Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Stadt in Überblick: Halle

Today I am moving out of this town, where I've lived in for almost a year. It hasn't been that long, actually, when you look back. But it's been quite comfortable. Such a small town. I think I was disappointed the first time I moved in but have learnt to love the town afterwards. So here I am, sharing all this love with you, fellow readers! Enjoy!

From afar, it's often mistaken as real live scene, when actually it's simply a mural

Let me tell you a story. It began with a girl, who was introduced to a dream she had yet to think about. That girl was -- surprise, surprise -- me. Ever since I was only 1 year old, I've wanted to live in Japan...or at least to go there for a visit. One day, though, I was introduced to the possibility of studying in Germany, Europe. Ever since then, I did a lot of research on the matter and stumbled upon a brochure to Burg Giebichenstein Art School that lured me into Halle in the first place. Long story short, I received an invitation to join the entrance exam to Halle State College and passed. So since September 2011, I've been living in this small and simple town.

This planetarium-shaped café is located right in front of my building


Having spent 11 months in this small town, I've learnt a lot about it -- something that I wouldn't've done had I not lived in this place. First of all, it's the birthplace of one of Germany's most renowned composers, Heinrich Händel. Apparently he was the one who composed the Hallelujah song -- you know, those who appear in movies or sitcoms these days when the characters find something wonderful (or check it out here). The Saale River runs across this town and that's why it's officially written as Halle (Saale) -- it's pronounced Halle an der Saale (Halle on Saale). Halle is located on Saxony Anhalt, on the east side of Germany. It was once part of the Deutsche Demokratische Republik (German Democratic Republic/ East Germany)  post World War II. That's why the people are kind of unwelcoming to foreigners. However, it's not to say that there aren't many of them on this side of the country. Speaking of which, here're my favourite spots in town:

This is the first Asian Grocery Store that I've found in this town. And, I think, by far it's the most complete one in town. Like I said, Halle is a small town. There aren't many foreigners here so there are only a limited amount of asian grocery stores in town and they're located relatively close together. Even this store that is so-to-say the most complete one, it doesn't have all the asian food or materials that I need to get to make indonesian or asian food. But it's got enough to satisfy your asian needs. The lady who works there is really friendly and always remembered to ask me if I would like a tofu.

I think it's important for each town to have local stationery stores like this one. It may not be well-stocked but once you walk in, you can already feel very homey. Usually ladies work here -- I don't know why -- and they are very friendly. When you have questions, they will try their best to answer and if you don't, they won't patronise you. I usually buy my art supplies from here when they have it. Sometimes I like going in just to take a look around because stationery stores are such heavens on earth.

One day, when I got lost, I stumbled upon this beautiful thrift store. It sells pretty much everything and you can just go through everything on your own. It also holds a flea market every first Saturday of the month. At the first flea market, I scored one pretty skirt, one lovely top and a vintage suitcase -- which I actually used. Turns out, this store has a branch on another part of the town. When I went there, I scored these boots. The ladies who work on both branches are relatively friendly and the people who participated in the flea markets are always sweet old ladies. How could I not purchase anything?

Different from the thrift store above, this store only sells clothes and household textiles. It has branches all over Germany, apparently. I myself find it very comfortable to be in. Whenever I thrift a clothing item, you can be sure this is where I thrifted it from. They also provide their customers with a stamp card, that when you purchase at least 15€ worth of clothes, you get a stamp. Collect ten stamps and...okay, I don't know what happens. It has items for men, women and kids, fairly divided. A thrift heaven, if you ask me.

After searching high and low for the perfect bubble tea in Halle, I've finally found it here. It is located at the Rolltreppe Centre, somewhere around the Marktplatz (=market place). I love how the tapioca pearls are very chewy and sweet enough. I love how cheap the price is -- it's the cheapest bubble tea in Germany yet! I have gone here so many times that the guy who works there lights up whenever I come. He knows I'm buying. It's a joint franchise with the Asian Restaurant to its right so you can eat good food and sip on a bubble tea afterwards. Oh, and did I mention it also provides frozen yoghurt?

I believe I've mentioned this store before. I ended up never going there more than I planned. But I kept ordering copic from there anyway. The lady who works there is really sweet and it seems she has the sweet life. She just sits there and read comic books all day, unless a costumer comes in. Too bad I don't have the budget to buy anything there. I kind of hoped we could've been friends. 

Here are some instagram photos of Halle that I collaged up together. Halle is an unpopular town and somewhat small. But it's, like, if you care enough to look, every corner has a surprise lined up for you. Halle is like one of those lonewolf kids at school, who never seem to talk to or like anyone, but when you talk to him and make an effort to get to know him, you might just like him for his quirks and beauty. It was fun getting to know Halle, even though we have yet to be best friends. Maybe someday I'll miss this place and would like a reason to come visit again. However, for now, we must part ways. Adieu, Halle -- if not au revoir! Cheerio! 

Monday, 30 July 2012

Hot Air Balloons of Disappointment + Traban Madness

Earlier today, Firu and I went on a little trip to Leipzig to attend the 18th Saxonia International Balloon Festival. We were highly disappointed. Since it's still Ramadhan, we were still fasting so obviously we couldn't eat nor drink. All we wanted to do there -- well, all I wanted to do -- was see the hot air balloons that they somewhat promised. They never came. It was the last day so probably things didn't go as exciting as the days before but still...we were disappointed. We managed to snap a few shots and saw that this place was clearly for children what with the bouncing castle and trampoline and all. I would've gotten on the trampoline as well had I not been fasting. Aside from that, the highlight of the day was when we spotted this truck selling stuff from the East Germany period. I walked away from it, purchasing this miniature Traban for my brother. I kind of love it!

There was a ferris wheel and other rides as well but we didn't get on any of them. There was a whole lot of amount of food but too bad we couldn't eat. There were Langos as well! Oh, so drooling for them right now. On a brighter note, have you noticed that Firu was wearing the exact match to this graphic tee of mine? Yes, I bought them as a pair for the two of us. Firu said, guys hate things like that but, if we're not wearing them at the same time, it's okay. I love this tee on him! Finally, an interesting tee for my interesting man.

Afterwards, we watched this dog show from German Military Leipzig Division on how they trained their dog and all. It was kind of interesting because one doesn't see a military officer that often. Aside from that, on their last piece, the sergeant put on a fluffy outfit and let the dog bark at and bite him. At the first try, the dog tackled him good. Then, at the last one, he let go of his jacket and the dog looked pretty happy, walking away with it. We were pretty bored afterwards and went to get in the shade and wait for the balloons. There was this old Traban police car from the East Germany period. If it were for sale, we were sure to purchase it -- despite the fact that neither of us owns a driving license.

Have you noticed that I was wearing look number four from this Fashion Mixology? Technically, this is a date and, even though it turned out to be quite bad, I thought it was going to be one heck of a special day. Too bad, I didn't get to see the hot air balloons at all. I was quite severely heartbroken on the way home. So here are a few pictures of hot air balloons I mooched off the internet to mend my broken heart. They are quite beautiful and inspiring. Firu says, there are a lot of such events in Indonesia. I hope I can see them in the near future. In the meantime, enjoy! Cheerio!

Photos: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5  

P.S: I purchased the last one a while ago out of excitement. My love for hot air balloons will go on.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Fashion Mixology: 6 Outfits from 6 Pieces

 Hello, everyone! Most of you might be familiar with Elsie and Emma's Fashion Mixology. I am a huge fan of this column since it's given me insights of so many ways to create new looks. This isn't a petty attempt to steal their idea and post it as my own -- as you can see, I'm not. You see, yesterday, as I was packing for my flight back home, I decided to set aside six outfits to wear before I have to go. For practicality's sake, these six outfits should come from remixable clothing items. All of a sudden, I had six outfits from six clothing pieces -- setting shoes and accessories aside, of course. So I decided to make a post out of it. Needless to say, this makes up for all the outfit posts for the coming week.

 Bold coloured pants are my newest obsession yet. It gives an otherwise dull look a playful edge. But if it's only colour on colour, things can look pretty boring pretty fast too. So pairing it up with a subtle printed top is a way to go. Of course, since the pants are already bold, it would be better to pair them with a neutral coloured top.

Sometimes having a pretty "crowded" bottom clothing item makes you wreck your brain for a way to wear it. Here's one way. Try pairing it with a neutral top so as not to crowd in on the skirt's glory. Let the skirt pop and have its spotlight so your look won't look too 'heavy.'

One of the many great things about denim is that it has textures that make it unlike any other material -- less plain -- and yet it doesn't have any patterns/prints on it -- normally, anyway -- which makes it highly versatile for any kind of clothing piece. I also love how denim can give a tomboyish edge to a feminine outfit. Try mixing denim with printed or patterned skirts that you have and see how they look together. My favourite blue polkadot skirt and this denim coat, at least, get along.

Even though I may not be allowed to choose favourites, this is mine. It has all that summery look that gives out the sweet and innocent feel. I would recommend this as a date outfit. And when it gets kind of chilly at night, just throw on a jacket or cardigan. From afar, this looks like a 'polkadot on polkadot' case when, in fact, the top is printed with little triangles -- like candy corn. Originally, the top is see-through so for the modest girls out there, I would suggest putting a tank underneath. Don't worry, it's not all that visible through the top.

For this look, incidentally, I chose blue. It's so easy because denim is blue and it matches pretty much everything. Personally, I don't see anything wrong with putting on one colour from head to toe so long as you remember to shade it well. The key is to keep hints of neutral items in between. I chose the white prints on the skirt and the black tights to keep it from looking spilled with blue paint all over. A little tip: try to vary from the light, the pale and the dark.

Feeling like going to the beach or the park or row a boat? Here's the outfit for you! The theme here is loose. Keep it all loose and not at all serious or tense. I would recommend putting on light coloured shirts over the tank -- which should probably be bold coloured. Patterned tanks would be a plus as well. Don't forget to bring a hat! It's going to be piping hot out there. Have fun! Cheerio!

P.S: Half these photos were taken by Firu, can you guess which ones?

Friday, 27 July 2012

The Bus That Got Bombed

Well, RIGHT NOW we might be rolling around on the bed or going to Godknowswhere or meeting up with some friends. But, my, oh my have I been loving summer lately! Especially since Firu's here. We've been having sweet times at home or going out on adventures. Most recently, we've gone to Dresden. Last semester I've visited this town on a field trip with my college. Once we entered the town, I just simply fell in love. Right then and there I've determined to visit again with Firu. All the girls who I know and have been there have agreed that this is the place to go on dates with your beloved. So here we go.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Remixmatch'd!


A few days ago I was just flipping through Elizabeth's Delightfully Tacky when I stumbled upon this post On Remixing of hers from months ago and just couldn't resist to share my say on the matter. It strikes me as highly interesting, especially since I'm naturally not a huge fan of fashion. As a little girl, I have always been against fashion since I believe that it is an industry meant for the rich to somewhat mock the poor. Yes, that might not be true but that's what I've always believed. And probably what some non-fashion-lovers believe as well. Who could blame them with the existence of the coutures throwing expensive fashion shows and parties to parade around clothes that most people can't even afford?

The first time I stumbled upon even the term fashion blogging was when I visited Flashes of Style and, later on, A Beautiful Mess -- two highly down-to-earth and inspiring blogs that I still adore to this day. Afterwards, I somehow became inspired to create one of my own. But, to borrow Tieka's words, this isn't a fashion blog but a personal style blog -- since I'm still absolutely disinterested and clueless about fashion. Of course, what moves me to actually start blogging -- aside from the personal reasons where I feel the need to challenge myself to become more stylish -- is the thousands of ideas of putting on clothes I got from these wonderful blogs. Apparently, it's not just putting on a shirt and pants. That, my friends, is remixing.


1. Are you a one-time wearer?

Growing up with a mother who complained when I put on the same piece of clothing over and over, it gets pretty hard to try and BE a one-time wearer. I mean, she complained if there's an item in my closet that I'd ever worn only once in a lifetime. So NO. I try not to be, at least, but sometimes it gets kind of hard to keep up with things I have in my closet. However, I have never bought a clothing item just to feature it on the blog. For other reasons, maybe, but I ended up keeping 'em anyway. But definitely never to just show off to people. I don't believe it's worth it.

2. Do you feel the need to purchase something new for an evening out or a special event?

Maybe there are certain clothing items that I purchased, keeping in mind that I'd want to wear it for certain events. But I never think of going somewhere or doing something beforehand and go purchase an outfit for it. Aside from formal parties and events, I don't really care much about what outfit I wear or I'm sure there's something in my closet. So long as I put more effort than just a t-shirt and jeans, I think it can be assumed as a safe bet.

3. Re-mixing is something a lot of bloggers are proud of being able to accomplish – are you a re-mixing pro or do you shy away from posting items frequently? Why?

Oh, I definitely love to! It's what lured me to this world in the first place. I love reading Elsie's and Emma's Fashion Mixology and Rebecca's Sunday Remix series. They give me ideas and new perspectives on how to wear an item. I think, remixing is a whole new level of saving money on buying clothes whilst feeling like you're wearing something new. Very amazing idea, indeed. I myself try not to wear the same piece of clothing for many times in a row and post it on the blog -- even though I wear the same outfit for more than a day at a time. But when I pull out a clothing item, my mind races to the 1001 possibilities of wearing it. And, I think, All right, I'll wear it like this now and then I'll wash it and wear it that other way. So whenever I throw an item to the laundry bag, I just can't wait to wear it again.

4. Do you have a clothing budget or are you an impulse buyer?

What I'd really love to say: Of course I have a budget and can control myself from buying stuff that I don't actually need and I'm super rich right now. In actuality: I AM SADLY AN IMPULSE BUYER! This is not to say I spurge all my money on clothes and go shopping everyday. I don't have a budget, that much I know. Well, I'm a student in another's land, having a budget is not something I can choose -- it's practically the law! -- but I don't have an actual, personal budget on clothes. I don't even plan my shopping time beforehand. I just think, Oh, I have free time now, why don't I just go out and look at stuff? Yeah, great idea. The minute I find something adorable and cheap, you'd be sure to see me leaving the store with it in hand. I'm proud to say, I am less of a shopper than most of my girlfriends but I still buy more items than I'm supposed to. Firu is my restrainer. He controls my shopping outbreak. Thankfully, I still have some sense in me and keep trying to thrift instead of buying new items -- reasonable price or not.

5. Do you find yourself bored when reading a blog in which clothing items are often remixed and appear frequently?

Well, that depends. For me, reading outfit posts aren't decided by the outfits alone but also by the things written and the locations. I find myself more bored reading things I find hardly interesting or seeing that the photos have similar poses or hardly vary in locations. I know, it's not in the spirit of fashion blogging but I'm not only here for the outfit. However, I find clothing items that are worn more frequent more real. Of course, the gaps between wearing it in one post with wearing it in another should be fairly...fair. If not, I probably would feel bored seeing it. Of course, my favourite would be to see that piece of clothing being worn on multiple occasions and piled up in one post.

I'm not even sure I answered all the questions correctly. I guess, I ended up just blabbing out stuff that I never had the chance to blab on. Oh, well. This was fun. How about you? If you happen to post this idea too, leave me a link to read up on. Cheerio!

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

The Berlin Take Over, Breaks Over

Hello, everyone! Ramadhan is finally here. Are you guys fasting too? Well, Firu and I are. But that hasn't stopped us from going on trips and enjoying our holiday out here in someone else's land. From the title, I supposed you've guessed that we've ventured over to Berlin just this weekend. Yes, that is correct! However, it didn't go as smoothly as we've originally planned but still ended up to be one heck of a trip. We saw, experienced, ate a lot of things and met people. Want to know how? Here's how: