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Two days in Cambridge: Sights, Shopping, Lodging, Transport

Posted by on Dec 14, 2012 in All posts, England | 0 comments

CAMBRIDGE is a secluded little wonderland of 19th-century splendour and Victorian façade. The town’s name stands worldwide for egalitarian students in smart academic dress with ties and gowns attending Cambridge University. Surprisingly I learned that presenting itself as one renowned university to the world is  foremost good PR – well okay, it does have some historical relevance as well. But, what the world perceives as the one Cambridge University is a variety of 31 Colleges, the oldest being Peterhouse dating back to 1284 and the most famous embodied by King’s College with its stunning late Gothic architecture and Trinity College, the smarty pants leader with the most Nobel price winners of all. Nobel prizes have been awarded to affiliate colleges of the Cambridge University for the discovery of DNA structure, the development of a national income accounting system and...

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Shopping in Athens: Monastiraki Flea Market, Plaka & Malls

Posted by on Nov 20, 2012 in All posts, Greece | 1 comment

Hi girls and guys who like to shop! I have been doing my shopping spree in Athens, tried out various shopping malls and already assembled my winter collection. I also came across a very sweet flea market in Monastiraki, some very horrible souvenirs in Plaka and I wondered about the stressful life of minorities who are strongly linked to Athenian recycling at the trash containers. All of which I am going to share in this post. So let’s start with the most interesting shopping sight, the flea market in Monastiraki.   THE FLEA MARKET (on Avissinias Square)  The so labelled ‘Athens flea market’ mainly just sells regular some cheap, some original clothing and footwear. Convenience stores sell unusual cannabis drinks –  something I have not seen since my student trips to Amsterdam.   Bear in mind that the flea...

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Drink, eat, do, see, walk with Style in Budapest

Posted by on Nov 14, 2012 in All posts, Hungary | 0 comments

For one night in Budapest the coolest shops, bars and restaurants open up after sunset, inviting the honoured public to a night program. The STYLEWALKER NIGHT was a good start to learn about the city centre’s trendiest places to shop and hang out. Let’s walk.   Well, we didn’t walk all the way because we had a lot of places picked out to visit and there was no way to see them all by foot. But thankfully Budapest has the best, oldest, most beautiful and mysterious public transport system in Europe.   Oh, and don’t forget to pick up your free Stylewalker Night PROGRAMME before you run. Most bars or shops stock them days before the night. Most event brochures are in English which is excellent for ‘külföldis’ like us.   While planning our route, Tomek missed out on...

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Fashionistas must dos & haves for Fall 2012

Posted by on Sep 19, 2012 in All posts, Beauty and Fashion, Hungary | 0 comments

Fashion. One of the most obscure art forms on the planet. Fashion fascinates. It has dictators, an enormous number of followers and just as many victims. It’s a parallel political system. To live fashion world without regrets, you got to stay informed. Because identifying fashion faux pas is not hard and you do not want to be one of them. I do not want you being laughed at behind your back. That is why I am going to help you decide, what to wear this fall. Let’s start with what to avoid, in Europe, but most definitely in Hungary, in Budapest, because that is where I am right now. Hungarians are fashion conscious. They invented a word for the kind of women, whose natural habitat is the mall. It reads: Plázacica – the mall cat. Doesn’t sound bad at...

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Doing time in Oslo and more tourist attractions

Posted by on Sep 11, 2012 in All posts, Norway | 0 comments

Doing time in Oslo was fun. I mean, not behind bars, although actually, there were bars involved. Eh, you know what I mean. Tomek and I did couple quality time in Oslo. Basically, an aimless walking tour, that may prove to be in some way beneficial to the public. This post is about randomly entertaining sights in Oslo, that You, dear reader, might feel inspired to visit. I was very impressed with what’s going on in Oslo, watching the rise of a prospering capital from Oslo’s new opera hill. Norwegians are really making something out of their natural resources. You can feel construction sites vibrating as you walk through Oslo.   I am happy for the Norwegians. Because it wasn’t always like that. Look at Akershus fortress. How did high heeled queens and princesses cope on that castle terrain in...

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Bangkok’s parallel fashion world

Posted by on Aug 13, 2012 in All posts, Beauty and Fashion, Thailand | 0 comments

Thailand has been going through a creative renaissance over the past years with hip young designers churning out leading-edge creations. Bangkok has the potential to become Asia’s fashion hub. There are many young entrepreneurs with their tiny clothing boutiques securing their piece of the fashion cake. An amazing sight in Bangkok’s shopping districts emerge at night. The narrow streets beneath the sky-train platforms transform into a parallel fashion world of clothing stalls. These independent sellers, putting up their stalls at sunset, do not rely on industry contacts but on their own wits and talents, copying freshest fashion trends and reproducing best seller couture. A fun thing to observe, many tailored garments on the racks have cut out magazine pictures of original designs. When you see those street vendors across the street from the main fashion players, such as massive...

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Traditional and Trendy fashion in Malaysia

Posted by on Aug 8, 2012 in All posts, Beauty and Fashion, Malaysia | 2 comments

Fashion of Malaysia can be described as a clash and mixture of traditional Malay garments, conservative Muslim clothing and western influences. Malaysia is an ethnic fusion of Malays, Chinese and Indian minorities. You will see Muslim modesty, interspersed with the occasional Indian Sari and Malay patterned garments, but mostly, globalisation brings familiar, casual outfits into the streets. The influences of western styles is pervasive and part of fashion’s foothold. TRADITIONAL MALAY FASHION MEN wear the Baju Melayu, which is basically a loose shirt worn with a pair of long trousers. A Sarung or  Sampin is wrapped around the waist and left hanging half-way down over the pants. For the head there is a dark coloured fez-like cap, the  Songkok. Frankly, I have rarely seen Sarung and Songkok outside museums or tourist souvenir shops. Traditional WOMEN wear Baju Kurung, an...

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Peanuts and Tokyo Street – Shopping in Kuala Lumpur

Posted by on Jul 30, 2012 in All posts, Malaysia | 1 comment

Malaysia’s shopping experience is full of contrasts pleasing Westerners and Muslim conservatives alike. We visited Kuala Lumpur’s most swanky malls, which are huge lifestyle centres for the rising middle and higher class, featuring branded designer goods, internationally known brands, expensive restaurants with international cuisine and food courts with local bites. Some have got theme parks incorporated and you might find yourself surrounded by a roller-coaster speeding above the shopping grounds. Malaysia is also home to many local street shops, some pretty horrible ethnic style attire, open air bazaars, such as at Petaling Street/Chinatown, where you have to bargain hard for belts, watches, bags and the whole range of fake merchandise or a wider variety of souvenir crafts at Pasar Seni/Central Market. More chic shopping malls, such as Suria KLCC and Pavilion are located on Bukit Bintang and Jalan Ampang...

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My fashion mall finds

Posted by on Jun 30, 2012 in All posts, Beauty and Fashion | 0 comments

After my great acclaim of Bangkok’s Platinum Fashion Mall here, I will share with you my precious finds – presented on myself :) I had three hours of shopping ecstasy fun at that vibrant clothing mall – all for a total of 2000 Baht – that is a worthwhile bargain. After the shopping spree I finished off with an impossible big ribbon hairdo, a one piece pink swim suit, an elephant(!) patterned mini dress, a Julia Roberts ‘Pretty women’ dotted dress (100% cotton), a marine dark blue business smart dress (also pure cotton), a dramatic bone shaped ring, a cute hummingbird flowers ring, an art nouveau dragon fly ring, some blue satin sandals and pink Vivienne Westwood plastic style shoes topped with a plastic red ribbon. It didn’t take long that I went back the other day and got...

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All Malls and the Mall of All in Bangkok

Posted by on Jun 28, 2012 in All posts, Beauty and Fashion, Thailand | 0 comments

Bangkok is the city of malls. And I do not mean the limiting standard conglomeration of shops like Zara or H&M for the average consumer that tend to dominate the market in Germany and Poland. I also do not mean the common Tesco sort of supermarket mall. Bangkok is not limited to the Louis Vuitton, Prada, Armani and other haute couture overpriced bores but to a vivid spectrum of young, fresh and local designers and many many many specialized clothes, shoes, bags and accessory retailers I have never seen before. On top of an amazing variety of clothes, the malls are not mere clones of each other but each one has a very different variety of goodies and something special. There is the grand Siam Paragon Mall boasting a theatre (very progressive!), a cinema and IMAX, which you can...

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Extraordinary souvenirs from Koh Samui

Posted by on Jun 24, 2012 in All posts, Thailand | 2 comments

When walking Chaweng or Lamai road all touristy shops look the same with a repetitive range of T-shirts, sunglasses, flip flops and typical beach front souvenir dullness. Living out off our suitcases as perpetual travellers since February 2012, with our home sold and no permanent residency, souvenir buys are not what we’re after but a fun thing to check out in foreign countries. After making an impulse shopping purchase in Japan I will be carrying that irresistible Kokeshi souvenir with me until I might decide to send it off to my parents to Germany spending more on shipping than I did on my wooden treasure :) But the curse and joy of perpetual travelling is that you get to see things and find souvenirs that are unique and amazing, which gradually makes me improve my willpower to reduce consumption....

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Singapore – on shopping for clothes and cars

Posted by on Jun 2, 2012 in All posts, Singapore | 0 comments

I was a bit disappointed with the shopping variety in Singapore’s fashion stores. Singapore, the rising country, that created wealth out of nothing, with no natural resources and limited space, lacks shopping individuality.       Even though it was the countries super sales weeks, walking through Singapore’s malls was not the slightest bit impressive. Many ageing big malls with store chains I knew from home or England. Some of those buildings were just undergoing major reconstruction. But even the newer ones were ghostly abandoned looking with strange interiors and misplaced passages that made me feel uncomfortable and conveyed coldness in design.     I walked down the acclaimed Orchard shopping strip and returned without a find after my habitual shopping treasure hunt. I missed originality in interior design and clothing. With limited alternative to the haute couture and...

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Portable Pink Power at Pantip Plaza

Posted by on May 22, 2012 in All posts, Perpetual travel issues, Thailand | 0 comments

Walking IT malls is just not the same as walking fashion malls but can be grand if you are buying a laptop looking like a candy sandwich with the inside workings of a pro PC.  Yesterdays shopping spree was like finding a secluded IT world with the best hardware deals in town. In Bangkok the splendid IT mall called Pantip Plaza is an open secret that has all the electronic equipment currently on the market and will probably get anyone’s heart beating faster, even without the usual shoes, skirts and bags fun factor: computer hardware, software, cameras, printers, games consoles and masses of equipments’ accessories, as well as a wide selection of black market DVD copies and the like. There will be men standing in corners, next to elevator niches drawing your attention to pornographic material held beneath the...

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/Sorry ya!/ The shopping mall in Phnom Penh

Posted by on May 5, 2012 in All posts, Cambodia | 2 comments

Sorya shopping mall is the largest shopping complex in the capital of Cambodia. On each of the eight stories tall building you can find market like stands and small shops progressing towards the outdated MBK mall in Bangkok. The sort of low quality merchandise made in China, mainly clothes and accessories with misspelled brand names and coming off logos. Tomek got himself some sunglasses with embarrassing big imprints of a brand that thankfully could be wiped off. Haggling at a mall is unusual but at Sorya a recommended and effective practice to get yourself a pretty good short term deal, needles to say, most of the stuff is pretty bad quality. Doesn’t the name sound a bit like ‘sorry ya’ all’? :) But the building is air conditioned and a cooling get away. We enjoy visiting malls in every...

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Japanese souvenir from Bangkok

Posted by on Apr 25, 2012 in All posts, Thailand | 0 comments

Got myself a Japanese souvenir in Bangkok today. Having my eyes on those little kokeshi and cute creature key chains in Japan, I immediately spotted a vinyl box with loads of little key chain figures at one of those Siam malls, between Japanese purikura (sort of beautifying) photo booths and chewy octopus balls. Rabbits, lucky cats, maiko, samurai, princesses, sumo ringers were all on display. A big bright photo slot machine and flashy Japanese writing everywhere – looked like little Tokyo came to Bangkok. The creature figures were all faceless. Little, neatly shaped bodily characters with big heads but no face. And that was the deal: You could pick the figure that would eventually wear your face! A personalized key chain. What a crazy idea – so Japanese! I couldn’t decide between a rabbit and a maiko but in...

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Khao San road

Posted by on Apr 18, 2012 in All posts, Thailand | 0 comments

The road that is famous for being a backpackers paradise in Bangkok, lining one restaurant, guest house, massage place, food and cheap clothes stand next to the other attracts aged beatniks, drop-outs and a clientèle from ages 16 to 25, as well as curious tourists and photographers. You can get all kinds of services on one road, like getting your hair braided or dreadlocks in the middle of the street, having a full body massage and waxing job, getting your laundry done while having a beer. Or you can buy cheap T-shirts, flower power clothes, as well as all kinds of fake ID cards (get yourself a driver’s license for example), photocopied travel guidebooks (the lonely planets are a best-seller here) or exchange read books in the secondhand book shop. We returned to the Khao San road today after...

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