Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Fridge Magnets from Montenegro

During my trip to the Balkans last month, I visited Montenegro on a day trip from the Croatian city of Dubrovnik.

Personally I didn't find Montenegro that fascinating and that it was overated, but that's a story for another day.

Here are the fridge magnets that I bought during the day trip to Montenegro.

Flag and map of Montenegro from the Old Town of Kotor:

Price: EURO 3.00

Price: EURO 3.00

After buying the red coloured map of Montenegro, I thought that's the only Montenegro map I was gonna get until I saw this lovely one and couldn't resist myself:

Price: EURO 1.50 
(This was cheaper than the red map because it was sold outside the Old Town of Kotor)

Celia absolutely adored these magnets which were made from match boxes:

Price: EURO 1.00 each

I though this magnet was kinda cool, ended up giving it to Natty:

Price: EURO 1.00

Five Ways to Slow Down Intoxication


Have you ever found yourself getting tipsy after just one or two glasses of beer? Here are a few tips on how you can drink like a fish and don't get intoxicated (a.k.a. drunk) fast.

1) Pace
Just like running, it is important to pace yourself while drinking. Drink large amounts of alcohol at one go will definitely get you intoxicated in no time at all.

Instead, take small sips with pauses in between. Ensure there's a gap of time between one glass to the next.

2) Drink Lots of Water
While you're downing those jugs of beer or hard liquor, drink lots of water in between. Water helps to dilute the alcohol that gets absorbed into the bloodstream thus slowing down intoxication.

3) Consume Oily Food or Cheese
Eat lots of oily food before you start drinking. It is believed that oil will coat the stomach lining and slows down the absorbtion of alcohol into the bloodstream. Not too sure whether this has been scientifically proven but it's worth a shot.

For economical oily local food, I would recommend mamak mee, char kuey teow and roti canai. I heard that cheese does the trick too.

4) Get Enough Sleep
I've had experiences before where a good night sleep has made all the difference to an awesome night out. There was once I drank a bottle of white wine without realising I didn't have enough sleep the night before. Not even half way through the bottle when I started getting tipsy and then threw up. What a waste of delicious Italian wine it was.

5) Don't Mix the Alcohol
Few people have told me before not to mix  alcoholic beverages. For example, if I'm drinking beer, beer it will be for the entire session. If it's whiskey, then I should be holding the whiskey glass in my hand the entire night.

However this may not be the case for some of us. At my company's annual dinner last weekend, I drank 2 glasses of beer and 4 glasses of red wine and still felt awesome. Maybe it was the pacing.

These tips will not make you invincible towards alcohol. It would only help slow down your intoxication rate. You would get pissed drunk eventually if you continue drinking like there's no tomorrow.

Last but not least, don't forget that you must never get behind the wheel when you're tipsy or intoxicated. Be responsible!

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Fridge Magnet from Singapore

I was away in Singapore last week for one week of training. First time in my working life I travelled out of Malaysia for work/training. Such are the benefits of working for a multinational.

Anyway, during my week in Singapore, I met up with a cousin and he brought me to a few places including Bugis Village where I found this fridge magnet of the Singapore map:

SGD 2.00 (after conversion it's still cheaper than Malaysia!)

I was hoping to find a fridge magnet of the Singapore flag too. Unfortunately this is the only one I found, i.e. a combination of both.

I was planning to visit the Botanical Gardens on my first day when I arrived in Singapore simply because it's a UNESCO World Heritage site and I need to visit 50 site (travel bucket list). Unfortunately it was raining and I was too lazy to come out from the cozy hotel. Next time la.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Tourists Everywhere in Split & Dubrovnik

When my plane landed in the Croatian city of Split that September afternoon, the first things I noticed were the cool weather, beautiful landscape and the large number of tourists that come to Croatia.

Take a look at these photos of tourists at the Diocletian Palace in Split:

What's up there?

There were a good number of tourists from Asia too.

The tour groups that come to Split were endless. Bus load after bus load they come to admire the beauty of the Old City. 

Tourists are generally good for the local tourism industry although there have been reports that the locals in top tourist destinations in Europe are getting fedup with the 'invasion' of tourists in their homes and some are even calling for a ban on tourists. 

For a fellow tourist, crowds are never good because when crowds are big,
... moving around becomes a hassle especially in the Old Towns where lanes are narrow
... queues become long at the stores and washroom
... getting a seat in a popular cafe or restaurant may take forever during peak hours especially when patrons want to sit longer and do people watching
... trying to take a photo with less people in it becomes almost impossible

On my second day in Split I made a day trip to the historic city of Trogir which is a 45 minute bus ride from Split, hoping to get away from the crowds. Unfortunately it was no different in Trogir:

Most of the time I will step aside to let tour groups pass.

The sheer number of tourists in Split had prepared me for Dubrovnik where the number of tourists was even bigger!

If you've seen photos of Dubrovnik and its magnificent, well preserved wall surrounding the Old City, you'll understand why tourists come in droves to Dubrovnik. 

This is the Pile Gate which is the main entrance to the Old City of Dubrovnik:

To ensure an orderly stream of people walking in and out of the Old City, the authorities had divided the walkway into 'In' and 'Out' lanes.

Outside the Pile Gate is the meeting point for tour groups:

If this is the crowd in September, imagine how it would be in the summer!

Ivana from Kings Landing Old Town Hostel in Dubrovnik informed that the September crowd are mainly from the cruise ships that dock at the Dubrovnik Port. Therefore they will return to their ship in the evening.

If you're planning to take photos with less people in it, you'll need to start early like 7.30am before the crowd arrives, and hopefully you'll be able to take photos like these:

 The Stradun or Placa is the main street inside Old Town Dubrovnik.

Compare this photo of the Pile Gate with the one above ... a vast difference.

So if you decide to visit Croatia especially its popular cities of Split and Dubrovnik, expect to jostle with other tourists. Just tell yourself that patience is the mother of virtue.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Fridge Magnets from Croatia

I just returned from a trip to the Balkans covering three cities of Split, Mostar and Dubrovnik (in that order).

For this first blog post after being away for 2 weeks, I'll share with you the fridge magnets that I bought in Croatia.

First, the flags that I collect each time I travel to a new country:

Left: HRK 20.00 (The Croatian currency is called Kuna) 
Right: HRK 15.00 

At the souvenir shop I saw this beautiful coat of arms and decided to buy it:

Price: HRK 15.00 

If you follow my blog, you would know that I also collect maps, so here's one of the Croatian map:

 Price: HRK 15.00

Lastly, I bought these two ceramic magnets because they're so pretty:

Price: HRK 20.00 each

I'll be passing some of the magnets to Celia when I go to Singapore next week for training. If she follows this blog she'll be wondering which are the ones I'll be giving her ;-)

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