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Archive for August, 2008

Confession of a shopaholic

August 31st, 2008 at 07:09 pm

I am concerned at my own spending ways. Somehow, I think my trip in Morocco has affected me in a way. You see... People there are very couscious of how they look. Well many of them. Even my friend, especially her big sister. She has so many clothes(Way more than me) and it is important for her to keep up-to-date in fashion or else, she will be look down upon by everybody.If you don't dress well there, you don't get any proper services. While it may seem farfetch to you guys, it is true in Morocco.

In a way, I seem to bring that along with me. I love looking stylish. I turn into a shopaholic in shoes and bags recently. I bought many pairs of shoes and one bag here in Canada so far. Oh yeah and a pair of jeans too. It ate up a big chunk of my paycheck this week, so I am quite worry about my future paycheck. Especially my challenge!! But I looooooooove having things that complete my outfit. I used to be more simple than now.

This week, I shop with Kiwii. She is one of those people who tell you to buy this and that because is cheap,cute or whatever. My spending behaviour also comes from her.

My cousine... God, she uses to be one of those 'I hate shopping'. Lately, she gets really excited when she hears the word shopping! Sometimes, she scares me... Especially the last time we went shopping, she was looking at all kind of shoes. We both love shoes so when I am with her, there's a huge chance I will buy a pair of something... -.-"

Overall, the place I live is full of shopaholics. Hey... I should expect that comming from a consumer society. My boyfriend let me free in the wild while he is doing the monk. My boyfriend is a monk while his girlfriend is a... Consumer of today society? What do we call those people?

Anyways, my next post will be 'Confessin of a smart shopper'. I may turn into a shopaholic but I can be smart in my purchases! ;-)

Tips and books selling

August 31st, 2008 at 06:32 pm

I am adding 80$ from my tip money that I earned from three days of work. I will also add 50$ from selling my books which I will receive this week.

Old amount: 8404$
+ 130$
New amount: 8534$

Some spending on my paycheck

August 30th, 2008 at 08:59 pm

I got my paycheck this Thursday which is around 432.59$.

I pay my phone bill which is 50$. The bill was way less than that which is around 43$ but I want to put a fix amount each month. If I calculate right, there will be a month where I don't need to pay my bill. I will continue to put 50$ per month because it is easier for me.

Now I have 382.59$ left. I bought a pair of black jeans at American Eagle for 67.17$. Hehe... I haven't bought any for quite some time. Well I don't need to buy any more jeans since I have 7 pairs which two, I don't wear as often as the others. Now I have eight pair of jeans. The new jeans have different color than my other jeans, it is in black pair and I like American Eagle jeans. Anyways, I haven't been shopping for clothes ever since I came back from Morocco. All I remember buying here are shoes which I got a lot of them for a good price. Plus, I used my tip $ to buy them ^.^

382.59$ left - 67.17$ = 315.42$.

Another thing... I realized that I want a black tote. Well I wanted to buy one that is classic and big enought to carry my books. I found one at Nine West which is 110$. It was a simple black one with nice pattern. I felt guilty lately because I've been spending a lot this summer in Morocco.

Although, I got 15$ off from it (Initially 125$), the tote bag is still expensive. Kiwii said she'll never spend that much on a bag. Same with me too. I don't find trendy or cute design bag that appealing, especially when I realized that I like a the classy bag more than others. I love my tote and I may feel guilty of spending a lot of money. I also have a swiss schoolbag which I carry often to school when I have to bring many books. I find bothersome to bring a schoolbag everyday. On some days, I need to bring a few books to school and a tote is all I need.

Overall, I don't hold that much of regret of choosing this bag over all the others. It is big and strong enought to carry around campus where as the other bags look fragile. The color is black so it is easier to wear with any clothes. I usually wear my school bags till it worn out. In another word, I will use it often. =D

I spend 315.42$ - 124.30$ = 191.12$

Also, I have my skin lotion which is 73.12$. I am planning to reduce that amount sooner but I have to see my items when it arrived to see if it's worth it.

191.12$ - 73.12$ = 118$

Still it is wrong to spend that much. I know.

I will put the rest of the money in my challenge:

Old amount: 8286$
+ 118$
New amount: 8404$

I know that there are things I can avoid. This month, my spending got way out of control. I will try to not spend on Septemeber to calm my spendy way. I will get back to you guys a little later. I will be quite busy this weekend.

On my next post, I will talk about my sudden shopping urge... I need to talk about it on my next post. Possibly that my voyage in Morocco has affected me somehow. O.O I don't quite understand how...

School started yesterday

August 26th, 2008 at 02:33 pm

Yesterday was my first day of school. I had five hours of break before my next class, I could go home but I didn't want to spend a ticket. Since it is the end of the month, buying a bus card for the month of August would be useless.

Today was my second day of school, another five hours of break with nothing to do.

Tomorrow? Another five hours of break but this time, I will have homework.

My schedule this week is pretty bad although I will use those time to do my homework to kill time.

I spend on lunch yesterday and today, I bought food with me.

From now on, I will bring my lunch with me.

How was school? Well... It was boring because of my long breaks. It was weird seeing all those new students from this fall. I felt like the big sister of those kids. Hopefully, I have grown from my first year in cegep.

Just clean the closet

August 19th, 2008 at 08:37 pm

Yesterday, I spent the whole day cleaning the closet and I feel great after seeing the result.

If you are tired of your clothes, sometimes taking a day off of your busy schedule once a month to clean it and put your clothes in a different way will help you see your clothes from a different perspective. Well I find.

Here a quick tour of my closet:





Yes, I have a lot of shoes =P


This is where I put my luggage:


Left side:


Right side:
Those colourful things you see here are bags that I've bought from Morocco.


I may buy a lot of shoes and jewelries compare to the average people. Although, I am a strong believer that jewelries, accessories and shoes can make a simple outfit look amazing. I would like to take pictures of my outfits (Yes, I like to dress up =P) and post it here.

Don't worry guys, I am not a shopaholic. I love clothes and I don't really follow the trend. Well I barely follow fashion.

The basic things that tourists and travellers should know is on the post before this one.

Basic things that tourists and travellers should know about Morocco

August 19th, 2008 at 08:00 pm

Well guys, I've written a long long list like five minute ago and it got deleted accidently when I accidently click on something else. This is something that I hate about this site. When I try to go back to my original page, I lose everything. Grrr....

Okay, I'll just give the basic things that you should know about Morocco.

1$ US = 7.691$

Here are the things you can expect to pay on your trip there.

- A 1.5 liter of water (Sidi Ali brand): 6 diirhams
- A 1 liter of coke: 9 diirhams
- Snack (made in Morocco): 1-4 diirhams
- French bread: 2 diirhams
- A big box of cheese (le vache qui rit): 30-40 diirhams

At the souk:

The rule of shopping there is to bargain. Sellers there tend to double and triple the original price to Moroccans and tourists. Yes you hear me! They even put the price higher to their own people sometimes. Be sure to remember not to go too low or too aggressive on them. Try to get a price you would like to pay. Try to think of a price you would like to pay and not mention to the sellers. Here's a trick: Say you want a decorative tanjine for 15 diirhams, tell them you want it for 10 diirhams. With 10 diirhams, you might get it between 10 diirhams or 15 diirhams. But if the seller ask you to pay 17 diirhams, tend you suggest them 15 diirhams. It usually work but make sure that it's an item you are willing to pay if you are in your country. You don't want to ruin them. Some tourists do that which is very bad for the seller.

I got a little decorative tanjine for 15 diirhams, a camel made of camel skin for 5 diirhams, a small camel made of pencil case for 5 diirhams, a inspired hijab t-shirt for 50 diirhams,etc.

Danger:

Be careful of going out in poor area of the cities and at night especially if you are a girl. Morocco is dominated by men although if you are a man, it does not mean you are safe. You can get robbed or killed at night.

When riding the train at night, make sure to go to a cabin with a family there or in a public place where there's light on. If a family tell you that this cabin is reserved, they are NOT allow to do that. As long as the window door does not have a message saying it's reserve, they do not have the right to reserve it. If you go in, they mostly will let you sit because they know that they can't reserve it.

Typical Moroccan stuff to buy there:

- Eau de rose (a natural parfum made of rose): 35 diirhams (You can get it cheaper at the souk but they are the actual flowers while in the store, they are transform into a perfum)
- Argan soaps: 5 diirhams
- A small decorative tanjine at the souk
- A Moroccan carpet at the souk (At Rabat preferable, they are the main makers of the carpet)
- Moroccan tea sets for mint tea (Super typical =P), you can buy them at the souk.
- A decorative plate (Orange/Blue/Red) at the souk
- Baboush shoes (comes in many colour) at the souk
- Black soap made of essential oil : 35-40 diirhams (It's a soap to help scrub the dead skin off, I advice you to try the hammam there to know what I'm talking about =P)
- A scrubbing glove to scrub the dead skin off: 5 to 15 diirhams

Of course you don't need to buy all of this, I sure didn't buy all that. It is just some things that is a good idea to buy there.

Must try food!

Orange juice: This is something you can not miss! Moroccan juice is one of the best in the world. Totally natural and of so good! Mmmm... I couldn't stop drinking them when I was there. It's cheap too. Around 3 to 6 diirhams a glass. If you are thinking of buying your orange juice in a stand, make sure the seller press the orange in front of you and the glasses are clean. If the stand does not look clean, don't buy it.

Bread: Most of the bread are French style and it's cheaper than France.

Plain Yogourt: It has this natural taste in it and it's good. =P

Moroccan snacks: It's good! Cost around 1 diirham to 4 diirhams. You can buy them at people who sell them. You help them out by buying from them and you can try all kind of candies for less than 7 diirhams. Except the international brand chocolates, they can cost 7 diirhams to 10 diirhams. Make sure they are wrap up.

Moroccan snacks: I showed you a picture of it at Rabat. This is a must try. It can be a hit or miss with you. It was surely a miss with me. I am not a big fan of sugary snack. Again make sure it's from a clean place!

I think that's about it. Feel free to ask me anything. =D

Money for my challenge

August 14th, 2008 at 10:28 am

Hey everybody! Sorry didn't have the time to post up the basic things that tourists and travellers should know about Morocco. I will post up tonight for sure!

Anyways, I got my paycheck this week and it was 593$.

I will put it in my challenge money:

Old amount: 7693$
+ 593
New amount 8286$

1714$ to go!! WOOHOOO!! If I didn't use my tips, I don't need to save more but I want to enjoy my summer fully. Once school starts, I will be back to my frugal mode.

Pictures from my trip part 5: Food I've ate

August 10th, 2008 at 02:48 pm

Hey everybody! Here is my last and final batch from Morocco. The food that my friend's mom cook =D

Homemade bread anyone?




Sardine balls mix with sauces and vegetables:



My friend's dad went hunting and bought birds (Dunno how it called in English):




Another of my friend's dad catch:


Tortilla:


Fish!


Yogourt with fruits bought at a shop:


Le rouy cheese bought from a grocery store (It smells really bad but it's so friken good):

Pictures from my trip part 4: places I've been

August 7th, 2008 at 10:40 pm

Hey everybody! Glad to know that many of you enjoyed the pictures I took ^.^.

Next place: Marrakesh

My friend's sister and I took the train at 4 am in the morning:

View from the inside of the train:




At the cafe:



Marrakesh style breakfast anyone?
Freshly press orange, hot chocolate and yogourt



Everyday life in Marrakesh (A lot of people ride motors or bicycle there because they can't afford a car):


Telephone:


I forgot the name but it looks like a mosque:



Villa:


Where poor people live:


People sitting on the floor at this particular place and wait for someone to hire them for little jobs to do:


Little stores:


Typical Moroccan door:


Fruits seller and little taxi(brownish one):


Police motocycle:


Mohammed VI's garden:


Garbage can:


My camel (You can ride them for around 50 diirhams-70diirhams for a nice ride) around 7 to 10 dollars:


The souk at Marrakesh:









Water givers (they used to be important because they are the one carrying the waters in the old time, to get a drink, we have to pay them a diirham or two if I remember correctly) By the way, don't forget to pay them after taking a picture with them. The minimum 5 diirhams, don't let them force you into giving more and... Never show them a bigger amount than the amount that you plan to give, they will nag you like hell!! =O:


Morocco is famous for their orange juice but becareful where you buy yours, some are unclean. Go to Marrakesh where the seller press the orange in front of you and see if their glasses are clean. A good glass of orange juice cost 3 diirham (~40 cents):


Marrakesh present gare (they built a new one but the new one, it's a surprise once you get there you will see it Wink :


Next batch of pictures will be the Moroccan food at my friend's place =D.

By then, I think I will have enought time tomorrow to talk about the basic things that tousists and travellers should know. Big Grin

Pictures from my trip part 3: places that I've been

August 6th, 2008 at 07:28 pm

Okay here is the rest of the pictures of places that I've been:

Rabat (The capital of Morocco):

Little taxi (BLUE):


The town:





Forgot the name of the place but it's where Mohammed V, Hassan II and his brother rest in peace:

They are real guards by the way:








Typical Rabat:


Typical Moroccan door:


Snacks anyone? :


Typical Moroccan entrance and I am in this picture:


Shopping!:







Restaurant around the corner:



Gosh... Too much pictures. I am going to post Marrakesh tomorrow if you guys don't mind. Too lazy tonight hehe ^.^' Marrakesh is quite beautiful too =P






Pictures from my trip part 2: Places that I've been

August 5th, 2008 at 09:58 pm

By the way, the first part is a little city called Mohammedia. It's between Rabat and Casablanca.

Here are pictures of places that I've been:

The first is Casablanca :

In front of the train gate:


The city:



The little taxi:


Hassan II mosque:



Old style bus:


Pizza (best pizza I've ever taste!):


It is getting late now, my next post will be about Rabat, Marrakesh and the country place. I don't need to work tomorrow so I will have the chance to post everything and even the basic things that tourists and travellers should know. =P

Pictures from my trip part 1 : where I live

August 5th, 2008 at 11:19 am

Okay I'm back! Sorry couldn't post it yesterday because my internet was down.

Here a few pictures from my trip :

Where I live, it's an apartement of five floors.

Front of the apartement:


View from the kitchen:


View from the balcony:


Side fron the balcony near the beach:


This is the first part of my entry today. I will promise you guys that I will post more tonight once I finish working. The basic things that tourists and travellers need to know will be up tonight too.

My trip review

August 3rd, 2008 at 11:30 am

Well it's been a few days since I didn't write anything. Too busy working working and working. I promise to write more for the days to come. Just that I have nothing new except reporting my earnings.

I earn 244.10$ from my last paycheck last Thursday from 30 hours of work. I pay my credit card bill 36.91$ from buying skin lotions. Now I have 207.19$ left with 155$ tips. I am planning 50$ for my phone bill and... possibly a bus card that is going to cost me 45$ this month. That left me with 267$.

When I was in Morocco, I spend approximatly 455.02$ more than I plan on spending which is 1455$. Unfortunatly, I will have to take that out from my Japan trip. Luckily, my tips and my paycheck last week helped me bring that number up and now I have 7693$ on my Japan trip. ^.^ The reason why I overspend by almost 500$ is because I want to enjoy as much as I can there and I want to buy many typical Moroccan stuffs.

My friend keeps telling me to enjoy as much as I can because most of these stuff are either expensive or non-existant in Canada. It's true by the way ^.^! Well the fashion there are much more advance so I bought many of their clothes for less than 20$ each. I got a cute Zara dress for less than 8$ Canadian which was a steal. They have many factories such as Zara,Mango and all many of the European brands even Levis.

In general, the country is very advance in fashion because they are near Europe and they are not as conservative as many thinks. There were women dress like here but to prevent harassement from men, we have to wear a t-shirt that cover our shoulder and a knee lenght skirt or pants.

The things there are not expensive either because of the revenues of the general population. For me, I consider it cheap but for them, it is expensive. My friend's family couldn't afford many typical Moroccan things because of the inflation and they are exporting their product to other part of the world like Europe, Asia and America.

I could talk forever about my trip but now I have to go to work. I will talk more about my trip later and I will post a few pictures up. =D

Hope you all have a good day!