Monday, September 28, 2009

part 2 - still paris

It's amazing how movies can transform your views and image of a place.

I have just finished Angels and Demons (the movie). I read the book a long time ago so I couldn't really remember the exact details in it, but watching the movie AFTER visiting Rome and the Vatican city is totally a different experience altogether. I can never look at St Peter's square and the churches in the same light again.

Come to think of it, I should have watched it before going, but oh well...

And now I kind of understand why she loved the Fontana so much after 冲上云宵. You know who you are, ha!

Part 2 - still Paris!

Had my first taste of foie gras at Pub 38 Eiffel. This was actually foie gras with baked egg, and It. Is. So. Good! The liver had a slightlly musky tang to it, and the combination with baked egg was perfecto. But bear in mind that foie gras does not appeal to everyone.

the bill in a tin.

We visited the Père-Lachaise Cemetery on our third day in Paris, much to the chagrin of the guys in our group (or so I think). It hosted the graveyards of a medley of different famous people, but the one I wanted to see the most was that of Chopin.

But unfortunately we made a very costly mistake at the entrance.
We decided not to buy the map of the cemetery for the sake of being economical.
We ended up in a wild goose chase around the cemetery, and failing miserably.
(and bringing our entire poor group members along..)
We had grossly underestimated the size of the graveyard, and the sheer number of graves in it.
In the end, we left the cemetery with painful feet (from all the pounding on the uneven pavement), aching legs, and not a sight of even ONE measly 'famous' grave.

one of the many angmohs who adores sunshine, unlike us poor asians

I had my first taste of macarons from a shop named Herve (I think), which apparently has won awards for its macarons. And it was really good! I wanted to get some from Laduree but..ah well. I just couldn't bring myself to pay 4 euros (RM20) for a single macaron which I probably could finish in 4 or 5 bites.

a lady with a hat musing on her own on the bench.....not! look carefully. it's actually a bronze figure!

Paris is said to be the city of romance. Well, I don't seem to see the romantic-ness about it. Glasgow is much more romantic to me. Paris is busy and noisy, and the streets are dirty (well, at least when compared to glasgow). That doesn't seem too romantic does it? The only thing romantic about the city is the people. They hug and kiss everywhere!

4th day is Disneyland day!
I am really not the best person to write about Disneyland day. I am not a child at heart after all.
Sin wee, would you like to be my guest blogger for the day?

my happy housemates. the one on the right is happier.

some random cute little girl who was dressed for the occasion

waiting in line for our first ride: Snow white!

side profile of Donald duck's I-forgot-her-name girlfriend.

that looks like some ancient 格格 punya headpiece from far

car stunts. it was AMAZING

ciplak HSM. I want Zac Efron!

I went to Disneyland and observed with a very logical heart and mind, and I got this conclusion.
Walt Disney is one helluva guy.
Did you know that Disney came very close to not existing in this world?
It is a perfect example of a blue ocean strategy.
The idea is novel, there was nothing like it, and there will be nothing quite like it in the future.
There is simply no comparison.
Even if there were to be another company producing cartoons and doing exactly what Disney does, it will never be quite like it.
Can you imagine a world without Disney?
I certainly can't.

Last day in Paris was off to Chateau de Versailles.

We paid 15 euros to enter the palace, but it was totally worth every penny.
As a matter of fact it is somewhat a cross between a museum and a palace. It was indeed a palace until the French revolution and the royal family ran away or something. I cannot remember the exact facts. Go wikipedia if you want more...

Next stop: Rome!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

part 1 - paris

And I'm back!

Really, I am afraid of updating everything after a really long holiday. The last 2 times I did (Hong Kong and KK trips) I ended up with a headache and giddiness, thanks to staring at my computer for so LONG a time. And lets not forget that I like to make collages out of my holiday photos. Now that really takes up a lot of energy!

I kept a little diary throughout those 17 days. it wasn't so much a diary of events; rather I think it was more of a memoir of my thoughts and feelings.

Am feeling a little lazy, so I'm going to keep this short.



We kind of lost our way the night we arrived in paris, and couldn't find our hotel. There were these two young parisian ladies who were SO helpful, they pored over the map with us and even called up the hotel itself to ask for directions, using their own cellphones!

Our hotel Andre Gill was actually quite nice. They served the same breakfast every morning (croissants and a hard bread, and coffee or tea), had 2 proud-looking cats, and a funny and helpful counter staff person. A few steps down the road and it was heaven for guys: the red-light district, ha! Moulin rounge was further down but we didn't go. Show me the money, man!

The first thing we did the next morning was to rush over to the Louvre as it was free admission day, which happens every first sunday of the month. I was slightly disappointed by the Mona Lisa painting. I did not understand the hype about it; I simply did not understand it. I am not an art student after all. Furthermore it was put behind a glass screen, and that decreased its magic somewhat.

The famous painting, blurred by my camera zoom....

...which we managed to get to the very front after battling the crowd.

Altogether now guys, stare down at your, erm...instruments?

doing the karen cheng using the powder table of a famous person...I think it was one of the French kings.

posing like him...not!

I find this kind of disturbing. How they managed to pose that way for the artist, is really beyond me.

Then, we went to the Orsay museum, for free again. Yay!

This painting is on my Chopin music scorebook which I used for 5 years+.

And then, Eiffel tower!

...and someone yelled in delight when she saw this, hehehe.


...both which I covet, but cannot afford. le sigh.

Diary musings excerpts:
  • We are all independent, yet interdependent too. There is no such thing as minding our own business. Others' business are also our business.
  • Had my first taste of foie gras! It is SO good. The liver had a slightly musky tang to it, and the combination with baked egg was perfect.
  • I like my new Loccitane Cherry blossom fragrance!

To be continued...


Saturday, September 5, 2009

see you in 2.5 weeks' time!

And that's because I'll be leaving for Paris + Italy today at noon.

I think I've grown to be fairly blase about going on trips abroad.
Perhaps I've been to too many places that left me somewhat..disappointed.

I still remember I used to be SO excited when I went on trips with my parents when I was young.
I'd literally squeal and jump for joy the day before leaving, and I'd be too excited to sleep.
And I used to be so amazed by everything I saw.
Even the ice cream in foreign lands seemed loads better than homegrown ones.
(but to their credit, New Zealand DOES produce really good ice cream. Must be their milk I think.)

I used to be so excited about how my photos would turn out, how I would look in them, and whether people thought our photos were nice.
I used to insist on bringing back a bunch of souvenirs from every place I visited.
And I used to have so much fun reminiscing about my trip long after I returned.

But I'm not like that anymore.
Perhaps I've grown out of the excitement of going on holidays.
Or perhaps I've just grown up.

Now, I feel the most important thing about holidays abroad, is the feel itself.
I want to cherish every moment, every thing, and every person I see.
I want to immerse myself in the locals' life.
I want the feel of the place I'm visiting to permeate every cell of my body.

I remember when I first arrived in Glasgow, I like to imagine myself as Elizabeth Bennet or Jane Eyre in the midst of the medieval styled buildings Glasgow is famous for.
I like to imagine how life would be like for those who lived in Pollock House, how the servants would bustle around serving the ladies and gentlemen, how the ladies would walk, hand in hand, around the grounds of the garden, how they'd laugh gently at each other's jokes.

I'm not really interested in how many pictures I take.
Rather, I want each and every picture I take to be a remembrance of a memory I had in that place, at that time.
I want to write down my thoughts when I come across interestings things.
I want to eat as the locals do, and taste every morsel with my tongue and let the delight wash over me, and lodges in a part of my brain, never to be forgotten.

I want to experience a place my way.
And that, to me, is what really matters.

So, as they would say,
Let the fun begin! =)