Irene's Travel Blog

Every Trip Is A Voyage Of Discovery


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My second time to Magical Istanbul.

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I have decided to color my hair black back. I love my hair brown but it has attracted too much attention especially when I am overseas.  I guess it is always good to stay low profile wherever you are in this world. Too much fun is not good for your mental health. I am still young and I have a long way to go. Don’t stay easy or stay cool. Stay serious as you progress with age.

Laughing is good but over laughing is not good. I love blogging and this is the best way to sort out my thoughts. I do not find it as a waste of time and I like to encourage people to go into blogging. Too much worries ain’t good. As time passes, my readership for my blog also increase. It is not very high but I am starting to worry for my personal safety. I am also getting paranoid with stalkers and I have no idea why I have been receiving messages from unknown numbers. Occasionally I get weird men/uncles/young boys coming up to talk to me. It feels like some form of bad luck.

Istanbul is a very holy place and people are really weird. The last thing you ever want to do in Istanbul is to take a cab. They drive as if they are driving ferrari or porsche. Taxi drivers seem like crazy horny men and I got grab by this taxi driver with his middle finger pointing at me. Istanbul is a very interesting, very magical, very holy place that you might go crazy if you have too much fun in this country.

It is definitely not safe for a woman to travel alone in this country. I was walking alone in a shopping mall and I got followed by 2-3 different men. They are pretty good looking chaps but it is very scary when you do not know what they want. If you want to drink coke in Istanbul, please pronounce it as cock-ca-cola and then they will understand.

Till then….again…


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We went to CAMBRIDGE, but I think I am from Oxford. OH Do “I”?

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HELLO WORLD.

Hello World! Time flies, isn’t it…and it has been more than a week since I last update my blog. I know the last post on my Paris trip really freaks people out and especially my friends. I am not exactly okay but I am still surviving so please don’t worry for me, k? It will only make me feel worse and you can help me by treating me like I am normal. My horoscope sign is Gemini and people born under Gemini are extremely egoistic. I believe that I a woman who can take care of myself. I don’t like to listen to lectures and I prefer to learn things through the hard way. And only that, I will learn. Oh well…that’s IRENE for you. :)

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Actually…I am really tired cos I have not slept for the past 48 hours but I really want to finish up this post. I want to blog down my feelings and at the same time, this helps to keep my emotions in check. I haven’t been sleeping well, eating well, feeling well…etc…but here I am typing out this post is to make a promise to myself that I wanna treat myself better. I am not single and neither do I feel that I am in a relationship . So..I guess that means I am in a complicated relationship? Lol. The two of us are in a confused and indecisive state and I think that happens in a Gemini-Gemini relationship when both parties have extreme egos and high pride. We won’t bow down to any one or to any situations. We can lose anything but we can’t afford to lose ourselves. If we ever lose ourselves, it means the end of us. It is scary! Neither one of us has the guts to do something so I just gonna take this as a “term break” before we come into a conclusion. I will just let him do whatever he wants and I will do whatever I want too. If we are meant together, we will be back together and I won’t force things to go my way. Yes, I love him but I need to love myself more. The way he treats me hurts me but the way I am hurting myself hurts even me even more.

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I am from CORPORATE learning centre. Sorry for the errors. :D


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Zurich LONG TIME ago.

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Oh wow! It is another week again since I last update my blog! I thought I will blog pretty often last month but I only managed to write 2 posts. I still have not blogged about my trip to Penguin Island, Versailles and Cambridge. I really want blog about it before I forget the details but right now, I felt like blogging more about my thoughts and emotions.

I just came back from Zurich two days ago. Met up with a friend and we went swimming at Lake Zurich. This was my first time swimming outdoor in overseas! I was very enthusiastic to swim and I only realized that I couldn’t swim very swim after I jumped into the lake. My friend had to pull me up just like how we did during our safety training. I really thought I gonna drown and it was so embarrassing. Nevertheless, I felt quite great about myself cos I am building up my courage day by day.

This is the only photo I gonna post about my Zurich trip. I lost my Fujifilm X100s charger and the photos I took with my Samsung S4 are not nice at all. We wanted to jump off the platform but it rained when we came back to do the jump. I will have the courage to jump one day. I don’t want to let fear to overpower me and stop me from doing things that I always wanted. I want to skydive and scuba dive. I have great fear for heights and the ocean but I am learning to overcome all these fears.

I am coping pretty well with the heartache. Maybe I am learning how to expect less from others and love myself more. People are not obligated to treat you well and it is a bonus if they do. I really appreciate those who treat me well sincerely and I glad that I have friends who are there when I needed them. There will be some who will tell you happiness is more important than anything and you should do things with an unclear mind cos you will feel happier that way. Let me tell you… These are probably the people you need to keep a distance from. This is just short-term happiness and you will suffer from the bad decisions you have made.

I think I look a little different compared to one month plus ago. I think I look a little better… a little slimmer… a little darker… a little fitter… I have already checked off all the list which I blog last week. I did my eyelash extension and also navel piercing!


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Invincible Irene

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HELLO WORLD. 

Hello World! Time flies, isn’t it…and it has been two weeks since I last update my blog. I know the last post on my Paris trip really freak people out and especially my friends. I am not exactly okay but I am still surviving so please do not worry for me, k? It will only make me feel worst and you can help me by treating me like I am normal. I am born on the magical Gemini-Cancer cusp and this link here described very well about me. Gemini-Cancer people are the first to express emotion in any given situation, they are the first to laugh and the first to tears. Yes, I have extreme emotions and I can be happy and carefree one moment then easily turn to vengeful or emotional. Oh well.. That’s Irene for you.

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I might be still a baby girl at heart but I believe I am a woman who can take care of myself. I am not a rag doll and if you think I cannot pick myself up on my own, I am so gonna tell you that you are wrong. If you want to fix me, my advice is please go and fix yourself first before you come harass me. (Honesty is a very expensive gift, don’t expect it from cheap people.) I have let myself hit an all time low and I am ready to open myself to this world again. For a change, I went to have my hair colored brown. It is troublesome because I have to spray it black when needed and I have to wash my hair 4-5 times to remove the black spray. I might be taking a longer time in the shower but this is helping me to be more clear-headed. And yups, I love my gorgeous brown hair so it is worth it!

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My lovely friends, I am sure you girls know that I am too egoistic to admit that I am listening to your advices. So you can see.. I actually went cycling in Frankfurt! I am trying to lead a healthier lifestyle now and stoping myself from indulging in the negative traits. I was kind of indulging in the pain but I know I need to put a stop before I bring further harm to my body. Emotionally, I am affected of course but as time passes, I am also beginning to sober up. I am seeing this as a blessing in disguise… Sometimes you just need a major depressive episode to stimulate you to do things you always wanted and stop procrastination.

Here are some things I have done..

  • Dye hair (Sick of boring and dull black hair so yeah!)
  • Full leg waxing (My legs feel so smooth now. Hee..)
  • Went for my much needed pedicure and manicure. I had my nails colored baby pink and not boring 50 shades of red.
  • Face threading (It was pain but still bearable)
  • Brazilian IPL (Not as painful as brazilian waxing which is good)
  • Went rollerblading for the first time alone! Had a clumsy fall but I picked myself up and continued to blade! Bravo!
  • Going for my Muay Thai trial lesson next month! (Getting myself a cool pair of boxing gloves and Muay Thai attire. Cool!)

Some more things that I want to do…

  • Sun tanning (Sick of looking fair. Lol.)
  • Eyelash extension 
  • Navel piercing 
  • Slim down and have a toner body (Eating more fruits and vegetables. Gonna exercise more too!)
  • Get my Class 2B license! (Enrolled for 5 years and I still haven’t got my bike license. Shame on me! I will start my lessons again in September)

….And of cos, the list is still growing.

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Love is like magic, you are able to experience every emotion; happiness, frustration, pleasure and hurt.

I am already a 23 years old working adult but I am guilty of behaving like as if I am in my teenagehood. He has shielded me too much that I didn’t grow up in our (almost) 5 years of relationship. Whereas for him, he has transformed from a boy to a man, a businessman to be exact. He is moving forward while I am still living in the past. The way he treats me really hurts me… But I need to grow up and see beyond that. It is the time and this is the best time to learn how to grow up. Growing up is hard but it is essential. I am eagerly looking forward to see the new and improved me, and yup, Irene with a hotter body. Lolololl… :p

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Nobody’s perfect. I have my shortcomings and I am mending it. If I expect him to be a perfect lover, I have to be one myself too. I was an independent and confident woman before I met him. Hopelessly in love with him that I forgot how to love myself anymore. I have lost myself too much in this relationship and I need to find myself back again. I am taking slowly step by step to heal myself. I can do it and I know I can.

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Invincible, I am Invincible! InvincibleRene!

*abrupt end to my post* cos I am tired to continue

Till then, again.

GOOD NIGHT WORLD. 


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My Date with Eiffel..

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I have been to Paris many times and I think this trip is probably my 9th time to this city. 9 times to Paris and still counting….Wow! My first trip to Paris was almost 2 years ago and it was also my last flight of 2011. It was awesome cos I came back in time to celebrate New Year Countdown in Singapore. I had great company and we went to see Eiffel Tower glitter at night.

Here is a short 30 secs clip of Eiffel Tower sparkling. Shing-a-ling-a-ling Eiffel… The Eiffel Tower will glitter for 5 minutes on every hour after sunset. It was a beautiful sight to behold. Many would believe that Paris is the most romantic city in the world. Do you think so too? Personally, I did not think likewise. France is voted as the world’s rudest country for travelers. The french are very protective of their language and communication is a problem. They are rude, unfriendly and arrogant especially so when you don’t speak their language. The metro in Paris smells as stinky as always. Pickpocketing is common in Paris and yes, I almost got rob by two women who pretend to ask me for donations. So…Be careful of your belongings especially in crowded places.

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I had very bad impression of Paris but I needed this escape badly to sort out my thoughts. My life feels like a mess and I am lost. I am emotionally drained and I have cried enough. I wanted to be alone cos I can’t find anyone whom I can really talk to. I don’t need any advice or sympathy or worst still, judgement. I don’t need anyone to judge me. I just need a good and sincere pair of listening ears or maybe a drinking pal. Lagi best! I am old enough to know what I am doing and what I need is just time to find my path. Please don’t ask me if I am okay cos I am NOT okay. There isn’t a need to tell me to cheer up, stay positive and etc. I don’t find that it is a sin to be upset cos I am just embracing my emotions. I can recover again sooner than you think I can. I am blogging down my emotions because I find that it will be easier for me to sort out my thoughts through writing.

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I re-visited Eiffel Tower and I queued for many hours to go to the top. I know this is like a super romantic place but I just felt like seeing Eiffel Tower. It is not uncommon to see lovey-dovey couples locked in lengthy kisses but I was too lost in my own world to bother with it. I too wish I had my prince charming who wants to go to the top of Eiffel Tower with me but the reality is fairy tales do not exist. I thought I had found my prince charming and at one point, I really believed he was my future.

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It was really crowded at the top of Eiffel Tower. There were all kinds of people and I was one of the very rare few who came to Eiffel Tower alone. It was really EMO or whatever you name it. I needed this time alone to discover myself and find my own voice. I want to find back my old self, the old Irene 5 years ago. Here is a quote I thought it is interesting to share…

“Don’t take my advice. Or anyone’s advice. Trust yourself. For good or for bad, happy or unhappy, it’s your life, and what you do with it has always been entirely up to you.” – Nicholas Sparks, The Best of Me

I believe the best advice is not to take any advice. Too much advice confuse me and I hate it when people tell me what to do. Please don’t tell me what to do cos I will oppose and do the opposite purposely. I guess I am kinda rebellious in a way…

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I tucked away in a small corner alone, all by myself and stared blankly to the beautiful view of the city. I played a few of my favorite songs on loop and it was therapeutic to be alone. I enjoyed being myself, letting my thoughts and emotions run free. I am really sick of putting a fake smile on my face when I am upset. So let me be…let me have this right to be upset. I will open myself to this world again when I am ready.

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And I looked down from the top of Eiffel Tower…There were so many people walking on the streets and I felt insignificant. I felt that my problems were so insignificant. There is so many things out there waiting for me to explore. I shouldn’t be enduring all these sorrows. I need a change and I will have the courage to change the things I can. When reality hits, fairy tales change from beautiful dreams to bad nightmares. It is time for me to wake up from this bad dream. Invincible, I am invincible. InvincibleRene!

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It was a rare clear blue sky in Paris and I was really thankful for the good weather. I thought Paris must have hated me a lot cos it was always cold, wet and damp whenever I was here. This must be the first time I have seen these gorgeous clear blue skies in Paris. Merci beaucoup, Paris!

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It was just me, myself and Eiffel. 

I lied down on the green grass patch, enjoying the cool weather and my beer while waiting for Eiffel Tower to light up at 10pm. I felt calm and extremely relaxed and I was so comfortable that I really felt like sleeping on these green grass patch till I woke up for the next brand new day.

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Dear Eiffel, why are you so beautiful…

The Eiffel Tower looks ordinary during the day but it is a dazzling beauty when it is lit up at night. And I waited till 11pm to see Eiffel Tower sparkle for that 5 minutes. It was so beautiful and I really wish someone would propose to me under Eiffel Tower with a big fat diamond ring one day. *Dream on, Irene..* Nevertheless, I am really grateful for the wonderful weather Paris has given me to mend my broken soul. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Time will heal me I guess… Just me, myself and I. Till then.

Thank you Paris, I am beginning to fall in love with you. À bientôt Paris, je t’aime bien! <3


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City of Canals, Drugs and Sex

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I was really excited when I know that I will be flying to Amsterdam! Amsterdam is one of my favorite destinations and I know everywhere is like my favorite destination right… I want to be everywhere, anywhere except than in Singapore. Don’t get me wrong, I love Singapore. Singapore is my homeland but the weather right now is killing me. Sometime I love being away cos it means getting away from everything, taking a short break to enjoy life. I love spending time alone to read, drink, travel and etc, simply because it is peaceful.

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The weather in Amsterdam was awesome! I took a walk down the picturesque canal streets alone, immersing myself in the gorgeous weather. I was astonished with the number of good looking people on the streets and everyone was so friendly. Wow! And it is easy to know why because Amsterdam is in one of the top 10 cities with the world’s best-looking men and women. The Dutch are amongst the tallest in the world and they are notorious for their light features usually blonde and blues eyes. The Netherlands is also ranked as one of the top 10 “happiest” country. My first impression of the Dutch is they are very friendly and smiley. They speak fluent english so communication isn’t a problem here. I randomly went into a souvenir shop and even the sales assistant in the shop was jaw-drop good looking. *OMGGGG…*

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One of the things that I will always do when I am in Amsterdam is to eat raw herring. This is one of the Dutch food you MUST TRY when you are in the Netherlands. This raw herring dish is served with chopped onions and pickles. It tastes and smells fresh and salty, practically melts in your mouth. YUMS! I am obsessed with raw fish and all sorts of seafood. I didn’t care when people told me not to eat sushi/sashimi when I went to Tokyo for holidays which was less than a year after the Japan’s disaster in 2011. I ate a lot, really A LOT of sushi and sashimi and I am still kicking and alive.

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I strolled down the Bloemenmarkt flower market which is the only floating market in the world. There are 15 stalls in this block-long flower market and you can shop for flower bulbs, seeds, accessories, souvenir, and everything else that is related to the flower trade. One of the places you must go in the Netherlands during spring is Keukenhof, the world’s largest flower garden to see the tulip bloom season. The garden was opened from 21st March to 20th May 2013 this year and unfortunately, I have missed seeing this annual tulip festival by just one week. Aaahhhh… What a waste! I hope I can get this check off my to-do list next year.

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My friend also visited Amsterdam just few weeks before me and these are the photos that she sent me. She bought all these tulip bulbs from the flower market to bring back home for Mother’s Day. It is hard to grow tulips in tropical climate like Singapore but it is not impossible. She put all these flowers in the chiller during flight and yes, you can request to do so. When back at home, she place them in a cool place and water it regularly. Viola, the tulips bloom so beautifully.

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I met up with the rest of the company for dinner at my all-time favorite restaurant Castell. They serve the best pork ribs in the world! The rest I have tried elsewhere in the world like in United States or Australia, the standard comes nothing close to the barbecue pork ribs served in Castell. 

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The pork ribs are tender, juicy and flavorful. Every bite is yum, yum, YUMMMM! And you must enjoy it with a good glass of red wine. All meat lovers will definitely love this place!

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You can click to view a larger image of the menu. The restaurant is also one of the best steakhouses in Amsterdam. I didn’t try the steak because I have stopped eating beef for quite some time already.

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The food was too good to resist and I came back here AGAIN the next day after my trip to Bruges, Belgium. I know there is a lot of people who do not like to dine alone but I love it! The reason is that when you are in a group, you have to accommodate to everyone’s needs and you need to make an effort to contribute to the “conversation”. I love eating alone at times cos it is just me and my food. Nothing else! I will just take my time to enjoy my food, chew it slowly and appreciate its flavor, texture and aroma. I ordered escargots, lamp chop and a large glass of beer. SHIOK dinner! I always make it a point to have at least one good and decent meal during my trip. How can a trip be good without a good meal? I won’t deny that I love to eat and I really can’t save when its comes to food.

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Anyway.. After the wonderful dinner and a couple of more drinks we had at the hotel, a few of us went to the Red Light District. I was glad that I had company because I didn’t manage to visit the red light district on my last trip. I won’t dare to come here alone cos after all, it is pretty dangerous for a lady to walk alone at night in such places.

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The red light district De Wallen is a major tourist attraction in Amsterdam and you won’t be surprised to see a thick crowds of tourists. There is a number of sex shops, sex theaters, peep shows, a sex museum, a cannabis museum, and a number of coffee shops that sell marijuana. In the Netherlands, coffee shop is not a place for you to “la kopi” like in Singapore, it is a weed cafe to buy and try drugs. You will be handed a “menu of drugs” selling items such as space cakes, space brownies, space cookies, space muffins, space tea and etc that contain a dose of cannabis. Oh yes, doing all these are legal in Amsterdam. Smoking marijuana is common in Amsterdam and you will know when someone is smoking it because the smell is very pungent and has a recognizable odor. I think I might have unknowingly tried the space tea when I went to one of the coffee shops on my last trip. So naive! I really thought it was just tea. I have seen real life examples of people becoming stoned and hallucinated after trying small quantity of weed. So…My best advice is don’t try it! These drugs will also stay in your system and I think you might get yourself in trouble when you come back to Singapore.

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This is the ultimate form of window shopping which women sell and men shop for sex. These women are barely dressed and their figures are so great that you will wonder if is even real. You get to watch potential customers negotiating with the women and when the red curtains are closed, it means a deal reached. What goes on behind those closed curtains is up to your own imagination.

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We went to watch the live sex show at Theatre Casa Roso. The entrance fee is expensive and it costs EUR45 (SGD75) per entry. Don’t hold your expectations too high cos the acts are really dull and boring. Instead, the three of us started narrating the show and had more fun talking among ourselves. Paying SGD75 for a boring show is totally not worth it unless you are a man cos you might be the “lucky one” selected to participate in the show. Example like eat banana from ahem-you-know-where. The live sex was just some boring shows by very average couples going through the motions. The performers looked so bored and I can understand why. They had repeated the whole process umpteen times. There is no passion, no expression and I think we would appreciate the show better if there was some “sound effect”. We were also given a “dick” candy each and thats yours truly me posing with it. Lol!

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I have to emphasize this..The city of Amsterdam is not just about sex and drugs and there is so much more to this beautiful city. It is a beautiful city filled with historic buildings and an abundance of culture. I have great impression of dutch hospitality and I am greeted with smiles everywhere I go. I would say Amsterdam is an interesting city you will fall in love with..

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