCF0433

The vicinity of Ehwa University is actually such a shopper’s delight, there are also heaps of clothing and cosmetic stores and street food stalls aplenty. The strip is nice and laid back. I was impressed by how big the space is, right around the university itself.

DSCF0434

DSCF0435

DSCF0438

DSCF0439

DSCF0441

DSCF0443

DSCF0444

DSCF0445

DSCF0446

From among these three places in this post, Ehwa is the one that I fancy the most..

DSCF0448

DSCF0450

DSCF0453

DSCF0455

DSCF0458

DSCF0459

DSCF0460

DSCF0462

DSCF0467

DSCF0468

DSCF0475

DSCF0477

Seriously, I have never seen a place as Seoul that has so many stores closely situated from each other, long strip having just clothing and cosmetic shops!

DSCF0480

DSCF0481

DSCF0483

DSCF0486

DSCF0490

DSCF0491

DSCF0492

DSCF0496

DSCF0498

I think a tourist can just come in Seoul without packing on anything since there’s a lot of stores to shop items at!

1232067170214215300914 (1)