#1821| first fall

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Reacted appropriately to my first time seeing snow. There really are no words. Thank you, Germany.

x
♥jem

#1820| Man vs. Wild

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Have I introduced you guys to my new housemate yet? No? Anyway, meet Baloo, sixteen week old golden retriever puppy named after the Jungle Book bear. I’m more of a cat person but no one can help not immediately loving this dog.. although when I skyped Athena back home she just stalked away once Baloo popped up onscreen. Cats.

Anyway, I’m online and talkative, which can only mean one thing: I’m procrastinating, as usual. For some reason I was under the impression that studying abroad would be one long holiday except NO, there’s actually homework and tests and shit. Did you guys know that every inanimate object in German has a gender? As lenne so eloquently put it: Do I give a shit if the table is a male or female? Do I? Do I really? No. No I don’t. It’s been nearly a month and all I can do so far is introduce myself and basically put across the point that I don’t really know what anything is. Essentially pointing to things and going:

Was ist diese? Was ist das?

Which sounds incredibly like some singaporean ah-lian speak, doesn’t it.

To the point, I have a two page paper due for my German Film and Literature class. More accurately, it was due.. approximately two weeks ago. I keep telling myself i should do it, now, and then going yeah I’m a literature student how long can two pages take? then flopping on the bed and watching FRIENDS. Right now Ross and Rachel are in a happy place. The whole “WE WERE ON A BREAK!!!” saga is coming soon, you know it. Ten points if you catch the reference. FRIENDS truly is the best show ever to be shown on tv..

But you know, speaking of onscreen stuff. (This is where you’d expect me to plug our latest episode of That F Word just released this week, but no. Consistently surprising you guys. I do try.) I’ve watched two very, very good films for one of my classes here, because despite my incredible laziness when it comes to homework I actually do pay attention in class, thank you very much. Or should I be saying Klasse now? Anyway.

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ooh, sexytime ~~

Okay but seriously. Despite having a poster that looks like some shady B grade porn flick, I assure you – these two spend very much of the movie not having sex. With one another, anyway.

Head On by Fatih Akin is a 2004 German film done in classical Greek style about Turkish people living in Germany. It’s about this young girl from a super conservative Turkish family (brother broke her nose because he caught her holding hands with a boy kind of conservative) who runs into our depressed 40+ year old turkish protagonist at a hospital after they both try (separately) to commit suicide. After realizing he’s turkish, she immediately tries to get him to fake-marry her because she wants to be free from her family and go out and enjoy the world and all it has to offer (in her terms, this basically means a lot of sex) and being turkish, she can only marry another turk. They’re both very good looking and obviously fall in love and then disaster strikes. Not totally unpredictable, but worth a watch anyway. Very refreshing after years of watching classic hollywood bullshit.

Recommended: Above average.

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The Lives of Others
by Florian Henckel is a 2006 film about the East German Secret Police aka the Stasi pre-berlin wall fall. It follows this adorably awkward Stasi agent who’s assigned to carry out secret surveillance on this popular playwright living with his actress girlfriend in East Germany in a very fly on the wall type of way and who gets too emotionally involved in their lives. It evolves into a queer sort of threesome love triangle dynamic where two parties dont know the other exists. Huh. Still, the film is very, very powerful, with a sort of quietly intense intimacy that seems to accompany only the best of arthouse films these days. It’s fascinating too- the way they break down the interrogation sequences and motivations behind the infamous secret police terror regime of the 1980s. All very Big Brother. History buffs will get a kick out of this, and people who don’t care for history will find this film at the very least, riveting.

Recommended: Very.

You see- I dont know what the matter with me is. I can bang out 700 words of a blogpost in half an hour, no problem, but I can’t sit still to finish up (or start) my essay. Oh well. I guess I really should be going now; I’ve procrastinated enough and there’s only that much you can say in a post before you start to bore everyone and ramble in a bid to keep writing for the sake of keeping your essay at bay. Goodbye from Germany, and while I’m off writing my paper you guys can watch the latest episode of That F Word featuring Korean fashion and assimilating trends.

There, now you have my plug for the show.

Tschüss!

x
♥jem

#1819| Being Cultured.

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Spent an afternoon at the Kunstmuseum of Contemporary and Modern Art, Stuttgart, the other day. It was alright. Notable works include those of Otto Dix and Willi Baumeister – but even then you’d require someone to painstakingly explain the backstory of each installation to fully appreciate it. Sans guide, it’s a bit like a smaller version of New York’s MoMA. I visited the Stuttgart Staatsgalerie the week after and much prefered it though, so if you only have one day, go for that one.

Kunstmuseum Stuttgart
Kleiner Schlossplatz 1
70173 Stuttgart
Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 711 / 216 21 88
Fax: +49 (0) 711 / 216 78 20
info@kunstmuseum-stuttgart.de

Opening hours
Tues – Sun, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Fri, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Mon closed

Public tours in German
(without prior reservation)
Fri, 6-7 p.m.
Sat + Sun, 3-4 p.m.
Tickets 2.50 € / 1.50 € plus entrance fee

Dressed all in black because it seemed appropriate, also, why the hell not. Knit sweater and black skirt from H&M both, and I threw on a red blazer once on the streets which proved to be a foolhardy decision re: dressing in the midst of winter. Still, when best to be young and stupid if not when you are young and stupid? Exactly.

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x
♥jem

PS. In lieu of all things design related.. kind of, I also curated a collection for local design site Naiise recently, which you can view here. The interview I gave is also live on their website, and you can read it here. Thank you for the kind words, guys, and the rest of you – catch Naiise at the NONG Pop Up Store, a mixed retail + F&B + workshop event daily from 11am to 9pm on the rooftop of the People’s Park Complex, from 20 January to March 2014. So much love x

#1818| Briar Rose/ The Black Forest

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photos in this post taken with the Nikon J2 / Canon 500d x 50f1.8 prime lens

Welcome to the Black Forest, you guys. There is, of course, no visiting Baden Baden without making a trip up to the breathtaking Black Forests of Baden-Württemberg. This is a continuation of the previous post on our weekend trip to the spa town of Baden Baden – of course, i’m not sure if this is actually where Sleeping Beauty was set, but that’s what the Black Forest image conjures anyway, thus: Briar Rose.

It’s said to be even more beautiful when it snows, but hey, this was pretty damn amazing on it’s own. We took a hour long busride up the mountains and nearly froze our asses off in the process. Lake Mummelsee is nearly but not quite frozen – and apparently tens of stupid tourists like ourselves freeze, drown and die while trying to step on the apparently solid lake. It actually radiates cold, so photos had to be very hurriedly snapped before retreating back into the lodge.

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Being abandoned by freezing boyfriend while posing for a photograph

Anyway. If you went on tour bus like we did, you might get a lovely BLACK FOREST CAKE TUTORIAL SESSION. For some reason, it completely didn’t occur to me that the black forest cake might have any connection to the black forest itself whatsoever.. even though on hindsight it’s pretty damn obvious. I usually dont like black forest cake, but this one was amazing. The chef described it as a diet cake – The cake to end all diets. After seeing how much cream and alcohol went into it.. lets just say this was a once in a lifetime thing for me. As in, very good, but never again.

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After cake and sufficient coffee to warm ourselves up, we trekked a little further down to the mountain lookout area. The sun sets early here in winter, so this was about 4pm. I don’t know if i’ve ever mentioned this, but I’ve always been a little deathly afraid of heights.. fear, however, that was completely made up for by the view:

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Have you ever seen anything so beautiful.

People always say this but there are only that many ways to phrase it was much better in real life.. Someplace i’d like to return to, if given a chance, but practicality and bank accounts shrug at me so this experience is probably good for single use only. Still, I’d like to think of it as a weekend well spent.

x
♥jem

#1817| Traveling the world with Nikon: Baden-Baden

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photos above taken with the Nikon J2 on a pancake lens c/o Nikon Singapore


imagesBaden Baden, Germany

“Baden-Baden is so nice,
you have to name it twice”

Made a weekend trip to the luxurious little spa-town of Baden Baden in southwest Germany, one of the towns barely touched by the second World War. Consequently, all the architecture here is original, and also, as evinced by the photos above, very, very gorgeous.

It’s one of those decadent towns you can only imagine retiring to, and maybe not even then. Their main business, if im not wrong, is in the huge bath houses and spa services, and the super crazy luxe casinos. I really, really wanted to try out their Spa services but we didn’t have enough time… just as a reference, it costs about fifty SGD for three hours of what looks like heaven. Perhaps I’ll be making a trip back just for this, but it seems a little excessive..

It took us about an hour by bus to get there, but if you’re thinking of making a trip down, this might make more sense to you.

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There are a lot of naked statues in Baden Baden.

Oh right, another thing. It’s a rich town, so food there is expensive. We weren’t keen on paying forty singapore dollars for lunch, so we went to this adorable little bakery that also did pastas and omelets called Peter’s Am Leo in the town square, and we had the most fulfilling lunch for only about 4 Euros each.

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Recommended: Very.


Peter’s Am Leo

Sophienstraße 12
76530 Baden-Baden
Mo.-Sa. 06:30 – 19:00
So. 08:00 – 19:00

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Citron hansel pullover c/o Dopestreet Boutique, Tout a Coup Black leather panelled skirt c/o i.t Singapore, Elizabeth Faceted Crystal Necklace c/o Dopestreet Boutique, Coat from Guangzhou

Dressing up for the town, obviously, like a sunflower, in light of how muted the colors in Stuttgart City were. On the other hand, it was a pleasant surprise to discover the town of Baden Baden to be almost as colorful as my entire outfit put together. Nevertheless, people in Germany seem to favor the color black.. which means that i’m never really sure if the stares im attracting are due to my asian heritage, which honestly seems rather rare here, or my brightly colored clothes all day everyday. In any case, certainly glad for the sunny addition of yellow to my wardrobe, and also – excitement – over the discovery of this gorgeous black leather paneled skirt courtesy of tout a coup; i.t Singapore, which costs about a fraction of what the Ted Baker number I’ve been raving about does. You can get it in store here:

i.T Labels Singapore
Wisma Atria #03-15

and the lovely pieces on top blocked against the skirt from dopestreetboutique online or in store at Kissjane Century Square:

Dopestreet x KissJane
Century Square
2 Tampines Central 5
#01-03
Singapore 529509
+65 6782 5929

And yes, +1 for convenient travel sized cameras! More to come with the Nikon J2, but meanwhile, stay tuned- will be posting about the actual black forest that’s come to be so famously associated with Baden Baden real soon 🙂

x
♥jem