#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

#1815| Just around the River Benz

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What did I say about touristy things? We visited the Mercedes Benz museum sometime last week, and although I’m not very into cars myself, it’s something of their pride and joy here in Germany so we thought it’d be good to give it a shot.

Mercedes Benz Museum
Mercedesstraße 100, 70372 Stuttgart
Closed on Mondays, Open 9-6 Tues-Sun
Entry: 8Euros/ adult, 4Euros/ discounted ticket (I assume this means student card discount or something because we only paid 4)

Cars to me are just shiny and pretty and if they get me to where I need to go without having to wrangle with public transport, I love. The cars here though, were in a totally different league. The museum showcased the history of the brand and other cars/brands associated with it – my favorite section included the one with the old school buses and gorgeous vintage cars. They just don’t make automobiles like that anymore. I’d take the bus everyday if it looked anything like the one pictured above. You’re not actually supposed to climb into the exhibits, but yolo.

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some things remain the same no matter what country you’re in..

There were also some pretty sick miniature carvings on display showcasing the history of the automobile. Check it out:

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I bet the couple in the front is having some sort of embarrassing lover’s tiff in front of the kids and the woman behind tried to skip paying her fares. Looks like citizens in the past were just as law breaking.

All things said and done though, this place is probably a car fanatic’s wet dream. The exhibits are gorgeous, no doubt, but I was kind of through with the place after a couple of hours. Worth a visit if you’ve got the time to spare and/or love cars. Probably a guy’s kind of place, come to think of it.

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Oh yes, it’s right next to their VFB Stuttgart soccer stadium. Definitely a guy’s place then.

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Messing around outside the museum at dusk. The place is really gorgeous – and it looks like fall even though it’s really winter right now. I went along with the whole excursion/field trip theme and wore this adorable collared dress c/o i.t Labels Singapore there along with thick blue leggings, boots, and a green coat.

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Dresses are so convenient, no matter where you are, you know? This one is a bit more cutesy than im normally used to, but here’s to new things in the new year. Thank you i.T Singapore for the love!

Next up on the blog: The luxurious town of Baden Baden.

x
♥jem

PS.

In other news, things I’m excited about include the latest episode of That F Word being released back in Singapore – an episode, ironically enough, about Chinese New Year fashion.

Let me know what you think! x

#1814| ich wohne in stuttgart! / house tour

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Joy Check Top c/o Earlgreyparty, Kyar wrap skirt in black c/o Earlgreyparty, boots from Guangzhou, Hair styled with Surf Bomb Sea Salt Spray c/o Original Mineral. Photos: Shane.

Welcome to my home for the next couple of months, guys! I thought it’d be nice to sit down and do a proper introduction / house tour post before I launch into all the touristy things that I will inevitably do.. because I am a sucker for touristy things. Art museums and landmarks here i come!

Anyway, as most of you know, I’m here on student exchange. My term was actually scheduled to start in March, but they realized we dont know any German somewhere in November so we had to come up two months early to do this intensive German course that cost a total of.. about two thousand dollars. I feel like im hemorrhaging money you guys. The good thing is, I get to spend more time living in Europe, which I’m sure I’ll come to remember fondly in the future. It’s also winter here, which I’m very excited about, but it’s persistently refusing to snow, which is a bit frustrating. 0 degree mornings and 4 degree afternoons is what we’re talking about here. We also got the option of choosing a home stay vs dorm room option, and I really recommend the homestay option to anyone considering Winter Semester in Germany or any similar model of educational exchange with other schools!!! I’m staying with the sweetest German couple in this gigantic wood house. It’s gorgeous, but also very far out. Takes me about an hour to get to school everyday, which means 6am mornings. The title of the post is technically not correct- I stay in Filderstadt, which is a town 13km to the south of Stuttgart itself, but they’re joined by trains and buses.

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Meet Hans-Peter and Dorothee Freund! & yes, that’s a glass of champagne on the table in the middle of the afternoon. What are we celebrating, you ask? Well, the fact that it’s the afternoon and the sun is out. Yay!! (We’ve got a wine cellar in the basement.)

Anyway, reasons why I recommend the home stay option:

– It’s essential if you want to feel like you live in a country and arent just a tourist there, and it’s especially helpful to live with a local if you’re in a country where you’re unfamiliar with their mother tongue. I really feel like i’m in a home away from home here- Dorothee makes me breakfast and packs me lunch in a ziplock bag how adorable is that?!?!

– You get to try all sorts of legit german food, not just the tourist spots. I mean, it’s not like you’ll be able to order from a german menu so chances are you wont know where to go/ what to order. Dorothee has been cooking all sorts of amazing things, and we get to partake in german family culture too – how they have these amazing breakfasts on Sundays, with their kids coming back home (they live in other cities now) for sunday breakfasts.

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iphone snaps because im usually too hungry to take proper shots with the dslr hahahah

– I also feel like I actually spend less money than i do in singapore, because my host family keeps feeding me so i dont keep spending money outside on food and such. It’s quite unexpected. And of course, i’m expressly forbidden from cabbing because apparently they’re really expensive, so I save a lot of money on that.

– It’s quite the experience, living in a huge house with so much space. My housemate is a hyperactive puppy (more on him next time), and I feel like im living a completely different life from the one i led in NTU, waking early and trekking 15 minutes to the train station with actual, hot, breakfast, coming home to a puppy’s kiss everyday, selecting wines to go with dinner while cooking and so on. It’s very different from what I’ve experienced cozying up in a tiny room in NTU, though I love that too. It also helps that the house I live in is so damn gorgeous. I’ve got the whole second floor, while Dorothee and Hans-Peter live on level three. Ground floor is the living room and kitchen, and there’s a mega huge game room, laundry room, and wine cellar in the basement.

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this is the living room where I sometimes curl up with my laptop to work and laugh at the turtle because i can

The living room also leads out to our backyard, where this was shot:

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The girl is crazy! Dorothee said when I hopped outside in this. But the lengths one must go to for instagrammable photographs, am i right. It was about 4 degrees out but there’s no point hiding an outfit this sweet under a coat. The Joy checkered top is slightly sheer under bright light, which also consequently means it’s incredibly comfortable and lightweight. I find it a constant challenge to find semi dressy long sleeved tops that don’t cook you in singapore weather, so this was a godsend – and the color is incredibly photogenic! & the skirt is the Kyar Wrap skirt I mentioned in the last post, this time in black. I’m wearing my glasses because it was a sunday afternoon which I originally intended to dedicate to snuggling under the covers and reading, but then I realized im not usually home while it’s bright out, so I changed out and took these photos before running back inside and curling up by the fireplace.

So yes, this is what my life for the next couple of months will look like! It’s been good so far, though incredibly tiring, this waking up at 6 everyday thing. They give homework everyday, can you believe it? Anyway. Praying for snow sometime this month, but besides that, I’m pretty happy with everything now. (See, i did say i’d be back with a new post within the week.) Will make an effort to update regularly, but meanwhile you can follow me on instagram where I’m much more active!

For now – Tschüss.
See, now you know how to say bye in German too x

x
♥jem