Melbourne Darling

Isn’t ‘darling’ such a fabulous word? And hearing it directed at me, in an Australian accent (which I have always loved and personally feel that it is best described as a mouthful of sunshine), just warms my heart and is a perfect antidote to the 5 degree 5 am arrival in Melbourne airport. Smelling coffee as I stepped into the arrival area, I immediately decided that I was going to like this city and 3 days after, it’s safe to say that I do (great food, great coffee, great people – what’s there not to like?) Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset First day was spent in an utter daze as we were functioning on 4 hours of sleep (couldn’t check in until after lunch). Tried the famous Market Lane coffee at Queen Victoria Market. I got a latte which only had one shot and so was a tad too milky for my liking. Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset Chanced upon a cute flower shop among other things. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset Ventured to St. Kilda’s which was perfect for lazy strolling. Had lunch at a cute cafe called Phamish which serves a fusion of Modern Australian food and Middle Eastern. I was spoilt for choices but decided to go with the Chicken Fatoush Salad with radish, cherry tomato, cucumber, mint, onion, mixed toasted seeds & oven baked Lebanese bread topped with sumac yoghurt. Eating it was a beautiful experience – so light yet so filling. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset The weather was lovely and sunny so I was incredibly snap happy. I had a camera rotation going – DSLR to SLR to polaroid camera to phone (good thing I had my dad as the official unused camera holder). IMG_7092 IMG_7089 Walked from Luna park, along the Marina boardwalk – saw some joggers, dog walkers and lots of skaters – all the way until Ormond Point. IMG_7094 IMG_7097 Had a lovely view of the Melbourne cityscape and it was definitely worth the walk. Dinner was seafood at a restaurant called Sharkfin in Chinatown. My favourite dish was the lobster – it tasted really fresh and the meat was sweet and not too chewy. I also really liked the beef slices (though I usually don’t like red meat) except for the fact that it was smothered in sweet sauce. Didn’t take that many pictures because Asian food in general is just not that photogenic (how sad but at least it tastes good) and anyways, my hands were too busy trying to get lobster meat out of the shell (gotta work for yo food). Second day’s weather was even more beautiful than the first. Sleepy start to the day at 10 am. Headed to Queen Victoria Market to pick up fresh fruit for breakfast but ended up having to take a punnet of strawberries with me and eat on the go as I was late to meet a friend (when am I ever on time). Caught up over coffee and brunch at Seven Seeds which was really nice. IMG_7096 Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset I had a house-smoked salmon served on crumpets with cream spinach puree, hollandaise and poached eggs. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset After breakfast, we went up onto the roof of his accommodation where we had a wonderful view. I love how peaceful Melbourne is, especially from above.  Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset IMG_7098Stopped off at Collingwood for some street art loving. The afternoon sun was perfect lighting for the beautiful array of colours on the brick wall canvas. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset  Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with p5 preset

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View from the apartment window

Sunday brunch dragged on for a little too long and cut our Great Ocean Road trip short. The food and atmosphere was amazing though – easily my favourite cafe. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 presetAl fresco dining in the Sunday sun. I felt like we were in somebody’s backyard – love the homey feel. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetKinda bummed we didn’t get to see the 12 Apostles but the coastal view was stunning all the way.

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 presetMelbourne is one of the places that I wouldn’t mind going back to time and time again. 3 days definitely wasn’t enough. Next up: Sydney post.

OOTD: Sydney Styling

I feel that now that I’ve done Melbourne outfits, I need to follow that trend and do the Sydney ones before moving on to the actual travelling. Sooo here are more pictures of me pretending to be Australian and exposing my ankles (love me some rolled cuffs).

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Casual Catch-up

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So one of my besties goes to ANU in Canberra and I figured that I wouldn’t be able to see her since we were only visiting Melbourne, Sydney and Gold Coast (plus she never replied to my “I’m coming to Australia!!” message, rude). Thank god for instagram – she saw one of my posts of the Indian Ocean from a plane window (can never resist a good plane photo), put two and two together and proceeded to reprimand me, quite aggressively might I add, for not telling her that I was coming (though I 100% did). Anyways, spent a lovely day catching up at a goldfish obsessed cafe (they had about 3 books dedicated to goldfish), doing lots of outlet shopping and attempting to sightsee which ended up in her nearly breaking down, mainly due to google maps being a bitch and also to her complete lack of direction #besttourguide

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Beach Bright

As pretty much all my winter clothes are monochrome, I think I was experiencing pattern withdrawal and this all came out on beach day – where else would it be appropriate to wear my pineapple crop top (the correct answer should be everywhere but sadly that is not the case).

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(Baby) Blue Mountain

It was a tad chillier up in the mountains which meant I had to revert back to my subdued items of clothing. Baby blue denim jeggings in keeping with the colour scheme of the Blue Mountain and the beautiful blue sky.

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Also wearing the knitted cream cardigan that I bought just a few days before – I’m always so eager to wear my new clothes.

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over and out, Tiff

OOTD: Melbourne Outfitters

(Like Urban Oufitters getittt… I really should stop making up titles that I need to explain)

As I probably won’t get round to all the good stuff just yet (ie. food, places) and only have access to the photos on my phone which is a tiny fraction of the entirety of my photo collection (limited mainly to selfies, landscapes, selfies with landscapes), you’re going to have to make do with an outfit post.

Australians are so well dressed it’s kind of intimidating. They’re just so effortlessly stylish. And I don’t know what it is about holidays, maybe the Australian edginess is rubbing off on me (I’d like to think), but I always seem to put in an extra effort towards my outfits. It’s almost as if because I’m in a different place, I feel like I have the freedom to reinvent myself. Reinvent my wardrobe if anything. Anyways, here’s a little taste of my Melbourne experience through my clothes.

Mint Matching

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7 am coffee at Market Lane in Queen Victoria’s Market where lo and behold, I discover that the coffee cup is the same colour as my scarf. Thought to myself “well one of us is going to have to change” but then realised that it’s kind of like those matching couples – kind of cringey but cute nonetheless.

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I realise as I’m writing this that my scarf is not mint coloured. I think I got caught up in my quest for an alliterative sub-heading which made me temporarily colour blind. I am not going to change it now because “Turquoise Matching” just doesn’t have the same ring to it. Anyways, the pièce de resistance for today’s number was definitely my bright turquoise pashmina (and the matching turquoise paper cup of course). I got this scarf (and a few others) from Little India for a crazy bargain of $10 – but more on that purchase later in my Little India post. Paired it with a few basics: navy jeggings from Maple in Hong Kong, black suede jacket from Nathalie Chaize and my fave slip-ons that I practically live in now.

Holiday Hoodlumming

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One of the places I was adamant that we visited was Collingwood and I’m glad we did, I mean look at the street art. It was also a perfect setting for me to rock my neon orange $5 beanie from H&M.

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I usually do not wear hats mainly because I can’t pull the majority of them off and also because my hair is thick enough to keep my ears warm during the winter season aka hat season. But I’m willing to make an exception for this neon beanie because who doesn’t love a bit of neon in their life.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI seem to have a thing for having one brightly coloured item and then the rest of my outfit being pretty plain: black crop cami top (same as the one I wore here), white denim jeans from Maple (I went a bit cray and now have the same jeans in navy, baby blue and white denim), denim jacket from Bugis Street, leather chain sling bag from Primark and my slip-ons.

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White Picket Fence

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Sunday lived up to its name. I was so grateful for wearing white because sitting out in the sun at midday would not have been as fun in black. Good fashion choices = good life choices. Wearing a white long sleeve lace crop top from H&M, baby blue denim jeans from Maple.

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My very blue sunglasses are from Unity Eyewear (they’re AUS$30 online but $15 at the market), gold choker is from Little India (more about this gem in the Little India post I will write in the near future) and world map watch from Oxford vintage market (lovely present from my equally lovely friends).

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Despite the sun on this sunday, it was a bit more chilly at the beach so kept cosy with my white jumper from Bugis Street.

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with hb1 presetMy friend said that with my film camera around my neck at all times I either look like a tourist or a hipster. I am, by definition a tourist in this beautiful city. But with the colossal asian population here, I think I could quite easily pass off as a hipster. Except in restaurants maybe – the amount of pictures snapped and the amount of angles they are snapped in kind of blow my cover. Anyways, that’s it for Melbourne outfit-wise. Next up Sydney style wooo!

stay fab, Tiff

Shanghai takes Hua Hin

For the past 2 weeks, people have been greeting me with variations of “you’re so tan” and “wow you’re black”. I was expecting somewhat more enthusiastic exclamations along the lines of how much they’ve missed me – I guess how tanned I’ve gotten overrides the fact that I haven’t seen most of these people in half a year. Anyways, on to the interesting bit – the reason why I’m the shade of coffee (and I’m not talking about cappuccino or latte brown, more of a Americano with maybe a teaspoon of milk).

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H U A   H I N     T H A I L A N D

 

This trip was a major throwback (albeit much more tame) to my graduation trip in Koh Samui, Thailand. The 9-days spent in our villa, Baan Caruso, was basically a reunion trip (that I kind of crashed) with a group of my middle school friends from Shanghai. I had never heard of this place before and that’s probably because it is relatively non-touristy, as in most of the tourists are Thai.

I will not do a day-by-day account because then this post would look a bit like this:

eat sleep tan repeat

So here are a few things that I learned in Hua Hin:

1. Google maps lies (in Thailand): Most of the time, google maps is my friend and savior. But it is definitely not my friend when it’s telling me that the villa is a half an hour walk from the bus stop when it turns out that it’s actually a 45 minute van ride. Imagine if I had attempted to walk that…

2. Helmets = good: Yeah there’s the whole thing about it protecting the most important of your body and all that but no one ever mentions how well it protects your face from wind burns and other unidentifiable objects flying at your face when you’re going 80km/h on a dodgy scooter.

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3. Do not do 2 many number 2s: You’re not supposed to flush any toilet paper down the toilet. Enough said.

4. Wifi all night, wifi all day: 7 days of unlimited internet access for 300 baht? Yes please.

5. I do in fact burn: After a good 19 years burn free, I have finally experienced the horrible sensation of peeling. Do not, I repeat, do not, take a 3 hour doze outside with no sun screen on even if it is a cloudy day. The clouds are illusions, you will burn.

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6. Pad Thai is not Thai: Or more accurately, the name ‘Pad Thai’ is not Thai. In Thailand (or Hua Hin at least), Pad Thai is just called fried noodles. Wish we had known that from the start. Would’ve spared us the disappointment caused by fruitless manic searches for it.

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7. Hua Hin Express: On the last day we felt guilty of the fact that we had basically not stepped out of the villa. So we decided to go full tourist mode: elephant riding, seafood meal, night market, mango (no sticky rice because this Taiwanese tourist bulk bought the last 15 boxes and laughed in our face, how rude).

All in all it was so nice catching up with friends, reading and my tan (I am no longer burnt thankfully). There are very few things that beat the feeling of waking up with an absolutely blank to-do list, in a villa full of people I love.

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