4

(A Rather Long) Highlight of 2018

I’ve seen so many bloggers wrote their 2018 highlights on their blog, and I can’t help but feel, ‘I want to do that, too!’ (Yes, I’m easily influenced 😅) so here goes…

January

It’s our wedding month, so I wanted to do this post-wedding photoshoot (again) with the winter wonderland theme. Luckily, we had enough snow and the weather was really good on our wedding date, so it was really lovely.

February

We traveled to Poland to arrange the new residence permit (more story here). Turned out to be a nice trip, after all. Poland was lovely.

Sunny day in Gdansk

Gdansk covered in snow

Dream comes true! Visiting Marie Curie’s Museum

Also, time for some winter sport, obviously. Tried skiing for the first time (and probably last 😂) Honestly, I would choose ice skating over skiing any time.

Skating on the lake. Not the easiest thing, but fun!

Tired face after try skiing for the first time

March

I don’t think many things happened in March, actually. But it was still snowing in Stockholm so it was cool. I did visit the Natural History Museum for the first time because I wanted to see Erik Johansson’s exhibition (it was the last day when I visited). Let me say, I was hooked by his works 😍 I really love this ‘Full Moon Service’ picture and keep on dreaming that someday someone will give it to me 😂 The museum itself was nice, with beautiful building, but I saw that the it was targeting children more. Eh, but it was still fun to visit anyway.

Erik Johansson’s Full Moon Service

April

SAM SMITH CAME TO STOCKHOLM!!!!!!!!!! OH. MY. GOD. Fangirling so bad. It was amazing. Hands down.

Also, met my high school friend Dixie who just recently moved to Sweden! We hadn’t met for, like, a decade? It was unbelievable 😆

The cherry blossoms just started blooming at the end of the month.

And I also took this 1-day self defence training for girls. Highly recommended!

May

It was a beautiful period in Stockholm, because all the flowers were blooming. I had my first violin performance since forever (it was awful, I had to say), but it was fun anyway. Also, the new Karolinska University Hospital was inaugurated and I accidentally came at the right time to see the King cut the ribbon (important moment!)

Beautiful campus in spring

I always make this funny face when performing

King of Sweden!

June

Eid Mubarak! My mom sent me 2 beautiful dresses, one which I wore during the celebration at the embassy.

Also… WE WATCHED WORLD CUP IN RUSSIA!!!!

Although it was definitely a sad moment for team Germany 🤷🏻‍♀️

Happy face, before we knew the fate of team Germany

But it was a fun time (aside from seeing Germany lost and trouble with the passport). Kazan was a wonderful city, and so was Moscow. We took the free train provided by the government to travel between the cities and it was comfortable. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, but they did a good job arranging the World Cup.

Kazan. See the green roofs? Super love!!!

Moscow. Look at the colours!

Also watching opera in Bolshoi Theatre, because why not? 😀

Also, Russia can be very hot in the summer. Just saying. I did not expect this at all, to be honest 😅

July

It’s time for a trip to Cyprus!!! I really can’t thank my best friend Marios and his family enough for letting us stay in their apartment throughout our stay, and having him driving us around THE WHOLE ISLAND for the rest of our holiday (since, well, none of us could really drive 🙈).

But seriously, Cyprus has some of the best beaches I’ve ever visited in my life. I’m so glad I bought that swimming donut 😂 (I’m suck at swimming), but some of the water was really shallow you can technically just walk to the middle (it was amazing). Of course we did not only go to the beaches, although that was the big proportion of what we did there. The archaeological sites there were also magnificent. Although be prepared for the hot weather if you visit in the summer. At some point it reached 40 degrees Celsius, but when I asked my friend if we should just stay at home he said, of course not. So that’s that. 40 deg is fine. With right precaution 😅 (to be fair we visited the mountain that day, so it was cooler. By cooler I mean 36-38 deg 🤣)

Larnaca, the seaside city where we stayed

Cape Greco

Fig Tree Bay. Of course it was full of people.

Lunch under the grape tree (?)

The bakery in the traditional village

Kourion Archeological Site (just a part of it, the site is HUGE)

Larnaca Salt Lake. You could see the mosque to the left

Aphrodite’s Rock

Meeting this fur ball again *love love love

August

It was Risan’s birthday, and we celebrated at home. I did not have a decent picture to post here, unfortunately 🙈 Also, I attended the Europride Parade in Stockholm.

September

Time for a trip to Lisbon! I read somewhere that it was the sunniest capital in Europe, yet it was mostly cloudy during our trip there 😅😅😅😅 I am not sure if I like it or not. I mean, Lisbon was fine overall, but nothing has a really wow factor for me. But don’t let my judgement affect yours! The oceanarium and monastery were wonderful, though.

Jeronimos Monastery

The famous yellow tram

Also, I participated in the election in Sweden for the first time! So since I’ve been residing here for a number of years, I got to participate in the election for the kommun and landsting. I am not sure what the English translation should be. Municipality and county? One thing I liked about the election here was that you could take a lot of different valkompass (literally: election compass), an online ‘quiz’ (usually by news agency) to determine which party has the closest vision with you. And honestly, it helped a lot!

October

Time for an autumn photoshoot! It was another wonderful time in Stockholm since the leaves were changing colours and there were plenty of sunny days.

Also, I attended my friend’s Dr. Lisa Blom’s defence and afterparty. So, it seems customary here to hold an afterparty after your defence and invited your supervisors, opponent, family, and friends for a nice dinner. Some even said this is like a second wedding. And honestly, I am freaked out a bit because this kind of party is never cheap in Sweden. And as strange as it might seem, it is apparently common for the host to ask the guests to pay for the foods (not for my friend’s party though). But coming from where I come from, I can never think of asking my guests to pay for their foods! But we’ll see…

Speech from the supervisor

November

MY BIRTHDAY!!! Although technically the celebration was done later 😆 We went to an Indonesian restaurant and for some of them, it was really the first time they tried it. I had a hard time describing the food, there should be a guide to explain this 😂😂 How would you actually explain the differences between rendang, gulai, and kari?

December

My first debut as a violist! Funny enough, I was placed early in the program because the person who arranged the schedule, upon seeing the name and the song I was gonna play, thought that I was a kid 😂😂😂 (the kids were put early in the program and adult students were put later). Well, I couldn’t blame her, since I only played a Christmas song with my teacher 😂😂

I also visited the newly renovated National Museum in Stockholm. I loooovvve it! Now it’s number 1 on my must-visit list in Stockholm!

Entrance to the museum

And last but not least… Winter trip to Italy!! We were originally only planned to stay in Rome, but we saw all the major highlights in 3 days and so we thought, why not make a trip to another city? So we also went to Venice!!! So excited!! 😆 Rome and Venice were absolutely wonderful! The foods were also amazing! (Well my favourite food has been spaghetti since I was 5, so it was absolutely a trip of a lifetime 😂)

My favourite site: Trevi Fountain

Vatican

Colosseum

Roman Forum

Grand Canal

Sunset in Venice

So that’s pretty much my adventure throughout 2018. I sincerely hope that 2019 will be a good year for all of us! 💚

Advertisements
0

Love and Misadventure by Lang Leav (Book)

I am not sure since when my blog turned into a kind of book recension website. I do not have any intention to turn my blog into one, actually. It’s just that I’ve been reading quite some books lately (nothing related to my studies unfortunately 🙈🙈🙈 #shame).

Anyway, Love and Misadventure is the third Lang Leav’s book I’ve read. I should have probably read it first, since this was her first book. But I did not get hold of the book before now, so… 🙂

Overall, I like this book, but not as much as Memories. Probably because I have read some of the poems in Memories? But I think it’s also because I feel that the poems are not as dramatic, sad, and dark as I had hoped (yes, I am a very dark person 🖤). But it’s still worth reading, though. I will give 3.75 stars out of 5 (strange score, I know 😂⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️).

And… here’s one of my favourite poems from the book:

Just Friends

I know that I don’t own you,
and perhaps I never will,
so my anger when you’re with her,
I have no right to feel.

I know that you don’t owe me,
and I shouldn’t ask for more;
I shouldn’t feel so let down,
all the times when you don’t call.

What I feel—I shouldn’t show you,
so when you’re around I won’t;
I know I’ve no right to feel it—
but it doesn’t mean I don’t.

– Lang Leav, Love and Misadventure

0

Sad Girls by Lang Leav (Book)

“What if I’m making a huge mistake?”

“Then make it. You can’t go on living a lie.”

– Lang Leav, Sad Girls

This is the first time I read Lang Leav’s novel. I was a bit sceptical at first because I knew that she was such an amazing poet. I was afraid that I wouldn’t find the same beauty in the words that she put as a novel, as it was in a poetry. But I was desperate. The past few days had been so difficult for me. I needed an escape. And the title seemed apt, so I decided to give it a go.

I first read the excerpts from Google books. I should say that as I grew older, it was hard for me to find a book that I couldn’t put down. And this book is one of the very few. I was hooked. I decided to keep on reading and it did not disappoint.

To be honest, it was scary to find how many quotes from the book actually reflect what I had been feeling. And just when you thought you’d get a happy ending, things took a darker turn. *Basically you knew you were screwed when you read something happy just 10 pages before the end of the book. Oh and surprisingly, this was one of a few books which I did not jump on the last page and read the ending.

All in all, I would give this 4 out of 5 stars (should probably write that in Goodreads as well). A bit cliche, perhaps, with light language, but I like it anyway. It was beautiful.

0

About being too hard on myself

I was reading this post about being too hard on yourself that I was inspired to write about it too. (I was actually thinking of commenting on the original post, but since I was afraid that it would be too long for a comment I decided to dedicate own blog post 😛

I am not a stranger to being too hard on myself. When I was writing my master’s thesis, I remembered that I could not answer ONE QUESTION for my half-time seminar and I instantly felt like the most stupid person in the world. I bugged my supervisor afterwards, trying to find the answer, but instead, I saw a part of me that I had never seen before (or that I refused to see before).

He pointed out to me that I was a perfectionist, that I had a high standard. I was about to disagree because if you looked at my house, it was a total mess and did not reflect me being a perfectionist at all. But he was right when he said I had a high standard (read: ambitious). Especially when it came to education. I could not accept anything below excellent in my assignments/studies (which made it difficult for me, sometimes, well… oftentimes…). So when it came to this half-time seminar (he drew a vertical line) it was as if my standard was the top of this line, but I fell short of that top and it made me immediately felt stupid – although I was actually still pretty high above. I realised that I indeed had that kind of worldview to myself, that anything less than the top was considered worthless.

Strangely, I did not have the same worldview to others. As reflected by this conversation between me and one of the school nurse/psychologist,

’What would you do if your friends made mistakes?’ she asked.

‘I would forgive them,’ I said.

‘Then why don’t you do the same things to yourself?’

Ah, indeed we are the biggest critics of ourselves.

I personally don’t think that being perfectionist/ambitious is wrong. But sometimes, it blinded me from feeling compassionate towards myself, especially when I failed to reach the standard I set for myself. And that’s probably something I should continue working on for the sake of my own sanity (and perhaps others’ around me, too)…

20160516_163512

Late spring/early summer at KI