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October 9, 2017

Vienna

The main reason we had Vienna on our itinerary was that it was close to Budapest, and we'd never been, so why not. Again, having no expectations, I was surprised at how much I liked it. It's a lovely city - very refined, yet still laid back. It was also nice to return to a Latin alphabet, despite having about ten words of German between the two of us. And here, I finally realised what a summer tourist crowd means in Europe. Russia had about the same number of tourists as western Europe has in the winter - but here, it was so crowded we could barely move in the Old Town.


October 1, 2017

Recent buys

Things I have recently spent money on that cost more than $10 and not food (which is where most of my income actually goes).


The perfect chambray shirt from Levis. I was really disliking the one I already owned, and had been looking for a replacement for a few months. I nabbed it on sale at Myer (for 50% off) after stalking it online for a few weeks. It's 100% Tencel (lyocell) which I thought would be too smooth and drapey (like rayon), but it actually feels quite substantial - kind of like very worn in denim. I'm super pleased with it.


Some prints I bought on my trip - the left from a children's store in Szentendre, Hungary, and the right a Degas print from the Hermitage in St Petersburg. I'm moving out soon, hence the sudden interest in wall decorations.


A belt from Urban Outfitters in Edinburgh. I'd been looking for a black leather jean belt with a brass buckle for ages, and I finally managed to find the exact one I was envisioning. Funnily enough I haven't even worn it out yet. Maybe I didn't need it as much as I thought. Oops.


The most expensive of all - a new stethoscope, which was $300. I'd "lost" my old one, which had been the cheapest in the range, so I jumped on the excuse to get a better one. My old steth ended up finding its way back to me, but this one was so worth it. I can actually hear breath sounds and murmurs properly now. I'm basic, so I got it in all black (the one people get to feel cool but in reality every second person has it) with my name engraved.

September 27, 2017

St Petersburg

I'd heard a lot about how beautiful St Petersburg is so I was quite excited to visit. As usual when my expectations are high, I was slightly disappointed (it's probably not a fair assessment of the city though - I came down with travellers diarrhoea here, which marred my experience). Compared to Moscow, it's much more compact - it has a defined centre and old town, which we didn't really leave - and the architecture is much more western European. Peter the Great, who founded it, loved all things European and drew inspiration from places like Amsterdam. Possibly because I've been to several western European cities, I didn't find it overly special. I can still see why people visit, and it's definitely much more touristed than Moscow, with a lot of people visiting it as part of a Baltic Sea cruise or tour. I also noticed that people here are a bit more arty and hipster, as opposed to Moscow's glam.


September 24, 2017

HIDDEN '17

Last weekend I went to Rookwood Cemetery to check out Hidden, a sculpture exhibition. If you remember, I went last year and absolutely loved it. It wasn't as good this year unfortunately, but I still liked the setting.


September 21, 2017

Moscow ii

Part i here. Because I liked it so much I couldn't fit all the photos into one post.


September 18, 2017

Moscow i

I didn't expect to like Moscow as much as I did. I guess I went in with only vague imagery of St Basil's Cathedral and the Kremlin in my mind, and no other expectations at all. The city itself is very big, and very grand. The architecture is quite different to that of Western Europe, with its beautiful Orthodox churches and imposing Soviet-era buildings. It also has lots of cultural activities and events, and overall seems like a nice place to live (if you can speak and read Russian). Other observations: the city is extremely clean, and the women all dress very well.


September 16, 2017

Yes to equality


Friendly reminder to Australian readers to return their marriage equality postal surveys. I know this survey is a waste of time and money, but it's happening and we don't want to give our government any more excuses to delay the legalisation of same sex marriage in Australia. We especially can't be complacent - we've seen what can happen (see: Brexit, Trump). Tick the box, seal the envelope, and put it in your bag so when you're out and about this weekend you can throw it in the first postbox you see.

September 13, 2017

3.5 weeks in a backpack: 10 outfits

Hello! I'm back! Before I sit down and face the daunting task of editing hundreds of photos, here is my review of what I packed in my backpack for this trip. I did successfully end up doing carry-on only for all my flights this time. The following 10 outfits are pretty much all the ones I wore over those weeks.


August 29, 2017

Halfway through








Bunch of random Sydney scenes and food shots I took during my relief term.

I can't believe I'm past halfway through my first year as a doctor. Everything I was afraid of six months ago - like doing night shifts - turned out not to be so bad after all. I've still got a long way to go but I'm confident in my ability to learn.

I've been posting a lot less on the blog this year. I'm not sure if it's because working full time is sucking out all my creativity - I still want to blog, but I feel like fewer things are worth blogging about. I don't really feel the desire to document every evening out with my friends anymore. Most of my favourite blogs post less than once a week, so maybe there's something to be said for quality over quantity.

This is a scheduled post - I'm currently travelling! I'm reading all your comments over email but may not be able to reply.

August 13, 2017

3.5 weeks in a backpack

I'm officially on leave and on Wednesday I'm heading to Europe! It's a scaled-back trip compared to my last few - city hopping starting in Moscow, then St Petersburg, Vienna, Budapest, and Edinburgh (if Edinburgh seems the odd one out, it's because I'm doing a short surgical skills course there). As there won't be the temperature or activity extremes like the last two trips, deciding what to pack has been relatively easy this time, and I'm pretty confident I'll be able to travel carry on all my flights.


Sources here but they're not the exact items I have.

Mostly my old travel staples, plus two relatively new sleeveless tops - my silk shell and linen button down. I have been consistently bad at packing for hot weather - as you can see, I'm still refusing to pack shorts or a skirt (I just prefer not to wear them in general). Hoping those tops with loose pants are fine for Budapest, which will be the hottest destination (high 20s-30C). Conversely, the coldest will be Edinburgh (10-15C), where I guess I'll layer up with my cardigan, parka and jeans. And then the usual mix and match in between. For once, I didn't have to deliberate for ages about the shoes - my Chelsea boots definitely proved themselves worthy last time. They've been resoled and are ready to go.

And yes, I am also taking things like underwear, socks, pyjamas, and flip-flops for the shower. I didn't include them because I figured there's no option not to take them, and also because they're just not very aesthetic, are they?

August 3, 2017

Leura

To continue to try and make the most of my midweek days off this rotation, I took a day trip to Leura in the Blue Mountains yesterday. It's probably the second most popular town after Katoomba, but I'd never been there before.


July 31, 2017

Looking at lately

Random visual things I have been consuming recently.


July 20, 2017

The Coast Track


I've had a few days off in the lead-up to my run of night shifts, so on Tuesday I thought I'd take advantage of the sunny weather and get out into nature in the Royal National Park. The full Coast Track is actually a 2 day walk, but I just walked from Bundeena and Marley Head and back. Apparently Marley Head is a good whale watching spot, which is why I went, but I didn't see any that day! The track is quite well travelled, because Wedding Cake Rock is on the way and for some reason people are obsessed with it. I did take my camera, but I didn't like how most of my photos turned out except the one above.

July 8, 2017

Five favourites

Long time no outfit post! Mostly because I just wasn't at home during daylight hours last rotation. I've been on evening shifts this week and had some time at home when the lighting was okay on Monday morning, so I figured - let's just do a bulk shoot. Here are my current favourite outfits.


July 5, 2017

Reading round-up


I have not done one of these since November last year! I didn't really keep track of the books I read over the summer - a lot of them were re-reads while I was travelling - but here are the ones I can remember things about.

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan. About a Chinese-American woman who meets her boyfriend's family in Singapore, and they are indeed crazy rich. I didn't think the writing was that great, it was a bit over the top, but I'm looking forward to the movie - the cast is amazing.

The Cousin's War series by Philippa Gregory. When work started this year I was stressed and wanted something easy to read and get into, so I proceeded to read this entire series. I wouldn't read them again, but at least I know what the Wars of the Roses were about now.

Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey. A sad but sweet book about an elderly lady with dementia trying to solve a mystery from her childhood.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. A dystopian novel where most of civilisation has been wiped out by a virus. Interesting world building, but the story didn't really go anywhere.

Why I Am Not a Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto by Jessa Crispin. This book caused a bit of a stir when it first came out. In short, it's about how modern feminism has lost its way by prioritising individual choices instead of collective action and structural change. This book probably deserves its own post and discussion, which I might tackle sometime, but overall I liked reading it - while I agree with a lot of what she says, it also challenged some other areas of my thinking.

Pornland by Gail Dines. A book about how porn is negatively affecting society.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. I enjoyed this book, I found it quite darkly comic. The part where she talks about life being like a fig tree is very relatable.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. About an odd family living isolated in their old mansion. I really liked the imagery in this book. Another one to read if you enjoy dark comedy.

Beneath the Skin by Nicci French. A serial killer mystery. I picked this up because it was $3 and I like the green Penguin mysteries. It was okay, I wouldn't read it again. It's in the same vein as books like Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train.

The Rendezvous by Daphne Du Maurier. Du Maurier is my favourite short story writer, but this collection was average, with only a couple standing out. Most of them are more character study-ish rather than fleshed out stories with plots.

July 2, 2017

Lazy Sunday

A friend who now lives in Melbourne is back up in Sydney for a few days, so we went for lunch today.


We went to Cafe Oratnek in Redfern. It has Japanese-fusion food. I got miso mushrooms on toast, but was very envious of YY's potato croquette roll.


It's in a terrace on a quiet street.


Afterwards, we sat in Prince Alfred Park to soak up the sun until it got too cold.

It was definitely a nice way to spend the day, especially after putting in a 14 hour overtime shift yesterday. I'm now another rotation down as an intern! Again, just as I was getting used to the routine. I wasn't enjoying the term earlier on, because it made me realise things I didn't want to know, but I made peace with it and ended on a high. Tomorrow I start my relief rotation with a week of afternoon shifts - I know I'm going to appreciate the sleep-ins.

June 21, 2017

A day in the life: surgery

I've been racking my brains as to what to post lately. I've just been working and going out to dinner with friends, and blogging about dinner is getting a bit boring. So I figured I'd post about work, where I'm currently doing a rotation as an intern* in a certain surgical specialty.


June 18, 2017

Graduation


Uniqlo silk shirt and jeans / Cole Haan loafers / graduation gown with the tackiest colour combination.

I attended my graduation yesterday. For some reason, our graduation ceremonies are in June despite the academic year ending in November. So our class has been working as doctors for almost six months now, which made the ceremony and taking the oath a bit anticlimactic. The weather was also pretty dreary, as you can see, which made photos difficult. My mum was definitely more excited about it than I was. It was nice to see everyone, though.

As our faculty's colour is purple (instead of a normal respectable blue or red or literally anything else) I decided to go with trusty black and white underneath. I actually built the outfit up from the shoes - I really wanted to wear loafers because they make me feel scholarly (plus you know how I feel about heels), and I like to wear pants with loafers, which then left me to pick out my dressiest white top.

Later that night, a few of us went out for drinks to catch up on the gossip, which was way more fun than the ceremony! We went to Bulletin Place, which is a super cosy bar, where I spent way too much money on fancy cocktails.

June 6, 2017

Vivid '17

Another year, another Vivid Sydney. While my enjoyment of Vivid has waned over the years as the crowds increased, it's come to mark the start of winter for me - strolling the Circular Quay and The Rocks after dark, wearing a coat. We went on a Monday evening this year, and while still crowded (especially for a Monday night) it was significantly easier to manoeuver than it would be later in the week (or, god forbid, a weekend).

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June 2, 2017

Behind the scenes


Went to one of the talks at Sydney Writer's Festival last weekend. It was a bit too academic for me, I was kind of lost. Looking at the timetable there are lots of good talks on during the weekdays, but who are the people able to go to these?


The wall I see everyday which happened to be lit up nicely before I drove to meet my friend for a Thai lunch.


Across the road from Bills in Surry Hills, where I had brunch last Saturday.


The details of the QVB behind my friends' heads during yet another brunch.

I know, I know, it's been quiet around here lately. Mainly because I'm not doing very much worth photographing, and it's too dark before and after work for outfit shots. I'm more than halfway through this rotation now, and despite initial anxieties, I've gotten into the swing of things. It's less busy than my previous term - I leave more or less on time and I eat lunch every day - so there's not much to complain about.

I have, however, been grappling with a kind of identity crisis over the last few weeks. It looks like the medical specialty I thought I'd settled on isn't something I want to do anymore. I've changed my mind a lot over the years, but I thought that this was The One. It feels like a break up - you know you won't work well together and it's better this way, but there's a bit of mourning for What Could Have Been. Now I'm six months out of med school and still have no idea what I want to do - which is technically fine, but medicine is so competitive it works better to have a goal so you can build your CV and connections.

Back to the drawing board. I need to decide what I truly like about medicine without being affected by any preconceptions (mine or others), and decide what my priorities are in life (which is hard, because who knows what they'll be when I'm 30, 40, 50?). In the meanwhile I've given myself a break from studying (for an exam I don't know if I'll even sit now) and I've been doing things I've neglected, like trying to get back into running and planning my travels for August (!).

May 17, 2017

Single and not looking

A few years ago, I saw on my stats (with some amusement) that someone had looked up "boyfriend" in this blog's search bar. These days, the same search will turn up more posts, but referring to a style of denim rather than an actual person. In other words: no progress on that front to update this curious reader on.


May 14, 2017

Old towns

As I've mentioned before, one of my favourite things to do when I visit a new city is to explore the historic district, or old town, if it has one. They usually involve interesting architecture, cobblestones, staircases, and winding lanes you can get lost in. I'm probably fascinated by these places because the "historic" areas or towns in Australia aren't very old at all. Here are a couple of my favourite "old towns" I've visited across the world.


May 7, 2017

Food catch-up

Couple of food shots I've taken over the last two or so months.


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.