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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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Pray for the World

今早reporting的时候,得知巴黎恐怖袭击事件。
工作完了,回到酒店,电视新闻报道的,脸书IG分享的,99%离不开这个新闻。
想到的第一件事(其实也太迟才想到,应该今早还没工作前就做了)就是跟家人报平安,因为他们没有我的时间表。

然后,浏览脸书好久好久,很多#prayforParis,大家都纷纷为巴黎感到悲伤。

许多公众人物也借着这个平台表示悲伤后,引来各种回应。

在这几千甚至几万的回应当中,就会有人提到说世界的另一个角落(例如中东国家),常常发生这种状况,为何却没有人为他们祈祷等等的言论。

然后,一些特别敏感的话题(例如宗教和政治)也会被牵扯进来。

谢谢网路世界,提供了一个零距离零时差的平台,让大家分享自己的想法。

然而,这个零距离零时差的平台也是各位键盘战士的战场。

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小黄花

那天去机场的路上,一个红绿灯前,马路的旁边,看到这群小黄花,立刻联想到哥本哈根他为我摘的小黄花。

那是他送我的第一朵花。哈哈哈哈。
随性的浪漫,射手座的本性。(哈哈哈哈,有浪漫吗?)

还刚刚搜索小黄花的花语:温暖我的心
(有一片报道是说李心潔在雲南遇到她生命中最珍貴的小黃花,「我仔細看着小黃花,發覺它們的花瓣是心形的,這些小黃花用它們的花瓣表達對這世界的愛,令我十分感動。」,但是我找不到心形花瓣!下次还真的要近距离研究… 不然,我们说的到底是不是同一个小黄花啊? 哈哈哈哈)

道路之所以变得多一点色彩,是小黄花的小小功劳,为繁忙的道路带来一点点的生命.. 啊不然就是只有汽车和引擎声(最近看太多台湾综艺节目,感觉自己有点在抄他们的说话方式… @@”)。

多少人察觉小黄花的存在呢?

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Life is a subtraction

人生是减法;见一面,少一面。

Translation: Life is a subtraction; the chances of meeting only get lesser and lesser.

There is newborn every day.

But there is also death every day.

It is very easy to talk about life but when it occurs, how would you handle it?

So on this trip from Singapore to London, there was this gentleman, traveling alone.

He was seated on the other aisle, so I didn’t have much chance to serve him.

I’ve only learned about him from Van, my partner, who chatted with him when he came to the snack corner, that he is doing an Asia trip for his wife, who passed away recently. From San Francisco, Japan, Hong Kong, Bangkok, to London, then back to San Francisco. 29 days.

Then, he came to the snack corner for the second time. I went forward, and we started chatting.

I did not ask how. I couldn’t.

Instead, I asked how did they meet.

They were introduced to each other through a friend. It wasn’t loved at the first sight. In fact, they didn’t like each other that much in the beginning. But, you know, if it is meant to be, it is meant to be.

39 years of marriage. They have a daughter who is turning 29 years old this 29th. Apparently, they love to travel. He showed me some photos of her on his phone. From Paris to London. He said his wife loves Hong Kong. They had been staying in HK for years. And they planned to do an Asia trip together.

It was just, perhaps a less than 15 minutes conversation, but it touched both Van and my heart as he was talking. It was nothing fancy but we could feel his love towards his wife. A lot of love. And the love has been increasing every day. He is a proud and happy man whenever he talks about her.

As I’m writing this post, I somehow relate this gentleman with Mr. Lee Kuan Yew. His passing is definitely one of the saddest news to the world and videos of Mr. Lee are shared all over the internet. Mr. Lee was not only famous for being a successful politician, he was a loving husband who’d read poems to Mrs. Lee every night despite his tight daily schedule when she was not well. And it all goes down to one reason, LOVE.

Love has no age.

Love has no race.

Love has no rank.

Love has no gender.

And love has no time limit.

 

Love wholeheartedly.

Love unconditionally.

Love like there is no tomorrow.

 

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幸福297

那天,看着他,我问,你还记得我第一次“问你为什么是我”时,你给的答案吗?

而他,毫不犹豫地回答,因为我想保护你啦… 『不耐烦』

 

第三个一百天倒数三天,人在巴黎。

来过巴黎无数次的他,带着来过巴黎数次的我,两个像first solo,重游巴黎圣母院,罗浮宫,爱菲铁塔。

今早,他说,你是不是肚子饿了?我说,嗯。

他说,哎哟,自己弄面吃啦!还有鸡蛋…Manjanya…

我说,其实…我不吃也不会饿死…哼…

然后,就有爱心 soft boil egg喂到我口中。不好意思,我还真的是被宠坏了。

 

第一站圣母院。真的只是touch and go,拍了两张照片就,早午餐的crepe,他说带我去一间很好吃的… 但是,嗯… 他又说水准不如以前,今天就索性去寻找好吃的crepe… Lolz!但是,一天可以吃多少次crepe叻… 哈哈哈。

第二站罗浮宫。距离第一站不远,所以只用步行。穿过很多小巷,他凭方向感带我去。结果,他的方向感还真可靠的啦。=) 眼看旅客们都摆着一样的姿势…noob…哈哈哈,我们就小发挥自己的创意,至少看起来跟大部分的旅客不太一样。=D 在Rue De Rivoli [差不多是这个名字] 徘徊一下,找到之前我去过的Angelina,甜品是Mont Blanc。

他说,他 highlight of the day是看我玩团团转时掉下来,还坐在地上假哭,旁边的公公婆婆都转头看,然后笑着走掉。而我,没告诉他,我 highlight of the day 就是看着他每一次真心开心的笑,不管是傻笑,微笑还是大笑。 🙂

第三站,那个爱的坐标,爱菲铁塔。幸运的我们,还看到樱花树,在冷冷的季节里有多一点点的颜色。『唯美』 =) 傻瓜还傻傻的像小孩一样跳起来去採树上的果!哈哈哈,然后,我就知道,弹跳力这种东西讲,真的是天赋,不是每个人都有。哈哈哈。晚餐是超市买的汤,配『一路上有你』。暖暖的汤,加你和我,满满的幸福。『幸福中』

多少次无谓的冷战,或直接大战,是因为我们的倔强。

反正,20多年来培养的自信和个性,不可能一朝[或300朝]就被磨掉。

磨合,真的需要时间,和耐性。

感激这个傻瓜愿意付出他的青春陪我一起成长,用时间和耐性证明他的爱。 =)

我也会用时间和耐性让您好好爱我!哈哈哈哈哈! 『得意』 =)

宝贝,谢谢您给予我所有的幸福。

我们一起幸福吧!=)

LOVE.

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It was a normal reporting day, I bumped into a batchboy. Talked till almost minus 20minutes, I went into the briefing room. I can’t remember vividly but yeah, I think there is this man sitting one corner, the remote control corner.

Greeted everyone, I went to my corner. It was a normal reporting day.

Boarded the a/c, I was working in the same zone with this man, and while he was waiting for his supplies to be loaded, he helped with my all duties, like literally, all of my duties: the menu, magazines, towels.

It was another normal working day, but it was my lucky day, to get to work with this man in the same zone, sat next to each other for TTOL. (:

Then, first sector down. It was layover time, this man gave up his rest and relax time during the layover in London, to help me with my revision. We didn’t rest after the 14 hours flight (preparation for flight + reporting time + landing duties + talking in the bus for +/- 45mins in the bus are not included). We went to Duck and Waffle to have breakfast instead.

After a satisfying and pricey breakfast, we decided to take a short rest before the tuition. Short rest means, rest all the way till dark. Lolz.

After e short yet power rest, we grab a late dinner + early supper, and finally, the tuition started.

I just don’t know how this man made the tuition session so funny and full of laughter.

Next day, was supposed to be another rest and relax day for him, hunting for food he likes or doing nothing. This man chose to bring me to the usual crew joint and have lunch. [Did you just need a meal-partner or you do not wanna see me starve? Lolz.]

And then we found out we have this common friend. A group chat created, with his initial but didn’t know until like, two days later. 😛

Lunch done, revision continued. This man was there accompanying me all the time, although he was watching funny stand up comedy videos, he checked on me from time to time making sure I did not over stress myself. The revision ended with a one and a half hour stand up comedy video. 🙂

We didn’t work together on the return sector, but he came to our zone to help. Or to see me? Lolz.

Back to base, we shared transport, this man dropped me off first, AND help me unloading my cargo bag. I really do appreciate that, even though that was the lightest my cargo bag could be. The rest of the time is crazy.

Unpacked and rested. I forgot how and why but we decided to meet for dinner. We headed Starbucks for coffee and catch up with our common friend. He still couldn’t decide whether to go back hometown or stay.

Tired but not too tired, we decided to go home because it was past midnight and I have an early reporting tomorrow. The night ended, so we thought.

I am not sure whether is it the horoscope thing but we are quite crazy. This man said he would come over if I would come out. We ended up talking whole night as if there is no reporting the next morning.

Next day, busiest light load ever. Sometimes I would really rather have a full load so I know where the tiredness comes from. Anyway, the same man, who likes to cook, instead of going back to hometown, went market to buy ingredients so that I could get a taste of home cooked soup after my long working day. You have no idea how sweet the soup was.

And finally my official day off and his second day off, we went market together for the first time because this man wants to make Sarawak laksa for me. (: the preparation took the entire day. This man only uses good ingredients when he cooks and he takes care of every single detail of his cooking. The laksa was perfect. (:

Yesterday, my annual leave for the exam but he has a night reporting. This man woke up 6.45am just to send me to the exam hall and waited for more than 3 hours for me to finish. He kissed my forehead and wished me good luck. He told me not to give up easily. He told me to just do my best. And that was how I survived that 3 hours.

We then took a 73minutes bus ride to go back. You could see he could go concuss anytime due to the tiredness, but this man spent the first 30minutes telling me jokes.

This man never fails to make me laugh ever since the day I know him. It was like, 8 days ago? But he said he knew me for about 2 years. Yeah, we met 2 years ago, talked about something but I cannot recall at all. Lolz. But this man remembered. I think I just met the man who I could trust him with the rest of my life.

Thank you, ANK. 🙂