It Feels Like An Autumn


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“I’m ready for everything, in case it happens very soon.”

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Someone asked me ~with all her worries~ this question: how would I feel if one of my very, I mean it, very very best friends steps back out of a zone we both called a friendship after he married?

With a little smile, I could only show my feeling. Even though I knew it’s going to be hard.

I do realize when we grow old our circle becomes smaller. And with that, we all know that our heart could clearly find those we could called as best friends. It might not be a bunch, but they are enough to be counted with our fingers. Her question was such a bullet in a daydream. I knew what I always wanted to say, “I’m ready for everything, in case it happens very soon.” Perhaps it’s really easy just to say in words but not in heart. Perhaps it’s easy to accept a nonsense reason such as, distance becomes a big deal. Sometimes I pretend myself.

She was quite very emotional if she lost him for the sake of that long time friendship, too. The way we think might be different but we both know it isn’t that easy looking at someone we know for years has changed a little, become someone else. A stranger per se. But someone has chosen his path, with all dreams he wanted to share with someone we don’t know. Marriage life might change him as a person but what I know, even when I feel my own shiver in autumn, I would never forget his kindness. I would never erase our moments we spent together those days. Midnight. Drizzles. Sunset. Final year. Stupids. Hard times. Everything that has scored in my heart.

This is why its called a life, isn’t it?

Table Mountain

 


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“A visit to Table Mountain could be counted as the only “must-do” I did, literally”

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As mentioned on several posts, my trip was a relax one. I didn’t really go places but spent my time as slow as I could. It was pretty much like, “Oh, how many days I have remain here?” 

I’m serious, when in Cape Town I was, “Really? I still have 3 days? I thought it was only 2”. I think because I was so relax and did nothing most of my stay then time was running slowly.

I had a fickle heart on May third, to visit Table Mountain cause you know: “Don’t wake me up, still have an affair with my blanket cause hey morning in spring is cold, very cold”. But again, I had to gather my will to visit one of the famous sites Cape Town has to offer. Basically there are two ways to get a ticket to Table Mountain, buying it on the spot or online. I chose the second option a day before I paid a visit. Either you buy it at the ticket counter or online, you still need to join the queue before entering the site.

My choice to wake up early (tho it was hard cause hell ya, it was very cold) brought me to a place that made me throwing smiles to the air. Many times. On my way to Table Mountain was perfect. I had sunshine thru the car window, passing some gorgeous houses along the way (they are so gorgeous, one of the reasons why I said you won’t feel “Africa” in CPT), the sky was clear and blue and too pretty, but two things missed: I had no proper breakfast and I didn’t even care with what I read on the website on how wearing proper shoes is recommended. When I was close to Table Mountain, I could already see how beautiful up there from the car: the peak was covered with thick white clouds.

These photographs below do not do justice how clear, how blue the sky was. Believe me, apart of layouts and some B&W photographs, no Photoshop’s needed to convince you how gorgeous this place was.

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I took a little deep breath and slowed my steps down when I was up there.

It was magical staring at those layers of clouds, standing with a magical view, fresh air and shades of blue.

I, remember”

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“It was typical spring weather, the sky was blue and the sun was bright,

but the air was as cool as my feeling.

I sat for an hour, with gratitude, staring at Cape Town from above. She’s even prettier.

Sometimes the breeze made me shiver a bit, but I had to say it didn’t stop me thinking that this earth is,

exquisite”

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“I know I still have a lot of places I’d like to see with my naked eyes on this earth, there are a lot in number.

Sometimes, even just dreaming about each one of them, it gives me spirit to stand there someday.

Standing on Table Mountain was such a fantasy which came to real”

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~

Notes:

  • Take photograph of yourself with Cape Town as a background, don’t miss it even though you are such a BTS person like me. In my case, it was a bit tricky finding someone who familiar with camera so I had you know “why-this?” kind photograph (yes, it wasn’t pleasant when I got a dark one cause someone took mine against sun light) ~ lesson learned, time to get a tripod every time I travel alone
  • I suggest to check the weather in advance to ensure it is a good day, no rain, no cloudy sky so you won’t miss how fun the cable car is (or if you love hiking then try to hike till up, it must be fun)
  • Standing by the side in the car when you could see the scenery from the glass is a plus. It was a bit terrifying for me first time I entered, but it was fun in the end
  • Check the official website to know more about your preferred time to visit, I did wish I was there for sunset. I could imagine how beautiful it would be yet in my opinion anytime is good
  • There are souvenir shop, cafe and Wi-Fi lounge up. Even if it’s not much, spend some rand for some souvenirs so you have something to remember from the trip
  • I went to the cafe for late breakfast, though you know typical tourist site the price is higher but I had nice sautéed mushroom, so I won’t complain (having breakfast with stunning view was pleasant of course)
  • Don’t spend too much of your time to take photographs, I mean it. It is difficult not to do so especially if you love photography cause every angle would be delighting. Take your time to sit, breath the fresh air while your eyes are pampered with picturesque scenes. It is worth every second

Schön Dich Wieder Zu Sehen!

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“It was a lovely morning. You could even see from an iPhone picture above”.


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Cape Town, May 5th 2018 

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Some movies on Netflix last night slacken my system. I woke up early on Saturday morning but my spirit was still hiding under a thick duvet and seemed so hard to leave. I could see the sky was still dark from the glass windows even though I nearly blind when I don’t have my spectacles on. That thick white duvet wasn’t the only thing I could blame. The air was very cold, no AC was on, I can’t sleep with AC on fyi. My system was really slow yet fortunately, I had packed all stuffs back to my small suitcase. It was so typical of me packing things night before I travelled. Thirty minutes gone and I was still trying so hard to leave. On the bed, I was cross checking my flight to Asia to ensure I had enough time before leaving this AirBnB.

I finally had my clothes on and prepared light breakfast from the food that was left in the fridge. I cancelled my plan to visit Truth for the last cup of cappuccino even though if I did, I still had enough time for Uber and an hour coffee time since the distance from the city centre to the airport is 30 minutes only.

My Uber was outside. That time, I realized the sky was way brighter than the day I arrived in Cape Town. The sky was very blue, the air was still cold, and the breeze was cool. The sun made the day clearer and it was a good thing. As I was listening to some songs with earpieces on my way to the airport, I was smiling all the way. I sat inside the car with a thought those days I had in Cape Town were amazing.

My flight was for 1pm. Before I stood among those people who would travel to different parts of the globe, I slowed my steps down to record every single scenes in my brain. I was pleased by the fact that I’d seen a tiny part of South Africa but as far as I remember,

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“Till I stood in front of a huge clear glass window staring at two airplanes outside.

My good feeling was sinking to an excitement as if I couldn’t wait any longer jumping in the plane to memorize how beautiful a sunset that day would be. And also, to the fact that my vacation wasn’t over yet”

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On the way to Dubai, May 5th 2018 

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You know that feeling when you do not realize you’ve created some memories at some corners of this earth and started feeling blue cause it’s time to leave them there? When the plane was up small by small it gave me such an instant nostalgic feeling, but in the same time I tried not to be too maudlin. I could call it as a peculiar feeling number two on this journey.

Cape Town seemed as pretty and neat as the first time I stared out of the window. The blue sky I talked about was closer to me, throwing a perfect afternoon light on my seat. I started to let all those memories stayed in Cape Town when I tucked myself for nine more hours to Dubai. I knew I had to make this journey as comfortable as possible with blanket, earphones, The Shape of Water and low cholesterol meal I accidentally ordered online which was tasteless yet helped so much from starving (bad one, I had no chocolate mousse but fruits as dessert – no, you don’t eat fruit as a dessert, do you? – this is an honest statement, I was secretly drooling when I looked at a lady’s dessert beside me). Tasteless meal didn’t stop me to feel good cause a sunset I suspected that day would be pretty, came to be gorgeous.

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Landed in Dubai for two hours only gave me something I could count as a peculiar feeling number three. Well, not to mention how I was still bemused by the lady who sat on the same row on the plane that played Candy Crush for almost seven hours non-stop (believe me, she did. No movies, no sleep, like seriously). My peculiar feeling number three was how I, Azis – who’s picky for good food – was craving a crispy fried chicken. It was really strange how I thought about fried chicken and ended with a regret at McDonalds. What I got instead were one chocolate donut, one croissant and a cup of coffee cause I had no interest on McD’s burgers – I could tell you, I only eat burger once or max twice a whole year, not a fan. It wasn’t only fried chicken I counted as a peculiar feeling number three. I asked for a coke when I had my on board meal – I mean, that was something since I barely drink anything like coke and friends – and it tasted so damn good with ice cubes.

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Hong Kong, May 6th 2018 

Unlike the flight from Cape Town, I spent most of my time by watching some movies pretended I wasn’t bored. I should have slept more since I felt so tired but these eyes didn’t even want to close. The time I witnessed a gentle sunrise from above, I knew all those peculiar feelings were part of an upcoming exciting journey.

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I kept smiling after few photographs of sunrise were taken. It was pretty, it was tranquil. I smiled because I felt lucky still having an opportunity to travel, flying from one corner to another where life experiences awaited. I tried closing my eyes for an hour but I was awoke immediately when a harsh light fell thru my window. Morning light was brighter as the sun came up, it told me gently that Hong Kong was closer.

Those skyscrapers were seen among fluffy white clouds. It was a similar view I saw last year when I had a connecting flight from Tokyo to Jakarta. That was just few hours flying from the airport but this journey won’t be the same. I was on top of Hong Kong, a country I used to put at those last ones to visit cause I didn’t feel interested, what else.

I was on the queue to enter a train to the immigration. I had one peculiar feeling of “Back to Asia” added when I stood and learned where the train would stop (how many times I said ‘peculiar’ here? You count?). It was a busy afternoon when my mind was even just, meager. I was feeling meager actually, blame my eyes. A message dropped from a friend of mine right after my iPhone connected to airport’s WiFi.

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He asked, “You’ve taken a train to the city?”

I replied with a picture of a route showed outside the train, “Not yet, heading to immigration first”


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I experienced the same thing in front of the immigration officer. Damn, it took longer to check my passport. I had no clue why perhaps my name? But it wasn’t shaken me at all. I mean, I had no clue what surprises I’d have so let’s face it. Immigration done and time to learn those signages on the spot. I admit I didn’t delve anything about Hong Kong, well somebody I could ask everything was there, lazy me. I walked with a little migraine, oily straight face, and stiff shoulders but my eyes and brain had to connect learning those signages where I should get a train ticket to the central. All I wanted that afternoon was taking bath, standing under the shower, clean towel and spray of perfume before lied down on the bed.

My steps stopped at one corner of a foreign exchange counter. Two o’clock, I came out to the arrival point and followed those signages till I stopped with worse migraine. Believe me, I’d be so glad if I had a magic door like Doraemon has. Although a magic door seemed like a mindless dream, I was standing with a dream when a 5,5 feet somebody surprisingly came from the right side. As my mind was still meager, I clearly remembered I didn’t expect any travel agents. But, there was Andreas Knogler with a little Mr. written thinner than Azis Abdul in capital on a piece of paper.

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“I had a daze for seven seconds till I woke up that this somebody was actually Andreas Knogler. It was ridiculous, diverting per se”

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On the eighth second, I realized it wasn’t a dream when we both hugged and I said, “Wie geht’s Herr Knogler?!!!!” (No I didn’t ask him in German, in English of course. Herr means Mr. as I always call him Mr. Knogler, fyi). If you are attentive enough how many exclamation marks on a German question, you would know how bemused it was. Andreas didn’t even tell me he waited in the airport and the way he asked if I had already taken a train to the city wasn’t such a piece of puzzles. Honestly speaking, I didn’t surmise Andreas could create a surprise which imho, it was ridiculously-geniously done.

If you just visited this blog, I wrote how Andreas and I met in Tokyo on 2016 here. For the past two years we have been communicating through Skype sharing and talking random things every time we both free (on no, sometimes I have to book his time ahead – no you’re not reading wrongly – in case he’s climbing somewhere in Southern Italy, or running marathon in Athens). I must say talking to Andreas over the screen on Skype is always pleasing but had an opportunity to see him again in person this year was remarkable. I don’t know, there is something special about seeing best friends halfway around the world.

Andreas was way too kind for becoming a travel companion while we were in Hong Kong. I’m gonna share days we spent on separate posts when we had so much fun. But before this post ends, I want to share a note which originally written by him through Messenger two years ago, August 8th – I copied his note for a picture purpose, you all know. Please read his last sentence, you’ll start believing that universe has a magical way to make a sincere wish, strongly, secretly, becomes real when all opportunities meet together without even telling you when. Till right now, I could even feel the magic of this note.

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P.S. A photograph of Andreas above was actually taken few minutes before he caught a flight to Seoul. I asked him to recreate the scene of him holding that – travel agent, oh Lord it was funny- paper before he left Hong Kong for a short vacation whilst I still had few days left. Let me remind you one thing, it is true that some moments in life are fine to keep in our memory. But trust me, if you could freeze that moment into a photograph, you’ll have double memories which easier to be remembered in the next let say, ten to twenty years :)  

A Gentle Reminder

Yesterday evening I was faraway from my own room for an upcoming project that will be held next week. I had a quite slow yet tight day to sort some of technical needs from noon till evening and ended with a small cheap hotel room to spend one night at. A hotel room with funny looking purple floral bed and I don’t know what shades of purple and orange on the wall. It was kinda “Let’s manage” room (fellas, kindly note that money speaks in any way) but the worst part of my stay: how hard the bed was (no no, not only that but I didn’t have coffee in the morning, so count this as the worst).

When I woke up the next day I was like “hell what, this feels like 50 years old back”. I landed yesterday evening back to this city and couldn’t be happier to sleep in my own room. I mean, no matter how far you’ve traveled, no matter how often, home is the best place to be back to, right?

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I’m still trying to tidy up my room here although still have some adjustments in progress. Thru the process of it, I realized that filling or decorating a room would give some random ideas how to place this and that, how to install this and that, how this should be, why I didn’t get that furniture instead and bla bla bla. That gives me a gentle reminder that the process for my own house would be more complicated. I know I’ve been mentioning this thing many times but truly, I can’t wait to start hopefully by February next year. Although I know doing that would take time and of course, budget (as I wish I had endless budget with me!) I’ll try to do it slowly but later will give me as close as the picture of what I call a ‘home’ I’ve imagined through my taste and personality.

Oh yes, I have Ed Sheeran’s picture on the wall. I didn’t photograph my bed since I never buy duvet and fabric for curtain :)

As Simple As This Asparagus


How easy but tasty. You just need a minute stir-frying with olive oil, that’s it…


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I pretty love to wake up on Sunday morning with a warm sunshine through my window, blue sky but not too bright. It makes me feel more relax than wake up with gloomy rainy morning like today. It was pouring last night and the grey sky is lasted till I’m writing this sentence. I don’t mind to be honest cause I woke up early with my latest morning ritual (read: playing fav songs loud with Harman Kardon mini speaker).

It’s 10.45am here and I’m literally having my second cup of black coffee with chocolate cookies. Still listening some favorite songs wishing my Sunday is moving slowly. I never make my breakfast, thinking something easy like the one I had few days ago, just some asparagus. One minute stir-fried served with omelette, sprinkled with chili flakes and pomegranate.

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Truth And The Academics

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“Oh, you didn’t go to Disneyland when in Hong Kong?”, someone asked me last week.

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The happiest place on earth, people say, wasn’t on my list then. I honestly thought about it cause I’m still curious (yes, till today) how Disneyland is. Also, I used to be a big fan of Mickey Mouse. Next time if I have an opportunity to travel to countries where Disneyland’s located, I should try to pay a visit at least once in my life.

My answer for such a question above was the same and will always be. I’d stick on my travel style which is fifty percent of my time I’ll use it for “must-visit” places while another fifty percent is free. On the recent vacation, my free time was increased to seventy percent and I loved it somehow. I have a standard time when I visit a country for leisure: it must be minimum seven days stay. It would be great if I could visit at least two different cities but I came to realize that I much prefer to explore one city for a week cause that would give me enough time to find some ideas of my luxury (read: do nothing, coffee-hopping, taking a lot of photographs, late night ice cream? I’m listing). I was lucky enough I had two different cappuccinos at two different excellent coffee shops in two different countries last month.

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TRUTH COFFEE

– Cape Town –


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I had no idea that Truth Coffee was listed as the best coffee shop in the world by The Telegraph on 2016 when I was in Cape Town. You know, I woke up and thought “Oh a cup of hot cappuccino would be good” then Google was kind enough to let me know Truth Coffee wasn’t that far from where I stayed.

Only 6 minutes Uber ride to finally pay a visit for a cup of excellent cappuccino and eggs benedict served with Norwegian salmon for breakfast. I’m not a coffee connoisseur, I just love to enjoy a cup of good one and examine as much as I could which coffee tastes good. And I must confess the one I had at Truth was excellent.

Few things: You could have your coffee as early as 6am on weekdays and 8am on weekend // Don’t ever expect sugar (nothing!) cause that’s the best way to enjoy coffee // I suggest to come when it’s not packed with people (so you could enjoy yours by the window, no rush) // Take some photographs of the interior, it steampunk-vibe is so distinct (I didn’t take that many :)).

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THE COFFEE ACADEMICS

– Hong Kong –


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I admit one of the reasons why I decided to visit Hong Kong this year was the coffee. I heard there are quite many good coffees. I repeat this, I visited some coffee shops when I was there not because I’m a coffee connoisseur nor for Instagram purpose. Although after I read a post on The Telegraph about Truth Coffee was listed as the first best coffee shop in the world and The Coffee Academics in Hong Kong was the second I made a promise, “Ok, I’ll pay a visit”.

It was an accidental visit if I might say. It was just a day before I flew back to a real life, I was lingered around Central for Friday prayer. Well, I didn’t pray on time cause I woke up a bit late, took a wrong bus from hostel and also, finding the mosque was tricky (Google map didn’t help me much). When I was a bit close to where the mosque’s located, I passed The Coffee Academics and believed it was a sign to pay my promise, huh?

After I came back from the mosque and oh, I took a wrong way (and some uphill alleys made myself weak, think I should start accompanying Andreas for hiking, sometimes in the future *fingercrossed*) and ended with a cup of cappuccino and a slice of carrot cake. It’s written on my bio on this blog that I could die for a yummy buttery croissant, I’ll add this: a luscious carrot cake is on the second place.

Few things I remember: I never took any food for breakfast till late noon that day, so the carrot cake was the first meal (that wasn’t a good thing cause I walked a lot) // The Coffee Academics has several locations, if you are in Hong Kong you could browse the nearest location in case you want to pay a visit, their coffee is very good // Although coffee in Hong Kong isn’t that cheap but it’s worth to try. I asked for Shaken Viennese after cappuccino and I was blithesome after. When I stood and found, “Oh, Vienna”, I sent a message to Andreas with those silly wishes (well I know he used to it :)). I just took it as a sign that someday I’ll visit Vienna, so why not to try when I was there, right? // If you look at one photograph below where you could see a guy standing with his phone, that was where I sat. I also love to do this when I travel: sitting with a coffee and enjoying the vibe surrounds me. It’s a busy street, and you know Hong Kong life is hectic, so looking at people walking by when I was having my coffee was an experience // When I wanted to bring my cup in, a lady who works there came and took it from my hand. She smiled and we started a conversation about the coffee, it was a short one but lovely. I know I also love to do that when I could talk with a stranger with some smiles in between.

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Airlines And AirBnb


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“Apart of hunting an affordable airline, looking for a place to stay is one of the fun things to do before travel starts”

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Well, I’m not good enough on the first one. Looking for an affordable ticket needs patience but that’s not the reason why I always end paying “so-so” price.

Perhaps these are things involved:

  • First, I don’t have much money but love nice things. This means when I travel I’ll always try to be as comfortable as I could from picking good airlines till how I eat. I keep thinking that’s how I appreciate myself after work hard. Of course without breaking the bank (which bank to break? I don’t really have much saving cause I’m not really good to save money, but I’m trying right now lol)
  • Two, most of the time I have short preparation for vacation and this affects on when I have to buy my ticket. I’ll try to think about buying it six months in advance but again, if something unfortunately happens in between and I have to change/reschedule, I’m going to spend more isn’t it?
  • And the last one, perhaps my believe that “We could earn money again” is strong. Having time to travel when we are still healthy is an opportunity apart of the funds itself. Mostly, when I’m in front of my laptop looking for a flight I won’t take too long to pay. Of course, I have to be wise spending my money cause earning it is not as easy as flipping my palm

I’ll keep writing but I have to breathe a bit. I just remembered I never calculate how much I spent for my last trips to South Africa and Hong Kong. Thankfully I wrote everything on my iPhone so it’s easy to track. Ah hold on, I did mention my believe that I would earn more money again, huh? I hope so (read: calm down, you don’t need to worry this much Zis (finger crossed :P)). I think I have to add one more reason why I could never save money if I travel from here is no budget airlines. Most airfare from and to Africa continent isn’t that affordable. Nowadays, it’s much better than few years back when I used to pay “oh-my-God” amount of money for one-way ticket from Jakarta to Lagos.

Even though I had a slightly longer time to prepare my last trips but that didn’t really save me in terms of airfare. Since I traveled from Lagos and wanted spending a week in Cape Town and a week to see my best friend Andreas in Hong Kong then back to Lagos, I had to be ready with the bills. I had to pick three different airlines after I found that buying separate tickets was a bit cheaper than multi-city option. I did a good job by finding three flights with minimum transit duration to save my time. Except for 20 hours layover in Istanbul that I deliberately wanted strolling around Istanbul again for 12 hours. I flew with Turkish Airlines from Lagos – Istanbul – Cape Town, Emirates from Cape Town to Hong Kong with two hours transit in Dubai, and ended my travel from Hong Kong to Lagos with three hours transit in Abu Dhabi via Etihad. There were some cheaper options but looking at long transit didn’t impress me to save money. If I may count the transit countries, I was at five different countries on two weeks :P

Let’s move to where I stayed. If you are a reader of this blog you have read many times why I prefer hostel than hotel. If you just found and visited this blog, you might interested to read why, and why, and why I prefer hostel for my stay. Of course I have criterias on how my hostel would be. It must have a cool spot (you may say it must be instagramable, that’s the word huh?), good design (it’s a plus if it’s new hostel cause the facilities must be good!), good location, and of course value for money. I did pick hostel during my stay in Cape Town for 4 nights and for my last 2 nights I decided to try my first AirBnb.

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The hostel I stayed in Cape Town is quite popular for travelers and tourists. I recommend if you plan to visit Cape Town cause indeed the location is strategic, the facility isn’t bad at all, and the staffs are quite helpful. If you asked me did I meet with some travelers and became friends during my stay there the answer is no. I didn’t really meet with kind travelers who stayed at the same dorm room except an Italian guy who stayed beside my bed for two nights. He traveled to Cape Town from Durban for a quick jaunt in between of a project he’s doing. He speaks English well but we didn’t exchange contacts so it didn’t count. There was a cool Brazilian girl who travels quite often but she wasn’t seem friendly (maybe it was just to me but as far as I know Brazilian is friendly isn’t it?), two female siblings from Canada (we had a very short conversation but I didn’t know when they left), a Swiss man with only some hellos, and an old American man who is a bit picky having a conversation with (he talked more to the Italian guy I mentioned ;P). Summing up, I didn’t really look for new friends when I was there tbh so when the time for me to check out and moved to an apartment I was quite excited.

If I picked hotel last year when I was in Cappadocia as a treat for myself, I did it too in Cape Town. Though my travel style was completely slow but I thought about a distinct experience I’d love to try by staying in an apartment. When I browsed in AirBnb few days before I flew, I had crush on some beautiful houses in Cape Town but unfortunately the date didn’t match.

It was a pleasant experience for my first AirBnb. It’s a nice room, comfortable bed (ah I always love thick clean white blanket!), very clean bathroom and kitchen, and full entertainment on the screen. Even though I only communicated with the host via mail (he reminded me few times to save water since Cape Town is experiencing a serious water drainage but never answer my questions, haha), it was a good place to stay. I pretended as if I would be there for a longer stay cause the room is really cozy. I thought about “Today I don’t feel like doing anything” on my last two last days in Cape Town, didn’t want to leave the apartment and watching movies on Netflix instead, cooking some meals (I thought to shop some ingredients but ended with ‘ready-to-enjoy’ meals and some fruits) but later became lazy cause hello, “I cook almost everyday in my own apartment in Lagos to save my pocket-money and I’m on vacation right now”.

Here are some photographs of the apartment which do not do justice how cozy it was.

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I would share how my stay in Hong Kong was (didn’t really take picture of the hostel) with some interesting stories on separate post, promise. When Andreas told me he had a great time and experience trying couchsurfing on his last trip in South Korea, I think I’d like to try that for my future trip.

Wait, did I mention doing some breakfast scenes at the apartment was a nice thing to do?

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