Sunday, 6 March 2016

Visiting Up North in Norway



I never really knew what to expect when I travelled to "Harstad" earlier this year, for a DJ gig. Harstad is the second-most populated municipality in Troms county, and is the third largest city in the North of Norway. Harstad is also located in the midst of the northern lights zone.

I never really got the chance to travel around Norway besides from small trips out of Oslo and ten years ago when I was visiting Tromsø for a film-festival. I guess like many other Norwegians, I take the nature around us for granted and tend to travel to other countries when I have the time.

Harstad is the most charming, little town with friendly people and beautiful sunrises. I would never imagine that the scenery would be so serene and beautiful, and the calm sense of the nature surrounding the city makes it a perfect break from the busy and sometimes stressed out scene in Oslo.

Apart from the beautiful nature, Harstad also offers cute coffee and diner places, beer breweries, tons of local after-parties and clubs where a lot of the British military men seem to hang out!
You can take the boat to Tromsø where you can do whale-sightseeing, theres reindeer you can visit (and even taste) and there are tons of beautiful spots to take hikes - it does not get more Norwegian then that!

I was DJing at a place called City Bar & Diner which has been running for over 10 years. They have a dancefloor/nightclub upstairs and below they have a diner and a bar.




View from where I was staying

Cute little Thai-food stall in the middle of town


Utheim, the towns oldest pub



 Scenery from the top of the hill in Harstad



Roadtrip!





City bar & Diner




Beautiful Trondenes Kirke







Thursday, 11 February 2016

The Art Of Letting Go

The art of letting go
How do you master the art of letting someone or something go? 
How many times have we not heart the heartfelt song, "Let it Go" from everyones favourite new Disney movie. So much that we all now find ourselves tired of the tune. Or at least some of us! Then again. What a strong message, in so many ways. It teaches us that we have to learn to leave the storm behind and look forward. Whatever negative energy in the past that might have happened, you can only see the light by opening up your mind. So how do you open up your mind when you are in a negative space?

Well, life is a curved ball that sometimes hits you hard, right in the middle of your face. Sometimes, its hard to catch it because it comes at you so quickly. Maybe you suddenly realize, that were you are right now is not were you were imagining yourself to be. Maybe, you feel that it is time to let go off everything that might have led you to a point of extensive negativity. Or maybe you just... need to let something or someone go, because your heart tells you to.



Although it might be hard to look at the bright side - with every ball of chain strapped to your mind and body that you get rid of - a new posibility opens up.  Or maybe, instead of slowly loosing the ball of chain, you turn it into a wrecking ball and manage to push away every new negativity coming your way.

Life is about appreciating the little things, which you will find more fullfilment from by ignoring the unnecessary negativity which may enter your space.

I guess with this, I can not conclude how you let go, but rather try pushing you in the right direction.
Because sometimes, we also need to take time to heal, it is just that...  some wounds heal extremly slow.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Improving the new you for 2016

Improving the new you for 2016
New Years Resolutions by Merete Mei-Jin Noer

Study harder.  Get fitter.  Work more.
How are your goals getting along this year? How long is your list? How many things did you add to it this year around?

Mine used to be endless. It always has the same ring to it though, the same goals. What is the point if you always want to achieve the same things, especially when they really don’t matter? What do I achieve by putting more hours into work, by getting an inch slimmer, and by studying harder for next year?

There really is no point of running on the treadmill for another extra 30 minutes the day before New Years Eve to jumpstart your new list. Goals should be set but I have learned that how you feel in the moment, right here and right now matters more then anything else. The longer the list is for your new years resolutions, the harder you will strive towards reaching it – how about working on these things daily and rather then trying to manifest it through your resolution list?

Reminiscing your moments from 2015
Rather then doing a new years resolution list this year, I decided that a thank you list would be another option -

Remember the highlights of the past year. Who made you smile? Who made you fall in love? Who picked up your bag of groceries when you needed it? Who called you when you were down? Who made dinner for you when you were hungry?

It is cheesy to say or write, some of you might think right now. But cherishing the small, everyday moments that you had in the past is what I look forward to in the future. The small, everyday small moments you share with the people you love. The small, everyday surroundings that make you smile.
  
I have too many people to thank and one too many moments I would want to cherish. The many new people who made me smile, the old friends I have who always stayed by my side through everything, the neighbours who gave me plenty of joy. Mum who always cooks amazing food, dad who joys me with his humour, my sister who always shares a laugh with me. My dog for dragging me outdoors, my girlfriends for being silly with me. My GBF who always has amazing advice. My skating friends who always push me to be better. To my choir who gave me something to look forward to every Wednesday. To my GF in Singapore who spent all her spare time with me being touristy. To my mentors all over the world who always give me advice whenever I need it. To the Chief Editor of Scandasia who published my first article, ever. To the staff in Atlantis for letting me work on their project. To all my old and new clients who gave me work this year. To my silly new DJ managers for making me laugh.

To Nigel, my friend and manager: I did my best, but I guess my best was not enough.

I wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Till we meet again,

Xoxo Merete


Sunday, 13 December 2015

Recap of May 2014

This old Blog Post was a draft originally written in 2014 - 

The Bonia Fashion Event
Bonia had a pop up fashion event in Orchard Green 10th of May! They had a special celebration of 39 years of heritage and design, and I was DJing at their event. The pop up design was a collaboration with Raffles Design Insitute. Celebrity model Sonia Sui made a special appearance during the show wearing a Zardoze Panthea dress! 






(http://tiffanyyong.com/)

(http://tiffanyyong.com)




Fungki Munkees performance @ bluejazz
One of Singapores funkiest livebands were performing at Bluejazz!  Look out for them at their facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/FKMKS





The Tory Burch 1 Year Anniversary Event
Tory Burch had their 1 year anniversary event in Wisma Atria celebrating with Champagne and some Jazzy tunes by me :)





Qlubbr get-together
After 2 years of working, planning and a heaps of new developers and team-members on board, Sheriz Sheikh has finally managed to publish Qlubbr at the Itunes store, and is now working on the Qlubbr mobile platform for Android!

For those who are unaware of Qlubbr, Sheriz decided to start it 2 years ago and brought me on board to help out with Marketing! Qlubbr is a one-stop mobile and web application which shows you the options for nights out in Singapore and soon - South East Asia!
More about qlubbr here: www.qlubbr.com or download it at the Itunes store !





Photoshoot with Agri
Did a small photoshoot with Agri Velt  :)







Behind the scenes









Cycling from Pasir ris beach to Punggol Park







Why We "Hate" The New Artist





There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a new artist, whether you are a 4 year old kid with a karaoke machine or you are a 70 year old grandpa who strongly feel the time is right to shine as a music persona.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with growing up loving boybands, girlgroups, Britney Spears, Janet Jackson, Blink 182, Justin Bieber, Timberlake or hoever made you drool all over your posters as a kid -  and still idolizing them.

What makes us IDOLIZE everything old, and what makes us love what is new? Who decides what we like and who mends our taste to feel like we are a part of what is happening right at this moment?
If you are born in the 90s like me, you would understand why we sometimes cringe at Justin Bieber, how we secretly learn to like some of his new songs. How we pretend that it is "So Annoying" Backstreet Boys are touring "Again" and how we secretly wish they could come back one more time for next year.

How we think it is amazing artists like the rapper "Nelly", Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce still tours like the old days and while we secretly listen to some of Ariana Grande's new hits wanting it to be one of the old divas from the 90s era singing her songs.

Jennifer Lopez in her prime days - wait. She is still in her prime time. Screenshot from "vidFlow"


We simply do not like getting used to the younger kids taking over the world. How merchandize power has made Justin Biebers fortune overflow to the point of crazyness, how perfumes rule the cosmetic industry, how the looks of the artists sell CDs and not the radio like the old days.

Just how we loved watching videos growing up - the youngsters are getting creative paving ways for new music videos. But where did they get all their ideas from? If you watch Destiny's Childs videos from their best ear which was the 2000s (in my opinion) - Aaaliyah, Michael Jackson. They were creative in their ways and they did not need all the product placement in the world to be able to afford a good music video.

Well - They still might have needed SOME - but not as much as we see in the new youngsters ad-popping music videos that makes kids want to drink more Pepsi Light and put on a dash of extra perfume from their favourite Taylor Swift  diamond embezzled collection.

The artist became a product. And the artists are all about their products to be able to have money to make the stageshow. Because they need their stageshow to be a "Well-Rounded-Artist".
They need to dance, act, sing, be a good TV persona, be... Well-Rounded.

We grew up with a radio and MTV. We listened. We watched. We learned. We laughed.
You, young artist. Are using purchasing power to influence kids to spend money on everything you make based on how you look, dance, and sometimes, even on how you sing.

Are you missing the focal point?
 On how you sing.

That is why we do not necceseraly enjoy all new artists. The talent has gone. Everyone wants to be the next Taylor, Ariana, Britney. But why? Because of the singing? Or because of the lifestyle?
Follow your dreams, but do not let the small stuff get you first. f you are a dancer, focus on improving and learning new steps. If you are learning to become an actress, focus on your ability to express emotions through the art of acting.

If you are a singer, focus on your voice.

Everything else will follow.

Video from Youtube:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zi_lhIaZOXI&w=560&h=315]




First Published on my private Linkedin page.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Poem - "Så Bra"

"Så bra at norge er en velferdsstat.
Vi har nok penger til skole, shopping og mat.
Olje tyter ut av ørene på folk,
selv om det er alt folk egentlig vet om oss,
bortsett fra isbjørnene som går i gata da.

Så bra at Oslo er en velferdsby.
Vi tyner ut gryna til de som har kyr.
Bønder, vi bryr oss men har egentlig ikke tid.
Sitter heller på hytta og spiser brød med sild.
Hei, du som sitter der oppe i en sky, fy.

Så bra at byen vår er så fin og ren,
slikker vi gata kan vi få barnet ditt pen.
Bobla vi lagde har for langst sprekt bort,
la oss rydde vekk rotet, og det temmelig fort.

Så bra at barna våre har ipader nå,
hva skal man med kritt når jeg har skritt-tellern på.
Måler vår lykke med emojis og smil,
rydder vekk høsten med ansiktets tvil.
La oss våkne, trenger ikke mer å få."




- Mera J




Dedicated to:
F, N, E, S

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Do you ever take things for granted?

Do you ever take things for granted?



I guess we all do.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Stereotypes of women

It is kind of strange how stereotypes work. I have asked a range of people if I should die my hair dark or blonde. This has been over the span of 6 years. In Singapore, generally people think I have natural blonde hair.  This is of course, very hard for my friends in Norway to believe. How can they think my hair is natural, when I look so asian! In Singapore, they would say: How can a white girl have dark features underneath?

Then you have the other people in Vietnam, who ask:
Why are you using tanning lotion and not whitening lotion? Why are you so dark? In Singapore, and South East Asia in general,  big manufacturers are making millions of skincare products - and you have a wide range of whitening products from all the major beauty brands. Then - the same brands are carrying tanning lotion in places like Sweden, Norway and Denmark.

The new generation
I grew up in the 90s. When I was young, I thought I looked asian. Moving into Singapore, people perceived me as a "white woman" or "Ang-moh. I guess I had periods where I was very blonde. I Have a lot of mixed friends, they all experiment with haircolours. It is perfectly normal to want blonde, blue, dark, pink, or green hair. I dont think you should be judged by your haircolour or whoever. We all have rolemodels, and we all have women we look up to - there is nothing wrong with changing the way we look, even if it IS often.

One of my best friends is Half british and half asian. She sometimes looks brazilian to me, but she can also look very caucasian or sometimes very asian. I also have tons of other female friends who are mixed. I also have an asian friend in Singapore with green/ blue/ purple hair. As I mentioned - I think it is important that we women have the freedom to do whatever we want with our looks - without being frowned upon for their/our decision making.

Defining Beauty
So how do you define beauty, when the opposite ends of the world wants to look like both another, advertisements in South East Asia show slim, caucasian women, and Advertisements in Scandinavia sometimes show darker or tanned women with more curves? For us Scandinavians, the new beautiful is being healthy, no matter what shape you are.

I would say it is a everlasting subject to discuss, you can not define beauty. You can not let others define who you are. You should not look in the magazines and try to be someone else. You are who you are, and each individual is beautiful in their own way. As cheesy as that may sound.

Last, I want to share with you a video my sister showed me yesterday,:



Lyrics





Put your make-up on
Get your nails done
Curl your hair
Run the extra mile
Keep it slim so they like you, do they like you?
Get your sexy on
Don't be shy, girl
Take it off
This is what you want, to belong, so they like you
Do you like you?

You don't have to try so hard
You don't have to, give it all away
You just have to get up, get up, get up, get up
You don't have to change a single thing

You don't have to try, try, try, try
You don't have to try, try, try, try
You don't have to try, try, try, try
You don't have to try
Yooou don't have to try

Oooh

Get your shopping on, at the mall, max your credit cards
You don't have to choose, buy it all, so they like you
Do they like you?
Wait a second,
Why, should you care, what they think
of you
When you're all alone, by yourself, do you like you?
Do you like you?

You don't have to try so hard
You don't have to, give it all away
You just have to get up, get up, get up, get up
You don't have to change a single thing
You don't have to try so hard
You don't have to bend until you break
You just have to get up, get up, get up, get up
You don't have to change a single thing

You don't have to try, try, try, try
You don't have to try, try, try, try
You don't have to try, try, try, try
You don't have to try
You don't have to try, try, try, try
You don't have to try, try, try, try
You don't have to try, try, try, try
You don't have to try
Yooou don't have to try

Oooh

You don't have to try so hard
You don't have to, give it all away
You just have to get up, get up, get up, get up
You don't have to change a single thing
You don't have to try, try, try, try
You don't have to try, try, try, try
You don't have to try
You don't have to try

Take your make-up off
Let your hair down
Take a breath
Look into the mirror, at yourself
Don't you like you?
Cause I like you

Songwriters
DIXON, ANTONIO LAMAR / EDMONDS, KENNY BABYFACE / CAILLAT, COLBIE / REEVES, JASON BRADFORD
Published by

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group





Xoxo, till we meet again.




Pssst. Shout out to my HK sister, Serene Eversmann, BB, The crowned, and my lil sis Camille.





Sunday, 3 August 2014

The Definition of Kos - Part 1

The Definition of Kos
So what truly is the definition of Kos? Lets look at the synonyms in the Norwegian meaning of Kos :

Synonymer  behag , fornøyelse , glede , harmoni , hygge , idyll , komfort , lykke , lykksalighet , metthet , ro , salighet ,tilfredshet , trivsel , velbefinnende , velbehag , velvære


Basically comfort, satisfaction, happiness. These are 3 key words you experience when you visit kos -
Friendly people, comfortable and safe areas, happiness.
Which are not what everyone would believe about this tiny greek Island. Greece in general has been generalized several years for being a charter-area for young tourists to party and elderly sun-burned people of the north. Well, apparently, Kos has gotten rid of the first batch of people mentioned - simply by removing the biggest nightclubs they had and turning it into a more family-friendly island.
My family has never been a big fan of these "charter" places as we classify it as in Skandinavia - simply because its word is often asscosciated with a negative state of mind. Well- forget about all that. At least for the month of June - because this month is nothing but quiet and "tranquille" as the French would say it!

Kos being one of the most popular destinations in Greece- was awfully quiet for the reputation given - in the month of June. Being greeted by a lovely cab driver who was nothing but friendly and helpful  -we were amused on the rocky road on the way to Tigaki Beach where our hotel was.

Whoever we met along the way - hotel owners, cab drivers, restaurant owners, random people working in shops - The whole culture in Greece seems to be suprisingly friendly, open and humble - given the Greek government debt crisis (also known as the greek depression) you would maybe believe they would have a melancholic vice about them - but it was rather the opposite!





Matching pants for the plane


























View from the hotel




Beach life

The beach in Tigaki is amazing - you would think it would be stuffed with youngsters and european party-tourists or Charter Tourists as we call them in Norway - but the beach is spacious, clean and there is plenty of space everywhere. 
































Food, Food, Food!
I can not stress you enough to eat tons of freshly picked olives - they are all around the island and alot of the restaurants also have backyards with freshly grown greens such as spinach, tomatoes, chili.. I almost ate the greek salad every day !
Try different cheeses, such as the Saginaki which is a greek cheese that is grilled to perfection. Yum, I could eat greek food every day! Just try not getting hungry looking at these pictures:




Bourboni, ranked as the 3rd best restaurant according to Tripadvisor in Kos By- Check it out if you are near the Pier in Kos Town! http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g189444-d3211665-Reviews-Barbouni-Kos_Dodecanese.html

,

Swordfish


Beetroot Salad

Falaffel starters and fish nuggets




Tomatos and cheese





Donkeys. The staple icons of Kos Island. So cute.  




Oh Man. Way too cute ! I want to bring you home



 Kos Town

Again - being the center of the island you would believe it would be more busy then it was during this part of summer! Kos town consists of cyclers, boats, tons of restaurants, amazing spices to buy, sights to see. The blue water clearly set the vibe for the environment all around the Island. You can take a small red "train" around town to get a overview over what you can visit.

The Indoor market in Kos Town Square has to be reckoned with during your stay - you will find it hard leaving the place without buying any of the fresh spices or amazing variations of olives!

Try the fresh corn on the streets if you want a snack - or amazing icecream desserts at the local joint. You can go on a one-day boattrip to various of places - some even promise you will spot dolphins! Most of the boats are privatly owned and will fit a small amount of people - which gives it a personal touch.




 Prettiest and best sister in the world!








 The Indoor Market



Olives. Olives. Olives. All sorts of Olives!

So retro! Love this ice cream kid, can I have one in my room?


Greek pastries. Tell me about it!

Greek youghurt toppings ! Hello. You have to have greek youghurt in Greece! Duh.

This is actually a Croissant. Yes!











The Kos Town Castle
Located in Kos Town, the kos town castle was built by knights templar and is one of the biggest attractions in Kos Town. Go there and visit the ruins, see the old canons, and get a great view over the city of Kos!






































Salt Lake Stables in Kos
I would deeply recommend Salt Lake Stables in Kos if you want to go on a horseride. They have stable horses for any experience level, and also groups for people with mixed abilities.
They also have a transfer bus that picks you up before the ride at your hotel and takes you home again. Salt Lake Stables is near the beach and you will also get to ride along the Salt Lake in Greece, which is beautiful during the sunset.

Please go to their website to reserve a spot on one of their trips ! 

Photo By Dad

Photo By Dad


Photo By Dad


´
Bordrum
Bordrum is a port city of Turkey, and is named "the french riviera of turkey" where all the "rich people" of turkey go for their holidays. Bordrum is filled with tourists of all sorts, and also those who cater to the touristy crowd - street food stalls, market places and such. In all honestly I could say it is like greece but ten times noisier! Although, we did hop on a tour-guide bus which guided us through 5 landmarks, and ended up in a gold-jewellery center where there were a bunch of salesmen trying to persuade us to buy jewellery.


Photo By Dad


Photo By Dad










Part 2 will come soon =) Hope you enjoyed reading about Greece, Kos town and my experiences there.


Xoxo, 

Merah