travelling without moving

“if i were to visit you later this year, would that be okay?” asked a friend of mine, V, some time early this year. mind you, we live half a world apart and hadn’t seen each other since 2010. and even then we only met for like 10 minutes. before i moved to Finland, we used to meet everyday, or at the very least every weekend because i was in a long distance relationship with you-know-who and she was single at that time. we accompanied each other in our singledoms.😀

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long time no see!

so of course you can guess how i answered her question. everything was just a crazy idea at that time, but after months of plannings and messages back & forth, it finally came: the moment she was finally here in Finland to visit me!

it was a short visit among the rest of her Europe trip, but we had lots of fun! it’s not everyday (not even every month, or year!) that somebody from Indonesia comes to visit me, and then i get to show her/him around. for me to talk freely in Indonesian and see the city like a tourist felt like travelling without moving… because i didn’t actually go anywhere, just experienced the same city/things in different ways, in ways a tourist would.

Marimekon tehtaanmyymälä (Marimekko’s Factory Outlet)

would you believe it if i tell you that all these years i’ve lived here, i had never once gone there? well, i made it my personal goal that we went there right away on the 1st day, because i knew she would just love it. and she did. i think she died a little there from seeing all the lovely things, LOL.

Kiasma Contemporary Art Museum

one of my all time fave museums/galleries. currently they show Choi Jeong Hwa’s Happy Together collection, which i really love, along with Ernesto Neto’s and Jani Ruscica’s collection. (there are other artworks by other artists as well, but the main/solo ones are what i previously wrote.)

we had a great time here, touching things, smelling things (yep, there’s an installation for your sense of smell!), and just being wowed by the fun artworks.

Ateneum Art Museum

we came here on the very last day of her visit and barely made it before the museum closed. they currently showcase Alice Neel’s artworks which are just fantastic! there are also Finnish artists’ artworks in Stories of Finnish Art and Italian print artworks in the Great Rider collection.

we met up with my other friend, E. it was kind of surreal for me to actually witness my 2 friends from different parts of the world & different times of my life meeting each other!

Other Places & Foods

at first i had planned to introduce Finnish foods to my friend, but i guess that’s too idealistic… because to be honest, the best place to find Finnish foods is from people’s homes! meaning: i would have to cook them myself. and i was too lazy for that, LOL! so i scrapped that idea and just followed my tummy when it was time for us to eat.

i really enjoyed playing tourist as i get to do things i don’t normally do. and having someone you know getting excited over something you’ve been taking for granted allows you to see it differently, and gets you excited as well.

thank you for coming, V! hope to see you again real soon!🙂

PS. most of the pics here were taken by V and used by permission.

Tweedledee & Tweedledum

from Wizard of Oz’s Emerald City, we now move on to Alice in Wonderland, another fave story of mine.

every time i see fabrics that even remotely reminds me of Alice in Wonderland, i think my heart skips a beat. that’s what happened when i saw this jersey fabric from So Cute brand. it’s an Alice in Wonderland fabric without Alice herself.😀

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at the same time, for many years–i’d say about 8–i had been waiting for harlequin print fabric. i did find some before this, but they were too colourful and all the wrong colours, the fabric was wrong (stiff cotton), or then the print was too big. by some miracle, though, i finally found the right one this year: in the form of another jersey fabric. perfect!

i honestly wasn’t thinking of combining the two, until i washed them and they sat nicely on top of each other in my cupboard. what a lovely marriage, i thought!

at first i only planned to make one dress, using the same pattern i used years ago for my optical illusion stripey dress. but after cutting the pieces, surprisingly i still had quite a lot of the fabrics even though i only bought around 1 m of each fabric. so i had yet another crazy idea to make 2 dresses using the same fabric-combo, but different style. i did them both back to back, giving birth to them at almost the exact same time, LOL. ladies and gents, meet Tweedledee and Tweedledum!

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self-made dresses, Crocs boat shoes (left), shoes from Dappermarkt – Amsterdam (right), IKEA ceramic coaster used as background.

Tweedledee is based on pattern #121 from Burda Style magazine 09/2012. the original pattern’s front piece is actually double-layered: the side piece also covers the middle front part and then there’s another layer of just the middle part sewn on top of the side piece. that’s what i did with my stripey dress years ago, which looks fine but is always a little too heavy on the front because of that.

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so this time i cut the side piece’s middle front part off and did everything in just one layer. the result, even though i actually copied the pattern 1 size smaller than my current size, is a loose-fit dress. go figure!

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when i was done sewing Tweedledee, i thought it looks so much like a Desigual dress! well, So Cute brand is supposedly a sister brand of Melli Mello, which is kind of similar to Desigual, so no surprise there. to add a little bit of the ‘jester’ touch, i decided to sew colourful plastic stones on the neckline. i love the result!

Tweedledum is more of an ‘accidental’ child, haha! it means that i didn’t use any pattern, except that i laid down the fabric, put my Marimekko dress on top of it, and cut the fabric according to the Marimekko dress. and then i added the sleeves from some ready-made pattern, and decided to cut away a small triangle from the back side just to add a little detail.

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it was supposed to be a quick & easy project, but of course mishaps kept happening: i ran out of my good sewing thread, tried to sew it with another sewing thread of lower quality and my sewing machine got jammed, sewed the collar binding too loose which made the whole dress look ill fitted.

the next day as soon as the fabric store was opened i ran there to buy more sewing thread, ripped all the seams off the neckline and re-sewed the whole neckline after work (i think it was about 10 pm when i finished sewing the whole dress. sorry, neighbours!).

though the back side is still a bit weird (me & my great idea to do triangular cut-out!), i must say, i love Tweedledum as well!

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i guess you can’t really say that they’re midi dresses, but i’m currently loving knee-length skirts/dresses. they’re just much more appropriate for all kinds of things, even for work.

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did i hear you ask out loud, would i really wear these dresses to work? my answer is, yes i would. i know, i’m lucky to work at a place which allow me to wear all kinds of clothes!😉

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although in the story Tweedledee and Tweedledum never agree with each other, i think these dresses go along perfectly well together. at least maybe until Alice comes along.

PS. i just realized now after i finished writing the post that usually Tweedledum comes first before Tweedledee. sorry for the mix up, but i was too lazy to change the names/pics!😀

souvenir from Emerald City

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Lonkka batik dress, self-made skirt, earrings from Tekka Centre – Little India, Singapore, shoes from Dappermarkt – Amsterdam.

the first time i watched Wizard of Oz when i was small, though i hardly understood the story (i think i probably was around 5 and didn’t speak English at all), 2 things captured my attention: the ruby slippers and the Emerald City.

as i grew up and read the original book of Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, i learned that both of them were actually lies.😀 the ruby slippers in the movie were originally silver coloured in the book, and the Emerald City is not full of people wearing green clothes and buildings made of emerald, but instead they’re all white and you have to put on green-lensed glasses so that you feel as if you’re surrounded by emerald green colour.

but what can i say? i already fell in love with ruby slippers and emerald green as a colour, so even now i have a special place in my heart for these 2 things.

when we went to Singapore this summer, one of my missions was to look for cupro fabric. for some reason it’s still so hard to find in Finland, at least the type that is not for linings but for actual outer garment. if i do find some, they’re bound to be in boring colour like black, brown, grey…. so anyway, i thought there must be some in Asia. as we went to Mahaco Silk in Arab Street, that was my first question to the salesperson. sadly, it was almost like they never heard of it. i tried its twin’s name, tencel, but nope, they had never heard of that either. finally i said, “kind of like stonewashed silk, but cellulose instead of natural fibre.” it didn’t help, as i’m sure they really just didn’t have it. but they showed me the stonewashed silk… which were beautiful but too expensive for my pocket. the salesperson then asked if i would like the fake one that looked like stonewashed silk, but cheaper. since i came all the way there to get some fabrics, i thought then why not?

i asked for a green colour and thankfully, they had it. and it wasn’t just any green, it was exactly emerald green! as i decided to get it, i asked what they called that fabric. their answer was: “Hermes silk”. hmm… sounded suspicious, but whatever. i like the colour (my own dose of emerald green!), and it does have that kind of ‘washed’ texture. when i got to Finland and was ready to sew it, i decided to do the burning test, to find out if it’s real silk or polyester/other plastic fiber. the result: it’s NOT silk (nor anything natural/cellulose).

i have somewhat guessed it, so i wasn’t that disappointed. i think i was more disappointed that even in Singapore it was still hard to find cupro. i hope one day cupro for outer garments will be trendy enough to be found anywhere in pretty colours and reasonable price.

anyway, back to the sewing project! when getting the fabric, i knew that i wanted to make it as a skirt, though i had no idea yet what kind of skirt. after flipping around some old magazines, my eyes fell on this pattern #121 from Burda Style magazine 10/2013.

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image borrowed from BurdaStyle.com.

the pattern is actually more fitted for wool and other fabrics that have more body/stiffness, but since i couldn’t find anything else, i thought i’d give it a try.

emeraldskirtdetail1of course what happened next was my sewing machine chose the right time to have its own mind. i put the setting on almost the most loose stitch as possible (as i usually do for flowy/drapey materials) and used a new needle so that it would be as sharp as possible, but still the stitches are so uneven i was ready to pull my hair out. ugh.

it was almost like every nightmare i had of working with solid colour fabric became real: uneven stitches (i can see ruffles everywhere), the waistband seams and the skirt seams did not match. i kept telling myself that since the skirt is supposed to be asymmetrical, it shouldn’t really be a big problem that the stitches are uneven.

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i don’t know what to think. i guess from some angle it looks okay, from some other you can clearly see the mess.

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what i couldn’t achieve on the seams, i tried to make up for on the hem. again, i did it by hand, and i think it looks pretty neat.

emeraldskirt4the pattern needs 22 cm long zipper, but i really wanted to use this 16 cm lace zipper i had because i think the black and gold colours fit well with emerald green. so i made the waistband longer so that the edges overlap with each other and i could add hooks on the part where the zipper doesn’t reach.

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one more rant: i can’t believe how hard it was for me to capture the actual colour of this fabric. i had to edit the skirt colour in all these pictures just to get it right, because otherwise they were either too blue or too pale.

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but now for the positive side: it’s really not that bad in real life as i keep moving around.😀 (yeah, i always tell myself that whenever i make horrible stitches.) and the main thing is that it’s emerald green! it matches my earrings! i feel like i’ve visited the Emerald City and brought back some souvenirs. *snick* ah, how nostalgic. now all i need is to find a replacement for my ruby shoes (used to have a pair from Zara but they got ruined from the rain puddles after 7 years of use).

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plus i read somewhere that midi skirt and emerald green are going to be big trends for the next season. now, for once, i’m ahead of the trend!😉

my summer holiday 2016…

… has ended. i swear, if there’s any 4 weeks in a year that goes by too fast, they’re always during the summer holiday! pffft.

here’s a quick recap of all that was done, minus the trip to Singapore because that one already had 3 separate blog posts.

Summer cottage, re-painted

as usual, we went to my husband’s grandparents’ summer cottage. but this time we went there with a mission, and i don’t mean to have fun: we had to re-paint the main building and the warehouse building next to it. don’t get me wrong, painting is fun (yes, even painting a house), but the part that was tough was the preparation. first we had to brush, brush, brush off the old paint & green moss with a mini metal brush, and brush them some more until they are evenly non-coloured…. and then and only then we could start painting. huffff! we were so busy, we didn’t have time for pics on the brushing, but there are proofs of the painting! (plus my fashionable country-side get-up, ha!)

seeing the result & the scenery around the cottage, i suppose it was worth all the work, and i can only say: thank goodness the paint ran out in the middle, otherwise we would still be working there!😀

on the last pic, though the 2 buildings are quite far, i hope you can see the result of our paintings. if you compare the colours of the building from the first 2 pics while i was painting them and this last pic, you can clearly see the darker paint… and how lovely it is painted, right?😉 we managed to do the staircases too just before the paint ran out.

Newcomer

my mum-in-law and her husband lost their dog 3 years ago. we had been trying to persuade them to take a new one for years to no avail, but suddenly when we were in Singapore they made an announcement: they were adopting a cat!

H is a bengal cat and he is very shy. i don’t remember now how old he is, maybe around 2 years old? at first when we came around for a visit, he didn’t want to come near us and only hid under the sofa. but after a while, he realized we posed no threat, took a nap beside me, and even let us pet him.❤ welcome to the family, H!

Pie experiments

summer equals fresh berries here in Finland, and there’s really nothing better than Finnish strawberries and blueberries! i have always been fond of strawberries, so of course a strawberry pie was called for.

i used 1 liter of strawberries (yep, that’s how we measure strawberries here, by liter), and in my opinion i could’ve put some more!😀 the best way to eat it (the Finnish way) is with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, of course. it was quite successful, except that the crust was too thick on the sides–or maybe it just needed more strawberries, like i said. but the taste was superb!

we planned to make another pie after successfully making this one, to give to my husband’s granddad. but this time we decided to try the blueberries, because he happens to love blueberry pies. and so, the experiment began again.

for the blueberry pie, i used 600 grams of blueberries and just a very small amount of sugar. the first pic shows the pie before baking, and the second pic was the result! it was an even better success, and my husband’s granddad loved it.🙂 for Finnish blueberry pies, it’s also good to eat them with hot caramel sauce. mmmm….

Turning 35 (!!!)

can’t believe i’m already halfway through my thirties! but anyway, there’s always a reason to celebrate, and my choice of celebration this year is sushi. AGAIN.

woot! they were gone in 60 seconds.😀 just kidding, of course it took longer than that, and i did not finish them all by myself!

flamingo

being 35 doesn’t have to mean being old & boring, right?

that is all we had the time to do this summer holiday. didn’t i say it went by so quickly?

vintage-style resort pants

whenever i hear the words “resort collection”, in my mind i would see this kind of pants. and if i add the words “vintage-style” to it, these pants pretty much sum it.😀

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self-made T-shirt and pants, Just Kulkith shoes, Oasap earrings.

i really meant it when i said that there are many mornings (and nights) when i open my closet to look for something to wear… and regret the fact that i don’t have that many solid coloured clothing items. i mean, do you know how many pants i have that are non-print, not counting my one and only blue denim pants that i sewed 2 years ago? one pair. the other pants i have all have prints, from almost normal to crazy ones.

so it was necessary for me to get some solid coloured fabric for pants. *sigh* there goes my new year resolution out the window.

anyway, the fabric i got was this gorgeous pink viscose (or viscose blend) twill. oooh, i just love the feel of it, and the colour is still me even though it has no print, don’t you think?😉

i was so nervous when sewing these pants, because when there’s no print it means every mistake you make and every crooked stitch will be clearly visible. so i made sure i used interfacing for this project, in all the places that i should have them (no room for being lazy this time!) and sewed as calmly as my patience could take.

burda012016_119i used a pattern from Burda Style magazine 01/2016, number 119. prior to copying the pattern, i read a review that this is one of those patterns that seem to be larger than normal. this pattern is in tall sizes, and by normal standard i should be using size 40, which is similar to size 80 in tall sizing. but instead, i copied size 76 (one size smaller than 80) and prayed that they would fit (okay, i did measure the pattern pieces & calculated them. see, i wasn’t that lazy!).

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there are 2 versions of the pattern: A has longer hem & without a belt and B is shorter & have a belt. i chose the B one for the length, and still took away about 10 cm from it, and omitted the belt/belt loops.

as always with Burda Style instructions, i got completely lost when i was supposed to do the waist part, so i pretty much improvised everything there. :p

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and thanks to J, my co-worker, i learned that the best way to sew the hem of pants is to do it by hand (doh! i guess it’s obvious to some seamstresses/tailors out there, i wonder why it just never occurred to me!). that was what i did this time, and it worked like a charm. this is by far the neatest pants hem i have ever done!

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when the pants were done, i couldn’t help feeling like i was seeing my husband’s grandmum’s pants.😀 they really look big, and i guess the high waist make them look old. hence the name vintage-style resort pants.

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but guess what? i absolutely adore them! yay for granny pants! i have to admit that i’m one of those who can’t really dig into the whole hipster/low waist and skinny pants/jeans trend. the higher the waist is better, i say, and loose/straight/boyfriend/whatever cut that isn’t skinny/super tight on me means love. so these pants, with the solid colour and all, are like the answers to my prayers.

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i feel quite proud of myself for producing something useful (because of the solid colour) that actually also look good (enough). i’m beginning to love non-print fabrics, and seeing the nice outcome of this project already made me think of what else i could make out of solids. a dress? a skirt? or another pair of pants? wait and see!❤

a Singaporean summer, part 3 of 3

here it is, the last post of our trip to Singapore. phew!

Singapore Art Museum and Bras Basah Complex

i ran out of ideas on what else to do that doesn’t cost anything (not even an MRT ticket), so i finally gave in and went along with my family to the Singapore Art Museum near the City Hall and Bras Basah area.

the ticket is 10 SGD for an adult (and half price for kids and seniors), which is i guess normal and around the same as for museums here in Finland. the museum consists of 2 separate buildings, and you would have to exit the first building & cross the street to get to the other one. i suppose this is okay on a normal day, but for some reason it made me so tired that day. i couldn’t see all the exhibitions due to my fatigue & headache, so in the end i sat down and waited for my family to finish looking around.

after resting and drinking something sweet, i felt a bit better and we continued to Bras Basah Complex, where there are plenty of bookstores (selling old and new books & magazines) and art stores. however, i again got painful ache on my leg, so i didn’t get around much nor did i take any pictures. (the pics i put here are from my sister’s camera.) i only made a point to visit Art Friend and Basheer Graphic Books. in Art Friend, you can get any art supplies you had ever dreamed of, but for example when i saw what i would have wanted (copic markers) they cost around the same as in Finland. Basheer is a bookstore that also sells all kinds of fashion & design magazines. i found lots of back issues of Lula magazine, sold for 10 SGD, and was so tempted to get one… but decided not to in the end, because i figured that for fashion stuffs i can still pretty much browse the internet from time to time. (i feel so proud of myself for being able to say no so many times to my temptations there! :D)

tip #1: if you’re an art enthusiast, the museum is worth a visit. most museums, including this one, close down at 6 or 7 pm, so don’t go there too late!

tip #2: if you love books, i definitely recommend going to Bras Basah Complex for the whole day. you can immerse yourself in all the lovely books they have there, and even buy or sell some old ones. i’m sorry i didn’t get to spend more time there as i only went on my last day in Singapore, but hopefully i can come back again next time.

Our Apartment

as you probably might have guessed, during our 9 day trip we also had some days where we just rested inside the apartment.😀 here are a few pics of our apartment and the nearby mall where we spent our times.

tip #1: there are plenty of options for apartments in Singapore that you can book through Airbnb. our criteria was that we had our own bathrooms for each of our bedroom so that nobody would have to wait too long in case of emergency.😀 the apartment we got did not have any ‘living room’, but that was easily fixed with spending time together at one of the rooms’ balconies, or in one of the rooms, or even the swimming pool area. there was also no TV in the apartment, but a very strong Wi-Fi connection, so if you have to, you can watch something instead from your own tablets or laptops. another thing we wanted was an apartment that has a strategic location. luckily the one we got was right in the middle of everything, so even on a resting day we could easily go to the nearby mall to grab our lunches/dinners. decide what is most important to you that the apartment must have, and go search for the right one from there.

tip #2: we actually booked another apartment before landing on this one, but the owner cancelled it due to some new rule there that the apartment may not be rented to a 3rd party via Airbnb. always be prepared for something like this to happen, as Singapore generally tends to have strict rules.

Changi Airport and Crowne Plaza Hotel

the moment was finally there when we had to depart and say goodbye to each other. we spent the last few hours together at the airport, and before catching our own flight at midnight we had a few hours of good rest at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

tip: if your flight is late at night and you already need to check out from your hotel/apartment way before that, the bad news is you can’t wait inside the passengers terminal at the airport until like 3 hours before your flight. Singapore airport has weird policy on that, which i don’t really care to elaborate here. luckily for us there’s a last minute resort, though it is quite pricey but it was worth the few hours of sleep/rest before a long flight. so be sure to have a late check-out time at your hotel or be prepared to do what we did. :p

yay, i finally finished this super long post! no more editing pictures/writing for a while, i need a rest from my jetlag and all that.😀

but before i wrap this up, there are still a few general tips for visiting Singapore as a whole:

-while it is very handy to get from the airport to your hotel/apartment by the MRT (they have very clear maps, you can’t get lost), i wouldn’t advise it to be done in the rush hour (around 5-7 pm). we did this, of course, and let me just say that it was not a nice experience.

-depending on how long your stay is in Singapore, you might not want to rush into getting a Singaporean phone sim card. we were offered a standard set at the airport, but decided to wait until getting downtown for better options. and it WAS better to get it from downtown, as it was not only cheaper, but we got more data than the one offered at the airport, unlimited local SMS and unlimited local calls.

-even at shopping malls and restaurants, for some reason most of the shops/food stalls do not accept payment with cards. the only places i could use my card was at the airport, 7-Elevens, Mahaco Silk store, and supermarkets. oh, and taxis! so prepare enough cash for your whole trip, or if you don’t mind going to the ATMs from now and then this can also be a good option as they seem to have ATMs everywhere and anywhere.

that’s pretty much it. feel free to add if you have any other tip, but otherwise it was pretty easy to get around & enjoy Singapore.

hope you like the posts & pics, and thanks for reading!🙂

a Singaporean summer, part 2 of 3

continued from my previous post!🙂 go and read the first part if you haven’t already.

Marina Bay Sands

we came here twice. the first time was after visiting the Merlion Park, just to eat dinner and rest our feet while cooling down in the nice AC. the second time was because it was right next across the street from Gardens by the Bay, so we again ate our dinners there.

the place itself at first was overwhelming. i mean… the 3-towers building, a casino, and shops that bear high fashion brands (LV, Prada, and the likes) can be a little over the top to some people (= me). but the place was quite strategic, so we went in anyway. and again, i was in for a nice surprise.

on our first trip there, we saw the Rain Oculus from downstairs, and it was dry, as if it wasn’t even turned on. i only heard stories from my sister that it is some kind of water vortex, that when it’s on, from upstairs you can see the water spinning around and around while it pours down to the floor downstairs.

so the second time we went there, i made sure to catch it on action. when we were there (upstairs), we heard people saying that it only went on every hour. as it was already past 9 pm at that time, i was almost certain that we already missed it. but something told me to wait until at least 9.30, in case it started then anyway. and suddenly, when it was nearing 9.30, we started hearing some Middle Eastern music, loud enough for the whole Marina Bay area to hear. and we had noticed that people were sitting down on the steps in front of the river. was something going to happen?

and something did happen: light and water fountain show! as the show started, we were still standing near the Rain Oculus, and at 9.30, i turned around… and saw that the Rain Oculus was also starting!❤ so in the end, we got to be treated by 2 shows. okay, so it was still overwhelming to see them in front of some shopping center building, but still it was wonderful!

tip #1: even if you can’t really buy anything from this shopping center, i recommend the food court, Rasapura Masters. i don’t remember the name of this specific food stall, but it sells Korean foods, and their Spicy Kimchi soup was just marvelous. i ordered them twice and they never disappoint.

tip #2: if you want to catch the Rain Oculus and the light & water show, the best time would be either 8 pm or 9.30 pm every night. yes, every night!

Little India

this one was originally my mum’s request. since our apartment was really close to this area, we decided it would be great to see it together.

we started at Mustafa Centre, a 24-hr department store where everything is supposedly very cheap. the products they sell are not necessarily Indian things, so don’t be fooled by its name or location. we actually ended up going here twice or 3 times due to its convenient location.

on my first trip there, something immediately caught my eyes on the 1st basement floor: FABRICS!! that was a nice surprise, as the name didn’t come out when i was looking for places to buy fabrics from Singapore. anyway, they mostly sell Indian fabrics, but there are thousands of ‘normal’ fabrics as well. the ones that i fell in love with, though, were exactly the Indian ones. because where else can i get them, here in Finland? some fabrics are sold by meters, but most of the Indian fabrics are sold per ‘saree’, which means 5-6 meters. at first i only saw that the gorgeous ones costed around 46 to 129 SGD per saree, so i was like, pffttt… i guess i’m only here to look around. but then i suddenly (naturally) found a shelf where there were saree fabrics that costed 17 SGD. that’s less than 3 dollars per meter!! of course i ended up getting one of them, what did you expect? :p

from there we went to eat at a nearby South Indian restaurant that serves vegetarian foods, called MTR. my husband insisted that we went there to try it. and it was a good thing that we did, because the food was fantastic! we loved it so much, we went there the next day, and the next day after that!😀

then we went on to see Tekka Centre, where there are again dozens of shops that sell Indian clothes and jewelries. by this time i felt like i had bought too many things i couldn’t possibly fit them in my small bag anymore, so i only ended up with a pair of earrings. though my eyes were treated with such nice colours and shapes, it was worth the trip. again, there are no pics from this place because i was too busy window shopping!

the same thing happened when we got to Little India Arcade. there were really nice things here and there, but i couldn’t think of how to bring them back to Finland nor where to put them. we did get something small for our little nephew, A. at least this should still fit in our bags!

tip #1: Mustafa Centre consists of 2 different buildings, the other one is called Serangoon Plaza. they’re both essentially the same and connected by a bridge that you can use from inside each of the building. prices are fixed, so no bargaining here. one thing i learned was that for some reason they do not accept payment by card, even when they have major credit card logos around their cashiers. i suppose there is some minimum amount of payment if you want to use cards, but i failed to find out what is the minimum. it’s best to bring cash.

tip #2: although it is believed that the things in Mustafa Centre are cheaper than in any other place, if you’re looking for generic souvenirs or foods, i suggest you do some research first before deciding to get them there. there are better looking and cheaper generic souvenirs in Chinatown and i saw plenty of the same kind of foods sold for cheaper prices in regular supermarkets.

tip #3: in Tekka Centre and Little India Arcade, again be prepared with cash. whenever the price is not written down, go ahead and bargain… a lot!

Chinatown

we came here straight after scouring Little India. it was fun, seeing the different culture backgrounds back to back.

this was the other place that was on my list, because i had read that there is a place where there are only shops that sell fabrics, and haberdasheries/sewing notions. i was looking forward to seeing the buttons and bias tapes etc., which was why we decided to go anyway even when i had bought enough fabrics. however, after following the instructions on how to get there, we got lost somehow, and didn’t find the building at all.

so in the end we just walked around the area, and stumbled upon the Pagoda street… which was buzzing with people and dozens of shops offering cheap souvenirs!

we also found the Tintin Shop here, which sadly again was left unphotographed. if you’re a fan of Tintin, and have never had the chance to visit any other Tintin shops (we are fortunate enough to have one in Helsinki and had been to the Stockholm one as well), it is worth the visit. the shopkeeper is of course an enthusiast, and a very patient man, so you can ask him anything about the products.

tip: as i already said before in “Little India” tips, Chinatown is the place if you want to get some generic souvenirs like ‘I <3 SG’ bags, t-shirts, keychains, magnets, etc. they mostly only accept cash, as usual, but then again most of them only cost 2 SGD at the most. it’s the best way to spend your coins.

alright, so that’s it for the second part. one more post to go (and hundreds of pics to edit!), so stay ‘tuned’!🙂