08.08.13

Malaysia

I’m sorry, I know how tedious it is when people harp on about their holidays. But I mention it again because it felt real only today, not because I printed my boarding pass, but because I picked up the cash from the bureau de change.

And the thought that popped into my head was: I’m pretty sure I hadn’t seen too many $100 ringgit notes when I was a kid – did they look unfamiliar to me now for that reason, or simply because they had changed?

It’s a very strange feeling indeed. I wonder if the sounds/language(s) and smells and what-not that were so much a part of my childhood will feel familiar once again, or if I’ve been away for too long.

I came home this evening and the first thing I did was turn on Spotify to listen to P. Ramlee. (My older sister would be quite chuffed with that, I think. The last time I listened to P. Ramlee was at her place earlier this year when I introduced her to Spotify and she plugged in several world music, obscure, non-mainstream songs she could think of – P. Ramlee was one of them; Spotify had them all, by the way.)

07.08.13

fan

The imminent holiday/return to my birth country has been playing on my mind. It’ll be the first time I’ve been back since my early-teens. I wonder whether the sights, sounds and smells will be familiar or whether things will have changed so much that it’ll be like being in a totally new place.

Not to mention, the cockroaches. Enormous, dark, flying terrors which give me the heebie-jeebies. I’m feeling ill thinking about them. (Totally the wrong thing to think about, but there you have it. I can’t control the phobia, can I? I think one of the reasons I stayed in the UK for so long was because I met very few cockroaches there. Perth -to which I return regularly to see my folks- has big ones, but they’re nowhere near as terrifying as the ones I remember from my tropical childhood.)

06.08.13

shoe love

The shorts never made it out last the weekend after all, but I’m hopeful they will soon. In the meantime, I’ve come an acceptance that chicks really dig the boyfriend jeans, but guys less so. You can’t win ’em all.

the top of my head

I found myself on a dancefloor on Sunday evening, standing beside a giant. The top of my head barely made it to his nipple. Anyway, I gave him my iPhone and told him to take a shot of the dancefloor. This was one of the three (with a couple of tweaks by me). A shame, really, the other two were on the blurry side. How strange it must be to be forever looking over or at the top of others’ heads. (That’s his beer in my right hand, just in case anyone thinks I was being a total monster with the booze, going double-barrelled.)

04.08.13

expectationYesterday ended up being one of those awesome days I’ll hopefully remember when I’m 70 and smile, laugh even. You know those days? The ones that just ‘happen’ and turn out better than you could’ve planned if you’d had the foresight to do so.

03.08.13

stripes, pleather and other

No doubt about it. There’s a distinct whiff of Spring in the air, despite the fact that it’s August i.e. we’re not quite there yet (officially speaking).

I’ve got no plans to be anywhere today -well, not presently anyway- but I thought that if I did, I’d be in this ensemble which includes the top and heels I bought recently from J. Crew in New York (annoyingly, the heels don’t seem to be on the website any longer?). The pleather shorts are a few years old from ZARA; admittedly, they don’t get outings as much as they’d like (wink, wink, nudge, nudge!).

Another find from New York was Sephora‘s Outrageous Volume Mascara. My only regret is that I only bought one of these. When will I learn to bulk-buy? I guess there’s always the online option. So, too, NARS Toléde which is provides the ‘your lips but better’ effect. (Question: why are we still paying so much more for these products in Australia? The lippy is AUD39.00, but USD26.00. Even after you’ve accounted for FX, it’s still stupid.)

Speaking of which, I mentioned the headphones in a previous post recently. These, too, I purchased in the US because they’re about $100 more here in Australia. Aussie retailers, you’re not making it easy for me (nor I expect for anyone else) to keep shopping locally.

Chanel No. 19 Poudre, still rocking my fragrance world as any good classic should; a bit of gold by way of a chunky necklace; my white Witchery purse (also no longer on the site); and a squeeze of L’oréal Elvive Extraordinary Oil to tame the weekend wilds.

31.07.13

long wait

This was the “Queue Here” place at a MUJI store in New York. I think it was one of the longest queue zones I had seen in a store ever. There’s more than a dozen registers in that row, if you can be bothered to count. Thankfully, I didn’t have to queue for more than a minute when I was there; it was only early in the day and hardly anyone was ready to leave/pay yet. But I kept thinking that the worst possible feeling would be arriving to the end of this queue zone and having to wait another half an hour just to get to the front of the line. Christmas shopping on 24 December, for instance. The wait would be tedious, frustrating, excruciating.

Kind of like what I’m feeling now, waiting to be on holiday. Less than two weeks to go now.

30.07.13

row of trees

I’m back to that feeling where all I want to do is go somewhere far away where I know no one.

I know I couldn’t last there for long but I’d like the option to be there at least so that I could decide when I’ve had enough.

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Listening: Small Blue Thing by Suzanne Vega

29.07.13

stuff

Yes, I’m reading Tampa by Alissa Nutting and it’s as disconcerting as I expected. I guess it’s this generations’s Lolita.

American Apparel fold-over clutch. Cheap. Cheerful. Orange. I bought this piece at the AA store on Bleecker Street. I seem to be immune to AA in Australia, but each time I go to NYC, I end up there and I succumb to ‘stuff’. It’ll probably last two years max before the zip falls off or the seams give way, but that’s OK. That’s what fast fashion is all about.

Skullcandy Roc Nation Aviator headphones in white. Cool as. Sounds good. And -this makes me giggle- they keep my ears warm these winter mornings. Win.

Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream. Is it more effective than any other moisturiser I’ve ever used? I don’t know. But I love the camphor in this product. The 33g tube is a handy size and has been living in my handbag lately.

28.07.13

builder's bum cam

I hereby apologise to my shoes for involving them in a less-than-lovely situation, see above.

In my defence, I was at the Emergency waiting room of St Vincent’s Hospital with the Bestie and his housemate, who was there for an injury related to a bicycle accident – I was in the area so I dropped in with coffee. And you know how waiting rooms can make a sane person a little less than.

Reminds me of primary school days in Malaysia, and the times the English teacher would assign homework along the lines of “A day in the life of a [insert inanimate object here]”.  Toothbrush. Shoelace. Drop of water (seriously!). I never enjoyed those assignments. However, if you said the same to me today, my go-to subject would be shoes, any given pair of shoes.

26.07.13

take your time

Oh, Friday. You took your time getting here.

No, I haven’t been wishing my week away, but, yes, I will admit to wanting it to speed up a little – just a smidgeon. Surely that’s allowed.

It’s been an extremely long week in this part of town… How has it been for you?

25.07.13

fun (fair) in Central Park

Are you getting tired of all these New York-related posts yet? I’m sorry if you are. I think this must be the last one…

It just struck me that this time last week, i.e. 07:00 Sydney Thursday i.e. 17:00 New York Wednesday, I was at JFK waiting to board the long flight home.

Is it possible to feel nostalgia for something only a week old?

I still have so much of Central Park to explore… (Amongst a gazillion other things.)

This shot was taken there in the early yet already humid morning. My running buddy said she thought that the fun fair converted to the ice rink in wintertime. Whatever. I thought it looked pretty sweet.

24.07.13

bedtime

Oh, for a good night’s sleep!

Ironically, after I took this photo of my bed in New York, I proceeded to have The Worst Night’s Sleep Ever which resulted in a mere two hours of shut-eye, and the rest of the time, tossing and turning and stressing out about not being able to drop off after waking at 02:12. (And here’s something random: 02:12 is the time I was born, if my birth certificate is to be believed – which is the reason why I remembered the time.)

02:12 aside, I don’t quite know what my excuse is back in Sydney; fractured or bad sleep seems to be the norm these days. And by these days, I mean the last few years. The only time I sleep well is when I’m on holiday.

Just as well that I’m three weeks’ away from said holiday then, isn’t it? Because I’m feeling quite frayed at the edges as we speak.

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Listening: Asleep by The Smiths

23.07.13

Chrysler Building over yonder

The rumour is true. I’m struggling with infidelity.

Having always been Sydney’s girl, I now find myself wanting to be with New York.

Why did I not feel this after last year’s trip, I wonder?

I keep telling myself that I was based mainly in the Upper West Side in swank Woody Allen-ville, hardly Real Life, you see? And yet… I want to be there still.

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Listening/Loving: Holy Grail by Jay Z

22.07.13

NYC specimens

I may be here, but my head is still in New York amongst its tall magnificent structures. I was that annoying person who halted every two minutes to capture yet another of Manhattan’s finest with my iPhone 5. I couldn’t get enough of them. Old, new, Art Deco, 70s, amazing, ugly less so.

It’s a strange thing really, this fixation with bricks and mortar, glass and steel. The shapes they make against the sky, reaching, towering.

Urban beauty.

NYC specimens 2

21.07.13

Big Apple

I wasn’t ready to return from New York, truth be told. I even tried to change my flight at about 4am on Wednesday morning. I was still out – dinner with colleagues extending to a couple of clubs in the Meatpacking District. But the travel agent couldn’t find a flight that suited so I decided to stick with the original plan.

Thankfully, it’s been blue skies since my return to Sydney and I’ve not had any jetlag at all so it’s back to the old routine…

mid-winter Sydney

I’m very fortunate to live in such a lovely city. Blue skies in mid-winter. Hurrah!

20.07.13

start of the highline

I visited The High Line with a colleague last Saturday. Friends had recommended it and I’d done a bit of obligatory pre-visit research but I really wasn’t sure what to expect. Retired/disused rail line above Manhattan? I couldn’t help thinking of Sydney’s own recently closed Monorail.

It wasn’t too busy on arrival, or so I thought! There were a few people resting on benches here and there, and to the uninitiated, it looked fairly nondescript. What’s the big deal? I wondered…

High Line flowers

Wikipedia describes it as an ‘urban park’ and ‘aerial greenway’, and both terms are true. As I wandered along The High Line, I couldn’t help but be taken in by the profusion of flowers blooming amongst the lush greenery. It seemed strange because New York is all about bricks and mortar to me – except for Central Park, of course – so it was a lovely surprise, a break from the city right within it.

Frank Gehry's IAC Building

What I loved as well was being able to stroll through the buildings at an elevated level. So much of New York is neck-ache – I was constantly looking up everywhere I went. It made a nice change to be simply looking straight ahead to admire the view. The building above left is the IAC Building designed by Frank Gehry. (I guess I don’t need to mention my penchant for buildings – yet again; suffice to say, this was archi-porn as far as yours truly was concerned.) Apologies to the specimen in the back right. It was pretty cool, too, with its mosaic of windows but I only had eyes for the Gehry.

street art from The High Line
Street art seen from The High Line, and cabs, cabs, more cabs, below.
cabs below The High Line
walk The [High] Line
It doesn’t look terribly busy from the pics above, but trust me it was. Not to mention it was a sweltering afternoon in the mid- to high-30C’s and although I was wearing white, my bottom half was in trousers and I was ready to wilt. If you look closely at the guy above, I think you can see his perspiration-soaked shirt sticking to him. Whew! It made a nice change from being in wintery Sydney, although I heard that the last few days have been unseasonally warm with temperatures being at least 6C above the winter average.
Sydney weather aside, there were also food and drink vendors at The High Line, and although the food looked enticing, we only bought a couple of drinks from the Brooklyn Soda Works stand which were deliciously refreshing and precisely what the doctor ordered!
We spent some time wandering The High Line, then the Meatpacking District and the Chelsea Market afterward; this was after about three hours of traipsing around the Upper West Side and Midtown before we even got to The High Line. I’m not sure how many kilometres we covered that day, but the blistered feet were testament to the walking. I slept well that night (6 hours – good for a jetlagged body)!

19.07.13

Hello friends! I’m back. It was a short trip but a long journey… I’m very glad to be back in Sydney after 24 hours or so of travel.

New York was hot and sticky beneath a canopy of thick clouds. I must say the humidity took me by surprise. Thankfully, I was in air-conditioned surroundings most of the time.

The work thing went well. I got to do some sightseeing. (And shopping.)

I wish I could’ve stayed for longer.

Sydney feels very small now.

New York, New York

new york double 2

12.07.13

New York reflections

This is an old photo from June last year, somewhere in Manhattan, I think.

The point being: I’m about to head off for about a week or so, including travel time (!) from Sydney to NYC, which is a long way to go for such a brief time but that’s just what it is.

I hope to be posting to Instagram while I’m away… if you feel so inclined.

See you soon. Don’t go changin’!

11.07.13

tees, please

L-R: The Smiths, Jimi Hendrix, Rolling Stones. (I love the ‘Stones one the best.)

I think I’m regressing… Lately, I’ve been really getting into tees, t-shirts, whatever you like to call ’em, and specifically, music tees. I’m sure I went through this phase briefly when I was in my late-teens.

Previously, I wasn’t much of a jeans fan either; in fact, I went through most of my 20s without owning a single pair of jeans.But now, I can’t get enough of them, although, not the skinny jeans – besides being so last-three-years-ago, they’re too try-hard, I’ve decided. I wasn’t even deterred by a comment somebody made about my boyfriend jeans on the weekend – something along the lines of “interesting look for you”. (Hmph! I didn’t ask why, but maybe it had something to do with the fact that people are probably more used to seeing me in dresses and/or corporate attire.)

Would it be super-nerdy to get an ‘I HEART NY’ tee when I’m there in a couple of days…? I don’t know anyone who has been to New York and actually bought and worn one of those.

I should be working on the list of things to pack, necessities, work-related things, instead I’m procrastinating about t-shirts – argh!

10.07.13

looking out over Woolloomoloo

The real lover is the man who can thrill you by kissing your forehead or smiling into your eyes or just staring into space.

~ Marilyn Monroe

09.07.13

Apple Sydney stairs

One of my friends is going away next week. He was recently offered, and very sensibly accepted, an Asia Pacific HR role based out of Singapore. I’m happy for him, of course, but feeling a little blue about it.

My life has been characterised by either myself or people I care about leaving. The first wrench came at the age of 14 or so when my family migrated from Malaysia to Australia (tough age to leave best friends behind and begin anew); then again, when I decided to move from Australia to the UK; and then when I had managed to assemble a good circle of friends and colleagues in London, it was time to return to Australia. Even so, we have settled in Sydney, not Perth where my family is based. So, still, I am saying hello/goodbye with some regularity.

Now I’m always half-wishing I was somewhere else which makes no sense at all because I love living in Sydney. But whenever I look at the time, before I can even say “It’s x o’clock,” I’ve already mentally converted it to Greenwich Mean Time. Odd, perhaps? (It’s handy on the work front because I’m always having to work out sensible times to contact people on both coasts of the US, among other places…)

I know that we have it easy these days, with email and mobile phones, FaceTime and the rest, compared to the old days of snail mail, but even so, they’re not quite equal to being there with the person/people you want to have in your life.

Go on, then. Go. But you must know what I mean – ?

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Listening: If You Leave Me by Mental As Anything