November 24, 2014

Noir

{wearing Ray Ban Aviators via SmartBuyGlasses, Vince Camuto clutch, Club Monaco pants, vintage fur vest, Express tank}

Here is a party outfit I wore over the weekend. The sunglasses was also for the next day after having too much red wine. I've been holding off buying a pair of completely black Ray Bans for a while because they're quite pricey to buy in stores here compare to US or they don't fit me well. Then I found this pair on SmartBuyGlasses. It was awesome because it was also free shipping and even came with its glasses cleaning kit. Their service definitely made my day, and I finally got my all-black Ray Ban.

November 21, 2014

The Delhi Life

All of these hand-woven kashmiri rugs were so pretty, I had a hard time picking which one to take home!
 friends in Delhi. Special thanks to these guys for an amazing time!


"I have to go visit Delhi." My friend Pranav, who grew up in Delhi and now living in Ottawa, would always say in a tone that I would say, "I have to go get a tetanus shot", or "I have to get this wart checked". A way that it is obligated hassle. "What's wrong with Delhi?" I'd always ask, "It kills my soul" he'd always reply.

Delhi is by far the most in-your-face chaotic city I have ever been. Upon arrival outside the airport, the first thing one notice aside from all the sketchy taxi hustlers and the greasy humid air is the smell of Delhi. It doesn't smell like one particular thing, but multiple things combined, in which after a few hours you realize that it's a combination of smog, public urination, animal fecal matter, and garbage.

On the streets of India I've seen multiple men urinating on the side of the street, wads of phlegm being spit out that in some public areas there were even signs that indicate a fine for spitting. If people weren't spitting or urinating, they were throwing their garbage on the streets while stray dogs, cows, goats, monkeys were sorting through them like a mine.

It was on the 4th day in India that I saw two women crouching down while pulling up their saree to urinate outside KFC. I was so desensitized that my first response was, "hey there's KFC here!".


Sometimes when you walk by a restaurant you would smell delicious paneer or chicken tendori, but then a whiff of stench would over come. When I was hanging out with Vineet I made a hobby of asking him what all the smell was, and every time it would be different: "Oh, there's a sewer there.", "Oh, that's just construction.", "Oh, that's from the garbage", "It's probably from those goats".

Traffic in India is ridiculous. No one drives in their lane. 3 painted lanes become 5 lanes filled with tongas, rickshaws and cars. No one follows road signs or rules. Sometimes a cow would be in the middle of the street and everyone has to go around the cow. Everyone honks at everyone because honking on the street is their number one past time, maybe even more than talking on the cellphone. It is common to see a guy driving against traffic on the wrong side of the street while honking the entire time.

On the Yamuna Expressway I saw two dead human bodies.

"Vineet!! I saw two dead people on the express way!" I was stirred. I have never seen dead humans before let alone just them randomly lying on the side of the road.
"Oh, that's common." Vineet said. He didn't even flinch.
"What?! That's awful!!"
"There are 1.35 billion people in India and no one follows traffic rules, someone is bound to get hit."


India, Delhi included, is all about the extremes. Extremely wonderful smell of fragrance oil and incense, or extremely awful smell of some live animal's secretion. Extremely spicy dishes that make your stomach protest, or extremely sweet desserts that make your teeth ache. Extremely rich people that live like Sultans, and extremely poor people that can't even afford to buy rotis to eat. Extremely nice people who go out of their way to help you, or extremely rotten people that wants to con every rupees out of you.

Foreigners might as well wear a bull's eye in Delhi. As soon as a local sees a foreigner their eyes turn into dollar signs, like the cartoons. "Do you want a taxi?", "Do you want your shoes polished?", "Do you want a car charger?", "Can you give me money?", everyone pesters you on the street. Even after you give candy to a begging child, they continue to beg for more things until you shoo them away. Everyone that says 'hello' to you has a purpose. No one actually just wish you a good morning.

When a foreigner wants to buy something, the store person marks the item up by more than 300%. My saree initially cost 4000 rupees in which I haggled down to 800 rupees. A necklace a local can get for 150 rupees they ask a foreigner for 1000 rupees a minute later. Even buying a bottle water on the side of the street or waving a taxi require haggling. "Do they all think we're Scrudge McDuck back home?!", I commented. But in reality, even if you live in a 1 bedroom project with a kitchen and a living room, that is already way better than the majority of the population in India.


I knew it was time to leave the country when I became so immune that I was shooing begging kids away, telling off people who tried to bud in my line, and flipping out at taxi drivers: "I already said NO to those two drivers right in front of you! What makes you think I will say yes to you?!!", as I screamed at the 3rd taxi driver. I guess Pranav was right- Delhi does kill the soul.

But I'll say that for Delhi, though, if you can haggle well, one USD can go far. And often we got this weird high after we haggled and know that we got something for a good price, it was like we earned it, us against them, and they lost against team foreigners. And for whatever reason, within minutes you are back on the Delhi streets, walking through the smog and the roadside animals, you'd be looking forward to whatever delicious and cheap to eat next or whatever awesome thing to haggle even just for fun at some random side booth.

November 17, 2014

The Moment I Knew I Was Over You

{Dress from H&M, Chanel bag, Vince Camuto shoes}

These were taken over the weekend. "The last good weekend" I called, as it was probably the last weekend before the snow hits the ground and stays until next April. The issue about the last good weekend is that no one knows it is the last good weekend until the last good weekend is over.


So I saw my ex last weekend.

Alex and I only dated for a few months. He wanted to be monogamous but didn’t want the ‘official title’ due to his ‘commitment issues’. He wanted the benefits of a relationship without the responsibility of a relationship. Then when times got tough, he decided it was no longer fun and that he didn’t “like me anymore”.

Alex was the reason of my downward spiral in 2012. For months I barely ate, I didn't sleep, and I lost so much weight that even size 0 was baggy on me. I dreaded getting out of bed everyday and I lost my passion for everything to a point that I wasn't remotely enthused on paycheque Fridays or Christmas holidays. My dad described him as “the type I always worry my daughters would encounter”.


I was working at the Food and Wine show when I had a tingle that I would bump into Alex because it’s him to go to those things. And then I saw him. It was the first time I’ve seen him since we broke up a year and half ago.

He was getting his coat with his friends. He was still the thin, tall guy I once fell for. But his face was more tired and worn. All that drinking, partying and recreational drugs did not do him any favor. He also got himself a huge beard; which I thought didn’t compliment him. Obviously Alex never moved to Australia, something he was always talking about along with other 'big ideas' of his. It was not a surprise, I thought, and so typical of him.

I walked past him without saying hi. Then 10 feet away I heard, “JULIE!”. Alex waved. I looked back, slightly lifted the corner of my lips, gave him a small wave and continued walking. I felt no obligation to stop and small talk with him. Not even a "hello" or a smile. I didn’t care what he thought. I didn’t care what he was up to. I didn’t care if he was seeing someone new. I also didn't care to tell him how much he has hurt me or flaunt anything like a BeyoncĂ© song- I just didn’t care.


You might feel that you are over someone until you see them again after some time. But the exact moment I turned my back on him, I knew I was over him, and I felt powerful. Time does heal, I've never fully believed, until that moment. I don’t wish him the best of luck- because I think he’s a scum and he will always be a scum to me. But I do wish him- no, I don’t wish him anything. Because I am over it.

“So this is liberation.” I thought while lying in bed that night. The liberation of all the bad feelings and the liberation an undeserving guy will never again influence me. I smiled and fell asleep.

November 13, 2014

India Photo Diary: Jaipur

"Snakes are actually deaf. The music is just for show" The guide told us.

"Okay, there's nothing pink about this city." I said, after we had arrived in Jaipur.

Jaipur is known for its fort and other amazing archeological structures, and it is commonly refereed as "The Pink City"... Except there is nothing pink in the city. If anything there is this color of salmon throughout the old city wall.

"In 1876, the Prince of Wales and Queen Victoria visited India. So the city was painted pink to welcome the guests as pink represents the color of hospitality... But they couldn't find pink, so they painted it this tan color." our guide Dinesh explained.
"... And by the time the British went back and called it the 'pink city' it was too late to change the name."

Yup, as I have complained India is a country where the people will promise you everything followed by a "BUT".

I then continued to ask the guy if there is a significant meaning of people putting pictures of Gods on their front step, as I was seeing a few. His answer was my highlight of my day:

"People in India are religious, but they also urinate anywhere it is convenient. It is a rule that you never put a picture or a figure of God where the toilet is. So some people put a picture of God in front of their house to avoid others from urinating in front of their house."

India, you amazed me everyday I was there.