Sunday, 2 October 2011

Westfield, Stratford

Hello, good evening and welcome to my new blog!

I decided to quit my old blog because things have changed and I briefly talked about why here.

But anyway, I am in search for happy. Be it short-, intermediate- or long-term happiness. Of course, the ultimate would be the latter but hey, great things take time and our journey there is the juiciest part of the story, right? It's like the sitcom 'How I Met Your Mother'. Although we do want to know how he met their mother, we enjoy the ride there. And, some secretly don't want it to end although I have to say, I hope it doesn't tale too long (for the sitcom and myself)!

I have had some really amazing friends. They listen and they have given me great support. I think things would be worse without them. For example, Sundays are usually the worst days for me especially here in the UK. Everything shuts by 4-5pm, it's usually the ultimate rest day hence the term 'A Lazy Sunday' and nobody really wants to do anything. But, my friends have gone out just to meet me and keep me company. Dozo arigatou gozaimashita!

Today, Z and Z said they'd meet me in the brand spanking new Westfield shopping centre in Stratford! When I first walked in, I thought I was in East Asia again and felt happy. It felt like home. Strange how something man-made makes it feel like home. I guess mega-malls is essentially an Asian concept which surprisingly, has taken so long to catch on in Europe. I mean, these days (those days, even) things are all about money, kan?

Part of M&S Food as you exit the train station connected to the building! No need to walk in the cold winter weather anymore to shop. Seriously, not sure how the concept of mega-malls took so long to catch on. I guess everybody would be sad if the iconic Oxford Street became nothing but offices. Haha.
Our first stop: Forever 21! Feel a bit sad they have Forever 21 here now. It means my purchases from F21 in Malaysia and the US won't be as special anymore because everyone can get it here too. Hmmph! But the good thing about the Malaysian F21 - despite it being small - is the mega-sales prices la. I remember one summer holiday, I managed to nab a few dresses at 1Utama with 70% discount! The F21 in Westfield, Stratford spans 3 whole floors. Amazing, amazing. We spent one whole hour there although I felt some of the things tak berkualiti (not so quality) la. Still not as big as the F21 in Pasadena, California which was like a standalone building with five floors!

Das kostet £12.75.
Lovely apple print jumper which I will wear to work on Tuesday night and brave the air-conditioning in autumn!
My friend said the girl in the middle looks like me and at £2.40, I must get it!
And the two girls beside me are Z and Z, £3.15. LOL.
My robot and I. Programmed to love, honour and never betray me. Hehe.
After one hour and a bit going into several other make-up shops (you know, I lost some of my expensive and good make-up :-( ), we decided to go for lunch at their food court. My friends settled for this:

Comptoir Libanais. I saw this shop near St Christopher's Place (some where near Oxford Street). Oh, at Wigmore Street! I really like their concept design and the food looks really hearty too. My friends had to wave the white flag cos it was too much food. A bit sad see this shop cos I remember at Wigmore Street wanting to tell me ex about it and bring him there sometime.
I went for a shop called Rosa's selling Thai food. Their concept design was a bit off as in, you wouldn't have associated it with Thai food had they not written Rosa's: Thai Cuisine. At first glance, it looked very Mexican and sounded Mexican. Unfortunately, didn't take a photo of the shop. Apparently, the have two other branches in Spitalfield's and Soho. Looks like this food court is quite geng (amazing) ar. Instead of some chapalang (mongrel) shop, they ask all this established establishments to open shop there. Not bad. Which explains why the food took a tad bit longer to prepare than at your typical Asian mega-mall food court.

Fresh produce on Rosa's countertop. Looks so sour, juicy and spicy! Yumz.
Thai Beef Salad £6.95. Initially wanted the Som Tum (Papaya Salad) one but that is also £6.95.
I thought taking the beef was more worth it la but otherwise, the ingredients in the beef salad is rather western.
It was tasty, though; sour, spicy and juicy! Plus, they cooked the beef the gwai lo (white man) style and that was pretty impressive/tender.
This shop quite clever; when you place order they give you this little 'handphone' thing to take and go sit down along the stretch of chairs and tables. When your order is ready and you are a mile away, the thing will beef and vibrate to alert you that you can collect your food!
Visit Rosa's On-line blog with On-line Cooking Classes to learn how they make Pad Thai (fav, fav, fav)!

After eating, we continued and did an obligatory stop at Primark. Everybody must go to Primark, right? Must, must spend £1 and come out with 10 bags full of shopping. These days right, Primark has become a bit more expensive. Just cheaper than your standard high street stores like H&M, TopShop, Ms Selfridges, Zara.. but really, not many things are £5 anymore! Fell in love with this, though:

Nabbed for £10! Not a big bargain at Primark but not bad la.
I love the rugged edges on the roses and how the clasps are not nicely hidden but stitched outside for the world to see! Roses are pretty, beautiful things but the way this garment is made, it has that rock edge la.
My ideal would be to wear with a pair of skinny olive green or dark green pants and a pair of brown brogues - just like a stable, rooted rose bush. What a wallflower!
And finally:

Two toucans for £2 at H&M.
Without Googling, do you know what H&M stands for and where the company originated from? ;-)
This evening, I finally took the plunge and bought a return flight to Stockholm, Sweden this Thursday to Saturday! After much Googling, the weather seemed reasonable, cost of living seemed reasonable and the place really sounds like the kinda place I loved; cobbled streets, reliable transport, good food, interesting shops, lots of parks, markets, etc, etc. Well, we will soon find out! Today, I found happy and hopefully, I shall find happy in Stockholm too!

Hej, Stockholm!

Peace out and off to bed. x

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