Friday, July 21, 2017

*incoming long post because I haven't posted thoughts for a while*

Still missing Japan food a lot, maybe because I'm still going through my photos. I also miss Paris pastries, and Sydney brunch (which is more accessible), but I just haven't had time to go out to a cafe. It's been at least 2 months now, not including overseas food that I last had a nice brunch. Side note, it's weird how there is a Jamie's Italian in Iceland, gonna be the most expensive one for sure.

Argh, Google is a love hate relationship. Why do my photos from my iPhone automatically upload into Google Photos?! I never signed up for this? What is this invading my privacy and uploading to the Google account?? I already turned off back up and sync, and after Googling, other people have had the same issue, but there's no answer. Turning off back up and sync in Google Photos setting still automatically upload into Google Photos. Like I turn off cloud streaming in my iPhone settings and it doesn't upload into iCloud, but it doesn't work with Google Photos.

Also something happened when I was deleting photos on Google photos. Some photos I upload on my blog posts are through the Blog Touch app, so I can upload photos onto Blogger straight from my phone. I was just glancing through my blog, and all the photos just disappeared and there's a blank circle/line through all my images. What is this? How does deleting from Google Photos affect uploading onto Blogger? I just know Google owns them all, but why does it screw up my blog post? Like I know this blog is only a hobby, and no way would I be those who earn their full time income from blogging, but all my time spent on food posts and it just deletes my photos...Again, after Googling the answers, other people have this problem but no one knows how to fix it.

Oh the irony, I love Google and drive, but I didn't consent to photos being automatically uploaded to Google Photos, or getting them deleted off Blogger.

I think for once I ceebs uploading my JP/TW/HK holiday pics to FB. Too many photos taken from both camera and phone. I still can't use my camera properly, or maybe I need a better lens for those macro food shots, but then again it'll be a waste of money when I still have more to learn...)

Finding a colour laser printer with other functions is harder than it seems. There's actually not a lot of 'cheap' multifunction coloured laser printers out there.

I felt like I worked more this financial year, but it doesn't look like it on paper. A $5 pay drop per hour really does take it's toll. I don't like how the company is cutting back on even the simplest things like cleaning cloths. At the end of the day, you can't die with your money (apart from my Grandpa who is crazy and actually requested he gets buried with cash...), so money earned is meant to be spent #yolo. If I'm that person who spends all my money on avocado toast, then so be it (in reality I don't have time to go to cafes or when I do I'm too lazy to go, so it's comfier having not as pretty avo toast at home plus watching Netflix/YouTube). Yay for GoT starting again! #couchpotatolyf

Can't believe sem 2 starts next week. Back to the daily grind of lectures, prices, assignments and exams. Even though I've been going to uni during holidays for research, it's relatively less pressure if we can't finish everything, well more like it's going to be physically impossible to do everything unless we are at uni 24/7. I now understand why researchers are at uni from morning to evening and also on weekends. It's going to be like high school all over again. Different people and trying to make new friends even though everyone has their own 'groups'. I am probably one of the most anti-social person you know, and so bad at socialising (probs another reason I still single lol). I am ceebs most of the time, but I know I need friends to survive the course/life. At least they grouped us all together.... Eternally grateful for the G8s (:

Told myself to study right from the beginning of the year, but my notes have remained unfiled since last year...Time went fast from Feb to now, from travel, research, relatives over + travel, research then travel again and research, It just dragged on from Nov-Jan, which I now sort of regret in hindsight and should have listened to other people and got out of the house to do more things. I also sort of regret for not taking care of myself these past few years, and probs will regret more as I age...Oh gosh, getting so old already...I actually have a list of things to make and places to hike, which obviously didn't end up getting touched...Sometimes I complain about being too busy, but I like how busy passes the time and decreases the pain.

I think it's taken me 22 years to maybe be 'over' birthdays. I used to be sure excited and planned cake and everything at least a month in advance, and where I would like to eat etc and all the free food. Now I just kind of ceebs ordering a cake because I'm quite behind on the dessert scene in Sydney. Actually there's a few places I would like to try, but impossible to bring back home a cake, and those places only do small cakes. Then there is one cake I want but I need to invite a million people to eat it since that's the smallest size it comes in, so ceebs. Birthdays are a good excuse for catch ups though... Presents are fun when you're young, but tbh, I don't want things as much these days compared to 'experiences'. I ceebs getting free bday food for once, a massive difference from first year where I got at least 10 things in one day... Decided to just be boring and work on my birthday and dinner at home. Need that money to pay for travel, well save up for next trip but probably won't be in the near future after spontaneously going to the other side of the world this year.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Cuppa Flower

I really love this concept of a flower cafe, where you can buy flowers and then also have food. Coming back from Japan, they have the best flower cafe with fresh flowers everywhere, but Japan has better everything pretty much. For Sydney standards, this cafe has pretty good decor and atmosphere.

food spread 

They added flowers to the table cause they saw me taking photos lol. They normally do put flowers, just was probably a bit slow to start the day. They were real, but weren't really fragrant.

fresh flowers

wish I could afford a fresh bunch at home

cake cabinet, I'm told these are only for dine in customers, as they sell out fast.

Japanese chiffon cake ft Totoro-$5

 
They're so cute!

Nice and light, wish I could make my chiffon cakes rise as high. Green tea wasn't as flavourful as the black sesame one, but both weren't that sweet which is always a plus.

Green tea latte (small)-$4.20

This is one of the prettiest coffee art I've ever seen, flower art to match the flower cafe! Tasted alright as well, not too sweet cause I prefer a more bitter green tea latte.

   
Ricotta pancakes w/ mixed berries, ricotta cheese, marscapone, maple syrup-$18.80

Love all the colours on this pancake board, makes everything super vibrant. The pancakes weren't the fluffiest or the biggest, but I really loved the added marscapone and berries to go with it, and ricotta to add some more creaminess. Didn't add the maple syrup since there was already some sweetness from the berry sauce, although I liked how they gave you a honey serving utensil.

Cuppa Flower Benedict: beetroot and potato rosti, bacon (or ham), 2 poached eggs, avocado, hollandaise sauce-$18.50 


#yolkporn

First time seeing beetroot rosti so decided to order it. The beetroot doesn't really add flavour, just more colour. The rosti wasn't fried in too much oil. Eggs cooked perfectly with an oozy yolk. I thought this dish was worth the price. You get a choice between bacon or ham, and also decent side of avo. I love the addition of an edible flower to help fit in with the whole cafe theme. 

kitchen 

outside

Come here before lunch on a weekday and don't have to deal with long weekend lines. Food and service was really pleasant. I do have to admit if anyone goes to Tokyo, Aoyama Flower Cafe is a must go, cafe filled with flowers everywhere and just smells amazing.

Cuppa Flower Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, July 8, 2017

The most unorganised organised trip: Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong

Hello friends, back from my 'budget asia trip!' Was way too busy eating over 6 meals a day to even touch Instagram, let alone this blog. Will catch up soon. Obviously I never got round to blogging about places to eat earlier in my 'Spontaneous Europe Trip,' and I don't think I'll have time for this time round, so I'll just do some thoughts here.

Originally it was just to try summer in HK (since I always go in winter) for around 3 weeks, and so I booked return tickets to HK. Then I wanted to see if anyone was free to go Taiwan with me since I can't really speak Mando, so my Dad and I decided to shout a younger cousin to go to Taiwan for a week, that was around 2 months before I left for HK. Then 2ish weeks before departure date, an aunt asked me if I wanted to go Japan and she'll shout for plane tickets/accommodation. Hence, why it's an 'unorganised organised' because ideally you would go from city to city, but I went back and forth from HK airport a few times.

This trip was more 'budget' since I didn't want to spend a lot of money in the outset as I already did a spontaneous Europe trip which was $$$ (well still cheap compared to other people doing Europe, but a lot more expensive compared to Asia). It was mainly food plus some sightseeing/shopping as I've already seen the main sights in Tokyo, whereas Europe was probably half food/sightseeing/museums.

Tokyo, Japan:
- Japan wasn't really on my 'to-go' list since I have been there before almost 10 years ago. Went with a tour group, and it was my first time going to a different country apart from HK and back then obviously I had no idea in how to plan things since I was just a super young teen, and I think we just had dial up internet...I remember going to Tokyo DisneySea and Fuji Q since that was my main goals to go on rollercoasters, and also seeing Mt Fuji, seeing fresh snow etc. Didn't eat that much and didn't really explore Tokyo a lot. Tbh now I'm older I also can't eat as much...
- Spent 8 days (6 full days) in Tokyo, and that still wasn't enough time! Ate over 5 meals a day, yet there were still some Jap food we didn't have time for, right until the last minute at the airport.
- Went with 3 other aunts and age range a few decades. So thankful and happy they managed to keep up with me. Walked approx 25 000 steps a day (and mainly walked a lot just so I had stomach space to eat more lol). 99% of people think you can't do my itineraries, but I usually prove them wrong.
- Successfully completed my itinerary except for going to SkyTree for night views, Jap Maccas/Mos Burger, and some Jap department stores.

- Japanese people are so, so polite! Still hasn't changed since my last visit. I feel that the whole world needs to learn manners from them. They are so thankful before and after your meal, don't rush you when you're eating even though there is a line of 2+hr wait behind you, and just very courteous.
-They are super clean as well! Our airbnb host even cleaned our luggage wheels, like I only thought my mum and Grandma does that. Even if you go to a tiny 9 seater restaurant in a small alley/quite neighbourhood, their toilets are still clean. I don't use any of the fancy options on their toilets cause I still think it's weird
- Craziest tax free store at the airport. Mainly because Jap food expires in around a week, so everyone buys their foods to take before their departures. Never seen so many people that crazy at Duty Free before, or a store that packed.
- They really like have wet tissues in packages.
- They separate their bins, but every food item comes with so much packaging that I sometimes wonder do they really want to try reduce their waste..? It is so, so hard to find a bin in the subways, and bins don't exist on the streets. Only the bigger subways have bins.
- Their English is pretty bad, even when you're buying tickets to touristy things. I think it's cause they learn English a lot later which gets me thinking, how do they survive when going on holidays? You can't speak Jap overseas, and mostly English is a universal language, so how do they get around...or maybe they don't travel that much overseas or just join tour groups...

- I think I slightly avoided going to Tokyo because I don't think I could deal with their public transport since it looked so confusing. After trying it first hand, I think it's manageable. The good thing is they have a letter and number assigned to each station, so can talk about a station without knowing the name with each other in different languages.
- I see Tokyo Metro as the cheaper subway with more destinations, but JR as a circle which goes to all the tourist destinations but more expensive. We got these cards which you could go on Tokyo Metro unlimited for only $6 a day, pretty cheap since Tokyo public transport isn't cheap. Only some destinations we took JR.
- Not many stations actually have barriers before boarding the trains. More JR, a lot less Tokyo Metro and only the big stations had a floor to ceiling barrier. Some had half, but most stations I went had no barriers

- Food was amazing! I would go again for the food. Didn't even have sushi that much, like only 2 meals out of a hundred...Savouries or sweets, I will go back one day....
- Although the inventor of MSG is a Jap person, Japanese aren't afraid to use it. They just know how to use the right flavours plus MSG, especially in sauces.
- So many Michelin restaurants which are affordable. Luckily I didn't watch MasterChef cause then I would have an unaffordable list of restaurants to go to.
- I didn't even spend that much money until the airport when I saw all those Jap snacks and cakes such as LeTAO and raw royce chocs which pretty much only survive for 4 hours, the perfect flight times back to HK, but way too long to survive back to Aus.
- Will be posting more food pics on instagram

Taipei, Taiwan:
- My friends won't joking about the humidity. You walk outside and just sweat like crazy like you're showering. I've never sweater that much in my whole life. Singapore, Malaysia etc doesn't compare with Taiwan. Shirt was wet which seeped into my backpack. You get used to it after a while. You try to find somewhere like a 7 eleven to sit and cool off in air con, then once you rest a bit, then you step outside and sweat like crazy, then repeat and try to find air con.
- Shopping centres are rare, didn't even go in one.
- No shame in using my UV proof umbrella in the sun. I got so tanned after a week in Taiwan.
- Their subway is quite easy to use. Most of them had barriers before boarding the train.
- I feel so filthy rich in Taiwan when buying food. Food was alright, but not as great, and not as many varieties. I think my favourite thin was mango shaved ice tbh. Not a big fan of deep fried stuff, but still tried it anyway.
- Was worried I would get food poisoning so when I did go to the 'small stores' it was recommended by a friend.
- I won my first ever toy from a claw machine! Then from a lucky drawer I won an even bigger soft toy. Jap claw machines are more rigged/harder imo.
- I probably won't go Taiwan any time soon. It's good to see, just not in summer, and didn't find food amazing. I just loved the prices.
- It's like a short HK, but with so many scooters, and they drive on the wrong side of the street. The cars turning won't give way to you when you're crossing the road, they just dodge around you...Better than Malaysia I guess since they don't even bother dodging and just head straight towards you...

Hong Kong
- It's like a home away from home for me. Been back here so many times know that I don't need a sim card to make my way around. I had around 2 full days then 4 half days but didn't bother getting a sim card.
- Most people don't like HK cause of the crowds and the streets aren't that clean in comparison, but I do love how they have so many department stores to help find aircon.
- Still had a decent amount there even though my stay was super short. I still haven't really done the famous hikes but it was way too hot/didn't have enough time. It's humid, but it's just bearable.
- I think when I was younger I just took relatives for granted, but now I'm older (and hopefully more mature), making the time to visit grandparents and other relatives. I guess I'm pretty lucky to still have all 4 grandparents. The oldest one is around 94, which is pretty impressive.
- The pressure to get a bf is real lel. Can I just be single 4 lyf?
- I felt that I gained more money than I spent in HK...Yay for Asian culture and red packet giving even if it's not Chinese New Year

Planes
- Never flying cheap planes again. I just wanted a more 'budget' trip this time, and wanted to see how it felt flying a cheap airline. Waste of time and the planes are actually quite noisy. Or maybe A380 was just exceptionally quite and so big that turbulence doesn't really affect it...
- Small cheap planes also fly slower. Eg. syd to sg 8.5hrs then to hk 4hhrs, but flying a non budget airline from hk to syd also just takes 8 hrs. instead of 14+hrs including transit time.
- Landing in Hk, the budget airline plane couldn't find a parking space so just dumped us in the middle of the airport. It was pouring as well and I sat at the back, but that meant that they finally organised some ponchos for us to walk down the stairs onto the tarmac to transfer to an airport bus, then transfer to the regular in airport subways to make it to the immigration part.
- Japan airline has the best plane food!

Before you ask, yeah, I do use my savings for food and travel. I'm pretty good at saving, but I save for holidays and once I'm overseas, I spend without giving too much of a 2nd thought.

Wow, these thoughts were a lot more extensive than my Europe post...