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April 23, 2017

Lazy Saturday

Had a lazy Saturday yesterday.


April 20, 2017

Easter Sunday

On the Sunday of the long weekend, YY, Mel and I piled into my car for a road trip down south. There's nothing like driving fast on a sunny day with your friends, listening to the albums which defined your emo youth - namely From Under The Cork Tree, Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, and Dear Diary, My Teen Angst Has a Body Count.


April 16, 2017

Good Friday

Good Friday was a day off, great weather, and also my birthday, so we had an opportunity for a picnic.


In the botanical gardens, as usual.



Read a little while waiting for the others.


On the way to the toilet.


Spread for the day.


Lying around til golden hour (and then it got too cold).

April 14, 2017

7.30 to 6

A couple of work outfits.


April 9, 2017

A wholesome Saturday

We finally had a sunny Saturday yesterday, and I went to YY's house to help her and Lucinda pick olives in the garden.


April 6, 2017

NYC ii

Finally the last post from my trip! See part i here.


April 2, 2017

NYC i

NYC was the last stop on our trip, and we arrived in the very early morning of new year's eve after an overnight flight from Guatemala City. I'd been here once before, when I was 19 and on my first solo trip. I'd found it intimidating then, but I had a few more years' experience under my belt this time around - and a whole heap more friends to hang out with.


March 30, 2017

Thursday off

Once a month, we get a rostered day off. Before you think it's out of the goodness of their hearts, it's really not - it's unpaid and the purpose of it is to save money from the overtime they have to pay us (which I haven't been claiming, by the way, because they make sure there are plenty of hoops to jump through). Despite my cynicism, it was nice to have a sleep in today, especially since I think I'm coming down with something.


March 26, 2017

On the weekend

I had an unusually active weekend. Here's a play-by-play. As you can see, I've redownloaded VSCO, the powerful tool for making boring photos look interesting.


March 22, 2017

1 month in a carry-on: a review

Way too late to be relevant but I'd already edited these photos so I thought I might as well do this post! Also because I get to ramble on about both clothes and travelling, my two favourite topics. A review of what I packed in a carry on for my trip last December (that I still haven't finished posting about).


ASOS t-shirt / Cotton On drape pants in Antigua.


Whitepepper smock dress in Tulum.


Zara coat / Uniqlo jeans / broken H&M umbrella in NYC.


Dune boots that survived cobbles in Cuba and snow in NYC.

The heat
The dress was a lifesaver in the heat! I should've taken advice and packed a pair of shorts, though. Every second I was wearing those pants in Cuba and Mexico, I was wishing for shorts. I also want to rescind what I said about the Uniqlo ultra dry t-shirt being good to pack - it's good if you're able to wash things often since it dries quickly, but if you're not able to do so then you can definitely get more wears out of a 100% cotton shirt before it starts smelling.

The cold
I find cold weather easier to plan for, since once it gets below 5C there's only one outfit to really wear. My wool coat is absolutely horrible in windy rainy weather and snow though, water/snowflakes just stick to it like crazy. It stays warm, but I can literally feel it get heavier and heavier as the water soaks in. Serves me right for being vain and not wearing a sensible parka.

Shoes
My pair of Chelsea boots did heroically. They're the only pair of shoes I took aside from flip flops and it was fine. I did wish for sneakers on rougher ground on cobbles and ruins, and I definitely had trouble when it snowed on our last day in New York (more from being uncomfortably damp than cold), but they did their best. I did end up buying a pair of socks at Uniqlo in NYC (shown in the last photo), but mostly because the short socks I'd packed kept slipping down and were driving me crazy.

Toiletries
I posted what I was able to fit into a sandwich bag here. It was all fine, but I almost ran short of my cleanser before I got to NYC and was able to buy more - but now I know that 50ml of it can last me about two and a half weeks, and will titrate accordingly for future trips.

I loved being able to do carry-on only for a couple of the flights, it takes away all the stress about lost luggage. It was especially helpful when my flight out of Sydney was delayed and I missed the connecting flight in LA - I didn't have to freak out about collecting and re-checking my luggage. I think I'm going to aim to do carry-on for my flight out of Sydney for my next trip (which, yes, I've already started the packing list for).

March 19, 2017

A catch-up


An outtake from my Orange post.

I don't really chat about life on here as much as I used to, do I? Partly because I'm still trying to get retrospective travel posts up, and partly because I've been so busy I don't really have the chance to write about things straight after they happen. But here's a bit of what's going on.

Work
I've been completely hammered at work. I'm doing geriatrics right now, which seems to be one of the busier terms. My life is less like Scrubs or Greys Anatomy and more like The Devil Wears Prada. Every day I'm trying to do things I have no idea how to do, or feel impossible, like trying to get hold of unpublished Harry Potter books. Nevertheless, it's satisfying to know that I'm the one making things happen for patients. There are still days here and there that I don't have time for lunch and one time I cried in the car on the way home from sheer hunger and exhaustion. I'm hoping it's a baptism by fire sort of situation and I'll find my next rotations easier in comparison.

Study
Unfortunately the study didn't end with med school. I'm looking to go into surgery, and I need to sit a surgical sciences exam before I can get on. I'm planning to take it in February next year, and while I can always sit it again if I fail, each attempt costs $4000 (!!!) so I'd rather not. I'm generally good at exams, however I've been finding that studying is really, really hard after a day or week at work. I'm just going to have to try my best and hope my next few rotations aren't as hardcore.

Travel
I'm going (with my tried-and-true travel buddy Wai Lam and her sister) to Moscow, St Petersburg, Vienna and Budapest this August! I've never been able to get time off in the European summer before so it'll be a nice change to pack for mild weather. At the end of that trip I'll also be in Edinburgh for a few days for a surgical skills course (it's equivalent, but cheaper to do there than in Australia). It's supposed to be a holiday but I'm excited for it in a nerdy way. I've been to Edinburgh once before, but the weather that time was horrid and I'm hoping it will be nicer to walk around in early September. Something to keep me going!

Please tell me about the fun things going on in your lives right now!

March 16, 2017

March 12, 2017

Antigua i

More from my trip in December (I'm aware these posts seem neverending).

Antigua in Guatemala was a bit of a detour, but during my planning a friend told me that I definitely had to go while in the general region. And she was right. It's a colonial town about an hour from Guatemala City, with cobblestones and painted houses much like Trinidad. It's special for the surrounding scenery, with the Volcan Agua rising to the south, and also for the ruins of old buildings left from an earthquake in 1773, dotted all over the town.


March 6, 2017

Dad jeans



Uniqlo t-shirt / Lee jeans via my dad / Cole Haan loafers.

A couple of weeks ago, I went rifling through my father's wardrobe (with permission) in search of a belt. This was unsuccessful, but I did end up coming away with an entire pair of jeans. I had been looking for new light wash jeans since my last pair finally wore out after ten years (they started off as dark wash). I saw my dad's pile of jeans and tried them on for laughs, and surprisingly these fit nicely, so he let me have them. The pockets, as with all men's clothes, are amazing - I can fit my Kindle in the front. Without a belt, they sit on my hips, but I'm looking for a jean belt to wear them as more high-waisted. I also considered getting them altered shorter, but I wouldn't be able to give them back to my dad if I got bored of them, so I'll probably leave them as is for now.

I don't think I should buy/acquire anymore clothes for the rest of this year, unless it's to replace something that's worn out. I probably have 120% of the amount of clothes I really need. However, I'm possibly moving out towards the end of the year, so I'll probably end up channeling (i.e. wasting) my money and energy on interior decoration instead of wardrobe planning.

February 28, 2017

Orange

Over the weekend I went to Orange to visit a friend. It's a country town about three and a half hours west of Sydney.


February 23, 2017

Chichen Itza

After Playa del Carmen, we headed up to Cancun for a few days. From there, we did a guided day trip to the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza.


February 21, 2017

Tulum

December travels continued. After Havana, I met up with my friend Jenny in Cancun and we based ourselves in Playa del Carmen for a few days. We did a day trip to Tulum from there, mainly to see the ruins. We decided to try and get there are opening time, so instead of taking a day tour or an ADO bus, we got a colectivo (shared taxi) since they start earlier.


February 19, 2017

Riley Street Garage

On Friday night, I miraculously got off work on time and headed to the city for dinner. We were celebrating Wai Lam's admission as a lawyer and she had picked Riley Street Garage, a fancy-ish restaurant which serves share plates.


Baked chicken (which was okay), truffled mash (great), fries (can't go wrong) and pea risotto in the background (really good).


Chorizo corn dogs, which was disappointing for how tiny they were (they're $4 each).


Burrata (the great love of my life) with peppers on fried bread.

It was moderately pricey overall and we were still hungry afterwards (we'd got a few other dishes too) so I'd save this place for special occasions.

February 16, 2017

Around town

Food and random scenes, as usual.


February 14, 2017

Tinder, translated

I wrote this sometime last year and never got around to posting it. I figured today would be a good occasion to do so.


After you've been on dating apps for a while, you start recognising a pattern in what guys say in conversation or their bios. This is my effort to decode what they really mean. All of these are real examples, some collected from friends.

"I'm looking for a girl who has a sense of humour."
Translation: You need to laugh at my jokes, even if they're racist, sexist, or just not funny.

"I'm looking for a girl who doesn't take herself too seriously."
Translation: I'm looking for a girl who doesn't take herself seriously, but she needs to take me seriously. Otherwise my feelings will be hurt.

"I'm looking for a girl who can hold a conversation."
Translation: I think most women are vapid, only I am able to choose topics worthy of discussion.

"Swipe left if [insert quality here]."
Translation: I'm making it so that any of our interactions from now on are going to be based on you trying to win my approval.

"I'm attracted to introverted girls who don't know how pretty they are."
Translation: I'm not even making an effort to hide how creepy and predatory I am.

"I don't like girls who wear too much makeup [/something else girls do]."
Translation: I'm going to criticise activities commonly associated with women even though I don't do shit to actually help dismantle patriarchal structures which encourage those things in the first place.

"Not your typical Asian guy."
Translation: I have internalised racism issues I need to sort out before anyone should try dating me.

"I happen to find Asian women more attractive and personable."
Translation: Punch me in the face if you see me on the street. Go on, punch me.

And this is why I've had such little success with online dating, I'm too cynical and judgemental. I've given up now, my time can be better spent. Happy Valentine's Day from this feminist killjoy who can't take a joke!

February 12, 2017

Linen shirt


Uniqlo top / Mango pants / Cole Haan loafers.

An addition to my summer wardrobe out of necessity. Like I complained here, I didn't have many tops I could wear for hot weather that were work appropriate. I decided to try out linen, which I kept hearing was the ultimate summer fabric, so I picked this top up on sale from Uniqlo. The long sleeved ones were actually cheaper, but I figured if it was hot enough to wear linen it'd be too hot to wear long sleeves. I like it a lot! It does feel quite breathable and dry, and when I do sweat through it it dries quickly. I think the long line of this looks nice with slim pants but I'm probably going to get it altered shorter, so it's easier to wear untucked over more relaxed pants.

I ended up forking out for a staff parking pass so I don't have to walk on the way to work as much, so I probably jumped the gun with this purchase. I think I'll still get a lot of use out of it though, since I didn't have many things to wear for 30+ temps in terms of casual clothes either.

February 10, 2017

One week down


I have survived my first week as a doctor! Technically, I started full time work two weeks ago, but that was mostly orientation workshops and shadowing. Surprisingly, it wasn't terrible, and I don't hate it. There's a lot of work to do, but each task is generally manageable. My registrar (who is my direct senior) was super patient with all my stupid questions and there's another intern on my team who is lovely. Other teams have also been really nice about my terrible requests for consults as well. I'm exhausted, though - I've been finding myself skipping lunch and staying back a lot to catch up on paperwork, and I feel like I don't have time in the evenings to do anything other than shower and eat before I go to bed. Hopefully I'll get more efficient soon.

In other news, how bloody hot has it been in Sydney? It's been pushing 40C several days a week for the last few weeks, it's like it will never end. In the ultimate act of laziness, I've started paying for staff parking at hospital, so I at least don't have to walk far. I'm venturing outside this weekend, let's hope I don't get injured from this heat.

February 7, 2017

February 5, 2017

Havana i

I'd hyped Havana up in my head, so I wasn't surprised that it fell just short of my expectations, but I loved it nonetheless. The faded and crumbling colourful buildings and the picturesque side streets are a photographer's dream. It's quite a large city and there are several neighbourhoods, the most famous of which is Old Havana (Habana Vieja). In a way, Old Havana reminded me of Stone Town and the island of Cuba reminds me a lot of Zanzibar too.


February 1, 2017

Picnic repeat

Another picnic at the Botanical Gardens on Sunday. Basically the same thing as this post, but with hotter and sunnier weather. I know I said I like staying at home, but I need to see my friends sometimes. We all share similarly pessimistic perspectives on life and the world so it's fun to get together and complain.






January 30, 2017

Viñales

More from Cuba! Viñales is a very small town with only one main street, but it's popular with tourists because of the nature-related sights around. It's also where a lot of tobacco (for cigars of course) is grown. Personally, I don't think the nature itself was impressive enough to warrant going out of the way, but it was still interesting to have visited the town nonetheless.


January 28, 2017

I just stayed home all day


Note: I spilled the tea all over myself after I took this photo, which I assume was punishment for being such a blogger cliche.

Whenever I tell someone that I stayed at home on a day off or over the weekend, the general reaction is something along the lines of "oh" in the tone of I'm-so-sorry-that's-your-life. What no one seems to understand is that I live for staying at home. Lying in bed and reading a book with sunlight streaming through the window is my idea of heaven. I could spend several days in a row doing this. And now that I have an actual job, which I have to turn up to and stay at all day, being able to do this something I've started to appreciate more than ever.

Please note that I've been at full time work for one week, mostly comprised of orientation workshops and a public holiday. I'm not sure how being an adult is going to work out for me, guys.

Anyway, that's how I spent my Saturday. Happy Lunar New Year to those who celebrate!

January 26, 2017

Top to toe


Just some bits and pieces I've picked up lately.

Foot covers from Miniso. I used to wear my loafers on bare feet, as most of the no-show socks I'd tried would slip off while walking. These ones that I came across have the grippy gel lining all around the foot, not just the heel, so they stay put all day. They're so good, I went and bought another two pairs.

New skincare. I usually wait for a Priceline 40% skincare sale when I want to try new products. I've used the Indeed Labs Retinol before and liked it, but I changed my routine and never got around to repurchasing. I'd also been looking for a mattifying moisturiser and the Avène one is well reviewed.

Hair stuff. When I got my haircut last week I allowed my hairdresser a bit too much artistic license, so it's now shorter than I meant it to to be. Not a big deal, it'll grow, but I'd forgotten how hard shorter hair is to keep under control. My hair is prone to looking puffy or helmet-like, so I'm experimenting with some texturising products. I haven't been particularly successful though, so my hair's been in a ponytail most days.

January 24, 2017

Trinidad

Continuing the photos from my December trip. Trinidad was the main city in Cuba I wanted to see after Havana. It started as a colonial town which grew off sugar mills and the slave trade. It's quite small, but I've never been in any city so colourful. It's also my favourite kind of place - walkable, cobblestoned and extremely photogenic. I was also surprised at how touristy it is - the town is actually a UNESCO world heritage site. There is apparently good nightlife in Trinidad too, but I didn't go out.


January 22, 2017

Splitting the set

My parents moved some furniture while I was away, revealing this blank wall across from a window - as if made for outfit pictures. Not sure if I can promise many more though, as I'll probably never be home during daylight hours when I start full time work this week (maybe on weekends?).


ASOS t-shirt / Grana silk pants / Cole Haan loafers / DW watch* which I wore for brunch and also for the purpose of breaking these shoes in (it's going okay, no injuries yet).

As was the original intention, I've been incorporating my silk set (which I bought for gradball last year) into my regular wardrobe. As with all silk, I was a bit cautious at first, but I figure wearing something ten times before somehow damaging it is better than not wearing it at all. While the shell top has been easier to style (it works with pretty much all my trousers and skirts), I'm going to try to wear and wash both items a similar number of times so they age at the same rate. Both are going to be good additions to my summer work wardrobe.

Speaking of my summer work wardrobe, I'm not sure if I have enough hot-weather work appropriate clothing at the moment. The hospital I was placed at for the last two years had lots of parking close by but the one I'm starting at this year doesn't, so I'm going to have to walk a lot more, which is a decidedly sweaty business in the middle of summer. I'm going to try and make the most of my t-shirts (I think I could wear the outfit in this post) until the weather cools (although who knows when that'll be).

January 19, 2017

Cienfuegos

I did an 8 day group tour through Cuba, and then spent an extra two days in Havana. I would have liked to do it alone but it seemed too difficult to organise while still in Australia, and I didn't fancy turning up in a town alone, not speaking the language, without having a place to stay. This first post is mostly going to feature short stops we made in the first two days before and after Cienfuegos, and following will be posts on Trinidad, Viñales, and of course, Havana.


January 17, 2017

Mexico City

I was in Mexico City for two nights as a sort of stopover before heading into Cuba. Mexico City is huge, both geographically and population-wise. Since I only had one full day, I decided to concentrate on the historic city centre. It was really, really crowded, and definitely had a big city feel. It reminded me of Buenos Aires, but with more people.


January 15, 2017

The not-haul

When I go overseas I usually use the opportunity to shop for things we don't have in Australia (particularly true before Uniqlo opened here). I have come back with sizeable hauls in the past, e.g. my first time in the US. The downside is that a lot of my regret buys have also happened while travelling - most likely because I don't really get the time to "think about it" if I'm somewhere temporarily. This time, I set out a mental shopping list for myself before I left, which definitely helped curb the amount I bought.


I picked out these Cole Haan loafers online before I left Australia. My Bass loafers were due their second re-sole, but there have always been little details about them I didn't like - they're patent, just a tad pinchy in the toes, and they have slippery leather soles which wear out quickly. I decided to cut my losses and replace them. I like that these have rubber soles which should provide better grip on hospital floors (it's hard to walk confidently when you're afraid of stacking it) and also last longer before they need to be re-soled. The leather is quite stiff, but felt a lot softer on the display models, so I assume that will come with wear. They do make my feet (already too big for my body) look hilariously long, but what can you do.

Otherwise, I only bought small things out of necessity - a pair of socks (somehow all the socks I'd packed started shrinking and slipping down my heel which always makes me irrationally angry), facial cleanser as I'd run out, and acne treatment. I did have trouble walking away from some tops while browsing thrift stores in NYC (seriously the thrift stores there are so much better than ours). I'm pretty proud of myself for sticking to my list!

The other things I'd been on the lookout for were a navy/white breton top as a replacement for my current one, a blazer or suit set, and a leather handbag that can fit a laptop/A4 documents. Nothing caught my fancy in these categories, but none are urgent so I'll just sit on those for a while.

January 12, 2017

Back in town




I was welcomed back to Sydney with a near-40C day yesterday, when left the house to catch up with a friend. I was thus forced into shorts, which I wore with my silk shell from Grana (the top half of my formal two-piece, if you remember). The heat made getting gelato from Cow and Moon feel more well-deserved though. Currently I'm trying to edit pictures while fighting off the jet lag, so hopefully I'll have some posts about the trip up soon. Otherwise, thanks for being patient with the queued posts this past month!