Friday, August 24, 2007




(inspired by a rather annoyingly hard to read poem on the wall of cafe1001 in bricklane whilst having a cuppa with eiliang the baker)

yea, i've decided. n done the necessary.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Up north where the scots dwell

There is always this thing that I have never done and strangely always got away with when it comes to travelling - and that is planning and budgeting. And my trips always happened to turn out just fine and brilliant. Perhaps good things happens simply when you least expects it -

I just sort of decided to go to Edinburgh because I heard about the Fringe, and that I shouldn't miss it since I'm here in Europe. So a few days beforehand, I wrote some emails to some people, looked into gumtree and found a cheap train ticket on the 13th - and I just packed 5 different set of clothes and left (without getting a return ticket).

So on the very beautiful scenic 4.5 hours train ride from King's Cross (where I saw the Platform 9 3/4 from Harry Potter movies) I listened to the song 'It's the sun' from the soundtrack of The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind as the train sped through the countryside in the occasional glorious sunny weather, and this sight greeted me just as the train came to a stop at the final stop in Edinburgh Waverly Station - the Edinburgh Castle over the hill

Upon arrival I met Jeff, my friendly host who opened the doors of his humble abode to me and there in his lounge on his super comfortable leather sofa, I slept for 5 days. And there on the other couch of his, I met Milena, a Polish medical student on holiday at Edinburgh. We hit off straight away and hung out for the rest of my stay in Edinburgh with many many ciders, mojitos, coffees, hot chocolate overdoses. Trips are often defined not just by the destination but by the people you meet and travel with. I made her trip by introducing her to the world of Irish Ciders, Guiness, Irish pubs, Fish and Chips, Haggis - everything British-ish (although it is indeed generalisation and the Scots and Irish will be quite mad if I may say so), and other things foreign like bagels and the English cold sandwich lunches and smoothies. And even a carousel ride!

This trip up Scotland has been the most fantastic in terms of the people I've met and travelled with. Absolutely brilliant.

Morning of Day one I met up with a fellow CS-er whom I randomly met at the train station to the Rosslyn Chapel. To be honest it'd been much nicer had it been one of the first few chapels and churches I've visited, for it is a sight to behold, except that after churches like St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City, there isn't any other churches that could hold up against in comparison and so, you know, it's a bit of a shame that I'd say, in short, it's nice, full stop. It is the Da Vinci Code chapel, by the way.

Then the afternoon and the afternoons of two days after were spent roaming around the beautiful ancient city where the buildings are all hundreds of years old with so much character, and streets were filled with tourist, fringe visitors and performers. Performers who were trying to promote their shows later in the night, street performers amusing kids and adults alike, free comedy acts, tons and tons of things to see and you just get so carried away just by your own presence. All the sights and sounds to absorb, the atmosphere to experience - it's really unbelievable. I just lose track of time wandering down the Royal Mile. I know I'd take my kids here to the festival just because there's so many things to do for the kids and they just love it. Maternal instinct huh? Not in years to come, but it'd happen.

I watched:
Escape: A one woman black comedy act I caught out of chance as me and Milena were caught in the rain and the manager asked us into the show. It wasn't too bad, although the location was a bit shite to be honest, I feel sorry for the actress, whom was really not bad.
Into the Hoods: A hiphop/ breakdance show that incoporated a storyline based in (of all places) Hackney, London! Very entertaining, very enjoyable, well deserved 5* review
Absinthe monologues: Ahh the green fairy. A black comedy based on the hallucinating effects of absinthe, and the ticket came with a shot of Absinthe. I say nice work on the free drink, although some bits of the Scottish humour was too, erm, local for me to get, as people laughed at something I didn't. But it happens and I get over it.

In conclusion? There was just too much things to do and choose from. Hundreds of acts literally going on every single day, but I managed to do it in my small way. More importantly is the fact that I truly enjoyed it.

4 days of hanging around the city of Edinburgh and I was off to the Highlands. Just decided to go for a 3 day bus tour randomly on Day two in Edinburgh and even managed to get 20% off many thanks to Thomas. The two days in the highlands was a little too touch and go like most tour groups are, and we spent quite a bit of time on the bus. There was another 6 day tour which had almost the same itinerary, only that you get more time, but I didn't really want to spend the extra money - my £100 could go much further elsewhere - and besides, I'd need to pay for the hostels as well. Despite that, I had the best time in my life. I covered so much of the Highlands - visited Stirling, Kilmahog, Glencoe, Fort Williams, Glenshiel, Eilean Donan Castle, Fort Augustus, Loch Ness (amongst other lochs we drove past) and best of all - the Isle of Skye. BEAUTIFUL.

The Spanish trios were the best people I've met. They only reaffirmed the wonderful image I have of Spanish people - lovely, passionate, fun and just so so so nice! If I travel with 2 other friends, chances are, I'd stick around with them and not mingle SO much with the rest (whilst of course still be friendly and all). But the Spaniards, they just took me under their wings and treated me like one of their own and we just had so many silly pictures, nice walks, (trying to get) conversations (because of the language barrier). The only thing I wish I could change was that my Spanish was much better, and their English was much better. We could've communicated a lot better that way. Still, we managed to have such good laughs. At the end of the trip, they invited me to visit in Spain, and said the one thing that made my heart melt -

mi casa es su casa
(my home is your home)

And then there was the team Taiwan/China, who were really fun too. At the beginning when I was blabbering away in my (apparent rather perfect) English with the rest of the white folks, they weren't sure if I were an ABC or BBC and so started talking to me in English. But it was just cool that they warmed up and I tried to warm up my Mandarin so that I could become their translator (believe me, it's not easy trying to explain the whole history between the feud of the English and Scottish in Mandarin). At the end of the trip, these boys had dinner with me, carried my luggage around, walked me to the bus station, put me up the bus and sent me off back to London on my grueling 9 hours bus ride like 4 gentlemen would do.

Good times man, good times. For more pictures, ask me.

Monday, August 13, 2007

the weather is so sai i have nothing to say

so i finally realised that i have been lucky last year. apparently, this sort of really shitty weather is quite normal.


okay, united kingdom may be a great country and all, but i honestly do not understand how the hell people can live here forever. they are so weird they run around in the rain thinking it is genuinely okay.

well, what can you do? if you don't want to look sissy and carry a brolly, then you have to be man and have wet shoes.

anyway, having said that, i'm leaving one shit weather to another even shittier weather place up north. but it should be fun!! to scotland!

p.s. scotch whiskey!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

On the road again...

This is Oxford.

More pictures will be on Facebook.

Next stop: Scotland

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

My boyfriend left again.

Technically, if you look at the map, we have made some improvements in terms of real distance. We shaved off a couple thousand miles, so we are 'nearer'.

But distance is distance man. I remembering exclaiming 'I'd never do long distance relationship - pui pui pui' just a while back. Poo. I think I'm in the longest long distance (in terms of distance travelled both of us added up) relationship in the world.

Before, we were an Indian Ocean + Middle East away. Now, we are an Atlantic Ocean, and the entire N.American continent away.