Saturday Musings + Coffee – Nepal Day One

Greetings from Nepal!FullSizeRender-1.jpeg

It took 27 hours of traveling including layovers, but finally, I’m here!

These photos were taken in the Chicago O’Hare terminal while I waited for my flight to Abu Dhabi — waiting which I probably shouldn’t have done.

See, I had a four hour layover in Chicago after I flew out from Lexington, and so I figured I would be able to sit there with my laptop for at least a little and do a bit of work. That’s actually where this blog was written and published.FullSizeRender.jpeg

So after two hours of sitting there in the domestic terminal, I figured I’d saunter over to the international one, which, judging by the signs I had seen, was just a short ride on the airport rails away. At this point, I had two hours before my flight departed, and I thought I had plenty of time.

Of course, things didn’t happen as planned — the rails were closed for some reason, which I didn’t realize until I had gone to two separate platforms at different locations in the airport and seen that they were closed. After asking around — with one person even telling me that the rails were open, which they clearly weren’t — I found a shuttle to take me to the international terminal.

That all took about 45 minutes, so as I rode the shuttle over to the international terminal, I was slightly worried, but not terribly so. That was, until I arrived at the international terminal and saw the queue to get through security.

I made it through, but not before worriedly calling my mother and questioning whether I’d be able to make it through in time. I’ve had experiences where it’s taken hours to get through a long security line, and I was afraid that that would happen to me again. Thankfully, by channeling my native Chinese pushing-through-lines skills, I was able to get through with about thirty minutes to spare.IMG_1116.jpeg

I was one of the last people to board the flight, and I missed out on any chance I might’ve had otherwise to get bumped up to business or first class, but I made it, and that’s what counts.

There’s more to this travel story, but I think I’ll leave it until I post the blog from that day. Until then, here’s what Google Translate just told me is “goodbye” in Nepali: अलविदा!

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at Notre Dame! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

 

May 12, 2018 – Chicagoing (OOTD #282)

I finally made it into the city!IMG_0498.jpeg

Actually, this is my second time making it in since the beginning of the school year — my first time was a few weeks ago with the Taiwanese Student Association on a field trip to Chinatown. Chinatown’s sort of on the outskirts of the city though, so this was my first time making it into the heart of things.IMG_0517.jpeg

I’ve been to Chicago a few times before as a kid, but it’s been a really long time, and honestly all I remember about my previous trips is that I popped my ears on the elevator up to the Sears Tower, which ended up aggravating an ear infection that  I didn’t know I had.  IMG_0534.jpeg

This time, though, I got to see some of the touristy things I’ve been wanting to see for the whole year I’ve been at Notre Dame, an hour and a half away — the Bean, the Art Institute, Navy Pier, and basically just the city in general.IMG_0539.jpeg

I love cities, and I wish Notre Dame could be moved just a little further north so that we could have easier access to Chicago. As it is though, I’m a two hour train ride away from anything, which makes going into the city not really worth it most of the time. To be honest, though, a ten minute Uber drive into South Bend isn’t really worth it either. IMG_0530.jpegIMG_0548.JPG

As this was my first time in Chicago for a long time, it was in many ways, kind of like my first time. I had something of an idea of what it’d be like, since I know what cities are like, but each city has its own unique identity and feeling when you’re there. My personal favorite is New York, though I rather like Philadelphia as well.IMG_0508.jpeg

IMG_0502.jpegI don’t know, I didn’t love Chicago. I loved the Art Institute, and the Bean was very cool (and I appreciate the sense of humor of Chicagoans to be able to turn the Bean into a meme), but I didn’t love the atmosphere in the same way I love the atmosphere of New York. Don’t get me wrong, Chicago is cool, but I don’t think I could see myself being one of those people who live in the suburbs and identify themselves to other Chicagoans by what neighborhood they’re from.IMG_0557.JPG

IMG_0558.JPGBesides, I heard way too many nasally Chicago accents at Notre Dame. I almost adopted one myself there for a while. I don’t think I could handle being surrounded by them 24/7 — no offense to you people with Chicago accents out there.IMG_0567.JPG

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at Notre Dame! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!IMG_0520.jpeg

Top: Akira

Jacket: The art classroom after it had been sitting there unclaimed all semester

Jeans: Hollister

April 28, 2018 – Chi-Town Chinatown (OOTD #275)

Guys look! I finally made it into Chicago!

I can’t believe I’ve been at Notre Dame all year, basically an hour and a half away from the third largest city in the US, and it’s taken me eight months to finally go.

There’s a train station about fifteen minutes away from campus that could get me into the city easily, but getting off of campus is a huge hassle without a car. Heck, it would probably even be a hassle with a car. The Notre Dame bubble has not diminished at all since I’ve been here.

I actually had an opportunity to go to Chicago way back in December with a friend of mine who was going to see the Nutcracker with her Russian literature class. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, I didn’t feel like I could take the time out of my day to go at the time (which I know now is a dumb excuse — there’s always time to go do fun things and ignore your responsibilities), so I missed out.

This time, though, when I heard that the Taiwanese Student Association was planning a Chinatown trip, I made sure I had room in my schedule to go. I lost a little extra sleep that weekend doing homework at late hours, but it was totally worth it.

What surprised me most about the Chicago Chinatown was how different it was from the New York version — while New York’s Chinatown is pretty much a gimmicky tourist destination, Chicago’s is a real diaspora neighborhood. The stores sold real Chinese food and products and not just the knockoff Rolexes you see in New York. It felt so much more welcoming and so much less sinister.

It was also fun because I got to interact with some people I never had before. None of my friends were able to go, so I ended up hanging out with some juniors and seniors, who were pretty cool and didn’t at all seem to mind that I was just a freshman. They were some of the first upperclassmen I’ve been able to interact with beyond surface level all year, so that was neat.

My favorite part of the whole trip was probably getting to purchase this money plant tree. As you probably know by now, I love plants, so getting new ones is fun. She actually sadly toppled over just today after a strong gust of wind from an open window pushed her off the window sill, causing several of her branches to break. I used a chopstick as a makeshift splint, so hopefully the branches will scar over and heal.

Oh well. For now, enjoy these photos of me and my pre-topple plant.

Since we all had work to do back home, we decided to make the hour and a half long drive back in time for dinner. I’d actually stayed up pretty late the night before, so I ended up napping almost all of the way back, which was great. By six when we arrived on campus, I was refreshed and ready to pull an all-nighter making up for all the work I had neglected due to being gone all day.

All night I worked though, I didn’t regret my decision to go. It was some of the best fun I’ve had all year, definitely worth the lost sleep and sanity.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at Notre Dame! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Jacket: thrifted

Turtleneck: thrifted

Leggings: The LOFT (