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Archive for the 'Travel' Category

Happy new year (2013)

Monday, January 14th, 2013

It’s a bit late, being the 15th of Jan and all, but still a good time to take stock, reflect and dream about the future.

Dubai has been pretty good to me thus far. And with the weather turning more fall/winter-like every day, I grow increasingly fond of the city. I will miss the life I had here, when I leave.

2012 in a nutshell:

Jan: Still staffed on dairy project, had a pretty cushy time. Worked with new hire X – it was fun to have help and to pass on knowledge
Feb: Staffed on retail FS case with some old friends and new faces; an intense 6-8 week project, but a good learning experience
Mar: Went to HK and Macau (first time!) for G’s birthday
Apr: Wrapped up FS case; Went on vacation with S, starting in Singapore
May:  Staffed on F&B case; Went to 5th year reunion in Cambridge, MA – what a blast! Stayed with Ryan in NYC, caught up with old friends, roommates, teachers – LOVELY
June: Started properly on F&B project, a generally messy experience; Got a good review for the first half of the year, which was nice
July: NS in-camp with extended out-field stays; Cousins M and F come to visit, we go to HK, Bangkok, KL, Redang and Singapore
August: All F&B project; Experienced one of the most memorable client interactions (which will come back to me unexpectedly, 6 months later)
Sept: Wrap up F&B project; TBN Israel tour (with Petra thrown in) – what a blessing to get to go on this trip! I start work in Dubai, UAE; Staffed on local Dubai project; I return to Singapore to attend the office retreat in Bali, which was a treat. Table won best dressed for “The Fifth Element”
Oct:  Busy with work; an unexpected trip to Paris, and London, which was lovely – got to see Matilda, the new Bain London office, and also London Bainies F, S, A, Singapore friends G and P, plus good friends M in London, G in Paris
Nov: Somehow I took a long weekend back in Sg
Dec: Dubai offsite trip to Muscat, Oman (cool!), some not so great news from SEA office, a nice long end-of-year holiday to Singapore (cousin L’s wedding), Bangkok (with extended family) and NYE in Beirut (with Dubai Bainies C, F and M). Got to visit Byblos, Arjan and Baalbek in Lebanon. Caught up in Singapore with old friends like S (new bar!), G, T (surprising new relationship!) etc. etc. And got to attend Christmas service at The Star, which was a great blessing.
Jan: Looking forward to the rest of the year, which will certainly bring lots of new challenges, and hopefully a continuous slew of successes!

Dubai, UAE

Saturday, October 6th, 2012

Am currently in Dubai, UAE. Posted here on an inter-office transfer for six months, sort of like an exchange program.

I’ve been here just a few weeks, and the city if growing on me. Today I had lunch with an ex-colleague who grew up here, and we went to the Ibn Battuta Mall, which is a surprisingly cultural experience. Lots of historical displays about the travels of Ibn Battuta, a 12th Century Berber Muslim Moroccan explorer, as well as the technology, culture and politics of the era throughout the region. Like being in a Civilizations Museum, but with Forever 21, Woolworths and Borders. I could have (and did) wander around by myself for hours after our delicious lunch.

I need to take more photos. The architecture and food are both often totally snapshot worthy, but I feel a little self-conscious whipping out my point-and-shoot.

On the cusp of somethings new

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Four months since my last post, although it truly feels like years.

Last weekend was my fourth company retreat. We went back to the same tropical resort island as my first offsite in 2007. I even had the same roommate. We were strangers back then, and now have become pretty good friends. We’ve shared many a project experience and merry evening together with family and colleagues. Back in 2007 I spent hours on my costume and left an indelible first impression on the firm.  This year I picked something fun, and pretty easy to pull off – but managed to get the party started, anyway.  Happy clappy memories, as EP might say.

This month is pretty packed. I have to push ahead on four different work and personal projects, with one more already pretty much defunct from neglect. That last part makes me sad. But I understand it’s because I prioritised all my other commitments and interest, and so be it.

Puff Puff passed away last month, and is still dearly missed.

September is a month for nostalgia, chapters concluding and new beginnings.

The Great Sale Season!!

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

It’s upon us, finally!  The two month long Great Singapore Sale (GSS) season, along with end-of-season sales worldwide.  Hope everyone has been diligently saving up and scouting out their dream purchases! 🙂

I probably need to pace myself a bit better…  in just two days my tally is currently:

Etro: 2 dress shirts and a silk sacrf
Prada:  1 structured doctor’s bag and 1 pair of perforated Oxfords

And I’m still patiently waiting for a Marc Jacob’s tote to go on sale, as well as a certain Bottega Veneta clutch.  As I was telling someone yesterday, the trick for designers/labels is to create really special things that move the customer to action – how can you not buy something you find unbelievably gorgeous, iconic and unique?

Same goes for non-clothes too.  I bought this gorgeous LED table lamp from SPACE with a significant mid-year sale discount (which makes it just about the same price as buying it direct from Europe or the US).  If you’ve ever seen the Kelvin LED from Flos, with it’s space-age looks and functionality (magic touch sensor on/off switch!!),  I’m sure you’d be seduced too!

Maybe some pictures will be forthcoming…  we’ll see.

Work is awesome, I *heart* my current project, it’s so cool!

Siem Reap was such a beautiful, delicious, inexpensive and satisfying long weekend vacation.  Everyone should go!!

Holiday good, political violence bad

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Got back to Singapore on the red-eye from Seoul early on Tuesday morning this week.  That was a pretty fun trip, totally exceeded my not very high expectations.  Actually, all the elements for which I had higher expectations were disappointing, in particular the much-hyped W hotel, where the standard rooms are small and have horrendous decor (Jen’s reaction was “this looks like a cheap motel room!”). Fortunately I managed to switch to a massive suite which was more than satisfactory (the room-size, view and amenities made up for the still-mediocre interior design), and which turned out to be pretty cool, in line with my expectations of this hipster hotel chain.  And a huge plus is the impeccable service.

The other rather disappointing part of the trip was the DMZ tour, which was a little on the dull side, overall.  Don’t get me wrong – I think it is an absolute must-see, must-go for visitors, and it is very thought-provoking, sobering and surreal experience.  Nevertheless, you have to go with the expectation that visitors actually will not get to really see very much, but rather will get to learn about the history of the Korean war/conflict and be forced to ponder the lot of the 20 million North Korean lives on the other side of the border… not to mention their nuclear weapons aimed at the ultra-modern and prosperous South Korean capital city.  Very disturbing and depressing to think about.

The food was fantastic, for those who like Korean cuisine.  Yum yum!

The shopping was pretty great, both high-end and low-end had lower pricing, greater range (Goyard!  H&M! Cool local streetwear!) and better stocking (Fendi furrrr! Prada runway accessories!) than Singapore.  I ended up with loads of cool stuff, my top two highlights being a Etro/Cavalli-inspired, made-in-Italy pair of swim-shorts I found at H&M as well as a Prada perforated leather hat straight off the runway/arty short film that I have searched unsuccessfully for in the US, Europe and elsewhere in Asia.  And I got to claim back the sales tax too!

If you are looking for other worthy tourist activities, see the Nanta show (fantastic!) and also visit the Korean Folk Village at Suwon (totally fun and also pseudo-cultural-educational!).

And of course, it was lovely to see my sister.  (Veeble veeble!)


The front page of the Straits Times today showed a horrifying photo of the Central World shopping mall in central Bangkok on fire after more violent political clashes.  What a disaster for the country.

Also, I hope the North Korea-allegedy-torpedoed-South-Korean warship incident does not escalate.


My current project is so cool!  🙂

Monday, the week after Phuket

Monday, April 26th, 2010

This has been a good month.

Foremost on the life-is-good list has to be the training trip I took for work to Phuket last week.  Never mind that I had to work all day on Saturday and Sunday on left-over work for my current project, the trip actually managed to exceed my expectations on many fronts.  What a fun time!

This is the global training trip for third years’ and is generally considered to be a fun, five-day reward trip (as opposed to serious training).  It was great to meet loads of new people from across the global system who are all at the same career and life stage, generally.  I had a great team of 6+trainer.  The fun times were /almost/ comparable to college.  I’m excited to see everyone’s photos.

My favorite group were the Russians.  So cool!

I really want to get to do a transfer somewhere outside the region.

Between Christmas and New Year’s…

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

…I’ll be in Bangkok, enjoying the pool, the gym, the spa, the tailor and the mall.

Just got back from my first massage of the trip, less than three hours after landing in the city 🙂  I found myself searching several 7-11s for Yakult before I suddenly realised this hunt was based on an misfiled palimpsest memory from Shanghai rather than Bangkok.  So Betagen or Meiji it is then.

I should do a little shopping post.  As I was telling confessing to Terence, I tend to shop in spurts, a little like binge eating.  Given the relative dearth of new purchases in October and November (is that even factual?  Need to check), December was rather a new high (or low, depending on your point of view).  I’m not sure I even dare to number the bags I bought…

1 x Etro zip tote in structured wool (50%+5% off! And I had $60 in vouchers)
2x YSL oversized muse tote in dark brown and, er, darker brown  (definitely don’t need two, one of these needs to go in the next few months)
1x Chanel navy lambskin tote (vintage)
1x Bottega Veneta woven purse (I’m thinking this will work as a clutch)
1x Mulberry maxi-sized Roxanne in coated canvas (60%+10% off! Plus I had a $50 voucher)
1x Prada portfolio document holder in black saffiano leather

That’s not too bad, right…  seven?  And one’s a repeat that will be liquidated shortly so it doesn’t really count, so six for the moment.  I do have my eye on a few others though, and there were definitely a few that very painfully got away.  I have however also purged four older bags (Gucci x2, Chanel x1, Fendi x1), so it’s really only a nett addition of two.  And two of the items are barely even bags (a clutch and a document holder) so…  🙂

Then there were the shoes.  I got black lace-up ankle boots from Prada (50% off!) and another really fabulous pair from Mr Hare (irresistible at 40% off and free international shipping from!).  Plus there was a random but pretty pair from Zara in soft grey leather.  In my defence, I’ve just gone through my shoe collection, and the only thing I really don’t need more of are brown suede ankle boots (or tan suede dessert boots, or khaki suede chukkas, you get the idea).

Can’t wait to go to the mall tomorrow.  Maybe after a quick run at the gym.


Edit: While in Bangkok I bought (via online channels)  another large Gucci travel bag and a pair of Burberry Prorsum shoes…  whoops.

Where has the time gone…??

Monday, November 30th, 2009

I note with great shock that my last post was all the way back in August…!  I can only say I’ve definitely thought about blogging at least every other week since then.

I promise that at some point I’ll do a round-up post because this year definitely deserves that – it feels like it’s been an unusually eventful year.  Maybe it’s time of my life, but my peers and I are passing through a series of milestones – weddings, babies, first promotions, first retrenchments, lots of firsts, both very welcome and not so welcome.  As I said, its been an eventful year.

Since August, I lost a rooster (to illness), made a big road trip from Texas to Boston, worked on three more cases and most importantly hopefully gained lots in wisdom–something none of us can have too much of… which reminds me a little of handbags! 🙂

And bags I’ve certainly accumulated more of… some from the usual suspects, like Prada, LV and Tods, and a few less expected, like VBH and Dormeuil.  Yay bags!

Maybe I’ll post some pictures next time.

What a wonderful life

Saturday, April 4th, 2009

It’s been a pretty great stretch since Shanghai.  Weeks of intermittent work, an exceptionally fun weekend in Delhi, a really special and luxurious week in Hawaii, several marvellous sunny days in San Francisco… who wouldn’t be happy?

Plus I got to see my cousins, Malcolm and Forrest!  Time really does fly – in no time they’ll be 27 and 24 and I will be reminiscing about the time we went to that fun little media museum in San Francisco together 🙂


Puff Puff in the morning

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

Puff Puff in the Morning II (9 Nov 2009)
Taken 9 Nov 2008

I should probably also mention I’m back from Shanghai, having wrapped up last week on my nearly three month project there (which felt more like six).  The clients seem happy, they bought several more months of work.  I’m planning on a nice restful period of recreation and recovery.