Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Go... Korea!

Finally I get to go to Seoul. One of the most popular destinations among the 'young and trendy' *ehem*, what with all that Korean drama influences these days, clothes and makeup, Kim Chis and Bibimbabs. Also a very popular flight to-have among cabin crew because of the easy sectors, beautiful hotel and attractive allowance.

There were 7 Korean crew on the flight and after about 8 hours stuck in a metal tube together the rest of us kinda figured out our itineraries. I was to eat and shop, likewise two other Asian girls. The non-Asians thought it more intriguing to do a tour visiting palaces and stuff (whom later totally regret not coming shopping with us heh).

And so there were the Korean salads and fresh lettuces making up for the fatty pork barbeque, bottles of Shoju to go with the meal, and great cosy ambience rather traditional i.e. totally NIL English words- thanks to our senior Korean crew who allowed us to tag-along, she translated and ordered everything for us.

Next morning we armed ourselves with a sharp eye and and a loose purse in the middle of Myeong-dong, the shopping district to be in the centre of Seoul. Though prices are definitely not as low as in the Namdaemun and Dongdaemun markets, it is a lovely place with plenty of shops and restaurants enough to distract ourselves for a good 5 hours. Languages are not a barrier when it comes to picking and paying. Services were good. I bought adorable makeup stuff in irresistable pink packaging - in a pink shop, Korean beauty products, cute pants, and pair of heels (very very disciplined there!). Would've gone on forever and inflict more damage but decided to take the hotel bus back to catch a quick nap before getting ready for the flight back.

Despite just a short stay, Seoul is surely good for the one who craves excellent food and shopping. Seoul for the soul, geddit?

Photos are here. Warning: 1) lotsa pork 2) will induce hunger.

Bye bye, Korean Won! You came and went oh-so quickly...

Monday, 7 April 2008

One Day in Brazil

The crew flew 14 hours from Dubai to stay in Sao Paulo for no more than 30 hours. A shame, but then we got there for free and then some shopping money. So I don't complain.

The hotel is fantastic, rooms are beautiful. Location-wise, not exactly in town area instead a new business district. Outside I see highways and contemporary architecture. My Brazilian colleagues had earlier warned me not to go out alone at night, a bad turn and one might just end up in a slum. Brazil is like that, they say.

Weather was great the next morning - skies clear from rain, breezy in the sun light. As per concierge recommendation we went to Emporio Moema for breakfast. Moema, a district where we can find the famous Havaianas flip-flop store and other shops amidst upper-class residential buildings. Spent the whole morning idling in the area, in between making tough decisions over slippers and bikinis.

I would love to have visited Liberdade, the district of Japanese community, largest outside of Japan! I want to go to the markets, the majestic museums, run in the park, binge on churasco, sit at a cafe listen to bossa but they all seem quite unachievable within a short span of time.

From the little I see, the capital of Brazil is a beautiful place with beautiful people. Many interesting stuff you can find in the media, great advertising, lovely sounds. I had a fantasy of speaking Portuguese and living there.

More photos here.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Things You'd See in a Crew Bus...

I Miss Black Cat and Padang

It's a shame I have never been to Jakarta, it being a stone-throw away from Singapore. Until January this year. I have the greatest pleasure of hanging out with my dear friend Verrie who did a very good job showing me around. I wouldn't have savoured true Indonesian Padang and subject myself to hours of charm and Bintang Beer at Black Cat Jazz Bar otherwise.

Did you know that the very sedap Padang experience is such that a huge array of dishes are presented on the table? You get billed only for those you succomb to of course... but it's very hard to resist.

Thank you, Verrie!