flashbacks

You know how I am running out of things to ramble about when I post very random stuff. Sometimes I don’t even know why I am writing, because some time back I thought I’d write for an audience. My friend commented how my writing was geared towards an audience; I won’t deny that, because like how I don’t talk to a wall and carry on a monologue unless I was alone at home and ruminating something, similarly when I write I want someone to read it. If I didn’t want eyes prying, I would not even bother writing them, maybe not here in this public virtual space anyway. Those words will never really see the light of day, not visible to the public eye.

Well so let’s take it as me penning down the randomness of my life. Perhaps I lead a haphazard life that is characterised by frequent travelling, not that much but definitely more than the average person who doesn’t need to travel for work. Writing these may help me to keep some memories, that perhaps later on in my life, assuming the blog is not eaten up by some virtual black hole, my decreasing ability to remember things can get a little bit of help in finding out what happened in my earlier years.

So I will just post some random pictures from the trips. It’s the last day of February today, a leap day 29th Feb! Two months on in 2012, and I have been to Makati City in the Philippines, Tokyo and then Milan. That was one holiday, and even though it really was just a month ago, I am already thinking that it took place so long ago and am seriously craving for another holiday. At first I thought I’d lost the inspiration to travel for leisure because travelling on the job is so tiring it takes any fun out of flying and going anywhere overseas. When I think of boarding the flight to go on holiday, I seriously dread it. I used to enjoy flying, alone or not, but now it just reminds me of work and the long tedious hours I have to spend crammed in the cattle class of the airplane cabin. Hmm so maybe this wasn’t such a good idea, but then there’s good and bad.

But no, I still want to go on holiday, just that I have no idea where to go. Initially I thought I’d do a last minute short weekend trip to Hong Kong, to visit a friend who’s working there, and also since two other friends will be there this weekend. But then I recalled that I’d already made plans to meet up with someone this weekend, this is the week where I’m trying to meet up with people I haven’t seen in a while, because this time is probably one of the longest I will be around, 3 weeks! I went for a concert when I came back, attended Bunzi’s wedding and then meet friends! These are the things that I wanted to do this time round, because after that on next Sunday I have to be on my way out of the city again.

Over the weekend when I was in Milan, my friend who was also in Europe on a business trip visited me. It was a really short trip for her since she only came in the afternoon on Saturday and was out again within 24 hours to Brussels. We had a rather great time though, but then the bed in the hotel was too hard for her. Haha. We went shopping that weekend, and spent a lot of time catching up; it’s always like this, when we meet we seem to have endless things to talk about and because the air was so dry and polluted with second-hand smoke, I think my sore throat got worse after that weekend because I was inhaling too much.

This was where we went for brunch on Sunday, at Caffe Milano along the way to the Duomo, most probably Via Dante. The thing about cafes in Italy is that they serve amazing pastries, maybe all European cities are like that, I’m not sure but the croissant I chose was simply divine. That, or I have really low standards. Both of us agreed that the croissants we had were great, soft and fluffy and totally delicious.

I don’t have to reiterate that the coffee was also always of a great quality. Too bad that I was recovering from flu so I tried to not drink so much coffee, but each day I still couldn’t resist at least 2; usually a cappuccino or latte macchiato for breakfast, and a caffe macchiato at lunch. This was the latte macchiato I had at Caffe Milano. I miss the coffee there… and the croissants, but I still don’t think I would have given up what I have here in exchange for a whole life of coffees and croissants.

winding down in Milano

Waiting in the lounge while waiting for to board the flight.

It’s probably the best that I can already have but at least while waiting there is some place I can rest my legs and maybe get something to eat and drink. Well it isn’t that I often eat in the lounge since typically I’d have eaten elsewhere and the food isn’t fantastic. But maybe in some airports it’ll make a huge world of difference to have a lounge to go to.

It was a quiet evening. After they left suddenly the adrenaline also started to slow down and I made a slow walk back to the hotel, then took the subway to the city. Decided that I’d pass the “Big” bag and got a bag that was big in an entirely different sense. It was a challenge though to get back on the subway with it although it really is the most efficient and convenient way.

This morning I was just being too greedy for breakfast. So after that it was a rush to the airport because of some transfer delays that I didn’t expect. Anyhow I managed to get onto the express as planned for the airport and then.. tax refund was a nightmare. I think I’d try not to do this in future. Thankfully again, things still went ok. And yes another benefit was that I could skip some of the queue to checkin. And then… now i just sit and wait. I’m already tired and I hope it persists on the flight so that I can sleep.

Business trips. A hectic affair and a great deal of tolerance required maybe. Things that can go wrong will sometimes go wrong, and on your own you can feel that bit helpless. Well.. I suppose it’s an experience. And I don’t know if it’s something I can ever get used to.

a beautiful morning

It is always nice to be greeted by a beautiful sight in the morning. I saw this as I was waiting for the lift to go for breakfast.

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Sometimes I think that maybe I have lost the ability to plan for things. I seem to be doing things spontaneously, to put it nicely. On the spur of the moment, impulsively, whatever you want to call it. Many times, I have overpaid for many things, such as airfare and hotel lodging, just because I have decided too late to make a trip and end up making last minute bookings that are fully-flexible and therefore is equivalent to the full fare/rack rates.

It is easier when it’s just me I suppose. No need for coordination and waiting for confirmations. When I want to do it, I just do it. So is that good or bad?

inertia

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What makes people stay in a place, or pack their bags and leave?

It’s easy to like a place for what it is and has to offer, or not like it after living in it for a while. But I think maybe people are the make or break point.

I can live in a place and be satisfied and contented but people make all the difference. When there are elements that are unsavoury, you decide you don’t like it there anymore. Similarly, if there isn’t a reason to return, then there is no impetus to want to do it.

happy trippy

It was a weekend that passed too fast, even though when I’m abroad on a business trip,  I would really hope for time to pass faster so that I can already be on my way home.

I can’t imagine though, having to adjust once more to the great temperature gradient. This morning, the temperature read as -9 and as we walked to the office, I couldn’t feel my ears even though they were veiled by my hair and parts of the scarf that I had wrapped around my neck and lower portion of the head.

So I had a visitor over the weekend! A friend who happened to also be on business trips in Europe, so we met up and had lots of fun together, even if it was just talking non-stop. Maybe that was the reason partly too for the sore throat because having to walk and talk in the icy, dry climate does nothing good for the throat. But for a change, having someone around to chat with and eat with was quite fun. Not to mention shop with. We had a ball of time shopping the expensive streets of Milan, which actually is a rather small city. But the area around Via Monte Napoleone was where the big names are. I didn’t buy a lot, at least I knew I had to control where handbags and purses are concerned, so I just got a pair of earrings, and watched as my friend shopped.

With winter being almost over and the city on the cusp of spring (maybe), the winter stuff were all going on sale, and this would be a good time if you are shopping for warm stuff for the next winter. I already got a pair of heavily-discounted boots when I just got here last Sunday from Aldo, and it was really hard to have to resist the rest of the things on sale because I wouldn’t be able to cart them all back and especially not when I still have not decided if I should buy a second luggage to bring home. Hmm. Decisions~

I snagged a puffy jacket that was also on sale! I know I already have the Uniqlo puffy, which I suspect how long it is going to last me with all that down feathers that are escaping the coat each time I wear it. But the one I got was a short version, which I hope will still help to keep me warm since supposedly it’s also a down jacket. There were many other nice coats on sale which I had to regrettably pass up because well we need to make choices.

All in all, it was a nice weekend even though it was extremely cold. But it’s just a week more before I say hello to the warm city of Singapore again, and then it’s time for SS4!! I can’t wait, and I can’t wait to see you too! đŸ™‚

I just hope that again with that large change in climate, I won’t again succumb to another bout of illness which I am still trying to recover from…

hello weekend!

Last night while I was deep in slumber, at least for a short number of hours, it snowed. By the time I was awake it had already stopped. But everything was covered in a layer of white and it was different from in November when I was in NYC and it snowed for that one day. Then, it was mixed with rain and soon after everything turned into slush. But here, because it snowed quite a lot (I think) and it was so cold, the snow just remained as snow when it wasn’t mixed with too much moisture on the roads). The words ‘winter wonderland’ just kind of popped into my head, just that it’s two months too late and it didn’t feel like Christmas. Definitely not when this is a business trip.

But well, I shouldn’t complain so much, because it isn’t all that bad. At least not yet. I know I rant about how people are envying me for all the wrong reasons when they see the full picture of what I go through, but it isn’t totally bad. It isn’t a bed of roses but it isn’t as well too a hell of thorns that I am in.

The work this time feels a little different maybe because I’m doing something slightly different. There is some degree of stress but not entirely due to volume of work but more of the intensity of some work that I am, or have to do. Doesn’t make much sense? Yes, I think I am not making a lot of sense. I am still lucid despite being jet-lagged. It has hit me. Last night maybe I ate too much for a late dinner but the pizzeria that we went to was so amazing. We each ordered a pizza that was at least 30cm in diameter and I had slightly more than half of it; I couldn’t help it because it was that awesome. Then I finished off the night with a generous serving of sorbet that was just as amazing. So that could be the reason for me not being able to sleep well. I awoke a few times during the night and in the morning I couldn’t even sleep past 6am. I can blame it on jetlag but I don’t really think it is that.

For the last few nights since I arrived, I don’t really have too many problems falling asleep at night although staying asleep throughout could be a problem. I just attribute it to me being sick so I got to sleep more than I usually do back home, which is a really good thing. Being sick also means that I have not been able to do any exercise, and maybe the lethargy is due in part to lack of exercise too. I am craving for some exercise but with the flu I think I better reconsider.

Anyhow, weekend has also come to this part of the world at this time! It’s 1230am in Singapore but it’s just about time for me to leave the office here in Milano. Let’s hope for excellent weather over the weekend so that I can be out and about!

against the cold

-10 degrees this morning! Oh my God. It’s no wonder that my nose wouldn’t stop running the moment I stepped outside the hotel, and midway through the trek to the office, I felt that my ears were already numb. I was wishing that they wouldn’t just snap off my head.

Aside from that, the air is really crisp and fresh. Perhaps the area that we are in isn’t exactly too busy so in terms of pollution maybe it isn’t that bad so we still have great air here. But it’s just too cold, too much for a born-and-bred Asian that is me, or rather South-east Asian me.

I am still struggling to recover from that bout of illness/flu that I got since the Tokyo trip and it’s really quite terrible to feel ill and be ill in this kind of dreary temperatures that have already claimed hundreds (or even more) of lives in this part of the world that has been hit by a bad cold snap. I should just be thankful I’m not in Ukraine.

Anyhow, I am slowly recovering. I can already speak with maybe 70% of my voice and I have started to enjoy the Italian coffee! Yes.. how can a coffee addict resist coffee in Italy? Before, when I just got here, I satiated myself with a latte macchiato when I was out in Milan on Sunday, then after that I just made do with green tea with mint. So now I have taken to having cappuccino or latte macchiato at breakfast and yesterday at lunch I had a macchiato. Amazing. Coffee here was as I remembered it, not too hot so that you can just stand at the bar and finish it and go, but the quality is just fantastic.

I haven’t yet tried any tiramisu or gelato though, which is a pity since this is the land of tiramisu and gelato! Maybe during the weekend, I hope I can be well enough to have them.

The cold has sort of made me a little light-headed already even though it’s just 9am in the morning. Back to work~