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Girls’ Trip to Milan (Day 2)

After a well rested night, we started day 2 with a food tour. Booked the Milan Food Tour online just two days before our departure to Milan. It was highly recommended by my cousin, who just visited Milan few weeks before us. It’s a 3-hours Food Tour in Brera, which is the oldest neighborhood in Milan, and the size of the group varies depending on how many people book the tour. There was about 9 of us that day which I’d thought it was a pretty good size.

The meeting point was in front of a pastry shop called Panificio Pattini. We arrived around 10 am and apparently that pastry shop was our first stop. After the headcount, we went in and were served with a cup of coffee of our choice (the tour lady recommended cappuccino) and a pastry, I think it was the pasticiotti (mini pastries or pies with a tender crust and rich ricotta or custard filling). The tour lady also explained how Italian loves to stand by the counter and talk to the barista while they prepare their coffee and newspapers that local reads. It was a quick coffee fix before we headed to our second stop – Parma & Co.

There were people inside the deli preparing for business around 11.15 am but it only opens to the public after 12 pm. Our tour group was allowed to go in and was served 3 different types of Parma ham and assorted cheese. The tour lady shared some history of the deli, different cuts and parts of a pig and how the selection of cow milk affect the taste of the cheese. So much input for a morning! Haha!

After that, we continued our tour with more walking, which was good for digestion since we have another 4 more stops to go. We walked about 500 meters and arrived at Grassi e Rossi. It is a gourmet grocery store and has 4.8 out of 5 stars rating on Google based on 5 reviews. It’s like a one-stop-for-all-your-pasta-needs and they do have some outdoor seating in case you are interested in having a quick bite before continuing your day. We were given one risotto alla Milanese each to taste. Basically, it’s a fried rice ball with melted cheese inside. That’s my understanding of this Milanese style risotto.

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And we finally arrived the 4th stop of our tour, Jamaica dal 1911 Ristorante bar. It’s a hundred and six years old bar, as you may have guessed from the name itself. Everything interior including furniture, tiles, bar setup and even the toilet is from more than a century ago! A bar that witnessed history. Haha! It is also a popular place for students to chill out especially it’s located near the Brera Academy of Fine Arts. And the bar printed its business card into a postcard! I love that idea so much because not only we could send the postcard home, we would have the name and address of the place we’ve been to printed on it! Who knows we might want to go back there again and we do not have to search everywhere to look for their name and address. Brilliant idea!

After finishing our drinks, we walked another 800 meters for some meatballs at Antico Pastificio Moscova. It’s an old pasta shop where they sell traditional Italian home-cook food supplies. We got to try two different types of meatballs: beef and veal, which I personally prefer the beef ones. One fun fact about this place is they can cook in your cookware. If you bring your own cookware, they will do the cooking for you, in your cookware. I’m guessing this is to reduce waste, like bring-your-own-tumbler-when-you-buy-coffee kind of idea, but it also makes it looks like you are the one who did the cooking! Hah! Another brilliant idea especially for those busy housewives who need a me-day once in a while.

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Could you guess what’s next?

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YES! You guessed right. DESSERT! Hahaha! How could we complete a food tour in Milan without some gelato? So the next station, Tasta.

 

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Tasta

 

 

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Can you tell mom is pretty excited about the ice cream?

 

 

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My choice of gelato: Chocolate and cheese something. =D

They offer a variety of flavors, as most of the ice cream shops do, and I have yet to try all of them, but I do like my choice of chocolate and cheese. But according to mom and sister, they prefer the one they had the day before, which is located near Duomo. I did not get to try that (because I did not join them for the rest of Day 1) but this was not bad for my enjoyment.

By the time we finished our food tour, it was already 1.30 pm. We had been eating non-stop for the past 3 hours and it’s time for shopping. We walked around Brera and Sempione park for an hour or two, and then took a bus to Via Monte Napoleone and sat down at Pasticceria Cova, located along via Montenapoleone, the upscale shopping street in Milan, for some afternoon tea. It has a beautiful interior and offers a great selection of handcraft pastries, an ideal place to relax and chat after the long 3-hours walking.

We decided we can’t do much later that evening because we have booked our tour to Bellagio and Lake Como the day after. So we headed to Don Raffaele for some pizza and pasta before calling it a day.

Hah! The second half of the day was pretty free and easy considering we did not have anything planned specifically, except for enjoying the mother and daughters time. It was also sister’s birthday so we got her a slice of cake from Don Raffaele (Cova has a good selection of pastries but not so much on cakes) and had our small celebration back in the hotel. There was nothing big but I think she had enjoyed the day! Lolz!

 


Day 3 and 4 will be out somewhere in the week. Stay tuned!

 

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Girls’ Trip to Milan (Day 1)

This is a long due post. I’ve already known how to begin this post but I just couldn’t get myself to sit down to do it. But I’ve decided, today is the day. I will not postpone it anymore.

It was something impromptu. It only took less than two days to decide, a few days to plan and execute (well, it was just a short trip).

When I knew I was going to Milan, I asked mom if she’d like to join me on that trip. Mom, who does not travel very often and had never traveled without my dad, hesitated a little when I asked. I booked her ticket either way and left the final decision to her. There was so much uncertainty.

As time went by, I knew mom was mentally preparing herself for the trip, though I told myself there might a slight chance of mom decided not to go in the end. To mom, traveling is a challenge. People might not, and will not understand why, but traveling without my dad made things even more challenging for her. I went on planning our stay and itinerary, on the other hand, hoping she could get over the obstacles, and will finally decide to come along.

Long story short, two days before the trip, I went home and saw mom took out their fuschia medium-sized cargo bag. She was excitedly waiting for me to go back and pack with her! I was excited too because it was finally happening! I was going to Milan with mom! Yay! =D

On the departure day itself, the entire family sent us to KLIA and we had breakfast after checked-in. We had about 10 hours of transit time in Singapore.

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Me and Mom at holding room. Can you see there’s some color code going on here? =D

We had a quick lunch after we reached Singapore and got ourselves some snacks for the 12 hours flight.

Fast forward to 20-hours later, we had finally arrived in Milan! There was suppose to be a surprise for mom at Malpensa Airport but it did not happen until we checked in to the hotel and it became another form of surprise.

 

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Waiting at the bus stop. Can you see it?

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Ta-da! The surprise was here! How many of you actually spotted her in the first photo? Hah! =D

Sister was supposed to hold a Welcome to Milan paperboard at the arrival hall, but she missed the earlier coach and arrived an hour after we left the airport, so she came to the hotel instead, pretending to deliver room service. Mom was resting while she heard someone knocked on the door. Confused but she went to answer the door anyway because I wasn’t moving. She literally took 2 seconds realize what just happened. =D Good job sister! And then, we officially started our girls’ trip in Milan!

First thing first, breakfast! We were starving because it was almost 11 am and we had not had breakfast. We took the bus to town and started looking for restaurants that are recommended by TripAdvisor. Unfortunately, I forgot to check the opening hour and most of the restaurants do not open until noon. Starved and left with little choice, we walked into the first cafe called Di Viole Di Liquirizia to get the hunger fixed.

It was a small but crowded cafe, we sat down after ordering. The cafe only offers Italian menu, but the owner, who is also the one who baked everything in the cafe, explained the menu to us in English. We ordered two cakes and a scone, and I say definitely go for the cakes! They were so good and the owner was friendly too! If you walk passed the cafe, check it out!

After the sweet treats, we weren’t that hungry anymore, but we still need something substantial to last us for the rest of our day, so we went to another restaurant, Mo Puglia Bistrot, which is about 5 minutes walk from the cafe.

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I remember we ordered another two dishes but I must have forgotten to take a photo so I could only share these two, which I do not recall the name. The one on the left was some sort of salad and the one on the right was some chef recommended pasta. I would say they weren’t bad but we couldn’t finish them probably because of the cakes we had earlier on. So yeah, maybe I’ll go back again someday and try their food to have a better thought about them.

After lunch, we walked around the area before went to Zani Viaggi to book the Lake Como and Bellagio day trip. You could totally visit Lake Como and Bellagio on your own, which is more cost saving and flexible in terms of how much time you get in Lake Como and Bellagio respectively, but we did the tour instead, which cost us €89 per person, because I thought it would be easier for us since we do not speak Italian. The experience with the information counter in Zani Viaggi wasn’t pleasant which was quite disappointing. Being a visitor center of the city, the staffs were not even close to friendly. Maybe next time I should just get everything booked online instead.

After booking the tickets, we decided to go to the supermarket near our hotel and load up our food supply. Mom and sister rested a little before heading out again while I stayed in for the remaining of day one, to have proper rest before the beginning of day two.

 


I didn’t intend to break this into a few posts but I guess I have to. My style is normally put everything together because I thought it would be more organized and I prefer to tell a story at one go. I’ve known I will take hours to complete this post because it is about a trip that happened 2 months ago and I will need more time to recall what happened and I’m still trying to get the momentum. But this is taking much longer than I’ve expected so I have no choice but to take a break at Day 1 and continue with Day 2 hopefully tomorrow if not the day after. I will try to complete this trip as soon as possible because as I’ve mentioned in the beginning of the post, this is way overdue. Thank you for your patience and thanks for dropping by! Till then!

 

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Although I do subscribe to blogs, I always miss out posts updates via email notifications. There are simply too many kind of promotional newsletter (that’s why they ask for your email when you sign up for membership and stuff so that they could constantly remind you to spend on their products), which I almost missed out this one too, but the first line itself caught  my attention before hitting the trash button. Short but straight to the point! Need to reblog this and get it pin up somewhere in the room to serve as my constant reminder. Only if more people think and act that way, the world will become a better and happier place for everyone.

Happy reading!

 

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Find Your Middle Ground

just like me

When you find yourself judging, blaming, criticizing, resenting, or being frustrated and annoyed with an other person … here are some phrases to bring to mind.

“This person in front of me has a body and a mind… Just like me.
This person in front of me has feelings, emotions and thoughts… Just like me.
This person in front of me has in his or her life, experienced physical and emotional pain and suffering… Just like me.
This person in front of me wishes to be free from pain and suffering… Just like me.
This person in front of me wishes to be healthy and loved… Just like me.
This person in front of me wishes to be happy… Just like me.”*

All people have similar needs, wants and desires. Fundamentally we act in order to protect ourselves and what we believe matters to us.
We all wish to be…

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The Miracle Morning (by Hal Elrod)

Yay! Scribble time.

It’s been, slightly more than a week since my last post. No, I wasn’t that busy. Yes, I do have ideas. Just that I didn’t know how to put in words. Just yet.

Ever since I started watching YouTube videos, I cannot stop. I kinda YouTube-d everything, just like how I Facebook-ed everything last time. Simply because I could. When I wanna learn about cooking, for example, I find a recipe on YouTube. When I wanna learn about saving money, I searched the topic on YouTube. It is easier to just watch a video than reading a post because it’s graphic with motions that show you step-by-step guide with demos. Even topics like how to save your money are discussed like how your financial advisor would talk to you, rather than reading a guide.

However, this video I watched, say a month ago, put me in a reading mode. I can’t say I love reading more than watching videos nowadays, but I definitely read more now that I had ever before. This magical video is called The Miracle Morning, by Hal Elfod (click on the link to watch on YouTube). I was always prompted by suggested videos whenever I was watching some videos about bullet journaling but I refuse to click on it because it is a 1 hour 22 minutes long video and the thumbnail just did not interest me. Until that one day, I don’t know what changed me, but I watched the video, finally. And I wish I have watched it sooner (still better than never)!

Hal is an awesome keynote speaker and author (author of “The Miracle Morning”), not only because of the life experience that he has had (well, probably he is because he only became who he is now after what he has experienced), he is inspiring and positive.

The Miracle Morning (or TMM), is basically teaching you how to start your morning awesome as if every morning is a Christmas morning. By starting your morning right, you’ll be more productive and positive, hence able to achieve more for the rest of your day. In other to do so, there is step-by-step guide by Hal, which you could learn to customize it to fit into your very own personal lifestyle. As I do not have a routine lifestyle where I wake up and go to work Monday thru Friday, I thought it was impossible for me to achieve that, but after reading the book (highly recommended, search it on Amazon and you’ll see the rating for yourself, it’s available in hard copy and soft copy too!), I’ve learned to customize it, and fit into my lifestyle. I’m still working on making it my routine so that I could do it effortlessly once it has become my habit.

Although it has just been a month for me I feel that I’m already making some progress, slow but good one. If reading is not your thing then start with the video and decide if you want to learn more about TMM. If you love to read but have yet to come across this book then get this one! If this is something that you’ve already known or practicing then you are already a step ahead of a lot of people, and I am happy for you. Take this from someone who has almost never pick up any non-comical books (other than academical textbooks) moreover finish one, this book is life changing and you will not regret it. Start transforming your life now by waking every morning as if it is Christmas morning!

 

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TMM Book Cover

 

Happy reading! Till then! Xoxo.

 

The moment you take responsibility for EVERYTHING in your life is the moment you can change ANYTHING in your life. – Hal Elrod

 

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In less than a month and I’m here reducing my posting frequency.

Initially I had this almost-completed post about blogging, like how I started, how things changed and hence my blogging habit changed.. How I tried to follow my newly set-up posting schedule and why it doesn’t work out.. And then, I realize, at the end of the day, I’m just rambling and the content is kind of a waste of time – I’m giving myself excuses in not completing tasks that I want to do. So I deleted that post.

First of all, I’d like to apologize for not following my posting schedule. I already knew it was gonna be challenging for me because I am bad in time management. Plus, I kinda lost touch with posting after created so many kind of layout for myself because I wanted things to look tidy and organized. I forgot how to be random. It feels like there are invisible guidelines or rule that I need to follow before I could start posting. I too, feel like I’m talking to people, instead of talking to myself (although there might be no one reading), hence I will need to think of what to say because, hello? People’s reading, and I can’t be living all in my world, right? In another word, I’ve lost the random self. Please bare with me while I’m still searching that random self.

Well, this could be a incredibly long post, which I do not want it to, because I already see not much content in this post. I just wanna put this out, to apologize (in case there is any audience) for not following what I’ve promised to do, which is 2 posts a week. I’m sorry. I have introduced so many hobbies to myself recently that I did not dedicate enough time for me to blog. And again, I’m bad at time management. And I do not want to choose one hobby over another because I’m actually liking things that I’m calling them hobbies now. I’d like to share more on those hobbies here, in my blog, in the near future. In the meantime, I’ll post as frequent as I possibly could, because I still like to share, just that there won’t be 2 posts weekly, every Tuesday and Friday. No posting schedule is also part of the random self? Who knows by doing that I’ll be able to find the random self and then I’ll post more frequently? =D *fingers crossed*

Once again, thanks for tuning in. I wish whoever is reading this an awesome day ahead! Good day and see you again soon! =)

Till then!

 

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As much as I’d like to stick with schedule, it is not easy, for one simple reason, inspiration does not come in schedule. However, it is do-able, I just need to be more committed, and observance (affirmation for myself), and turn things around me into inspiration.

So, today is another work day for me. As I still had a little time to buffer, I went to food court for breakfast before reporting. I don’t normally take lift because the food court is just one level below my office. You know sometimes when you enter a lift that is crowded, like everyone is trying to get from the most bottom level to the highest, then they saw you enter just to travel one level up (or down), the kind of look they give you as if you’ve done something awful (which by the way, I think it’s awful too..). Anyway, it wasn’t crowded today, no, to be precise, a lift arrived right in front of me and everyone was getting out from the lift, and no one was waiting for the lift. So I made a quick decision, to take the lift.

As I walked towards the lift, as I said, everyone was getting out, I saw this old gentleman, pushing his trolley, walked out from the lift, very slowly. He appeared to be frail, that’s why he was walking very slowly, which it seemed like the lift door was shutting right behind him. Then, he turned around to press the lift button, to hold the lift for me. It happened in split second, but it has made an impeccable impression on me, which became the inspiration of this post.

Jeff Bozos, CEO of Amazon said “Cleverness is a gift, kindness is a choice”. Mark Twain said kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. And there is also this popular saying of the world is full of nice people, it you can’t find one, be one. I’m sure you’ve heard of one of these sayings in your lifetime. However, it takes another level for one to actually do it. And the gentleman did it. It might be something small for him (turning around and press a button), but it was something to me (I might miss the lift and have to wait for another one or take the escalator instead, which of course, not a big deal). What I’m trying to say is, the gesture of this gentleman, shows that kindness is at every corner, and it is up to us to discover, and appreciate it. If we choose to ignore them, the kindness, we will never find one. If a frail gentleman could do that for a stranger like me, could we, the self-claimed able-bodied do more for others? Sure we could. But it is a choice. Being kind is a choice. And it’s the matter of how we choose.

I quickly thanked the gentleman before the lift door shut.

Let me end this post with a quote from AESOP:-

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.


Thank you for making the world a better place, sir.

Till then!

 

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Uetilberg and Broga Hills

Was in Zurich last week. It is summer time and the weather was so nice for outdoor activities. So Mr. A suggested to go hiking. So we did.

The place we were staying was not near the city, so we took a tram to Zurich Hauptbahnhof and switch to train S10 to Uetilberg. The train ride took us about 30 minutes to reach. We didn’t know there was 2 different trains which for S10, one only serves until Triemli while the other one goes all the way to Uetliberg. So we got down at Triemli and boarded another train to go all the way up to Uetliberg, which wasn’t bad at all, because we got a new learn, and take some photos (will add on more photos after transfer those photos from camera).

As soon as we reached Uetliberg station, we saw a children playground on the right and a staircase that leads to the hiking trail on the left. The trail is definitely beginner (and child) friendly and we reached the top of the hill effortlessly. We could see one side of city view and another side of forest view. It’s like the best of both worlds, simply breathtaking.

 

 

Oh ya, there was a small tower that you could go up for a even better view, which we did not go up because you will need to pay CHF2 per person to go pass that revolving door and we did not have coins. So we took photo of the tower itself instead. 😀

 

 

And this Monday, we went Broga Hills, Semenyih, Malaysia. It was my second time there but it was the first for Mr. A. I don’t know why we (or just me) like suddenly so into hiking recently? I actually consider this as my first hiking experience together because it is another level of difficulty compare to Uetilberg. We were quite excited the night before and we wanted to go before sunrise (Google said sunrise was 7.04am).

Unfortunately, we did not have the proper gear like headlights for crack of dawn hiking, hence we started hiking only after sunrise. It took us less than an hour to reach the top (I didn’t reach the top at the first time) and the sky seemed like it was going to rain so we decided to call it a day. True enough, it started raining as we were going down and we had to find cover under a tree before we could continue, with many other hikers. The rain stopped approximately 20 minutes later and it just added the difficulty by a little, which wasn’t that bad. Hehehe.

I am liking hiking more and more, as I feel like there are so much more we could learn from it. My favorite learn from this learn is take small steps, and be determined, you will eventually reach your destination.

 

 

Till then!

 

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