Monday, April 30, 2012

Vienna Trip: Prater

We arrived in Vienna on Sat evening, so we went out right away to find some food 'coz we were starving already. On Sunday because I thought other places may have been closed, we opted to go to the Prater. We were thinking of going to Madame Tussaud's Museum as well as the Giant Ferris Wheel. You can click the link to see the full info on Prater. 

Here we were in front of Prater:

We bought a combo ticket for Madame Tussaud and The Ferris Wheel (cheaper than buying the tickets separately). And inside Madame Tussaud's Museum we took lots of pics, but I'm gonna share some only here...  Me with Hitchcock. When I stepped on the bathtub, I heard a woman's scream and some more sound effects (you know, like in the movie), so it helped me pose like that ha ha....

Me and Kate Winslet:

Was trying to look for Leo's wallet HA HA HA HA HA HA...

Me and Thomas Muster:

R2 and Audrey:

R2 and Einstein. See the machine on the left back of the photo? It quizzes your knowledge by asking you questions (multiple choices) he he...We tried one part (10 questions) and we got 6 right out of 10 he he...

Don't wonder why he looked SO happy. She's his all-time fave actress (in terms of beauty, that is). :-D

And then we went to Ferris Wheel right across the museum (apparently we had to change the tickets we got from Madame Tussaud's Museum before we could queue to get into the Ferris Wheel). We had to scan the barcode part on the new tickets to the scanning machine in order to get in. And inside the place there were old Ferris Wheel carts and inside the carts they put miniatures of different scenes of the Ferris Wheel. Here's a view of one of the carts:

After we looked around at different miniatures in different old carts, we had to queue to be taken pics by their photographer (the scene was like we were inside one of the red Ferris Wheel carts, overlooking Vienna). It wasn't compulsory to buy the pics, but naturally many people did opt to buy a pic or two. They took 4 pics of us with different poses and we bought one for €9.80 (I'll scan the pic later). Then we had to go out and queue to get inside the Ferris Wheel. They also had this kind of dining cart where you could have a nice dinner, but we didn't try that he he...

Here's a pic of R2 inside the cart. I find it a bit annoying that there were two benches in the middle of the cart so it was hard to move around to take pics from different angles 'coz there were so many people PLUS the benches!!! GRRRR!!! But anyway....the cart swayed slightly while going up there, but thankfully not too much - otherwise I would be afraid of getting motion sickness ha ha...

Yep, it was a cloudy day and after going up the Ferris Wheel, it rained lightly but non-stop for a few hours at least and the weather got colder. Here's one view from up the cart:

Another view:

Another view...the building with the red top on the right is the entrance to Madame Tussaud's Museum.

OK, that's all for now and I'll share more pics later. :-D

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Back from Vienna

Hi, people! Had a great time in Vienna and then when we got back, I had to work 2 days straight, so haven't had time to do anything much. I didn't use the internet at all during our trip to Vienna, so when I got back my mailbox was flooded ha ha ha...

Anyway, the weather in Vienna was around 14-20'C during the day while we were there, but it could still drop down to 8-13'C during the night. One day it rained for hours (light rain), but on other days it didn't rain. The last full day we spent there was the hottest ever. There were almost no clouds in the sky and it got up to perhaps 20'C. We got some tan after spending hours in the sun. One of the highlights of the trip was that I could meet my Hungarian friend who was in Sodankylä for a year as a volunteer worker. The last time we met was probably 3 years ago at least he he...R2 knows her, too, so it was fun having lunch with our acquaintance. Plus she got to tell us some places and shopping street that she frequented. :-D

We stayed in Adagio Wien Zentrum and we found that it was a really nice hotel/apartment with a small kitchenette, a fridge, a microwave, coffee maker, etc. etc. etc. As per someone's recommendation in tripadvisor, I requested a room on a higher floor, facing the river and they manage to get us just that even though the management couldn't really promise us that when I sent my email (we stayed on the 8th floor).

We got a bit confused when we were in the lift,'s what the panel looked like:

So we went in and tried to press on 8, but couldn't find it, so had to read the panel first before we realized that D = 8 HA HA HA...and when we tried getting back down to the lobby, we also had the same problem 'coz we tried to find 0 in the panel, but turned out we had to press E.

Here are some pics of the room and the shower:

Here are the views from our room windows (I could open the windows and sit on the ledge to take pics HA HA HA HA HA...).

I aimed my camera to the right side of the window, then the left side, then the middle part. The white building with a dome on top is an observatory.

Notice the lit up rooms in the observatory pic above? In the evenings they held some kind of dancing lessons or exercise lessons there 'coz I've seen dancing women as well as some women doing stretches on mats. :-D

Here's a view of the hotel lobby (photo taken while we waited for our cab to drive us back to the airport):

One bad thing about staying in Vienna is that we couldn't watch any movies or TV series 'coz everything was dubbed in German, except some BBC channels and some news channels. Doh!!!

Here's a pic of me with flowers right outside the hotel. I was SO SO SO happy to be able to see so many blooming flowers around me ha ha ha ha ha...

Our conclusion after Vienna trip, though, is that we still LOVE Budapest more than Vienna. We feel that Budapest is a nicer place - plus cheaper, too!!!!(click on Budapest to read about our trip there last year) Plus we could still watch movies or TV series at night after we got back from roaming around the city ha ha ha ha...but anyway, we're THANKFUL to be able to go on this holiday and we've made many more travel memories together. I'm gonna share more photos later in several posts.

Monday, April 23, 2012

On Being Unique

Note: I've saved this post in my draft folder for a while wasn't properly finished yet, but I thought I'd just finish this right now and publish it.

There are advantages to having a unique face (read: the only Asian working in the store) in my line of work. For example, if I have done a little extra something for a customer, he or she will probably remember it better than if the deed is done by someone else. However, last year there was a surprising incident that happened while I was on my summer holiday.

Last year I earned 3 weeks of summer holiday, which was divided into 2 parts. After I got back from my first week of summer holiday, my manager told me that the other day a grandma came back and claimed that she had returned something to me, but I hadn't given her the money.

My manager checked my work schedule and found out that I wasn't working that day and then she found the receipt in the office (because everybody who returned things to get their money back had to sign a receipt) and she showed it to the grandma and asked, "Is this your signature?"

She said yes.

Problem solved...but I couldn't help thinking that because of my face and someone else's fading memory, I can also be accused of doing something or not doing something. Good thing there are receipts!!!

You see, many people living here are already pensioners, so I don't blame the old lady for her fading memories. But
it was the first time that I felt the disadvantage of having a unique face: if I do make mistakes, it's easy for people to remember me! Fortunately speaking up till now people have been forgiving. THANK GOD for forgiving people!!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Beauty Chronicles

I've been talking to my Indo best friends about beauty and I've found something interesting. Each of us is different: different build/height, different eye shape/facial features, different skin colour, different personalities.

I asked them if they had ever felt beautiful in their own skin in Indo (esp. during teenage years) and based on their answers, it SEEMS that those who received positive feedback/validation from lots of people during childhood can still maintain that image of theirs in their minds (whether it's cute, beautiful, pretty) during their teenage years.

On the other end of the spectrum, during childhood some who received so many strong messages about outer beauty that was the opposite of what they had still remember very well that message even until now (for example: that darker skin is ugly). They were affected by this negating strong messages (that negated their own kind of beauty) at least until their teenage years.

However, in the middle of both extremes there are also those who never really received any positive nor negative feedback on their outer beauty and that led them to having mostly neutral POV on their own beauty during their teenage years.

This is only pure observation from childhood until teenage years and I don't claim that my POV is the right one, but I'm just wondering about the effect of messages given during our childhood. I belong to the latter group in which I had never really received any positive nor negative feedback on my outer beauty during my childhood and as such, in my teenage years, I mostly felt neutral about my outer beauty - there were times I felt beautiful, there were times I felt not too lovely, but most of the time I felt okay enough.

Now in my adulthood it's a whole different case, of course, as per what I've written down here: The Thing About Beauty.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

3BT: Random Days

1. Both hubby and I were busy in front of our own computers (he was busy gaming) and then I went to turn on the printer (next to his computer) and was setting the layout for printing some documents and R2 clicked on the switcher so that I didn't have to do it. The switcher for the printer was on his computer desk and I had forgotten that the printer was linked to his computer at that time. LOVE his thoughtfulness!

2. A customer joked, "I like being served by you. The only bad thing is that I have to give you money." ROFL ROFL ROFL...He made me laugh and feel appreciated!

3. Another customer sharing her verbal appreciation of my service. You people don't know just how much I appreciate your verbal appreciation! 

4. Going full speed on my bike the other day when the snow had melted from almost 80% of the sidewalk (though it's snowed again ever since then, but it was GREAT to be able to do that then).

5. Receiving my tax return calculation form today and realizing that this coming December I'd get more return tax than last year. WOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! It's like being forced to save money. YEAH!!!!

6. Voice chat with my Japanese friend. It made her feel SO close! :-D 

7. Watching this ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS video clip that made my day (better viewed in widescreen) --- a HUGE THANK YOU to Michelle Frost for having sent me the link via email:

Monday, April 16, 2012


In the past even before we tried having kids (but especially when we were busy trying to have kids), there was always this thought at the back of my head that this blog of mine would be a kind of legacy for our kids, as well. I've written down so many things and memories, including our love story

If I reread some of the older posts, the legacy tone kept on repeating itself in some posts. It used to be so painful, thinking of this loss, thinking of how much I would have wanted to share with our kids. It took a long time to let them go...Now that we've decided to live a life without kids, I have to renew my perspective on legacy. No matter how much earthly belongings we accumulate, they'll end up in other people's hands (not our kids' hands), so what would my legacy be?

I thought to myself, "Well, now this blog is my legacy to whoever is willing to read/listen. Proof of our existence. I hope that whoever has been reading has benefited from my posts, that they may learn from my mistakes, that they may be humoured/entertained by some of my posts, that they may feel less alone, that they can get a broader perspective in life by having read my perspective on things."

Now when I reread my older posts with the legacy tone, I don't feel the pain anymore. Instead, I feel that I've gone to the right direction - that when one can't change something, then one learns to surrender to it. Surrendering doesn't mean giving up. It means accepting the fact and learning to dance in the rain.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Memories: Best Friends

I have 6 friends whom I consider best friends from Indo. We all live in different places now. I met four of them in Junior High and 2 of them in High School. The degree of closeness between us varies and fluctuates, because we are all different people with different interests and each has such a busy life nowadays, but we still keep in touch until now (mostly via emails) and share our lives with one another. 

All of us got our boyfriends rather late in life (either after we were at uni or after we graduated from uni), so that meant that we enjoyed so much quality time together without boyfriend troubles or without having to consider dates with boyfriends. Plus, 'coz some of us had long-distance relationships, that meant that we could still hang out together a lot. The first of us to get married was when she was 25 years old. 

What did we do to have fun back then? Before any one of us started learning how to drive, we went by public transit to the cinemas. Mostly we just went to eat in a cheap restaurant, watched movies in a cinema, then browsed around the stores to look for cute stuff we couldn't afford buying. I'm sure shopkeepers used to dislike us 'coz we would touch so many cute things on the display and discuss them with one another without buying anything he he he he he hehhhh...

After we got to uni, we became busier 'coz we went to different universities and faculties and we had different schedules and some of us had started becoming private tutors, but we still met quite often. By then we had more pocket money (esp. those who had started becoming private tutors) and some of us had got driver's licenses and cars, so we had more freedom. We usually just went to malls or stores and different cafes (trying out different cafes or restaurants), CD stores and cinemas. Or we just drove around in somebody's car around the city while talking about nothing and giggling. We'd stay in a cafe for hours and just enjoy being with one another. Some talks could become deeper, some were just us joking around and teasing one another. Another thing we loved doing was also stay in someone's place and talk and joke around. We'd also arrange sleepovers every now and then.

Life seemed more uniformed back then, esp. before we went to uni. After uni when we went to different faculties and universities and then we went to work, it seemed that life took us to very different directions 'coz by then some of us moved to different places already. It got harder and harder to really understand what's going on in my friends' lives, esp. if I haven't had any experiences in that area, but that doesn't mean that I don't try to understand as best as I can.

Anyhow, each of us has plenty of fond memories of those days (and each of us longs to repeat those days whenever the mood strikes). One time we even wrote a silly story together - each of us wrote some pages and then the others took turns in continuing it. Did we ever finish it? No, but last time I went back to Indo, I got the books from a friend who was the one keeping them for us. It was so funny to read how different personalities affected the characters and the plot. Yeah, the characters didn't stay the same throughout because each of us could change them as much as we could and I giggled like crazy when I reread the story.

Some of us did have some clashes at some time, but it was mostly due to misunderstanding and once the misunderstanding was resolved, we all got back together again.

I remember that years and years ago, one best friend's much younger sister sharing her envy about our friendship at one time. At that time she had just moved to our hometown and she did have friends, but the friendship wasn't like ours. I was surprised to hear that, but as time went by I realized even more that what we have is so precious and that it's so hard to find best friends like these girls (not just people to hang out with and have fun with).

I can rely on them to keep my secrets and they've never backstabbed me nor said bad things about me. We've shared our innermost thoughts and feelings with one another - some more than others - but the main point being is that they've shaped me, helped me, supported me, encouraged me, inspired me, accepted me for who I am, entertained me, enlightened me, taught me things I'd never have learnt on my own, and in the end they have made my world all the more colourful

Thursday, April 12, 2012

3BT: Random Days

1. Loving my bike's speedometer 'coz it encourages me to ride my bike even more (and faster if possible - sometimes when the road is icy or thickly covered in snow, it's impossible). Plus it's not expensive at all! 

2. Rain!!! It means the temperature is warm enough to melt the snow bit by bit.

3. The upcoming free dinner paid by the company. It'd be nice to finally be able to sit down with all my colleagues and just chit-chat and laugh and enjoy a nice meal together without having to think about work.

4. Missing hubby whenever I have an evening shift ('coz we'll only meet at night).

5. Remembering a fond memory of hubby that just warms up my heart no matter how grey it is outside.

6. Hearing news that there'll be a slight raise of the hourly wage because the union had fought for this for all of us in my field of work. Thank you, union!

7. They still had the lovely ice-cream at the store, so I bought a package yesterday (it's a special kind that only came in a certain batch and once the batch is gone, then there'll be no more).

8. Making kampanisut with MIL's recipe and it turned out just LOVELY!!! (I'd been craving for some lately - the day I baked it, I ate 3 right after they were done ha ha...)

9. Having a space to fume over something unpleasant I heard and feeling glad after having let it all out. :-D

10. Going back to normal after PMS and period mood wrecking out my balance.

11. The knowledge that my parents are proud of us, even though they have never said it verbally. And that they love us even though they don't actually say "I love you" verbally, either. This kind of knowledge is VERY precious and I cherish it with all my heart and soul.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Orange Moon Setting

Okay, I finally found a free video converter, but it was hard to choose the settings for the video...anyhow, here's my attempt at showing you how orange the moon was. It was that orange (just like what's shown on the video). 

Monday, April 09, 2012

Cabin Trip Easter 2012

After work on Thursday we went to the cabin. The day started off sunny but then it got cloudy during the afternoon. We arrived at the cabin at around 4 pm and this time we had no trouble walking on thick snow 'coz it had condensed in many parts and became harder (compare it with Cabin Trip Feb 2012). There were tracks of cross-country skis in many places.  

I forgot to note the temperature that day, but it was probably around 3'C under the sun and closer to 0'C after it got cloudy.

Here are some cloud pics...I LOVE taking pics of different cloud formations ha ha... 

This is what the view on the frozen lake when we had just arrived there...

Zooming in on the above pic...

Then the dark clouds shifted and here was what it looked like...

Another view of the lovely clouds...

After taking those pics, we tried clearing the path towards the lake before we could get some water for sauna (not drinking water). Then R2 had to get some water, so again he had to do hard work to make a hole in the thick ice. At around 6 pm the sky got so dark again and snowstorm came. It probably lasted for about half an hour or an hour at most, then we enjoyed a very nice view of sunset at around 8 pm (click to view it in a bigger version).

After the sun went down, the sky was filled with stars!!! And a full moon! :-D

At around 5 am I woke up to pee in the outdoor toilet and I saw the HUGEST orange moon ever (I took a short video clip of it but I haven't converted it yet). The orange moon was dangling so low in the sky as it was about to set. I've never seen the moon that low and that huge and that orange before...just amazing!!! I tried taking pics of it but it didn't turn out great (it only looked yellow and it looked small). But anyway, this is a very lame pic of the setting moon...

I'm telling ya that the real deal was more orange than that. I just wish you could all see it for yourself...but is why we had to clear up the path before we could get some water. Pic taken when we were on the way back to the car...

Yep, the sun was shining SO brightly on Friday and it was so warm. :-D Here's one other random pic I took when I was there...

OK, now I still have plenty of things to do...wishing you Happy Easter and for those who don't celebrate it...then hope you've all enjoyed a longer weekend! :-D :-D :-D

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

End of March Photos

Yep, not going to ramble about anything today...just wanna show you some photos I took last Saturday. Here they are... 

It was snowing heavily during the afternoon...but then the sun was really persistent. It was peeping in the background. Quite a sight, actually. To see all the snow and the vague sun. :-D

These two photos below were taken about 15-20 minutes later, after the snow stopped falling. :-D

Don't you think that from this angle, it resembles the tongue of a snake? :-D