Thursday, 31 January 2013

Things I Hate Thursday: Chipped Nail Polish

I know I've said this before but I need to explain again how much I HATE CHIPPED NAIL POLISH!

Here is a picture of some fingers wearing nail polish:

Pretty nice hey? Those nails are so glossy you sort of can't even see them for all the light they're reflecting, but they sure do look neat and tidy and glamourous.

Here - and I am sorry for ruining your day by exposing you to such hideousness but it has to be done - is a photo of some fingers with chipped nail polish.

On a scale of one to ten, I'd give this look about negative a billion.  It's repulsive!

I can forgive a tiny amount of chipping - maybe you just opened a can of Coke ten minutes ago and you haven't been able to take your polish off yet. What I can't forgive is the kind of hardcore chipping that has clearly been going on for days on end. What, you didn't have two spare minutes in all that time? If that's true, and you have not been dealing with a natural disaster or similar, then you need to rearrange your priorities.

Look, I suck at nails so I do get how difficult it is for some people to have perfectly polished nails all the time.  But you know what's not difficult? Having unpolished nails! If your polish is chipped and you can't reapply, just TAKE IT OFF.

See? It doesn't really scream glamour, but at least it won't make people think you're absurdly lazy and take zero pride in your appearance and/or self.  Plain nails are, if not mega stylish, then at least acceptable, whereas chipped ones ARE NOT.

What I find especially unacceptable is chipped polish on toes.  Ugh.  I feel sick just thinking about it. In fact I find it so reprehensible that I'm not even including a photo, because really, nobody ever needs to see that.

Toes are much slower to chip - or perhaps it's just harder to see because they're further away from people's eyes (this is also the reason that you can just keep touching up the chips to maintain a perfect pedicure for at least a week).  If your toes get to the point of having chips visible to other people, you have a problem and your problem is called being lazy and gross.
Solve it.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Home and Fab Ladies

I haven't finished uploading all my Vietnam posts yet but I actually got home about 12 hours ago.
I liked Vietnam heaps but I was glad to get back to my house.  I ate a pastie from the bakery for lunch.  I talked to my sister about uni.  I put on something other than the 3 outfits in my case.  I brushed my teeth with tap water.  I went for a walk and nobody tried to sell me a pair of sunglasses or run me down with their cyclo.
In other news, here's Kate Middleton's portrait:
I don't know much about art, but when I first spied this (via mobile Facebook) I thought it was an artist's impression of how she will look when she ages, like what they do for missing persons.  The blouse is nice though.  I don't love the kink in the left side of her hair, but I appreciate it because it makes me feel better about the fact that my hair does the exact same thing.  Now people might think it's a deliberate style choice.
Here's my other favourite royal:
It's Quentin Bryce, the Governor General.  She is chic, but don't let that fool you into thinking she is not to be taken seriously.
I actually do like Mary very much as well.  I forgot about her a bit once Kate came on the scene but she really is so classy and actually I think she has the better hairdo (sorry Kate!).
Her portrait is nicer too:
It's cool how regular people become awesome royals these days (see also Grace Kelly) and I think this is a very good reason to give your kid a sensible name.  Can you imagine Crown Princess Harper Seven of Denmark or Maxwell Duchess of Cambridge? Me neither.
Another fab lady who is kind of royal in her own way is Helena Bonham Carter.
I reckon she'd be fun to hang out with but I'd be too intimidated to ever test that theory out.  What if she didn't think I was cool enough? What if she gobbled me up? I think anything's possible with HBC.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

More Hoi An

Our second day in Hoi An was more of the same.

We had another nice lunch at Streets. I had a crispy pancake, which you are meant to turn into yummy little rice paper rolls, but I quite liked it as it was too. the cocktails were a bit too sour though. But they gave us a crispy rice paper thing with satay sauce, it was so yummy.

We visited the tailors for a fitting.

We had a drink at some little wine bar.

We had some icecreams.

We explored the town. There was a little bridgey section of the road and on the other side of it there were just more little shops but it was much quieter and very nice to shop at. While I was there Jim went to a Market that sounded really great, I'm sad I didn't get to go.

We went back to Cargo Club for dinner and oh my god, it was the best.

Jim's entree was White Rose dumplings, yum! Mine was a crumbed warm Camembert with cranberry sauce and bread. It could have been hotter and more runny, but for five dollars it was pretty good, v tasty.

Jim's main was some kind of beef with salad and eggplant chips. Mine was fillet steak with potato dauphinoise. It was SO GOOD. It was cooked perfectly and had barely any fat or manky bits and the potato was so yummy. I think it cost $15.

The drinks were great as well, strong and delicious and safe to drink because their ice is made from mineral water.

For dessert we had the $1.50 creme brûlée. The top cracked nicely but the custard wasn't silky, I think the egg was overcooked.

I'd still give the meal about four to four point five stars though, highly recommended. Just get the chocolate truffle cake instead.

Vin Hung 3

Our hotel in Hoi An was called Vinh Hung 3 and overall our experience with them was pretty lousy.

It started at the airport: we had emailed the hotel to arrange an airport transfer but they never wrote back, so we arranged it ourselves with a cab company. When we landed the guy from the cab company was waiting for us, but so was the guy from the hotel with another driver! Nice of them to organise it but why didn't they tell us?

The room itself was okay and clean enough but small and very basic. We weren't after luxury in Hoi An, it was more of a practical stop, but seriously this place made the Cat Huy look like the Hilton.

Nothing was provided. There was no quilt, just a sheet and a horrid velour blanket. No mini toiletries, just a large liquid soap dispenser by the sink and another of shampoo in the shower. The mini bar consisted of two waters, two Cokes and a beer. They did provide two bath towels, but no face cloths - not even a hand towel. The bathroom window was one of those wooden slat things that didn't close properly and there were no fly screens (hello malaria if you're reading!). I had a cold, itchy, terrible night's sleep.

The disappointments continued at breakfast the next morning. We went down quite late so weren't expecting things to be super fresh, but we did at least expect them to be edible. They had some bread and butter. They had some fruit. They had some Asian dishes in those big silver thingies with burners under them, but the burners had been turned off so everything was stone cold. Oh, and they had an omelette station with eggs, tomato and onion. That's all. Not even cheese.

And when we left, they organised a taxi pick up for us that arrived over ten minutes late, and only then because we asked what was going on and they called the driver.

The lady told us we should get the taxi at ten; I'm glad we insisted on 9.30 or who knows what would've happened.

I don't think I'll be back.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Hoi An

Now we are in the "Ancient Town" of Hoi An. It used to be a port or something and now it is pretty much a tourist district famous for its tailors.

There's no airport here so we flew in to the nearest town, Da Nang. It's a young city but very big. There didn't seem to be much international tourism but it looked very lovely and interesting.

Hoi An is beautiful. They've kept all the old buildings and such, so even though it's a tourist town it doesn't have that fake touristy aesthetic.

We had a lovely lunch at a French-style patisserie slash cafe called Cargo Club (not related to Cargo Bar). My chicken and leek pie had the most delicious pastry and the chocolate truffle mousse cake we shared for dessert was incredible.

It was better than any posh patisserie cake I've had at home and guess how much it cost?


The service was kind of slow but when you get an amazing meal for eight dollars who even cares?

We spent the afternoon visiting tailors, then stumbled across a restaurant called Streets, which we had read about but forgotten, and decided to stop for dinner.

Streets is a charity restaurant that employs disadvantaged local youth and trains them to get jobs in top restaurants. It's like Jamie Oliver's Fifteen restaurants.

The food was excellent. We shared one Western dish, chicken panini, and one Vietnamese dish, which was some kind of noodle dish comparable to Pho, and also had the local specialty of White Rose dumplings for an entree. They were super tasty.

The service was great too and the drinks were unbelievable. I asked if they had any cocktails and the waiter hooked me up with their awesome lemon and ginger house special that wasn't even on the menu. We ended up drinking four between us.

We also stopped at Q Bar (not related to the one in Sydney) for another cocktail, which was pretty nice, but for James the highlight was their funny cushions. I don't know.

Sheraton Buffet

On our last night in Nha Trang we walked back to the hotel from Crazy Kim's talking about where to have dinner. We didn't really know what we wanted, but we happened upon the Sheraton and James wondered if they had a buffet.

We went inside to ask and sure enough they did! It cost a little more than the Novotel but was still cheap at about $25 and the service was great, they even showed us around before we made up our minds.

It didn't take us long to decide because they had everything. They had a sushi bar, so many beautiful salads, Indian food, Vietnamese food, make-your-own-pasta, fresh cold seafood, raw seafood that they cooked on the spot and even a wood fired pizza bar where you could choose your toppings and they would make it for you. And of course the desserts were super too.

I really enjoyed the Novotel buffet a lot but the Sheraton one was probably twice as good.

We also snooped around the pool area, which was beautiful.

When we get back to Ho Chi Minh City we are staying at the Sheraton, I can't wait!!