Oh you know how it is. Once started, shopping can get absolutely frenzied. Just a day in Apgujeong and my summer luggage threatened to explode at its seams. Fall is my favourite season for shopping anywhere in the world. It’s neither too hot for brisk-walking in the streets nor too cold for chilling with a sugar-filled cup of gelato goodness. Seoul’s summer and fall fashions are just perfect for my own country’s year-round tropical climate.

There exists an underground bags and leather goods store in uptown Garosugil, the likes of which you may find similar to Taiwan’s Ximending and Japan’s Shibuya. No signs for the store has been put up, and the only clue of its existence are the low white racks lined with select samples of bags, purses and clutches. Along the main street, an unimpressive patch of synthetic grass paves the way to the shop’s main tiny main entrance, which leads to a stairway to an impressive storage basement – the shop’s main deck. If you’re into vintage non-designer, this is the place for you. Happy hunting!
Side note for the bag aficionados: Simone Handbag Museum in the 10-storey Bagstage building (also in Apgujeong) is a place you absolutely have to go!

20140713-020835-7715982.jpg❤ Beaded leather lippie clutch / sling bag from that store in Garosugil at a jaw-dropping low price. Ask me if you wanna know!


This time round, I did less shopping than my previous solo-venture to Seoul.
Banila Co. is a brand I’ve only recently come to love and appreciate! Targeted at ladies in their mid to late twenties (which I’m fast approaching), I find their products more OL-oriented. Definitely less cutesy or annoyingly bubbly like Etude House or Tony Moly. They come in more sophisticated packaging with less exotic names, and since I’ve heard only good things about their products I decided to give these a try.



Missha has got a magnificent range of nail polishes! Got these lovely bright pink and fuchsia colours to match my lippies from Banila Co. and Too Cool for School. Both of which are tiny and so easy to carry around for touch-ups. Banila Co. lippies are way longer-lasting though, and this is coming from someone who at times has to wear makeup for more than 18 hours straight.20140713-020840-7720023.jpg



A really handy retractable travel-sized brush from Banila Co.! Love it.20140713-020835-7715231.jpg


This trip, I didn’t get any of of my usual cheap round lenses. Instead, I opted for something more hygienic and safe. Definitely pricier than my norm but since my eyes were recently hit by conjunctivitis, I’ve gone over to the safe side.20140713-020832-7712898.jpg

Time to start loving my eyes. And to hopefully reduce those stubborn bruises on my eyebags.20140714-003445-2085358.jpg

Gel nail polishes at a steal! The LED light machines from MODI are comparable to the ones I got from the states.20140714-003447-2087821.jpg

Some light scent for travelling around. These actually smell pretty good and stays for a long long time.20140714-003446-2086208.jpg


More of my beauty loot from various cosmetic giants. Face masks – I’ll never give them a miss.20140714-003448-2088691.jpg


Seeing as I’m returning to Seoul in August (for other reasons), there’s never an end to my Korean beauty/cosmetics/makeup loot. I gave up on The Face Shop – their products are such placebos with zero positive effects whatsoever. Trust me guys, not all the fancy cosmetics stores in Korea have excellent products as advertised. It’s a trial and error thing, you’ll know once you’ve tried.


Viktoria Jean

[MELBOURNE] oo1. Flinders Street Coffee

Since this roomy hangout was right next to our hotel, I checked myself in for my daily caffeine fix! But I didn’t get my order of latte or else I won’t be able to catch some sleep before going for work. Settled for their signature spinach and cheese roll which managed to look pretty good while tasting home-made and wholesome. I had my book with me to while away the time, and being WiFi-enabled was a major plus-point. FSC’s interior was incredibly spacious, and surprisingly empty for a Wednesday afternoon. Also loved the welcoming vibes from the baristas and the entire cafe’s ambience.

Flinders Street Coffee 1

Flinders Street Coffee 2

Flinders Street Coffee Spinach and Cheese Roll 2

Flinders Street Coffee Spinach and Cheese Roll 3

Flinders Street Coffee Spinach and Cheese Roll

Flinders Street Coffee 3

Flinders Street Coffee 4

Flinders Street Coffee 5

Flinders Street Coffee Cafe

Flinders Street Coffee Front

290 Flinders Street,

For some reason I was sooo tired this trip. Just felt like concussing in bed the entire day, thus only managing to stock up groceries and drystores which I would need when I reach Moscow tomorrow. Am so behind on Christmas and festive gift shopping. Then again I wouldn’t be home till 2014…

Viktoria Jean

carcassonne & citadel

When I get a 3-day-off,
I’m catching the next flight to Paris.
After being home for 2 whole days, it’s too hot and stuffy.


Perks of being sick consists of reading in bed all day and night.
I’m barely three-quarters through the 700-page novel,
and already am a newly converted Kate Mosse fan.

Kate Mosse’s Citadel painted this mysterious, though time-slip fictional, picture of Carcassonne,
complete with a load of other names I can’t for the life of me pronounce
(Languedoc, l’Oredora, Audric Baillard, Raoul Pelletier).
That aside, it’s the passionate bittersweet victory that consumes me,
the miniscule triumph of small-town Parisians/French against the all-engulfing Hitler and Nazi German,
complete with a supernatural ghost army summoned by the monk’s heretical Codex verses.
Intertwined with love-at-first-sight and war memoirs we’d never get tired of hearing.
A real lose-yourself tale to remind the modern man of ancient struggles and courage.

in itty-bitty pleasures we revel

Couple of days ago I revived the much-missed feel of carrying dead-weight heavy books in my arms…
by hitting the public library!
Which, sadly I have avoided since, 4 years ago, I found actual shit between pages of Nora Roberts.
By then I’ve forced myself to accept the fact that people do bring public books
into places where they do their private businesses.
So please, anyone who’s reading this, do not smear public books with your booger, poo,
pasta cream sauce, or stuff you wouldn’t want to see in close proximity while enjoying your favourite novel.
Thank you.

My take-home reads:
Hester’s Story by Adèle Geras
Citadel by Kate Mosse
The Suitors by Cécile David-Weill
Happily Ever After by Harriet Evans
Blindspot by Jane Kamensky & Jill Lepore

Reveling in the freedom to read everything I’ve ever wanted to
given the time I have between flights, in the hotel, or in cafès with my latte.
Life’s good.


145. heaven full of astronauts

“I have a theory that every time you make an important choice, the part of you left behind continues the other life you could have had.”

“I seem to have run in a great circle, and met myself again on the starting line.” – Jeanette Winterson.


Dear essay on modernism and post-modernism, you shall be conquered. 4 years later and I haven’t cured procrastination!

Swear my lungs have been invaded. Couldn’t stop coughing since weeks ago…and the phlegm omg ><. Can feel vibration in the hollow of the lungs and chest each time I cough.

Have a thing against seeing doctors unless I absolutely have to…


“But where was God now, with heaven full of astronauts, and the Lord overthrown? I miss God. I miss the company of someone utterly loyal. I still don’t think of God as my betrayer. The servants of God, yes, but servants by their very nature betray. I miss God who was my friend. I don’t even know if God exists, but I do know that if God is your emotional role model, very few human relationships will match up to it. I have an idea that one day it might be possible, I thought once it had become possible, and that glimpse has set me wandering, trying to find the balance between earth and sky. If the servants hadn’t rushed in and parted us, I might have been disappointed, might have snatched off the white samite to find a bowl of soup. 

As it is, I can’t settle, I want someone who is fierce and will love me until death and know that love is as strong as death, and be on my side for ever and ever. I want someone who will destroy and be destroyed by me. There are many forms of love and affection, some people can spend their whole lives together without knowing each other’s names. Naming is a difficult and time-consuming process; it concerns essences, and it means power. But on the wild nights who can call you home? Only the one who knows your name. Romantic love has been diluted into paperback form and has sold thousands and millions of copies. Somewhere it is still in the original, written on tablets of stone. I would cross seas and suffer sunstroke and give away all I have, but not for a man, because they want to be the destroyer and never the destroyed.”

Jeanette Winterson; Oranges are Not the Only Fruit