2012 London Olympics pt. 3

London part trois! This was my third and last time in London for the summer (Joc’s second and Jacky’s.. I dunno, he was there for almost two weeks before the two of us arrived). My friend Holly from Taiwan moved to Leeds to study for her masters, and she was willing to come down to England to see us, so we met up for lunch, bubble tea & a musical.

On our first weekend in London, Jacky brought us to Ittenbari for ramen. We loved it, so we decided to take Holly & Joc. It is so good, so much better than what we have in Toronto (but apparently this year there have been a few ramen shops that have cropped up and there’s one that Jacky likes a lot. Will definitely give that a try when I come back in December)

This was the shoyu ramen. So good

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2012 London Olympics pt. 2

So this was Joc’s very first Olympics! Omg I was soo excited to show her what it’s all about.. What I’ve been obsessing over for the past decade of my sad little life. Because honestly, and I can’t say this enough, it really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The excitement of the event, the coming together of nations, the crowded streets, decorations in the city, vibrant nightlife… I could go on forever.

Basically our trip was just a brief stop just for our main event: the men’s singles and doubles gold medal match. I know…!!! We were so lucky to get tickets. The event was at the Wembley Arena, which was pretty easy to get to. The tube stopped really close to the venue, and the volunteers were really friendly and helpful with the directions.

Wembley Arena

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2012 London Olympics pt. 1

This was definitely one of the highlights of the summer. Jacky and I had been looking forward to London for so so long. Jacky’s been to London before, but this was my first time :) I honestly had no expectations at all (ok, maybe a few negative thoughts..) so I was incredibly pleasantly surprised.

We first applied for Olympic tickets in April 2011. Jacky was a Swiss resident at the time so we were able to apply directly through the official website. We got a few friends to apply for us too ;) The whole thing was basically a lottery – you select the events you want (Some people applied for several thousand pounds worth of tickets) and you got allotted event tickets if you’re lucky. Jacky and I both applied for our fave events and waited… and waited. In June 2011, I received an email saying I got tickets!! Jacky, however, didn’t get any :( They sent me another email later on with the precise events and dates. Volleyball and diving! Both were gold medal events too!!! Two of my favourite events. I was so incredibly lucky..

Since Jacky didn’t get any tickets, he (along with thousand and thousands of others) had first dibs on the next phase of tickets – events sold on a first-come first-serve basis. He was able to get tickets for tennis (gold medal women’s singles & men’s doubles) and badminton (gold medal men’s singles and men’s doubles!!!!) I was soooo excited. Lin Dan!!!! (Very unlikely he wouldn’t make it to the final)

Overall, I made three separate trips to London. I still had school at the time (final exams!!), plus, accommodation was said to be really hard to find and expensive. With flights being so cheap, going back and forth wasn’t a problem.

Jacky thought that transportation was going to be horrendous but it wasn’t at all!!! Honestly we could have stayed anywhere in London and wouldn’t have had any problems with traffic. I was sooo (pleasantly) surprised that the traffic was so efficient. The London organizers honestly did an awesome job.

We arrived July 28th, the day after the opening ceremonies. We stayed pretty close to the Arsenal tube stop.. The location wasn’t bad.

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Team USA Basketball

OMG our trip to Manchester was SO rushed. According to Ticketmaster, our event was supposed to start at 6:30pm, but we didn’t get out of the airport until 6pm. So we grabbed a cab as soon as we could, got stuck in traffic and arrived late :( Luckily for us, Ticketmaster got the times wrong and the event didn’t start until an hour later. But the system was pretty messed up.. We weren’t given the option of printing the tickets at home, so everyone had to line up at the box office. The line was unnecessarily long and the process was just really inefficient. Sigh.

We sat soo high up! :( Annnnd the organizers were super anal, we weren’t allowed cameras.. Obviously I couldn’t use mine, but we were able to sneak a couple with Jacky’s

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Euro 2012 in Poland

Our very first Euro :) It was an amaaazing experience – much much better than we expected. There was so much negative press about the Euro being in Poland and Ukraine, but honestly, Jacky and I felt little to no hostility from the locals. As someone from an “ethnic minority” in Eastern Europe, yes we got a lot of stares.. Mostly in Warsaw surprisingly.   There was one instance where we were on the Warsaw metro and we could hear these guys CLEARLY talking about us (in a bad way) but whatever! We expected much worse (thanks BBC) and we were pleasantly surprised by how everything ran so smoothly.

Jacky and I were in Poland from June 6-11, after which I flew back to Switzerland and Jacky took the train onwards to Ukraine. I reaaaally wanted to go too, but I couldn’t justify skipping even more class and spending more money. Oh well, next time!

Just arrived in Warsaw! About to take the train into the city

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