Thursday, December 25, 2008
Merry Christmas, by the way.
A college friend Suman is here in KL, from the States, as part of his Asian holiday tour for this long weekend. So, on his first day, we went to do touristy stuff in KL.
Started off with a late breakfast at Pelita Nasi Kandar in KL, introduction to the typical Malaysian breakfast, yes you guessed it, roti canai and teh tarik! haha. Well, by the time i arrived the only roti available was roti naan, so that's what i had. Serves me right for playing computer games until 7 am.
Next stop, the Malaysian Handicraft Complex on Jalan Conlay. Reez and me got some congkak action while Suman looked around for souvenirs. Didn't take any pictures here. I was going around taking pictures with my camera phone since i was too lazy to carry my DSLR around town, so please forgive me if the pictures are not as pretty. Plus this wasn't a photo outing for me. (alasan kena bagi dulu, heheh).
After that, off we went to Batu Caves. I just don't know why i decided to wear jeans today! So slowly we went up the 272 steps...stopping frequently along the way. Got to the top, dang, you have come down a set of steps, go through the main cave, and climb up yet another set of steps!
the temple at the top
Lord Murugan's backside
We stayed up there for a bit, Suman got obsessed taking photos of the monkeys, then we each lit a candle at the temple. The candles looked pretty delicious, more like an egg tart than a prayer candle i almost wanted to bite into it. hehe. The climb back down was less tiring, but my knees felt like they were going to fall apart as we got back at the bottom. The ice-lolly we had on the way down certainly contributed to the fun factor.
Right, so as if climbing the Batu Caves steps wasn't enough for us, we drove over to FRIM in Kepong. FRIM is awesome, man! It was my first time there, and I was pleasantly surprised at how nice it was in there. So close to town, yet i found myself immersed in such a different atmosphere - fresh air and all that. We first parked at the picnic area and asked around where the canopy walk is. The first bunch of people showed us to some steps (arghh) with a waterfall next to it, and up we went. It was quite a climb, considering we had just gone up Batu Caves a half hour earlier! And 10 minutes later, when we got to the top, there was no canopy walk. Only a couple of bridges that lead to the other side of the waterfall. We asked a dude up there, and he told us, "No this is not it, the canopy walk is nearer to the FRIM mosque, so you have to walk back down and drive to the mosque and park your car there."
So we walked back down, and asked the ice cream man at the end of the stream. He said the canopy walk closes at 2.30PM, and we were too late since it was already 4.30pm by the time. We decided not to listen to him, found the entrance to the canopy walk, and started our hike up.
up to the canopy walk: the spot where i almost gave up
Goddamn, the hike to the canopy walk made the Batu Caves steps feel a whole lot easier!! I gave up at some point, while reez and suman carried on. I decided to text reez a few minutes later to ask how far more, he said 3 more minutes of climbing. So i decided to continue the climb. I noticed numbered poles going 7, 8...and i guessed that must be the marker to tell you how much further to the end. I pushed myself, thinking i've climbed 80% and it would be a waste to give up at that point. Reez was a total liar...! It took me a good 10-15 minutes to complete the last 20% of the climb...and quite embarassing as well as the elderly practically whizzed up and down past me while i very slowly forced myself up the trail.
Well, slow as i was, i completed my goal, and that felt pretty awesome! Arrived at the canopy walk, and true to the ice-cream man's words, the walk was already closed for the day. After chilling for about 10 minutes we heard thunder, so we started our hike back down. I haven't exercised for weeks, and that made me feel quite good, though my thighs and calves were already starting to feel sore.
Next stop, lunch! Right, lunch at 6pm. Wangsa Maju, Bangi Kopitiam. One of the best Nasi lemak rendang ayam i've had in a while! We cleaned our plates within 20 minutes, and ordered a couple of butter kaya buns to top it up. After our stomachs were happily filled, we went to the massage parlor next door, and i had my very first foot reflexology. It was good, but painful still, i don't know if i will engage in it as a regular thing to do. I just have a very low pain threshold, what can i say? :-(
An hour later, we were off to Thean Hou Temple in Seputeh. I lived in Taman Seputeh for 2 years and i only discovered the temple today, from Suman's Lonely Planet for KL, Malacca and Penang. An awesome book by the way. I didn't think i could climb another flight of stairs, but there they were at the temple, two more floors to the top, and the book promised a really nice view of the KL Tower and the Petronas Twin Towers. So up we went. The view was quite breathtaking, and the temple was beautiful! How i wish i had a proper camera on me at the time. but this was all i could manage on my phone camera. It's okay, at least the temple is more accessible than the canopy walk..i'll be back.
the temple's roof
lotus-shaped prayer candles
The three of us were pretty beat after the temple, so we went to Bangsar to find a place to drink. Bangsar was pretty dead tonight, so we headed back into town to Al-Rawsha for some Lebanese food to snack on to end the day. We didn't get to take Suman to Low Yatt, but we can always do that tomorrow. We all had great fun, and through Suman's appreciation of the city, i found that KL has a lot to offer, that i really can't get anywhere else in this world.
My legs are hurting now, and i have to work tomorrow. Ouch.
Gnite for now lah.
Friday, December 12, 2008
My sense of time and space is all screwy now. My January trip to Bali seems like it was only a couple of months back, while my last conversation with the asshole who wasted my time feels like it was a million years ago. The memory of the cold April in London with my darling nephew and the taste of Italy still linger in my mind, while it felt like it was years ago that I left my previous workplace. I am still missing my ex-colleagues and the variety of lunch options, but i never once missed the traffic i had to endure while working in the city.
It's been a year of changes, new friends, travel and enjoyment. But somehow, right now all i feel is emptiness. All i want to do is laze in front of the TV and watch one travel show after another.
Maybe it's post-holiday depression...oh yeah. I haven't posted anything on the Phi Phi trip yet! Perhaps I'll do it this weekend. I can't even be bothered to take the pictures out of the camera.
Wouldn't it be nice if i could just fly and see places and not have to worry about money or the lack of vacation days?
on top of that, my thesis is still not yet done. urgh.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
will be in thailand for a week..i'm in phuket now, which i don't really like. i wish i was in Phi Phi already.
Phuket is hot....!!! like KL hot...and sweaty. yucks.
It's felt like a long long journey, but i will get to my destination soon.
the only good thing about this place was the sticky rice with mango and the delicious steamed fish and seafood salad i had late last night. Yes, at 2AM malaysian time.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
i just realized i haven't written anything in a very long time. time flies so fast these days, it only felt like yesterday that i posted my last entry.
i had a great weekend last week. went to the first Hematology Open Day in Ampang Hospital. Seeing my doctors and fellow survivors again was excellent! Though i went by myself, i felt absolutely at home. Dr Ong, if you're reading this, I will send you some photos soon yeah!
After the open day me and my buddy went off to the zoo, and drove around KL taking pictures of historical sites. This shot of the KL Railway Headquarters here was taken from the Majestic Hotel area, which is now closed as YTL has taken over the building to restore it into another hotel.
Sunday was a traumatizing day for me. I had a job to photograph the Sunathon Perdana 2008, where 300 kids participated in a circumcision ceremony. The event was easy peasy for me until i was asked to document the whole circumcision procedure. Ouch! Ouch! OUCH!!
I'm off to Phuket/Phi-Phi next week. I can't wait! ciao
Monday, October 20, 2008
mid morning, somebody said something to me that hit a sensitive nerve, made me cry.
maybe i'm overreacting, because i don't usually shed tears for something so small.
where is my sense of humor? i need you! it's monday and i need you!
buck up, me. i am stronger than this.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
so somewhere mid-year when i was renewing my road tax, i found that i had an arrest warrant for a crime i didn't commit, so i decided to take the matter to court. the first round was waiting for about 3 hours, then a five minute hearing where i said, "saya tidak mengaku bersalah" and they postponed the case to, yeap, u guessed it, today.
took a half day leave, waited around for another 3 hours, then stood in front of the judge for 5 friggin' minutes to hear the police telling the judge that their witness did not come today, and the officer who is in charge of case is still on holiday, and that he suggests the case to be postponed again until another date.
i said my piece of mind, about how the police has wasted my time over something i did not do. and if possible i'd like the case to be settled today. the judge, however, decided that she will give the police another chance, and my case is now postponed to April next year.
bosan betul. but i'll keep you posted. next post, April 2009. keep checking the blog! hahahaa
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
i remember as a kid, i would pretend to be sleeping so my parents would leave me in the car while they went visiting. hehehe..
selamat hari raya, maaf zahir batin, anyway. travel safely, and eat well.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Sunday, September 07, 2008
for your viewing pleasure, in case you get thirsty in the afternoons of Ramadan.
Scientists say that you should look at food before buka puasa. It will get your enzymes going, so your body doesn't go into a shock by suddenly stuffing food down your throat right after azan Maghrib.
Monday, September 01, 2008
I went to Krabi last wednesday, which started off smoothly, and ended up as a struggle to get back home, when all the Thai airports closed down as all the workers went on strike. They were protesting against police using force to control the protesters who were protesting against the government. it ended up being quite an enjoyable adventure in the end, however.
anyway, it was low season in Krabi this time of the year. things were reasonably priced, e.g. my snorkeling trip the first day only cost me 40 ringgit! since it was so cheap, i went and bought my own prescripted mask. hahaa. it rained the first day, so the water was a bit murky. though i must say, after having been to the Redang Marine Park, my snorkeling experience around the Krabi islands was a bit of a bore..lovely waters though!
on the second day, despite the news forecasting rain, i went on a day trip around phi phi island anyway. the weather turned out to be superb, and we went around on a speedboat to snorkel somemore and swim. best gila!
the hotel was one of the best hotels i've stayed in. It was called Pakasai Resort, and it claims to be environmentally friendly. The pool was lovely, the staff were helpful and friendly.
The drama started as i checked out on Saturday, and the receptionist said that all the Thai airports were not operating that day. Goddamnit. But where was Air Asia's notification sms? Decided to take the taxi to the airport to check it out anyway...but on the way, the sms finally came. The flight was cancelled, but there was no other information. So i headed to the bus station, met up with a couple of friends who were there as well, and we decided to take the bus to Hat Yai. Long story cut short, we then travelled from Hat Yai to Alor Setar by minivan, and then hopped on one of the express buses back to KL. I left my hotel at 12noon on Saturday, and arrived home at 7am on Sunday. Am tired as hell now.
more photos on my flickr.
Monday, August 25, 2008
my friend daus, braved the crowd at Lepaq, performed Across the Universe - made popular by The Beatles. I'm sure lots of girls in the crowd fell in love that night.
nothing much has been going on in life otherwise, i lepak and Lepaq too much, i went to Redang, i had a bone marrow biopsy and the results came back great, i'm going to Krabi this week, and i've gotten back my passion for photography (i think..haha..).
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
i read my book. i tossed and turned. i tried to imagine a peaceful beach, hot sun. i turned on the Playstation, thinking i'd play some guitar hero, but i turned it off again since i am pretty sure that it would be a bad idea. i am now back in front of my computer, and have nothing else to do.
i saw Smart People today, and i'm feeling nostalgic.
i had the sloppiest burger in town tonight, and i'm feeling terribly guilty.
i heard a name, and it made me just plain uneasy.
i'm in the state of unrest. i need this island trip a.s.a.p.
away from this routine i've slipped myself into.
yes. an adventure. that's what i need, again.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
apa lagi...marah lah diorang. they tried to turn things around to be my fault, but since none of this is my fault, i just tried to say as little as possible, and just watched the fool making a bigger fool of himself.
i got what i wanted in the end, for now at least.
we'll see about next month.
puas hati beb.
Monday, July 14, 2008
...but suddenly it's monday again. boohoo...!
- i made chocolate cake
- i saw 4 movies in a row
- i played lego indiana jones until the sun came up
- i sorted my overstuffed wardrobe so i can give away the ones i don't wear anymore, and then stopped halfway because i got lazy
- i watched Azura
- i made banana bread
- i went out for a mcFlurry
i now need to sleep because tomorrow it's another week of work all over again. gnite.
Friday, July 11, 2008
my brother's stem cells (too bad i didn't have a proper camera back then, this was taken with my cellphone ...hehehe)
It was my 3rd anniversary for my stem-cell transplant today. I remembered yesterday, then today i was too busy going about my day and only thought about it a couple of hours ago. I made some cake and shared with nearby friends, but this wasn't the reason i made it. Ah anyway, it will be the reason now.
so here i go again: thanks to everyone who got me through it. From your relentless prayers and support, i found my strength. Cheers to that!
Thank you, thank you, thank You.
Sunday, July 06, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
Ok, to tell you the truth, I signed up with Amazon Associates, and i really just want to see how it actually works. heheee. Hence the pathetic excuse of a book review in the paragraph above. I do apologize. hehe
let's see, shall we?
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
aiyoh, my stomach is so full. plus i think the rooibos tea i had a couple of days ago, is detoxing my body, so my stomach isn't doing so well lately.
today was a work day. interesting stuff in the day, but the night was much better. had dinner with a beautiful man, unfortunately with his parents, brother, my boss and a few other people. hahaha. i'm not joking, he was really really handsome ok, with his blue eyes, tanned skin, 6 feet tall frame, chiseled cheekbones...shit am i starting to sound like a cheesy romance novel? at first glance i thought he was ashton kutcher walking into the restaurant. yes, he was that beautiful. hahahahaa. as we were all chatting at the table, he mentioned something about the food at his dorm. dorm??? kuang kuang kuang...that was the end of my fantasy. kekeke
the meeting went on a bit too long today, that i missed an opportunity to shoot the sunset, which i believe must have been beautiful. as we drove out of the office building, i could see the moon rising, huge and low. and on the other side, the skyline was a gradient of orange and deep blue, a sight i rarely see back home nowadays.
damn i wish i was here on a holiday instead. hehe.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
I had the afternoon off today, and took a guided tour to the Soweto Township. I was expecting coming out of the tour feeling depressed, but to be honest, i felt a bit sad, but not depressed. The township looked OK actually, although the old Soweto looked pretty rough. I'm not going to write about the details of what i learned today. Interesting as it was, it was a 5 hour tour, and i can't really remember every detail of it. hehe.
We went round the township, listening to the tourguide telling his stories. We ended up at a museum commemorating a 13 year old boy who was killed in the protest against Afrikaans as the medium of instruction in schools in 1976. The witness testimonials were very very sad, i thought. We then went round to checkout Mandela's house before we made our way back, in the after office rush hour.
I was freakin' hungry and thirsty when i arrived at the hotel. I hadn't eaten since 8am this morning, and all i had to drink was two cups of coffee. Wanted to walk to the mall, but it was already almost 7pm, and the receptionist said it was OK to go out, but i'd have to return before 9pm to be safe. takpe lah...makan kat hotel aja. After that trip to Soweto, I think i'll reserve another adventure for another day.
damn...Italy 1, France 0 so far. viva italia!!!! woohoo!
Monday, June 16, 2008
right..i'm now in South Africa. for work. but the yesterday and today were just spent hanging out with my college friend Lisa. I'm now checked into my hotel in Centurion, which is halfway between Johannesburg and Pretoria. There's supposed to be a lake somewhere, but honestly, I couldn't see it, and i'm not about to risk my safety by walking outside alone. This room i'm in is OK, but for ~RM400 a night, i know i could stay in better hotels in KL. hehehe.
i arrived at about 5am Sunday (yesterday), met up with Lisa at the airport and had breakfast while we wait for her mom to arrive from Hong Kong. We then spent the day with her dad, since it was father's day, and went back home to watch Taiwanese reality singing shows. haha. i was tired by 8pm, naturally, since South Africa is 6 hours behind Malaysia. So we had snacks for dinner, and i fell asleep watching Russell Peters on DVD.
I love the weather! It's about 18-20 degrees in the day, just nice enough not to have to put on a heavy winter jacket. Since the weather was so nice, we ended up spending the whole day today in a shopping mall. hahaha...first i went to the grocery store to buy grocery, for myself. heeheee..things like nando's peri-peri marinade, risotto rice, south african chocolates, rooibos tea, south african biscuits, etc. hehe..nice eh? after the lunch at nando's came the highlight of my trip. Sex & the City baybehhh!! Since it looks like the movie will never be shown in the theaters back home, i guess this is my only chance. The movie was as good as I expected..woohoo! There were some pretty annoying people around me who felt the need to make additional commentaries as the movie went on. Rasa macam nak tell them to shut up, but i was also worried i might get shot haha..so i kept my mouth shut and tried to enjoy the movie as best as i possibly could.
Need to text Mr Boss soon to tell him that I'm checked in at the hotel. We might go find a game drive tomorrow before our meetings start. I brought my SLR with me, but so far that damned camera hasn't come out of my bag yet. I need to take some photos soon, otherwise I'd have carried it halfway across the world for nothing. kekeke
I'm tired already now, it's only 8pm. Not sure if i want to go down for dinner. Maybe i'll just have the biscuits i bought from the supermarket today.
Saturday, June 07, 2008
Creamy crab risotto
Antico Noe sandwich shop
That lovely long walk to get to Piazzale Michelangelo
konon2 nak try edit gambar kasi macam painting. this was what i ended up with. hehehehe
Thursday, June 05, 2008
went for my haemato checkup today. one of my doctors got a datukship. another one came back from his stay in germany. another is going to commence her stay in germany. all in all, things are looking pretty excellent, including my blood test results from today. i'm a month away from my 3 year transplant anniversary...alhamdulillah. i've been wanting to send a frame photo to each of them, but never got around to it. Maybe i'll do it soon, with the pictures i took from my recent travels. for without their help, i probably wouldn't even get to those places i went.
then at around 6, i was told that the petrol price is going to increase by 80 cents tomorrow. shite! apa lagi...gelabahly went out to find the least crowded petrol pump. gila betul. i didn't manage to fill up the tank on the banana boat, but since i don't really drive it that much these days, i wasn't too worried about it. i think since it last came out of the workshop earlier this year, i only filled up the petrol two or three times, even so i only filled up 20-30 bucks each time.
ok lah..sleep time. tomorrow got to work...goddamn, my home phone line is broken, so there's no streamyx connection. i'm "borrowing" my neighbour's wifi at the moment. Jiran sepakat membawa berkat, like they say. hehehee
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Then it got pregnant. And it couldn't give birth yesterday. We took it to the vet, the doctor induced it, but due to the bone fracture, it couldn't give birth naturally. The kittens were also bigger than average, said the doctor. So in the end he had to operate the cat.
But all is well, for it is a strong cat. It survived the operation, and so did the two remaining kittens. (the first one who got stuck didn't make it, unfortunately). Well done, Cek Tam!
Monday, May 26, 2008
Friday, May 23, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
I wrote about a fruit i had in Italy, and I've finally found out what they're called - nespole! That's the italian name, no idea what it's called in English. Picture by Laura, the friend i met in Rome who was off to meet her cousins in Catania, Sicily.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
|Weight & Dimensions|
and at the footnote:
6 Preliminary target weight is based on 13.3" WLED display, Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium, Slot-load DVD burner and 4-cell battery. Weights vary depending on configurations and manufacturing variability.
i wonder, will the total weight become lighter if i downgrade to Windows XP? hahaha...
Monday, May 19, 2008
It's been a week, and i'm still jetlagged. Or am i? I shamefully admit that on both saturday and sunday, i slept at 6am, and woke up at 5pm, which was a major waste of time.
I blame saturday on The Tudors, catching up with all the episodes i missed while i was away. As for sunday, I don't have anymore excuses. I just couldn't sleep. So last night, i decided to not sleep, in hope that tonight, i'll retire early. This sometimes doesn't work, so i'm risking myself being extremely tired on my second day at work tomorrow. hehe..
So, i went out at 6.30am, hoping to catch the sunrise at Batu Dam. It turned out to be cloudy, so we (deli and me) decided to check out Sg Tua instead. Nice!! I wish i had brought extra clothes and a towel! Took some pictures, but the best part was just sitting on the rocks, with my feet in the water, listening to the quiet sound of the morning. bellissima!
happy wesak people!
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
oh man...i was browsing through hundreds of my photos and i found this picture of a grilled cheese sandwich I had at the London Borough Market. seriously sedap gila...i think they should add another variation with tuna in it. I love tuna melt!
thank goodness i'm back home, high possibility of me becoming a fat ass if i keep eating things like this everyday. that grilled cheese would be nice with some Coca-cola, or sparkling water. then for desert, an ice cream. perfetto!
Monday, May 12, 2008
I'm finally home, as you can see, and i'm glad. I'll see nephew again in a week or so. but i'll sure miss the "hmm, where shall i go and shop today?" question. hehe..i will miss that couch at my brother's place too. I've decided to call it the Couch of Epiphanies, because on several occasions, sitting on that couch has made me realize quite a few non-important things in my life. As in, things that are not important, that i believe were important. hehe am i rambling? that's because i haven't got anymore stories to tell. i'm home. and it feels great!
Sunday, May 11, 2008
I'm in transit in Dubai at the moment. My luggage was in excess by 18kg at London last night, and I had to repack my luggage twice. I ended up having to check in my little backpack and now i'm dragging the smaller cabin size bag around, which is pretty heavy. Stupid gila in my opinion, because in the end, the total weight comes down to exactly the same, isn't it? I don't even know what I have in my bags, but at that moment in the airport yesterday, I just felt like throwing everything out. The stupid chocolates, the stupid clothes and the stupid everything. What's with the 20 kilo policy anyway? Don't they know that it's not enough? And I think I made a stupid mistake buying this particular cabin size bag. I just realized that the stupid bag is quite heavy as well. Bargh!
Obviously i'm a bit too cranky right now. Cranky that my vacation is over, and i'm messed up from the time difference.
And what feels like a million years later, I'm in Singapore pulak. The layover is almost 2 hours, so I decided to get off the plane to stretch my legs and get a bottle of water, since my ankles are already now swollen from sitting too long. I was told that I need to take all my carry on luggage with me. Guess what? I get back through security, and was forced to throw away my precious pesto sauce I bought from italy. Takde rezeki I guess, but I am really pissed off at the indifference that was shown. Some expression of regret while chucking the jar in the bin would probably have made me feel a teensy bit better. At this point I'm having really violent thoughts in my head. I bet they all take those things they confiscate and use them, especially after I told them that the item was expensive and rare..which I exaggerated a bit haha. Aku sumpah any airport security worker who takes it and uses it gets a bad reaction from it. I wonder, what is the total loss suffered per day at airports around the world by careless people like me? Ada ke bawak pesto sauce dalam hand luggage? Bodoh apa? Hehe..
Hope Monday will be a better day. Right now I just want to get myself somewhere familiar, and chill.
Friday, May 09, 2008
That's what we did the whole day on thursday. Ok, not the whole day then. We kind of woke up late, wanted to take the train to the countryside, but it didn't work out since we weren't sure of what to do, which train to take, etc etc.
So we went to the Science City instead. Awesome stuff! It's like a huge complex of science stuff, human genome, space, 3D things, simulators, environment, and many more. I wish i had more time there, but an afternoon was all i had. We also went to the Planetarium, and i honestly could not remember what was shown because i fell asleep. Then we went to the Géode, it's like an IMAX theatre, but better.
We chilled out by the park, watching people, then off i went to catch my train back to London.
Thursday, May 08, 2008
I didn't sleep very well last night..big mistake on that coffee with sam, and I was in a mildly bad mood throughout my journey. I bought some delicious hot chocolate at King's Cross, and they made me throw away the drink before checking in at the gate. And 2nd class eurostar seats aren't the most comfortable seats in the world. I'd rather go on the Italian Regionale trains because even the cheap trains in italy give you more space compared to Eurostar London-Paris.
So, I arrived and went to get my metro billets, and I suddenly realized that I was missing one of my credit cards. Argh!! So I stepped aside and rummaged through my handbag to look for it. I couldn't find it, so I guess I must have dropped it somewhere, or left it at one of the shops in London. Terpaksa la make a call to Citibank, right? Stupid Citibank put me on hold for 5 minutes to report a missing card!!!! Angin betul aku. Of course when I finally got connected, the agent yang tak bersalah kena marah baik punya. "Look miss, I'm calling from Paris to report a missing card, and you make me wait for 5 minutes listening to your bloody advertisements? Do you really think somebody who's reporting a lost card would be interested in hearing about your home loan offers????" I must have sounded like a total bitch, but at that point I think that call had cost me like RM50 already and she was asking all these procedural security questions before she could attend to my problem. Argghghgh..!! Anyway, after about 12 minutes card was cancelled and everything was well, until I realized I had chewing gum on my hair!! Fark betul!!! I don't know where that chewing gum came from, but it was freaking disgusting. I hated Paris more and more, although it was no fault of the city that I suddenly get chewing gum stuck in my hair out of nowhere. Kekeke...
When I got to my stop, I asked around how to get to the hotel. Of course everybody just shrugged and said "je ne sais pas." Luckily Lisa appeared a few moments later and took me back to her hotel. Cliff was hanging out at the lobby already. I was just so glad to see them!!
We walked out to get some snacks and pastries and chilled out on the grass near Eiffel Tower and waited for the sun to set. We went a bit crazy taking tacky photos, but the tower against the sky at that time was just beautiful. We went back to grab our sweaters and went out again for dinner. By then it was already 9.45pm, and it was still only like 6.45pm! Dinner wasn't very nice, but there was a nice crepes stall next to it that I will definitely try tomorrow.
I'm off now. Good night!
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Then I took the tube to Notting Hill Gate to check out the Portobello Market. Nothing much there of course, it's a weekday for god's sake! Just a few stalls selling fruit and souvenirs. Notting Hill is nice though, just like in the movie. I wouldn't mind living there. I bought this fruit, i still don't know what it is. I had some in Italy and they were really really good. It's small like an apricot, but the skin is like mango, and it's orange-ish/yellow-ish in color. It starts with an "N". will take a picture and post it up in case any of you know. I'm a bit lazy to upload pictures these days. hehe. On Portobello Road, I went to find a Sausage & Mash shop that was recommended in the Lonely Planet. Really good stuff, and I only had the vegetarian sausages! Next to it was a Malaysian Restaurant called "Makan," but i didn't stop for a teh tarik. I'll be home in a few days, I'll have my teh tarik then. I miss teh tarik...! hehe
After Notting Hill, I decided to go to Primark on Oxford Street. I see people carrying Primark shopping bags everywhere, and I was quite curious to find out what the place was. It turns out to be a really huge department store selling really cheap clothes!! My snob of a brother says he's never set foot in it. hehe...I went to get some stuff for people back home. I just kept putting things in my basket, and for 50 pounds, I walked out with 4 pairs of pants, 3 tops, 1 shirt, 1 necklace, 2 handbags (ok, most of the items were actually for myself, selfish tak? hehehe). I queued to get my VAT refund, but then I bailed, the queue was too long for just 5 quids, I think i'll come back and do the refunds another day.
Next, I met up with Sam at Covent Garden. He wanted to take me to what most people claim to be the best fish and chips in London. And indeed it was. My favorite is still Manhattan Fish Market's..kekee, but in London, yes, that is the best I've ever had. We later went for coffee around the Leicester Sq. area and watched the world go by. Those cafes remind me of Italy. We stayed until the waitress shoo-ed us off because they were closing, so we parted ways, me to the tube back to Ealing, and Sam back to his apartment to study for his upcoming finals. I'm now chilling on the sofa, sorting out things for my short trip tomorrow.
Methinks me better sleep now. Penat pulak. Nite nite!
I took the Stansted Express, and when I got to Liverpool Street Station, the Central Line had already closed. It was 1am. So I had to wait for ayol to come pick me up, and by the time we got home, it was already 2.30am. that's 3.30am in Italy. Penat gila ok!!! I think we all slept late the next day.
At almost noon, we all went out to Bicester, where the factory outlets are. It was a nice day, but since it was a Bank Holiday weekend, there was quite a big crowd there. I firstly looked for coffee (i was still tired, but that was my only chance to go to the factory outlet). After going in and out of a few shops, I ended up with a pair of Clark's sneakers, and some tshirts for ayah. I went into Tod's, Furla and Dior and tried to convince myself that I should get a designer handbag, but I just couldn't. The handbags were quite cheap compared to the prices in Malaysia. Say, 400 pounds, and they had a 20% discount, and then i get another 10% VAT refund. It comes down to about 280 pounds. RM1800 for a Tod's handbag? cheap right? still, I couldn't do it. My Kipling canvas bag works just fine, and so do my many RM60 handbags back home.
I chilled out most of Monday. The weather is really nice in London these days. I needed to return some stuff i bought at Muji (coz i found the same thing for a cheaper price), so i did just that, and went to shop for a bit. They asked me what was wrong with the item, and i told them honestly, "Nothing's wrong with it, i just found the same thing for a cheaper price." and they returned me my money. I totally love the customer service levels in countries like this.
I'm now sitting on the staircase, because Shazrai pantang nampak computer. I'm gonna have to go the St Pancras station in a short while to see if I could get Eurostar tickets to Paris. Then I'm off to dinner with Sam.
Saturday, May 03, 2008
Ancient Roman Porn Artifact, found in Pompeii/Herculaneum, created between 1-50 AD
So, I didn't do much today. Went to the National Museum of Archeology and only larat to check out a few rooms, including the Secret Room, which contains ancient pornographic material kekekkeke. Those artifacts were found during the excavation of Pompeii and Herculaneum back in the 1800s, from the ruins caused by the eruption of Mt Vesuvius in 79 A.D. The only difference between ancient porn and today's porn is that ancient porn was expressed in drawings, mosaics or sculptures. The artwork were definitely as graphic as we would see them today.
After the museum, I went to look for last night's pizza place for my last italian pizza. Being way too lazy to try anything else, I had the same item I had last night, the House Margherita. The place is called Trianon, should anyone who reads this happen to be in napoli at some point. Ask anyone where the famous da Michele's pizzeria is, and Trianon is on the building opposite. I don't think I will ever forget the taste of that pizza.
Then I thought I might do some souvenir shopping, but my feet hurt, so I decided to go back to the hostel. I bumped into this really old man who asked me where I was going. He didn't seem harmless until he started following me!! I have no idea what he was saying...I kept telling him 'non capisco signore, non capisco.' Then I think I started to get what he wanted. He made this hand movement..like Pian (or most guys) does when he brags about how big his 'tool' is. Get what I mean? Then I heard some words I recognize..I was trying hard to get what he was saying..it was quite difficult because he had no teeth. Anyway, I heard, 'fai' (you do) and 'con me, va bene?' (with me, ok?). Errr no thank you!!! I started walking faster, although I could totally beat that old man up if he tried anything nasty. He was a tiny old man. Hehe. I seeked refuge in a burger king, the cashier kindly let me hide until the old man was off the street. Well, the grandpa might have been on about something totally different after all, but he made me too uncomfortable. Kekekee. Strange that I only get these in Italy, and i've been to quite few places around the world.
Then I went for a walk by the pier for about 2 hours before returning to the hostel again to get my bags. The day was hot, almost similar to Penang, and everyone was out on the 'beach.' There no actual beach with sand, but large rocks put together and people just lie down on the rocks to sunbathe.
So here I am now, having my gelato at the airport after my 3 week excellent adventure in italy. I will definitely come back here again when I can spare the time (and money). I've lost my sunnies, broken my d80 screen protector, gained a few pounds from the food, lost the pounds from the hikes and dragging my bag around, met some very interesing people and made quite a few friends.
I can't wait to get back to London now. I just want to lie down on the sofa with Shazrai on my lap.
Friday, May 02, 2008
- Wake up at 5.30am, go to the main piazza at Capri and take some sunrise photos
- Take a hike to about 5 places.
- finish before lunch time to meet up with Gemma for lunch.
Of course i didn't wake up at 5.30am. I heard the alarm going off, but i decided to just sleep the morning away. Left the hotel around 10.30am and walked to Arco Naturale, a rock formation shaped like an arc (duhhh). It was a fairly steep walk up the hill, but i dragged my leg up the hill anyway. The view was so beautiful there! So i decided to walk some more, found some caves here and there and gorgeous landscape along the way. It wasn't a very easy hike though. The distance was short, but i had to go down some stairs, and up some stairs, sakit sungguh kaki ku...! This past three weeks have been like an intensive stairmaster training program for me. My right heel actually hurts right now from all the walking. No wonder Italian women have such gorgeous legs. Anyway, halfway throughout the hike, i got a bit worried in case i got off track, but i kept going anyway, sticking to the paved little roads hoping to reach civilization soon. It was close to 2 hours since i started walking when i finally heard human voices. I finally reached the private beach, Faraglione. I wanted so much to go down the stairs, but i knew i will have to climb back up (there's no other way), so i just decided to keep on walking. Rugi betul...i could've bumped into Matt Damon or something down there, right? hehehe..i wish!
views from the hike
After that hike, i went to pick up my bag at the hotel. I looked like a homeless person, i wish i could take a picture with myself. Imagine me and my black backpack, bermuda shorts, a singlet, a hat, and a big supermarket plastic bag which contained my clothes. I weaved my way through the crowd on the streets of Capri, i think quite a few people looked at me quite strangely. Them rich peeps with their white linen pants, leather shoes, and cashmere sweaters over their shoulders. cheh! hehehe
that really delicious linguine con frutti di mare..yumm!
I met up with Gemma at this restaurant called Ristorante da Giorgio. It was recommended by the Rough Guides. The meal that was recommended was called Linguine con Frutti di Mare. I ordered that, and it was superb! Mussels, clams, cherry tomatoes...oooh sedap gila. Of course the book said that the linguine only costs 12 euros, but it turned out to be 17 euros today. Belasah lah. It was totally worth it though.
We didn't do much else after that. We went down to the marina, and sat for a long time while sipping our cappuccinos, people watching and talking. At around 4pm, Gemma decided that she would go to the jetty and wait for her boat so we said our goodbyes. I went to get my luggage at the storage shop and repacked my bag, and took the ferry to Napoli.
This hostel i'm staying in at Napoli is quite close to the jetty, so i didn't feel the fear i felt when i was at the train station the other day. Checked into my bed, took a shower, and went out to dinner with one of the girls in the dorm. The receptionist recommended a pizzeria about 15 minutes walk away from the hostel, and she was right...the pizza was delicious!! I just don't understand how anyone can eat a whole pizza on their own though. The pizzas are a little bit bigger than Pizza Hut's Large pizza ok... I ordered one for myself, got through half of it, and just scraped off the topping for the other half. I just couldn't do it! Yes, the crust is thinner, but it is still big! That was the best pizza i've ever had in my entire life - it was pizza with tomato sauce, basil, buffalo mozzarella, and cherry tomatoes. It's true what they say, the best pizzas are in Napoli.
OK, i'm off to bed. I'm not sure yet what to do tomorrow. I still have the whole day in this city before my plane back to London. Another pizza is a must in my itinerary, i guess. And a gelati. And a coffee. And this dessert called Baba, which my roommate tells me i must try.
I'm too lazy to upload photos right now. Maybe later. Ciao!!
Thursday, May 01, 2008
The scenery throughout the boat ride to the Blue Grotto was quite beautiful...though i got lazy and decided not to take any pictures. From the big boat, we had to transfer to a smaller boat to get inside the cave. The book said that it costs 5 euros each, and then we need to tip the boatman about 2 euros. It turned out to be 10 euros each...and there were mafia-looking people in the boat that seems to be the Blue Grotto "ticket office", with their aviator sunnies and all. hehehe..we had to lie down to get into the cave, and when we got inside....waaaaah....the water was so blue from the sun's reflection!! i expected a lot more, but it wasn't much, other than the very beautiful water, and the boatman belting out O Sole Mio. thank god he had quite a good voice...i didn't take any pictures inside since it was so dark, you really need to get off and fix a tripod somewhere inside the cave. Sure must have special permission punya.
After dah puas lepaking at Anacapri, we took a bus back to Capri. Eh, silap. We wanted to take a bus, but the line was so long, so we took a taxi (convertible taxi!!) jakun gila...! taking a taxi is so much better than taking the bus...the bus makes me nauseous, with the sharp turns and all. At Capri, we first decided to go find my hotel, since both of us felt so tired trying to manouver ourselves through the crowd. It was quite a long walk, nasib baik the room was nice. A proper hotel room at last! Only, it came with a single bed, and there was no room to fit another person (I was going to sneak Lisa in for the night hehe). We rested for a bit before reluctantly making our way back down to the Marina...my luggage was still at the storage shop, remember?
okey dokes...my hour is up. I think i'm going to bed early tonight, while watching Italian Satellite tv. It sucks because everything is in Italian. The O.C. in italian, the Simpsons in Italian...argh! Gemma's coming to Capri tomorrow, so when she's done with the touristy bits that I've done today, I'm going to meet up with her and chill out before we part ways. So i think i should wake up early to get some morning shots of this island, need to study the map to find out where the lookout points are. tomorrow i head to napoli to catch my flight back to London.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
So, anyway, the train from Rome to Napoli was ok...but as soon as i set foot in Napoli, the environment got a lot more scary than the other places i've been at. The people seemed rougher, but i don't know, it's probably because i've heard a lot of bad things about the city.
I arrived in Sorrento, which is nice and quiet in sort of a touristy kind of way. There were orange trees lining the streets, and i wondered if they were free. suppose they're coated with quite a bit of carbon monoxide from the vehicles that runs through the roads..hehe. When i got to the hostel, Lisa had already arrived; she had had quite an adventure, but that's her story to tell. So we went out and chose a random restaurant, which turned out to be terrific! i can't remember what i ate actually, but there were some roast potatoes yang sedap gila..hehe. After that we just went back and slept, since both were so tired from our individual adventures trying to get to Sorrento.
We slept late the next day, and did absolutely nothing, except walking up and down the main street checking out things at the shop. Funny thing happened as we checked out this shoe shop, Lisa was trying out a pair of shoes, and when she decided not to buy them, the shopkeeper loudly said, in his italian accent, "pleeez-ah god-a, bless-a me....don't-ah give me people that-a waste-a my time-a.." kakkkakakaka..dunno la which business school he went to. we left the shop immediately after realizing that he was directing that comment at us. Gemma arrived later in the evening, and we all went to dinner together, but i don't think the food was any good at that place. oh well...u don't try, u won't know i suppose.
from the bus along the Amalfi Coast
We woke up early today to catch the bus that runs through the Amalfi Coast. The view was incredible!!!! Unfortunately, the bus ride made me feel queasy, the roads so small, the bus taking corners like a maniac, and i was quite glad to get off the bus at Amalfi. Amalfi is nice, but it is a very busy town. So Gemma and me decided to take a ferry to Positano, and Lisa stayed at Amalfi. Positano was a lot better, I thought, and the ferry ride was 200% better than the bus ride!!! People just hanging out at the beach, and it's also a quieter town with a better view than Amalfi. We stayed there for a bit before we walked up the cliff to catch the bus back to Sorrento. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, there were no ferries from Positano to Sorrento, which i think is a bit strange.
Ugh i really felt sick on the bus!! We got off as soon as we were within walking distance to the hostel. Thank god for a fruit shop, which smelled really nice and i immediately felt a lot better.
aiight..i'm off. gotta pack, i'm heading back to london in a few days..boohoo!
Monday, April 28, 2008
Sunday, April 27, 2008
madness at Piazza San Pietro, Vatican City
the famous ancient roman building
Friday, April 25, 2008
Assisi at night - Piazza del Comune
Let me clarify. Assisi is only really really nice when the daytrippers have gone, leaving the town quiet and empty. it is like disneyland at night, full of wonders as you step into the little alcoves. It is also like disneyland during the day, with loads and loads of people slowly walking up and down the steeply inclined roads, making me feel like i want to scream my head out and ask them to shut up. hehehehe...selfish tak.
I attempted to take a hike at the national park of Mount Subasio, but 20 minutes into it, i decided to turn back. knowing me, the estimated 3 hours would become 6 hours, and i'll never make it back to the train station. heheheee. so i climbed up the road to Rocca Maggiore which is within the walls of Assisi, and got a pretty nice view there as well.
Basilica di San Francesco and the mob scene at the entrance
Next i decided to follow the crowd to the Basilica of San Francesco to see what the big deal is. It looked like a pilgrimage from the hill at Rocca Maggiore. Okay....the inside of the basilica was quite beautiful, there was also an underground tomb where San Francesco was buried, but i let the believers go lah. It matters more to them to see the tomb than to me. The queue, masya-Allah!!
ok...i'm off to my train station..malas betul nak panjat bukit once again, with luggage oso this time. argh!! i asked the receptionist this morning whether there was an easier road to a bus station. she said to just take the steep path, it is only 300 meters away from the piazza. i told her nononono....that path is steep. she said defensively, "no it's not!!" hehe..to her of course la it's not..she walks up and down that road everyday. cheh! berlagak betul. hehehe
okayy...i'm off. ciao!
I woke up this morning and went to the market...got leather goods, but they were kind of expensive, at about 65 euros a handbag. Ada pulak this thai stall owner yang tried to sell me a handbag..his selling point was, "this bag, made in thailand, but i print Florence here. 20 euros for you mam." kapla otak dia. baik aku naik air asia gi chatuchak kalau camtu. kekekee
Since there was nothing much to buy, Satchiko and me decided to go visit the Basilica di Santa Croce, on the east side of the city, near the river. We tried to get in yesterday but the line was super long, luckily today there was no line at all. Perhaps it was because we came during lunch hour. Anyway, we got in...and again, I got goosebumps admiring the tombs of Donatello, Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Galileo, Napoleons' family members and many more. Michelangelo and Galileo were actually buried there, but some of the others were just tombs, since apparently Napoleon came and told the church that it was unhygenic to bury corpes inside a church. yeah man!! gross!!
anyway...i left at 4 for assisi, and assisi is beautiful man!!!! this place is like a medieval disneyland, senza the crowd. i wish i had more days here. i guess i'll take the latest train possible to rome tomorrow then. but it's kind of hilly so i have to walk up and down the pavements, and i'm kind of still recovering from yesterday's walk.
ok lah. there's a lady outside this computer place who came in and said, "possiamo giocare?" hmm i suppose that means she wants to use it la kot....ciao! tak sempat nak upload gambar medieval disneyland ni...maybe next time! papai!
p.s. ooooo ok...she asked if i wanted to join her play cards at the tables..hehehe...tak perasan dia bawak playing cards. hehe
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Spent the afternoon looking for the best sandwich in town, as recommended by one of the girls in the dorm, who studied here for a whole semester. Then as we walked around finding a cafe, we bumped into Vivoli, who apparently makes the best gelati in italy. hmmmm hehehe..it's good no doubt, but i dunno, i couldn't really tell the difference by only having one cup, i guess.
Later, i went to the Uffizi Gallery, which was...hmmm...beautiful, but i guess I can't really appreciate without a further understanding of Renaissance Art. I saw Michelangelo's only completed painting, Leornado da Vinci's uncompleted painting, Botticelli's Birth of Venus and many more lah..hehe, not that I could tell the difference between the application of color, usage of light to emphasize the mood, etc etc. kekeke
Me and friend later walked across Ponte Vecchio to the other side of the river, and tried to find our way to Piazzale Michelangelo, where they say you could see a beautiful view of Florence from. Somehow we went on the wrong track, and found ourselves walking in the suburbs, in a really narrow road with high walls. At the end of it we were rewarded with quite beautiful views, away from the tourists. We reached Piazzale Michelangelo in the end, and the sunset was BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!
ok lah..i'm packing my bags for checkout. I'm off to Assisi today, much as i hate leaving this really cool hostel. Going to go shopping a bit at the markets in Florence before i depart this afternoon.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
inside the Duomo at Pisa
left to right - baptistry, duomo, leaning tower
An hour later, as I walked out of the café, yeehaa...!! The weather had taken a beautiful turn. So off I went to snap some photos. The piazza itself had 3 main sights, the leaning tower, the duomo and the baptistry. Kind of cool. Lining the street opposite those three buildings is what I like to call the "Campo dei Miracoli di Capitalism," a whole street lined up with souvenirs that probably weren't made in Italy anyway.
I decided to take lunch at a restaurant just outside the west gate. It's called, I dunno, something dei Miracoli. Don't ever go to that place ok!! It was my fault though, the menu didn't have a price list, and I was attracted by the TV they had, since I haven't watched TV in a while. Makan punya makan, the pasta that wasn't so good, I ended up paying 25 euros for that seriously bland meal. Bloody hell betul!! But what to do la right....I ate, so I paid. And I lost the mood for doing anything else, so I headed to the train station and got on the train to Florence.
Florence is nice! I checked into my hostel. It's called Ostello Archi Rossi, just nearby the train station. I was a bit skeptical at first, I've never stayed in a travel hostel before. I asked if they had a single room, but they were all full, so what the hell right, I'll just stay in the 6 bed dorm I've already reserved. As it turns out, my dormmates are great! And the room is cool, it's got a computer with free broadband, and it's a really fast computer too..not like all the free ones I've seen along my journey. Hehehee of course I like la right?? It's the perfect place for me hahaaaha! Can upload photos, check email etc etc. Hee hee. Excited terlebih tak..!!
So I'm now chilling on my bed while the 3 girls who are leaving early tomorrow pack their bags. It was a rainy day in Florence today, I took a free walking tour with the hostel (yes they organize those), then went on another guided tour to the Accademia in the afternoon. Michelangelo's statue of David was spectacular! It was just amazing to stand before it and see the details of the carving. Siap nampak veins semua ok...too bd cannot take pictures. Spent most of the day with one of my roomies who comes from Japan, one very cool girl who's just 2 days older than me, just quit her job and decided to travel. Sound familiar? Keke..
I had a nice day, I am glad to finally meet some people because the trip was getting pretty lonely after 7 days staying in single rooms, moving from city to city. Hopefully the weather will be nice for pictures tomorrow ya!