Bus No. 11

10 Things I Like About You Pt 4: Bus No. 11

“Not all those who wander are lost.” J.R.R.Tolkien

I’ve been looking forward to this one. Between being from Singapore and living in NYC for 2 years, walking everywhere is no more odd than breathing. My general rule of a good meander is lights and sound. If something catches my eye, off I potter. Guess the rest of the world caught on too and walking tours are now the new Cronut.

My first stroll was during a tour of Paris and London with my parents. It was my first time abroad and we were part of THE stereotypical tour. Ladies with umbrellas, hell bent on finding the most expensive perfumes on the Champs-Elysees, hijacking unsuspecting Frenchmen and forcing them into photos, and the children, so many children… Thank goodness my parents had better sense and we legged it off to the Lourve on our “free” day, while the rest of our group proceeded to empty the shelves of Galleries Lafayette. As we walked along the Seine, passing by the street vendors and the famous Shakespeare and Co., I fell in love with traveling.

So I’ve done the same in the places that I’ve lived in and got some pretty good stories out of it.

Upstate NY

Located in downtown Syracuse, Freedom of Expresso is a local roaster right across the street from a Starbucks. Came across it when I had class nearby. Got the milk steamers there: hot milk with Italian syrup. (ps: fruit syrups means split milk except raspberry. we tried them all)

Located in downtown Syracuse, Freedom of Expresso is a local roaster right across the street from a Starbucks. Came across it when I had class nearby. Got the milk steamers there: hot milk with Italian syrup. (P.S: Fruit syrups means split milk except raspberry. We tried them all.)

The Boys of Syracuse. The Orange is one of the best US College Basketball teams. The whole city is in love with the sport. Basketball here is like football in Spain. Downtown Syracuse is also home to the 24 sec "shot clock" monument, a turning point in NBA history.

The Boys of Syracuse. The Orange is one of the best US College Basketball teams. The whole city is in love with the sport. Basketball here is like football in Spain. Downtown Syracuse is also home to the 24 sec “shot clock” monument, a turning point in NBA history.

Prop 8 protest in downtown Syracuse in 2008. It expressed the discontent for California making same sex marriage illegal. Prop 8 was overturned in 2013 :)

Prop 8 protest in downtown Syracuse in 2008. It expressed the discontent for California supporting the proposition to make same sex marriage illegal. Prop 8 was overturned in 2013 🙂

On a whim, my roommate in college drove the 45 mins from Syracuse to Skaneateles. The whole place looks like something out of an Enid Blyton book, complete with little candy store. We also went hiking to the nearby Carpenter Falls. Dang, I miss Upstate.

On a whim, my then roommate and I drove the 45 mins from Syracuse to Skaneateles. The whole place looks like something out of an Enid Blyton book, complete with little candy store. We also went hiking to the nearby Carpenter Falls. Dang, I miss Upstate! The apple is even from Beak and Skiff. 

Since it worked out so well in Syracuse, where buses run every 45 mins and trains are non-existent, I figured that it would be a perfect method in Singapore.

Singapore

We'll start with my second love, food! In search of the illusive ah balling (dessert riceballs with filling), my friend F introduced us to the wonders of Mei Hong Yuan Dessert. It serves all kinds of traditional Chinese desserts. So much deliciousness! They're so good that they don't even open on Mondays!

We’ll start with my second love, food! In search of the illusive ah balling (dessert riceballs with filling), my friend F introduced us to the wonders of Mei Hong Yuan Dessert. It serves all kinds of traditional Chinese desserts. So much deliciousness! They’re so good that they don’t even open on Mondays!

The Local People is a Singapore collective for budding designers and artists. Every month they do a market of some sort and their most recent was at the Singapore Art Museum. A friend and I wandered past and was very well fed. They also have great jewelry and crafts. Think if Etsy had a fair :)

The Local People is a Singapore collective for budding designers and artists. Every month they do a market of some sort and their most recent was at the Singapore Art Museum. A friend and I wandered past and was very well fed. They also have great jewelry and crafts. Think if Etsy had a fair 🙂

And there was live music

And there was live music

This was perhaps less of a wander... but I use to ride horses. Yes, I was one of those girls that wanted a pony for her birthday. Except I still want one and it's not to braid his tail. This is at the Singapore Turf Club Riding Centre. Gorgeous facilities and they're hosting the SEA Games. So wander there now!

This was perhaps less of a wander… but I use to ride horses. Yes, I was one of those girls who wanted a pony for her birthday. Except I still want one and it’s not to braid his tail. This is at the Singapore Turf Club Riding Centre. My friend S (she’s the one without the wings) also started a blog about all things equestrian so check it out. Gorgeous facilities,a tasty cafe on premises and they’re hosting the SEA Games. So wander there now!

A waterpark on top of a shopping centre!?! Where was this when I was a kid.

A waterpark on top of a shopping centre!?! Where was this when I was a kid.

Well, enough from me. Time to lace up those shoes and get out of the house 🙂

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10 Things I Remember from Berlin

During my recent trip to Paris, I’ve also visited Berlin. It was for only 2 days, and it was my first time in Germany, but I still want to write a little something about it because I LOVED it.

  1. People! I always had the stupid impression that the Germans are cold and unfriendly. Man, was I wrong! Berliners are super nice and almost all of them can speak English really well. All the problems I experienced in Paris vanished when I went to Berlin. Oh, how happy I was when I was ordering in English and not dying.
  2. Speaking of people, as much as I loved Berliners, I wasn’t fond of the amount of Turkish people there was. This may sound strange, but when I’m away from home, I like to be immersed with the local culture. I don’t like to come across with other Turks, it makes me nervous somehow. I don’t know why. So yeah, I knew Berlin was sort of Little Turkey, but I was NOT expecting THAT.
  3. parkI said the same thing for Paris – and maybe this is a general thing about Europe – but I loved the parks in Berlin. My favorite was Tempelhofer Park (pictured on the left). It used to be an airport, and now they’ve turned it into a park. What an amazing idea! It’s this vast, green, beautiful space that just gives you… piece.
  4. The public transportation, man. Coming from Istanbul, I’m always a fan of a good, organized public transportation and Berlin does great on that. And I probably wasn’t the only one doing that so I don’t feel bad saying this. It’s sort of… free. I mean not really. But really. Wink wink. So you don’t have to go through a turnstile or swipe a card to open the doors or something, they just trust you to buy the ticket and hope for the best. For two days, I used U-Bahn several times, didn’t pay once, got lucky. But I heard stories that other people got caught. So you didn’t hear this from me.
  5. Speaking of trains, careful with where you want to go and which train you jump on. We were going to Alexanderplatz from somewhere in the city, we asked the guy there which train to take, and he showed us. We jumped on it, nobody stopped us, and yes, it was passing through Alexanderplatz but it was also going to Hanover. Thankfully, we realized it before it had moved so we got off the train on time, but had they asked us a ticket, we would’ve been screwed.IMG_7184
  6. The bars were really cool. Very hipstery but not as douchy. People are fun, too! I especially liked Klunkerkranich Rooftop Beergarten (pictured above). It’s on top of a mall – basically the last place I would expect a cool bar – and has great view, great vibe and great environment.
  7. Which reminds me. To me, Berlin had this New York vibe to it. Specifically Brooklyn. The streets, the hole in the wall type bars, the way people act, everything. I felt like I was back in New York – a cheap and close-to-home New York. Like a dream come true.berlin
  8. And yeah, can you believe how cheap Berlin is?! Not just the food, the drinks, everything! We went to Primark in Alexanderplatz (yes, I am a tourist, thank you very much) and went NUTS. You would, too.
  9. Street art. Berlin is like a big canvas; the buildings, the bridges, the trash cans, the walls – you can find art anywhere!street art
  10. Well, this part is not specific to Berlin, but it’s the first and only place I’ve tried it. Couchsurfing! I was pretty glad we did it; it was free, the person we stayed with was not only not creepy, but also super helpful. He showed us around, kept us company. (Well, the strangest part was that he was a French guy living in Berlin who can speak Turkish! Unreal.) I was happy that we went with Couchsurfing and not a cheap hostel type of situation.

I’ve also visited Amsterdam for 2 days as well on this trip, but I can’t seem to remember that part well, because reasons. I shall write it as soon as it comes back to me.