Porto Trip – Part 2

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Waking up in the morning, the first thing I think about usually not my breakfast but lunch. (weird right? lol 😛 ) I’m not a big breakfast person, but I’m a dinosaur when it comes to lunch 😀 .  Being in a western country can be a bit challenging to me sometimes because some smaller restaurants/ cafes only serve sandwiches or burgers. Don’t get me wrong, I do love the taste of sandwiches and burgers. However, I prefer to have either rice or noodles for lunch as I personally find it much more filling.

Being the only girl in a group of gentlemen I worked with, I had the privilege to decide where I wanted to go and eat. Obviously, I took the advantage to choose what I wanted to eat to satisfy my stomach. When I saw rice on the menu, I didn’t even think twice and instantly ordered Portuguese seafood rice. Honestly, I had no idea what Portuguese seafood rice looked like. The portion of it came out way bigger than I imagined. It was soupy, but in a good way. The rice had well absorbed the seafood flavour and I really enjoyed it.

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Apart from the rice, we also ordered octopus to share. In fact, we didn’t plan to order one but couldn’t resistant the temptation by seeing how much others enjoyed their grilled octopus around us. Seriously, it was a simple dish but tasted divine. The chef didn’t season the octopus much, but the freshness of the octopus was the magical element to make it delicious.

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I’m not going to lie…I was already full after having the rice and octopus, but I still wanted to have something sweet to satisfy my greedy stomach. What to do when I didn’t want to order a heavy dessert to put on a few extra pounds just to satisfy my greedy stomach 😛 ? Aha there I found a fresh fruit salad on the menu. (What a perfect solution to accomplish my mission lol!!! 😀 )

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I was truly a lucky one not only having an awesome opportunity to work with a group of gentlemen, but also being able to enjoy beautiful sunny days throughout my entire trip. Look at that gorgeous blue sky! It made everything look picture perfect.

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Although the clear blue sky was beautiful, Porto Cathedral (Sé do Porto) was actually the main attraction we would like to visit on that day. I don’t know about you, but I rarely have a chance to visit Cathedrals in Hong Kong. Cathedrals in Hong Kong aren’t usually opened for sightseeing purpose and therefore I was thrilled to visit the one in Porto.

Porto Cathedral (Sé do Porto) was a twin-towered cathedral with Romanesque roots built in 12th century. It has undergone numerous architectural and design changes overtime, but it didn’t stop visitors from visiting this historic landmark.

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Sorry for the bright lighting! This is the best my Canon Powershot S90 can do :(
Sorry for the bright lighting! This is the best my Canon Powershot S90 can do 😦

A sense of solemnity came in mind when I stepped into the Cathedral. Whatever it was on my mind seemed to fade away, I was simply fascinated by the sophisticated interior and stories behind the Cathedral. Although the Cathedral was too stunning to capture, all I wanted to do was to respect the Cathedral itself and its religious followers by not taking too many photos.

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If you have a chance to visit Porto Cathedral, please make sure not to miss its Gothic cloister. It was covered with blue and white azulejos tiles built in 14th century.  To be honest, I saw how it looked like on the internet even before travelling to Porto. However, the feelings it gave was complete different when seeing it in person. You probably don’t believe me, but seriously you don’t need exceptional photography skills to make your pictures perfect. It was already beautiful enough to make it picture-perfect for you.

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The Gothic cloister wasn’t the only part worth visiting. When you keep walking along the cloister, you will find there are different small entrances led you to different small rooms where they display various religious items.

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Remember I made a promise to take tons of pictures for you guys before travelling to Porto (hehe i found a photo to prove I did take my promise seriously 😉 )

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I couldn’t believe my visit to Porto Cathedral almost came to the end. All I could do was to gaze back and keep this mesmerizing picture in my heart.

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Just came out from the Cathedral, there I found a veranda allowed me to get some suntan while enjoying a gorgeous view from the top.

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Wasn’t it too amazing to see all those orange roofs right underneath you?

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Porto Trip – Part 1

I’ve always been a fan of travelling since I was very little. I simply love the art of adventuring new places where I can learn about different cultures, meet new people and see the unique beauty the country offers.

I was beyond thrilled to know I got an opportunity to travel to Porto where I have been dreaming for two years. I truly believe, “If you can dream it, you can do it” – Walt Disney, is what makes my dream come true.

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Although I could choose to transit once only, I chose to transit twice to save my boss’s expenses (pretending to be a good employee lol 😛 ). Actually, I can’t deal with long haul flight which I often need a bigger space to move around and have some fresh air. I was truly the happiest when my flight landed in Doha as I knew I had 10 to 15 mins to spend at a brand new Hamad International Airport which was only opened last year. I’m not kidding it was by far the most beautiful airport I’ve ever visited. The design of it was modern and luxurious with a touch of Middle Eastern vibes. Although the gigantic bear seems to capture most of the attention from tourists, I actually enjoy the entire design of the airport. The glass ceiling, the lighting, the palm trees and the gigantic bear altogether created one of the most mesmerizing pictures and I know I will never forget it.

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I was talking about the gigantic bear a lot, but you wouldn’t be able to imagine how gigantic it is until you see it in person. I suggest you to learn some fighting skills before visiting Hamad International Airport because everyone is fighting for a good spot to take a snap of this lovely guy.

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The other side of the airport promotes a much more futuristic vibes which I personally adore. I somehow felt like I was an astronaut exploring an unknown planet lol (am I daydreaming too much? 😀 )

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back to the reality…My flight finally landed at Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport after 7 hours. I was quite exhausted at this point since I already travelled for 16 hours all the way from Hong Kong to Madrid. However, I still had  a lot of energy fantasizing how wonderful Porto is. Unfortunately, Madrid Airport decided to give me an ultra exhaustion before I could see my fantasy. I had to go one floor down and walk 10 mins for baggage claim. Then I went back to the same floor to get my luggage checked-in before clearing the customs. After clearing the customs and I thought I could start relaxing and waiting for my flight, but it was only the beginning of my nightmare. I came to know I had to walk 26 mins before reaching my gate. Thank you so much for the physical activity!!! (I know you put your heart and soul to plan for it in order to keep me in shape)

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Arrived Porto finally, yay!!! Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the entire apartment arranged by my company. It was a cozy little apartment and more than enough for me to stay there. This lovely spot of my apartment was one of the favourite places to lounge around. It was also where I practiced yoga almost every morning.

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Speaking of “favourite”, the view from my apartment was definitely what I loved the most. Looking at orange roofs against the clear blue sky was already beautiful enough to take all my exhaustion away. But, I seriously didn’t expect how calming it was to look at that stunning river. It relaxed me to another level. When I was enjoying the view, one of the seagulls suddenly came say “hi” to me. (what a pleasant surprise!) I would love it even more if he came say “hi” to me every day hehe.

I guess I spent too much time on enjoying the view and I didn’t even notice how hungry I was. My stomach started to complain by growling lol 😛

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When my colleagues and I were on our way searching for a restaurant, we saw this adorable dog. No matter how much we tried to disturb him, he wouldn’t even look at us. He was simply enjoying himself and the view.  The wind kept blowing his hair while he enjoyed the view. I felt like he was being smart to let his hair air-dry (I should probably learn from him not to blow-dry my hair by using hair dryer that often).

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This baby was too tired holding himself in one position to let his hair air dry and therefore he had to take a little rest.

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After looking around, we decided to have our lunch at a restaurant specializing in making pizza. I didn’t know why I didn’t feel like having pizza. I ordered seafood fettuccine instead. It looked pretty decent, right? But , it was completely tasteless. I guess I was too stupid ordering pasta at a pizza place lol. I didn’t know if it was too tasteless to satisfy me or I was too hungry. I still felt so hungry after having it so I decided to order something else. I knew I wanted to try their pizza since my colleagues kept telling how delicious it was, but I didn’t think I could finish an entire pizza myself. So I chose to share a pizza burger with one of my colleagues.

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I’ve never tried pizza burger before. It looked a bit like Chinese BBQ Pork Bun (Cha Siu Bao) to me 😀

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I wish you could taste this pizza burger with me. It was seriously tasty. The patty was really juicy and the egg was perfectly cooked (the egg yolk was still runny). After having half of the burger, I was way too full… felt like I couldn’t even move anymore…

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Even though I was carrying a heavy belly with me, it didn’t stop me from exploring. I found a magnificent sculpture just few mins away from the restaurant.  It was the first sculpture I saw in Porto and also the most stunning sculpture compared to all the sculptures I have seen in Porto. When I stood next to the sculpture, I felt the power of it. It seemed to empower me with the strength to conquer all the obstacles I may face in my life and keep me moving forward. Each small detail of the sculpture reminded me of all the hard work behind making this sculpture and why I love art so much.

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No matter how much I loved the sculpture, I knew I better saved some more time to visit one of the most beautiful train stations in the world- Sao Bento Station. It is a station blended with beauty and history. The design of Sao Bento Station was inspired by French Beaux-Arts architecture. 20,000 of tile (azulejo) panels were being placed to build the interior of the station. Historical events, landscapes and ethnography were being portrayed by the tile panels. It is what makes it truly unique and world famous for attracting people from all over the world.

The moment I stepped into the station, I thought I was living in the world of art and history. The camera can’t even do it justice for how breathtaking it looks. I simply ran out of words to describe its unique beauty. All I can say is to see it in person and feel the essence of each tile will truly make you understand what I mean by “living in the world of art and history”.

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Nostalgic feelings were slowly appeared when the sunset was approaching. The natural lighting became dim to ask people to stop running for the train, but to enjoy their daily life at a slower pace.

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The sun was finally set and it was the time for Sao Bento Station to put on a glamorous outfit to shine through the dark. The darker the sky is, the more glamorous it looks.  The history and beauty of it will never be faded. It will only get stronger with time.

Behind The Darkness

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What does it feel to be in the dark? Instant fear with scary images emerged? Scared of haunting sounds slowly whispered in your ears? Feeling worried if there is no way out?

Does the darkness sound familiar to you when dealing with difficulties? Darkness drifts in as if it is going to rain heavily to wash away all your hopes and dreams… Visions have become blurry to leave your path uncertain… Carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders with the anxiety of deciding what to do in order to overcome difficulties…

The truth about difficulties is more frightening than anyone could imagine or we simply let it blindfold us with darkness? Whether struggling in the dark or being the person who sees the light through darkness and blooms through adversity, it is dependent on your willpower to fight through it.

“Circumstances don’t determine your state of mind, for that power rests with you. When you maintain a peaceful inner posture, even in the midst of chaos, you can change your life.” – Wayne Dyer

 

Good News and Bad News

I’m sorry guys! I haven’t been keeping up with your blogs for a while since I got pretty busy lately and my neck pain came to attack me again 😦 I didn’t know how worse it gets until my hands have become numb majority of the time and my hairdresser’s assistant told me that my neck has become a bit swollen. I seriously need to take a longer break from blogging and concentrate on having my neck pain treatment. I hope you all understand my situation! But, the good news is I’ll be travelling to Porto (Portugal) next Saturday partly because of my temp job. I’ll also be enjoying my time there apart from working. Honestly, it is a dream come true to me. I’ve been wanting to go to Porto ever since I came to know this place two years ago. What makes it even better is I’ll try to take lots of photos in Porto and share with you all after my trip (hopefully my neck pain will be healed after my trip also). If everything goes well, I will be back to blogging again in mid June. 🙂

Take care all my friends!!! 😉

With love,

xoxoxo Khloe ❤ 🙂

Travel Throwback Series – Amsterdam Part 2

Many people asked me why Amsterdam is one of the places I like the most. As cliche as it sounds, the reasons why I love Amsterdam so much simply because of its delicious food, wonderful people and how beautiful it is.

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Meeting a cute furry friend was a big surprise of my trip – honestly,  not all cats are friendly to strangers but I was fortunate enough to meet this cutie pie. He acted like we’ve been friends forever allowing me to massage him, play with him, take pictures with him…He was happy with whatever I did. 🙂

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Although cats have always been the love of my life, delicious food definitely holds a special place in my heart. How can you resist the temptation when they are trying to seduce you? lol 😛

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Wandering around the city, I realized the charm Amsterdam has isn’t only its beauty but also how much it can change. At some busy spots, you will see people busy running errands. At the touristy areas, you will see people are busy striking a pose for photos. What I found amusing the most was the time when walking pass “I amsterdam” letters, people went crazy climbing up and down the letters just to show how cool they looked in photos.

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After having seen the busy side of Amsterdam, I didn’t expect it to become all quiet and serene just few blocks down the road. With the scene of serene and light breeze, I immediately closed my eyes to enjoy the moment. That peaceful moment sat deep in my heart gently wiping all my worries away.

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With peace of mind, I continued to wander. There I found a rapid change in Amsterdam again. From it was all quiet and serene to a vibrant city. Hot pink roses were at full bloom while green leaves turned luscious green. Flags of different countries were not only hung to show respect, but also revealed the vibrancy of each country.

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After exploring the city continuously, the sun started to set. It was the time when the romantic vibes started to emerge as well.

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The true romance emerged in the dark with beautiful lights being reflected in the river.

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Under the romantic atmosphere and with the help of cupid, the couple couldn’t care less about the thoughts of others…kissing passionately…Me as a witness could only be a jealous girl with the wish of same wonder happened on me. Unfortunately, nothing happened. 😦

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Without the help of cupid, I could only treat myself to have some ice-cream 😛 I was having the ice-cream with my heart and soul just to take my bitterness away.

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Voila! Instantly became a happy Khloe (you can never underestimate the magic of dessert) lol 😀

I had so much fun doing Amsterdam throwback series, but sadly the series have already come to the end. However, I’ll do another travel throwback series so stay tuned for that! Enjoy your day my lovely friends! 🙂

Travel Throwback Series – Amsterdam Part 1

JK and I decided to have breakfast to start off our day before heading to see Dutch windmills.

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My oh my! We both didn’t expect the breakfast to be this ginormaous, but glad we managed to finish it at the end 😀

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Right after having breakfast, we quickly took the train to Zaanse Schans. It is a windmill village (some think it is an open-air museum) perfect for tourists to spend a half-day trip exploring everything traditionally Dutch with iconic windmills, a traditional wooden shoe workshop, a cheese farm and so much more. It only took us 20 minutes to reach there. However, there was something really embarrassing happened  right before we got off the train. We got used to Hong Kong metro system with door open automatically at each stop, but the train in Amsterdam wasn’t the same at all. We happily prepared ourselves to get off the train once it arrived Zaanse Schans, but we couldn’t figure out why the door didn’t open for us. We just kept staring at the door and wondering why. The time when we found out there was a door opening button, we already missed the stop. How stupid we were!!! We had to get off at the following stop and take the train back eventually 😛

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Who cares we had such an embarrassing experience? At least we learnt something new, right? 😀 It was well worth it once we saw the first windmill before entering the village. 🙂

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Once we entered the village, the statue already started playing trumpet for us. How welcoming it was!!! lol 😛

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Tourists needed to do touristy stuff, right? Of course, we headed to see how cheeses are made. It was very interesting for us especially we Chinese have no idea how cheeses are made 😀

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I totally admired the wooden shoe maker spending a massive amount of time into making each shoe. ❤ I could imagine how satisfied he was when finishing each shoe.

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I was acting like a child playing peekaboo to break up the serious shoe making atmosphere 😛 I have always been this silly…refuse to grow up lol 😀

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Being indoor for a while, we had to go out to see some greenery and this scenic place. It was extremely sunny and stunning there, but sadly my camera didn’t do it justice to show the real beauty of Zaanse Schans. 😦

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Look what we found when we wandered the village! How adorable this ice-cream car was! ❤ I was tempted to drive instead of having their ice-cream, but I don’t even have a driver’s license 😛

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Please excuse my messy hair! It was too windy there, but I just had to ask JK to take a picture of me and windmills together to keep it as a wonderful memory. 🙂

*Thank you Phil  for suggesting me to post some more photos from my Amsterdam trip! ❤ I seriously wasn’t planning to post it as I didn’t take a lot of photos and JK was busy taking pictures of me. I didn’t want to post pictures of myself only, but I guess it would be fun to share some of it.

Have a beautiful day all my beloved fellow bloggers! 🙂

My Queen of Blur

A while back I saw a lot of you joined the blurry photo challenge and it somehow inspired me to create this post. My lovely kitten “babe babe” has recently become a favourite of mine and I always wanted to take some photos of her. Unfortunately, I can hardly capture her because she loves to stick with me all the time. Whenever I have to use bathroom, she will wait outside the bathroom. Whenever I try to take a shower, she will try to sneak in. Whenever I try to take pictures of her, she will use her sweetest tricks to keep meowing and walking around my legs in order to distract me from shooting and make me play with her. Therefore, the pictures of her often came out blurry. But well I guess blurry pictures can be good, especially she is such a cutie. ❤

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This is the look she often gives when she wants me to play with her.

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I think she looks like a little squirrel in this photo. What do you think?

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Look! This is exactly the trick she used to distract me. How can I escape from her sweetest playful wink? 😛

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This is what you should do when you have an itchy scalp 😀

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Just keep doing it if it is still itchy 😛

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Hey mommy! Check my teeth!!! Aren’t they perfectly clean and shiny (I just brushed them hehe)? 😉

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I don’t do spray tan or anything, but I do take natural tanning seriously. Wanna join me mommy? 😛

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This is the face she makes when she is not being playful. Somehow she looks like she is begging me for treats 😀

Hope you all enjoy this post! Have a wonderful day! ❤

xoxo Khloe 🙂

Day 5 – 5 Day Black & White/ Monochrome Photo Challenge

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Ever since I started blogging here on WordPress, I noticed that my life has gone more vibrant than what it is. I got to see different parts of the world through all the gorgeous pictures captured by all of you brilliant photographers. It took me on a trip after trip with full of surprises and excitements. I got to see all the amazing art pieces created by all of you creative artists. It took me on a ride through one of the most incredible art galleries I’ve ever seen. I got to read all the wonderful stories and poems written by all of you talented writers. It allowed me to live in a world of fantasy. I got to try out all the delicious recipes posted by all of you amazing chefs. It sensationalized all the food I tried out from your lovely recipes. Most importantly, I got to be surrounded by a pool of talents who put all your heart and soul to do what you love inspired me to do the same. I’m thankful for having all of you as my dear friends who inspire and support me each and every day. I’m even more thankful for having JK as my lovely friend who took this picture of me and also the one who noticed the artistic side of me. You motivated me to create artworks and take pictures when there was no one believed I could do it. You were the one who took many pictures of me and initiated the idea of making digital art pieces with me out of the pictures we took in Amsterdam. What you did to inspire me was definitely the motive which encouraged me to open a WordPress account initially to share whatever I’ve experienced with the world. Without what you did to me, I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to meet all my talented friends here. I truly am blessed to have all of you as a part of life ❤  Billion thanks to you and JK! 🙂

Day 4 – 5 Day Black & White/ Monochrome Photo Challenge

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About a month ago, my friend and I went to one of favourite spots to chit chat and have some cocktails. It was very cloudy and raining pretty heavily, but glad we could still see a stunning view like this under a terrible weather. The view somehow initiated my thoughts about Hong Kong. I always complain how crowded and polluted Hong Kong is, but I don’t seem to appreciate Hong Kong enough. It may be very crowded. It may be highly polluted. However, it certainly has its own beauty and uniqueness (e.g. the food, the skyscrapers, the diverse cultures, the infrastructure, etc). Instead of complaining, I should focus on the good to generate more positive energies in order to live a happy life. 🙂

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I’m neither a professional photographer nor great at editing. However, I love to play around with photos and editing. I was introduced to try using Snapseed by my lovely friend Julia few months back I believe, but I never knew how it worked and I wasn’t into this app at that time. Somehow I wanted to give it go and see how it works after using my mobile to take this picture. At that time, I just wanted to see whether this mobile app was able to make some magic on the picture I didn’t like. Surprisingly, I liked it due to the fact that the app was pretty fun to play with. I know a lot of photographers don’t like their pictures to be edited too much (so am I even though I’m not a professional photographer), but I think this kind of editing app is very fun to play with from time to time and make it easy for those who don’t like complicated editing tools 🙂