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ShiviDecember 20, 201910min2933

Do you want to meet Santa? Do you wish that Santa shall come to you and bring gifts? Do you want to know where Santa lives? Which is Santa’s home? Have you always wished for the Santa to come every Christmas…Ohh, there are so many Santa lovers…

Don’t be sad kids, Santa will be coming this year with loads of love and gifts. Santa will be showering all the love this Christmas. Believe me and read about the real Santa Claus. Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi. Yup, you get it right..yippie we got it…

Santa Claus VIllage in Rovaniemi

If you’re thinking where Santa Claus is and when he will come to give gifts then you need to see that, he is in his hometown Rovaniemi in Lapland. So, you can go and meet him. You don’t have to wait until Christmas to meet him. In Rovaniemi every day is Christmas. But do not forget to take an appointment because he is very busy, you see… 

Where Can You Meet Santa Claus? 

At his home! Santa Claus Village is open for all, all the days of the week. You can meet him and enjoy a Finnish meal with him. You can even meet his family and wife. Enjoy greeting his elves, build gingerbread homes and even ride a reindeer (and when you do this, who knows, it might just one with a very shiny nose).

How Will You Reach to Rovaniemi? 

From the airport, his home is just 3 kilometres. The moment you land at Santa land you can take bus number 8 or the Santa Express, which takes off every hour from the city centre. 

Hey, wait. Is Rovaniemi Santa’s real home?

 

Photo AFP Olivier Morin Getty Images

Photo: AFP/ Olivier Morin/Getty Images

The specific area of Santa Claus’s original home, known as Ear Fell or Korvatunturi, is a big mystery known only to his elves and a chosen few. So, he built an office in the capital of Lapland Rovaniemi in 1985. In 2010, Rovaniemi acquired the status of the Official Hometown of Santa Claus. 

Here come the spoilers: Proceed with caution 

Sorry to disappoint you all, but I have to proceed with these spoilers, many of us would recall the childhood days when we don’t get to see Santa and then we realise that Santa is not real. It is disappointing, yeah…But the truth is that Rovaniemi became Santa’s ‘official’ hometown solely as a marketing strategy. (yeah, you have heard it right). 

In 1950, the then First Lady of the United States Eleanor Roosevelt revisited the town to watch over the restoration of the territory. She wanted to visit the Arctic Circle, and to assist her, a cabin was built in just a week. 

Eleanor’s visit gave Rovaniemi a tourism boost. About the same time, thanks mostly to television and books, Santa’s demand with children soared. In 1985, to boost Rovaniemi’s economy, the governor of Lapland formally announced the province as ‘Santa Claus Land’. A year later, Santa Claus Village was inaugurated as an entire holiday complex where visitants could meet Santa, ride in a reindeer sleigh and send a letter with an Arctic Circle postmark from the post office.

Great so let’s go on a ride then… What else can be done or seen in Rovaniemi? 

 

Santa Claus receives a wish list from a boy in his office in the Santa Park near Rovaniemi in Lapland Photo AFP Jonathan Nackstrand Getty Images

 

Photo: Elena Liseykina

Besides being Santa’s home, Rovaniemi is a mysterious and enchanting winter wonderland where you would see culture and together at one place. Here is a few other stuff you can do when you come here: 

CATCH THE NORTHERN LIGHTS

The mystic astral show is on exhibit in the city from mid-August until early April. To watch the Northern Lights, you need clear skies. Luckily, you won’t have to walk too far from the city centre to find a magical light. Check out our guide.

RIDE A REINDEER OR HUSKY 

A visit to Rovaniemi is incomplete without riding a reindeer or a sinewy through the winter wonderland. You can hunt the Northern Lights on a sleigh, or visit a reindeer or husky farm and even feed them. Santa Claus gets a wish list from a boy in his office in the Santa Park near Rovaniemi, in Lapland. 

 

 

Photo Elena Liseykina

Photo: AFP /Jonathan Nackstrand/ Getty Images)

SNOWMOBILE THROUGH THE WINTER WONDERLAND

Finland’s most convenient way of transport is also a big favourite hobby in Finland. You can opt from a beginner’s ride to a safari that covers a larger distance to explore. Some trips and tours club activities such as ice fishing and campfire lunches along with snowmobiling. 

GO ICE-FISHING

They say: Fish like the Finnish do! Once you arrive at the fishing spots by car, snowmobile or snowshoeing, you will have to dig a hole, lessen your bate and assume that the freshwater fish will find their way to you. And if you happen to catch a fish, you can enjoy it for dinner as well 🙂 

FLOAT YOUR WORRIES AWAY 

Time to take a dip in the fresh ice-cold Arctic waters without gritting your teeth (Woah). The sailing suits specifically designed for the fun will surely keep you warm. Meanwhile, you gaze at the stars and enjoy the shining sky on Christmas eve. 

Whether you’re an amateur or pro at alpine skiing or snowboarding, there’s a section for everyone here. Book here.

 

Get hooked for more blogs and exploration…


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ShiviNovember 18, 20197min4700

How to rekindle and make new friends, while on a work trip to a new country/destination?

It was a beautiful Monday morning and I was checking my E-mails in the office, while one of the E-mail suddenly grasped my attention. My boss has asked me to provide my passport details, in which later on I found out that I am supposed to travel for work perspective to Hong-Kong for a month. It was surprising and intriguing to me. This was a short trip where I was supposed to meet clients and channelize the desk work to foreign clients of my company. Being an introvert guy and single, this notion of travelling alone to a different country makes me crazy. It is not that I have not travelled before, I did and I was always accompanied by some of the other office colleagues which were not the case this time. Anyways not much of the option the day of my travel arrived and finally I departed and landed in a new country, Hong Kong.

What’s Next…

I reached to the hotel, settled myself and then rushed to the office as it was my first day in the new town. I was decked up and then the day came to an end and my fear started popping up, more I was closer to my hotel, lonelier I was feeling. It was just the first day in the country where I have landed and has not spent even 24 hrs and already homesickness started biting me. After dinner, I went for a walk down the lane near the central park. I saw all the new culture and people around me. Sitting quietly on a bench, I was browsing on the internet and saw an ad of an app which mentioned how you can make friends at an alien place. For an expat like me, this idea of making friends at foreign territory hit me though I have not registered myself.

Registering and Rediscovering

Next day after my office I moved out of my hotel and went to a pub, sitting alone and lonely watching people talking, laughing, and smiling with each other. I gulped in a couple of drinks and saw one lady name not revealed was sitting alone. I approached her and we started chatting here and there. I asked her number so that we can connect later on and she politely denied and I understood this was a very short meeting which can only last for some hrs etc.

When I was heading back to my hotel I decided that I am going to give it a shot. I registered and started looking for accomplices who are there in Hong Kong and soon I found one person called Rachel (name changed).

She was a lawyer and was there in Hong Kong for an assignment for a couple of weeks. We met at a place called SpeakEasy (old town of Hong Kong) and get along immediately. We started talking about how lonely and alone a person feels when they are in a new city or a new country. How you feel lost in the new culture and new place? And how apps help in making life easy for all those people who are just looking for a good and genuine company when you are travelling. It can be for work or you are just a traveller, everyone needs to be with someone to share thoughts. Even if you are a backpacker or a solo traveller, you would like to explore and mingle with local culture and communities, which is again a daunting task. Nevertheless, this app helped me in achieving that a bit.

 

make friends while travel

Finding a companion while travelling

We met a couple of times and roamed around the city together visiting new places. She has been to Hong Kong before that makes it easy for me since she knows a lot of places and helps me in discovering those which was not easy for me to explore so easily without me wasting time looking on the internet.

Before we said a final goodbye to each other we met one last time where we first met and I told her that it was really good to have a new friend for a short period with whom you can roam around and share some experiences of yours and listen to other person’s experiences. Rachel immediately agreed to me and said that how her last couple of visits were not that great and this time after we started moving out together exploring places was a different experience altogether.

Those people who are going on a short or a long tour and are looking for some companionship since they feel lonely, I will suggest them to look for mobile applications like Couchsurfing etc. and register as it a different experience to be with some person chatting and talking and exploring new destinations.

 

Leave your comments on how you met your friends while travelling!


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ShiviOctober 15, 201911min1930

Breaks from work are something we all need in our lives. Tranquil destinations, sexy beach lines, gorgeous skyscrapers, listed and busty markets, etc. are which we all look forward to when we are on vacations. We all look forward to Diwali holidays, whether we are in school, college or at the workplace. In India, Diwali holidays are being eagerly waited and if we can club a weekend with our Diwali vacations, nothing’s better than this. With this, we get the perfect excuse for international destinations to tap for. Visit international destinations this Diwali with your family and friends. Going international is something which I’m not promoting though, Indian destinations are equally bright and shining. But opting international destinations on Diwali gives an opportunity to explore how Diwali among Indian communities are celebrated abroad. Here are 8 International Destinations To Light Up Your Diwali for sure:

Singapore

Singapore is a different and obvious choice when planning a trip to International destinations on Diwali. Other than the major vacationist attractions of the city, you can visit Little India to explore the bright lights, fireworks, and decoration. Singapore has a prominent presence of Hindu culture that gives Diwali celebrations in Singapore an Indian feel. After the little red dot country indulges yourself in Diwali shopping at Orchard Road.

 

Singapore diwali holiday

 

Check for flights accommodations here

Dubai

Just a neighbouring country, with a very short span of flight away, is Dubai. This stunning and bustling city with shopping malls, markets and humungous buildings make sit a perfect destination for Diwali breaks. Moreover, a mid-week chunk of the population in Dubai is Indian, which is an added advantage to witness Diwali in its own way. all the more it is an action-packed celebration! What all you can see in Dubai – view of the city from Burj Khalifa, Mall crawl, an evening at the Dubai Fountains – it’s free!

 

dubai diwali holiday

 

Check for flights accommodations here

Bangkok

Bangkok is a gorgeous destination to visit round the year, thus, this Diwali you can surely visit Bangkok for some celebrations and decorations. Bangkok is convincingly one of the most suitable options. Ostentatious malls, multi-cuisine eateries, ancient temples and pagodas, exquisite beaches, and various entertainment parks make this city an impeccable package for a fun-filled vacation. The major sightseeing in Bangkok is – Reclining Buddha temple, Tiger Temple, Bangkok Zoo and Safari World, Floating market and many more.

 

bangkok diwali holiday

 

Check for flights accommodations here

Bali, an unbeatable international destination this Diwali

Known best among honeymooners, Bali is undoubtedly a destination to visit. But why on Diwali, yes, it is one of the favourite holiday destinations for beach bums and makes a superb holiday destination around Diwali. November is the best time to plan a tropical beach vacation, especially if you want to avoid the season swarms and get yourself a placid vacation. The best things to do in Bali are: Surfers will love to surf the Balian beach, don’t miss the Bali theatre performance and of course visit to the Uluwatu Temple and no surprises Ubud for a relaxing Diwali vacation.

 

bali diwali holiday

 

Check for flights accommodations here

Malaysia

The enchanting islands, stretching beaches, and chic resorts make Malaysia one of the most desirable international destinations to visit on Diwali. Do visit Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi and make your Diwali bright and a fun-filled one. You can unwind at the beaches, try adventure sports, hike in the rain-forest, take a step in a casino or just climb up to the top of the Petronas Twin Towers, where you will enjoy a flabbergasting view of the city. Batu Caves, Cameron Highlands, Genting Highlands and Twin Towers are the major attractions to visit.

 

Malaysia Diwali holiday

 

Check for flights and accommodations here

Hong Kong

This is one of the most visited, during Diwali holidays from India. Perfect for shopping, cruises, amusement parks, Disneyland, ocean park, night clubs, museums and whatnot. Hong Kong has everything to offer to make it your enjoyable Diwali vacation. With these varieties of places to offer, Hong Kong is a hotspot for all desirous travellers, especially those travelling with family and kids. You can also cover a day trip to Macau and enjoy the peculiar beauty of the picturesque island as well. Apart from the attractions mentioned above, one can also visit Victoria peak and Lantau Island.

 

Hong Kong diwali holiday

 

Know more about Hong Kong travel and things to do.

Check for flights and accommodations here

Maldives

A group of scenic coral islands in the Indian Ocean is kenned as the Maldives. It is just 5 hours from India and quite famous among honeymooners in the World. The ritzy resorts and extrinsic water villas magnify the charm of the place. If you are looking to spend some one-on-one quality time with your family, friends or beloved, then the Maldives is the destination for you. Owing to its hassle-free travel, sun-kissed seashores that offer an assemblage of water sports, Maldives has made its way on the list of most dependable International destinations on Diwali weekend.

 

maldives diwali holiday

 

Top places to visit in the Maldives are, Mafushi, Hulhumale, Ari Atoll,  and Kuramathi.

Check for flights and accommodations here

Turkey – an amazing international destination this Diwali

Turkey is full of cultural sites, palaces, beaches, museums, and mosques that can satiate your wanderlust. All these spots can be covered with the glittering view of the Bosphorus Strait. While Asia on one side and Europe on another, this Eurasian country is a dazzling choice for a Diwali weekend trip. Exceptionally if you are in chase of an exciting vacation abroad. The major sightseeing in Turkey to go for are Bosphorus Bridge, Hagia Sophia, Taksim Square, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar, and Butterfly Valley. For adventure lovers, try hot-air ballooning in Cappadocia.

 

turkey diwali holiday

 

Check for flights and accommodations here

 


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ShiviMay 8, 201910min3890

Hong Kong’s Nightlife – Hong Kong is popularly known for its cosmopolitan culture and nightlife. Its dynamic nightlife is from the dice games to the swanky bars and speakeasies – each on has its own character. Thus, whether your intentions and reason to visit the country is business or personal or travel & leisure – the nightlife has to be on the charts. Like mine, it was a business visit but I made sure I had my share of nightlife in Hong Kong.

nightlife district hong kong

There are 3 things what I found while roaming around in Hong Kong and would highlight a few below:

Hong Kong is a compact country but you’ll find ample options for nightlife which are even deeper and concentrated. The narrow streets and insider hidden bars and massage parlours are in the majority. These massage parlous and bars are legal in the country. Not just the massage/spa but they are the female parlours who look for their potential customers on the side of the road and narrow market streets. For my surprise, it was legal as I mentioned above and you would get what you want. Ahah! Well, not creepy it is sensational.

Lan Kwai Fong & Soho hong kong night life massage bars

The vast majority of sky-bars, clubs and restaurants are located around the Central area of Hong Kong main island. And please see that you can cross the harbour on a boat and make your way up one of Kowloon’s highland and sexy growing list of rooftop bars too! For more on nightlife read here

“Another thing that you would find is – across these streets there are awesome pubs where people come after their hectic office schedule, have a drink or two and move on to their respective places. There are a lot of places where you can have a drink without being disturbed by anyone” (from a blogger who’s my friend)

Lan Kwai Fong and SoHo are the two most widely held areas for drinking and nightlife in Hong Kong, proposing a variety of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. Lan Kwai Fong is in the eventful and flamboyant Central Business District, while SoHo is a bit more erudite, located just south of Hollywood Road (hence the name).

Trouper drinkers often treat Lan Kwai Fong as a drawn-out warm-up before faltering into the Wan Chai area (Hong Kong’s red light district) later in the night. If it’s bludgeoning you’re after, Lan Kwai Fong hosts the city’s best dance floors and red light area. Read below my experience

One such club – Red Apple where you would pick any girl who will give you company and if you like them you can take them out but that comes with a cost and cost is really high. This club from outside looked like a normal pub. But the moment you will enter you will find many chicks dressed heavily and sexy on the floor.  I sat on the table near to bartender, then, one of the females came and started talking to me, asking me what I do and all that stuff.  Then she kept one of her hand on my shoulder asking me to come to the corner.  Ultimately she told me I can take her out if I am interested and these are the charges. Wooo.. this I experienced for the first time and was crazy. (from a blogger who’s my friend)

lan-kwai-fong-nightlife travel blog hong kong

Other than this, there are nightlife districts in Hong Kong such as:

Temple Street Night Market – Yau Ma Tei Kowloon

Nightlife in Kowloon brags a whole host of rooftop bars and clubs that take the full lead of awe-inspiring views crossways the bay to Hong Kong Island. Bars like Ozone is the ‘highest bar in the world’, Aqua spirit, Eyebar and many more. You will find sky-bars and site of the red light area as well.

Causeway Bay nightlife

Causeway bay actually does not have many late night clubs and bars but if you looking for clam and relaxes speakeasies and bars this place is the best for you in Hong Kong. Causeway Bay’s proclivity for delightful vantage points and some friendly local bars will lure you to get integrate yourself into some lively bar-room conversation.

Eyebar night club hong kong blog

Hong Kong Island

This place is a den for clubbing – you will find hidden bars, underground style clubs with chicks dancing on the floor to pick from for the night and many local style bars dotted around the side on the streets with plenty of drinking spots for expats. Places like – PLAY, Dragon-I and Volar they all assure erotic and exciting night of dancing, and love. Meanwhile, there’s morpmarket Bungalow and this gay-institution of Propaganda and hi-so hangout at Hong Kong Beijing Club. Must visit place for (a bit costly though – to enter you will have to pay to range between – HK$ 120 to HK$ 350). You can ask any local for gay-institution of Propaganda clubs – they refer it “PP”.

Hong-Kong-nightlife kowloon travel blog

Hong Kong nightlife ranges from fashionable art and after-dark shopping to all-night smashing clubs and high-octane entertainment. For me, I have read a lot about Hong Kong but these weird and unusual things about its nightlife were never talked about. And the most surprising thing is they quite easily available here without any fear of police or administration (with all women safety in mind) making it legal still it’s not much being gabbed about.

Read all about Hong Kong to know more about this stunning country


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ShiviApril 24, 201915min45257
Hong Kong Skyline Spirited Blogger
Hong Kong Skyline Spirited Blogger

No wonder Hong Kong is a metropolitan country that does not have a rich history in terms of reign and emperors but yes it has, in fact, quite an interesting fact which is that – Hong Kong was under the British rule from 1841 to 1997 before handing sovereignty over to China. This agreement was established post a 50-year period of autonomy when Hong Kong achieved governance by a “One Country, Two Systems” agreement. Since then it is a complex yet technologically advanced nation and is a “Special Administrative Region” of China with its own currency, constitution, passports, and official languages (Cantonese and English). This travel blog will take you to a few things that are essential before you travel to Hong Kong

Please note that, do not speak Mandarin when in Hong Kong, they do not consider it as their language as per locals, thus avoid this act.

Hongkongers are very proud of their culture and heritage thus when in Hong Kong learn few gestures and signs which can make them feel like being an expat. For instance, avoid addressing them as Chinese as and they are proud to be Cantonese rather than an extension of Chinese.

The currency

Hong Kong currency is Hong Kong dollars – HK$ – The Hong Kong dollar is the official currency of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. It is subdivided into 100 cents. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority is the governmental currency board and also the de facto central bank for Hong Kong and the Hong Kong dollar. Official website: hkma.gov.hk

Hong Kong Currency Coins Spirited Blogger
Hong Kong Currency Coins Spirited Blogger

 

Hong Kong Currency Coins Spirited Blogger
Hong Kong Currency Coins Spirited Blogger

You can exchange your currency at the airport or else you have reliable foreign money exchange counters in the city within your location. If not required do not carry much of cash as you may find ATM’s and money exchange counters easily. But remember you will have to carry a lot of cash while shopping and roaming around as Hong Kong deals in cash majorly.

Getting around

Getting around Hong Kong in the budget is possible via metro line, ferries, and buses. A very well connected network all through Hong Kong. In fact, take the airport express train from the airport for central as it is just 24 minutes and cheap.

Another historic mode of transport is a ferry that is very cheap – starts from 2 HK$ from Victoria harbour and then you can take a tram to the Central Peak which is the skyline of Hong Kong. (it is just 30 cents).

MTR Hong Kong Train Spirited Blogger
MTR Hong Kong Train Spirited Blogger

Remember before you step out the airport please buy an Octopus card. It is not only for public transport but it gets used at convenience stores, and even at some coffee shops. This card is really helpful for solo travellers and for travellers who are travelling on a low budget. Hong Kong does have Uber and affordable taxis – that starts from $3); however, the latter sees a “changeover” in hours as the shift changes.

What to pack before you come here

Hong Kong weather sometimes is unpredictable – still, the entire year Hong Kong is oppressively quite hot and humid. When you listen to any local saying that it is summers – they mean it is the season that stretches from late April to late October. This means it has a rainy season as well. Please carry lots of jackets, an umbrella, rain sheets, as rain showers are unpredictable. Moreover, Hongkongers never turn off air conditioners – it is pretty cold inside the hotels and at the workplace. So better be warm is the tip.

Eat as locals do

The biggest hurdle for a traveller in Hong Kong is the variety of Cantonese and Chinese food, from which to distinguish is a big task. Do share food as Chinese cuisine is all about sharing. If you sharing twosome then order one portion and share. Enjoy dim sum at traditional restaurants on the streets near central, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon etc. Do remember not to put the chopsticks in a vertical position as it is a sign associated with funerals.

Cantonese and Chinese Food Spirited Blogger
Cantonese and Chinese Food Spirited Blogger

Shopping

For the serious traveller, Hong Kong is a shopping paradise but no second thought Hong Kong is dammed expensive for any national coming here for shopping. You’ll find ample shops in every possible street in Hong Kong. You’ll be spoilt for all the vivid choices the streets have to offer. From the Avante Grande malls to all the international brands’ outlets at central and Tsim Sha Tsui you will get hooked by the variety it has to offer.

Hong Kong Shopping Malls Central Peak

But for shoppers who looking for bargained shopping explore the largest shopping street in Hong Kong – Temple Street. Do also check other streets in Yau Ma Tei and Tung Street in Mong Kok for cheap clothes and electronics. With this do explore Granville Road in Tsim Sha Tsui and Cheung Sha Wan Road in Sham Shui Po for cheap clothes.

Temple Street Hong Kong Spirited Blogger

One tip – Bargain, bargain and bargain as much as you can, show your skills if you do not see any price on the products, but if you see any price on the product this means the attendant will not be willing to negotiate.

Nightlife

Hong Kong is not quite popular for a good late night culture, but this is not right it is like another New York or Manhattan. It is not a speedy country, and can’t be compared with the neighbouring Bangkok but the evenings and night clubs are happening, in the pubs of Tsim Sha Tsui – where you may find many expats taking a stroll on the sideways of the streets. It is filled with locals too. Lan Kwai Fong is the city’s nightlife heart and comes alive as happy hour slopes in and on the weekend nights, the street turns into one big open-air bar and LGBTQ nightlife scene with doors open for all. Sky bars are big business here, and please remember if you intend to experience be ready to eye-watering prices for cocktails.

Hong Kong Night Life Streets Spirited Blogger
Hong Kong Night Life Streets Spirited Blogger

Please note: Do feel free to carry around a beer or glass of wine in the street as Hong Kong has lax open-container laws. 

Here’s a quick sneak peek into some basics to survive in HK:

  • You don’t have to be fluent in English while talking to the locals but please speak slowly so that they understand word by word in pieces.
  • Don’t use flowery or tough English terms. Keep it simple.
  • Try to catch their actions if not able to make them understand what you are asking.

You can also learn a few Cantonese phrases online.

  • Hello – Néih hóu (pronunciation: Neyi Hou)
  • Good Morning – jóusàhn (pronunciation: Sou San)
  • How are you doing? – néih hóu ma (pronunciation: Layi Hou Maa)
  • I don’t speak Cantonese – ngóh m̀hsìk góng gwóngdùngwá (pronunciation: Wa sihk gwong dung waa)
  • I’m a vegetarian – ngóh sihk jāai (pronunciation: Wa sihk taai)
  • How much is it? – Géidō chín a (pronunciation: gei cin aa)
  • Are there any discounts? – yau mou zit aa (pronunciation: yau mou zit aa)

 

Keep reading and happy travelling 🙂 

Please leave a comment below and let me know what you wanted to know about Hong Kong Travel, will share the bog soon! 



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There is a piece in me that like to tenderly imagine my maverick and seditious soul. But, precisely, I love to have a picky and cosy relationship with my soul that can rub up against a little bit, putting me alive.


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