Monday, April 30, 2012

The Dark Wind from My Future: A Review of The Stranger by Albert Camus

Ever get that blurred vision during a hazy, warm summer's day, when the air is thick with humidity then all you can see is the clear sky with no trace of clouds, and the road is a strip of hot air forming a translucent mirage, and for some strange reason, the sun keeps on getting in your eye and you just can't think straight?

That's what I felt when I read The Stranger by Albert Camus. Even during at night when fluorescent lights are lit up for everything they're worth, my eyes still squint from overexposure from a scorching sun and mirage from the asphalt roads; the same way when the bright noonday sun slashes from between the rustling leaves of tall trees.

I've heard of Albert Camus before, as he is big in the Philosopher's circles and his works have so far branched out into the Literary pools that one can't help but at least hear of his name. The one thing that I am always curious about is Philosophy, but I can never keep up with this or that school of thought. Now, with The Stranger, I am introduced to Absurdism (and a bit of Nihilism and Stoicism) and Existentialism right at the end. But before we go past it, I should tell you how positively absurd and passive the narrative of the story was.The novel is as dry and ordinary at the start as it is jarring and almost vicious at the end.

It is a tale of a simple man, Meursault, who receives a succinct telegram informing him that his mother passed away " Or, maybe, yesterday; I can't be sure." He left his apartment and work to visit the nursing home where she spent her twilight years. He has no other relative to do the visit with, and when he goes to the home, he displays a rather boorish kind of passivity to his mother's casket and the whole funeral proceedings. He would rather talk about the oppressive heat, the nightmarish figures of the people around the casket, a strange weeping sound that he can't pinpoint, the winding road of the funeral procession, and how one man in the procession can't keep up with the walking. He tells of the strangest things to be thinking about when your own mum is going six feet under in some matter of moments. It is... absurd, really.

What the reader can get from this is that he doesn't care to get one last look at his own' mother's face, has no emotional response akin to sadness nor melancholy the very day his mother is going to be buried. "It occurred to me that anyway one more Sunday was over, that Maman was buried now, that I was going back to work, and that, really, nothing had changed." Then he goes to work the day after that, back to his apartments and back to his crummy neighborhood where an old man continues to shout verbal abuse to his dog, a dock worker wanting to exact revenge on a lover.

It all seems idyllic, to be sure, but everything feels unsettling and unremorseful. The radical thought process of this narrator is detached from what would normally be the reaction to some dire situation. But I guess that is what Existentialism stands for, "man exists and in that existence man defines himself and the world in his own subjectivity, and wanders between choice, freedom, and existential angst." source. That in the quest for definition of the world, he recognizes that there may be things that exceed rationalization, that there is nothingness somewhere, and in life there are chances that one applies to break free from the "iron cage" of reason and live as he chooses to define.

Going back to the novel, Meursault finds himself with some good company along the way, with a lady that caught her fancy with him. Both Meursault and his lady were invited to his friend's private rest house near the sea. Good times were had, almost quite the moment when I felt Meursault was at his most gentle, or at the very least, content. But there is a surge of tension when Meursault and his company ran across a group of Arab men who Mersault's friend has some previous issue with. There was a clash but they were able to get away somehow, and tried to get some rest from the strange event that transpired.

But what happened to Meursault then was even stranger. He got up to walk, and with a seemingly involuntary move, he takes his friends gun, goes to the very place where they met the Arabs, and kills one without the slightest premeditation. We discover that the reason why he shot the Arab man was because of the glare of the sun.

What transpired after is a whirlwind of legal proceedings. Meursault is taken to court, charged with first degree murder. This is where the beginning clicked, as the trial proceeded he is prosecuted as a cold murderer, prosecutors design him to have the same aloofness and dysfunctional blank face displayed when he murdered a man in comparison to how he was during his mother's funeral. His defense panel only offered this counter: he did not have the proper mental faculties at the moment of murder. The results of the trial declared he is to be put to death by guillotine.
Here comes the scariest part of any book I've read.

It is not because Meursault proves to be the cold-blooded murderer he is, as actually he is as human as all of us are. He just is not ruled by emotions, and rather is content with the "man of a few words" persona everyone views of him. He is visited by a priest, who assures him that even though Meursault has refused to visit his chaplain, he is still under the loving care of god. In return, he scoffs at the priest, ridiculed his faith, and gave extremely violent words against the existence of God and the futility of belief; In the end there is a glimmer of repentance, if only due to the "inescapable" dark wind that blows from past to present and to the dark future.


I felt my eyes go wild reading the last conversation Meursault had with the priest. I imagined almost the devil breathing down and spitting fire. His words were pungent acid burning a hole on a holy garment. Jarring to the core. I would not recommend this to just anyone, but I would to someone with an open mind.

My readings have been heavy lately, but I'm not complaining. I have been so stimulated that leisure books or beach books I am throwing away like day-old candy wrappers in my pockets. Searching for my next fix; books like these are crack to me. I am now thick in the final chapters of 1Q84 by Murakami and The Crazed by Ha Jin. These books are not at the same level as The Stranger, but they have the punch to the brain I love so much.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Food: Drink Yo Tea! Kampai to Skin and Overall Health

It is calming, steadfast and comforting. This is a post about all my adventures in drinking.

I have been drinking cups and cups of tea in different types and tea sets and situations. You can drink commercialized, pre-packaged or coffeeshop-prepared tea all you want but nothing really beats boiling water and steeping the tea bags yourself.

Sure, there are benefits of drinking tea, we all know that somehow these little packets do a lot of good to the body, but few know that it is excellent for the SKIN. You wouldn't mind a good boost in elasticity and firmness to your skin, would you? But more than that, there is a longer list of benefits when you drink tea everyday!

Tea with Le Kareshi
Aside from the benefits of tea, one of my favorite things is completing the tea prep. Above is my matching tea set. I use this on weekends or when I have people to have tea with. It is a 6-piece pot and cup flowery, spring-love thing and I adore it very much.The porcelain is perfect to keep the liquid scalding and it is very good with light brews!

Excerpts of "Tea Benefits" from
In a recent experiment carried out jointly by researchers from the US, Taiwan and Japan, mice which were fed tea displayed fewer signs of aging than mice that were fed water.

Bone Strength
Compared with nonhabitual tea drinkers, tea regulars had higher bone mineral densities, even after exercise and calcium-which strengthen bones-were taken into account. 


A compound called EGCG, a powerful antioxidant in tea, inhibited an enzyme that cancer cells need in order to grow. The cancer cells that couldn't grow big enough to divide self-destructed.

Levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol dropped 10 percent among the test subjects who drank tea. Vegetarian Times, Jan 2003

Weight Loss

Recent evidence shows that in the battle of fat loss, green tea may be superior to plain caffeine. According to a new study, green tea appears to accelerate calorie burning - including fat calories. Researchers suggest compounds in green tea called flavonoids may change how the body uses a hormone called norepinephrine, which then speeds the rate calories are burned. Joe Weider's Muscle & Fitness, April 2000
Tea is certainly something, isn't it?! I feel so relaxed when I drink it, even when I drink it at night and I finish a pot for myself, I somehow sleep very well! Because I work two jobs, there are also those stressful days... To combat it with a flourish, I use my Giovanni Valentino set to drink my tea with!:

Berry Tea: A whole day when I was working on pretty much EVERYTHING.
Milk Tea: When I stayed up very late to finish some workload and I was terribly lonely...
The Valentino is a beautiful blue china with blue flowers with gold lining. Nothing really cheers me up when this little thing is filled with tea! It's SOOOO pretty. I feel prettier when I drink from this. It makes me feel like I'm a princess (well, clearly I'm not but the tea cup looks like it's used only for royalty!) or I'm a character in one of my favorite shows, Downton Abbey. :D

Finished some stressful work just in time for the last drop of Earl Grey! Winding down with books...
Chilled apple, Barquillos and weak Milk Tea for DINNER, foo'!
 Tea is the second most drunk liquid in the WHOLE PLANET EARTH. So you don't have to feel "Oh I drink tea, I'm such a hipster." Wrong! Hipster drink is warm ginger ale. Tea makes you belong to the world as millions of people drink it every minute. Even in sickness, tea makes you feel better faster!
Playing around with a Nendoroid Miku when I was sick

Some of my boxes of tea that I like: My favorite is Yellow Label (when I have a lot of things on my mind) and Earl Grey (when I need that certain sophistication and the feeling that I can take over the world)... Fruit-infused teas are usually only prepared as requested by others, but I like them also!

Yellow Label (Hirameki), White tea (Strawberry and Vanilla Infused), Earl Grey, Wild Berry Herbal

One of my good friends gave me a packet of pure love: Rotbusch Tee in Vanilla. HOLY CRAP IT WAS SOO GOOD. WHAT. But I can't find it anywhhhheeerrrreeeee....

Sometimes when I can't be at home to fix myself a pot, I rely in various booths and establishments for my daily cup!

good old Hirameki Cup
Yellow Tea!
Random cold tea... This was Oolong, I think
Obviously a fruit-infused type...
I usually drink my tea straight/plain except when I am deeply depressed that I need milk in it. Fresh milk from the carton seems good enough, it makes the tea smell like a freshly-washed pillow and you just want to sleep in it.

I'm glad that malls and shops are offering a wider variety of tea nowadays, and even people are into the Bubble Tea craze. Still, I'd rather prefer to fix my own, but the world is so on-the-go...

Are you drinking tea? Tell me your fave! Keep healthy!

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Limits of Culture and Tradition: A Review of All The Flowers In Shanghai

Whenever I chance upon reading historical fiction, and the story is centered on a woman's plight, it gives me a sense of honor to read a special kind of bravery and steadfastness in the midst of oppression or chaos. This is because most of the historical fiction I read has a basis in the lives led by women during the most uncertain times, and that somehow, at some point, it is a reflection of the life led by all women of that era. It's not always a picture of gentle days and idyllic time, because even in the years past when women were revered, as there were also women in history who were abused, undermined, traded as a commodity, beaten, and treated in a most unjust and unfair manner just for being who they are.

The Story:

In this book, All The Flowers In Shanghai by Duncan Jepson, it is a moving display of bravery and will to keep one's head above tumultuous waters by a 17-year-old girl. She was swept off the quiet world she knew and unable to fight against the overwhelming tides of social culture and tradition. The story is set in Communist China, where Shanghai was in full bloom from the influx of Western an Eastern culture and the new economic times. Despite the introduction of Western influence, tradition still ruled the country with an iron fist.

Even in the life of little Feng, the second child of a middle-class family trying to make it big in society, tradition gripped her hard. What she only wanted was a quiet life spent in the family gardens, with her venerable Grandfather teaching her about the names of plants, trees and about the strange but interesting ways Nature worked. She didn't envy her Older Sister at all, despite how glamorous she looked, her face beaming with excitement everyday with the prospects of gifts from suitors, and to finally filter from them a suitable man from a noble family to marry into. But for Feng, getting married to a richer family meant being uprooted from where she comfortably was with her Grandfather, and that was the last thing she wanted for herself.

Her life suddenly took a turn for the worse as her Older Sister gradually succumbed to a sickness that she and her family did not expect. For her social-climbing mother, the wedding still had to push through, even if it meant her second daughter Feng had to take her place: what's important is saving face and keeping their family honor from ridicule.

This is how young Feng was abruptly cast off from one household and into another clan. A new set of family who never thought for her well-being except when she is thought of as a baby-maker for their Eldest son, the carrier of the noble Sang family name. The one positive thing in her new world was her husband, who was kind and sensible enough, but his family ruled over him and made him their puppet. Her life was all at once a jumble of confusing names and faces and rules and insults, and she had no one to talk to, her daily life now a series of dull moments and scared, lonesome thoughts.

The uprooting is tumultuous and through the years that passed it opened Feng's mind that it was a far crueler world she was thrown into, and it is at that point she realized she had to adapt to being equally as cruel to survive and get ahead of her enemies. Exposed to the harsh realities that a girl in their tightly-bound culture had to endure, Feng's hatred has spawned to curse even her own daughter, the firstborn that she had to give away. Since being forced to leave the safe confines of her family gardens and away from the protection of her Grandfather, her life that was once brimming with brightness began to dissipate into a narrow, dark, and bitter pathway.

My Impressions:

This book is almost poetry in prose because of the descriptions of the author about the characters, the houses and some special details that put a bit of color in an otherwise almost-linear story.

I've always loved to read about China. Their culture holds a special place in my heart no matter how weird it is. I've read novels like Spring Moon by Bette Bao Lord which is one of my good reads centered on this topic. I love reading about their traditions or whether it's about the daily lives of men and women or special stories about the Royal court; and it is because of this book that I feel the urge to read Dream of the Red Chamber, but I can't find a cheap copy of it, though. 

The novel is well-told at the start and I liked how it helped me pictured young Feng in my mind, a bright-eyed thing with a curious desire for the world. She grew up too fast for me, as though the transition and the fleshing-out was not enough. She grew old too fast, too. But at the very end... I could feel her desperation and pain. It was not an easy thing to read.

I liked this book well enough to recommend it to some friends. They've been pretty interested when they saw me reading it. Since I wasn't yet done then, I directed them to a local bookshop that carried this title, although mine had the tell-tale "Advanced Reading Copy" right at the front.

If anyone of my friends are reading this and want to borrow this book, leave me a message! I will be glad to let you~

Thanks for reading!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the HarperCollins Publishers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Saturday, April 14, 2012

“Frankenstein”: Why You Should Read This Classic

Daughter to the famous British writer and woman’s activist Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley managed to produce one of the most famous and well-discussed novel, “Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus.”As bearing witness to the great scientific upheaval that help give rise to the Industrial Revolution, Shelley managed to use the influence of science to explore the dangerous nature of the study.
When it released in 1818, the book soared and became an instant success. Her husband, the equally gifted poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley, famous for his poem “Ozymandias” helped her edit the original manuscript and get it published.
While the husband and wife tandem became a source of tragedy outside of literature, they both managed to experience a great deal of success as writers. Written during the Victorian era, this book continues to be released for contemporary audiences, even found online as an eBook, as it continues to shine as it once did in 1818.


Plot Overview

Victor Frankenstein was born to an affluent family. Raised in Geneva, the young boy loves science and looks to perfect his craft by reading all he can about the greatest scientist in the world. When he goes off to college, the young man spends his days locked away in his room, reading the works of famous scientists looking to use their works to quench his thirst for knowledge.
In his pursuit of knowledge, Victor manages to discover a method for reviving the dead and unlocking one of the greatest mysteries in life. He collects body parts – including eyes, arms, head and legs – to build his creation. When all of his parts are gathered, he brings to life his greatest creation, but before he can marvel at his creature he falls ill and the monster escapes, marking the first step of Victor’s plight.


Importance in Literature

Victor’s thirst for knowledge and power resonates in several cultural contexts. He represents every man’s struggle for controlling power and dealing with the unintentional consequences the misuse of this power can have. Shelley manages to layer the story well, discussing the social issues concerning her epoch as well as the struggles man will always face: the fight to understand life’s secrets and the dangers it can present.
Mixing together themes of secrecy, revenge, power and science, readers get one of the greatest American novels. The vibrant images and colorful language work well to capture the somber tone of the consequences Victor faces when dealing with family, science and his lust for understanding life’s mysteries. The themes discussed by Shelley still hold importance today and resonate throughout the works of contemporary novelist.


Why You Should Read This Classic

Considered one of the most important influential works in canonized literature, anyone looking to see where several science fiction and contemporary novelist get their influence from should read “Frankenstein.” Less than 200 pages, this classic is loaded with important themes that resonate today, and with so many motifs, it offers a great deal of knowledge. A quick and easy read, it’s a book that every avid reader should pick up give it a try. With most local bookstores and libraries offering the book, it’s an easy find for anyone short on new novels.



SparkNotes (2012)
Shmoop (2012)

Friday, April 13, 2012

BAD Review: Quick FX Eyelift Cream + Vaseline Lip Therapy

I have a silly nighttime routine. Every night after taking a quick bath---Because who goes to bed all gross from the dirty things that stuck to the body throughout the day? Well, you shouldn't!--- I tend to put something on, like a bit of cream to tone down a streak of bumps in the cheeks, lotions to sooth a drying patch of skin, etc, and all these products I use to take care and nourish my skin...

And the products below are NOT one of those!

Well I used to use them before I realized they did pretty much nothing and sometimes they feel like they are not even helping at all and they don't even feel good! Or smell good! Not even that?! What the gunk.

Here are the products I tried before but I hate now. Ugh. Good thing they weren't the most expensive things in the world.

Quick FX Eyelift Cream - A little packet I bought at Watsons for about P40.00, and this is why people who know things about products would tell you not depend always on cheap things. This product is testament to that: this is pretty much wonky.

At first I had the impression that this was pretty o.k. since it was light, seemed pretty moisturizing and though did not dry as well as I would like, I thought it was good enough as an eye cream...

What I didn't like about this:
I felt like it didn't do anything for me. I had droopy eyebags whenever I stay up too late consecutively, or have weird sleeping patterns when I wake up at 2AM for no apparent reason and I have trouble sleeping again. So when I use this whenever I KNOW I'm going to stay up late and in the succeeding days after it for good measure, I see virtually no 'lifting' of my eyebags at all. Not even at least a de-puffing for all its Ellagic Acid and Niacinamide powers. It also smelled horrible!!!! I dunno how them chemists achieved a good balance between the smell of being plasticky and fishy but believe me, they made this perfect... perfectly icky!

Vaseline Lip Therapy in Cherry - Another supposed night time application for me that I thought would be a nice addition. Costs about P70.00 in local drugstores.

This one I had actual high hopes for. I used this on my lips to soften my fish scales lips in time for tomorrow. Below is a normal swipe of the product I use. I distribute it as evenly as possible.

What I didn't like about this:
When I first used this I liked it because... well it was just what you would expect of petroleum jelly!!!! Nothing more, nothing less, although conveniently packed in a pretty little tube that costs more than when you buy the big tub of the original one. Even after some weeks of usage, I still had dry, flaky parts. Not really good, I had better find another lip creme.And because of my current routine, something as chemical as petroleum has no place in my drawer.

I don't know if you've used as crappy a product as this; All I have is the consolation that you can't always have what you like, and life is an ongoing process of trial and error.

Have a good weekend! :)
Thanks for reading!

Early April Reads

On queue for this month, I have:
  1. The Stranger - Albert Camus (borrowed from the Reader's Circle - Finished!)
  2. Gossip - Beth Gutcheson (sent by HarperCollins to me for review - Finished)
  3. Lumayo Ka Man Sa Akin - Bob Ong  (bought at a local bookstore)
  4. The Crazed - Ha Jin (from a garage sale I got)
  5. IQ84 - Haruki Murakami (from Mike's holiday gifts, this is such a big book but I'm not complaining. I read slower now that's what.)
  6. Sula - Tom Morrison (got from the Easter BookHunt!)
If I can just find some time to squeeze these in, I would!
  1. California Girl Chronicles - Gamble-Risley (sent by 3L Publishing)
  2. Mr. Muo's Traveling Couch - Dai Sije (last year's garage sale find)
April is going to be intensive reading month. I swear. I am going back to my reading groove.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Review: Eskinol Ageless Night Cream

Hello! I've just dropped in this little blog to continue my recent "responsible blogger streak" which I post (--what a miracle!) in a relatively more frequent manner (yes subjectivity disclaimer but let me have my way!)

Today I'm going to share to you a product that has been on my drawer for the past couple of months now. Specifically, it's been two months since I used this item and I am getting really good results! I would like to share to you this skincare that I think will become a staple in my night time routine (though it only has some limited use in my current skin care steps.)

What I have here is the ESKINOL Ageless Night Cream. What it promises: "Firms skin. Reduces lines and wrinkles. Repairs while you sleep." Like we haven't heard of that before. But as all things go, let's not overly depend on the product description too much.

Because as a user, I can tell you that this is the bomb. :D

Eskinol is a local product and therefore bear the burden of being a popular household-name brand yet remains a disregarded and looked-down product. This is because most people almost always carry the presumption that when it's local, it is LOKAL or inferior than its more high-end counterpart, or that people who use Eskinol are the 'can't-affords'. I won't comment much on that except to say that Eskinol has changed ship, bringing a bigger force and a prettier presence in the local skincare industry.

With its Ageless series, you can definitely see the improvements of the packaging and the streamlined and better aesthetic design on the bottle. During the testing period, I used to just buy the sachet versions of this one (Priced at about P20.00) but after liking it so much, I finally bought the big pot (About P200.00).

More information on the product box right below. Noting the ingredients is always the foremost thing you should do once you pickup a skincare product. It is purported to have "Peptide Plus and Soy Protein" to promote firmness in the skin and lessening of fine lines. In the ingredients list, I am glad to see Niacinamide, Hydrolized Soy Protein, Xanthan Gum, Allantonin, Soluble Collagen on the ingredients list.

Directions to use: Clean your face with soap and water (wiping off with wipes is not enough!) and apply a small amount to the face (or in my case, in the areas of the face where we usually get fine lines.)

Maybe not a lot of people my age would be totally into anti-aging, but the wave of products, advertisements, and even higher overall usage or product consumption are a good indication of rising interest. I personally think that the more we know about our options in skin care, the more it will help us balance on what we want, what we need and what is good for us.

The product itself has the consistency of a cream. It's not runny, but it isn't completely thick either. The best thing for me is that it's not the sticky kind, and it even has the gel kind of feel, but it spreads very, very easily on the face and leaves little to no film which is amazing.

Below I got a dollop to spread out on my hand:

Look ma, no oily film: It has a matte finish!

And from the time that I used this, about early February, I can see that somehow it has contributed to a smoother-looking face, ridding of the little bumps! I love that this is a preventive product, but when push comes to shove, it works in no time.

Eskinol as an addition to my nighttime routine:

I use this ONCE OR TWICE A WEEK. And only during Mondays and/or Fridays. I am just using this for preventive measures, I don't entirely have a lot of lines except for minor ones so it's not a very big deal. I mainly get a lot for my neck area because I have a bad habit of scrunching my neck downwards when I sleep. Lines form though temporarily, but if left alone, the lines can get nasty by becoming PERMANENT. Eskinol Ageless has definitely given me a good chance of fighting those nasty lines away if ever they seem to appear quite frequently.

I follow an entirely different skincare routine for night time now, in accordance to my desire to go natural/organic. So long as I don't have an organic skincare product replacement for my non-organic ones, I keep it. I don't see any inexpensive organic product to give me the same results I got from Eskinol Ageless, so in the meantime, it sits cozy on my shelf!

Thanks for reading!
Keep healthy today~

Monday, April 2, 2012

This Is The Cue to Stop Marchin'

Some of the highlights of the final string of fun days before April bucks the trend...

I finished All The Flowers in Shanghai by Duncan Jepson that Thursday, and I could say it was a pretty fast read, since starting it and blogging about it last Monday and worrying if I could juggle my books. Turns out this novel was easy to read, it was like eating mooncakes or something.

I opened the novel any chance I got. Reading on my way to work, when I went home, during lull moments and whenever I could get a seat at some place, or at bed in between my writings. I liked this well enough though there are a lot of things that grated on my nerves while reading. I'll expound more when I get to review this book.

In other news, I managed some really wonderful time out from work and pressure. Met with some friends and took some time to re-discover other good things in life. Korean Ice Cream, for example!

Me with guy friends and Le Kareshi
If you're keen on trying out any kind of Korean delicacies but would loath to run the risk of having to throw it out because you might hate the taste, I suggest you start with desserts. I chose a strange-looking but really cute Fish Ice cream. This had vanilla ice cream (very creamy) with a layer of red bean and red bean paste enclosed in a fish mold wafer. Costs about a dollar (PHP 50.00)!

Another luxury Korean ice cream is this choco chiffon from PANGTOA which was so delectable as only a chocolate chiffon ice cream sandwich can. What I'm saying is you just can't go wrong with this.

Seems like the round of eating never ends. Here I am with some of my friends at work, enjoying the smoked-bbq smell of grill heaven. Our company provided us with some pre-event grub in the form of deliciously charred strips of meat.

Mike and I have affinity to dropping by various pet stores... Not that we like animals in cages but it's the only way we see dogs and cats being their cute selves. During one of our drop-ins, we saw an adorable and energetic baby Chihuahua! His ears are like sails to ride the tempest of life.

And just because I like to eat a lot doesn't mean I'm not conscious of the things I'm feeding my body. To have a great mind, you must feed the brain with the healthiest food. I don't like broccoli, but I do love me some strawberries. Plus some prepackaged milk tea, a recently-released drink that I've always wanted to try.

I am now starting April the way I started March: catching up on my READING! We visited Zabadani Coffeeshop before it opens a newer store. I've grown to love this branch so much, it is the place I frequent if I want a good place to relax and de-stress. But I wish the owners the best of luck in their new place.

That is my mug of Spicy Layered Zabadani Coffee and Ramdeey the Persian Cat, and these two are the main reasons why I go to Zabadani. :D

Sorry if this post is really long and boring but thank you for reading all the same.
Keep safe and healthy!