Jan 7, 2017

10 Things I learn from my Eurotrip

1. I still hate winter
I never miss winter even after years of moving back to Malaysia. I hate wearing thick winter clothes. I hate walking outdoor because my ears hurt. I hate having my hair blown at every direction and I hate wearing hat even more.I hate packing for winter clothing because it takes up three quarter of the luggage space.



2. I have a love-hate relationship with Paris
They say the people are the one who makes up the city. The truth is... I hate Paris because of the people. I hate the food, I never liked Parisian food anyway. But I love the fashionable part of the city - amazing architects, beautiful streets and door fronts. The museum is even more amazing!

3. I'm glad I visited Belgium
Belgium isn't a popular country because it is overshadowed by bigger European cities such as Paris and London. Belgium is like a big melting pot of culture for the European countries. If you can only visit one European country, it has to be Belgium. Don't just visit the capital (Brussels), venture out to the other cities such as Gent and Antwerp. My favourite city is Antwerp.

4. Credit cards everywhere
I took the chance to visit morning market in Paris to take a look at what the locals buy. The road side morning markets are using credit cards as well. This got me thinking, cash will be obsolete soon. Took the taxi - paid by Visa. Bought some fridge magnet - paid by debit cards. Went to the museum - paid with Amex. Don't leave your credit card at home. In fact, called your bank to raise your limit.



5. I feel like I know London 
Living in Commonwealth country in my whole life, London is very familiar. The road names are the same, the parks are designed like our local botanical gardens and the people speaks English! I know its very self-explanatory, I hardly get to speak English in other parts of Europe. Maybe I've been exposed with London via movies, following beauty bloggers such as Tanya Burr and reading about British history in school, I feel like I know London at the back of my head.



6. Disneyland makes me feel like a kid. Everytime!
I love Tinkerbelle! I love Alice in Wonderland! Nuff said... Go to Paris Disneyland if you have the time. You will love it! Disneylands throughout the world are more or less the same, despite the 5th time there, I still find it really joyful to be there.



7. I'm very much Asian when it comes to food
One of the thing I did not regret is to bring curry cup noodles. I got sick of eating cold salads, bread and creme soup on the trip. I need flavourful food. At one point of time I didn't even feel like eating anymore until I saw a Thai restaurant in Paris called Tuk Tuk. My appetite came back after a bowl of tom yum soup.



8. French is the preferred language
Almost everywhere I went, people speak French. Even in Belgium and Netherlands. Occasionally you can hear the Dutch but the main language is still French. Knowing French will get you around easier in European countries.

9. Trains are so convenient
Be it the inter-city train or trains to other part of Europe, it is the best mode of transport. You can go to the train station and catch the next train from Paris to Brussels easily. For the inter-city train, there's option of daily, 2-days or weekly tickets that allows you to travel to the different zones of the city. My advise is to get familiar with the train line before you touch down. London tube is very easy to navigate. For someone who familiar with train maps, you will take about 3 minutes to familiar yourself with the stations. Paris is a little bit complicated. They have different operators (RER and Metro). You will take a little bit more time to get used to it, but you definitely won't get lost.



10. Walking is the best mode of transport
OK. Train isn't the best transportation. Walking is. It allows you to stop for photos, walking through narrow streets and take your own pace to enjoy the scenery. I walked 116.56km in total. I believe the number is higher because my watch ran out of battery to track my steps. I love walking. It allows me to absorb the city more than traveling on car or train.


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