Archive for the 'Shopping' Category

Dubai, UAE

Saturday, October 6th, 2012

Am currently in Dubai, UAE. Posted here on an inter-office transfer for six months, sort of like an exchange program.

I’ve been here just a few weeks, and the city if growing on me. Today I had lunch with an ex-colleague who grew up here, and we went to the Ibn Battuta Mall, which is a surprisingly cultural experience. Lots of historical displays about the travels of Ibn Battuta, a 12th Century Berber Muslim Moroccan explorer, as well as the technology, culture and politics of the era throughout the region. Like being in a Civilizations Museum, but with Forever 21, Woolworths and Borders. I could have (and did) wander around by myself for hours after our delicious lunch.

I need to take more photos. The architecture and food are both often totally snapshot worthy, but I feel a little self-conscious whipping out my point-and-shoot.

The Great Sale Season!!

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

It’s upon us, finally!  The two month long Great Singapore Sale (GSS) season, along with end-of-season sales worldwide.  Hope everyone has been diligently saving up and scouting out their dream purchases! 🙂

I probably need to pace myself a bit better…  in just two days my tally is currently:

Etro: 2 dress shirts and a silk sacrf
Prada:  1 structured doctor’s bag and 1 pair of perforated Oxfords

And I’m still patiently waiting for a Marc Jacob’s tote to go on sale, as well as a certain Bottega Veneta clutch.  As I was telling someone yesterday, the trick for designers/labels is to create really special things that move the customer to action – how can you not buy something you find unbelievably gorgeous, iconic and unique?

Same goes for non-clothes too.  I bought this gorgeous LED table lamp from SPACE with a significant mid-year sale discount (which makes it just about the same price as buying it direct from Europe or the US).  If you’ve ever seen the Kelvin LED from Flos, with it’s space-age looks and functionality (magic touch sensor on/off switch!!),  I’m sure you’d be seduced too!

Maybe some pictures will be forthcoming…  we’ll see.

Work is awesome, I *heart* my current project, it’s so cool!

Siem Reap was such a beautiful, delicious, inexpensive and satisfying long weekend vacation.  Everyone should go!!

Holiday good, political violence bad

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Got back to Singapore on the red-eye from Seoul early on Tuesday morning this week.  That was a pretty fun trip, totally exceeded my not very high expectations.  Actually, all the elements for which I had higher expectations were disappointing, in particular the much-hyped W hotel, where the standard rooms are small and have horrendous decor (Jen’s reaction was “this looks like a cheap motel room!”). Fortunately I managed to switch to a massive suite which was more than satisfactory (the room-size, view and amenities made up for the still-mediocre interior design), and which turned out to be pretty cool, in line with my expectations of this hipster hotel chain.  And a huge plus is the impeccable service.

The other rather disappointing part of the trip was the DMZ tour, which was a little on the dull side, overall.  Don’t get me wrong – I think it is an absolute must-see, must-go for visitors, and it is very thought-provoking, sobering and surreal experience.  Nevertheless, you have to go with the expectation that visitors actually will not get to really see very much, but rather will get to learn about the history of the Korean war/conflict and be forced to ponder the lot of the 20 million North Korean lives on the other side of the border… not to mention their nuclear weapons aimed at the ultra-modern and prosperous South Korean capital city.  Very disturbing and depressing to think about.

The food was fantastic, for those who like Korean cuisine.  Yum yum!

The shopping was pretty great, both high-end and low-end had lower pricing, greater range (Goyard!  H&M! Cool local streetwear!) and better stocking (Fendi furrrr! Prada runway accessories!) than Singapore.  I ended up with loads of cool stuff, my top two highlights being a Etro/Cavalli-inspired, made-in-Italy pair of swim-shorts I found at H&M as well as a Prada perforated leather hat straight off the runway/arty short film that I have searched unsuccessfully for in the US, Europe and elsewhere in Asia.  And I got to claim back the sales tax too!

If you are looking for other worthy tourist activities, see the Nanta show (fantastic!) and also visit the Korean Folk Village at Suwon (totally fun and also pseudo-cultural-educational!).

And of course, it was lovely to see my sister.  (Veeble veeble!)


The front page of the Straits Times today showed a horrifying photo of the Central World shopping mall in central Bangkok on fire after more violent political clashes.  What a disaster for the country.

Also, I hope the North Korea-allegedy-torpedoed-South-Korean warship incident does not escalate.


My current project is so cool!  🙂

Around the corner… to another holiday!

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

The big Christmas to New Year’s holiday season is barely over and marketing has already shifted gears to focus on the next big date: Feb 14.  Of course, this year that’s both Valentine’s Day and also the first day of the lunar new year, so it’s big.

Today at 10pm, after an entire day of almost no food, I speed-walked a good mile to the nearest not-so-nearby McDonald’s and ordered a Mega Prosperity Burger upsized meal (and various other things, but we can leave that aside for now).  It’s a giant, double-beef-patty long sandwich with black pepper sauce and fresh onions, but that’s not the point.  The point is that it’s a Chinese/Lunar New Year offering that’s been launched even as Starbucks is still serving special holiday treats and I saw maintenance workers just starting to take down the boughs of faux holly in the mall.

And then yesterday I bought my first Louis Vuitton trinket of 2010, an adorable and probably utterly impractical coin purse/clutch shaped like a chicken!!  It’s part of the new Animaux collection that’s apparently meant to commemorate Valentine’s Day… and the collection was launched worldwide on 1 Jan 2010.


Isn’t it fantastic??  I *heart* hens!  Actually, there’s a more attractive “songbird” version in a lovely blue colour, but I had to get the chicken… of course!!  The LV website hilariously tries to justify this piece of frivolousness (after all, it’s based on toy animals that the Vuitton family used to make, supposedly) based on it’s practicality.  First of all, it’s called a “Bird Clutch”, as if it has any possibility of serving as an evening clutch bag – this is an item that would be hard pressed to hold a box of tic tacs, no joke…

From the LV website:

Inspired by the wooden toys from the 1950s found in our archives, the Bird Clutch is a playful design in glossy Monogram Vernis leather. A delightful gift idea as either a coin purse or a bag charm.

Size: 4.9″ x 4.5″ x 0.4″

-Large capacity for coins
-Room for several credit cards
-Golden brass chain to hook the coin purse to a D-ring
-Foam under patent leather for extra softness



Let me state for the record that I just tried, and not even one single standard sized credit card will fit in this “clutch”…  but I still love it!  And I guess many other people agree with me, because the hen is already out of stock online (on Jan 3), while the songbird is still available.


In the past three days I’ve just about finished three books, so we’re off to a good start, at least.  And in three totally different genres too – a light-hearted breezy read about the world of fashion by a fashion journalist (The Meaning of Sunglasses), a pensive/sombre novella by Kazuo Ishiguro (A Pale View of Hills), and hopefully tonight I will wrap on the thoughtful critique of Harvard by former Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis ’68 (Excellence Without a Soul).

Reading the latter has really made me yearn anew for years past.  Or perhaps it’s just the comfortably fuzzy embrace of rosy nostalgia.