I have a puppy named Saffy.
Her full name is Safira Cinta Lie.
"Cinta" in Bahasa means love, and that middle name was my idea.
She's a 2 year old Biewer Yorkie, and she's the most adorable, most beautiful little girl ever - Apart from the fact that she's slightly afraid of water, and barks loudly and continuously whenever I step near the edge of the steps leading into the swimming pool beneath our patio.
Her fur is as soft as down, with thick alternating bands of black and white, and an extra splash of a golden-brown shade of bronze framing her face - and beneath her happily fluffy tail.
Stonehenge Campsite & Glamping Pods, Salisbury, United Kingdom
I had the best time falling asleep with you under the stars in the middle of nowhere in a little town called Salisbury.
It was the first time either one of us went glamping, and it was our first time together in the UK. It was also the first time we spent the beginnings of spring together, and it was the closest we had ever gotten to real camping — I wasn't able to shower for 2 days because neither of us had sufficient coins to pay for the showers provided at the campsite.
It was a pleasantly unexpected experience for the both of us. You had stumbled upon a 2D1N voucher online, and you had big plans for our trek from the campsite to Stonehenge the next day before we headed to Bath.
We would spend the first day exploring the long and winding roads of Berwick: following the main road (taking Instagram-worthy photos) past the local village bar where everyone seemed to know one another, then heading over to a traditional eatery around the corner which served a hearty English breakfast (along with England's infamous blood pudding).
"If you get your face painted, I'll get my face painted, too." So I got some beautiful pink flowers framing the left side of my face, and you very cleverly decided to pick the "Day of the Dead."
"Now I know what it feels like to be treated like an outsider," you said. I felt slightly sorry for you, but you looked absolutely adorable and I relished every moment of it. To be fair, it was also a fantastic conversation starter (especially when we entered the Salisbury Cathedral and you were afraid that you'd be thrown out - which you weren't - and instead we managed to get some very Instagram-worthy photos AND viewed the original copy of the Magna Carta in the adjacent Chapter House).
Salisbury Cathedral, Salisbury, United Kingdom
We managed to find lactose-free fudge along the way, faced some awkward stares from shopkeepers, and started for Old Sarum. It was the beginning of a long walk, and I appreciated you carrying my hot pink Fjällräven most of the way there and up the chalk hilltop leading to the medieval Royal Castle.
The walk back was an adventure.
We followed our initial trail back towards Berwick, but found ourselves slightly lost in the maze of country roads, city creeks, and miles and miles of farmland. We ended up having to inch our way forward along the roadside, all the while staying as close to the edge of the road as possible to avoid any oncoming speeding cars and trucks (especially when we were walking against the flow of traffic). We climbed our way over fences and into 'private' property for the sake of our lives and our sanity as there weren't any footpaths in sight — I'm pretty sure they were non-existent. It definitely wasn't the safest walk, so we decided at the last leg to hitchhike, and arrived back in Berwick successfully.
We had the loveliest dinner at the local bar, still with our face paint on (which I removed halfway through the meal). Before we left, we asked for the route to Stonehenge and one of the waitresses there passed us a map, then drew us a walking route and talked us through how to get to Stonehenge the next morning.
We had to turn either right or left past a water tower at some point.
It's Christmas day today in Singapore.
Sitting here outside on the patio, I feel the gentlest of breezes caress my skin.
It's soft to the touch, and it almost causes the hair on my arms to stand.
The weather in the tropics is normally either blazing hot or suffocatingly humid - Most times, it's both, and I just want to book my first flight out of here. I haven't been here much in December over the last 3 years. In 2016, I was in Finland; In 2017, I was in London and in 2018 I was in Denmark.
So much has happened within this short period of time (a blip in the existence of the universe, to be exact) but I'm still here and I'm still alive. I might not be the exact same person that I was 3 years ago, but I always strive to be better than the person that I was yesterday, so I am sure that I've definitely grown in leads and bounds, and I am much stronger mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
December seems to be the rainiest - and hence, coolest - month of the year.
I am quite enjoying leaving the doors open, and living without air-conditioning some days.
In 3 days, I hop on a flight to Copenhagen for 9 days (not including travel time). It will be the shortest amount of time I've ever spent in Denmark, and the 4th time I'm there.
I still remember the first time I was meant to fly to the cold, dark North. My flight with Norwegian Airlines was cancelled at the last minute, and I spent nearly 2 hours freaking out at the airport trying to call any and every of their hotlines in order to get them to put me on one of their partner airlines flying off that same night so that I could arrive in Copenhagen the next morning. I couldn't wait another week — It would have ruined all my plans and the reason I was going there in the first place.
I also remember sitting at Emmery's drinking my Matcha Latte with Soy Milk, while waiting for Anna to pick me up. I called up a friend of mine (Irene, whom I met up with twice in Hong Kong and travelled with to Cambodia) over FaceTime and we talked about our trips — It was still only the first week into my 7-week long European solo adventure, and she was heading off to Taiwan.
I took some pictures (and selfies) on my phone that day.
It was still early in the afternoon, but the sun was setting quickly and steadily. The glass windows of the little café were lined with blue and gold snowflake decals. Inside, I was all wrapped up in a thick scarf and a long black hooded puff jacket (borrowed from my sister).
The close to empty streets, the frosty winter air, and the warmth of being indoors with a nice hot drink in my hand — It all felt very hyggeligt; and possibly for the first time in my life, I was actually looking forward to the Christmas that was to come in a few days.
Emmery's @ Hellerup, Copenhagen, Denmark