Alfama, Lisbon, Portugal

one of Lisbon’s oldest areas










Sintra – Cabo de Roca / Pena Palace, Portugal

Day trip to Sintra: Lisbon came under Muslim rule in 714AD, which lasted almost 500 years. Here, we explored one of the historical sites with beautiful architecture.

photospam because i didnt write anything else, papa’s note9 got stolen here too. he was careless.




















Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon’s been on my list for awhile, so i was pleased we decided to visit! (partially engineered by me hehehhehe)

i suppose it was how i envisioned it – that iconic tram, the typical european quiet of a walkable city… i’m also pleased to have captured some happy pictures of my parents

i loved the egg tarts

a little sweeter than i’d expected, but creamy-lovely








1. A General Look at Central Am

my favourite continent!
i knew it’d be my last long holiday, so i seized the opportunity to visit central america (3 weeks)

interesting sign

ate my first tacos at this restaurant actually. ‘if we do well, ring a bell!’
funny, i suddenly recall the fast food ‘taco bell’ we used to have in SG. What happened to it?


in El Salador. I was nervous at the sign about guns – we don’t see that here.


that walking money changer ha ha ha


Exploring a day in Lisbon, Portugal

From what I recall, Lisbon was quite a beautiful European city. The cool weather (i’m mostly in Europe in winter), the cobblestone streets in the Old Town, the iconic tram… the warm water chestnut we bought to munch on in the cold. yum!
I’ve been meaning to visit Lisbon, really. I planted the idea in the fam’s head when they wanted to do a Spain trip hehe. So yay! I’m glad my geographical imagination is fulfilled.


xmas lights

a very walkable city, we walked around the town

por cierto!

man basking by the pier in a unique way

the main square


flea market ish stalls


padre y madre

los paredes

teniendo una conversacion en las calles


a group of graffiti grannies that came together, proclaiming their presence on the streets

what could they be suggesting about selfie-taking tourists?


that unique lift

the sun rays that streamed into the corners in the mornings




hmm. where was this? honestly, i cant remember

one of the long escalators.
how Europe, I think to myself while recollecting the scenes
comparing them to latin americv, the grungy streets with much culture and flavour
i suppose i’m exoticizing / leaning towards the Different, being the Singapore-city-kid that I am, but i somehow prefer the latter as a place to explore – the stimulating sensations we otherwise get in latin american streets and markets


Madrid, Spain

another half a year had passed before i stepped into a spanish-speaking region again.
Madrid, the second time in a year! I know I’m so privileged. Many in the world wouldn’t have had the chance to come even once. In their lifetimes. I know, I know!


funny, these charms. cultural imports of guatemala. it maddened me a little bit, these commodification of culture – TNCs that adopt these ideas from developing regions, turn them into little saleable charms for tourists. im not sure how to explain it, i guess it makes me feel like these gimmicky things will certainly continue to generate profits for the rich(er). i suppose it reminded me of how without the know-how, you wouldnt know how to package and market this concept
and the widening disparity


the lobby of one of the hotels (with prents, duh). after coming back from my Taiwan trip (or actually even before), I am more certain than ever that the level of accomodation, for me, makes minimal difference. I pretty much just need a bed to sleep. and a good-to-have, air-con. the rest = optional. i think i’ve been very well-trained by gramma, whom i share a room with + no aircon, not even during the haze periods the past years, not even on the worst of days. 

not even when i had chicken pox 😦

a pretty sight i saw

papand the birds 

i cant remember the place, because i did not plan the itinerary for madrid and when im not the one doing the planning, i really dont quite bother remembering the places unfortunately



5. Madrid / Seville, Spain

En mi último día en Havana, I took in my final sights of this curious mix of tropical paradise with quaint nostalgia, the vintage cars that tourists swooned over but coughed out black fumes and required frequent fixing. The ubiquitous image of Che on the walls, in schools and even on someone’s tattoo, and how he strove to create El Hombre Nuevo – the New Man – who would work for the common good rather than personal gains. Beyond the free universal schooling, healthcare and ration cards, there’s too many things too complex about the socialist republic for me to comprehend within this short time. All I’ve caught a glimpse of is but the snapshot of lives lived out in the open.

Adios y muchas gracias por todos!

Pacquete – Netflix style? $2 a month? For like a whole hard disk of entertainment

2 cucs for the ration card to feed 3 people a month

My first step into Madrid

Hablas inglés? I had asked. Of course she does, I forgot. The water cooler, perfectly manicured streets, ah I had just slightly forgotten the qualities of a developed state.

And so it all comes to an end, the June break I’d been waiting for this January. I feel so troubled about my job thoughts kept arising. Is it that work life is just like that – troubling? Is it self-imposed? Be teachable, be humble, put aside your ego and just continue to improve, I tell myself. Is it because it’s my first job that I keep thinking of leaving? I think so.

5euros bus from airport to atocha
2euros bottle
3.50 left luggage
4 churros and chocolate
6 tapas
25 cents lemon drink
Souvenirs washi tapes 4euros and pen mirror 4 euros = 8€

I was too tired, and maybe somewhat Europe-scenery-saturated at this point, so i didn’t take out my camera to take any pictures, only those on my phone


i just had to have churros.

I then took a day trip to Seville, where I’ve always wanted to visit






Ah, those prints!




some gorgeous architecture (i have to say though, that at this point, i was rather tired – perhaps too tired to appreciate)

some tapas for lunch 

Gonna be back in December!





5. Medan City, Medan, Indonesia (FOOD)

hmm, threats in a city…

my faveeeeeeeee

durian shop – the shop that dedicated itself to selling durians. it was delicious, the durians, we shared, ate and ubered back. it was really crowded too.


yum food


moments of relaxation in a HaMMOCK – i thought to myself as i lay there – forget the stress. this is the life




simple but so good



eating here beats eating in flores island for sure