Favourite K-Pop Subunit Songs

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One thing that threw me off when I first got into K-Pop were subunits. I’d never realised they were a thing and was confused when I couldn’t hear all the girls voices in Girls’ Generation’s ‘Twinkle’ – until I realised this was because it was a subunit and only three of the members were in it! So I figured I’d write a list of my favourite subunit songs!

10. Pristin V (Pristin) – Get It

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I was waiting for Pristin to have a group comeback last year but unfortunately they didn’t. However they did debut their subunit ‘Pristin V’ and their song ‘Get It’ was pretty good. My friend Jess really loved it and for a while it was the only song she’d play while I was in her car. It is a good song and the MV’s really good!

9. EXO-CBX (EXO) – Kaching!

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I can’t remember why but me and my friends Becca and Jess once spent an evening watching the MVs for the cringiest K-Pop songs we could find. This was one of the first songs they recommended and to be fair it’s a bad song but like in a way that it’s so bad it’s good. I’m pretty sure it’s a Japanese release and I don’t know, even though it’s so bad I can’t help but like it.

8. Oh My Girl Banana (Oh My Girl) – Banana Allergy Monkey

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I don’t care what anybody says, I love this song! The dance is really cute, the song is really catchy and I love the MV. I’m glad the other members got to get involved in some way and it wasn’t just focused on the three subunit members. I haven’t been a big fan of Oh My Girl’s recent full-group songs unfortunately so I’m glad they tried something different for their subunit. It was a bit hit and miss with the public but it was a hit with me!

7. LOONA xxyx (LOONA) – love4eva

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From the moment LOONA were announced I wanted to be a fan. I didn’t really keep up with each member being introduced but I was eagerly anticipating their debut. Now I’m normally a fan of cute songs but I just didn’t particularly like ‘Hi High’. So far the only LOONA song I really like is this one. The MV is aesthetic goals and the song is awesome. I will keep trying with LOONA because I want to love their songs!

6. Bastarz (Block B) – Zero for Conduct

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A couple of years ago me and my friend Becca saw Block B in London (we got a wave off Kyung and Zico acknowledged our existence, it was a good night) and they played this song. It was one of the most lit songs from the entire night. I’m so glad I got to see it live, I love this song so much. I don’t think I liked it from the first listen ‘cos when I first got into K-Pop I kept thinking songs were ‘too intense’ but I soon learnt to love it.

5. Orange Caramel (After School) – Catallena

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I’ve mentioned this before but this was technically the first K-Pop song I heard but I don’t count it because I actually thought it was J-Pop. I was just becoming a fan of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu when this song came up in the recommended and I decided to give it a go. I didn’t really like it at first listen, it’s one of those K-Pop songs that I will admit is a bit strange. After a few listens though I love it and it’s pretty much iconic at this point. What a good song. I love Orange Caramel to be honest, they have some great songs like ‘Lipstick’, ‘My Copycat’ and ‘Aing!’. They’re such a good subunit!

4. TTS (Girls’ Generation) – Twinkle

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When I first listened to this I got confused about why I couldn’t pick out the other girls voices. I hadn’t been a fan of Girls’ Generation or K-Pop for that long so I didn’t know about subunits but I could pick Sunny’s voice out of most songs. When I couldn’t hear her in this I got confused until I noticed the ‘TTS’ written after ‘Girls’ Generation’ and realised it was a subunit made up of members Taeyeon, Tiffany and Seohyun. SM aren’t very creative with their subunit names, are they? Anyway TTS are some amazing vocalists and have some good songs but my favourite is probably ‘Twinkle’. ‘Dear Santa’ comes a close second followed by ‘Holler’. They just have some awesome songs!

3. Hwasa & Moonbyul (Mamamoo) – Dab Dab

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I will argue until the end of time that this song was way better than Solar and Wheein’s ‘Angel’. I’m getting better with slow songs but oh my god, it was boring! Although I did like ‘Dab Dab’ from the beginning it took me a while to properly ‘love’ it but now I do. I’m not much of a fan of the studio version as it seems a bit… I don’t know, dull? Lifeless? The live version was so energetic and so I keep listening to that one instead of the studio version. I’d love to hear it live one day but I doubt that will ever happen.

2. BTS Vocal Line (BTS) – The Truth Untold

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I’ve mentioned it before but I don’t particularly like slow songs. I get a bit bored and I prefer something more upbeat and energetic. There are however certain slow songs I will listen to and this one is one of them. To be truthful I find it hard to get into other songs on the album that aren’t the title track so I only gave this one a listen because it was on the set list for the concert I was going to. I quickly ended up loving it and now I listen to it all the time. I love it so much!

1. Strawberry Milk (Crayon Pop) – OK

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I loved this song from the first moment I heard it and love pretty much everything about it. I know the entire dance because I love it, the MV is so cute and so much fun, and the song itself is just amazing. I listened to it on the day I was heading to a convention and over the weekend if there was a break during the con I would head up to my hotel room and listen to this song because I just loved it. It’s definitely my favourite subunit song!

Feel free to leave your favourite subunit songs in the comments!

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Top 10 Places I’d Love to Visit: Updated

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A while ago I made a list of the top ten cities I’d love to visit someday [x]. After ticking off a couple I think I have a new list. Japan was always my top travel destination and now that I’ve ticked that off I’m not sure which my number one destination would be so this list isn’t in any particular order as I still haven’t picked my number one replacement place yet! To be truthful there aren’t many places I wouldn’t want to visit but this list is what I’m going to try and prioritise!

Rome, Italy

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Interestingly me and my friends have been on about Italy for a while but have never actually booked to go. It’s one of those places that I feel like I can’t go to on my own because we all want to go so I feel like I need to wait until we all go. When I started my job as an apprentice my mentor was in Rome and when she came back she told me it had been an amazing trip. My manager’s off to Rome in a couple of months and I’m insanely jealous.

I’ve heard a lot about Italy because my Dad loves the place. Him and his wife went on a month long trip to Italy where they travelled to different locations on my Dad’s motorbike and he sent photos every day in a group chat he’d started on Whatsapp called ‘braggy trip’ and I must admit they did look good. I just love the history aspect of Rome and would love to visit one day. I’m sure me and my friends will go eventually!

Berlin, Germany

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I’d mentioned wanting to visit Berlin a few years ago but haven’t had the opportunity yet. Two of my best friends went for a concert and said they absolutely loved it so it’s only made me want to go even more. I’ve had a look at prices of flights a couple of times but haven’t actually booked to go yet. I definitely will at some point because I’ve been on about it since me and my friends got back from Amsterdam in 2017. It’s not too far from England either so I’m definitely going to sort that out eventually!

Vancouver, Canada

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I don’t know what draws me to Canada so much but I just know that I’d love to visit one day. My old manager was from Canada and she told me a little bit about it and it does sound interesting. However I’m aware that Canada is a massive place so I specifically would love to visit Vancouver at some point.

I much prefer big cities to small towns (like the place I’m from) so I feel like Vancouver would be perfect. I’ve been looking at things to do in the city and it just looks like a place where there would always be something to do. The woman I used to sit next to at work has been to Vancouver and said it was amazing. When I have enough money I’m definitely booking my flight and going!

Athens, Greece

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I have been to Greece before – me, Jess and Becca surprised Hirst with a trip to Crete for her 21st birthday. We hired a car and drove through the island and basically had an amazing time. However I’d love to visit Athens because from what I’ve seen it looks absolutely amazing. I’ve been a bit reluctant to go on my own because there was little to no public transport in Crete so we’d had no choice but to hire a car – I can’t drive and even if I could I’d get so stressed driving over there, shout-out to Jess for handling the roads like a pro. Even when we nearly started sliding down that hill on the way to the monastery.

I’m pretty sure my friends would also like to go to Athens so I’m sure we will one day!

Bangkok, Thailand

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Jess’ Dad goes to Thailand every year for three months, sometimes more so he clearly loves the place. I’m not sure which part he goes to but as I love cities I wouldn’t mind visiting Bangkok. A lady at work is currently in Thailand and another girl asked me how we’d gone about planning our trip to Japan because she was interested in going to Thailand so it’s clearly a popular place. It’s definitely on my travel list and I intend to tick it off eventually – when I have the money!

Helsinki, Finland

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For some reason I’ve started planning my birthday very early this year so that I’m not stuck for what to do as the day approaches – I played around with the idea of going away by myself and for some reason Helsinki seemed like a good idea. I looked at tons of places within Europe but when I looked up what there was to do in Helsinki, I don’t know, I just thought it would be an interesting place.

Fun fact, I used to be friends with a guy from Finland. I say friends; we used to talk online because we met on the My Chemical Romance website. His name was Otto and he was a pretty neat guy. So, yeah, anyway… I’d love to visit Helsinki one day!

Beijing, China

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It’s on my bucket list to walk on the Great Wall of China and I am determined to do that one day. I looked at the visa process for China and to be honest got so confused and stressed that I gave up. Also you have to like register yourself in the country within 24 hours of arriving and the site was like ‘if you stay in a hotel they’ll do it for you’ but what if they don’t and you get arrested? I’m probably really over-thinking this.

I imagine there’s so much to see and do in China that if I can ever figure out the visa process I’d love to go!

Hong Kong, China

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This is another part of China I’d love to visit and luckily you don’t need to apply for a visa if you’re visiting Hong Kong for less than six months. There’s a travel blog I love to read and she’s visited Hong Kong several times and doesn’t seem to have gotten bored of it yet. I’ve been having a cheeky look at what there is to do over there and quite a lot, it looks like an amazing city to visit. Definitely one that I’ll eventually tick off my list!

Prague, Czech Republic

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We nearly surprised Hirst with a trip to Prague for her birthday but in the end due to dates and money we settled on going to Crete instead. I also nearly went to Prague by myself to see 24K but due to time and money settled on going to Paris instead. Last December I decided I wanted to go on a Christmas trip so Googled the best places in Europe to go and a lot of sites recommended Prague so I’m considering going this December but it’ll depend on money and annual leave.

Prague isn’t too far from the UK so it shouldn’t be impossible to book a trip there so I think this will be a bit easier than some of the other locations on my list. I’m looking forward to it!

Taipei, Taiwan

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When I was in Year Six at primary school a new girl joined our year and me and my best friend at the time immediately became friends with her. She’d moved to England from Taiwan and often told us things about it. 11 year old me really wanted to visit but when I moved to Secondary School I unfortunately lost touch with this friend and didn’t think too much about her or Taiwan. Now that I’m older and looking at new places to visit I’ve decided I’d actually really love to visit Taiwan.

At the moment I’m thinking it’s number one on my list but I’m not too sure – it’s so weird that Japan’s ticked off, I don’t know what to replace it with! But I definitely want to visit Taiwan at some point, I’m sure it’ll be amazing.

So there we go, my top 10 places that I’d love to visit which I definitely intend to one day! Feel free to leave a comment of anywhere you’d love to go.

The Wanderlust Tag

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It’s no secret that I love travelling and I love doing tags so I decided to complete ‘The Wanderlust Tag’ today to combine them both! Hope you enjoy my answers.

Your most treasured passport stamp?

It’s not technically a stamp, it’s a sticker but the one issued to me in Japan. I’d been longing to go for so long and it still doesn’t feel like I really did so I’m glad I have the sticker in my passport to prove it! I don’t get many stamps since when travelling around Europe you’re not really issued one. I’m sad that South Korea just give you a little piece of paper and don’t even stick it in your passport.

Can you recite your passport number from memory if asked?

No but I do keep a photocopy of my passport saved on my phone in case I’m stupid enough to lose it whilst I’m abroad.

Preferred method of travel: plane, train or automobile?

I’m a nervous flyer but I can’t deny that planes are super convenient as they can get you to a different country so quickly. It took me about three hours to get from England to Romania, that’s the same amount of time as if I was travelling from my home town to London by train! Crazy. I like trains if I’m travelling with Virgin to London but sometimes they can be a bit grotty. I’m not really a fan of cars ‘cos I get anxiety but they are convenient. For travelling my preferred method is usually plane.

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Top three travel items?

Other than the essentials (like money and passport etc) mine would be the following –

– Amazon Fire Tablet – my Mom bought it me for Christmas with the idea that I could watch movies and stuff whilst travelling. It was great to watch a movie on the way to Romania and back, it made the flights go a lot quicker. I’ll always be taking that with me in future if I’m travelling solo.

– My phone – without Google Maps I won’t be going anywhere, I use the camera on my phone to take photo after photo, and I keep in touch with my Mom whenever I’m away so she knows I’m okay and not like you know dead or anything. I also keep my instagram story updated so everyone can see I’m having a good time.

– A book – even when travelling with friends I always bring a good book because you never know when you’re gonna need it! On the way back from South Korea we had a long layover in Turkey and I was glad I had my book with me to finish off because we were all too tired to talk to each other at the point.

Hostel or hotel?

If money is no objection then hotel every time. I use hostels when I absolutely need to, like I did in Poland and will do again when I go to Dublin. It’s not ideal and I do have moments of ‘why the hell have I booked a hostel’ but they’re a lot cheaper than a hotel which to me is the important part. If I was given a choice though I’d usually always quick hotel.

Are you a repeat visitor or do you explore new places?

I used to go to London pretty much every month because I was in love with the city but now I’d rather spend my money on visiting other cities abroad. I still go to London for things like concerts and shows but I wouldn’t go just for the purpose of sight-seeing. I’ve been back to Paris a couple of times but I’ve only been to Paris for concerts – obviously I’ve done some sight-seeing whilst I was there but I’ve never gone just for that purpose. So unless I’m going somewhere for a specific event I like to explore new places.

There are places I’d like to go back to one day (Japan, Amsterdam, South Korea, Greece, Lithuania) but I want to tick off as many other places as possible first.

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Do you read up on your destination (culture, history, safety) or just wing it?

I read up on things like safety, whether I need a visa etc before booking the trip. I normally impulse book places and then read up on what there is to do there – I should start looking at that before booking so I can get an accurate idea of how long I think I need there. I plan an itinerary and follow that whilst I’m away – not strictly, I can stop and get food or stop if I see something whilst out and about.

In Japan we planned each day so precisely that it left little room to stray from the itinerary but I didn’t feel like anything was rushed and it meant we got to see everything that was important to us.

I want to book a trip where I find out the location at the airport but I’m worried it’ll stress me out – not having an itinerary, how will I know how to make the most of my time whilst I’m away?

Favourite travel website?

I don’t really have one. When looking for things to do I mostly just scroll through tripadvisor and see what everyone recommends. If anyone has any travel website recommendations then please hit me up!

Where would you recommend a friend visit? Name a city and why.

I would recommend Tokyo in Japan to pretty much everyone because I just loved everything about it. It’s definitely top of my favourite places I’ve ever visited and I just recommend it so much.

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You’re leaving tomorrow; money is no option, where are you going?

I’d try and plan a tour so that I hit several places. If I could only pick one country though at the moment I wouldn’t mind go to Taipei in Taiwan. I’m not sure why but it’s top of my list at the moment!

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So there we go, ‘The Wanderlust Tag’! Feel free to leave your answers in the comments or a link to your own ‘Wanderlust Tag’ because I’d love to read them!

Travel Fails: Romania Edition

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My first trip of 2019 was to Bucharest, a trip that I booked shortly after returning from Asia and Paris last October. That was my last trip of 2018, I was sad it was all over and I wanted something to look forward to. I’d hated January in 2018 so I decided that to brighten up the month a bit I’d book a trip away. I’d been on about Romania for a while so without overthinking it I booked the flights and hotel, and soon I was off!

I was quite proud of myself on that first day. The bit that stresses me out the most about solo travel is getting from the airport to my hotel – I get into such a panic like what if I can’t find it and I just have to walk the streets for three days? That’s never happened of course but that is the most stressful part for me. I could’ve booked a shuttle from the hotel to the airport but since I have car anxiety I wasn’t going to risk the person picking me up driving like a maniac. So I decided to catch the bus.

After a moment of stressing I found the bus station and asked the driver if he was going to my stop to which he just looked confused and shook his head. I started to get worried but bought my bus ticket and sat down anyway as Google Maps had advised me this was the correct bus. Luckily there was a list of stops on the wall outside the bus so I checked those against the ones on Google Maps – although my stop wasn’t listed outside the stop before mine was listed. Crisis averted, I’d just get off there instead and walk a bit further. I was proud of myself for figuring that out.

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As it was quite late I didn’t do much on my first evening, I checked into my hotel, had a general nose around the area and got some dinner before heading back for an early night. It was the next morning when crisis struck.

The morning didn’t start out great when I woke up and realised my phone hadn’t charged overnight. The plug converter had popped out of the socket at some point and my phone was now sitting on 30%. I plugged it in while I went down for breakfast but forgot I was in a room where the electricity didn’t work unless the card was in the slot. Luckily my new phone charges quite quickly and doesn’t drain fast so when it got to 70% I decided to risk it. I hadn’t brought my power bank with me ‘cos my phone had lasted every day in Japan and I was certain it would in Romania. I’m such an idiot.

I set off for my first destination which was something I’d seen online. It was an umbrella alley – I’d seen one similar in Lithuania with my friends and was keen to see another one because I think they look so pretty. Google Maps advised it was a 30 minute walk away so I set off. I wasn’t keen on attempting public transport because I didn’t know how to get another bus ticket etc. so I set off on foot.

When I eventually made it to the destination I looked around but couldn’t see how an umbrella alley could be in this area. After some frantic googling I realised I’d misspelt a word and was now in the wrong place. It would take me another 30 minutes to get to the actual location. Annoying but whatever, I’ll just walk to the other place.

30 minutes later I’m in the general area so I have a look round for this Umbrella Alley. Can’t find it anywhere so I decide maybe it’s seasonal or it was only there briefly and now it’s gone. I’ve wasted over an hour trying to find something that probably isn’t here. Again, not great, but whatever. I’ll just do the next thing on my list. Visit the Old Town.

Luckily this isn’t as far, it’s maybe a 10 minute walk away so I set off. I was doing a good job at following Google Maps and I was so glad I’d got a new phone, my one in Poland had been relatively useless so I was still feeling pretty good. Until Google Maps advised I only had to turn one more corner and I would be in the Old Town. Unfortunately I couldn’t walk down there ‘cos there were three men and a van blocking the corner but even if they hadn’t been it wouldn’t have led anywhere. I walked up and down, absolutely confused, until throwing in the towel. Great, I’d spent the whole morning looking for things that I couldn’t find.

Okay the Umbrella Alley I can accept but it surely shouldn’t have been so difficult to find the Old Town? I have no idea what happened there and I don’t want to know.

The next item on my list was the Romanian Kitsch Museum and as that was an actual building and not just a vague area I figured I’d be more successful and luckily I was. The museum was in a nice area and I was feeling hungry so I sat down to get some food.

One of the things I’d noticed in Poland was that I was mostly too afraid to order food so for those few days I mostly ate chocolate peanuts I’d brought from the UK and ordered food if I was absolutely desperate. I think I had McDonalds three times because everywhere else made me too nervous. So in Romania I was determined to try harder with food. The woman who took me to my table spoke English so I was put more at ease.

I ordered some crepes with Nutella and vanilla ice-cream and upon reflection I wish I’d just ordered normal food, they had like ribs and stuff on the menu that I regret not going for. They brought the crepe over and I’m not sure why but I suddenly didn’t trust it. On the menu there’d been sweet crepes with cheese in and when I cut into my crepe all the vanilla ice-cream poured out. I knew it was vanilla ice-cream but part of me didn’t trust that there wasn’t cheese snuck in. I don’t know, okay? It was a weird experience.

When I was finished I thought they’d bring the bill over but they did not. I sat there for maybe half-an-hour trying to work up the courage to ask for the bill. Luckily in the end I pushed my cup towards the edge of the table and when a guy came to collect it I was like “THANKSCANIHAVETHEBILLPLEASE”. Even then it took another ten minutes for it be brought over but out of British awkwardness I didn’t pull a face.

Luckily the rest of the day went smoothly, I saw the rest of the stuff on my list and had Taco Bell for dinner (which I’ve only had twice but actually love, why don’t we have Taco Bell in the UK?). I went back to my hotel for an early night because I had a day trip the next day to Dracula’s castle and other places which I wanted some energy for.

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I barely slept all night. I was so worried about sleeping through my alarm or not being able to find the meet-up place for the tour that I kept having stress dreams and waking up. I even got out of bed at 4AM to check my phone and make sure I hadn’t overslept. I was relieved when my alarm eventually went off so I could just get on with things.

When we’d been on a day tour in Tokyo the meet-up point was in a hotel which had been really convenient as you could go inside and there were plenty of people around to point you in the right direction so there was less stress. As this tour was smaller the pick-up was in a car park and I’d arrived at about 7:35AM for an 8AM pick-up because I was so worried about being late. I stood around panicking that I was in the wrong place for 15 minutes because I couldn’t see any sign that a tour was going to leave from here until eventually a minibus pulled up with the name of the company on the side. I went over and luckily the guide was like “Hi, you must be Hollie” so disaster was averted. You have no idea how relieved I was.

The day tour was amazing, I may write a longer post about it at some point, but it was awesome. The tour guide was really sassy and the other people on the trip were nice. There were two boys from Canada, two girls from Cyprus and then a boy and a girl from Italy. It’s just as well they were all nice because one of the stops on our tour was a fort – it hadn’t been on the itinerary when I booked but hey it was an added perk so why not?

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The entire thing was made up of hills and of course it was January in Romania, it had been snowing. The snow had now turned to ice. I did most of it okay until finally we got to one steep point where I ended up with my hands on the ground and one leg out as if I were posing. I was completely stuck and the Italian guy came back down like “Hey, do you need help?” I’m so awkward that normally I’d be like ‘no, no, I’m fine’ but it was so bad that I had to admit I needed help. He helped me get out of the bit where I was stuck and I tried to carry on like normal.

When it was time to leave we headed down a steep hill and again I couldn’t figure out how to get down and got bloody stuck yet again while half the group trotted off. This time his girlfriend was like “Do you need help?” so I was like “Um maybe” because I didn’t want to bother them but God knows I did need help. She sent her boyfriend back up and I had to hold his arm the entire way down the hill. I tried to make light of the situation by saying “We don’t get much snow in England” to which he responded “We don’t get any at all in the south of Italy.” … Oh.

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After that the trip went quite smoothly, although other places we went had snow and ice it wasn’t as bad as the fort as there weren’t any steep hills. I was a bit embarrassed walking up to Dracula’s castle as it was up a hill (luckily all the snow had been cleared away), the rest of the group briskly walked up and when I got to the top we had to climb some steps into the castle and the tour guide was like “… Do you need a minute?” so I shook my head and powered through. I’d been worried there would be tons more stairs inside but luckily there wasn’t.

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The only other unlucky thing that happened was with the flights on the way back. The plane was slightly delayed and we were all stood in the gate with no information. I have no issue with delays and wouldn’t dream of getting mad at the staff, these things happen, but I get really annoyed when we’re just left waiting with no information. There was an announcement telling us all to ‘go to gate’ but nothing was actually happening at the gate, I was just stood in a big crowd of people as my bag threatened to break my back.

I got a bit worried when my friend messaged me to ask if my flight was going to be cancelled due to the snow but luckily we were soon on the plane and it took off. The flight mostly went well until we were back in England when the air hostess announced we had to circle the airport for 30 minutes. Although I’m a lot better than I used to be I am a nervous flyer so my mind instantly went “oh my god, we’re gonna run out of fuel and crash land.”

We didn’t crash land obviously but as the plane went down the air hostesses turned off the lights as they usually do and after a while they then switched on the light to illuminate the emergency exit sign. It was probably just something they’d forgotten to do and realised they probably should just in case but my mind was like “… Did they switch that on because we’ll need it?” So I was paranoid enough when I heard a soft but fast beeping noise and I was proper on edge then but we landed safely at Birmingham Airport.

Due to the delays I’d missed the 9:50PM train and had to wait for the 11PM train which didn’t bring me back to Telford until 12:30AM. Luckily I don’t live too far from the train station so managed to collapse into bed at 1AM – I was exhausted at work the next day, I need to learn to either come in late or take the day off after a trip.

To be fair if those were the most disastrous things to happen on the trip then it was a relatively successful one. I’ll probably be writing a couple more posts about Romania and how much I loved it over the next couple of weeks. If you’ve been then feel free to let me know some fails you had whilst you were there!

Five Worst Horror Movies

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Let’s be real, most horror movies aren’t that good. I often count down the days for a new horror’s release and pray it’ll be good but most of the time it just isn’t. I wanted to write a quick list of five horror movies that I just can’t forgive for being so bad that there was almost nothing redeemable about them.

5. The Unborn (David S. Goyer, 2009)

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I feel like this could’ve been decent but they tried to get too deep with the plot. They took it too far back by including all that World War Two stuff and it just made the whole thing a bit ridiculous. For those who don’t know anything this film it’s about a girl named Casey who is tormented by visions and nightmares of ghosts. They soon discover a curse has been placed upon their family that dates back to Nazi times.

When I watched the trailer for this film I assumed it was just like one twin died in the womb and now it was seeking revenge which like yeah is far-fetched but not as far-fetched as the rubbish I had to sit through when I watched this movie. What a bunch of rubbish. Honestly don’t recommend wasting your time on this film, it sucks.

4. Ouija (Stiles White, 2014)

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Can you believe they made a sequel to this movie? The first one was a bunch of nonsense and although the trailer for the second one looked promising it, of course, let itself down. The idea of the film is that after the death of her best friend a girl decides to do an Ouija board to say goodbye to her. However what they’ve summoned is not her best friend but a spirit determined to wreak havoc on her and her friends.

This movie was such a waste of my time and I really wouldn’t recommend anybody else subject themselves to this. The characters were all completely unlikeable and the whole thing was just super unrealistic. Laine’s best friend has just died and yet her Dad is taking a business trip? Spoiler alert – by the end of the movie all her friends are dead and the police have nothing to say about that? It was just a stupid film.

3. Apartment 143 (Carles Torrens, 2011)

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This one will contain spoilers so I apologise in advance but what the fuck even was this film? It’s got the typical set-up of a family experiencing supernatural occurrences in their home after the death of their Mother except this one is filmed in found-footage style with a team of paranormal investigators looking into the case.

The main issue I take with this film is the ending because it was STUPID. Basically, the eldest daughter gets possessed towards the end of the film, starts talking in a demonic voice, throwing things round the room with her mind, I’m pretty sure she crawled along the walls at some point, all the typical stuff and you think ‘oh okay’. And then for some reason the film ends with a discussion between the paranormal investigators where one says “I knew from the start she was schizophrenic, that’s what caused all of this.”

I’m sorry, forgive me if I’m wrong, but since when do schizophrenic people have telekinetic powers? You could’ve maybe pulled an ‘it was all in her imagination’ on me at the end but the film was shot in found-footage style which suggests that everything we saw was real. And then the film ends with a demon girl crawling towards the camera when the apartment is now empty – have I missed something here?

Even without the stupid ending it’s just cliché ridden and wasn’t a particularly interesting watch so I wouldn’t recommend this one at all. Don’t waste your time.

2. Slender Man (Sylvain White, 2018)

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I wrote a review of this movie a while ago here but like… What were they thinking? Realistically a film about Slender Man was never going to be good was it? But this took it to a whole new level.

Firstly, there’s none of the lore that everybody loved from the Slender Man games. The premise of the game is that the user is trapped in a forest and needs to find the eight pieces of paper to leave. Not the case with this movie. It’s about four girls who watch a video and this somehow summons Slender Man to come and wreak havoc on their lives. I mean really, they summon him by watching a video!?

Most of my issues with the film were written in the review but the film just doesn’t go anywhere! It’s like they show you something and then they go ‘yeah but we’re not going there’. I was so surprised when it ended because we still had so many loose ends and not in like an ‘I wonder what happened there, that’s mysterious and intriguing’, just a ‘you clearly threw that in and had no idea what to do with it so now you’re ignoring it happened’.

This film is just garbage, I’m glad I have an Unlimited Card so that I didn’t have to spend actual money on it. Throughout the film at least three groups of people decided to get up and just leave, more than I’ve ever seen at any other movie before. Avoid this at all costs.

1. The Bye Bye Man (Stacy Title, 2017)

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This film was weird because I remember seeing the trailer in the cinema and then for months the movie just disappeared before cinemas started promoting it again. I’d already made fun of the stupid movie title with my friend Jess and I already knew it wasn’t going to be good. But I’d gotten up early after a sleepless night to meet my friend up town and when they left I didn’t want to go straight home so I decided to kill some time by watching this movie.

First of all, the title and the name of the villain. Could we not have come up with something a bit better than this? I mean seriously. He sounds like a character from ‘In the Night Garden’ or something. Watching the characters on screen running around saying his name with such fear felt really out of place with such a pathetic name. A little more time and effort on the guy’s name couldn’t have saved this movie though.

So the premise is that if you say or think his name he will haunt and kill you. The main character finds out the name by reading it on the bottom of a drawer in the house he’s just moved into. He then tells all his friends about it and they start experiencing things too. And I just… That’s stupid. That’s so stupid. What if I made up a joke and the punchline was ‘The Bye Bye Man’? Would I then die? What if I was trying to write a book and I was like ‘a great character name is The Bye Bye Man’ – am I now a goner? It’s just STUPID.

I don’t remember an awful lot that happened in this movie ‘cos I was really tired and it was just a boring mess but I’m about to reveal a stupid spoiler. At the end of the film the main character’s brother is outside trying to get in to the main character and to stop himself from telling his brother and niece about the ‘Bye Bye Man’ he kills himself. Brother then drives home with his niece and both seem relatively chill that the main character is now dead. It was honestly just a complete pile of rubbish.

So there you have the five worst horror movies in my opinion. Feel free to leave the ones you think are the worst in the comments and if you actually enjoyed any of the films I listed then feel free to comment on what you liked about them!

Review: S.T.A.G.S by M A Bennett

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I mentioned briefly that I’d challenged myself this year to read at least two books per month. As I’m trying to spend less time on my laptop I managed to read two within the first week of 2019 so I’m going to just read 24 books and if I achieve that pretty quickly then I’ll just up my goal to something else. I’ll still be able to tick the 24 books off my bucket list and if I read more then great!

I was going to write a review for each book but although I enjoyed the first two they didn’t leave a longing impression of me. I decided to write a review on the third book I read which happened to be S.T.A.G.S because boy did I have some opinions on this book.

I’d been having a browse on Amazon at the end of 2018 and this book had caught my eye. I’d mostly been adding books to my Wish List but I decided this was a book that I wanted to read straightaway so I bought it along with a couple of other books. The book is told from the point of view of Greer, a girl who won a scholarship to attend the most prestigious school in the country, S.T.A.G.S. One weekend she receives an invitation to the most popular boy in school’s house with a promise of a Huntin’ Shootin’ Fishin’ weekend. Feeling socially isolated Greer accepts but sinister things begin to happen over the weekend and Greer begins to think there may be more to this weekend than she bargained for.

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My description isn’t amazing but you get the basic idea. A girl goes to a rich boy’s house (well, mansion. Estate? A big fucking house anyway) with five of his friends and two other social outcasts and they begin to wonder if maybe they’re the ones getting hunted, shot and fished.

I’m going to warn you now that this review does contain spoilers.

When I started the book the expression ‘show, don’t tell’ immediately came to mind, an expression I’d heard tossed around but had never really understood until now. The first couple of chapters set up the story and we’re immediately slapped in the face with long descriptions of the school and how Greer got there.

Then we’re introduced to the ‘medievals’, the group of prefects in the school, the group who invite Greer to the weekend away. There are three boys and three girls. We get a long description about Henry de Fancypants who’s basically the ringleader then the other two boys get a short paragraph each. The three girls are all described in the same paragraph and are basically interchangeable – they’re all blonde, rich and bitchy and that is pretty much their entire personalities summed up.

We’re then sort of introduced to the two other misfits and by this point I’m getting a bit bored. I’m getting introduced to too many people at once and they didn’t feel like real people from the way they were described. I couldn’t connect with any of them and found it difficult at first to remember who was who from how awkwardly they were introduced. Also the long descriptions of the school were a bit boring – I’m someone who prefers action and dialogue so I usually skip past long descriptions, something I found I did a lot in this book.

I was a bit confused because the book sort of started by saying Greer tried to make friends with certain people, for example Nel and she mentioned she spoke to Shafeen (the other two misfits who were invited on the weekend) but then when she received her invitation suddenly she had no friends whatsoever and hadn’t so much as spoken to anybody in months. Upon receiving her invitation she doesn’t find it even the slightest bit suspicious that the person who’s spent months not talking to her now wants her to go to his house for the weekend.

Now I’m no expert but if someone I barely knew, who had barely spoken to me in school was like “Hey, wanna come to my house for the weekend for some Huntin’ Shootin’ and Fishin’?” There is no way in Hell that I’d go. But because Henry de Fancypants is supposedly cute Greer agrees to go – despite the fact a girl from her old school literally pulls her to one side and warns her not to go. Greer’s reasoning for not going? She doesn’t want to spend the weekend with her Aunt Karen. Why? Because Aunt Karen has twins. So instead of going to Aunt Karen and the twins, she goes off for the weekend with a group of strangers despite being warned not to go.

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Greer then spends the weekend ignoring every suspicious thing that happens and basically falls head over heels in love with Henry de Fancypants within the space of two minutes. Maybe I could’ve gotten over this but on the last night she’s finally convinced that something bad is going on and that Henry is manipulating her so comes up with a plan with her friends on how to stop him. Then the next morning Henry carries on manipulating her, just as she knew he would, and she was like “Oh maybe he does like me? Maybe every suspicious thing was just an accident despite the three of us finding proof literally last night?”

Also, I hate a book that gives away too much especially if what actually happens is very anticlimactic. The book opens with Greer claiming she murdered someone. She then goes on further into the book to say who else was there and who the victim was. I don’t need to know this from the get go. I hated it when Lemony Snickett wrote in Book 2 of ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’  something along the lines of “Klaus did not die, it is Uncle Monty who will die but not yet.” But I can forgive that ‘cos at least the book was good whereas S.T.A.G.S was a let down.

It’s written in past tense so at the end of almost every chapter the author’s like ‘little did I know it was going to get darker’. It’s almost like the author is begging me to stay with them because honestly for three thirds of the book… Nothing really happens? I was getting so impatient because everything that did happen was just so underwhelming. Even the big reveal at the end was just so… Dull.

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Basically, Greer almost drowns but escapes and Henry chases after her, makes a massive villain style speech about how him and his family have been murdering/injuring/traumatising kids for centuries and it turns out Nel has filmed the whole thing on her phone and she threatens to expose it to the world. So Henry jumps off the waterfall and kills himself. This is the murder that Greer is referring to. We’ve spent the whole book getting worked about this murder and it turns out it was actually suicide but Greer feels bad so she’s saying she and the others murdered him. Good grief Greer, I thought I had a guilty conscience.

The friends decide not to leak the footage because it might make Henry’s family ‘look bad’. Yes, we’re now being asked to sympathise with the family that have been literally hunting students for thousands of years just because they’re rich and can get away with it. Despite the fact Henry literally said to Greer “I am going to murder you”, after his death Greer turns into the biggest Henry sympathiser ever?

I kept hoping the book would end by this point but alas it did not. The three get back to the school and have a sudden realisation – the school’s a cult and all the teachers also took part in these Huntin’ Shootin’ Fishin’ weekends as students, and every student is in on it and lets them get away with it. At this point I would be running for the hills, ringing my parents to pick me up, leaking that damn footage, calling the bloody police but no, the three friends decide to tell the head teacher. I just… This is meant to be some really smart school, like Greer is meant to have been smart enough to have received a scholarship to this school and yet is still just so thick.

I feel like I’m just ranting at this point but I can’t stop! The Head believes them and makes certain changes to the school, like firing all the current teachers and promoting our three misfits to Prefect status and stripping the medievals of that title. But then one day Greer spots twins who have Henry’s face – oh my gosh, it’s his twin cousins. And oh my gosh the clearly evil twins have invited the only black student in their year for a weekend away. And oh no, the head teacher is wearing a ring that everyone in the cult had been wearing. Oh no, the guy literally in charge of the school is the guy in charge of the cult.

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Then the book just ends. I can only hope the events that take place after this is that Greer finally decides to upload the bloody footage. I mean there is a literal sentence in the book that says ‘Henry’s Dad is clearly a prat but his Mom might be okay’ – they use that as a reason not to expose the blood sports. I just, I just can’t.

Overall, I wasn’t a fan of this book – if I hadn’t made that clear from the review. I was so excited to read it but it just let itself down so badly. None of the characters were particularly likeable and the whole thing was just dull. Really wouldn’t recommend this one.

How to Survive a Long Flight

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I haven’t been on tons of long flights to be truthful – I flew seven hours to New York last year and earlier this year embarked on a four hour flight to Turkey where we changed and caught a ten hour flight to Japan. Long flights can be a killer but are survivable! Here are my tips on how to survive a long-haul flight.

Bring Plenty to Entertain Yourself

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On long-haul flights the airlines are usually fair and sit you next to whoever you’re travelling with. On the way to Japan Becca and Jess had both selected that they wanted a window seat whereas I had put ‘anywhere’ so I was sat next to Jess in the middle seat and Becca was just in front of us. On the way back the three of us were together. This meant if I did get super bored I always had somebody to talk to.

My general rule is to always bring at least two books with me which I did for Japan. To be truthful I didn’t really read on that plane because we each had our own screen to watch any movies or TV shows we wanted but on the way to New York we didn’t have our own screens and the book I’d brought with me was a lifesaver. Netflix now offer a thing where you can download movies and shows to watch later which I usually do on my phone but unfortunately this can drain the battery and I will definitely need my phone to be working when we land. Luckily my Mom bought me an Amazon Fire Tablet for Christmas this year so I can use this on my next trip! The one thing I would never be able to travel without though is my iPod – I can usually listen to that for a few hours without getting bored so it’s a necessity when travelling.

Just make sure you have a good variety of things to do. Always prepare for the worst case scenario, as I did when there weren’t any screens on the way to New York. There’s nothing worse than being bored for the entirety of a long flight with nothing to do about it so be prepared!

Snacks and Water are Essential

Being up in the air for so long will make you dehydrated so be sure to buy plenty of water at the airport. I know buying snacks and drinks at the airport is expensive but unfortunately water is the one thing you will definitely need. If you’re offered a drink on the plane then always accept it and save your water when possible. On the way back from South Korea I was trying to sleep when the air hostess nudged me and made sure I was given a bottle of water – the one on Jess’ side didn’t do this so she didn’t have anything when she woke up a couple of hours really thirsty. For some reason we hadn’t been able to find anywhere to buy water in Incheon airport so in the end we went to the back of the plane and had to ask for some water.

Find out about in-flight dining and then bring your own snacks anyway. If you don’t like the meals you’re offered you can always give it to a friend or politely reject it, safe in the knowledge that you have enough food to keep you going anyway. You may also find you get peckish waiting for a meal to be served and even if you don’t eat all your snacks on the flight then you can always just eat them in the country you’re going to.

Try to have a variety of sweet and savoury which is something I fail at because I’m not really a fan of savoury snacks but having a sandwich is always a good plan. If you’re hungry when you hit your hotel a spare sandwich can be a lifesaver, even if it is a bit weird now from the plane.

Comfort

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If you have room in your bag then bring in a travel pillow. Generally on long-haul flights they’ll give you a pillow and a blanket but it can always be nice to have your own. Plus the pillow is just a normal little square one whereas a travel pillow can be much comfier.

On the way to Japan I didn’t want to bring much to keep me comfy because we were going to land at 10PM so the idea was to stay awake, go straight to bed in Japan and then we’d already be adjusted. We were all set and ready to make sure each other stay awake – we quickly abandoned this plan after a few hours when we were all exhausted, realised we wouldn’t be getting a ‘good amount of sleep’ on the plane anyway and we let each other try and doze off.

On the way back from South Korea it was a bit easier to sleep because I was so tired from all the sight-seeing we’d done in Asia that I nodded off a lot easier but I wasn’t exactly comfortable. The one thing is leg room so try and store as much as possible in the overhead bin so that you have as much leg room as possible. Do not do what I did – I tucked up my leg in between the seat, fell asleep, woke up two hours later, moved my leg and realised it was now in agony.

I was advised by my nurse to stand up every couple of hours but this is difficult on a night flight because you don’t want to disturb the person next to you. The girl me and Jess were sat by on the way to Japan was lovely to be fair and did insist before we took off that if we wanted to get past and she was asleep we only had to nudge her but we felt guilty. In the end we did obviously have to get up to use the bathroom but we only got up once for the entire 10 hour flight. This isn’t advised, obviously. If you can get an aisle seat that’s advised because then you don’t have to feel bad about getting up. My friends prefer window because they can lean on it though. Every seat has its perks! Except for middle, which I always end up in when travelling with my friends due to my fear of flying. Never mind.

If you can afford to upgrade to a better seat I would recommend it. My Mom has insisted we need to fly Premium Economy for our flights to San Francisco next year and I’m looking forward to that extra comfort! But when I go with my friends we’ll probably just put up with economy because we’re too broke for anything else.

Dress Appropriately

About a month before we flew to Japan I’d popped to Paris for a couple of nights and had found the plane was absolutely freezing so I advised the others to wear something warm. I wore a warm, knitted dress to Tokyo and found that both flights were actually quite warm. So when we came back from South Korea I wore something lighter, chucked my jacket into my checked in case… And nearly froze to death. It’s lucky we were given a blanket on the flight.

On the way to any new country I always make sure I have a spare outfit in my hand luggage – my Mom went to New York a few years ago and when she changed flights her suitcase didn’t make it onto the second flight so she arrived in New York with nothing but her hand luggage. She got her case back the next day but she’d had to run around looking for spare clothes just in case. Ever since then I’ve taken that as a warning and always insist my friends should do the same.

To be honest I’d have no issue changing into pyjamas on a long-haul flight but I know I’d be too lazy to change back into my normal clothes afterwards which is the only reason why I don’t. But try and plan your outfit accordingly so that you’re not uncomfortable on the flight.

Also, always check the temperature of where you’re going. I will never forgive myself for assuming Japan would be as cold as England is in October and nearly sweated my tits off wearing my thick, woolly dresses. We met a British woman in Kyoto who said she’d also made the same mistake and was now having to wear her pyjamas out and about ‘cos it was the only cool outfit she’d brought with her. Ah, the Brits, we’re all so full of ignorance.

Other than that there’s not much else you can do other than sit back, relax and hope you’ll reach your destination soon! Wish me luck for my long-haul flight to San Francisco next year but since we’re going Premium Economy I’m hoping I won’t need it.