Third Time’s The Charm

At long last, my friend and I were finally able to get into the Rain Room installation at the Barbican Centre on Saturday. For those who don’t know, the Rain Room offers you an opportunity to “control the rain”.

Here’s a blurb from Timeout London:

Contemporary art group Random International creates a digital installation that gives visitors the chance to experience how it might feel to control the rain. In ‘Rain Room’, the sound of water and moisture in the air gives the impression of being in the centre of an unpredictable downpour, without getting wet.

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It was actually our third time trying to see this installation, the first time we arrived at 5pm, and thought we had plenty of time even if the queue would take about 2 hours. However, we apparently arrived too late and were turned away, despite the fact that the installation didn’t end until 8pm. A few weeks passed by, and still determined to see this installation, we trekked out all the way to Barbican again. We queued for 2 hours and finally got inside. But luck was not on our side! When we walked into the installation area, the employees informed us that the installation had broken down and that they were waiting for the technicians/engineers to come and fix it. About 20-30 minutes later, we were informed that they didn’t know how long it would take for the installation to be up and running again. The staff said it could take half an hour or longer, and one of the staff proceeded to take all our names down so to ensure that if we had to come back at another time, that we wouldn’t have to wait for 2 hours in the queue again. My friend and I decided to try our luck and wait it out, seeing as we travelled all the way to Barbican – twice! But about 40 minutes later, the installation was still not fixed, and we had no choice but to call it a day and head off for dinner.

We were finally able to experience the Rain Room on our third visit, and without the hassle of queuing – thank goodness! This has taught me that there really is a reason for the existence of the phrases “Third time lucky” and “Third time’s the charm” ! Anyway, to make the most of it, we stayed inside for as long as we can and milked it for all it’s worth by taking a ton of photos haha, but after about 45 minutes we were kinda sorta asked to make our way out lol.

Controlling the rain hehe
Controlling the rain hehe
Shielding myself from the rain
Shielding myself from the rain

Oh, and word of warning – they say you can’t get wet, but it’s totally untrue. My friend’s coat was soaking wet when we left, which had also seeped through to her clothes underneath and my hair and the back of my neck/neck area on my coat and top got wet too. The sensors are probably a little bit on the slow side. We spent the next 45 minutes trying to dry off in the nearest ladies bathroom using the hand dryers!

We also headed to the London Sculpting Festival in Canary Wharf. I really do have a thing for ice sculptures, not sure why but i’m just drawn in by them. Unfortunately, we didn’t have much time as we didn’t arrive until nearly 5pm and it was freezing cold outside, so we skipped signing up for the free ice sculpting masterclass. Here are a few of my favourite ice sculptures that were there.

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For dinner we tried out Cay Tre in Soho, a vietnamese restaurant. We both ordered the seafood pho, i found the broth a little on the salty side but other than that i loved it.

The pho wasn’t quite filling enough, so we headed to Golden Gate Dessert House in Chinatown. I ordered the mango ice cream cake which was massive – either it was the last two pieces and they decided to give it all to me or someone did a bad cutting job and some poor customer was given an oddly small piece of ice cream cake! My friend ordered the uji red bean matcha drink and the pandan layer cake.DSC04399 DSC04417DSC04410DSC04420

It turned out to be a lovely day, albeit a freezing cold one – possibly exacerbated by the fact that we got wet whilst in the rain room, and then stood around ice sculptures in the evening.

β™₯ Veronica ~x

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Festivities

I think i can safely say that the Christmas festivities have finally ended! Its been a long week, so i think this will be an EXTRA LONG post, i thank you in advance if you’re gonna stick around and read it all πŸ™‚

MONDAY 21st DEC
The Autumn term of uni was officially over, there was snow and it finally felt like Christmas was upon us. On Monday, my friends at uni who were international students and therefore had to stay on campus over the holidays decided to have a Christmas dinner. My friend Tina made a turkey! It was really nice to have a “traditional” dinner, though we also had a variety of other food like Korean pajeon (spring onion seafood pancake) and chicken wings in dark soy sauce. My friend Sue really topped everything off by making Tiramisu AND beautiful fruit tarts. It was a fabulously delicious dinner and we were all stuffed already around 20 minutes in haha. It was a really fun night and we stayed up and chatted until 5.30am without even realising!

TUESDAY 22nd DEC
My mum came to pick me up and bring me home from uni the next morning, when she called to let me know she was coming i had a quick shower and frantically packed all my things into my suitcase within half an hour since i was too tired to do any packing when i finally got back to my room the night before. Me and my mum then went to Kingston to do some last minute Christmas shopping.

WEDNESDAY 23rd DEC
Met up with my good friends from Chinese school with plans of going to Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland and ice skating at the Tower of London’s outdoor ice rink. The public transport that day was atrocious! Trains were being delayed and cancelled left, right, and center! I was lucky to catch my train because the one scheduled for 4 minutes later was cancelled! I think it was then that i realised that the snow was actually more of a burden and hinderance than anything else. When we all finally arrived at our meeting point, we headed to Winter Wonderland and went on two of the rides, the first was a total rip-off and just gave us PAIN, the second one was worth it as it seemed to go on forever and ever, though it did get a bit cold going round and round again haha, but the smoke smelt of strawberries and was really calming in a weird way lol. Ended up at Eat Tokyo for dinner, found the place to be ok actually, though i think i may go back and try their lunch menu cos it seems cheaper hehe. Ice skating was kinda nightmare, it started raining when we got there and we tried skating in the rain, but it got really cold and watching people fall over into puddles of water was really off putting so i literally had my hand on the rail the whole time, i really did not want to fall and get all wet. I think next time it might be a better idea to go ice skating when the weather is more predictable, but then again the english weather is never predictable is it?

THURSDAY 24th DEC
Christmas Eve finally arrived! Had a late night xmas eve Β feast at my aunt’s takeaway. There was Lobster, garlic and spring onion prawns, plain boiled prawns, steamed Talbot fish, roast duck, and of course plenty of rice to go with it all. It was a sumptuous feast and nothing was left behind! After everything was cleared up, we headed back to my aunt’s house where the adults played a game of mahjong, me and my two cousins ended up going to my cousin’s room and chatted for ages about really random things and all i remember was that we laughed alot. We then ended up in my aunt and uncle’s room watching the F.R.I.E.N.D.S. DVD boxset until 6am when the adults were done with their game!

FRIDAY 25TH DEC
Christmas Day was finally here! Woke up around 2pm, i was still feeling tired due to the night before but i had to start getting ready and have lunch before people started arriving at our house. My parents surprised me by getting me a Nintendo Wii – just in time for my cousins to molest at xmas! =.=. Apart from the Wii, another of my xmas presents which i just adore is a mobile string i got from my friend Mei, it was of my name spelt out with these cute metal letters. It’s tiny but i think its special and really thoughtful at the same time, my mum thinks i’m really long-winded cos i keep telling her how much i love it haha.

After getting a bit tired of playing with the Wii games, i decided to break out Partini again. I bought the game from Woolworths when it was closing down last Christmas, and it was sort of an impulse buy/substitute for not being able to find Uno haha. But turned out to be quite a good buy as me and my cousins really love this round called Hum Punch where you basically draw a card and on the card it has 5 songs from a category and you have to hum one of them whilst the other people on your team have to guess what song it is. We also get so much laughs from it as some people are rather bad at humming! lol. Of course Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the tradition of card games, and us kids played card games whilst waiting for the adults to finish playing mahjong! We went through so many types of card games that night: snap, number snap, uno, blackjack (21 version), blackjack (or apparently it’s also called “rummy”), go fish, “7 level pig”/penner/spoons/whatever you want to call it., cheat etc. Our night ended around 6am again! >.<

SATURDAY 26th DEC
Boxing Day rolled in, and i just about managed to wake up around 3pm! Super super tired! But the entire extended family were coming over again for some hot pot, so i had to get myself ready and have a little something to eat. We started to play on the Wii again, and decided to try out this game my parents go me called Let’s Tap. One of the options in the game was a running game, where you tap and make this little man run, two of my cousins were competing against each other and had to avoid these objects that move up and down, everyone was watching and cheering them on to tap faster to make the little person run faster, everyone burst out laughing when suddenly the little person got squished by an object dropping down, it was so unexpected, and you could see the person actually squished all flat onto the floor lol. But yeah i think we were all pretty tired that night and just ended up watching movies on TV. First we watched Kung Fu Hustle, then we caught the second half of Aeon Flux, and then the last half hour of The Fugitive. We were too tired to even play games, so just ended up watching episodes of Two and a Half Men and Cybill lol, our night ended slightly earlier, around 4.30am lol.

SUNDAY 27th DEC
I eventually woke up at 4pm that day, the lack of sleep really caught up with me. I didn’t even bother having lunch and just had dinner around 6pm, my aunts and uncles came around again to play mahjong, two of them were really keen and arrived just as we were going to have dinner, i thought it was super weird since none of them had dinner yet and we didn’t plan on doing anything that day. It was gonna be super boring at home for me so i decided to ask my cousin if i could go to the cinema with him and his friends to watch Avatar. All the cousins ended up going to the Odeon, though two of them went to see Sherlock Holmes since they had already seen Avatar. Avatar was a bit epic, especially in 3D, though i think they could have done more with the 3D effects as i noticed some parts that were left in 2D, and parts of the storyline was a bit predictable but overall it was quite a good film.

We got out of the cinema around midnight and ended up going back to my cousin’s house to hang out for a while. Us girls went upstairs to chat whilst the guys played on the ps3 downstairs and before we knew it, it was 2am and we decided to head back to mine since some of the parents were still at my house. We waited around, watching tv until 4am until they finally finished playing mahjong and left. It felt like such a relief to know that people would not be coming around any more, i mean it was nice to have everyone around for christmas, but anything beyond 2-3 days was getting a bit much. I mean it sounds rude but at that time i was just thinking to myself “do these people not have homes to be in?” lol, i mean like everyone elses’s relatives i’m sure, mine get a bit annoying after a while.

MONDAY 28th DEC
Woke up at a slightly earlier time of 1pm that day to go into Kingston to catch the post-xmas sales. Didn’t really manage to buy anything, but i did see my friend Yvonne in McDonalds. McD’s was PACKED and there were soooo many chinese people there! And alot of them were actually from Chinese school, saw the other Yvonne on my way out and my mum saw some other woman she knew of on her way to the toilets lol. I guess it was the place to be that day!

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And i guess that brings the festivities full circle, it’s been a really long post and kinda turned into just a log of what i was up to, haha i apologise if you found that utterly boring to read xD.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

β™₯ Veronica ~x