Fashionista ~ Career Woman ~ Op Shopper ~ Online Shopping Addict ~ Bargain Hunter ~ Child Rearer ~ Book Reader ~ Social Commentator

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Procrastination and Pug Cushions

I am procrastinating. I have been unemployed now for almost 3 weeks, and I haven't started applying for jobs yet. Granted, I have moved interstate in that time and I am still technically being paid (as my redundancy package + paid out leave gives me 7 weeks of breathing room). Still, once I start applying, it could take weeks or months to get a job.

I'm not sure what is stopping me? Perhaps the fear that I won't get a job... but that is irrational, because if I don't apply at all, of course I won't get one. I want to avoid it because then I don't have to think about how or where to apply and whether I will get a job at all (which is of course ludicrous, because I spend my time feeling guilty instead).

I am spending the days unpacking, cleaning, replacing household items that I left behind in Canberra because they weren't worth shipping over, reading, watching sitcoms, catching up with my (employed) friends (during non business hours), walking my dog and going for jogs. I have also been sleeping a lot (at ridiculous night-owl hours, hence the 1am blog post).

The main positive in all this is that I've been for 2 jogs in the past 3 days. That is a big step, and I plan to continue to exercise. I am hoping that will motivate me to eat healthier, or increase my metabolic rate or something. Goodness knows I need to loose weight - I am currently 8kg heavier than what I should be, and I can't fit into many of my own clothes.

Did I mention that I have loads and loads of ironing to do? About 50 items of clothing, because everything got crumpled in the move. This was the perfect excuse to pop into Target and pick up the Philips GC510 garment steamer, which is on sale for $79 (rrp is $139). I have always wanted to try one, and this seems to have good reviews. I'll let you all know how it goes, and fingers crossed it makes life easier - I really dislike ironing.

 Yes, it really is green. Brighter green than in the photo. If it does a good job, I'll let this pass.

I almost bought a pug cushion like this one:

The picture is a still taken from this hilarious video. I'm contemplating going back and buying one just to remember it ;-)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Canberra Eating Recommendations

Social life in Canberra centers around eating. On any given weeknight, you'll struggle to get a table at many restaurants. On weekends, the restaurants are packed to the brim. This is because (1) it is a city of public servants, with high disposable incomes and short working hours relative to other cities (2) there isn't much else to do- the pub/bar/club scene is disappointing, and on Saturday nights it is common for all movies to sell out.

As such, I spent many hours in cafes and restaurants around Canberra. Here is my list of the best places to eat in Canberra.

All photos are my own, from previous blog posts :-)

Favourite brunch spots:
  • Pizzazz, Kingston - great menu that changes weekly. Really good sweet options.
  • Ona Coffee, Manuka - yum, friendly and relaxed with nice outdoor seating (for sunny days).
  • Farmer's Daughter, Yarralumla - good food and coffee.
  • A Bite to Eat, Chifley - great food, lots of choices, cosy and cute decor.
  • Beess & Co, Yarralumla - delicious food, friendly service, lovely outdoor seating.
Ona Coffee



 Favourite coffee:
  • Cafe Velo, Kingston
  • Bittersweet, Kingston
  • Ona Coffee, Manuka
  • Farmer's Daughter, Yarralumla
  • Lonsdale Street Roasters, Braddon
  • Paperplate Cafe, Parkes 

 Favourite gourmet baguette lunch spots:
  • Dobinsons, Civic (the standalone cafe, not the stall inside Canberra Center)
  • Idelic, Kingston

Favourite cheap eats/drinks:
  • 2 for 1 Monday night steaks at the Durham, Kingston
  • $8 for a huge meal at Burmese Curry House, Civic
  • $8 barramundi, chips and salad at the Canberra Labor Club, Civic (certain weeknights only, and you also need membership for one person in your group which costs $5 for a year)
  • $6 deluxe cocktails at the Helenic Club, Woden (need a member, can't remember the cost)
  • $9.50 for a huge kebab from Turkish Halal Pide House, Yarralumla (I don't think it's that amazing taste or quality wise, but it sure is huge)
  • Global Cafe (Ethiopian), Civic

Favourite desserts / sweets:
  • Max Brenner, Belconnen
  • Tarts from Silo Bakery, Kingston
  • Goodberry's Frozen Custard, Wanniassa (and has just opened in Belconnen too apparently)

 Max Brenner

Favourite pizza: Pork Barrel, Parkes

 Pork Barrel

Favourite laksa: Asian Noodle House (Dickson is preferred to Civic, but not by a huge margin)

 Asian Noodle House

 Favourite Thai: Soi-VII Thai, Griffith

Soi-VII Thai

Favourite Vietnamese: Griffith Vietnamese, Griffith

Favourite dumplings: Shanghai Dumpling House, Acton (Civic)

Favourite Indian: Blu Ginger, Civic
 Blu Ginger

Favourite turkish: Turkish Pide House, Civic (There are other branches but I haven't tried them)

Favourite steak: The Durham, Kingston

Favourite burger: Brodburger, Kingston


Favourite modern Australian: 
  • Podfood, Pialligo
  • The Artisan, Narrabundah

Monday, May 28, 2012

Time for a Little Quiz

1.   If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? I think I’d most like to go road tripping in America and Canada. Of course I wouldn’t miss New York! Japan is also high on my list of must-visit countries.

2.   Do you have a goal you aspire to at the moment? Not really – I wish I did, as I feel a little disillusioned. I need to find something to be passionate about!

3.   What is the food you eat most frequently? Probably pasta – not particularly healthy (carb overload!)

4.   What is the best meal you ever ate? The first thing that comes to mind is a feast of local delicacies I had in Hoi Ann, Vietnam - Cao Lao and White Rose.

5.   Favorite type of chocolate? This one is hard because I have so many favourites – but right up there are the Kitkat, and Nestle Crunch.

6.   Who did you last talk on the phone with? My Mum, the good daughter that I am.

7.   What is the last book you read? In My Skin by Kate Holden.

8.   Open- or closed-toe shoes in the summer? Closed toes, because I am usually too lazy to do a pedicure. I really shouldn't be given the number of nailpolishes I have...

9.   Have you ever won a prize? Yes, I won a computer screen (back in the days when having a flat screen was a big deal) and tickets to a Rhianna concert. 

10.  Do you consider yourself to be shy or outgoing? Definitely outgoing. Sometimes probably too chatty!

11.  Do you live near or far from family? Until recently, I lived a 4.5 hour flight away from family. Now I'm living on top of my closest family (in the same house, temporarily!). Of course I have relatives all over the world too.

12.  What language would you most like to learn? Probably mandarin, because it is such an important language in business and would provide me with a career advantage.

13.  What do you usually eat for breakfast? I'd like to say something healthy, but my usual breakfast is a strawberry Up and Go. High in sugar and easy to drink on the run...

14.  What are your favourite online shopping websites?  eBay, Asos and Dorothy Perkins. I also check out Modcloth and Urban Outfitters on a regular basis.

15.  If there was one thing you could change about your body, what would it be?  I want to be tall with long legs. I think leggy girls look amazing in most clothing, whereas I struggle with being stumpy... LOL

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Funny Things Kids Do & Say

Bub's school teacher informed us that one of the boys had gotten hold of a box of tampons and was giving them out in the playground. The 3-4 year olds didn't know what they were, and were using them as pretend food in the cubby house kitchen.... :-)

Bub's friend, while examining the floor with a magnifying glass: "Wow, look what I found!"
Her Mum: "Is it an ant?"
Bub's friend: "No, it's poop!"

Bub's friend to me (while washing hands after the toilet): "If you don't use soap, you get germs. And if you put your finger into your nose, and then into your mouth, you get germs."

Bub's friend: "I have four adults living with me - my Mum, Dad, Nanna and Aupair."
Bub: "I don't need four adults living with me."

Bub (with a used bus ticket that she found on the floor): "This is my credit card. I'm going to use it to buy whatever I want in the shops"

Me (after Bub throws her cup of water on the floor while brushing her teeth): "You just lost a book privilege. You can only choose 2 books to read now instead of 3"
Bub (5 minutes later, at the bookshelf): "I have decided I only want 2 books tonight, so I have only chosen 2" (Good try...LOL)

Me: "Put your pajamas and nappy on"
Bub: "I will NOT wear a nappy. I'm going to wear a pull-up"

Bub's friend: "Who is that very strange little boy?"
Me: "That's Oliver's little brother"
Bub's friend: "Why is he here?"
Me: "Well, this is Oliver's birthday party, and we're at Oliver's house..."

Restaurant Review: Blu Ginger, Civic

For my farewell dinner, friends organised a group dinner at Blu Ginger. I had heard many good things about this restaurant and was excited to try it.

The restaurant is always busy for good reason. The food (which is Indian cuisine) was absolutely delicious. We especially loved the lamb and pumpkin curry (my favourite), the goat curry and the chicken korma (really really good as far as kormas go!). There is plenty of choice on the menu, including a number of options that you don't see in just any Indian restaurant.

The food came out quickly and the servings were good for the price. In terms of atmosphere, it was packed on the Saturday night we were there (and very noisy) and they had squished us together on a too-small table, but it was bearable. It was warm and cosy at least, with nice decor.

I would go so far as to say that it is one of the best Indian restaurants I have eaten at in terms of the taste and quality of the food. Here is a photo of the deliciousness:

Unfortunately, I cannot say the same about the service which was disorganised and rude. We were a group of 16, but had split into smaller groups to share meals. I suggested to the waiter that he put the meals of the group of 6 people with whom I was sharing separately to the rest of the table, so that they'd know where to deliver the mains and sides. He said "no we don't do that here".

That's fine, but as expected when the orders were brought out it was chaos- sides had been combined into single bowls and were delivered randomly to different parts of the table, not to those who ordered them. At least one meal wasn't delivered at all. One person asked for another serving of rice and was brought a huge bowl which they probably charged at 4 servings. Another person asked for another serving of rice and it never arrived.

When we got the bill, we queried it because of the meal that hadn't been delivered. In addition, rice was $3 per serving and we had been charged for 18 servings (totaling $54, not an insignificant amount to spend on rice), which was not possible because we only had 16 people and not everyone had a serving (in our group of 6, we ordered 2 servings of rice between us and 4 servings of naan).

The response from our waiter to my polite query was incredibly rude. Apparently the meal that hadn't arrived had definitely been delivered "somewhere" (they just couldn't tell us where), and so they wouldn't remove it. We had also "definitely" ordered that many servings of rice. I couldn't be bothered arguing so we were just going to pay the full amount. The waiter then came to the table and said angrily "If you are really still disputing that the meal arrived, I will remove it, but it definitely was delivered".

To put this into perspective, the meal that we wanted removed from the bill cost $16. The 16 of us had ordered a main each, at least one side each (or 2.5 sides each if we accepted their rice bill, which we did because it would have been too much effort to dispute further), lassis, softdrinks, wine and beers. The total bill came to well over $400. The waiter caused 16 people to leave with a bad taste in their mouths and a tainted opinion of the restaurant due his rude attitude over a $16 meal. Very dumb by anyone's standards.

Food = 9/10 - Excellent!
Service = 2/10 - Terrible! Mostly thanks to one waiter, who should be fired.
What a pity about this discrepancy...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Saying Goodbye to Canberra

Saying goodbye to Canberra was mostly about spending time with the people who mean the most to me, and hanging out at our favourite haunts.

Things I'll miss about Canberra:
- The people. I have made so many close and special friends here in such a short time and they will be sorely missed. However, when I buy my own place I will be sure to set up a spare room and host them so they can enjoy beautiful Perth. We'll definitely stay in touch.
- The traffic, or lack of traffic. It takes me 5-10 minutes to get to work at peak hour. Then I can park for free right outside my office - unheard of in any other city.
- The leafy streets of Yarralumla which look ever so beautiful in autumn, and the abundant bird life in the garden of our rental home.
- The flexibility of my job, flex-time, the study assistance they offer and the very generous sick and personal leave entitlements.
- The friendliness of people at work, and the relaxed environment (especially when compared to a large private sector law firm!)
- Leisurely morning coffees with work friends and my weekly muffin from Paperplate at the National Library.
- The many public events and festivals that are part of Enlighten and the Canberra festival. Canberra does well with its free family orientated events in summer, but they die off completely during the winter.
- House parties and home made mulled wine on cold winter nights.
- Cheap meals and cocktails at the Helenic Club / Labour Club / Insert Name Here Club.

Things I won't miss about Canberra:
- The lack of stimulation I felt at work, working at 50% of my capacity and sitting in the office being unproductive, due to a lack of work or a lack of stimulating work.
- The frustrations of being a public servant. I'll say nothing further, other than that other public servants will understand.
- The cold winters (especially scraping ice off the car windscreen before work, and the general hibernation mode that the city goes into. I spent a winter in Glasgow and we were still out and about in the snow- there were so many interesting indoor events, and the city is really geared up for chilly winter days and nights. Canberrans seem to stay indoors and do little during winter).
- The high rental prices, and the lack of proper insulation in a lot of the older houses and apartments (I don't know what they were thinking, Canberra has always been very hot in summer and very cold in winter...)
- The lack of shopping (although I made up for it with my online purchasing)
- The lack of funky cafes at which to enjoy amazing brunches. I really tried to find these spots in Canberra, but Perth and Melbourne put Canberra to shame in this department.
- The lack of good bars, pubs and other nightlife. 
- The lack of family friendly cafes (eg, those with playgrounds)
- Only meeting public servants (or journalists) and the lack of single male talent (I tried, really!)
- Lake Burley Griffin, which I'd swap for a beach any day.
- Being on the East coast. I thought I'd love this, but in reality life gets in the way of frequent leisure trips to Melbourne and Sydney. When I did spend a weekend away, I'd suffer from exhaustion for the next two weeks (I am old beyond my years, I know...)
- Catching the 6:30am flight to Sydney for draining all day meetings. Making alternative arrangements for Bub on those days was always a headache.

Some snaps from my final weeks here:

 Hotpot at a friend's for dinner = amazing!

 Making a mess at Max Brenner with their super sundae!

 Final play-dates with little friends

 Goodberry's frozen custard deliciousness

 The horror that is packing and weighing boxes
A delightful high tea with some girlfriends

The amazing laksa at Asian Noodle House

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Brunch Review: Urban Food, Acton

I had long wanted to try Urban Food in Acton, a cafe that also contains a grocery store and markets itself as a purveyor of fresh, organic fare.

The funky cafe / store:

Our meals:
 Urban's signature dish: the "Royale" - Smoked Salmon, Sautéed Baby Spinach, stacked with Two Potato, Dill & Spanish Onion Rosti’s, topped with a Poached Free Range Egg and finished with Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette (approx $22 on weekends)

Brioche French Toast with bacon and grilled banana (approx $19 on weekends)

Menu variety / creativity: 8.5/10. Lots of choice on the savoury front, and enough sweet options to please a sweet tooth as well. We had trouble choosing!

Taste:  7.5/10. It was good, but the Royale was not mind-blowing or taste-bud popping, which I would have expected given the fanfare (and price). My friend's french toast brioche was the same - she enjoyed it, but wasn't overly impressed.

Coffee: N/A. I had a chai latte. I know, sacrilege!

Setting / location: 7/10. A lovely casual setting with a chilled vibe. Plenty of natural light, however we were freezing cold inside on a not-even-that-cold autumn day.

Service: 7/10. You order and pay at the counter and food is brought out to you - this wasn't obvious until we had been sitting for a while and no one came to serve us. I didn't like how you don't get an itemised bill and you can't even see the cost of items when they type it into the cash register. When we worked out how much we had paid, we realised that either the coffees (which aren't on the menu or any blackboard) cost $5.50 each, or we were overcharged elsewhere. Service in general wasn't warm but at least it was timely.

Price: 6/10. A little more expensive than comparable cafes in Canberra and in the immediate area. The quality/taste of food didn't justify the extra expense in my opinion.

Verdict: I'd probably try another nearby cafe before returning, I wasn't blown away and it's an exxy breakfast (and too cold inside!)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

AEIOU: Awesome, Exciting, Interesting, Opportunity, Understanding

I am joining in with Posie Patchwork's AEIOU link party this month.

#1 Awesome – something you baked/ created/ photographed/ a bargain you found

My creativity has this month been limited to creatively packing boxes to fit in as much as possible without over packing an individual box, while trying to use as few boxes overall as possible. Sadly, this has not stopped me from online shopping. I snapped up these Georgie leather boots from Asos, for a bargain $60 AUD including postage:
Genuine leather boots delivered to my new address for $60? Now that is awesome.

#2 Exciting – share your news/ event/ holiday/ a gorgeous butterflies-in-tummy moment

My exciting news is that I will be moving back to Perth in a week. I have now finished work in Canberra, hence the packing, It has all happened very fast and I will leave with mixed feelings - I'm very sad to be leaving my friends behind, but happy that I'll be close to my family in Perth, and will be reunited with my besties there.

#3 Interesting – teach us information/ discovery/ facts/ a chance to show off your quirky side

I have just finished reading a super interesting book called Identical Strangers: A Memoir of Twins Separated and United. It is about twins who were separated as babies, and raised by different adoptive families without any knowledge of the existence of the other. They were separated, it seems, to be part of a nature vs nurture "twin study". They were re-united at age 35, and learn about their striking similarities and differences. The book is written from both of their perspectives, with an alternating voice. It is a heart warming, personal story about self discovery (and delving into the past, and ethics, in their attempts to find out why they were separated and whether they were studied for scientific purposes) but also has a non-fiction slant, as one of the twins in particular has done a lot of research about twins and uses these findings in her analysis. I found it very interesting, and would recommend you read it too if you get the chance.

#4 Opportunity – embrace the unknown/ put yourself out there/ show off a new experience.

Opportunity is truly knocking at my door (although I feel as if the door is locked, and I cannot find the correct key). I am now unemployed (thankfully, by choice) and can take my career in any direction that I choose. It is nerve wracking not knowing what I want to do, and what jobs I should apply for (or whether I will get one that I want, or any at all!)... yet the opportunities are endless, and I need to embrace the unknown and take chances while I am in a position to be able to do so. For me, this is an exercise in trusting myself and my ability, and accepting that I cannot plan ahead but it's okay to be in this situation.

#5 Understanding – learning to appreciate/ forgive/ love/ unleash what helps you grow

I am scared about moving home with my parents. It will be temporary, but the reality is that it could be for 6 months or slightly more depending on how easy it is for me to find a job and several other factors. What scares me the most:

1) I don't get on with one of my sisters at all. We have always fought, and despite trying my hardest to avoid and ignore her, I fear that we will clash yet again. She is very difficult to live with, and I have not found a way to understand her or forgive her for what I view as her very selfish behaviour.

2) My Mum is very intense, full on, and melodramatic. She loves to whinge and complain which is at odds with my own "do something to change it, otherwise what is the point of going on about it again and again" attitude. I have gotten used to considerable freedom during my time away, and I have enjoyed coming home to a calm and peaceful environment after work. I hope that I can be patient with her, and stay calm myself despite my surroundings.

3) The space issue. I've gotten used to a lot of it - space and privacy. I've been as messy as I please, left dirty dishes in the sink for a few days at a time, put off doing laundry, made half arsed efforts to clean... this is not gonna fly at home. I mustn't complain really... if I can't deal with it, I'll move out and pay rent (and one day, I'll hire a cleaner!)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Kelly's Courtyard: Our Hutong Guesthouse in Beijing

For our accommodation, I chose somewhere comfortable but authentic. I didn't want to stay at a 5* hotel which looked the same inside as it would in any country. Kelly's Courtyard was perfect - located in a hutong (alleyway), with rooms opening onto a traditional courtyard (albeit with a roof over it, which we were grateful for on the day it rained), decorated with antique furniture and with lots of special touches.

It is also central, close to a subway station (this is very important, because even small distances on the map are far in real life) and the hotel manager is friendly, goes out of his way to help guests and speaks decent English. Even better, despite being close to the Forbidden City and Tienanmen Square, it's not in a very touristy area so you are not harassed by hawkers (as we were when we visited the touristy bar street) and it feels like you're experiencing the "real" Beijing.

 The gorgeous courtyard area

 It even has a fish pond!

 View over the hutong from the rooftop courtyard
 Rooftop courtyard - unfortunately it was too chilly to enjoy time out here

 The common room, where there is a TV and a computer (with internet) for guest use

The courtyard from above, with guests enjoying their breakfast

The simple but delicious breakfast that was included with our stay

Our gorgeous bedroom. Every room is uniquely decorated, with antique furniture and amazing wallpaper. I was lucky enough to get a peak into other rooms as on one morning, most rooms were empty:

I would definitely recommend this cute guesthouse if you're heading to Beijing. Here is my review from Tripadvisor:

We really enjoyed our stay at Kelly's. It is a cute and cosy place with lovely decoration and attention to detail. The rooms are comfortable and uniquely decorated. The location is great- not a very touristy area (which we liked), but plenty of restaurants in walking distance and a 5-10 minute walk from the line 4 subway.

What really makes the stay is the small size of the place and the personalised, friendly service. Bob is lovely and goes out of his way to help the guests. He recommended restaurants and helped us with whatever information we needed as first time visitors to China.

-Good location, easy access to subway
-Bob is a fantastic manager, very helpful and friendly
-Lovely decor, very authentic
-Nice simple breakfast
-Excellent heating/air conditioning (and personal controls in each room)
-Very clean, rooms well cleaned daily
-Fast free wifi throughout the guesthouse, and computer also free for guest use

-We had hardly any hot water and it went from very hot to ice cold with no warning
-No fridges in rooms (which we would have liked)
-Has the potential to be noisy if other guests are inconsiderate. Bob is very good about reminding people to be quiet, but that didn't stop a rude French tour guide who came daily to pick up some guests.
-Difficult to locate when you arrive from the airport, taxi drivers aren't generally willing to take you to a complicated destination (even if you have a phone number etc)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Brunch Review: Bittersweet, Kingston

I was excited to try out the newest addition to the Green Square cafe scene in Kingston, and I am happy to report that they make excellent coffee! I like it a lot more than the popular Kingston Grind coffee next door.
 Our meals included:
Ham, cheese and tomato croissant

Scrambled egg, mushroom and feta breakfast foccacia


Menu variety / creativity: 5.5/10. They have quite a basic regular menu (including a lot of premade breakfast foccacias and croissants that you can view in the cabinet) and a changing specials menu. They offer a more limited choice than other cafes in the area (eg Pizzazz) and are very limited on sweet options.

Taste:  6/10. My breakfast foccacia was dry and didn't really tantalise the tastebuds.

Coffee: 8/10. Great. On par with Cafe Velo for my favourite coffee in Kingston.

Setting / location: 7/10. Lovely to sit outside on a warm day. The inside is okay, with lots of sunshine and minimalist decor.

Service: 6/10. It was friendly (a rare find in Canberra) but oh-so disorganised. They messed up our order, and the orders of others who were paying before us. I have since returned for takeaway coffee, and while waiting for my order I witnessed the ongoing chaos - random items added to peoples orders, people not getting things they ordered etc. On a busy Saturday morning, it's a long wait for takeaway coffee too (I waited 10-15 min) as they don't put takeaway orders ahead of dine in. This means that I'd rather go to Cafe Velo where I am guaranteed a speedy takeaway coffee.

Price: 7.5/10. Average for Canberra for the specials menu and cooked to order menu items. The premade cabinet selection is cheaper, at around $9.50 for a breakfast foccacia. This gets extra points as cheap brekkie options aren't the norm.

Verdict: Yummy coffee, service with a smile. End the service chaos and add some more menu options and this would be an ideal cafe.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Engrish and Other Funny Sights

I regret not capturing more hilarious examples of "Engrish", but the reality is that you're bombarded with so many every day, it's easier to laugh and get on with it instead of fishing around for the camera. Towards the end of my Beijing trip I realised I hadn't taken many photos, so made a concerted effort to snap a few funny signs and menu items.

 True honesty - Probably the finest seafood served in Beijing (but they cannot be sure...)

 A warm prompt (nicest on chilly days)

 All of these funny menu items are snapped at the one restaurant, but Engrish menus were a regular occurrence. My favourite is this bean salad with disabilities.

 The cake with donkey - yum?

 Watch out - smooth liver is pointed. Also on this page, explode three kinds.

 The incense burns the basin basin shrimp

 "I want to pig. I will developed"

Fake KFC - aka 'Mr Lee's'

Notice the slit in the child's pants. This was a very common sight, and allows for easy poohing anywhere and everywhere (when the child squats, the parting opens). It was particularly unpleasant to witness a child poohing in the middle of the path inside the summer palace (right infront of a temple actually...). This child's hairstyle is also a popular one amongst the toddlers.

 Another cute popular hairstyle.

 Exhibit B: another example of the pant slit

Ironically, while pooping by children in the street is still accepted, you'll then come across a sign such as this one (in Mandarin) which instructs you "No poohing" in the toilet.

Our hotel didn't have the most reliable hot water so we decided to get our hair washed at a hairdressing salon. We didn't expect them to lather and massage while we were sitting in chairs (with no sink in sight) - but it felt great! They did thankfully wash it out in a proper sink.
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