30 Day Challenge: Day 12- A list of places you’ve lived

I finally had a day off yesterday, though that was after I went to work for an hour and still got 20 missed calls from the office. Also, the internet at my place was shit, so I wrote a post on textedit and will post it now!

Today’s (yesterday’s) post will be about all the places I’ve lived at. I thought it would be boring if I’m listing the places that I’ve lived at just cuz my parents moved (and it’s also not that many). Let’s change the topic to “list all the places you’ve lived at for more than one month”.

I was born in Singapore. I moved to Germany, then Shanghai (kindergarten) then Hong Kong (grade 1 to 4) and back to Shanghai again (grade 5 to graduation); now I’m in Switzerland for university!

When I was in Shanghai for the second time (since 2001), I’ve lived in a few places for more than a month. In the summer of 2006, I went to Summer Discovery UCLA for 6 weeks. I had the time of my life there. I think that was when I fell in love with California. Everything just felt so carefree and I felt completely safe, even though it was my first time traveling alone and I was 14. It was also a summer for a lot of firsts! First time living in a dorm, first time being in a foreign environment, first time going to Six Flags and Disneyland, first time making smores at the beach, first time doing my own laundry (although I can’t really think of where the laundry room was, now that I think about it…). First time becoming so close to some of the girls that there was never any tension between us. I just loved walking through the UCLA campus, even though it’s huge! But I love going to Jumba Juice every time for a drink after class, or going to my tennis classes. Everything just felt so right. My sister and my parents also came down on the last week. We went on a road trip to send my sister off to college at Claremont McKenna.

At Disneyland
At Disneyland
Singapore, Philippines, Japan, Taiwan!
Singapore, Philippines, Japan, Taiwan!
Our first Dodgers vs. someone baseball game
Our first Dodgers vs. someone baseball game

Then in the summer of 2008, I went to San Francisco for a month to live with my sister and her then boyfriend. My parents sent me over because they knew my sister is the only person who can really “control” me; it was also the last summer before I graduate high school, so they really wanted her to discipline me so I can pass the IB (like I said, I was not, and still am not, an ace student). This was the first time I fell in love with San Francisco! My sister and I fought a lot, but I can only remember the good times. Like… the feeling of walking out the apartment and just feeling like I belong. Taking the public transportation like I have lived here all my life. Going downtown and shopping at Forever 21 alone, going to LA for a weekend with my sister, staying in a mansion, going to office parties, going crazy with makeup at Sephora, cooking and eating lots and lots of amazing food. I also had a summer fling while I was there, and he was the best. He brought me to Stanford University (where he studied), took me out to see the sunrise, took me out to movies, to his side of town, and it was really awesome. High school summers were the best and I cannot wait until I can go back to San Francisco again.

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My sister loved taking me to the bird store (or she just loved going there)
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Getting ready for an office party
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On an outing with her SF Uni class
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See we played with makeup!

Last summer, I lived in Karlsruhe, Germany for two months. Purpose of that was for me to take German classes and improve my German. As uneasy as I felt about it as first, I loved it in the end. I stayed with family friends. The best part about living in Karlsruhe? Being able to ride the bicycle everywhere. The weather was perfect everyday- not too hot, not too cold. But I really loved riding everywhere. When I say everywhere, I literally mean everywhere. To class, to the shops, to rock climbing, to couchsurfer meetups, and so many more places. What was even better, was when my sister came to visit me for a week (though it felt like two weeks). She came right before my last German lesson ended, and we planned our Eurotrip (that was after I took her everywhere on our bikes and we went rock climbing together).

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So excited!

First, we left from Karlsruhe to go back to Lausanne so she could see my university and the city that I’ve been living in for the past two years. We had crepes… and that’s all I can remember. I’m sure we ate more. But the weather in Lausanne was the best I’ve ever seen it. This was at the end of July, and we were wearing shorts and tank top. I’ve never worn shorts and tank top again in Lausanne! But anyway, my sister loved it and she had lots of fun :).

Enjoying her ice cream at Flon
Enjoying her ice cream at Flon

Next stop was Italy. We first went to Treviso, because there was an art school that my sister wanted to visit. We stayed in Treviso for two nights (couchsurfed!!). We had to take a train then a taxi to the art school, which was a great place to visit. Then we walked around the city afterwards and it was really beautiful; we had pizza for dinner!

Excited for pizza!
Excited for pizza!
Yummers
Yummers

The next day, we went to Venice. We met this girl from UChicago on the way there by bus, and went around with her the whole day. We went on the gondola and crossed the river! Venice was a beautiful place.

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Gondola!
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With Helen!

Then the day after, I remember we had the best of luck. We were literally going to miss our train to Rome because we left the house too late. We were debating whether or not to walk or wait for the bus; we decided to walk. Just as we started walking, I said “should we hitchhike??” because we really were going to be late. Right as I said that, an old Italian man pulled up and asked “train??” and we said “yes train!” and he’s like “in! in!” My sister and I looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders and jumped right in. What is life without taking a few risks, right? Besides, this old man looked very sweet. We immediately started showering him with thanks “Graaaccii graacccii!! thank you!!” As we got to the train station (5 mins before the train left), we threw in a 5 euro note, and the sweet man got so angry! He yelled “no! no!!” but we just said “graci” one last time, and scrambled off to catch our train. Next up, was Romeee. We found Rome’s accommodation when we were in Treviso on Airbnb. I’ve been to Rome before so it was all new to my sister and she looooved it. The weather was great (when I went last time, it was in November and really dreary). But in July, it was sunny and beautiful as ever. We then took Ryanair back to some dingy airport outside of Karlsruhe, and then a tiny bus back to the city.

In front of Colosseum!
In front of Colosseum!
So much gelato!
So much gelato!

Whew! Recalling this was very very fun. It was now, as I remember, one of my best summers ever with my sister. We explored so many places and it was so much fun to do with the girl I love most in the world.

Last but not least, I am now in Seychelles! I’ve been here for two months now, and will leave by the end of this month, which would make it three months. It’s great here, it really is. I don’t think I’ve ever been so chilled out in my life. But I don’t think I could ever live on an island again. Not at least for the next 5 years.

Anyway, I think I kinda went off topic there because the last part was just vacation.. But it was really fun recalling everything. Maybe I should change the topic to “Places you have gone on vacation”.. But then this doesn’t cover it at all! Or maybe I should change it to “how you spent your past 5 summers”. Ah well, let’s just leave it at this. :) Will have another post coming up later!

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