Hobbies, do you have any?

We mean, do you have any regular activity that would count as one?

Blogging, or writing could also be one. How about another one besides this? We mean, blogging can’t be your entire life right? Ok we are sure it isn’t, but you tell us. A couple of blogger awards do seek that one share a little more about oneself. And hobbies could obviously be one.

Heheh… btw we are an award free site.

A couple of months back, we were in a series of conversation with Timi (read here for her blog). Now Timi is not only a musician but also a historian and satorialist (can’t remember what it means? Read here). Plus she is really into medieval stuff which is what intrigues us. In the course of the conversation, TImi asked Suan about her hobby. Sorry Timi it took THIS long to reply. So what is one of Suan’s hobbies besides traveling?

Cross Stitching.

When Suan was a student, one of her fascinations was with beautiful motifs. And she liked to create things by hand. With little pocket money she scrimped and saved to satisfy her liking – and cross stitching became her first love – hobby that is… Mel came later… heheh. In that time (more than 30 years ago), there was an abundance of little shops in the little red dot that sold threads, some of which were for stitching.

With instructions from books one can obtain from libraries, Suan studiously copied down the layouts and color codes of the threads. And here are some of her works though there are many more:

Yep. That was what Suan used to do. And she on occasion will still stitch. What hobbies do YOU have?

The Heart of Europe?

Is there such a thing as the heart of a country? How about its political capital? In the case of the European Union, it seems that most of the institutions are located in the little country of Belgium. Can we call it the heart of Europe? You tell us.

Because of its proximity with the Netherlands (Holland as we ever so fondly call it), frequency of drives to/through it occurs at such a high rate that its not worth counting. You see, Mel had to drive through to northern France where the manufacturing plants were located as well. And the distances are too near to fly yet too far (time and connection-wise) to take the train. Hit the road, Mel… and that’s what he did, sometimes with Suan in tow.

Comprising of two quite distinct regions, Belgium can only be said to be a melange of influences both Flemish and French. Why not take a leisurely read of our feature here? You might note that we do not have any reference on the Wallonia part of the country. And that’s actually the pitiful part, in the sense it was so close to us yet not touched. Though we’ve driven through on the way to Alsace in France.

Where in Belgium have you been? So what else is there to the ‘heart’ of Europe that you can share?

The MRT series – Changi Airport (CG2)

Our world class airport, set to expand to the 5th terminal is where one part of the East-West line terminates. For those who call the airport home for work reasons, you have reason to cheer. Because the airport is getting larger and even more glitzier. You might never have to go home when that next terminal is complete.

Did you know that Terminal 1 of the airport has a cactus garden? Or there is a sunflower garden in Terminal 2? How about the butterfly garden in Terminal 3? Granted these are past security and serve as a smoking area in reality, check it out the next time you have an opportunity since you can also watch airplanes take-off from here in an open air environment!

←Expo (CG1)

→Bedok (EW5)

Part of the MRT series here.

Summertime in Tokyo

This is almost an annual thing.

Suan tags along with Mel on one of his journeys to Japan for business. Now accruing the airmiles to do this is not an easy task. Besides concentrating our spending onto one credit card, Mel also have to be conscientious to save the miles for each flight so that Suan may tag along should her miles be not enough… and you might have read our previous rants about it here and here.

And this time we did not sojourn outside of Tokyo for there was no time.

So what’s a girl to do when she had all the time in the world during an entire week? No prizes for guessing… but yes the shops were all fair game. Fortunately there were two weekends, so poor Mel was roped in to ‘help’. There was a lot of holding the shopping bags and swiping the card (till it was red hot), but interspersed within are hours of culinary pleasure too… remember we said eating is an integral part of our every journey?

In our previous sharing of time spent in Tokyo (here, here and here), you might recall all the pictures of food, shops, stuff…. how will it be different this time? We’ve prepared a slide show for you. Enjoy!

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We know quite some readers love to travel to Japan. Would you prefer Tokyo over other cities?

Who loves skiing?

Yeah who? Posting this in the middle of the year when it’s summer (well for the northern hemisphere anyway) seems odd?

For tropical folks facing the sweltering heat every day, sliding on snow and ice is surely not something usual. But you see, some things in life one needs to try out. Even if one is getting on age. Active ageing, yeah that’s it. Of course we weren’t that aged when we first skied, but it was surely not encouraging when we got off the aircraft.

Why? Read all about that here. Btw we actually enrolled in practice classes in Amsterdam before heading out.

And if you should have read the story in the link above, you would have known that we ran out of gas after 3 days of hitting the slopes. The ‘baby’ ones actually. We cannot imagine folks skiing all day for 7 days in a row… too much stress on the knees… moving on! But of all things we had to do was to go sliding down a mountain in the dark. Have you done night tobogganing? Looking back now, darn that was risky.

In winter it gets a little harder to do touristic things. Places open later and close earlier. Accessibility becomes an issue in some cases. But we took that all in stride and had a wonderful time exploring the city of Innsbruck.

Fortunately for us it did not cost an arm or a leg when we were skiing in the mountain sides of Innsbruck. Do you enjoy the exhilaration of skiing?

The MRT series – Expo (CG1)

It is true, there is a very large exposition facility here. Hence the name of the station was probably taken as a short form of exposition. The largest convention and exhibition venue in our little island, the station is usually quiet on the weekends without office traffic. But it meets with a sea of people who come here for all kinds of large trade events.

It also serves the Changi business park, catering to many companies that have moved out from the pricier CBD. Though this means folks coming here to work have a longer commute unless they lived close by.

Most recently in 2017, the station also became an interchange connected to the downtown line (DTL).

Did you notice the architecture of the station? Doesn’t it remind you of the Star Trek enterprise, or something to that effect?

←Tanah Merah (EW4)

→Changi Airport (CG2)

Part of the MRT series here.