To the handful of loyal readers I have: HELLO! I’m so sorry for being a huge disappointment omg I haven’t blogged in ages. I can sum up my absence in two words: GERMANY and YFC.
I missed the last week of school to go on a family trip to Germany, Switzerland, France and Austria! We covered many different areas in this trip because we only stayed one or two nights in each city and got on the train the next day. I finally had the chance to get my travel journal out and start doodling and painting again though so that was fun 🙂 I made the mistake of not blogging about this right when I landed because now all the events are really fuzzy 😦 I would normally have typed it on the plane, but my old computer was spoilt then so I couldn’t. I DO remember a lot of freshly baked bread for breakfast and a lot of pork for dinner though! 😀
I miss the bakeries there so much omg it’s like PAUL in Singapore is their average bakery in a train station and on every street corner. Also vanilla COOP Jogurt in Switzerland is really great! Jiamin recommended it to me and we went back to the supermarket to get it twice 🙂 It’s like vanilla pudding + yogurt ❤ ❤ I really miss it. The weather there was also chilly most of the time because of the wind!
Because the places in Germany and Switzerland we went to were rather mountainous, we also took many trains and cable cars up to the mountains’ vantage points. We were unfortunately unable to go up Jungfrau, the highest mountain in Switzerland, due to the poor visibility 😦 The first mountain we went up also had terrible visibility – it was just super cloudy and all we could see in any direction was white stuff. It was also freezing cold up there! But the view while going up was really spectacular 🙂 I think I’ve finally overcome my fear of cable cars!
We were really lucky to get some great restaurant recommendations from the hotels we stayed at! Here are a list of them just in case anyone goes there in the future:
Hofbrauhaus – – – Munich, Germany. Beer garden with lots of beer and pork (typical German cuisine
Sternbrau – – – Salzburg, Austria. Loved the schnitzel!
Zum Mohren – – – Salzburg, Austria. Three cuisines – Italian, German and Indian! The curry masala was really good 🙂
Pfistern – – – Lucerne, Switzerland. Cheese fondue, the cheese was a little bit too bitter though heheh
Ox – – – Interlaken, Switzerland. Best pork chop in the world according to my parents!
Restaurant a la Tete de Lard – – – Strasbourg, France. Best duck confit according to my dad. They also had this flat bread pizza thing that I really loved 🙂
Zum Deutschen Haus – – – Freiburg, Germany. A small restaurant with only ONE lady taking orders, serving and basically managing all the customers! Honestly don’t get how she handles it day after day :O
I found my third favourite place in the world: Freiburg! It comes after Singapore and Japan 🙂 Freiburg is a place in Germany but it is very different from big cities like Berlin because the pace of life is a lot slower there I feel! It has a quaint feel to it because of its pebbled pavements and little shops lining the streets.
They have paperteries – shops dedicated to the sale of pretty, good quality paper, notebooks, wrapping paper, stickers, washi tape and all things paper basically ❤ They also had a shop selling cute cloth patterns and paper patterns and buttons and string and ribbon for kids to get started in sewing! And a FAB FAB shop called Oil and Vinegar which had free samples on ten thousand kinds of oil and vinegar, paired with breadsticks or crackers. They also had multi coloured lasagna and dark pink, purple and green pasta and wooden spoons.
If I lived in Freiburg I would go there every day for snacks hahaha. I think we spent an hour in there and also bought a bit of stuff! As compared to the other places we visited, Freiburg generally gave me calmer vibes because of all the cute shops. Some might call them frivolous but really pretty paper and cloth and food are important to me so NO they sell very necessary things. I’m thinking of moving there when I’m eighty and wrinkly maybe!
Museum Island in Berlin, Germany is also really pretty! It’s just a plot of land surrounded by a river – not exactly cut off from the rest of the city. It houses seven museums (I think?) and all of them, including the greenery around are super picturesque. The arches and walkways are the perfect backdrop for a photoshoot haha.
We also visited the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. It’s a large square near the Berlin Gate with many rectangular blocks built on undulating land. The guide explained that when you walk through the blocks, you are blocked off from other people around you, and one sharp turn to your right or left would make it really tough to find your friends and family again. The feeling of isolation and apprehensiveness about what could be waiting at the next turn was what the artist wanted visitors to understand about the atmosphere at the time of the Nazi’s occupation. There were a group of students on a school trip there as well, and some of them were standing on and jumping from block to block, which I didn’t think was very respectful to both the artist and the victims :<
Doner is a must try in Germany! It’s Turkish and can be found almost on every street 🙂 curry wurst, which is more commonly known, was a bit overrated for me hahaha it’s really just a hotdog in ketchup x) In Berlin we also went to the Rittersport store and I went a bit crazy. We bought a lot of chocolate but it only came up to around 20 euros I think! So super cheap compared to Singapore! And now we have way too much chocolate in our fridge lmao.
This trip featured a lot of architecture and good food but I also learnt quite a bit about the history of Germany at the various memorial sites, museum and the concentration camp. It was definitely a fun trip and a good break from school hehe.
Right after I touched down I went straight for street sales lmao I was crazily jet lagged. And since then it has been YFC all day all night, I kid you not. When I’m not street sale-ing, I’m planning logistics and when I’m not doing that, I’m working with my favourite merchandise committee to churn out more designs for the whole YFC project. It’s really insane and I guess I didn’t know exactly what I was signing up for and what I was pitching for either! Waking up at 6.30 every day to meet my volunteers and OT members at 7 to distribute merchandise and staying out till 7 to collect everything again – and that’s only the execution of all our behind the scenes planning. I’m also pretty sure I’ve made more calls this month then in my whole life HAHA just because calls are so much more efficient and now everyone just needs stuff to get done and done fast. It’s week three of the holidays and reality is starting to sink in that school is starting in a week and I’m just getting started on my work. It’s scary and I don’t want to believe it but there’s really no running away from school and I’m thankful that Chels and Diwei and a lot of our OT are in it with us too 🙂 We pitched to the judges that we want youths to realise their power to make an impact on society and I think that we have definitely all learnt that firsthand just in these few weeks.
It’s the second day of school now and my holidays are officially over :< This is the first holiday where 1. I did not spend any weekday at home 2. I did not study. My holidays are normally spent alternating between work and art/youtube so this YFC-packed one was a first! I’m still struggling to convince myself that I spent my holidays meaningfully, because just street sale-ing and raising funds for SCS’s beneficiaries doesn’t strike me as making a direct impact on them at all. We organised a tie-dye day for them, but I couldn’t be there because I had dance 😦 I really wish I had the chance to meet them and play with them but at least I’ll be able to do that at our concert! 🙂
I hope this long post is sufficient to make up for the long hiatus hehe and that I will have more time to blog in the coming months! Four months, or eighteen weeks (according to soph) left to the end of this school year 😀 All the best to me (and you HAHA)
Thank you vv much for reading this! ❤