adventure

Zurich Desu

Laura, I seem to have caught your blogging bug! Mine is falling behind.

This is Zurich. Well, this was Zurich last week.

Big-ups to Lavanya and Stieven for hosting me and showing me unconditional love.
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Everybody’s dream, to be surrounded by chocolate.
Processed with VSCO with c3 presetProcessed with VSCO with c3 presetPosted this on my blog’s social media and someone asked, “small hands or big chocolate”?  Definitely, big chocolate. Big delicious dark chocolate with a dark caramel filling. Though very very expensive! Almost 6 American dollars for ONE.
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Hey University of Zurich do you need an English lit lecturer in say, 5 years time? (I can dream can’t I?)
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This Is My Station

Traveling is like flirting with life. It’s like saying, ‘I would stay and love you, but I have to go; this is my station.’ (Lisa St. Aubin de Teran)

The last of my Belgium photographs…
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One of the most beautiful churches I’ve seen ever. This is Basilica of the Holy Blood in Bruges, Belgium.
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Originally used for flour, Laura says.
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What a coincidence!
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The original Godiva store!
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Jet lagged.image-156
Oh mama!image-157
Haagen-Dazs ice-cream was everywhere in Japan! I bet my Japanese friends and students would love this cafe.

An Inside Look At A Belgian Supermarket

Guys, we have a winner! This Belgian supermarket is unreal. Mainly for two reasons. One, they have testers. But not just any old testers. Testers that are in every supermarket section, changed daily and refilled to keep full during all shopping hours. Yes, you read right. Amazing, isn’t it?! Second, and probably most important, they don’t use plastic bags. Instead, they have a unique trolley system to “bag” items at the cash register. You’ll see both as you scroll down under…
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I found the exterior of the shopping centre quite strange. There are no signs of this place being a supermarket. Nil. Zero. Laura says they save on advertising etc this way.
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Unlimited snickers! So dangerous!
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Raw cashews.. nomnomnom can have these instead.image-183
Cheese and olives! Oui!
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Call me Captain Obvious but mandarin…image-180
Grapes image-181
And cherry tomatoes in the fresh produce section.
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These are to do with Belgian culture. I’m sure you’ve heard of Belgian fries (NOT French, Laura says), well, these are some of their hundreds of sauces! Including bucket-fulls of mayo! Erghk!
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And here is Laura’s dad’s bottom kindly showing us the 0-plastic check-out system. So. The clerk takes the items from your trolley and puts them into another trolley. (I found this interesting as the clerk would be reaching and bending while customers just stood there -not necessarily a bad thing, just an observation.) After that’s done, the customer pushes the other trolley out of the supermarket where they’re then free to unload their groceries straight into their car, bicycle or personal bag.

Vegetarian Food In Europe

Apparently California is the place for vegan and vegetarian food but compared to NZ and Japan, Europe is pretty good, too. Mostly Belgium and Switzerland though not so much Spain and France. Here’s a list:

Moon Food (Brussels, Belgium)
This place is completely vegan. There are two buffets, one cooked and one raw. You fill your plate then pay as according to weight. This is also the case for the next two places (Hiltl and Vert). Moon Food was probably my favourite restaurant. The interior is so pretty! Wooden and minimalistic. I wished so bad to be living and working in Brussels just so I could take my lunch breaks here. EVERYDAY. Laura also loved it and she’s not really into vegan.
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Raw pizza. image-164
Raw Lasagna
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Hummus (I can hear Oz singing the hummus song)
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Featuring zoodles (zucchini noodles), raw felafel, guacamole and slaw.
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Hiltl (Zurich, Switzerland)

According to “Guinness World Records” Hiltl is the first vegetarian restaurant in the world. The company was founded in 1898 by Ambrosius Hiltl and is now run by the fourth generation of the Hiltl family. It offers around 500 dishes and includes, in addition to the à la carte restaurant and Hiltl buffet, self-service and takeaway, a bar-lounge, a club, a cooking studio and a shop. The interior is really extravagant. White with hanging chandeliers. Definitely a place to take your mother. Some also do breakfast.
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Featuring edamame salad, dahl, lentil salad, mango and pineapple.

Vert Attitude (Geneva, Switzerland)

Probably the most expensive but rightly so. The food was of the highest quality and delicious. Only problem, the lighting isn’t good for an Instagram-worthy image (hehe)
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(Obvs not my photo – my plate, which is not pretty enough to post here contained broccoli salad, carrot salad, guacamole, lentil salad and dahl dal or dhal)

Greenway (Ghent, Belgium)
Both vegan and vegetarian options: wraps, burgers, salads etc. But it’s a chain so it’s not THAT great. But it’s good still. It has a Subway vibe like it’s cozy and colourful but it’s not a restaurant.
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imburage
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Maison Blunt (Zurich, Switzerland)
Just had a soy chai here but it was goooooood. Also the interior, very moroccan very cute. Free wifi (no password), comfy couches and many vegan and vegetarian options (some meat dishes too shhhh!).
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Others:
These I did not have the time, stomach-space or money to try out. But, they’re on my list. Maybe you’ll get to try them on my behalf:
Qibi (Geneva, Switzerland)
YOGIFOOD – The Power of Raw (Geneva, Switzerland)
Avalon (Ghent, Belgium)
Dolma (Brussels, Belgium)

As Ye Have Faith So Shall Your Powers And Blessings Be.

I was on the train from Zurich to Geneva when I had the epiphany. To pass time, I had decided to look at my phone’s pictures from end to beginning. A mere 10 images in and dun dun dun epiphany:

“As ye have faith so shall your powers and blessings be. This is the balance – this is the balance – this is the balance.” -ʿAbdul-Baha

Could the answer be any clearer for me? To find this balance I’d been wanting, I needed to have faith. For with faith in the game, I no longer need to know everything. And even if I thought I did (know everything), I probably wouldn’t really. For who am I kidding? No one actually knows exactly. So I will have faith. Faith in life unfolding just as it’s meant to be. Faith in the universe’s plans for me. And faith in my immense strength and ever-expansive abilities. And with that faith, I will have my balance.
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My Heart Wants Roots. My Mind Wants Wings. I Cannot bear Their Bickerings.

Everyday I thirst to see more, to do more and to experience more. And everyday, I miss my family, I miss familiarity and I miss home.
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Italy, shmitaly.
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Sometimes when uploading or sending via messenger, Facebook flips photos. Turns out it ain’t a bad look!
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This is Château De Coudrée a 12th-century castle now a 4 star hotel.
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These last pictures are from Yvoire; officially one of ‘The Most Beautiful Villages of France’, a former fishing village, fortified in the early 14th century, it’s a riot of turrets, towers and old stone houses.
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I feel really silly writing this with all of the terrible terrible adversary happening in the world and how incredibly lucky I am compared to it all but one of the “troubles” of travelling is being unable to buy the big beautiful things to take home.
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Can someone romance me already?!
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An all-wooden toy-store. “Very German,” according to Auntie.
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You Will Find Your Way It Is In The Same Place As Your Love.

I’ve been absolutely terrified of every moment of my life and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do. (Georgia O’keeffe)
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If you get tired, learn to rest, not quit. (Banksy)
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imageimage1imageNothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. (Marie Curie)
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image3image4Being tender and open is beautiful. As a woman, I feel continually shhh’ed. Too sensitive. Too mushy. Too wishy washy. Blah blah. Don’t let someone steal your tenderness. Don’t allow the coldness and fear of others to tarnish your perfectly vulnerable beating heart. Nothing is more powerful than allowing yourself to truly be affected by things. Whether it’s a song, a stranger, a mountain, a rain drop, a tea kettle, an article, a sentence, a footstep, feel it all – look around you. All of this is for you. Take it and have gratitude. Give it and feel love. (Zooey Deschanel)

Santiago (part two)

I may or may not have sneaked into the world’s oldest (and one of the most luxurious) hotels in the world to take these pictures for you. And, look! The third picture. It’s a bride having her wedding photos! How wonderful!
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And, they put on a full-blown traditional Galician parade just for me!
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image1image2image5image7image4image8image9image7In my friend Soroosh’s words, that went from idyllic to creepy real quickly.

A Bride

“When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it is over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.”
― Mary Oliver
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An Inside Look At A Spanish Supermarket

So different to both Japan and New Zealand. When travelling, I love to visit the local supermarket. It always becomes a highlight because it’s always so interesting.
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Two entire rows + four row fronts (each side) just for cheese! Oh my!
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This is a monkey fish. You choose your fish and the ladies (or gentlemen) prepare them for you. Of course, preprepared fish is also available.
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Jose doing his thang.
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Apart from this brand (which is refrigerated) the remaining milk here look like cleaning products because of the way they’re stored and packaged.
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Meat, meat and more meat.
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Look at the top right yellow label. 339 Euro for one leg! Now that’s some special meat.
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Jose says these pigs eat acorns so even though they’re fat, they’re good fat. “Like me,” I said (hehe).image2
All of the tomatoes an Italian chef could wish for (also on other side).
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In Japan, carrots are heavily sprayed making them big and perfect. Then, they’re individually wrapped in excess plastic. This is how fruit and vegetables should be! Ugly but delicious. image
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I love these peaches! 0.98 Euro for a KG! Good or good?!
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All of the legumes! Plus, olives, anchovies, pates and dried nuts and fruit (not pictured).
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Look Japanese friends! “Japanese” food!
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Introducing Jose to almond milk and other trendy health foods (hehe).