Which color do you want?

It's no secret that Apple has been continuously rumored to be working on releasing a cheaper, low-cost iPhone in the fall alongside a flagship iPhone 5S. What's interesting is not the fact that Apple is finally heading into the budget smartphone territory, as it's arguably inevitable to keep pace with Samsung in market share, it's that we will truly see a different move from Apple this time around.

According to numerous sources the low-cost iPhone will be going for $99 or $149 from retailers. Wanna hear the most intriguing part? It's said that the phone will be available in pink, green, blue, navy, gold-orange, yellow-orange, white, and possibly more variety of colors. How's that for a change from black and white?

The handset is purportedly going into testing in June, where production is aimed somewhere near September.

What do you think of an incoming tsunami of cheaper iPhones alongside the new 5S? Would it be fair to say Apple's 'premium' image will cease to exist?


Starbucks in Japan

So if you haven't noticed by now, yours truly has quiet the obsession with coffee, in particular with Starbucks. There aren't many reasons for that, in fact I'd have a hard time explaining as to why, but in simple terms it's the sugary drinks and the atmosphere that make me follow it like a zombie.

I find it truly interesting how different and diverse Starbucks is around the world. From my personal travels, I'd go ahead and say, without any hesitation, that the worst selection and amount of options exist in United States. Strange, considering it's American. One of my traveler friends has recently been to Tokyo and these photos come courtesy of him. I'll point out these drinks because I just think it's so awesome that these are offered in Starbucks menus somewhere in the world!

Dark Mocha Chip Frappuccino

Passion Fruit Juice Hibiscus Tea Frappuccino 

Coffee Tiramisu Frappuccino 

Chocolate Brownie Green Tea Frappuccino 

I won't go into posting the whole gallery / menu but just by seeing these four frapps, I'm willing to say the local Starbucks is looking pretty boring here. Let's get more creative!


Traveler's Note: Connecting in Europe?

Welcome to Traveler's Note, a quick impression & feedback editorial on different places around the world in a nutshell. Note: All the writing material in Traveler's Note is that of my personal experience and opinion, thus it does not necessarily reflect nor portray how this location may appear to you on your own travel time.

Millions of people connect through Europe on daily basis, whether because it's more budget friendly or to take in some fresh Euro air, or be it any other reason you may not tell us. If you're not a frequent flyer, chances are you may end up in the wrong place that can either ruin your experience, or make you search for a different connection next time around. Well, you don't have to do that. Connecting through Europe is one of the easiest, most efficient methods to achieving convenience in your long distance flights. 

My top recommendation is always AMS (Amsterdam Airport Schiphol). From the numerous flights I've connected on, whether domestic Europe or international bound, having a layover in AMS has always been a pleasant experience. Time is money, and that's one of the primary reasons I recommend AMS. While it is large in size, connecting to different terminals is relatively quick, and customs (passport control) move the lines along relatively fast, even when things pile up a bit. 

In terms of bars and lounges, AMS offers some very fancy options. Food and drinks selection is also offered with a good variety in mind. Yes, Starbucks is there, and more than one. 

AMS is a beautiful airport, with a modern design concept of all glass windows and clean, new environment inside terminals. If you're a shopping junkie, this isn't the best of places, however, there is reasonable stuff to be found. If shopping is one of your primary goals during layovers, highly consider LHR (London Heathrow Airport), but that's another story for another day, wink wink. 


Anna Karenina Movie on What-is-Love?

My Mom said that some people go through life without knowing what love is. She said that if I want to know about love, I should watch Anna Karenina. And I looked sideways at her thinking...but I know what love is! I am in love! Of course, that wasn't what she was talking about or implying. I just decided to take it personally.
But it is a serious question that people ask every day. What IS love? That top-of the world feeling that they talk about. My mom says that everyone needs to experience love in it's most raw, real form, whether it lasts or dies, whether you suffer in consequence or bathe in happiness, whether it changes your life for the better or worse; you just need to experience it. And, of course, everyone experiences 'top-of-the-world' differently because each relationship takes on different dynamics. Thank God for that because I was thinking I was screwed for life after the bad ones ;)

And so I sat on my super comfy new couch and watched Anna Karenina -- completely enchanted. A true, classic, Russian Romeo and Juliet. In fact, the movie was my homework sort of -- me, a Russian-Canadian, watching a Russian classic to test just how Russian I am at heart. And let me assure you - or should I say, assure myself? - that I am as sensitive to Russian ways of thinking as ever. I understand why many say that Russian literature is amazing in its cold, depressive way, where suffering and love linger in every corner.Well, I added the 'amazing' part in there -- you really have to be Russian to understand the greatness behind a painful, cold love story...you can argue with me on that if you would like. I am always down for a good debate. I just hope that other nationalities are warmer at heart than us Russians :-)

Anyway, the Anna Karenina strory showcases all kinds of love: love for a husband, for a lover, for a child, for a parent...But the one type of love that lives throughout this story is the die-for-you unconditional love. This is the love Anna Karenina experiences from her husband Karenin. Karenin's love for Anna is eternal, yet grounded.

A lot of criticism focuses on Anna's steamy love affair with Vronsky, the terribly attractive younger guy. But I don't believe that this is the focus of the movie. I think that the focus of the movie is on the true love that comes from Anna's husband, Karenin. I think that you have to be in love to see that (eh Mom?! ;))

The Anna Karenina movie actually made me think about a different question: what boundaries does love have? Can you love someone so much that you are willing to accept and tolerate the most obvious form of infedelity? Can you love someone so much that you stick by them even though they have admitted to be in love with someone else? Would you say that this love is one-sided? I wouldn't. I think that Anna loves her husband, but she loves him differently - as her friend, as her old man. Is this kind of love fair? Probably not.

Anyway, those are my (scattered) thoughts on the movie. Feel free to comment.

With love,
moon girl