5 Things I am Going To Definitely Miss Working in Westminster

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Five years ago, I wrote this on my Facebook page:
You know you've lived a life when you've gone out of your comfort zone and realise that that's one of the best things you've ever done in your life. 

Since that day, I've never been afraid to step out of my comfort zone because let's face it, you can only remain comfortable in one place for so long. After a while, our comfort zone becomes the source of our misery and dissatisfaction. Saying that though, sometimes we would rather suck it up for a little longer than subject ourselves to gruelling job applications and interviews. Oftentimes, it is our fear of starting over again that prevents us from walking away. Or sometimes, because the arrangement is convenient for us, it doesn't matter if we are happy or not. Fortunately for me, I learned through the years that life is too short to stay in a place that no longer serves me. And so, three months ago, I decided to give up the job that I thought I loved. Or perhaps I did love my job. 

Anyway, it has been quite a challenging 11 months at work. I wanted to quit a month after I went back. If it were not for "my  people", I wouldn't have survived this long. They are the reason why despite losing my confidence big time, I am leaving my job still on top and prouder than I've ever been in the last five years.

Although I am very happy that I have finally left my job, there are certain things that I am going to miss working in that side of London.

1. My people
- Over the last five years, I have made friends with really wonderful people and I am very grateful for that. I overcame the many challenges at work because of them. As I've always said, no matter how difficult a job is if we are surrounded by kind and happy people, everything becomes easier. And whilst I felt that some people doubted my capability and failed to acknowledge the almost two decades of experience behind me, there were a handful of them who genuinely believed in me and respected me as a practitioner. At the end of the day, it's those people that really matter. 

2. The fusion (or sometimes collision) of clever minds before 8am
- On my ward week, I had the opportunity to sit in the same room as some of the most amazing professionals I've ever met in my life. Listening to them discuss patient care and treatment early in the morning always left me in awe. I have so much respect for what they do. They go above and beyond to save lives and deliver the best care to their patients. Their hard work, dedication and compassion are really admirable. I am but proud to have been a part of this formidable team.

3. My morning commute to work
- If there is one thing that I will miss the most working in Westminster, it would be my 30-minute early morning walk to work. My journey starts at 620am. As soon as I get out of our building, I can smell freshly baked pastry either from the bakery in Chinatown or the Pre-a-Manger around the corner. And then I head towards Leicester square where I normally see young people hanging out (outside McDonalds)after perhaps a rough night. There is also this man slumped in front of M&Ms playing some random music. One time as I passed by, he started singing "hey girl, good morning! I see you, you walk fine". I thought it was weird but I just smiled at him anyway. 

I am a creator of habit, so in the last 11 months, I took the same route to work. From Leicester Square, I take Charing Cross Road in the direction of Trafalgar Square. Sometimes, especially in the summer, I am greeted by the smell of freshly cut grass when I reached the National Gallery area. Other times, it's the strong smell of weed from the square. It's like walking along Windrush Square in Brixton all over again.

If I am not picking up my breakfast at Pret-a-Manger, I walk straight to Whitehall. The 17 minute walk to Big Ben gives me the opportunity to clear my mind. I often pray during this time or plan my life while paying attention to what is going on around me. When I pass by 10 Downing Street, I often take a glance at the policemen at the gate. They are fascinating to watch, chatting while clutching their rifles to their chest. And then I reach the busy Bridge Street, before I finally cross Westminster Bridge. I have created a habit of looking up at Big Ben to check the time while waiting for the red light to turn green. 

Although crossing Westminster Bridge often feels like forever, it's my favourite part of my morning walk. I often get confused as to where I should look first, but the London Eye always draws my attention. There is something special about this giant wheel early in the morning. It looks so serene and its colour appears brighter, probably because there is no one blocking my view at this time. I feel almost privileged that I have the sight of the famous wheel all to myself most of the time.

Westminster Bridge is very famous for pre-nuptial shoot. In spring and summer, there are at least two couples each morning having their pre-nup photos taken. 

What I am really trying to say is that I am very blessed to have had this opportunity to see London's most famous landmarks every single (working) day. I think what I really enjoyed was seeing the normally very crowded places in the silence of the morning. I am beyond blessed to have experienced this regularly.

4. The flaming London sunrise and sunset
- I fell in love deeper with sunrise and sunset when I lived in New Zealand. We had an amazing view of the sunset from our balcony and I used to watch the sunset  almost everyday. And so when I discovered that I could watch the sunset from our board round room at work, I took every opportunity I could get to take a photo of the beautiful sunset. On the other hand, I used to sneak out of our office to briefly watch the dramatic sunrise from the window in the corridor. How I wish I could have taken more photos.

5.  Almond croissant and skinny latte from Pret-a-Manger in Trafalgar Square
- Everyday for three months, I bought my almond croissant and skinny latte from Pret-A-Manger in Whitehall. However, the service remained impersonal despite going there regularly. Besides, my coffee was often already pre-brewed for I don't know how long, so they only had to add the hot milk in. Quick service maybe but the quality of my coffee was defintely questionable. But because it became a bad habit, I still went back there every morning. Until they started opening later. I was forced to move to the other branch across the road. Needless to say that the service was friendlier and my coffee was always made fresh. But then I realised that my habit was becoming expensive and unhealthy, so I cut down from 5-day a week to at least twice a week. 

I know there are many other Prets in London (in fact, there is one every corner), but this has become a part of my early morning routine and I will definitely miss it.

So, after five years, it seems like there is not much to miss after all, huh!? But honestly, while I was walking over Westminster Bridge on my way home this afternoon, I couldn't help but look back at that massive building behind me with a grateful heart. It has been a roller coaster ride but I have learned so many lessons- professionally and personally. Probably the most important lesson I have learned from this challenging journey is how to rise above all of those who treated me less than what I deserved to be treated, by counting my blessings and constantly reminding myself of my good life outside work. Perhaps if you can use your personal life as your weapon, you can successfully win every work battle. Otherwise, just remember that most battles are better fought in silence, with grace and dignity.

Now I am ready for a new adventure. :)


That Very Short Trip To Seattle, Washington

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Things indeed happen for a reason. Whilst I was disappointed that our trip to California in August was cancelled at the last minute, I am grateful that we were able to visit Seattle a few weeks ago, even just for a couple of days. This trip came as a surprise, so we didn't have much time to plan our itinerary. J and I had different priorities, and mine was to catch up with my cousin Dyami, whom I haven't seen since 2015. The last time I saw him was in the Philippines.

As I was telling Dyami, I think that full day I spent with him in Seattle was our first proper bonding moment in more than 20 years. It was very heartwarming to have been able to have a proper catch up with this funny young man. 

I requested to see a panoramic view of Seattle, so he took me first to Hamilton Viewpoint Park. Then we drove back to Downtown Seattle and visited the very popular Pike Place Market.

Dyami was very enthusiastic in showing me the gum wall that I didn't understand what he was telling me at first because of his thick American accent. Until we got to an alley and I saw the most disgusting brick wall I have ever seen. I just don't understand why people would stick their chewing gum on a wall? As revolting as it was, it was something that I must see apparently, so a wall shot was called for.

Then of course, there was also the unmissable original Starbucks cafe. I am no longer a Starbucks fan, but for the sake of my trip to Seattle, I joined in the very long queue for a cup of pumpkin spice latte and had an obligatory photo outside. 

Overall, Pike Place Market is definitely a must-see in Seattle. It's full of vibrant, colourful and artistic things. 

On the same day, while J was in a business meeting in Fremont, I explored the area and found a couple of treasures - one of them scared the hell out of me.

So, after I dropped J off to his meeting, I walked back and came across the Aurora bridge. Looking up the bridge was rather nauseating for me. Walking underneath it sent shivers down my spine. Yes, I am scared of bridges, especially the high ones.

Whilst searching for other things to do in Fremont (over coffee at Milstead & Co), I read about the troll under Victoria Bridge. Although I was enjoying being a temporary solo traveller, I was not very keen on walking under the bridge again. So, I ordered an Uber taxi and asked my driver if we could stop by the Fremont Troll on our way back to town. I didn't have to get out of the car because the troll was big enough to be captured (by a phone camera) from afar. 

On our second and last day in Seattle, J and I decided to explore the city on foot to get a real feel of the place. I took him back to Pike Place Market and then we walked from there to the Space Needle. We couldn't see the point of going up there, so we continued our walk and headed to Kerry Park instead. By this time, we felt that we have seen enough of Seattle, so we made our way back to our hotel to rest before dinner.

So, that was it.

Where we ate:
1) Blueacre Seafood Restaurant, 1700 7th Avenue 98101
- Very good ambience. The staff were very attentive, and food was excellent. I had the Angry Whole Dungeness Crab (in toasted garlic, crispy basil, serrano chillies and lemon zest) for $28/pound, while J had Tim's Cascade Potato Chip Crusted Fish and Chips and onion rings for $20. Both were very satisfying.

2) Great State Burger, 2041 7th Avenue 98121
- Because we couldn't be in America and not eat burger. Great State Burger was a pleasant surprise. Ordering our food was very quick and efficient. And the burger and crinkle-cut fries were an absolute treat.Add to that, the bottomless soft drinks. It was the first time I ate a burger guilt-free because it wasn't oily at all. Besides, they use organically raised grass fed beef.

Where we stayed:
The Westin, 1900 5th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101
- We both loved everything about The Westin. The room was big and it was very clean. The staff was friendly and helpful. The food at the Relish Burger Bistro was really good. And the view? It was amazing! We would wake up in the middle of the night just to take photos of it.

We only spent two days in Seattle but we still managed to do quite a bit I think. Most importantly on my part, I was able to spend some quality time with my cousin.

Although this trip could have potentially been another opportunity for us to live in a new city, we thought that Seattle wasn't for us, as much as we enjoyed our short visit.


The Oxford Street Incident

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Yesterday, what was meant to be a lovely catch up with a friend I haven't seen in two years turned into a rather terrifying experience. 

It was around 1615 when I met up with Lizzie in one of the busiest streets in London -Carnaby Street. The place was even busier yesterday because of Black Friday. Also, a lot of people visit the area this time of the year because of the impressive Christmas lights and unique decorations. 

So, we decided to have a quick coffee in Sacred Cafe along Ganton St for some "New Zealand cafe experience" as I have been missing New Zealand coffee lately. This explained why I finished my latte in five minutes. 

Deep into our conversation, the waiter interrupted us and asked if he could take our empty cups away. Lizzie and I said "yes, please" in unison. We were talking about going to Primark in Oxford Street to buy some pyjamas, when all of a sudden we heard a commotion from the street. The sight of fleeing crowds, screaming and crying, sent us into a panic mode. And then I heard loud banging and clanking noise, as more and more people entered the cafe. It seemed like the people were being chased. The first thing that occurred to me was the Westminster bridge attack. It couldn't be another terror attack, I thought. But it certainly felt like it was. Then I realised that Carnaby Street is pedestrian only so it couldn't be a vehicle incident.  As the cafe staff instructed us to go down the basement, my mind went blank for a second. Lizzie led me down the stairs and when I realised what was happening, I started shaking and my body went cold. People rushed down in a calm manner, and the next thing I knew, we were in a very dark place.

The people having coffee at the basement had no clue what was going on. They looked as confused as we were. Lizzie and I went all the way to the back of the basement. I noticed a lady opened a door. I had a peek and saw  bottles of water and some cans inside. My mind suddenly played, "If anything bad happens, Lizzie and I will hide inside the room" 

Buffled, I phoned J to tell him not to get out of his office, and that we were in a basement because something happened. As soon as I put the phone down, I heard loud footsteps coming down the stairs. Lizzie told me to sit down. I heard the door shut. It suddenly dawned on me that something terrible has happened. Terror attack sprung to my mind. What if someone went down the basement and started shooting at us? I was shaking terribly and my heart was pounding. I wanted to cry but I couldn't. That was it, we were locked down.

Then a lady next to us caught our attention. She was crying because she got separated from her family, including two children. She was one of the people who ran inside the cafe for safety. She came from Oxford Street. She told us that there were numerous police cars in the area. She didn't know what was going on either. Then someone said gunshots were heard in Oxford St.

I'm not sure how long we were locked down in the basement but it felt so long. When the staff finally said it was safe to go out, Lizzie and I made our way up. Lizzie actually left her suitcase upstairs. Luckily, it was still there when we went back.

We were instructed to avoid the main roads. Fortunately, we could take the back road to our flat. Lizzie doubted at first whether it was safer to stay at the cafe for a few more minutes. In the end, we decided to leave.

We braved the whole situation and started walking. People we met on the streets were on their phone, looking so worried and confused. We walked hand in hand, Lizzie obviously very shaken by what happened. I have calmed down by then. As we got closer to our flat, there was a sense of security. People in our area seemed oblivious of the chaos only one kilometre away.

When we got home, we had cup of tea- because tea makes everything better. Lizzie started crying when she spoke to her parents. I was calm, only because I was in emotional shock. I watched the news while Lizzie spoke to her loved ones. After an hour, it was reported that there was no evidence of gunshots. I felt so relieved. I thanked God no one was hurt this time. 

Lizzie and I reflected on what happened afterwards. Now we know how it feels like to be in that situation. It felt so surreal. I felt like I was in a dream. It may have been a false alarm, but what if it wasn't? Lizzie was at the Oxford Tube Station less than an hour before panic erupted in the area. Imagine?

Our reunion may have been cut short, but we were very thankful for the renewed life and friendship. I am glad I was with Lizzie. We are lucky because although we were terrified, at least we were not traumatised.

Yesterday is certainly one of those days I will never forget.


The Day Trip To Paris That Became All About Me

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

"Ate, who is the tourist, you or your friend?" is the question I was asked by one of my dearest Adings when she saw my photos with my friends who visited London from the States in the summer. It happens all the time when I am playing tourist guide either in my city or any other place that I have been to before. Sometimes I even doubt myself whether I genuinely want to be the tourist guide, or because I just want my photos taken. Haha. Either way, I should really be a very special person to you, for you to even consider asking me to show you around, because I have the tendency to make your most anticipated trip to be all about me. You have been warned. Lol.

Kidding aside, a much needed catch up with one of my favourite people warranted a trip to Paris in October. Paris, being so convenient from London, has become a perfect rendezvous for me and anyone who genuinely wants to spend some time with me. Whilst I half-heartedly put Paris as one of my favourite cities in the world previously, I can now guarantee you that I absolutely love Paris. What I like about traveling to Paris is that each time I go there, I learn something new (of course), not only about the city but most importantly, about myself.

So, what is special about this trip? Well...

At last, I met up with Kristale in a place other than under our mango tree in Zambales. Having come from humble beginnings, where we are in our lives now is a proof that dreams do come true

Also, this time I went around Paris like a local. Naks. Only because I finally found my way from Paris Gare du Nord to Sacre Coeur in Montmartre on foot without getting lost. Big achievement indeed. :)

From Montmartre,  we walked down to Boulevard de Clichy for Moulin Rouge as per Kristale's request

As we had reservation for lunch and were running late, we took an Uber taxi from Moulin Rouge to Rue de Rivoli for more or less than 10 euros. You would think that I would go back to Laduree because I used to love this place. However, I wanted to try something different this time. I wanted Kristale to experience something that perhaps people she knows who have been to Paris haven't heard of before. Besides, we have Laduree in London so I can easily go there whenever I fancy some Laduree treats. 

So I chose Angelina, a traditional Parisian cafe which opened in 1903 and was apparently frequented by the likes of Coco Chanel and Audrey Hepburn. I was in awe of the cafe's magnificent interior. The elaborate paintings, large mirrors, classic French furniture and that golden lighting gave me the authentic Parisian feel. 

Angelina is famous for their L'Africain hot chocolate and their signature Mont Blanc dessert.  However, I was not very keen on chocolate drinks and sweets that day so I opted for what I was craving for  (scrambled egg) and some extras (pain aux raisins, croissant, pain au chocolat and brioche) . The only thing Kristale requested was a glass of champagne. 
226 Rue de Rivoli
75001, Paris

After our carb-heavy brunch,  we walked to the Louvre via Tuileries Garden. 

Somehow I always get excited whenever I see the Louvre pyramid(s). It was even more exciting that I was with someone who was as keen to  take photos. One thing I love about this courtyard is that there are so many different angles you can take good photos of. 

I love candid photos and this is one of my favourite photos of Kristale:

And then she instructed me to do the "my head hurts" or "I have dandruff" pose. Well, because I am blogger after all. :)

After our mini-photoshoot in the Louvre, we moved on to the Eiffel Tower. I suppose my trips to Paris will never be complete without dropping by my favourite spot for a perfect view of the Eiffel Tower- the Trocadero. Can I just say that Kristale takes amazing selfies? 

And blogger photos of course. 

Our last destination was Notre Dame. I am really glad that I was able to go there during this trip because I missed it last time.  

And that was about seven hours spent in Paris. 

It was very heart-warming to meet up with Kristale in Paris. If anything, it was sort of surreal.  It felt like it wasn't that long ago when we were both still in the Philippines, perhaps dreaming of the same big things. And here we are now, having champagne in Paris, seeing wonderful places and creating life-changing experiences. I am very happy for her, and I am even happier that we have managed to maintain our good relationship. Loyalty indeed shouldn't be questioned by people who are truly confident and happy.


When Life Takes Over

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Life clearly took over the last four weeks because I feel like I've not had a downtime for a while. October went by so swiftly, I can barely remember some of the things that took place in the month that facebook claimed "I did right". October has indeed been quite challenging for me- mentally and physically. 

Actually, roughly a week before October, I made a prudent decision to quit my current job because we were going to relocate to Edinburgh. And then better things just kept coming to a point where we were no longer sure where we'd be next. But as J's Mom always says, "something will come up and then you'll know". 

And then October came.

My October was about catching up with some people whom I haven't spent time with in a while. First of all, I finally  went to a spa with one of my closest friends. It was my first time to have a facial because I've always believed that I didn't need one. I'm glad I gave in because I felt so relaxed and refreshed afterwards. This is now going to be a regular gift for myself I reckon. 

Then I had the chance to hang out with one of my friends at work, after a few years of planning. And to mark our first 1:1 ever, we went to a Cafe in Camden Town for some dirty ice cream.
Mamasons Dirty Ice Cream
91 Kentish Town Road

My cousin and his family also came to visit, and for the first time since we came back from New Zealand, I had my favourite pandesal.
Romulo's Cafe
343 Kensington High St
W8 6NW

Hmm. Now that I live in the West End of London, I am more excited to watch West End shows. Sadly, I have only watched three shows since we moved here a year ago. Therefore, when one of my friends mentioned that she has always wanted to watch a musical but never had anyone to go with, I volunteered. And to make her first theatre experience memorable, we watched Les Miserables.  But before that, we indulged ourselves with some heavenly chocolate drinks and cakes.
SAID dal 1923
41 Broadwick Street
Carnaby W1F 9QL

Subsequently, the unexpected opportunity to travel to Seattle, Washington came. 

Although we only technically spent two full days in Seattle, I was happy because I was able to travel to the US with J for the first time. Besides, I was able to spend  time with my cousin whom I haven't seen in two years.

The day after we arrived from Seattle, I went back to work. I was very tired, but I didn't have a choice. Worst of all, I was doing the ward round. 

The tiredness dragged on until I went to Paris for a day that same week. Tired as I was, I couldn't miss the chance of meeting one special person whom I haven't seen in years. 

The day after Paris, without much sleep, I went to visit my friend and her family at their new place outside London. It was also the same day I found out that my mother had a stroke. My mind and my body, still tired from all the socialising and traveling, almost couldn't cope with what was going on. Still confused as to where we're going to end up living and working eventually, I was faced with yet another challenge.

When it comes to my parents' health, I am always torn between my responsibility as a daughter and my frustration towards how they manage their priorities. I suppose, no matter how much they make me unhappy sometimes, my love for them still prevails. 

So yes, my October was pretty demanding. Not to mention the daily mundane activities that I have to do in order to survive this life.

It's almost half-way through November and although I am still not fully rested, life has somehow calmed down a bit. 

Perhaps, sometimes life has to take over so we learn how to prioritise things and spend our precious time only with people who are definitely worth it.

Right now, although some things are still uncertain, I am but excited to see what the future holds. 


15 Things I Miss The MOST About Living In Wellington, New Zealand

Monday, 9 October 2017

I can't believe it's almost a year since we left New Zealand. No wonder why I have been missing Wellington lately like I've never missed it before. Yes, I have been reviewing our photos over and over again for the last two weeks. This actually gave me the reason to reflect on a few things that I really miss about this beautiful little city I once called home.

1. 67 Hawker St, Mount Victoria
- This top floor flat has everything that we needed and wanted in a flat- beautifully decorated with a combination of classic and modern furniture and some impressive artworks, two spacious bedrooms, open plan kitchen, shiny wooden floors, clean and good-sized bathroom, happy looking ornamental plants and a balcony with the most amazing view of the Wellington harbour. It was the perfect place for us to officially start our life together. 

The house sits on top of a hill, in a quiet neighbourhood next to one of Wellington's most famous landmarks- the St Gerard's Church. It's few minutes climb up to the popular Mt Victoria lookout and it's at least 15 minutes walk to the city centre.

I miss everything about the house, including our very nice and obliging landlady. She would pay random visits, and we chatted like we've always known each other. Because of her, I finally learned how to keep plants alive. :)

Ah, I miss waking up to birdsongs and watching Tui birds hanging out in our balcony. Furthermore, I miss chilling out in our living room or in our balcony admiring this magnificent view:

2. Ei
- I met Ei on my first day at Dress For Success- during the time when I thought I've escaped from my old friendly self. Before I left for New Zealand, I promised myself not to get too close to anyone anymore especially Filipinos (yes) after numerous bad experiences with many of them in the past. I was happy and contented with the few Filipino friends I've got left in the UK. However, there was something special in Ei that made me break that promise. As soon as I heard her speak, I knew she wasn't one of them. Then suddenly, I was "Miss Friendship" once again. So, we went for coffee after our volunteer work that day and that's how our coffee dates and most especially our friendship started.

I miss Ei because I enjoyed being with her. She is very easy to hang out with. I learned so many important lessons from her and she probably doesn't know that. She was my food, travel and walking buddy in New Zealand. She was also our official third wheel (hehe). Above all that, she was my Welly best-friend (she probably doesn't know this either). 

I still believe that perhaps, one of the reasons why I didn't get a job in Wellington was so I could spend more time with Ei and get to know her better. She is indeed one of the most wonderful people I've ever met, and she is a treasure I want to keep forever.

3. The Rest Of My Welly Girls (and Darren)
- I met the girls and Darren through Ei. This group really made my stay in Wellington extra special. Their admirable authenticity and contagious positivity are just two of the many things I love about these girls. I was (and still am) blessed to be surrounded by these happy souls.

4. Watching the Wellington sunset from our balcony
- Retrospectively, I should really have taken photos of the fiery Wellington sunset every time I watched it from our balcony. Unfortunately, when I am "in" the moment, I often forget to document it. But seriously, watching the sunset (on a good day) was one of my favourite hobbies in Wellington. 

5. Fumptoid
- Our car Fumptoid was our first car ever, that's why he remains very special to us. He wasn't fancy or anything, but he was perfect for us. Now I really miss our weekend drives in Wellington.

6. Pandoro in Allen Street
- I miss Pandoro because that's where Ei and I usually had our coffee dates. We would meet up every Monday - after my gym class and before she went to work. We only spent an hour each time but it was always a worthy hour. Pandoro, to say the least, sealed our friendship.

7. Weekend Drives
- I definitely miss the freedom of going out of the city every weekend, even just for a few hours. It was easy for us to do so in Wellington because we had Fumptoid. Ah, how I wish it's that easy in London.

8. Wellington on a good day
- Wellington is apparently the windiest city in the world and I can't agree more. Our flat moved with the blustery wind. I couldn't really tell whether it was an earthquake or just the wind. I thought London was cold, but Wellington for me was definitely colder. I was layering up even in the summer.  Apart from that, it seemed like it was always raining when we were there. But when it's a good day? Well, you can never beat Wellington on a good day, as they always say.

9. Coffee
- I became accustomed to coffee culture properly in Wellington. Whilst flat white is the coffee of choice over there, I consistently ordered my trim (aka skinny) latte because I am a creator of habit. I probably only had flat white twice plus the random sips from J's cup. Needless to say, I've had the best coffee experience in Wellington, hence I miss it. 

10. Food trips
- Honestly, I've never eaten so much in my life like I did in Wellington. It was good that I shared the same passion for food with my Welly friends. When we ate, we ate like there was no more tomorrow. There was no fuss whatsover. We were quick to decide where to eat because we are all easy to please. We were not worried about gaining weight or the food being unhealthy. We basically ate anything that we wanted - and that's what I really miss.

11. Yum-Cha at Majestic cuisine
- We currently live right next to Chinatown and I have been to six out of the ten best Chinese restaurants in Soho on Tripadvisor's list (for dimsum), but I still haven't found a restaurant that I could say is on par with Majestic Cuisine. And I'm talking about the quality and quantity of food, the affordability and the service. 

12. Dress For Success
- Dress For Success was my regular "job" in Wellington and I truly loved my experience there. Working for them made me realise that it is possible to be in a working environment where everyone is genuinely nice. 

13. My Gym Class
- Every Monday, I went to a gym class with ladies at least 20 years older than me. I always looked forward to this class because I really loved our pre and post gym chitchats. They were all nice, fit and very inspiring. Pulong, our instructor was equally nice. He always had this welcoming smile on his face whenever he greeted us at the staircase. I attempted to join other classes but I really didn't like being shouted at just to get motivated. At least with Pulong, it was fun and easy. 

14. Brunch
- I've been back in London for almost a year now and I don't think I've ever been to brunch yet. In Wellington, it was one of my favourite things to do on a regular basis, either with J or Ei. 

15. Baking
- Unfortunately, I haven't baked a single cake since we got back because I don't have baking utensils. I decided not to buy anything because we don't have enough cupboard in our kitchen. I can't wait for us to move to a bigger place so I can start baking again.

Wellington will forever hold a special place in my heart. Those ten months were some of the best times of my life. Wellington was my happy place. I felt so at home in the capital. I was at peace with everything. I was my very self. And I miss it so much.


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