Friday, June 14, 2019

Squid Boy, IOI City Mall

Squid Boy, IOI City Mall
 Squid Boy, IOI City Mall

Another day at the IOI City Mall, another F&B outlets to be crossed off from my list. Like the previous post; Gindaco, IOI City Mall, I was looking for something light that night as well. Initially, I wanted to try Shihlin but the line was pretty long so I decided to change my direction to the Squid Boy.

Squid Boy Menu Illustration

Squid Boy offers more than squid dishes at relatively average price (?). It was quite a quick decision on what I want to order from my part because I suddenly lost my nafs of eating chicken. I guess it was because I had been eating chicken almost every day since I arrived in Malaysia. I decided to settle with MEGA Giant Squid and Crispy Mushroom Fries.

MEGA Giant Squid, Squid Boy
MEGA Giant Squid
MYR 14.50

MEGA Giant Squid is the largest Giant Squid offered by the Squid Boy. Indeed, the size was huge because it took me some time to finish off the squid. However, I'm not a big fan of its taste. Too salty for my liking. Additionally, I put red pepper powder on my squid but I couldn't taste the spiciness. I think the saltines overpowered all other flavours.

Crispy Mushroom Fries, Squid Boy
Crispy Mushroom Fries
MYR 5.90

I also ordered Crispy Mushroom Fries and this was my pick for that night. So crunchy and crispy. The taste was just nice as well. Not too salty like the MEGA Giant Squid. Anyway, I am not sure if I'm going to repeat Squid Boy again. If I were to, I probably will buy the Crispy Mushroom Fries only.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Gindaco, IOI City Mall

Gindaco, IOI City Mall
Gindaco, IOI City Mall

I was looking for something light as a kudap-kudapan when I went to the IOI City Mall with my sisters recently. After contemplating about 10-15 minutes, we decided to try the Gindaco. In all honestly, I have never heard about this store before. This was also my first time seeing the store in the IOI City Mall. I guess it's a pretty new store?

Menu @ Gindaco, IOI City Mall
Menu at the Gindaco, IOI City Mall

Initially, my sisters and I decided to have separate orders; 6 pieces of Original takoyaki and 6 pieces of Ebimayo takoyaki. However, the owner (I assume so) was ever so kind and suggested us to order the Party Box of 16 pieces takoyaki so that we could get more bang for our bucks and still get the desired takoyaki toppings.


Tip: Order one of the Party Boxes if you are sharing the takoyaki with other poeple. You'll save MYR 3.60 maximum, if you ordered the 16 pieces or MYR 8.25 maximum if you ordered the 24 pieces.

Party Box - Original & Ebimayo @ Gindaco, IOI City Mall
Party Box - 16 pieces of Original & Ebimayo Takoyaki
MYR 27.30

I was pleasantly surprised and happy when I opened the box! The balls were huge and the toppings were generous. I felt so full just by looking at those balls. Thankfully, they were delicious too! In fact, this might be one of the best takoyaki that I have ever tasted. And yes, this beat the Takoyaki @ Ramen Arashi, Banff. 

PSA: I've only eaten takoyaki few times in my life, mostly in Canada. The only takoyaki that I have ever tried in this side of the world was ones that were sold in pasar malam. lol. 


Conclusively, I definitely won't shy away from visiting the Gindaco next time, especially if I'm craving for takoyaki. Though I'm not sure when is the next time because there are still a lot of F&B outlets that I want to try in IOI City Mall.

Tip: You may want to wait for a bit before eating because the takoyaki are piping hot. I would say it would be the best to wait at least 7-10 minutes after they served you. Otherwise, get ready for your mouth to be burned :p

Monday, June 03, 2019

May 27, 2019

Korea Air at the Terminal 2, Incheon International Airport
Terminal 2 of Incheon International Airprot
May 27, 2019
1:40 PM

This was probably my last flight for the next couple of years. On another side note, yes, I have safely arrived in Malaysia few days ago. Didn't get to explore few places in Canada like I originally planned to do due to few reasons. I may regret this decision of mine in the future but it is what it is. For now, please pray that life will treat me well, insya Allah :)

Thursday, May 30, 2019

The Halal Guys, Hongdae

I have been craving The Halal Guys for almost a year-ish. My initial plan was to go to the The Halal Guys store in Toronto, Canada when I'm flying to the east, however, man proposes, Allah disposes. My travel plan fell through due to few reasons so I didn't get to explore few places in Canada like I originally planned to. However, Allah was and is so ever kind for allowing me to taste the goodness that is The Halal Guys once again. This time around, it was in Hongdae, Seoul, South Korea.

The Halal Guys, Hongdae

The Halal Guys, Hongdae is located on the third floor of the EXIT Mall (?). I'm not sure which exit is the nearest to the EXIT Mall but I know Exit 2 of Hongdae Station is one of the nearest exits to the EXIT Mall. It's so hard to miss the building so you should be good.


EXIT Building near Exit 2 Hongdae Station - The Halal Guys, Hongdae
The entrance to the EXIT Mall where The Halal Guys, Hongdae is located.

As The Halal Guys is a halal fast casual restaurant franchise, the menu offered is similar to the other The Halal Guys stores that I've been to. For your information, I've been to two The Halal Guys store/cart in New York City and The Halal Guys store in Toronto, Canada. The only stark difference that I can remember is The Halal Guys, Hongdae has 3 different sizes of platter compared to 1 or 2 in New York City and Toronto.


The Halal Guys, Hongdae

I ordered the Small Combo Platter because I wasn't so hungry. Additionally, I was dead tired that all I wanted to do was just to eat a lit bit of something and go to bed right after that. Thankfully, the taste was quite similar to what I had been craving for. In fact, I truly loved the chicken and beef in my platter. They were so juicy and luscious. Excellent! The only thing that let me down was the hot sauce was not hot as I thought it would be. So, maybe you can put a little bit more of hot sauce to get the kick?

Combo Platter Small Size at The Halal Guys, Hongdae
Small Combo Platter of The Halal Guys
KRW 9,000


Price wise, it was quite expensive if I compared it to the platter size. I also think it was expensive because I used to get a Regular Combo Platter for a cheaper price at the New York City and Toronto. Other than that, I was a happy customer of The Halal Guys, Hongdae :)

Friday, May 17, 2019

My Experience Transferring Money (CAD - MYR) with TransferWise

In this post, I mentioned that I was busy figuring out the best way to transfer my money from my Canadian bank account to Malaysian bank account. Few options that I have been considering are sending the money through the bank service; bringing them back to Malaysia all in cash, or using the TransferWise.


I was all set to bring them back all in cash until few of my favourite Instagram shops decided to have a Ramadan sale! Allahu. I wanted to buy all those things that were on sale but I did not have money. I only had MYR 20 in my Malaysian bank account and obviously I can't buy those thing with MYR 20. That's when I decided to give TransferWise a try!

TransferWise Address Verification Document


Initially, I wanted to transfer CAD 1000 but TransferWise requires senders from Canada to provide their bank statement and a document that verifies the home address if you're sending CAD 1000 and above. I have my bank statement but I don't have a document that verifies my address here because all my bills and documents are still addressed to my old address. The only document that may have my current address is my NOA but CRA website was down on that weekend for maintenance purpose, so I couldn't download my NOA.

So, I settled with CAD 999. The process itself was seamless. You just have to enter your banking details and the recipient's banking details. Then, you just have to wait for the money to be deducted from your account and for the money to be deposited to the recipient's account. The whole process should take two business days.


In case you're not the most patient person in this world like me, please make the transaction during the banking hours on weekdays. I initiated the process on Friday and got my money on Monday which is technically what they promised - two business days, but in reality I had to wait for four days (including the weekend). So, there's that.

TransferWise Payment Options

As for the payment method, you'll get few options. I chose direct debit because it was the cheapest options offered. I believe there are other five options including direct debit but the options will be narrowed down to two if you're sending a much higher amount. All options have different prices and will change according to the amount that you're sending.

Additionally, the total fee also will change according to the amount that you're sending. The bigger the amount that you're sending, the higher the fee. I found the fee to transfer CAD 999 to MYR to be affordable and quite cheap? I paid CAD 14.76 to transfer CAD 999.

Google CAD - MYR Exchange Rate vs Transferwise CAD - MYR Exchange Rate


Likewise, I found the exchange rate they used competitive. The rate that they quoted for my transaction was almost similar to the rate that I found on Google. So, I was happy. And, honestly this was the main reason why I decided to try transferring my money using TransferWise; the competitive exchange rate. Though, to be honest, I was quite bummed after that because a day after I initiated the transaction, the exchange rate reached my desired threshold but that was not TransferWise's fault.

Conclusively, I was happy with my experience with TransferWise. The whole process was hassle free and I got my money in timely manner. In fact, I have finished spending and saving the money that I sent through TransferWise. Currently, I only have MYR 13.34 in my bank account. That's is less than what I previously had. lol. Probably will be using TransferWise at least one more time before I close my Canadian bank account. We'll see.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Charging Bull & Wall Street

I didn't plan to go to Wall Street or seeing the Charging Bull back when I went to the New York City. However, I was only 500 m away from the Charging Bull after getting off from a ferry. So I thought, "Okaylah, jom pergi tengok dah alang-alang dekat."

Charging Bull, New York City, New York, United States of America

The Charging Bull is located right in between roads, so you have to be extra vigilant not to cause any disturbance to the traffic. It is hard to miss the Charging Bull though it is not that big (in my opinion) as you'll see a flock of tourists. You need to be really patient if you don't want to be photobombed when taking picture here.

Farah at Charging Bull, New York City, New York, United States of America

As for me, I was not patient enough to wait until the crowd died down. After all, patience is not my virtue. So, a selfie showing the reality of my visit to Charging Bull will do :p

Also, let me tell you something. The tourists that I met here were crazy! They kept shouting at each other. They also kept pushing other people to make their way to the Charging Bull. I felt so overwhelmed! ㅠㅠ

New York City, New York, United States of America

After spending about 5-10 minutes at the Charging Bull, I headed up to the Wall Street. I didn't walk the whole 8 blocks. Errr, I just learned that Wall Street is actually 8 blocks long. I think I only walked along 1 block?

New York State Exchange, Wall Street, New York City, New York, United States of America

Some of the landmark buildings that I saw when I was in the Wall Street were the ever famous New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the Federal Hall National Memorial, and the Trump Building. However, I don't have decent pictures of them or any other buildings at the Wall Street because I just can't get the angle right. On a totally irrelevant note, I had so much fun peeking at the Tiffany & Co store right opposite of the Trump Building. 


Wall Street, New York CIty, New York, United States of America

Didn't remember how long I spent at the Wall Street but pretty sure it wasn't that long because I left before dark. Decided to leave early as I was afraid that I will get lost. NYC at night really scared me so I tend to avoid unfamiliar and secluded places at night.


In all honesty, the Wall Street or at least the part of the Wall Street that I've been to had this dreadful feeling. So, I didn't really enjoy my time walking here. Also, this part of the Wall Street that I went to was quite dark though the sun was still out because it was surrounded by bunch of skyscrapers. 

Wall Street was probably the only place in New York City that I wished I didn't go to. Mainly because I didn't like the vibe there. Should have gone to other places ㅠㅠ

Saturday, May 04, 2019

That One Time Stanley Wanted Me to Pet Him

This post was first published on May 26, 2015 on one of my older blogs. Decided to repost it here at Her Little Guilty Pleasures due to reasons that I mentioned in this post.

*************************

Hotel tempat saya kerja ni ada Canine Ambassador. Nama dia Stanley. He's a black Labrador. Sangat-sangat cute. Geram sangat kalau jumpa dia. Saya rasa Stanley ni sangat suka dimanjakan. Setiap kali jumpa orang, mesti dia nak meleseh. Takpun, dia akan buat muka comel suruh orang pet dia.

Tapi, pasal Stanley ni anjing, saya sedaya-upaya mengelak daripada bersentuhan dengan dia. Sebabnya saya malas nak sertu. Memang tak sentuh even masa dia kering. Tapi, Stanley ni memang suka menguji kesabaran saya. Sikit-sikit nak goda saya. Haha! Setiap kali saya datang office ayah dia, mesti dia datang dekat-dekat saya. Lepas tu, goyang-goyangkan ekor dia. Lepas tu, minta dibelai. Eeeeeee, geram sangat!

Response biasa saya,

"Can you please ask Stanley to stay put or stay away from me?"

Rasa macam agak biadap tapi Stanley ni memang suka jilat-jilat orang yang datang office ayah dia. Jadi, setiap kali saya datang office ayah dia, ayah dia memang akan suruh dia duduk.

Stanley & I
Stanley mengada-ngada datang dekat saya :p
Sorry Stanley, no food for you ㅠㅠ 

Masa saya pergi hiking trip summer lepas, Stanley ikut sekali. Masa tu, dia memang asyik buat muka minta belai je. Tapi pasal masa tu saya memang tahu dia basah, saya memang tak sentuh. Masa jalan pun saya kekalkan jarak selamat. Ada sekali tu saya jalan belakang dia, dia asyik pusing belakang pandang saya.

Benda yang saya asyik ulang dekat Stanley,

"Sorry Stanley. I can't pet you."

"Yes Stanley. I know you're cute. Please don't look at me like that."

"Stanley, can you walk faster?"

"Stanley, do not come near me, okay?"

Nasib baik Stanley faham. Memang dia jalan jauh sikit dari saya. Tapi dia asyik buat muka sedih sebab saya tak nak pet dia. Sabar jelah. Kalau Stanley ni kucing, memang dah lama saya peluk cium dia. Nasiblah dia ni anjing ㅠㅠ 

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Snowy Banff in May

Snowy Banff in May
As seen from Marten Street
May 2, 2019
6:55 AM

Such a magical morning! I knew it's going to be a beautiful morning when I saw it was snowing all night long last night. Wish I haven't packed my winter jacket because all I wanted to do was to walk along few streets and take pictures  ㅠㅠ

&

Yes, we still get snow in May. Honestly it wasn't that surprising because it has always been like this. What's spring in the Rockies anyway? 😝

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The Old Spaghetti Factory, Banff

Last Thursday, I had a lunch at The Old Spaghetti Factory, Banff. Decided to go here because I was in town, and just finished with my window shopping. Also, because I got a CAD 15 meal voucher. Thank you The Old Spaghetti Factory, Banff for the CAD 15 meal voucher! :)

The Old Spaghetti Factory, Banff

I'm going to be real here. This was my first time seeing the entrance to The Old Spaghetti Factory because I have never been to the second floor of Cascade Mall 😆 Anyway, I was surprised when I came in because the restaurant was totally different from what I expected. I thought the restaurant was small and such but in reality, the restaurant was quite big though I'm not sure because I didn't get to scan the whole place. It looked like they divided the dining area into 3 sections and they also had a spacious bar.




The Old Spaghetti Factory, Banff

Service wise, it was excellent. I was greeted and got seated by a kind host at the entrance. After that, a server came to the desk, introduced herself as my server and served me a glass of water. I also didn't have to wait for a long time before my food was served though they had quite many customers that afternoon. So, that's a happy news.




As for the food, I ordered Bam Bam Shrimp as my appetizer and Seafood Fettuccine Alfredo as my main. In all honesty, I meant to order Seafood Fettuccine Alfredo only but a poster of Bam Bam Shrimp at the counter made me order one. #mudahterpengaruh

Sourdough Bread @ The Old Spaghetti Factory, Banff
Sourdough Bread with Whipped Garlic
Included in the entree

All entrees at The Old Spaghetti Factory come with Sourdough Bread with Whipped Garlic and Plain Butter; Minestrone Soup or Crisp Green Salad; Vanilla or Spumoni Ice Cream; and Hot Tea or Coffee. I chose Sourdough Bread with Whipped Garlic; Minestrone Soup and Vanilla Ice Cream to accompany my Seafood Fettuccine Alfredo.




The Sourdough Bread with Whipped Garlic was so good but I only ate half of the bread because I'm not a big fan of a hard bread. Also, because it was too big for one person.

Minestrone Soup @ The Old Spaghetti Factory, Banff
Minestrone Soup
Included in the entree

The Minestrone Soup was better than what I expected which honestly quite surprising because I'm not a fan of minestrone soup. Managed to finish almost the whole bowl. The only leftover was the kidney beans. I don't eat kidney beans, so there's that.

Bam Bam Shrimp @ The Old Spaghetti Factory, Banff
 Bam Bam Shrimp
CAD 9.50 plus taxes

Bam Bam Shrimp was my personal favourite and pick of that day! It was so delectable! I can see myself eating this everyday! #nakmakanlagi




The shrimps were fresh, the breading was just nice; not too thick and most importantly not too salty, and the sauce was tasty though I'm not sure if it should taste like that. On the menu, it says they use spicy Sriracha sauce but it was not spicy at all. In fact, it was quite sweet; a kind of sweet that I like #notcomplainingbecauseilovedit However, I think the dish will be better if there's more sauce #iwantmoresauce

Tip: If you're not too hungry, you can always order just appetizer because The Old Spaghetti Factory have generous portions. 

Seafood Fettuccine Alfredo @ The Old Spaghetti Factory, Banff
Seafood Fettuccine Alfredo
CAD 18.75 plus taxes

By the time my Seafood Fettuccine Alfredo was served, I have started to feel full. So, it felt a little bit like chore to finish off my Seafood Fettuccine Alfredo. Think it took me about half an hour to 45 minutes to finish off the whole thing.




The Seafood Fettuccine Alfredo itself was good and I loved it! It probably will taste even better if I was hungry. If you know me, you should know that I'm not a fan of pastas. So, I found it interesting that I loved the Seafood Fettuccine Alfredo. I think it was probably due to the sauce. The sauce was creamy but no to the point that you will get sick of it.

Anyway, if I were to pick only one good thing about the Seafood Fettuccine Alfredo, it will be the generous portion of the seafood. I counted the shrimps and I think they put more than 10 shrimps. I didn't count the scallops but there were a lot of them. The other good points, they were fresh and not small.

Vanilla Ice Cream @ The Old Spaghetti Factory, Banff
Vanilla Ice Cream
Included in the entree

I know I said I was almost full before but there's always a room for desert, no? So, I concluded my meal with a bowl of Vanilla Ice Cream. Even the Vanilla Ice Cream here tasted good! It didn't taste like the other vanilla ice creams that I have ever tasted in Canada. What kind of sorcery is this?! Hahaha.




Portion-wise, everything came with generous portions. They didn't hold back at all! Price-wise, I think it was average? Not really sure because I don't really go to Italian restaurants here. Having said that, I believe any meal here will worth every cent! My final bill came up to less than CAD 30 for all these! Can you believe that? Though I paid less thanks to the CAD 15 meal voucher :p

Conclusively, I was so happy to have my lunch at The Old Spaghetti Factory, Banff. Everything went beyond my expectation. Am so thankful that I got to experience this goodness of The Old Spaghetti Factory before I leave for good. Alhamdulillah,

Saturday, April 27, 2019

My Songs of April 2019

April was all about me trying to rationalize my decision to travel in Canada for a bit before going back to Malaysia for good. On top of that, I was busy planning the itinerary as I want to fully utilize the allocated time frame without breaking my bank account. I was also busy figuring out the best way to transfer my money from my Canadian bank account to Malaysian bank account.

So yeah, I was busy and a lil bit overwhelmed. Hence, less blog posts for this April. Probably less blog posts or none in the next three months as well as I'll be busy with other stuff after this. We'll see.

Sweet Sorrow X The Barberettes (스윗소로우X바버렛츠) feat MIGHTY - It Would Be Good (좋을텐데) 
Original song by Sung Si Kyung

A late birthday present from my top favourite group; Sweet Sorrow. They released this song few days after my birthday and I can't stop listening to this song ever since they released it. The fangirl in me was so happy because it felt like ages since I listened to their a capella. It reminded me of my first time discovering their existence 9 years ago :)

Jung Seung Hwan (정승환) - The Snowman (눈사람)


Jung Seung Hwan (정승환) - Shall We Walk Together? (사뿐) 

P.s: I'll be skipping my songs of the month for May 2019 because it'll be Ramadan and I usually avoid to post anything related to entertainment in Ramadan :)

Thursday, April 25, 2019

"In the end, it won't be how you walked in the sun - but how you handled the storm - that will determine your success."

Quote by Yasmin Mogahed

In the end, it won't be how you walked in the sun - but how you handled the storm - that will determine your success.
How you managed the darkness inside and outside yourself.
It won't be about how you ran.
It'll be about how you fell, then got back up.
It won't be about your wins.
It'll be about how you took defeat.
Not about how you performed when strong,
but how you did while bound and broken.
It won't be about your ability to walk.
It'll be about your willingness to crawl - even when you're hopeless.
Not about how you did when you won.
But who were you after you lost.
Again.
Because character isn't made on shore.
Character is born in the waves.
The crushing kind.
The kind that tell you to give up because what's the point of trying and falling again.
The kind that tell you the ocean's too mighty for you, and you don't stand a chance.
You see, heroes aren't know by their trophies.
They're known by their scars.

Beautifully written by Yasmin Mogahed. See the original post here :)

Monday, April 22, 2019

SMTOWN @coexartium

I was a huge fan of Super Junior and EXO few years back. So when I was in South Korea, I thought I would like to visit at least one place related to them. However, SMTOWN @coexartium was not on my list. It was all by chance and alang-alang approach that brought me to the SMTOWN @coexartium. 

I got a ticket for a Music Bank concert at Gangnam and the concert took place at the road opposite the SMTOWN @coexartium. So, I thought to myself, "Okaylah. Dah alang-alang sampai sini kita pergilah tengok ada apa dekat SMTOWN @coexartium ni. Kata K-pop fangirl :p"

SMTOWN @coexartium



Disclaimer: While I do call myself a K-pop fangirl (or K-music fangirl, to be exact), I would like to think that I'm not that fanatic. The only thing that I am willing to do for my favourites is to attend their concerts and showcases (I usually think about 100 times before buying the tickets, though this does not apply to Sweet Sorrow). I don't really buy their albums, merchandises, products endorsed by them or whatnot. Having said that, I do own maybe 2 K-pop albums (LUNAFLY and SEVENTEEN) and a set of Sweet Sorrow's postcard. That's about it.

SUM Market at SMTOWN  @coexartium

After the concert ended, I went straight to the SMTOWN @coexartium. Unfortunately, it was not a wise decision because other hundreds people were thinking the same thing as well. SMTOWN @coexartium was crazy packed that night. I was so overwhelmed with the number of people that I decided to leave after visiting the SMTOWN GIFT SHOP: SUM.

SUM Market at SMTOWN @coexartium

Tip: Few staff at the SMTOWN Gift Shop: SUM were quite rude and judgmental. My advise is try not to make any eye contact with them. lol


I think the SMTOWN GIFT SHOP: SUM would be heaven to those hardcore fangirls cause you can find everything that is related to the SM idols. Y'know those outfits wore by your oppas and such. Stuff like that. As for me, I didn't buy anything because I was short of money and nothing fancy me. 

SUM Market at SMTOWN @coexartium


Tip: I was told that you are not allowed to take picture (?) and video in the SMTOWN Gift Shop: SUM. Not really sure if this is widely implemented or not because I still saw few girls were recording videos and taking pictures when I was told off not to by one of the staff.


I didn't get to see the other floors because I was there about an hour-ish before the closing time and they put a notice that no more visitors allowed beyond second floor. I was quite bummed because I didn't get to go to the SMTOWN CAFE and SMTOWN MARKET. Honestly, I was far more interested to see these two places than the gift shop. However, luck was not on my side. Kita redha sajalah kan :)

If you were to ask me, would I go to the SMTOWN @coexartium again? My current answer is no because I'm no longer invested in any SM idols like I used to. Also, I think SMTOWN @coexartium does not have a pull factor that makes me want to go again.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Gwangjang Market (광장시장)

Gwangjang Market (광장시장) was one of my favourite places in Seoul, South Korea simply because I love the vibe. I would say there was nothing special about the place but I just loved it there. Maybe because it gave an idea how regular Korean's life looked like especially the elder ones'.

Gwangjang Market (광장시장)

I think most people would go to the Gwangjang Market to taste the traditional Korean food like bindaetteok (빈대떡) and mayak kimbap (마약김밥) or to shop for hanbok (한복). At least, that's what I saw or what I have been told when I was there.


Tip: You might not want to spend too much time at the food alley in the Gwangjang Market if you're the kind of sensitive about anything pigs. This is because there were a lot of stalls selling jokbal or pig trotters (족발)

Gwangjang Market (광장시장)

I didn't get to explore the whole market so I had no idea how big this market is or whatnot. Honestly, I did not even spend too much time here. I only strolled around few alleys. The first alley that I went to was the food alley because I wanted to see what kind of food they offered. The food alley tends to be crowded especially in the afternoon or at night. I knew this because I went there few times at different times. lol :p


I also strolled along the hanbok and clothing alley (?) but didn't walk until the end because most of the shops were closed and the alley was quite dark even in the afternoon #penakut

Besides that, I went to this one alley that sell banchan and live seafood. Some sort of wet market. Like the hanbok and clothing alley, I didn't walk to the end because the floor was wet and it smelled fishy. Had to avoid it because I planned to go to other places that day and I didn't want to smell fishy.

Gwangjang Market (광장시장)

Anyway, this is one thing that I noticed. The vendors at the food alley were not as friendly to  all passerby, however their hospitality towards their customers was commendable, while the vendors at the banchan alley / wet market were really friendly to all passerby.

For example, the imu-nim in the picture above was calling me non-stop to try their banchan. I politely declined and told her that I have diet restriction. However, she kept persisting while holding my hand and said, "No pig. No meat. I give you octopus." At the end, she successfully fed me one of the raw octopus banchan.


I honestly wanted to cry at that time because I don't eat raw food and I don't even know what ingredients that she used to make the raw octopus banchan. I can only hope there's no haram ingredients.

So yeah. That was an interesting experience of mine at the Gwangjang Market. Something that I still remember until today.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

HI New York City Hostel

As I mentioned in this post, HI New York City Hostel was my first HI hostel. Decided to stay here when I went to NYC years ago because the rate was relatively affordable. If I remembered it correctly, I paid about USD 250 for 6 nights for a bed in a 12-bed Economy Female Dorm. I considered it as a steal because if I were to stay in a hotel in the middle of Manhattan, the cost can easily go up to USD 1200.

HI New York City Hostel

Another reason why I decided to stay here was because they gave a detailed direction to the hostel from the LaGuardia Airport (LGA). It was a huge plus point because almost all other places only listed the direction from the JFK Airport. I landed at LGA so, I was instantly sold.




HI New York City Hostel is located at the Amsterdam Ave, the upper west side of Manhattan. According to the website, it's only few blocks away from the Times Square and Central Park. Couldn't affirm this fact because I used subway all the times when I was in New York. However, what I can say is, the hostel is a block away from the nearest subway station; 103 St and you can easily go to the Times Square and Central Park (to name a few) using the subway line at the 103 St.

PSA: I personally found that the neigbourhood quite sketchy so I would recommend any solo travellers to start your day after 8 AM (in winter) and go back to the hostel before midnight, or before 10 PM.

HI New York City Hostel

Unlike any other hostels that I used to stay, HI New York City Hostel don't offer a free continental breakfast to all guests. Instead, they only offer free continental breakfast if you booked a Deluxe Premium dorm. Additionally, I know they have other amenities like kitchen, laundry, and in-hostel cafe but I couldn't comment on that because I didn't use the said amenities.

The bed and room themselves were quite spacious and comfortable. You won't have problems to put your stuff even if you over-shopped :p And what made it even better was even though I booked a bed in a 12-bed Economy Female Dorm, the maximum occupants when I was there was around 6 people?

12-Bed Economy Female Dorm @ HI New York City Hostel

The washroom on my floor was squeaky clean as well. I think they had about 4 or 5 shower stalls and toilet stalls. I didn't have to wait for a long time to shower or to use the toilets everyday. The only problem that I had everyday was when I had to become an ass whenever I wanted to wash my face and brush my teeth. Everyday, there was a flock of insensitive girls trying to do their make-up in front of the sinks without giving a way to other people who want to use the sinks. So yeah, there's that.

Tip: You probably want to wake up early if you don't want to wait in line when using the washroom, especially if you can see a bunch of girls who wear heavy make up staying in the same floor.




HI New York City Hostel also offers free and paid tours. When I was there, they offered free tours such as Pub Crawl Tour and Central Park Tour. I joined the Central Park Tour because I didn't want to get lost exploring the Central Park on my own. Thankfully, I enjoyed the tour. Probably will talk about this tour on another post.

PSA: I just checked the website, they offer quite a lot of interesting tours. Most of them are free with some of the paid tours start with USD 10

Overall, my stay at HI New York City Hostel was an okay experience. I did enjoy some of the things that they offered but I believe there's always a room for improvement.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Dongdaemun Design Plaza (동대문디자인플라자) & DDP LED Rose Garden

I went to the Dongdaemun Design Plaza (동대문디자인플라자) few times when I was in South Korea. I went there few times mainly because I used the nearest subway station exit and I went shopping and people watching at few malls and market nearby. Unfortunately, I didn't get to properly go into the building because it didn't cross my mind.

All the pictures that I uploaded here were taken on my last night in South Korea. Dongdaemun Design Plaza has distinctive charms both during day and at night but I would suggest you to go at night so that you can see the ever famous DDP LED Rose Garden.

Dongdaemun Design Plaza (동대문디자인플라자)

Tip: Go to the Doota Mall and have a seat to see the Dongdaemun Design Plaza from above. You'll enjoy the view. Also, this is one of the best spots for people watching.



On this particular visit, my aim was to see the ever famous DDP LED Rose Garden and alhamdulillah, I've managed to fulfill my goal. There wasn't many people around when I was there so that was a happy news. Less crowds means less photobomb when taking pictures :p

Dongdaemun Design Plaza (동대문디자인플라자)
 The ever famous DDP LED Rose Garden

Tip: If you have hati tisu, please don't come alone as you probably will fee like a loser because most of the visitors here come with their friends or significant others.


The DDP LED Rose Garden is quite big in my opinion. You probably will need about 45 minutes here if you're the kind of person yang setiap ceruk pun nak ambil gambar. Otherwise, 20-30 minutes would be enough, kot? I spent about 45 minutes here because I'm that kind of person yang setiap ceruk pun nak ambil gambar. lol. Also, I spent that long here because I was people watching the visitors.

Dongdaemun Design Plaza (동대문디자인플라자)
 The ever famous DDP LED Rose Garden

Tip: Some parts of the DDP LED Rose Garden are quite dark and isolated so please be extra vigilant.

I personally don't think that I'll come here again if I were to go to South Korea again. Mainly because I've been to this place too many times though I have yet to explore the plaza itself. Having said that, I wouldn't mind to come here if I have a solid reason :)

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Funny Realization About How (My) Feelings Work

This is like an open secret to my close friends, but I had only one crush in my entire twenty-something existence. I always said it was a 7-year crush because I decided to stop having a crush on him after 7 years but truthfully, it wasn't a full 7-year crush. He didn't really cross my mind in that 7 years but I was usually reminded that I had a crush on him at least once a year. That's it.


I do, however remember that back then, I always get giddy whenever he liked my Instagram posts or whenever he sent DMs to me though he was asking boring and normal questions. What a smitten girl you are, Farah. Ha. Ha. Ha. I didn't like the way I behave, so I decided to delete all my Instagram pictures and stop liking his Instagram pictures at one point. Plus, I was struggling with my life so taking a break from social media was like the best decision that I have ever made at that moment.

Farah & Sung Jin Hwan
The only (celebrity) crush that matters 💖

&

Few months ago, I received DMs from him after years, and oh boy, was it different this time around! Instead of feeling giddy, I felt nothing. Or to be exact, I felt quite annoyed with him because he can easily google the answers to his endless questions. It also didn't help when he kept questioning my responses.


From that moment, I had this funny realization about how my feelings work. Everything was like a rainbow, a sunshine, an unicorn when I was infatuated by his existence (or more like by his likes and messages). Now that I have reached this age and have neutral feeling about him, his likes and especially messages mean nothing to me. They were like other conversations that I usually have with my friends.

To the younger Farah,

Thank you for deciding to stop having a crush on him. That's like one of the best decisions that you have ever made at that age. I'm eternally grateful for your decision for I don't think I can do the same if I were in your shoes.

Friday, April 05, 2019

Sushi Bistro, Banff

Sushi Bistro, Banff is my go-to restaurant sushi restaurant in Banff. I always go this restaurant whenever I crave for sushi, which is often. as often as two times in a month. This is also where I have spent almost CAD 2k for this past a year and half-ish. No kidding!

Sushi Bistro, Banff




The reason why Sushi Bistro is my go-to sushi restaurant is because it offers a large number of sushi options at a decent price tag for a tourist town. Admittedly, it is not cheap, especially if you're so used to all you can eat sushi restaurants, but this is somewhat the best deal that you could get here.

Sushi Bistro, Banff

Tip: They have few sushi chefs but I believe the ladies especially Hannah-san make the better sushi.

These are sushi that I have always ordered whenever I come here; Tamago, Inari, Octopus, Squid, Shrimp Mayo, Scallop, and Scallop Mayo. The taste and size will be different according to the sushi chef of the day but again, in my opinion, Hannah-san's sushi taste the best and the size will make you think it's worth your money!

PSA: The sushi below were not made by Hannah-san as she was not working when I went to the restaurant yesterday. Her sushi are always bigger than these sushi.

Sushi @ Sushi Bistro, Banff
1 order of nigiri sushi comes with two pieces of sushi
Price varies with Tamago and Inari being the cheapest and Scallop Mayo being the most expensive.




My most favourite sushi here are Tamago and Scallop Mayo. All the waitstaff know that I always order these two that they will ask me, "Is that all?" if they don't see a tick mark next to these sushi on the order sheet. They also know to put a lot of wasabi for me when it's dine in or an extra cup of wasabi when it's for to go.

Tip: If you're thinking to split the bill, please inform the waitstaff beforehand as it'll be easier for them to calculate the total accordingly.

Shrimp Tempura with Wasabi Mayo @ Sushi Bistro, Banff
Shrimp Tempura with Wasabi Mayo.
Highly recommended but the price is quite steep.

While I do love Sushi Bistro, I know this restaurant can be a hit-and-miss for some people. I've read mixed reviews about this restaurant, mostly mentioned about price, freshness, and service. As for my personal experience, I know the service can be quite slow especially if they are busy. I once had to wait for about half an hour before my first sushi was served. Also, I once had to wait for about an hour and half for my to-go order. However, I love the sushi here so it does not really affect me that much.




Am thinking about going to Sushi Bistro one more time for the last time before Ramadan, insya Allah. Hopefully, Hannah-san will be the one working on that day because I fancy her sushi the most! I know I'm going to miss her sushi after this ㅠㅠ

Saturday, March 30, 2019

My Silver Lining After a Cloudy Day

Few nights ago, I had a challenging night where few guests were being so rude and sarcastic to me. Most of the times, I'll just feeling down for few hours before going back to the normal me. However, my energy was already at the low level on that particular night that I didn't get to recuperate until the next night.

My Silver Lining After a Cloudy Day

The next night I showed up to work, I prayed that nothing similar will happen. Alhamdulillah, nothing happened. In fact, it was one of the calmest and quietest nights that I have ever had this year. What made that night better was this envelope that I found in my mailbox. It was a nice surprise because, i) I haven't received anything in my mailbox since few months ago, and ii) it came from the one of the sweetest guests that we received this year :)


This envelope was my silver lining after a cloudy day because I received it on the next night right after the challenging night. It reminded me of my happy encounter and conversations with Anita few hours before those things that dragged my energy down happened. It also acted as another reminder that while yes, I might have to deal with some difficult guests, however, I will also meet some kind and lovely guests like Anita :)
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