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Archive for the ‘Shopping for Clothes’ Category

Main highlights:

  • Bought limousine bus tickets from the hotel bell captain.
  • Akihabara.
  • Garden Walk Outlet.

The itinerary for day 5 was planned in an impromptu way. I think we only discussed where we were going on that morning itself. The past 2 days of Disneyland and sea had depleted us of all our energy and we actually slept till around 10 am that morning. I still think it was a wrong decision for us to go Gotemba on day 2 because it was not only costly to get there, it was a waste of time and energy. We were seriously exhausted by the end of day 4.

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More thoughts on Gotemba Premium Outlets: (Skip if you are not interested)

Come to think of it, Gotemba premium outlets is not so bad because it really has many brands, but unless we have many days to spare in Tokyo, I think we will give it a miss in future. 🙂 The only brand at Gotemba premium outlets, which I feel will be a pity to miss it, is Samantha Thavasa. Hahaha. Other than that, the other brands are quite standard and can be found at other outlets places too. If, 1) there is no traffic jam in getting there or going back via the bus, 2) there is no rain or hot sunny sun, 3) there are more eating places and choices there, and 4) there are fewer people there (we went on a Sunday you see, haha), I think we will like Gotemba premium outlets much much more.

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Before we set off from our hotel, we went to the bell captain at our hotel to buy the limousine tickets to go Narita airport on our last day. Typically, tickets should be purchased in advance and reservations made earlier so that you can secure seats on the limousine bus. If the bus is too crowded, I think they will arrange another bus, but then again, that is not guaranteed. Anyway we won’t take chances and might as well buy the tickets early.

Japan is a high-tech city, even buying tickets from the hotel is automated, done using this machine below.

My funny husband took this picture, he kept saying this machine is so cute. Hmmm?! The only cute thing is the model of the limousine bus placed on the top of the machine lor. Haha.

Our first destination for the day: Akihabara. I have always liked Akihabara though it is more of a guys’ place.

Men like to go there mainly for these few reasons:

  1. Japanese Manga and anime,
  2. Japanese toys (those collectibles like figurines, army tanks, etc.),
  3. the many maids’ cafes located in the vicinity, and
  4. technological products, like accessories/consoles – PC, wii, PS, etc.

As for me, I like it there because they sell many cute and innovative computer stuffs which can’t be easily found in Singapore. For instance, many years ago, the sushi-types of thumbdrives were rather popular in Japan and in particular, you can see a large variety of designs at Akihabara, all exquisitely made. They had the finger thumbdrive, the duckie thumbdrive, the tamago sushi thumbdrive, the ebi sushi thumbdrive, etc. I was more after cute things then (more than 3 years ago), so I bought a pink rubber duckie thumbdrive which lights up whenever you insert into your USB ports, and also a Disney Marie thumbdrive which will display a cute Marie animation on my screen each time my PC detects it. Yh also bought a very plain and neat laptop bag for work, which surprisingly was very cheap, around SGD$40! Felt it was a good buy that lasted for years.

This time was our second time at Akihabara, and we were still amazed by the cute Wii accessories at Yodobashi Akiba. Goodness, they had a pink Wii remote strap! So girly! They also have other colours like light blue, light green, and the usual white. We also bought a nuchuck back because we thought our nuchuck was spoilt, but it turned out to be not. It was slightly cheaper than in Singapore. I also pestered Yh to let me buy many stickers, which are actually Hello Kitty protective stickers for my wii remote and nuchuck. So kawaii! Can’t bear to use them. 😦 Btw, the latest Wii console and accessories in Japan are in black now. Yh found them so cool but he did not buy any of them because they would be a mismatch with our current Wii console..

The pink wii remote strap. Wasn’t cheap, I think about SGD$5. I bought only one.

One thing about the Yodobashi Akiba store. I think I was a bit angry (because I am a petty woman) over the tax refund policy in the store. They kept announcing that they have a tax refund policy, somemore in various languages, and that to enquire more about it, approach any of the staff in the store. WAH LAO, the irritating thing was, I really approached a few staff in the store, but none of them seem to understand/speak English! How to even ask them about it huh? Hahaha. In the end when I mentioned “tax refund”, they answered me with very basic English, “No” and crossed their hands. WTH.. I don’t know how to qualify for the tax refund in the end and lost motivation in spending more than 10,000 yen there. Bwhahaha.

On the 7th or 8th storey of the store, is an entire storey of restaurants. Tokyo has lots of departmental stores with this concept, like in Tobu Ikebukuro, Isetan Shinjuku, etc. where there is one whole storey dedicated to Japanese restaurants. We visited this ramen restaurant that was located opposite Pepper Lunch, and there was always a queue, but a fast-moving one.

The front of the restaurant. Each bowl was about SGD$12. Reasonable price right?

The restaurant was small but cosy, and most of the patrons sat round the kitchen, at the counter. There were some table seats but not many in all.

Our ramen with lots of ingredients in each bowl. Our soup bases were different but both were tasty. I wouldn’t say they were exceptionally good, but okay lah. Thought the standard was similar to that in Hakata Nihon Ryori at Mohd Sultan. I reviewed Hakata here previously.

A very nice old uncle sat next to Yh and he helped us take that picture above. He was very cute. Haha. I saw him reading a whole passage of English while queueing to enter the restaurant and he could converse with us using basic English. He told us every restaurant in Japan is good because it is very competitive in the F&B industry there. Any lousy restaurant there will close down very quickly. He also told us that his colleague just came back from Singapore, and his review of our food standard was – cheap but standard-wise, “so so”. I think he went to places serving mediocre food. What a shame.. *throw face*… But I really agree with him leh. You just step into any restaurant in Japn, everything is really tasty! Nothing was really disappointing there. In Singapore, it is easy to be disappointed by the food standard here generally. Unless….. you are willing to make effort to research on reviews of good restaurants online, willing to pay for tastier food, and willing to travel to secluded corners of Singapore in search of the restaurants. With all that effort, I might as well eat the tastier and cheaper char kway teow, carrot cake, and hainanese chicken rice in many hawker centres. Haha.

Next on our itinerary was Garden Walk Outlet. It’s very near the JR Kaihin-Makuhari Station, we went there via the Keiyo line. We had not had enough satisfaction from shopping at the outlets, so we targetted Garden Walk next. It has brands like Agnes b, Vanessa Bruno (star attraction for me), Adidas, Jill Stuart (clothes only) and asics (nice Onitsuka Tiger shoes there, prices only slightly lower).

All smiles because I am going shopping next!!

I always have a problem, I don’t have the mood to take any pictures when I am concentrating on shopping or food. So the above was the only shot we took at the Garden Walk outlet. Hahaha. We spent about half a day there, and it was evening by the time we left the place. We were dead beat. Although it did not look like a big place, we actually did a lot of walking and standing (while browsing through the items on sale).

Inside the JR train, on the way back to Shinjuku. Really really very tired then.

See what I bought from there!!! *excited* Agnes b stuffs were generally going at less 30% and Vanessa Bruno bags were at less 50%.

Agnes b bags first:

Vanessa Bruno bags: (I have always liked their bags because of the sequins. They make the bags look bling bling.)

The colour was pinkish-beige.

The same bag as above. I put the remote control next to it just to show its size. It’s really very small. The larger size for this colour was sold out, so I had to make do with this mini size. 🙂

I am crazy I told you. I bought the larger size bag, but in brown. This photo’s colour is not so accurate.

The actual colour of the bag, and its size.

I also saw this shop selling racks of clothes, all at 2000 yen (~SGD $30) each!!! I bought 2 skirts at one go, same design but different colours. Haha.

 The 2 skirts were clipped together, one was light yellow, the other was light grey. I like to wear such skirts, especially if they are not too short.

For dinner that night, we did not go any restaurants, but went Takashimaya basement to buy many bento sets. I think it is a very good experience though the food was eaten cold. We always do that for at least one of the nights each time we are in Japan. Many Japanese always buy bentos home for their meals and it’s like us “dabao-ing” (i.e. takeaway) food home for dinner from hawker centres or food courts.

Our sumptuous and filling dinner for the night. We were eating comfortably in our hotel rooms. Finally can rest our feet.

What’s worth mentioning is, all the salads I ate there were really very very nice! That night, we bought some big prawns salad which was not very cheap but it satisfied our taste buds thoroughly too. It was not just the ingredients used, their salad sauce was very well-suited to the ingredients. Even the macaroni salad purchased from the convenience store at the basement of our hotel was very nice! Anyhow grab one also can grab something so tasty. Hahaha. That’s why we love going Japan. 🙂

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There are various sales lately and the super popular ones are the Mango and Zara sales. When I was younger, I used to detest these sales because it’s so hard to dig out good buys from the racks and shelves. However, due to the abundance of free time I have now, I managed to thoroughly shop through the various Mango stores and bought a total of 13 or 14 items. Most of the items were either white or pink in colour, so I guess I should keep them till next CNY as “new clothes”. Hee hee…

Anyway I saw quite a lot of people behaving in an “ugly” manner at the sales leh. Many people were dressed in spaghetti-strapped tops and tight pants. Then they start trying on the various tops/dresses/skirts in front of mirrors. Some stores did not cover up the mirrors and hence these people hogged the mirrors. I think that’s still fine because occasionally we also try on jackets in front of the mirrors right? What for join the long queue just to try on jackets? What I didn’t find appealing was, they were throwing clothes that they don’t want, onto the floor, infront of the mirrors. How can they do that?! 😦 So selfish and inconsiderate.

Another thing I don’t like is that some ladies are very make-up-conscious, i.e. they wear make-up to the sale as well. What’s wrong with making yourself looking good? Let me tell you.. When you wear make-up, your make-up is not colourless you know, and your foundation can stain those clothes you try on in the fitting rooms. That will make those pieces of clothing unwanted and “wasted” in a sense. Tsk tsk. I find it so heartpain when I see something I like, and there is a powder or foundation stain on it. Sometimes these stains are non-washable leh.

The Zara sale started yesterday and I also saw those “mirror-hoggers” type of ladies at the Vivo branch. Goodness, clothes were still thrown onto the floor carelessly. Tsk tsk tsk. Anyway after the discount, the prices were still not very cheap, so there’s nothing much to buy at the Zara sale, unless you’re an ultimate Zara fan. 🙂

Enjoy the shopping! 🙂 Beware of long queues for the fitting rooms though.

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Spitalfields Market is a large pasar malam (market) in London which sells all kinds of things. We saw many stalls selling clothes, aromatherapy stuffs and leather goods. I think there were other stuffs as well, but I was too focussed on the clothes. 🙂 Do not expect it to be a food-place; I didn’t see many stalls selling food, but there were many cafes nearby.

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When Yh and I alighted at Liverpool Street station, it was unexpectedly crowded! It was a Sunday and we thought most people there must be heading towards Spitalfields Market, hence we just blindly followed the crowd. Saw many people turning into one particular alley and we followed suit. What we saw next was a PASAR MALAM. It looks rather messy and cramped and there many stalls lined up on each side. Just keep walking on and on and on and on and on… (Yes, it was another day of walking.. 😦 ) The stalls were mainly selling clothes and shoes and most of the stalls were selling about the same things leh. The street was also very long, so you can really see many clothes. Some stall owners look Chinese/Korean, wonder where their clothes were from. I did not buy lah, as the designs did not look too appealing as well. 🙂

I was quite disappointed at first, ‘cos I did not expect Spitalfields Market to look like that. Hmmm.. Strange leh, thought it was supposed to be an authentic London-style Market? Hmmmm…. Anyway we spent about half an hour to one hour there and kept pyscho-ing ourselves along the way that the place cannot be Spitalfields Market lah. Maybe just a makeshift pasar malam which happens to open on Sundays.

(When we were back in Singapore, I finally realised from my friend staying in London, that the alley we went into was called Petticoat Lane. hahahaha. It’s so easy to mistake that place for Spitalfields Market… 🙂 )

This is Petticoat Lane, I’ve read that it is opened daily except Saturdays. There are more stalls on Sundays as the area of pasar malam extends to neighbouring lanes on Sundays.

Not so bad after all, I managed to buy this River Island top from one of the stalls there, it cost only 9 pounds!!! Actually I am not sure if it’s authentic River Island as the brand tag was half torn, but just buy lah, since so cheap and quite nice 🙂

Btw, I find that the Petticoat Lane Market is quite a good place to shop if you are looking for cheap bargains. However, there is no fitting room there, so buy at your own risk. The stall owners usually allow us to bring back to exchange if the clothes do not fit.

Yh and I gave up shopping there as it was an outdoor market and the sun that day was blazingly hot!!!!!!! Will get freckles ok!!! We decided not to depend on others and took out our London guide to find the exact location of Spitalfields Market. Phew…. Managed to find it in the end after SOME MORE walking. (London is really all about walking…… unless you are super rich to always take cabs there)

There, the building on the left of the picture houses Spitalfields Market. Yay… there is shelter! No need to endure the damaging UV rays. 🙂

A few shops outside Spitalfields Market. Not many though. This particular shop, EIGHT sq, sells many ornaments for the home, designs are rather classic and neat. I like the things in there so much. Not very pricey.

This is Spitalfields Market. There are many stalls and it’s indoor! 🙂 See the crowd.

Bought this dress from Spitalfields Market. There was a tag on it that says “Made in England” and the price was 45 pounds!!!! Aiyah just buy since I like it lah.. I like the large ribbon bow.

Oh, btw, when I was there, I was having this severe tummyache, it’s not those kind where you feel like sh*tting but the pain was excruciating. Grrr…. I was walking halfway and the pain came, so I told yh I had to sit down to rest first. We went to this pie-cafe to have something as well as have a short rest. 🙂

The pie is minced beef with cheese, tastes a little like Shepherd’s pie… I think my mum can cook better than that leh….. Yh’s thought it tasted quite nice though.

Anyway I wanted to sh sh (pee) and was looking for a restroom. Seeing that Spitalfields Market looks quite clean and neat, I would expect the restroom standard to be not so bad bah… However, just a few metres away from the restroom, with the restroom door closed, you can smell a sh*t smell… Alamak.. And there was also a long queue in the ladies’ restroom. I could not bear with the stench while queueing up and gave up immediately. There seemed to be only one restroom in the whole Spitalfields Market leh. Wanted to go back to Liverpool Street Station to use their toilet but turns out I could not find a toilet there too… Tsk tsk… Are there no toilets in their tube stations? Hmmmm…. Overall, quite an uncomfortable day for me. 😦

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My bestie told me to shop at the area near Oxford Circus Tube Station. It’s a shopping paradise. You can actually start from Primark at Marble Arch and walk all the way down to Oxford Circus, then walk back to Primark if your legs are able to survive the walking. Along the way you will find many repeated shops like H&M and Next, and also shops like River Island, Topshop, Camper, etc. All the shops are lined on both sides of the road. There is also a Selfridges & Co department store along the way and they have very attractive window displays. I wanted to take pictures of those but there were too many passerbys, quite paiseh to keep standing there to pose right… 🙂

Oops the top photo with my face in there looks a bit creepy. Looks like Sadako’s head floating in London, especially so with the contrast of my white face against the red-bricks building behind. Haha.

We both liked the pavements there. They are very wide and you won’t have to keep knocking into people. Not like our Orchard Road. 🙂 Anyway I did not buy many things there!! So sad. 😦 It was the autumn season so I also could not find many suitable things to wear in Singapore. Bought a short skirt from River Island though. It was 30 pounds, not so cheap too, after coverting the amount to SGD.

While shopping in the area, you will definitely see many shoppers carrying large Primarks paperbags. So many things to buy there meh? Answer is Yes. Everything (clothes, pyjamas, shoes, lingerie, etc.) there was very cheap! I bought 2 skirts, each was about 10 pounds or less, 1 sweater, and can’t-remember-what-else. I also got a huge Primark paperbag! Haha. Guys can also buy their working and casual wear at Primark. Cheap cheap cheap! It reminds me of shopping at Carrefour, but the clothes are nicer. 🙂

There is also a Walt Disney Store there. How could I miss going in? Hahah. Did not buy anything though, it was a rather small store. 2 stories in total.

Must pose with my favourite character. See, he is also looking into the camera.

With all that walking, we were definitely tired and hungry. Had to fill my piggy stomach.

The fusilli with salmon and asparagus in cream sauce was good. The thin pizza with parma ham was also very tasty. Total damage was 25 pounds (includes drinks).

Left: Wasabi. Has many branches in London. A Japanese cafe selling bentos (in a cup), sushi, sashimi, etc. I was actually digging into the cup for more onions. I love onions. The bento was not great at all. Sashimi was good though 🙂 Right: KFC. They have corn on the cob! YUCKS… See my disgusted face. The corn was bland and our pasar malam corn (with lots of butter and salt) is definitely 10x better.

In all, I did not really fancy shopping in London. Many of the brands there can be found in Singapore too. We had only ~5 days to move around, hence we could only spare 1-2 days to shop. Sightseeing was more fun though, should have spent more time on that. Stay tuned for more updates of other sights in London. 🙂

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Bought a total of 4 bags from Japan…… Love all of them a lot. Cannot reveal their prices or my mum and aunt who read my blog will faint. Hahahahaha… Hope they can last me a long while. At least 1 year please?!

I’ve always had a theory that an item I’ve purchased will not be expensive if I use it often. For instance, if I purchase a bag for $1000 and carry it 200 times till the bag is tattered and torn, each time that I’ve used it costs only $5. So we must maximise our usage of things we purchase to minimise its cost 🙂

Top left: Burberry Blue Label Bag. They come in black, red and white. Chose black for practical reasons.

Top right: Ah Hah! That super chao ah lian brand – Samantha Vega. I love their bags and wallets. Even bought a charm to go with the bag. So ah lian. Hahaha.. The bag is of patent material, the colour is white with some sparkles embedded. Very small bag, good for shopping. 🙂

Bottom left: Brand name is M’AMUZ, is a bag made in Japan. All 3 others were made in China. Ahem… Anyway I love this bag for its big big diamond in front. Fake one lah, of course. 🙂 And the strap material is something like Anteprima’s Plastiq bags’ material. The entire bag feels like patent too.

Bottom right: My favourite brand again: Anna Sui!!!! I saw this bag in Hong Kong too. It comes in this colour as well as dark grey. Bought purple as it looks younger and more special. Can also see the sparkles on the bag more clearly as compared to the grey one. Also patent material. 🙂 Btw, the pocket has holes right? Those are little stars. So sweet.

I’ve bought 4 bags but no clothes from Japan. Many of the clothes looked very streetwear style, very hip hop. I can’t wear them or carry them well at all. 😦 Too bad for me lor.

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Hahahaha I was damn bored at this shopping mall in Hong Kong – Langham Place Shopping Mall. Things sold here are generally priced from SGD $50 onwards. The top few stories (I think there were 7 levels) of shops sell various items, all catered to youngsters’ (20 years and below) likings. We felt so old there. 😦 And the crowd is also relatively less as compared to 新之城’s and Argyle Centre’s (旺角中心).

My title says “Come in for the Air-Con” was because we were in Hong Kong during the hot month of September and outside was SUPER HOT…. Hence we hid in Langham Place Shopping Mall to enjoy their air-con lah 🙂

Left: There is a super long escalator that brings you directly to the upper stories. We were not trying to take upskirt pictures ok.

Right: There are many horoscopes statues at the youngsters’ shopping levels. Make a donation (I think is donation, or else it is directly paying the shopping centre) and press a button. They will tell you your luck in love/career/money/etc. I pressed the “money” button and it says tough luck 😦

We also had some desserts at this shop that was recommended in some guidebooks. It’s called 满记 and typical Hong Kong desserts can be found here. I didn’t really find their desserts very nice leh.

Top left: Some rojak dessert consisting of coconut milk, sea coconut, mango pipeces, sago seeds and nata de coco (can’t remember exactly what stuffs were inside) – Impression I had: Not good. Yucks.

Top right: Durian pudding – I liked that… In fact I like all durian puddings, whether they are tasty or not. I LOVE DURIANS!!!!!!!

Bottom left: Mango Sago Pomelo (杨枝甘露) – This tasted pretty average leh…

P.S. Both 新之城’s and 旺角中心 are also just as boring for me, but less boring. Die… Have I lost my passion for shopping?!?! Haha I didn’t like shopping for clothes in Hong Kong. Find their material quite lousy leh. And some clothes are super chao ah lian 😦

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I haven’t bought a swimsuit for YEARS and my last swimsuit was under the Triumph BeeDees range, which was more for young girls. I loved it a lot as it has a “mini-skirt”… Hee hee *laughing sheepishly*… You know, with the mini-skirt, it can help to hide my butt which has quite alot of celluliti 😦 Haha.. Anyway the design was also super childish, it’s blue with many small white flowers. I am going to chuck it aside now, and make it my spare swimsuit.

This is my kiddish looking swimsuit. Going to be thrown into cold palace for now.

The one I bought today is also by Triumph (but no longer BeeDees for xiao mei mei) and costs $129 before my mum’s staff-sale discount. It’s also blue, but a bright turquoise blue. Nice colour:) It also comes in bright orangey-red colour, which I find too attention-seeking at a public pool. And what’s good about it is, it comes with a “mini-skirt” too!!! Yay… Can continue to hide my cellulite-bums!

My new swimsuit. A v-shaped halter neck swimsuit, good for showing nice and deep cleavages. I don’t have those lah, but still like the “mini-skirt”. So cute 🙂

What I wanted to tell you all was, the sales assistant was quite.. ermm.. funny?! She’s straightforward lah, like me. First I asked if I needed a S or M size. She told me, it depends on your body width and length. So I went into the fitting room and S seemed to fit well. I asked her for her opinions and she actually answered me,”Yah, S lah… Your body is really short, and your legs are long, so you belong to that kind of proportions”. Then I asked her if I will zhao geng wearing it, as the top part is rather bikini style. (Aiyah I’m very conservative when it comes to dressing.) Then she actually replied in a joking manner,”No need to worry, you have nothing to zhao geng about what!” I could do nothing but laugh along with her, as I know I am flat mah.. Hahaha.. I am not annoyed with her lah, her service was pretty good and she’s patient with a fussy customer like me 🙂

P.S. I will be heading to London on Tues, so the posts on Japan/HK will be halted for the moment; I do have A LOT more to say about the trip. 🙂

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