My new expensive obsession (Disney LE dolls)

Hi, so long time no see. It’s been a lot of stressful months for me, but I hope to get back on the blogging and youtube horse.

Lately I’ve gotten a new hobby, or rather a new obsession, which is limited edition Disney dolls – especially the 17 inch limited edition dolls. Never heard of them? Well, me too.

Since 2008, the Disney store have released 17 inch limited edition dolls, often to coincide with DVD releases or anniversaries – the standard price is often 99.99 USD.
Their first dolls was the Snow White doll, she was limited to 5,000 dolls worldwide – due to her being the first and now been around for almost 6 years – she’s the most wanted doll among most fans and buying her on ebay will set you back at least 1,500 USD. She is the holy grail of Disney doll collectors.
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Another famous doll is the “17 Alice in Wonderland doll, on auctions she costs the same as Snow White, one of the reasons is her extremely limited number, since there’s only made 500 Alice dolls worldwide.

How did my interest start? As readers of my blog probably knows is that my interest used to be Japan, traveling, fashion and make-up – never dolls or Disney. My husband and I decided around November to start trying to get pregnant and therefore I started buying my favorite Disney movies on DVD (mostly the princess movies and the Lion King), since I wanted them with the Danish dub and not the Japanese, so I felt I needed to hurry and buy those available before moving to Japan. I started seeing some of them and was reminded of the lovely stories of my childhood. I came across a picture of the Animators’ Collection Dolls on the internet…

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It was love at first sight. I went to my local Disney store, “just to see them” and on a whim, I ended up buying Belle and Mulan, my first doll purchase as an adult. Brought them home and I was in love. Called my mother and asked her to buy Ariel and Jasmine for me. Before I knew it, around the end of December I had bought them all – most on Japanese sites and shipped to my father-in-law’s house in Japan, so I didn’t have to bring them with my when I move, because these dolls are huge (also around 17 inches/47 cm).

Then I thought that was it. Then I saw the lovely Elsa (from the Disney movie, Frozen) classic doll (a classic doll is like a barbie doll, just made by Disney and not Mattel) on the Disney store page – she was beautiful. But I thought “what are you going to do with her?” and I didn’t buy her. The next day I looked she was sold out and that’s when I knew that I needed her. I looked on ebay, but the prices were too high. I looked on Japanese sites, but Elsa was sold out – only Anna was to find. Then a day later, I was checking Yahoo! auctions (like a Japanese ebay) and there the classic Anna and Elsa dolls were and their price was the same as the Danish retail price and they were buy now. Then I decided to buy all the Disney classic dolls (except Merida). Then I saw the limited edition of the Anna and Elsa dolls…

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They are both 17 inches tall and limited to 2500 worldwide and their retail price was 99.99 USD (per Doll). I looked them up and it turns out that they were sold back in November, around the release of the movie Frozen and they sold out within minutes of being released online. I looked at ebay and the prices were crazy and so was the Japanese prices.

A few days later I heard that a new pair of limited Anna and Elsa dolls would be released for pre-order on the 10th of January, limited to 5000 worldwide. I thought… that’s it! I studied up on how to get the dolls, the best ways to prepare myself (seriously, for those who haven’t tried it, buying the limited editions dolls are like a war online and they sell out within minutes) and then I was ready for the 10th of January. My husband and I got up 30 minutes before their release (which were 00.00 am California time) and 9:00 am Danish time. Around 00.05 am I got the link for the dolls and my heart was beating while I checked out and it went through at 00.07 am. I had my first Limited edition dolls. !!! The dolls sold around within around 40 minutes or less.

After that I just looked on Yahoo! Auctions for my next chance – which was limited edition Ariel, which my husband bought for me. She’s limited to 6000 worldwide.

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Then things happened fast and the same day I got the fairy tale designer couple of Snow White and the Prince (limited to 6000). These designer dolls are a bit smaller than the “17 dolls – think they’re around 12 inches tall.

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I still was searching for a good price on the November edition of the Anna and Elsa dolls (the ones pictured above), but their ebay prices kept rising in an uncontrollable speed – especially Elsa. No other dolls has seen such a price jump in such a short time. It took years for Snow white to reach the level she’s at now, but for Elsa it took only weeks. Elsa’s newest sales price on ebay is 750 USD and the pair was sold for 1200 USD a few days ago. It’s crazy. They finally showed up on Yahoo! Auctions as “buy now” for around 600 USD – an expensive price, but compared to ebay it was cheap and my husband bought them for me. I had finally gotten my two most wanted dolls.

Two days ago I bid on more Japanese auctions and won: Designer Mulan doll, Designer Snow White doll (the designer is very different from the “17 doll) and then I won the “17 Cinderella doll.

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All these dolls bought within a month – I’m officially obsessed. Though the good thing is that these dolls can be considered an investment. They might be expensive – but they will only get more expensive with time. Meaning if I don’t want them anymore in a few years I can sell them and probably get more money than I paid (or my husband paid, to be honest).

So what’s next? Of course my dream is to get Tiana and Belle (both “17), but their price level is out of my reach – at least what I feel like paying since they’re both close to 500 USD per doll. The same goes for long haired Rapunzel. So the next doll I’ll try to get is the Ever After Rapunzel (short haired), since she’s limited to 6,000 worldwide and not as popular, so often she’s sold around retail price. She’s the final doll that I feel is within my reach of price and that thought makes me happy. I can’t wait to see all my dolls, which are stored in Japan. I want to buy a glass case/cabinet for them, with LED lights and a lock, so they can be show cased in my future living room.

 

My Ten Favorite/Most used Make-up Items. [Alphabetically]

L’oreal – Color Riche Eyeshadow

The color Riche line is one of the newer eyeshadow lines from L’oreal (they also have the color riche nail polish line). It offers an array of colors, everything from natural looks to colorful looks. All the eyeshadows contains a set of 4 colors and on the back on the eyeshadow an small example of how to use all the colors is included. Some of the most vibrant of these are the purple one, the blue one and the orange/green one, which works great when creating a colorful look. I was especially excited about the purple colors, since I for some time have been searching for a pigmented purple color – since for some reason the color purple seem to have the hardest time showing up on the lid. I did several swatch tests of several purple eyeshadows of several brands in several store and none of them showed up as pigmented as this L’oreal Color Riche Eyeshadow (my test also included other L’oreal eyeshadows which didn’t pass the test). The color pretty much shows up as clear is in the palette and has very few fall outs. The same goes for the other colors in this line – no matter if it’s the green or the bronze or the blue and they’re all quite recommended.

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L’oreal – Lash Architect 4D Mascara

This has been my current favorite mascara since its’ release last year. It’s easy to apply, with less chances of the lashes clumping together and it gives them a full and long finish without having to apply too much. Before this mascara I’ve been through more mascaras than what is considered fun. I was always ready to test the newest drug store mascaras in hopes of finding a new favorite, but with this L’oreal Lash Architect I finally found it. Though recently I’ve also taken an interest to the new Maybelline Rocket Volume Mascara. Normally I’ve not been a big fan of the Maybelline Mascaras, but this newest addition to the Volume Express family actually to have potential. It separates the lashes, gives them good length and doesn’t leave any crunchy lashes or clumps.

208500-0648_1L’oreal – Perfect Match Concealer

My most trusted concealer. It’s easy to apply and has great coverage. One of my main reasons for choosing this concealer last year, was the fact that this doesn’t use the “click system”. The system where the applicator is a brush and you click on the bottom of the concealer, like a pen, to get more product on the brush, like this GOSH concealer in the picture below.

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I’ve had some bad experiences with the click system when I’ve brought the concealer with my on flights. The pressure on the flight resulted in the concealer to “pop” and a lot of the product flooded out of the brush. I’m not saying that all click foundations will do this, but I find the click system unreliable for people who travel a lot like me, since there will always be a chance they will “break under pressure”.

Therefore I decided to find a concealer with a different system, which this L’oreal has. As seen in the picture above this concealer utilizes a sponge line applicator instead of a brush, which is dipped into the product instead. A lot more reliable on flights and such.

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MaxFactor – Face Finity 3 in 1 Foundation

Before I used this foundation I used the Dream Matte Mouse from Maybelline since I found that very easy to apply compared to liquid foundations. Then I came across this MaxFactor 3 in 1 Foundation, which is both a foundation, primer and concealer – all you’ll ever need.

This foundation has great smooth coverage without getting cakey and it’s very easy to apply. Since it’s a 3 in 1 foundation it saves a lot of time since you’ll not have to worry about primer and concealer. Though when I seek flawless skin on more special days I still like to apply my favorite face primer and concealer. Though it is without evident that this foundation also contains certain amount of these two things, since it covers up red spots and dark patches better than a regular foundation and it also lasts longer than a foundation without primer. Overall this is currently the foundation I recommend to friends and family when I get asked.

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Maybelline – Dream Matte Powder

Not much to say about this product, but since I do use it everyday with satisfaction I thought it needed a mention. It’s easy to apply and gives you a nice, matte and smooth skin.

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Maybelline – Eye Studio – Color Tattoo 24hr Cream Gel Shadow

The Maybelline Eye Studio 24hr gel shadows are often compared to the MAC paint pots, but there’s no doubt that Maybelline’s gel shadows are the cheap alternative, since the MAC paint pots costs around 18 USD you can buy Maybelline’s color tattoos for around 8 USD – half the price. I must admit I’ve not, yet had the chance to try the MAC paint pots, but the Maybelline color tattoos was instantly among some of my favorite make-up items. The colors are very intense, easy to apply and lasts for a long time. Especially the colors such as gold, silver and bronze are surely colors that will make a nice addition to any make-up collection. The great thing about these gel shadows is not just the great colors and easy application, but also that they can act as an eyeshadow primer. Just add one of these gel shadows on your lid and apply other favorite eyeshadows on top your look will last a lot longer – also without any creases. The only color among these 24hr gel shadows which is not recommended is the purple color. I have not purchased it myself, but after doing simple swatch tests in the make-up store it quickly shows that it does neither apply evenly nor is it easy to work with. Other make-up reviews will often agree to this fact. The other colors are great purchases.

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Sephora – Raspberry Sheen Blush

My current favorite and most used blush. It’s a nice dark pink color that goes great with my fair skin. It’s easy to apply and has a nice finish. It has tiny glitters in it to add some shine to your cheeks, but the glitter is still so small and subtle that it doesn’t add any cheesy unneeded sparkles, which also makes it a great addition for your everyday make-up.

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Urban Decay – Eyeshadow Primer Potion

Most make-up loving girls swears by this product and I’m without a doubt a part of this group. Are you tired of your pretty eye make-up getting ruined by nasty creases? Aren’t your pretty eyeshadow colors showing up well on your lid? Or are you just tired of your eye make-up lasting far from long enough? Then the eyeshadow primer potion from Urban Decay just what you’re looking for. Not only does it make your eye make-up last all the way through the day, it also prevents your make-up from creasing and it will stay perfect for hours without any change. Finally using this eyeshadow primer also helps your eyeshadow colors to show up more brightly and colorful on your lids – which means this primer is definitely a must for the more heavy make-up like smokey eyes. It’s pretty hard to make the perfect smokey eyes without this primer.

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Urban Decay – Naked Palette 2

Everyone talks about this palette from Urban Decay and most people praise it. It surely is a great addition to any make-up collection – especially for those people, like me, who also likes to wear eyeshadows on regular days. It’s filled with all the colors needed for a neutral look that you can wear at school, at work or even to a party. It suits pretty much any skin tone, any occasion and it gives you a timeless look. The colors are well pigmented and shows up very well on the lid (tested with eyeshadow primer potion), there’s a regular amount of fall outs and it has a wide array of colors (between dark brown, bronze, golds and light colors) making it possible to put together various looks. I myself have a big passion for brown, bronze and gold colors, making this palette an obvious purchase for me and it has also become a treasured part of my collection.

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Urban Decay – Smoked Palette

This is the perfect item for anybody who love smokey eyes – like me. It’s a simple palette, with 10 colors and an eyeliner. There is 4 matte colors and 6 metallic/shimmery colors, making this a strong contender for being the perfect smokey eye palette. The colors range from earth colors (brown, grey, black and beige) to strong colors like purple, blue and green, giving many possibilities for a great look, whether you like the classic black smokey eyes, smoldering brown eyes, rockstar purple eyes or green smokey eyes. You can also be bold and mix them all up. The colors are beautiful, vibrant and pigmented and pretty much what you can expect from an Urban Decay product. Together with the palette and the eyeliner, you also get a travel size eyeshadow primer potion and also a pamphlet with various step-by-step tutorials to do various looks.

MOLLY HOLLY: New Shoes

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So I haven’t been active for some time, mostly due to the fact that I’m currently back in Denmark and I haven’t really had any Japan-related things to share. Of course I do buy lots of make-up like I always do, but since the main focus of this blog is not make-up and fashion I try to refrain myself from sharing too much of that. BUT… I did get these shoes yesterday (a gift from my mother) and I love them so much I felt like sharing a picture. I do expect to have a Japan-related entry up by tomorrow.

Clothes & Shoe Haul [Honey’s & Shimamura]

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When I did my exchange in Japan last year, I lived close to a shopping mall, which had a clothing store named “Honey’s” – it was love at first sight. A lot of fashion stores in Japan only have M sizes – which is kind of seen as “one-size”, which sometimes makes it hard for me to buy clothes in Japan. I’m by no means neither over-weight nor am I considered big (I’ve sometimes even been called skinny) – but I do have curves (read: big boobs) which is something that doesn’t go well along with Japanese fashion.

The chain store “Honey’s” can save us foreigners in Japan, who loves Japanese cute fashion, but have a bit too big curves for the small sizes. Honey’s carries S, M and L sizes and the L size is the perfect one for me (Not so good news for plus size girls – sorry). Not only does Honey’s sell cute Japanese fashion in several sizes, they’re also very affordable compared to other Japanese clothing stores. Their price range is within 1000 – 3000 yen. (10 – 30 USD), where’s most fashion stores in Japan has a price range from 5000 – 20,000 yen (50 – 200 USD).

So of course during this time in Japan I of course needed a trip to Honey’s before going back to Europe, which resulted in my buying four skirts and four shirts. Totaling in around 16,500 yen (around 175 USD).

I was not able to find all the clothing items I bought on the online shop, but here’s some of the shirts and skirts I bought. If you’re interested in seeing how youth fashion looks in Japan, you can check out their online shop: Honey’s.

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Another chain clothing store in Japan which offers cheap clothes, accessories and shoes are the “Shimamura” chain, which also offers “big sizes” as one of the few shops in Japan. They have around the same price range as Honey’s (though a bit cheaper actually) and their fashion is a bit similar. In Shimamura I bought two shirts and a pair of shorts, I also bought these shoes.

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They cost around 2000 yen pr. pair (around 20 USD), so they’re also in the rather cheap price range here in Japan and for a shoe loving girl as me it was like paradise – or actually more like hell, since I had to chose which ones I wanted to the most, because it’s actually not my own money I spend here, but my husband’s. XD

Japanese styled ear & hair accessory

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Yesterday I went to the Japanese Daiso store here in Miyazaki. Daiso store is a 100 yen shop – similar to a 1 Dollar store. Pretty much everything in the whole store costs 10o yen (105 yen tax included), which is around 1 dollar. You can often find all sorts of fun things in a 100 yen shop and no matter how many times I’ve been to the Japanese 100 yen shops, I keep getting surprised about what you can actually get for 100 yen – everything from tableware, snacks, drinks, clothing items, stationary, garden things, souvenirs, storage solutions and accessories.

And yesterday it was especially the accessory area that caught my attention, since they had these interesting Japanese themed (Japanese-patterned) earrings and hair accessory. They have basically used pattern often seen on Japanese kimonos and made several shapes.

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The earrings are either made of glass-like plastic or fabric. The shapes of the plastic earrings spanned from flowers, leafs, tear drops, squares and etc. The fabric earrings were in the shapes of flowers, ribbons or butterflies. There were a lot more shapes and patterns in the shop than pictured above.

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Like the earrings the hair accessories also had several shapes to offer, though from the same brand as the earrings you could chose from flowers, butterflies and ribbons – all made of fabric. On another shelfs bigger accessories were available – like big flowers and the traditional square shaped hairband as pictured above.

All these 12 accessory items totalled in 1260 yen (tax included) which is around 13USD – which is quite affordable shopping for cute and unique, Japanese styled accessories.

Earrings and Make-up Shopping [LA Colors]

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Yesterday I went shopping in the Aeon Shopping mall in Miyazaki, Japan with my husband (somebody had to pay for the fun). And Like always I find myself spending too much time looking at make-up and jewelry. I bought a lot of earrings, stockings, leg-warmers, make-up and other stuff. I just though it would be interesting to show these “Alice in Wonderland” themed earrings I bought. Japan really knows how to create cute designs that makes you want to spend your husband’s money. All the earrings I bought (including the above) are made in Japan, which makes them a bit more expensive that the regular girlish jewelry you can find in Japan. The earrings cost between 900 yen to 1,400 yen (10 – 16 USD), where you can often buy cute jewelry for the price of 315 yen to 600 yen. (3.5 – 9 USD).

Of course if you want real silver or gold jewelry you have to dish up with a lot of more money, since Japan has never been known for being a cheap country. I almost feel like crying every time I have to pay 3,5 USD for one apple or 60 cent for one single carrot. Eating healthy in Japan might kill me.

Another purchase of mine was three make-up pallets from LA colors – each with 16 shimmer colors.

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The first one is with pinkish and purple colors, the second is with blueish and green colors and the last one has silver, copper and gold colors. This is the first time I’ve come across this brand, but when I saw the colors and the price it was love at first sight, which resulted in me buying all of them. One pallet costs 840 yen (around 9 USD), which is rarely a price I’ve come across – at least not when it comes to quality products, so I had my worries, but let the colors sweep me away. I was to be honest positively surprised by these products, the colors are a lot more pigmented than I had hoped for and the blend very nicely. I have one of the big Sephora pallets, which costs are lot more than these LA colors combined, but I have to admit that I actually can’t see the big difference between the two products. The Sephora one actually seems to have a lot more fall-outs than the LA colors, if I have to compare something else.

Of course these LA colors products are not the best make-up products I own or have tested, but considering the very cheap price I actually think they’re well worth the money, especially for everyday casual use. The colors are beautiful, shimmery, varied and transfers well from the pallet to the eyelid. I’m very happy with this purchase and I could see myself buying more LA colors products in the future.

I have been inactive for some time due to a busy schedule and a week ago a family member passed away here in Japan and I’ve been very busy with funeral preparations. I think my next blog entry will describe a shinto funeral here in Japan. Since I myself didn’t know much about this.

Peripera – The Best Nail Polish Korea has to offer.

So this is quite the girlish post, so guys should just skip ahead.

I normally don’t write reviews concerning make-up, even though it’s a huge part of my life. I’m one of those girls who uses a lot of money on clothes, shoes, make-up and also a whole lot of money on nail polish. All the girlish stuff bundled up into one, right?

So I’m the girl who doesn’t leave the house without make-up, nor do I go out without my nails showing the newest nail art. So through other nail polish lovers my attention was brought the a new popular brand from South Korea called Peripera. This brand sells not just nail polish, but also make-up such as, BB-cream, blushers, lipstick and lipgloss.

I searched for pictures of the Peripera nail polish and fell in love right away. Some of the colors the ones seen many times before, but some of the others, especially their glitters and metallic colors caught my attention.

This is just some of the many colors Peripera has to offer:

I bought the Metallic green, Prism Navy, Sparkle Aqua and Sparkle blue (Last two not on the above picture)

One bottle is around 8.50 USD, so it’s not the cheapest nor the most expensive nail polish the world have to offer, but the amount in the bottles (15ml) is pretty much the perfect amount and it also has an interesting design. What is interesting about Peripera’s nail polishes, is the very big brush, which means that people with small nails, will be able to actually cover their whole nail in one swipe. Peripera nail polish is also very pigmented, which means that where most regular nail polishes needs two coats in order to give the best result, you only need one coat with Peripera. I was amazed to see how this easily applied, thin coat, with the very convenient big brush, could give such a deep and full color, without having to apply another coat. This nail polish must be the most pigmented nail polish I’ve ever used.

Overall this nail polish leaves a full, smooth and beautiful color, without you even trying. There’s no streaking either. From other reviews, this also seems to be a very lasting nail polish, and should be able to provide you with a beautiful nail for several days without chipping. Since I’ve only applied the polish today, I can’t tell whether this is true.

The sparkle polish creates a beautiful finish for your nail (I only added the glitter on the bottom nail), making it look professional and classy, even though you just spent a few minutes. I added a top coat to smooth the whole thing out. The two sparkle polishes I bought, is some of the most beautiful sparkly polishes I’ve laid my eyes on and overall I’m very excited about these. A fun an interesting thing about these peripera nail polishes is that perfume has been added, with leaves your newly painted nail smelling of sweet candy, meaning no more harsh polish smells, that can leave your stomach turning.

As you can probably hear, I’m very positive about this product and I might go as far as to declaring these polishes some the best I’ve ever tried and there’s not doubt that I’ll purchase more in a near future.

When it comes to purchasing this product, I recommend this following Korean ebayer, topinkgirl, who sell Peripera for a very reasonable price, gives free shipping world wide, adds a tracker to your parcel if you buy for more than 40 USD and overall is very reliable, makes very secure parcels and ships them to you very fast. I received my 4 polishes and a blusher within less than a week. (shipping from Korea to Denmark).

Like mentioned, I also decided to buy one blusher in vanilla pink (since I have a very fair skin tone), since I was in the need of a new one and overall felt like trying out one of peripera’s other products. What I especially liked about the blusher is the very cute design, which is very girly with its’ pink color and laces.

As seen on the above picture, the blusher also comes with a brush. Normally these kinds of brushes does not receive good reviews and few people choses to use them, but this Peripera brush is surprisingly soft and shows good quality, which means that this brush does not need to be replaced and can be used right away. Overall this also seems like a very good product and I am surely happy with my purchase. All I can do now is to recommend the Peripera brands to other make-up and/or nail polish users, since it’s an affordable brand in very good quality and is surely among some of the great things South Korea has to offer.

Trip summary: Thailand – The relaxed land of smiles and urbanization

This update have been delayed more than what actually seems appropriate – if that even makes sense. I have now been in Japan around 3 and a half week – time does surely takes you by surprise at times. This also means that it’s been 3 and a half week since my husband and I left South East Asia and due to the fact that I focused on making youtube videos, I never got around to doing a blog entry during our traveling. So now I’ll make an entry for each of the three countries, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam – starting with the first.

So Thailand, also often referred to as “The country of smiles” – which such a tagline I couldn’t help but finding myself a bit disappointed in the end.

We stayed in Thailand for around 6 days during our 3 week trip. Those days were mostly spent in Bangkok and the surrounding area. We also spent a night in popular vacation spot, Pattaya in order to visit one of my husband’s friends – a place I normally wouldn’t even consider setting my foot in.

Bangkok is a very big city with huge skyscrapers, big and expensive department stores and crowded streets. I often found myself wondering “What is Thailand?”. To me it most of all just seemed like a hotter, more dirty, Thai-speaking version of Tokyo or probably any big city. I’m not sure what I expected to see, I knew there wouldn’t be elephants running around the streets or small tree huts under the shades of palm trees – but what I did find in Bangkok was an overwhelming amount of brand shops advertising for the latest Gucci, Louis Vuitton or Burberry as well as several 7-elevens and McDonald’s pilling up along the streets.

The roads were dominated by colorful taxis, some desperate to get your attention, others couldn’t care less and if you wanted to cross the street there was no use in waiting for the signal to turn green – unless you feel like spending the rest of your holiday waiting while cars pass you by with no intention of stopping. After spending 3 weeks in South East Asia my husband and I knew that the only way to get anywhere was to seize the opportunity, seek courage and just go for it. Don’t get cocky though, the roads of Bangkok or non- relenting and merciless. We already on our first day in Bangkok we witness a bike accident on the road and the cracked skull that followed was what horror images are made of – as we heard sounds of ambulances coming to his rescue in the distance we all knew for sure that this guy was not going to make it.

So is there nothing cultural left to experience in Bangkok? Of course there is. Bangkok has an impressive array of temples and the big royal palace. All very interesting and will surely catch the eye of those seeing them for the first time.

And I do put emphasis on the “first time” part, because I did surely spend of lot of time my first few days admiring these temples and buildings, watching them stretching for the sky and glimmer in the sun and I used every opportunity I had to take pictures of these very “South East Asian” – buildings, those after those few days had past, I might as well only have seen less than half of what Bangkok had to offer in terms of temples, but I felt like I had seen them all. I longed for the non-urban Thailand experience and my husband found us a tour which took us out of the city, out to the famous floating market and out to the elephants. We got in small boats and got to experience the market first hand, seeing small boats filled with everything from fruit, noodles, souvenir, fake brands and bags pass us by.

After that we got a ride on an elephant – since this is something I felt I really needed to try out in Thailand. The real Thai experience. On that day I felt my mood and travel-spirit rise, I felt something cultural, both at the market and on the back of the elephant and I also loved seeing the small huts along the riverfront or dirt roads.

Like mentioned earlier we also went to Pattaya, in order for my husband to catch up with a friend – a popular beach area located around 2 hours away from Bangkok by taxi. To be fully blunt and honest, Pattaya was just as I feared. A place crawling with tourists, bars and sleazy looking places. For me I would normally never go such places, since for me vacations are not about beaches, sun and parties – especially not at a place were it seems like there’s more foreigners than there’s local people. At that one day I felt like my cultural level hit rock bottom and I wanted to return to Bangkok as soon as possible.
I guess the best thing I have to say about Pattaya was the fact that the beach did have a nice view and if one do like partying, hot weather and hanging out at the beach, then Pattaya is the place I’m sure.

When it came to the Thai people, famous for the smiles and friendliness, some lived up to my expectations others didn’t. We did meet a lot of nice and helpful people who were also generous when it came to giving out the famous smiles and like in all other countries we also met some less-nice people. The Thai people seemed to have an overall relaxed attitude towards many things in life – apparently sometimes customer service as well. Maybe I have just spent too much time in Japan where the service is always a top priority, but at times I was disappointed with some of the service we got in Thailand. I often experienced feeling ignored in certain shops and convenience stores, because the staff seemed more busy with chatting than helping me buy something. Once there was even a girl at the cashier who stopped serving me, in order to take a phone call from what seemed like a friend, who she cheerfully kept talking with while she then tried to finish the purchase with one hand and no words left for me.

Of course we received a lot of good service as well, no doubt about that. I just sometimes felt that a lot of Thai people had gotten tired of smiling and had no famous smiles left for us.
Of course those people who either tried to sell us something or cheat us had plenty of smiles and charming words. Overall we did end up getting tired of the people who told us lies in hope of that it could be their gain. One example was when we wanted to see the royal palace and a guy in a uniform told us we couldn’t enter because they were closing earlier today, but we should go see the giant buddha instead, we chose to ignore him and went to the palace anyway, which we had no problems entering, so it was all a scam.

Scams, lack of smiles and hot weather aside, we did have a nice time during our stay in Thailand, we did get to see cultural things and have a lot of experiences we’ll treasure for a long time.

I got my Japanese spouse visa.

In order to study for one semester in Japan and because I for certain reasons do not go for the student visa offered, my husband and I went to the Japanese embassy located in Copenhagen to start the ”spouse visa” progress.

Besides the obvious fact that you need to be married to a Japanese, there are some paper work when applying for a spouse visa. In Denmark the needed documents for obtaining a spouse visa are the following:

  • Visa application form (English) – 2 copies.
  • 査証発給申請書2通 (Visa application form – 2 copies)
  • 写真2葉 (Two pasport pictures)
  • 旅券 (Pasport)
  • 戸籍謄本1通 (Family registration – 1 copy)
  • 住民票の写し (Prove of residence)
  • 納税証明書 (Tax certificate)

Overall, there was a lot less paperwork than I expected, especially considering the fact that only the two documents we had to fill out were the two visa application forms. The rest were papers my husband obtained at his city hall in Japan.

Then we gathered the papers and went to the embassy on the 20th this month and already the next day, less than 24 hours later, I got a call saying that my visa was done and ready to be picked up.

I never expected it to be progressed that fast and without much work and above all the embassy charged no money for the visa. So now I have a one-year visa for Japan.

(Yes, I don’t really like the photo in the visa, which is why I decided to hide it. –  I have shown my face numerous times in other posts)

The part the flash is covering says: Spouse, Child of Japanese.

The passport is a “single entry” passport, which means that if I leave Japan, without having applied for a re-entry the visa is “cancelled”. Though, I’ll only need this visa for 5 months and not a year, but it’s nice to know that obtaining a one-year visa is not as complicated as I feared and we can easily do the procedure in a near future again, when I really need to be in Japan for longer periods. Since my plan is to move to Japan after I graduate university, then I guess we apply for the one-year visa and then when in Japan, we’ll have to apply to get that visa renewed.

My newest travel computer.

So, normally I do not blog about computers, but decided to make a post about my newest laptop addition. People who know me would say that computers have a big importance in my life and have been ever since I got my first PC. I don’t play games and such things, but I my computer is the resource of Japanese tv dramas, music and other medias. It was through the computer I developed my passion for Japan and Asia. It was with the help from the downloaded dramas that I learned the Japanese language and without that I wouldn’t have been able to meet my husband. I use my computer a lot and therefore I also have certain expectations to the performance of my own computers. I do write “computers” because I don’t just have one computer. As from this week, I have three laptop computers. The newest addition is the Apple MacBook Air 11” which was released July this year.

I know many people will dislike me for saying this, but I own three MacBook computers and I have not used a windows computer since my last PC, which I stopped using around 3 years ago. I got my first Apply computer in my last year of high school, where I got the MacBook Pro 15” (2008 version). At that time it was considered a computer with a great sleek design and very portable with the weight of 2.5 kilos. Shortly after apple changed the line-up and the new MacBook Pros were released. I liked the new design a lot better, which resulted in my mother buying the new version for me around a year after I had gotten the first one. I got the MacBook Pro 13” (2010) with the weight of around 2 kilos. I was a lot faster than the first one and it became my main computer. I still now, almost 2 years later, love my MacBook Pro. I use it several hours everyday, have brought it with me on several travels and I’ve written all my university assignments on it. It’s silent, it’s fast and I haven’t experienced any crashes or freezes despite my heavy use.

Then my mother got the idea that I should get a more travel friendly computer, since I do travel several times of the year and especially because I’ll spend half of 2012 abroad, both studying in Japan, but also traveling around in countries such as Thailand and Vietnam. She offered to buy me the newest MacBook Air. First I refused, because I already felt bad about the first MacBook Pro, just laying around and collecting dust. But, she took me along to an Apple shop, where I could take a better look at the computer and I must admit, it was love at first sight.
So now I have three Apple Macbooks:

 (From left: MacBook Pro 13”, MacBook Pro 15” and MacBook Air 11”)

An easier comparison:

I got the 128GB memory and 4GB RAM version, mostly because 64GB memory is just too small; especially considering my music collection is over 70GB. I decided to take the 11″ version (over the 13″), because I was looking for a computer as small as possible.

The MacBook Air is the perfect travel computer. It’s incredible thin, weights around 1 kilo and has a great design. Despite its’ size, this computer doesn’t lack in performance, both when it comes to speed, power and overall durance. It is a mini version of the MacBook Pro, of course with less memory and such things.

I have sometimes thought about buying a cheap Notebook computer for travel purposes, but in the end I knew such computer wouldn’t be able to live up to what I ask of it. What a Notebook computer lacks in size, it also lacks in speed and performance. Overall, a Notebook computer is not a laptop; it’s just a notebook. The size of the notebook computer also affects the size of the keyboard, which, at least for me, makes it less “writer-friendly” and certainly not a computer that expects you to write a 15 pages assignment on it.
The MacBook Air has a great designed keyboard as well, where the size doesn’t differ much from regular laptops, which makes it more enjoyable to write on. The new MacBook Air has also gotten the adjustable light in the keyboard (which MacBooks normally have.) so you’re able to clearly view the keyboard at dark places as well – such as onboard airplanes.
The MacBook Air is easy to stick down in it’s protective computer bag and doesn’t require much space in ones backpack.


Overall, it’s a perfect travel computer. Since it’s very thin and light, but at the same time the small size doesn’t affect its performance. The only thing speaking against this amazing computer is of course its’ price, since Apple products are without a doubt expensive – too expensive if you ask a lot of people.

The Apple computers doesn’t come with a writing program either, so back in 2009 I bought the very expensive Microsoft Office package for Mac that included Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Entourage and Messenger. I also installed the package on my MacBook Pro (2010), but since my MacBook Air doesn’t have a disc drive I haven’t installed the package this time around. Instead I decided to download the free “Open Office”, which offers a word-like writing program, presentation program, paint and etc. So now I’m all set for going away to Japan for a semester from February and bringing along my newest MacBook.