Friday, 23 September 2011

My Life Plan.

Long time bloggers. I cannot believe how quickly time has past already since my last post. So much has happened and I am excited to blog about it. I have only just completed education and entered "University of Society"- i.e. the new adult world. This occurred to me that it may be time to write myself a life plan, to paint a picture of my new path.

Job by 22.
After facing many rejections, interviews, interview failure and re-trying, I found a job :) You have no idea how high I jumped when I received the phone call from the agency telling me that my holiday will soon be over because I was employed. It is THE most ideal job for me: standard 9-5 hours, no customer service involved (Which means I can just be myself and not pulling that fake smile on all the time), no competition towards targets- i.e. minimum office politics and no bitches...
But most importantly- The Career Pride. I am so grateful to be offered this job and I KNOW and appreciate how lucky I am..- I just love learning new things and enjoy the sense of pride once I have overcome a challenge and achieved good results.
This job has EVERYTHING that I ask for- I have always dreamt of becoming an office lady: Hair up, slipping into my black heels and walk in my black suit and white collar. My dream has come true! Here is a picture of me, smiling on my first day of work :)
And also some pictures of my work place and my decorated desk:
And so, my journey begins here.. Where do I want to be in ten years time?

Live out by 23.
I have always been living with my mom, with the only exception of my year abroad spent in Tokyo. But now I am ready to become independent from my parents. I am ready to take the turn to look after them.
For the past year I have had several arguments with my boyfriend regarding this topic. We've been together for almost 6 years now and the way that he appears to have no urge to move out with me really frustrated me. Until yesterday he said to me, "Why don't we just get a mortgage instead of renting since we can afford it?" It's exciting to think about, a new beginning, that belongs to us two.
I have so many ideas for the interior of my future house, do you? :)

Married by 25.
I am worried that once I move out I will never get a proposal, let alone a wedding. I am such a romantic- I have always believed that a woman's life is not completed without experiencing marriage and child birth. Like any other girl, I had fantasies. How I am going to be proposed to, and what my wedding will be like. I have even chosen a preferred design of my future wedding dress already, something elegant and classy, but not OTT.

First child by 28, second by 30.
I LOVE BABIES. And I am going to give my children the best. Hopefully I will have one boy and one girl. As the only child in the family, I know how lonely it feels and how easy it is to become anti-social when your the only one. So, first child by 28, and second by 30- small gap between me and my babies, easier to understand them.
I want to become a great parent.
I am welcoming my tomorrow with a smile everyday. I am so excited to find out what is going to happen next. Be loved, Be successful, Be blessed, Be ambitious.
The Voyage of Rachel Li, has begun.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

The Journey to... Where??

The past 2 months had been a blast and now what is left is actually, back to stress, concerns and negativity. I just came back from a so-called graduation trip to my home town Hong Kong, Malaysia and Beijing (which I will write about later). There I met some great people, took some great photos, and tasted delicious food. 

A week after I return to London was another big day that I faced: The graduation ceremony, MY graduation ceremony. I received my results through the net and when I told my mom that I was awarded a First Honour, she burst into tears, telling me that her work has finally completed. Yes, it's time for me to repay.
Me and my parents. With dad's eyes closed! hehe.
Some of my beautiful friends whom I shared the 4 years with.
It was a nice day, although I was not impressed with the ceremony at all. All we did was line up to shake the hand of some woman's whom I have never met in my entire university life. We didn't even receive a fake scroll or anything. Nevertheless, it was a formal way to end the 20 years of my education lift. And there I am, packing my bags and continue with my dreams.

But what I wanted to blog about today, is my uncertainty. I am unsure of the path that I should take; unsure about my future. Let alone that I cant really see where my talent and ability lies. I often ask myself the question: "What have I got that is better than others? What do I have that makes companies want me?" And then, I could not answer the question which leaves me to great distress. Yes, I have the qualification. I can speak 4 and a half languages. SO? It does not mean anything anymore in the current world. Education does not matter. Skills does not matter. What matters is how you put your skills to use, your experience, and your achievements. And what do I have? Nothing. 

But apparently there is always hope. So let's see what the guy up there has got planned for me, if he really exists. 
The face of uncertainty, haha
Will you wish me luck?

Friday, 10 June 2011

The Journey to, Dublin, Republic of Ireland

If you are bored of the fake and horrible people you see in London, sick of visiting museums and galleries everytime you go on a trip within Europe, or just simply stressed out and want to relax and take a deep breath of some clean, fresh air, try Dublin. The place might be small, but within this little city is full of warmth, tradition and simplicity, as well as the fun. I did not expect much from it before my journey, afterall it's a town just next to the UK, I mean how good can it get? However, I actually found it full of surprises.

Republic of Ireland

The People
Irish people originally gave me the rough and violent impression (due to my limited knowledge of their history with the British over religious disputes and the upon) After I visited the place, all changed. People were sincere, friendly, and helpful. Not only do they treat tourists as very important guests, they also do everything they can to spread and maintain their traditions and cultures. Thus in Dublin, you can easily gain access to a detailed constructed tourist information offices. The one that we went to, looked like a church. Inside, friendly staff are experienced, and vitally, patient enough to answer all your questions- From routes, admission fees to things to see/do.
People of Dublin are also overly honest. Whenever you dine, they will never ask you to pay, nor is there anyone to watch your back. There seemed a strong mutual trust within the people. There were many times we could have simply walked out without paying a penny, and they wouldn't have noticed.  When we did not have enough change to get on a bus, but the driver let us on anyway. There was also an incident where the pick-up spot was mistakened for a tour that we joined. The Driver actually went to every spot to look for us and ensured that we were found before setting off to the venue.
Irish men outside the infamous Temple Bar 
The Food
Many might find Irish food pretty similar to English. In fact, I guess it is. Irish people LOVES potatoes. They have to every day and for every meal. The traditional dish, which you will see on display on every single pub or restaurant, is the Irish Guinness Steak Pie/ beef stew.(approximately €11-€13). It actually tastes nothing like Guinness. If you are not a regular English food eater, you might find this quite an enjoyable cuisine. They also enjoy eating Salmon steaks, Seafood Chowder(approx €12), Fish and chips(approx €10), Steaks (approx €15)and sausages, ALL served with either mash potato or baked baby potatoes, you just cant run away from them! My favourite was the seafood chowder, which sits between soup and stew, can be used as a dip for sweet brown bread.
Seafood Chowder

The Dublin Coddler
Something special and unique to Irish cuisine is "white pudding". Similar to the "black pudding" we have dyring a traditional English breakfast. The taste is stronger, texture is softer. And of course you cannot miss having a pint of GUINNESS (€4.5)during your visit. I cannot stress how much they love Guiness. They drink it like water, and so much that the soft drinks you order are all flat...But I was never a fan of alcohol and so... I could only stick to orange juice!

Traditioal Irish Breakfast
 The traveller's recommendation: Visit The Quays' Restaurant- Temple Bar for a good quality dinner. Moderate prices. I tried the seafood chowder and the Dublin Coddler (see photos)

The Quays
Where to Go, What to See
I personally don't think you need more than 4 days to go round the entire Dublin. This time, we skipped ordinary art galleries and history museums and joined more interactive and exciting tours and explored the special elements of Dublin. Below are places that I visited and also my thoughts regarding its worthiness.

In Dublin, live guides are hired and they do not use the audio gudies, hence you can ask questions on the spot. However, this also mean that there is limited space for entry. Each museum/ gallery you visit. There will often be a set entrance time, normally every 90 minutes. So if you go too late, you might have to sit around and wait.
The Dublin Castle
(€4.50/ €3.50 for students)
A short tour about the parliamentry history of Dublin. The castle was burnt down once during the 17th century and therefore was rebuilt afterwards. Thus you will not be able to see it in its original form. The catle features with some old paintings of imporatnt political figures and traditional ornaments and decorations in different rooms, however nothing extraordianry compared to the Buckingham Palace/ the Windsor Castle. However admission was reasonable and therefore not a bad exprience. No need to visit if you are not much of a history/ politics fan.

The Kilmainham Gaol (€6/ €2 for students)
The Kilmanham Gaol is a very famour tourist attraction, and also the venue where the movie The Shawshank Redemption was filmed. Follow the tour guide and experience how many in history suffered in this poorly conditioned gaol. The Gaol is special because it was never refurbished. Thus what you see is exactly the same as the early decades in Irish history. Listen to the tour guide and pay sympathy to the people in the past. It is a thoroughly enjoyable exprience within super reasonable prices.
The Kilmainham Gaol
The Wicklow One day tour (€24/ €22 for students: book at tourist information office)
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Fasten your seatbelts, ladies and gentlement! It was one of the gratest day tours I have ever been to. Your trip will not be completed without visiting the beautiful landscapes of Wicklow, situated outside of Dublin (Approximately one hour journey by coach) I was completely in love with it. Many popular modern movies including PS I love you and Brave Heart was shot here. Furthermore, one of the members from the Beatles composed his song "Yesterday" in front of the Guiness Lake. Not only do you get a full day 9:30-5:00 tour around the top of the hill and have many chances to take extraordinary photos of the potrait- like landscapes, I promise you your journey on the way will not be boring either. We were so lucky to have such an experienced and charismatic driver/ tour guide, John. He must have been a charm when he was young. He does not only tell you about the history and culture of Dublin, but also his personal (?) experiences as a local Irish person.
And now let me take your breath away by showing you the photos of the day. 

For more information visit

The Guinness Lake
Traditional Irish Music Party (€45/ €40 for students: book at tourist information office)
What I love about travelling is that everywhere you go you can always see something that is unique to that region; something that you will never see in a different country. In Dublin, life seems very simple and innocent. No hit about fancy modern technology, people enjoy to have a pint of Guiness in the evening and catch up with friends, whilst listenning to their traditional Irish music and maybe traditional dancing. This time I decided to join one of these tradiational Irish parties. It was a fantastic experience to get a taste of the live performance of Irish music, played with their unique instruments, and also a professional Irish dance. The atmosphere is great and although a little pricey, I promise you it's worth the money.
Live Irish music and dance performance

Traveller's Advise
1. If you are planning to stay in Dublin for two days, you might want to buy a ticket for the Hop-on/ Off Bus Two Day Pass (€19/ €16 for students). The bus takes you around all the tourist attractions and you can get on/ off at anytime you want. The ticket also includes one-way airport transfers (original price €7-8,which most of you will need unless you are staying near the airport, which is fairly fair from the city centre and expensive to commute) I did not actually buy this as I spent a day outside Dublin in Wicklow.
2. KEEP YOUR RECEIPTS ON ALL YOUR BOOKINGS. Although people are very nice in Dublin, there are often mistakes on many tours. Both the tour and the party that we joined, they actually did not include us in the list and mistakened the pick up spot. So make sure to be attentive!

3. Bring student card or ID if you are over 65: Discounts on almost ALL admissions :)

4. The cold and wet weather in Dublin- Ireland is a rain district throughout the year and therefore you cant really avoid rain. So be sure to wear enough and bring n umbrella!
Until Next Time!

Friday, 3 June 2011

Graduation Dinner

Exams are finally finished. Revision and busy torturing period is all over. From now on, (after my long ass holiday anyway) my life takes up a new path, full of uncertainty and excitement. Before all of this, I had a chance to party with my fellow course mates and best friends that I made during the 4 years of education. What's more was to be able to see the cute smiling faces of the world's best teachers that night. We were truly blessed to have them helping us through our degree. Without them, we wont be where we are now. I want to take this opportunity to thank everybody who has been beside me, enjoying the fun and also the hardships of learning the Japanese language, including the holy placement exam during the second year.

It was a fun night where most people dressed up, and so of course you see a different me too :) What do you think of the "trying to be elegant" me? hehe.

The Night. The Fun.
All the teachers from the Japanese department were present and I saw lots and lots of smiley faces. The girls were beautiful and the boys were smartly dressed.
Enjoy the pictures!

The BEST teachers on the entire planet
Lecturing me how to use the shutter on my camera LOL
My best beautiful friend :)
Train buddy!
And the night ended with lots of laughter and fun. Farewell my school buddies :) I wish you the best of luck in whatever you decide to do in the future. Hope to see you all in the graduation ceremony!
With Love, MUJI
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