Friday, April 25, 2014

Quick Overview - Paris, Amsterdam and Istanbul

Before I really start dissecting on my Paris - Amsterdam - Istanbul trip, I've decided to write an overview of each city that I could identify with. To start, I need to tell you that traveling in / to Europe is not cheap but NOT IMPOSSIBLE. I spent a total of MYR 8k inclusive of return flight, in between flights and trains, as well as accommodation and truckload of souvenirs which in my opinion is really-really cheap.

Give me a few weeks to update on my trip but for now, here's a quick run through.

Paris

While we were finalising our trip, Paris came last to mind and we were deciding between Brussels (simply because we heard really nice things about the city, it was a cross over between Netherlands and France) and London (because it's London) as well as Paris (because it's the most famous city in the world). After much consideration, we finally imagined ourselves more strolling around Champs Elysees towards the Arch de Triomphe. Eventhough we were heading to Europe (for the first time for me), this was still going to be a holiday. And it still needs to be relaxing.

We reached Paris really early in the morning, and immediately had a truly Parisien breakfast of croissant and coffees. Our first impression wasn't the brightest (I really don't want to say this) but the reception was a bit of a snob. We have had heard about French being French, but nothing like reality. I don't know whether it's completely off-track to compare Asian hospitality with European - but I couldn't help to do just that. The man behind the desk just stood there when we tried to move our bags... so I started working on my theory, that people will be nice to you... if you are nice to them first. And surprisingly, it worked by an inch. He loosen up a little bit after a few stumbles but still refused even a good morning.

After visiting Paris, and what people seem to describe it as the city of romance, I must say instead, I find it the city of history. I couldn't get my eyes off these amazing French gothic architecture that the Kings of Europe built and in fact, they are still strong and part of French's huge identity. I had no idea why anyone would want to visit Paris prior to coming to Paris, but now I know why I would. The building, the cafes, at the end of the day, Paris is Paris. The atmosphere that people pay to come to visit, it's artistic, luxurious and beautiful in short.


Amsterdam 

I never thought of visiting Amsterdam prior to this trip either. But mum was so certain that Tulips came from Holland that she told me "we must visit Amsterdam". Guys, Amsterdam is the more romantic one. Canal cruises, biking trips, stretches of tulips, sex (you'll get it), intricate cafes, smaller lanes, parks, stretches of greens, windmills, markets, I have this idea in my head that Amsterdam is a lot more tame to explore with your partner. Not only are the straats (streets) so beautiful during Spring, they're so simple and so much more relaxing.

The people could speak perfect English (a little American too) so that helped a little bit.

Maybe I preferred Amsterdam as a honeymoon / romantic spot more because of its humility. It's a huge city, with half a million bicycles around - you can just imagine strolling and biking around.

You should consider Amsterdam as a honeymoon destination.


Istanbul

Istanbul is like a shot of tequila after you had some long island teas. You enjoy your long islands smooth and easy, that when you come to Istanbul - bam! You get a whole dose of discovery, excitement and crazy all at once. It's so colourful, jovial and full of vibrant that you will love it by the minute.

It was such a great build up from Paris, to Amsterdam to Istanbul that I couldn't think of a more genius way to maneuver these three cities than that. The main reason we did this trip was to catch on Istanbul's tulip festival with carpets of tulips, and basically, realize mum's all time dream come true. She told us, growing up she reads a lot of English literature books and they always described Spring so lovely with the tulips around. All she ever wanted to do was to see and feel it for herself.

But little did we know this Tripadvisor 2014's city of the year Istanbul is A WHOLE LOAD MORE than just tulips. Because of it's very special location right in between the Asian and European continent, Istanbul is a melting pot of culture and history. It is also, one of the more famous trades in the world dating back as early as 330AD so they were among the oldest discovery in the world.

Istanbul is so easy to be loved.


Love,
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Quick Updates

It's that round of updates again.

I'll start off with FMFA. I was meant to go to FMFA for the weekend, but the event got cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. So we skidded to an ice cream parlour to catch up over the remaining time I had left over there.

And then there's Chris' farewell.

I rarely talk about this dude because he just seems like a permanent parcel in my life like.. the box of stationeries on my table desk, or like my mum (cripes), it always seems like he's always there (in my case literally) because we hang out ALL the time so when he finally he decided to embark on the next journey back home -- it seems surreal that he's finally leaving all of us.

I think it's been 3 years since we've met, and we always seem to have great discussion discussing about earth, the heaven and everything in between. And also 3 years since #yolo. Dude, we will always be here. I don't know about the rest, but I'm practically planted here in KK. Pic courtesy of Angel.




And then there's the short trip that my friends and I took over the last week of March to Labuan (we love to go Labuan because that place is duty free - so we go crazy on the alcohol there). It was so good to spend some quality time with the best friends. I couldn't have asked for a better way to catch up with them. Meeting up with Ingrid is always golden because she's not around often :)))

And that meant I stocked up on my wines. Nyehehehehe.


The erratic lovely couple.



Where I became the driver who often got lost.


I had to post this photo because everyone is here! We had a gala dinner for all the hotels in Sabah (we've got such great ties with each other it's crazy) and everyone looked perfect! Pic courtesty of David Aramaitii 


When the guys at Glory Studio told us that we could take so much more because there were plenty more available, Nevi and I went crazy.


Totally had no clue that they were going to put up the photos on their Facebook Page -________-" That was a bit embarrassing. But oh well. 


Okay that was a quick wrap up.

I've been very busy with my apartment recently. The place is booked up almost everyday, and since I had no one to help me in my bookings, checking in and even cleaning the place - I had to do everything MYSELF.

There are times when I'm completely exhausted by all the odd jobs that I'm doing but everytime I meet my guests and talk to them about Malaysia/ Sabah / Kota Kinabalu - everything is compensated.

Everytime I attend the events that I'm suppose to cover I get super tired BEFORE attending it (is that even possible) but everytime I do and meet up with these great people - everything is compensated.

Life is good. I'm packing for a two weeks trip. I will keep you posted :)

Love,
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

#marchmorefun GUINNESS St Patrick's 2014 Celebration in KK!

Thank God for a little get together at the ‘March More Fun’ month after all the craziness the month has witnessed.

For those of you who are wondering what Saint Patrick's Day is allllll about, this is a holiday celebrated annually on the 17th March in remembrance on the life of the famous patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick. From the early golden years, the annual activities for this celebration particularly involves public parades and festivals, céilithe, and the wearing of green attire or shamrock, not to forget the tradition - beer chugs.

I still remember two years back when I walked pass a bar for a drink date with my collegemates. As I walked by, I was attracted by these festive decorationas and there were plenty of green clover around and the attendants were all dressed up fancy in their green uniforms! Back then, the only thing I knew was that they were celebrating St.Patrick’s Day. I pulled my friends over and insisted to have our drinks there instead of our usual hangout place. It was great atmosphere. People seemed to be having so much fun, some were cheering for the street performers, some were playing pool, some of them were holding a pint of beer on their hand all night long. That was my first time witnessing the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, what a sight.

It’s amazing how we still keep the tradition of celebrating the holy St.Patrick’s Day nowadays. 

This year St. Patrick’s Day celebration in town is hosted by the World’s favourite black brew GUINNESS®.   True to the theme of ‘March More Fun’, the celebration of all things green had gathered up Guinness fans together into raising a pint in selected participating outlets across Sabah. Not forgetting to mention the countdown towards the official St Patrick’s Day was truly a spectacular one as Guinness had a roving party in different popular drinkeries around the city including those located around KK Waterfront,Warisan Square, Metro Town as well as KK Times Square.


Participating outlets include Cock & Bull Bistro, Shamrock Irish Pub, Novus Karaoke and BarTzar at KK Waterfront, Oyster Bar and Hot Rod at Warisan Square, Bull Dog at Metro Town, Jarrod & Rawlins and Mr.Ho’s Fine Foods at KK Times Square.

For more information on upcoming events and festivities brought to you by the world’s iconic black brew GUINNESS®, connect with us on www.facebook.com/guinnessmalaysia. 


Love,
Booliyana @ Diyana