Tuesday, May 31, 2011

European Exercise VII: Go Figueres!


Potato Square
Swiped from williamnyk.
Having experienced the architectural genius of Gaudi the day before, we embarked on a two-hour journey out of Barcelona to immerse ourselves in the surrealist wonder of Salvador Dalí in Figueres. JM told me that it was a must-visit and we were not disappointed with the recommendation. We took the second earliest train out of Passeig de Gracia after having a challenging time trying to understand the train schedule. The train was quite modern with wave activated doors, comfy seats and power sockets. Upon setting foot in Figueres, the first thing that hit me was the wafting smell of dung. I had thought that I had stepped on something nasty, but it finally occured to me that the odour was everywhere near the town square. :P. Being a small town and not exactly a super tourist attraction. the signs in Figueres were quite lacking. Didn't really know how to get to the Dalí Theatre and Museum. Just went in a general direction and tried to understand the directions in Catalan that the residents gave. Bumped into the same pair of P.R.C. tourists several times during our walk there. The funny thing was, they did not go into the museum after trying so hard to find it. :S.

Dali Portrait

Thinking Egg

Sky Dome

The museum-theatre was the location of Dalí's first public exhibition and also the place where he spend the final years of his life. His body also lies in the crypt inside the building. True to his style, everything there defies usual convention. Plenty of paintings, sketches, art installations and sculptures that reveal some recurring themes such as the crutches, Mexican beans, religion, cracks, flying lines, spoons and drawers. It all comes together in his weird perception of reality. Among the highlights were the "Basket of Bread", "L'espectre del sex-appeal", "Port Alguer", the Mae West Room, "Palau del Vent" and many more. KH also had a fun time depositing his EUR1 coins into several mechanical contraptions that revealed surprising results. Being a very prolific artist, he also dabbled in furniture, jewellery, stereoscopic images and reflective art. amazingly, there was even a cartoon collaboration with Disney called "Destino". Definitely not the usual Disney family fare. The building in itself was very impressive with a giant glass dome in the center and right under it the "Cadillac plujós", literally a taxi with a raining interior. From the outside, the building looks bizarre with balancing eggs and Oscar-like statues.

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Dalí Theater-Museum

Lunch was at Creperie Bretonne just a short walk from the museum. Ordered the Galette Pont Aven- basically a savoury crepe with egg, ham, leek and cream in the middle with the sides folded in. Looks a bit like a buckwheat dosai. It was served with a tomato and feta salad and concluded with a dessert crepe squeezed with lemon juice. The waitress had a hell of a time describing the items on the menu to us. Complained that she had not used English in a long, long time. The interior of the cafe was also inspired by Dalí's surrealism. And the kitchen was basically built with the facade of a bus. The cleaning area was cordoned off with a curtain of spoons. Weird stuff. After lunch, we walked down to the nearby sex shop and the staff asked us if we were eighteen. That really made my day! Didn't spend much time there, too much pussy. On the way back to the train station, it had started to rain and there was a long queue of poor tourists waiting to get into the museum. Bumped into a teenager who kept on "miaow-ing" to KH. I finally realised that he was actually trying to say "ni hao". :S.

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We barely made it to the platform on time to catch the departing train. Back in Barcelona, we still had some daylight to spend so we headed to Casa Batlló, undobutedly our favourite work of Gaudi. A great showcase of his brand of Modernism. Also known as the "House of Bones" for it's skeletal outlook, the building houses many surprises. Seems that Gaudi took many pains to avoid straight lines in the design and designed many of the fixtures, windows and furnitures himself. Lots of mosaics that play well with the daylight streaming in and the attic kinda made us feel like we were walking in the skull of a whale. The roof was also impressive with his trademark chimneys and four-armed cross. He also tiled the roof to resemble the back of a dragon as a homage to St. George the Dragonslayer. After that, we sauntered off to La Pedrera, but the line was too long for us. So we just wandered around until dinner time. After A LOT of wandering, we finally sat down at Café & Té. Ordered Patatas Bravas (KH loved it!) and a platter of jamón and cheese. Washed it down with a cup of rosado and red wine. I never knew there was pink wine, I thought the waiter was joking.

Casa Batlló III

Casa Batlló I

Casa Batlló II

Casa Batlló IV

The wine was really strong. Found myself walking diagonally on the way to the Metro station. On the platform, I rested my head on KH's shoulder and that immediately grabbed the attention of a guy om the next platform. I think he was asking whether we were gay. We just smiled at him and gave him a no comprendo look. Haha. With the alcohol in our blood stream what came next in our hotel room was just natural...

Monday, May 30, 2011

Bitchiness in a Claypot


IMAGE_567
Swiped from crazygeorgelee.
Choong Kee Claypot Chicken Rice at Damansara Jaya is over-rated. Went there to have dinner with JJ and Bunny. According to reviews, the place is usually packed, so I guess SK and I were lucky that we easily found parking and just waltzed into to shop and sat at an empty table. Perhaps it was due to the rain and the Friday traffic. In the shop, I was greeted by an unpleasant greasy smell, I guess that should have been a warning for me. The other guests had not left the house yet, so SK and I just proceeded to order. True to reports, the lady boss was a real bitch. SK did the ordering and was treated with a brusque attitude. Seated at the next table were a couple who spoke in horribly-accented English. Felt like slapping them.

After twenty minutes, the stragglers had arrived and even our food came. We took the works~ with salted fish and Chinese sausage. The rice tasted burnt and the saltiness was overpowering. The steamed soup was average. JJ then proceeded to put in his order. Ten minutes later, the lady boss barged in on our conversation and started 'interrogating' us about our order:

Bitch: Wei. You ordered separately is it?! You see! Padan muka you la. One up here, one down here. Surely you complain orders take long to arrive la. Your own fault!

Moi: Oi. We ordered separately on PURPOSE. And we did NOT complain. You're the one who came here complaining.


JJ's pot of claypot chicken was the basic variety but he added egg. Truthfully one egg for a large pot is not enough to make any impact to the taste, but his pot was much better tasting. Inconsistent quality. And the waitress messed up the bill. She included our order although we had paid earlier. Anyway, I'm not going back there again. We had drinks next door, Cinta Ria @ DJ. Not bad, but they mixed up Bunny's order of ice cream cake which launched JJ into his protective mode. Hehe. Didn't stay long. Left before ten and headed home...

Friday, May 27, 2011

European Excercise VI: Propera Parada~ Barcelona!


T2
Swiped from williamnyk.
Early in the morning, we headed to the London City Airport. We were greeted by a long check-in line at British Airways. However, seeing that we were running late, we were bumped ahead of line. Before leaving the UK, we were meticulously asked about our itinerary and travel arrangements by the BA staff. The flight was quite pleasant and we had an in-flight breakfast of sausage, bread and hash browns. Arrived at Barcelona Airport T2. Quite empty at that hour. We did not know where to go to catch the Metro down to town, so we just followed the crowd. Actually we had to take a free shuttle bus to another terminal. The train ride was quite pleasant. Very amused by the Catalan "Next Stop" announcements: Propera Parada, Propera Parada. So catchy. Our stop was at Passeig de Gracia, one of the main Metro interchanges. Upon arrival we were greeted by stern warnings from the security staff regarding pick pockets. Seemed to be rampant. That kind of set us on an edge and suddenly we felt very self-conscious in the underground tunnels. Felt some suspicious stares from several teenagers in front of us but they scattered when the security staff came back in view. Goodness. We quickly found our line and made a bee-line for Mundet. Checked-in at Alimara Hotel, a four-star business-type hotel right out in the suburbs. All black and white with steel and leather furniture. Extremely close to the Metro station. The surrounding area was full of parked cars and apartments, but one hardly sees anybody walking around. Kinda like a zombie town. Weird.

A Walk in the Park

Gaudi Dragon

Face Time

Rested a bit before heading out to Parc Güell, a dusty park on top of a hill. The first stop on our Antoni Gaudi architecture trail. From the vantage point, one can see a whole lot of Barcelona in the distance. The style of the park is rocky with many collonaded pathways. The most recognizable feature of the park is the mosaic dragon at the main entrance. Practically too crowded to ever get a clear shot of it. Moving in, one can see the lower court which is supported by many Doric columns. On the ceiling are interesting flower mosaics. On the roof is the central terrace with tiled serpentine benches. Could not bear sitting there for long due to the dust that was being blown around. All around the park, people were busking and hawking their wares. All that hiking really worked up an appetite so we sat down at the the roadway benches and munched on our ham sandwiches. Early evening, we took the bus back to Lesseps and enjoyed a cup of espresso at Cafe Fiorino. Observed that Barcelona is really a city of pigeons and pet dogs!

Collonaded

View from Park Güell

Lower Court

Back in Mundet, we did some shopping at the neigbourhood grocery store chain, Consum. Bought smoked salmon, salad, strawberries and wholemeal bread for our dinner. The rest of the evening, we just rested and watched TV. Kinda strange watching "Family Guy" and "Sex and the City" in Spanish. The hotel was clean and newly-renovated, but the housekeeping was slow as molasses. A request for extra pillows took more than hour. And they took a day to reset our room safe. And I couldn't connect to their free WIFI in the lobby! Oh well. KH's ankles were swollen again from all the walking so we fished out the bottle of tonic water from the fridge and used it as a cold compress. Pity the next guests who decide to drink that. :P. Turned in early after some skanky business as we had another early morning excursion the next day!

Espresso

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Apollo 28

The cute 'doggy bag' from El Cerdo
Some highlights of Apollo's birthday party at El Cerdo, the place where pigs go when they die.
  1. The gathering was organized with one What's App Group Chat and forty two e-mails in less than one week with an attendance of fifteen. A definite BFF record!!!
  2. The Myanmarese waiters there were cute-ish, all had English names and spoke quite good English!
  3. The birthday boy treated all of us to a roasted piglet
  4. I gave shoulder rubs to nearly all the guests, but the person who appreciated my ministrations the most was Apollo. He looked like those Jap porn actors who were being fucked and sucked at the same time. :P
  5. A whole bunch of waiters rushed in a tray of shooters and a lighted candle singing "Happy Birthday Oink Oink" while Apollo was in the toilet. After they left and Apollo came back in, we sang the song again. After he blew out the candle, the waiters came in again and repeated the whole process. In conclusion, Apollo is 29 rather than 28. We then toasted to Kekayaan to the MAX, the life of Mercedes and blank cheques.
  6. Bunny was his usual blur self (also managed to fall asleep once during the party) not knowing what was going on with all the Chinese dialects being thrown around. But when SK started talking about her boobs, he declared that we need not translate for him. :P
My first time at the restaurant really. Didn't know it was so posh and had such a big floor space. As usual, our gatherings are very boisterous, luckily they were clever enough to put us deep inside the bowels restaurant. At one point, our laughing was so hysterical that they came to pull double curtains on us to drown out the noise. Oppps. Anyway, HPBDY to Apollo again!!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

European Exercise V: A Walk in the Park, A Nap in the Theater

Remember the "Mr. Bean" episode where Rowan Atkinson plays the fool with the Guard in the ever recognizable furry Bearskin Cap? Well, KH and I went to see the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace and did nothing of the sort. Haha. Anyway, we woke up early on Wednesday and made our way to St. James Park first. Admired the beautiful blooms, especially the tulips. Big-ass squirrels also stalk the grounds and aren't afraid of humans. Plenty of people were lounging on the benches and the grass, soaking up the relaxing atmosphere. Managed to catch sight of some mounted police too. Walked the stretch of the park to the palace where we tried to squat at a piece of real estate along the gates to watch the preparation of the Changing of the Guard. Marching. Brass band. The works. Due to the coming royal wedding, plenty of international press was present to film. Caught sight of a semi-cute Asian cameraman. ;). After the guards marched out towards the gates of Buckingham Palace, the crowd started to move. Kinda like suicidal lemmings. However it was quite futile to follow as the rest of the tourists had choked up all available space there. So we had no chance seeing of what took place there. Just saw the calvary marching in and out. Either you watch the start or the end. No two ways about it. Rested a bit after the whole thing and slowly walked back to the park. Caught sight of a beefcake jogging topless and another tanning on the grass. Huhu. Bagus kan? Took a short break snacking on some bread on the park bench.

St. James Park I

The Changing of the Guard

Buckingham Palace

Good Weather

Regaining our strength, we walked to Trafalgar Square. Saw Nelson's Column flanked by four lion statues (relatives of the HSBC Lion?). A fountain. A ship in a giant bottle. And Catwoman. Street artists are everywhere in Europe. Directly facing the square was the National Gallery. Loads of art in there, but no photography!! They even installed light sensors on the walls to detect flash. Was kinda overwhelmed by the rooms and rooms of paintings. KH did most of the exploring. I wandered around a bit and sat down sulking wondering when I could eat lunch. :P. The highlights of the place were Van Gogh's "Sunflowers", Renoir's "The Umbrellas" and Botticelli's "Venus and Mars". Only recognized those from my Encyclopedia Brittanica. When we finally left the place to find a bite to eat, we wandered from street to street. Finally decided to stop at Le Garrick, near The Strand. Nearly died of hunger. A French cafe. KH ordered the mussels, while I tried the steak. Medium rare. The chips were soaked red with blood. Huhu. Washed it all down with some 1664 beer. Not a bad lunch, but perhaps we were just hungry.

Trafalgar Square

National Gallery

The Houses of Parliament was next on our list so we made our way back to Westminster Abbey. Big Ben again, but this time in daylight. The Parliament building was very impressive and had a very ornate exterior. Don't know about the interior though. The abbey was also off limits due to the coming wedding. Many international had already started shop on the grounds and a grandstand was built outside the entrace, kinda like an F1 thing. Heh. From there, we took a bus to Regent Street and shopped for about thirty minutes. Didn't get anything. Just managed to go into H&M, Zara and Hamleys before needing to meet Matt and Jess for dinner. The Oxford Circus station was closed due to overcrowding so we had to drag our tired asses to Bond Street to catch the Tube. The lines were screwed up again, so we had to alight at Tottenham Court. We sat down at the McD there and waited for Matt to come get us. Dinner was Taiwanese food at Legend, Chinatown. Quite expensive considering the dainty portions of vegetarian fish, casket bread, stir-fried beef and xiao loong bao. EarlGrey had joined us again.

Houses of Parliament

Westminster Abbey

Regent Street

Another musical was lined up that night and if you remember the fiasco in my last post, we were supposed to really watch Les Misérables on that date. The longest running musical. 25 years and still going strong. So famous. And you know what, I fell asleep halfway through it. Hahaha. Was really too tired. Dozed off here and there. Missed some parts. After listening to the French concept album for so many times, somehow the songs just down't sound right in English. The high speed lyrics just sound better in French. But at least I finally know what teh story is about. Hahahaha. We were too tired to do anything else after the musical, so we just headed home after taking some customary pics at Piccadilly Circus. The neon lights were like the "Times Square" of London. Wasn't impressed. :P. EarlGrey on the other hand went to cari makan in Soho. Still had to pack as we had a flight to Barcelona to catch the next morning!!

Les Misérables

Piccadilly Circus

Saturday, May 21, 2011

An Enveloped Envelope

A conversation with Citibank Customer Service:

Moi: A question. Citibank doesn't send envelopes to their customers anymore? For the last two months, I did not receive envelopes together with my hardcopy account statements.

CS: Actually, you can also use your own envelope.

Moi: Let me get this straight. Citibank is not sending envelopes to ALL customer or am I the only one?

CS: But if you frequently make payments via IBG, we will stop sending you envelopes.

Moi: Out of ten times, maybe once I pay via IBG.

CS: Oh...

Moi: Please send me envelopes next time.

CS: I will put in your request, pending the bank's approval.

Moi: PLEASE send me envelopes next time.


And in the mail some days later, I received an envelope inside an envelope. Thank you Citibank for spending MYR0.60 to send me an evelope. HAHAHAHAHA.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Boob-tasia


boobs
Swiped from psychopompous9.
Lets take a break from my long-winded Europe trip and talk about something more interesting for a while. This happened at the Masjid Jamek LRT station about a month ago! Trains heading towards Seri Petaling come at regular intervals of five minutes during peak hours. In between, we get trains heading towards Ampang. Looking at the board, I saw that the next train was Ampang-bound, so I stood in between the train doors, letting the Ampang passengers line up. My logic is, after the Ampang train leaves I could easily step to either side to line up for my train. Thought that I wouldn't I wouldn't be in the way too. Wrong! When the Ampang train opened its doors, three blur Malay girls came right at me, oblivious to me standing right there. Not like I'm rail-thin or anything and for goodness sake, I was carrying a giant orange laptop bag (think Kurosaki Ichigo's hair), one could spot me a mile away. But anyway, the trio tried to dash through me and literally assaulted my elbows with their boobs. They didn't seem to mind and even apologized (I should have asked for monetary compensation for the trauma they cause me!). Such a scene could have come right out of any straight man's day dream at the train station. But I ain't straight. Imagine that~ a free touch and and an apology.

"Sorry mister! I wasn't aware that I was grinding my huge package against your open palm."

Tee-hee.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

European Exercise IV: Boring Towers, New Friend and Familiar Food

On a sunny morning, we made our way to the Tower of London. Mr. Sunshine was so strong that we didn't even need our jackets. Paid the GBP20 and went in to look at... an old castle. Although it undoubtedly has a rich history, it failed to impress KH and I. Just halfway listening to the weirdly-dressed yeoman, we started yawning. Undoubtedly had a dark history, but we couldn't stay interested. If you must know, it became the prison for Thomas More and Anne Boleyn. Thomas Cromwell and Catherine Howard also met their executioners there. If the names sound familiar, try digging out your Form 4 history textbook. The line to see the crown jewels were very long, so we gave that a miss. Instead we looked at exhibitions in the White Tower. Henry VIII's armour really caught my eye with its protruding metal codpiece. Exiting the place, we went to the bank of the Thames to catch sight of Tower Bridge that is often mistaken as London Bridge. We had lunch nearby, a pub by the name of Liberty Bounds. Ordered the most typical British items on the menu-- fish & chips and steak & kidney pie. Both came with a side of peas. The fish and chips wasn't anything to shout about and as for the pie... I tasted the pieces of steak and kidney in it. Haha. Not exactly a glowing review right? The sun was out so the lunch crowd was also basking in the nearby park. Much of the grass had been trampled to death, but people in office attire had no qualms about lying on the ground. :S.

Inner Ward

Big Shoes To Fill

All The King's Horses

Tower Bridge

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Sunning

Since morning, Jon had been exchanging text messages with me about meeting up, so we managed to arrange a rendezvous at the Natural History Museum. He took a bus all the way down from Oxford. Super hot day coupled with a super long queue outside. The only museum in London that I had to queue up at. Must be because it is a giant kids draw. Housed in a very ornate building with a Victorian terracotta facade, it is rightly dubbed a Cathedral of Nature. A giant diplodocus skeleton was displayed at the central hall, not unlike something you see in the inane movie "Night at the Museum". Took Jon some time to actually join us because some misunderstanding caused him to actually line up with a whole bunch of kids to enter the dinosaur section. Finally, we met at the mammal section with the giant blue whale witnessing our first handshake. He didn't look like he only slept four hours the night before. The vitality of youth! While going through the dinosaur section, a bunch of girls actually tapped on Jon's shoulder and asked:

"Are you Far East Movement? You know? Like a G6, like a G6!"

Diplodocus

The Coccoon

We just smiled at their gyrations. They sped off as quickly as they came. When I had the chance, I Googled "Far East Movement" and found that it wasn't a compliment at all. Gosh, not cute! Went into the The Coccoon, a structure resembling an egg that was located adjacent to their research laboratories. With Natural History Museum closed for the day, we moved on to the Victoria and Albert Museum just across the street. Full of beautiful sculptures. Quite a number of artists sat around sketching. Jon on the other hand popped up here and there but mostly he hid at a corner charging his iPhone. Dinner was at Four Seasons, Chinatown. Matt and Jess had been raving about the place. A full house and the staff spoke Cantonese. Ordered roast duck (half deboned cause the ang moh celups didn't like bones!), soy sauce chicken, beancurd and kale. Not exactly melt-in-your-mouth like Matt described, but good enough. Jon tagged along and EarlGrey also made an appearance. He was in town for work. What are the odds kan?

Sketching

Role Model

Four Seasons

Just immediately after paying the bill, we rushed over to Queens Theater to watch Les Misérables. EarlGrey had also at the last minute bought a ticket to watch with KH and I. Believe it or not, we found our seats to be occupied. So we asked the staff over to check.

"Your tickets are for April 21st. Today is the 20th."

Boy, were we red in the face. We had mixed up the dates! That meant that we were supposed to be at the Apollo Victoria Theater watching Wicked!!! Unfortunately, we still had to waste precious minutes waiting for the staff to fish our ticket stubs back out. By the time we walked in to the theater, we had lost about 30 minutes. Oh well. The play was quite funny and the sets were marvelous. Cool songs too. The audience was obviously captivated. But both of us didn't emerge from the play wanting to buy green makeup or try to adopt some flying monkeys. Before ending the night, we went to Westminster Abbey to look at an illuminated Big Ben and the London Eye. A power failure had downed four underground lines, so we ended up taking the bus back home...

Big Ben

The London Eye

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

European Exercise III: Five Hundred Steps of History and Art


Welcome Cart
Swiped from williamnyk.
P.S.: Watch out for the deluge of photos!

Heathrow T4 was nothing to shout about. Quite bare really. The immigration officer asked a whole lot of questions about our itinerary and who we were staying with. so you really know the person. Have you ever met the person? Just a friend of a friend? What is the address? Yadda, yadda, yadda... At least customs did not hassle us like what happened to me in Melbourne~ all blue gloves and ransacking your luggage. We waited a while before Matt and Jess, our host and hostess arrived. They were so nice to actually come pick us up before going to work! And it was a fifty minute Tube ride from town. :D. The first thing I learned about the Tube is that people in London stand on the right of the escalator. Was also shocked at how tiny the train was. Small even for 'petite' Asians and it services an ang moh Metropolis. Tak sangka. Oh yeah, it doesn't have air-conditioning too. Just open the air vents in the case its packed like sardines and you're taking in the heady and musky scent of a guy's arm pits. From Heathrow, we travelled to Swiss Cottage. It was just a short walk from the Tube station to the flat that Matt was house-sitting. Located on the third floor, the place was quite cosy and well-insulated. After we had settled down, Matt left for work and we unpacked some stuff before starting the first day of sightseeing. Earlier on, Matt had helped us get some Oyster cards for use on the Tube and we had the TubeMap app for the iPhone. Really makes navigating the train network a lot easier. Criss-crossing coloured lines can be such a pain for colour blind people like me. Was delighted to find that each station was unique with different tiles and colours.

Swiss Cottage

Tube Tiles

Our first stop was St. Paul's Cathedral. A big and imposing structure with a clock tower and giant dome. Well-worth the GBP14.00 we paid to get in. Inside, it was very ornate with beautiful sculptures and mosaics. The high altar was heavily-decorated and one can't help but be awed by the grandeur. Too bad photography's not allowed inside! :(. Not feeling the effects of the long flight, we braved the 259 steps up to the Whispering Gallery, a corrider that runs on the lip of the dome. Whispers on one side can be heard on the other side. I wanted to do a Parseltongue whisper, but the kids were obviously better than me. Feeling adventurous, we took the other 200+ steps up to the Golden Gallery to take in the London cityscape. Was quite winded by the arduous climb up the circular stairs. And the journey back down had me feeling my shaking knees. :S. Next was the crypt, then we made our way out. Taking the Milennium Bridge, we crossed the Thames and arrived at Tate Modern, a modern art gallery housed in the former Bankside Power Station. The bridge is not very interesting by itself but it seems that it suffered some bad publicity when it first opened and was even nicknamed the "Wobble Bridge" due to a design flaw. I couldn't really appreciate the art in the Tate as it was just too.... modern. Haha. A splash of paint. A line on the canvas. A mirror on the wall. A spurt of cum. Haha.

St. Paul's: Great West Door

St. Paul's Dome

View from the Golden Gallery

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The Millennium Bridge

Lunch was had at the restaurant on the 7th floor of the Tate, a recommendation from my Lau, a Flickr buddy. The view from up there was quite beautiful. I ordered the mezze plate, while KH took the lamb. Delicious. Finished up the rest of the exhibits and went to see Ai Wei Wei's "Sunflower Seeds" at the basement. A giant field of hand-painted procelain sunflower seeds. Shockingly saw a mainland China tourist savagely kick a little girl repeatedly. And the rest of the relatives just smiled like she was being patted on the head. And over here, we punish kids with 14-day suspensions. Hardly a slap on the wrist. Next up was the British Museum. The highlight of the place was not only its large collection of artifacts, but also the Great Court, a fantastic glass ceiling radiating from the Round Reading Room~ bathing the whole place in sunlight. From the Greek Revival facade outside, one can hardly expect to see such a thing inside! A surprising contrast. Among the highlights in the collection was the Rosetta Stone, Lamassu, Caryatid, the Egyptian collection and pieces from the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. All the walking had really drained us, so we sat down at Pret A Manger near the Angel Tube station for a croissant and cup of mocha.

Seeds of Hope

The Great Court

The Nereid Monument

Matt met us there and we subsequently made our way to Canada Water for some Vietnamese food with Jess at CafEast! I had some rice noodles with spring rolls while KH ordered the beef pho. The food was quite good, but Matt wasn't happy that they scrimped on the sweet basil. Not easy to source for such things in Europe I guess. I don't know if it was the cold weather or the long flight, but KH wasn't feeling well. And the walk in the cold night air didn't help either. We quickly made our way home, showered, took some meds, turned on the space heater and snuggled in bed.

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