Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wedding In June

Wedding March by williamnyk
Wedding March, swiped from williamnyk on Flickr.

A garden wedding in June sounds like such a perfect occassion right? Perfect if we lived in more temperate countrie. But in Malaysia? Give me a break. Actually I wasn't keen on attending the wedding service before the banquet. However, she kinda expected one her few Christian colleagues to actually make it, so I was like... "Errr... OK... see you at 5:00pm.". SK and Mum tagged along to the APEC Garden at Cyberview Lodge. Took us just fifteen minutes to get there. Goodness. When we saw the venue, we just froze at the doors, refusing to leave the coolness of the lobby. Flowers petals snaked from the top of the stone stairs down to the garden. Fake sakura branches lined the way to a small makeshift gazebo near the water feature. The gazebo was decked with red roses and near it was laced table with more roses floating in water-filled glass vases. All of the guests lingered far-far away from the sun-drenched seats. We did the same. Hid in cafe by the side and watched the preparations. So reluctant were we to take our seats that we only went after the wedding march. Hahaha. The poor bride had trouble walking in her gown. Hem too long or heels too short. *shrug*. The service was a bit of the disaster with the multi-lingual approach. The translation was horrible and the pastor obviously didn't do her homework. A primary school student could have trumped her. After the holy communion and blessing, all the guests rushed up to get drinks. After photo session, I think she found little takers to catch her bouquet as most of the guests retreated to the lobby.

Beautiful decorations in the hall. But the groom's name kept falling down like an alphabet soup. The banquet was average. Typical hotel standard. Small-ish portions. My first time being served by African waiters really. No shark's fin soup was served. It was replaced by a double-boiled chicken soup that seemed to lack chicken. :S. No prawns either. The food may have been mediocre but the company wasn't. The friends of the bride were real jokers. Went nuts talking all sorts of nonsense with the three girls and a guy called Biscuit. Think our table was the most boisterous. And our Malay waiter was 'hitting on' on Biscuit.

"Ini arak spesel punyer. Just for you."

"Malam ni saya mesti layan kawan you kaw-kaw"

"Ada aktiviti tak malam ni? Join saya kat Sunway. Apa aktiviti? Bila sampai sana you tahu la..."


The waiter was so engaged with Biscuit that he kept on scooping tong sui into the same bowl until it overflowed. :S. The other special thing about the wedding was the performance by the newly-weds. As they walked into the hall, they did a duet. Bad singing, but they were brave enough to pull it off. Bravo. Here's wishing the bride and groom a fruitful, holy matrimony...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Anak Angkasawan


He actually did it. She's pregnant. The child will come into this world in just a few weeks. Congratulations Mr. Angkasawan. Read the interview here.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Entertaining Andy

Andy and and w850i were in town one weekend, so the least that I could do was have dinner with them on a Friday night. They stayed at Federal Hotel and oh boy, it really lives up to the its reputation. Just one visit up to their room on the eleventh floor and SK and I already bumped into three prostitutes. Fantastically short hems and heavily-painted faces. Interesting. Been ages since I saw w850i. He looked thinner. Had a kuaci-er than kuaci face. So jealous. And he wore skinny jeans with leapord print details. Hehe. Andy on the other hand, looked rounder. And I just saw him in May. :P. We headed out to Restoran WAW at Jalan Alor. The same place we brought Nic and POD when they were down. Seems like my official restaurant to entertain Singaporean guests. This time round the service there was horrible. Nobody was interested to show you a menu. Nobody was interested to take your order. And the staff cleared tables like they were clearing debris from a disaster site. Ordered the usual favourites-- BBQ chicken wings, roast pork noodles, Hokkien mee, wat tan hor and stir-fried vegetables. Post-dinner desserts were had at one of the stalls outside. Sub-standard fare of bubur chacha, ABC and cendol. The oh chien was quite nice though. Lovely to people-watch on that street. So many Mainland Chinese tourists. Some quite hunky. Hehe. Walked around a bit looking for alcohol and brought them to clear the gauntlet of massage parlours and pimps on Jalan Bukit Bintang. Back at their hotel room (the springs on the mattress were spent too... from wear and tear no doubt :P), we chatted s'more and gave them some tips of what to do in KL and how to get around. Hope they had a great time in KL.

P.S.: Earlier that afternoon, I 'entertained' Janvier by pouring him sake over lunch. That later ended with Project Video Exchange back at his office. Need to resume our session!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

European Exercise XI: Gay Paree

North Station by williamnyk
North Station, swiped from williamnyk on Flickr.
Our last night in Cologne was definitely memorable. Some sort of domestic disturbance happened at 3:00am (the cons of staying with hosts). I slept through the whole kerfuffle but Jaz and KH filled me in on the details the next morning. Turns out that the both 'em got drunk last night. Jaz was sleeping in the kitchen and he heard the whole thing unfold. Mike kept on shouting "Warum? Warum? Warum?". That's German for "Why". Repeat that for twenty times. Actually, his partner for some reason urinated on the laminate flooring and this got Mike worked up. Guessed that some slapping around went on and the young one actually ran in and out of the house banging doors as he went. The next morning, they were so wasted (Jaz guessed that they were too embarrased) that they did not see us off. Just cooked up the last of the wurst, bread and liver pate and rushed off to Hbf for our Thalys train to Paris. The train ride was quite comfortable and the view was great. Went through beautiful countryside and it was especially scenic in Belgium with the wind power generators, rolling hills and yellow flowers partially carpeting the green. We reached the Paris Gare du Nord station after a few hours. True to his words, the station was horribly confusing with multiple levels and lousy signage. The first thing we did was purchase the Museum Pass. A painless affair. But what waited for us after was a different story. Took us fifty minutes to actually get to the right Metro line. The connection to blue line was actually quite far and I had to get help when purchasing tickets. The vending machine had no English (and was not located near the entrances, imagine my crankiness when I trudged the long tunnel to the turnstiles only to find that I had to double back to buy tickets!) and it had the funkiest interface method-- a rolling metal tube. I nearly tapped the screen to death. The best thing about it was it readily took my credit card. Even faster than the Malaysian Shell stations!

Europe201118

Upon reaching Menilmontant, we had to drag our luggage uphill. The 20th Arondisement is definitely one the more far-flung neighbourhoods. Not touristy at all! The street was lined with many Turkish restaurants and kosher butchers. Was quite interesting really. The apartment that we had booked from the gay bed and breakfast website was actually nearby several neighbourhood restaurants and bakeries. My only grouse was the fact that we had to trudge up 7 floors of winding and narrow wooden steps. KH was my hero and did the manual labour of moving the luggage up. Took us ninety minutes to get there. Phew! Rang the door bell and our host Alexandra opened the door and welcomed us into her home. The first thing that caught my eye was a photograph of two women eating each other's muffins underwater. Definitely not an easy feat. Yes folks, my hostess was a Lesbian photographer. Lucky for us, she had a shoot that morning and was also late getting back. She gave us the tour and basically told us to help ourselves to anything in the house. The studio apartment was very cosy with a woody feel and even cute-sy fireplace. She gave us a rundown of the nearby public transportion and pointed us in the direction of the gay district.

"You want to go to the Eiffel Tower? Actually I have not been there since I was a girl. Can't tell you much."

Haha. Expected. Before leaving us and going for a trip with her new girlfriend, she promised that she would try to get the internet working again. But that didn't work out. Our first attraction in Paris was Basilique du Sacré-Cœur. Took the Metro there and we experienced first-hand the fondness that French youth have for not paying for their ride. Kids frequently shadow paying passengers and try to rush through. As a result, the turnstiles have extra security features and the staff frequently make spot-checks. The Basilica of the Sacred Heart is located on the Montmarte Hill, the highest point in Paris. The architecture of the Sacré-Cœur is very different, preferring to look more like a Moorish mosque than your usual church. It also features nationalist themes with equestrian statues of Joan of Arc and King St. Louis IX. The calcite used for the construction gives the church its white splendour. Unfortunately, my visit there was marred by the 'anarchy' outside its grounds. Just at the foot of the hill, we were 'assaulted' by a band of Africans who were intent on tying a 'friendship string' around our wrists. I didn't give them the time of day. Further up the hill, a couple of Latino girls were asking for donations for their 'school'. At the door, two dodgy men without any passes were checking women's handbags. I was apalled by the lack of control.

Basilique du Sacré-Cœur

King Saint Louis IX

Montmarte

Amelie

Fruits

Luckily, the sanctity of the church was not intruded upon. The interior was beautiful. Awed by the large mosaic in the apse, titled "Christ in Majesty". The details were stunning. Too bad photography wasn't allowed, but KH did take some. I was content to just sit there silently and commune with God. Outside, we took the scenic route around Montmarte, a neighbourhood of quaint houses, cobbled streets (bad for KH's limp), winding roads and slopes. Fantastic place to explore but it was really taxing. Chanced up L'espace Dalí, a Dali Musuem. Still high from the experience in Figueres, we went in. The highlights there were sculptures like "The Space Elephant", "Alice in Wonderland" and "The Persistence of Memory" (does melting clocks ring a bell?). Moving back out, we chanced upon Aviel Tan doing street photogtraphy. The hottie would lounge sexily on a random staircase somewhere and the photographer would snap away. I did not manage to join in the shoot! Blegh. Next we made a stop at Saint Pierre de Montmartre and took some photos. All the wandering around helped us work up an appetite, so we had an early dinner at La Crémaillère 1900 at Place du Tertre. The restaurant overlooks a busy tourist square filled with portrait artists. We ordered the egg cocette with salmon, beef burgundy, chocolate cake and wine. That one portion was enough for the both of us. The egg cocette was delicious and the beef stew was quite good too. Headed home after that for an early rest...

Dali & Time

St. George

Portraits

Europe201119

Friday, June 24, 2011

Citibank Replies

This is so amusing that I will post this on a Friday.

Dear Mr. William,
Thank you for your e-mail to Citibank dated 6/13/11 regarding Business
Reply Envelope (BRE).
Kindly allow us to explain that sending of the BRE was discountinued
towards encouraging a greener environment. We may arrange for the BRE to
be mailed to you anytime you need this self-addressed envelopes. Please
confirm the following mailing address should you wish us to mail the
envelopes :
{My Address - of course la secret...}
We hope the above clarifies.
Thank you for using Citibank Online and have a nice day.

Regards,
Miss Customer Service
Internet Support Service, Citibank Berhad
They would rather spend RM0.60 each time sending an envelope in an envelope rather than post it to me with the monthly statement. I'm requesting for a dozen envelopes at one go. Wonder if they'll entertain my request. Hehe.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

XXX After X-Men

Several weeks back, KH was back in town to visit his parents. Timing was great as I got to use my replacement leave for Agong's Birthday and book him for the whole of Monday. In the morning, SK and I picked him up and had breakfast at Kuchai Lama. Then we drove SK to her office in Damansara Uptown (tempat yang pening) before proceeding to Tropicana City Mall. Since our movie was at 11:00am, we had some time to kill at the mall. When the time came, we went into the cinema to catch "X-Men: First Class". From the title, I thought it was some "X-Men" meets "Saved by the Bell" movie. Luckily it wasn't. Super enjoyable with enough character development and action rolled into one. Particularly enjoyable was seeing how Magneto got the way he is. The director did well melding retro with futuristic. Didn't feel out of place at all. After the movie, we picked SK up and went for a late lunch at Soon Soon Pan Mee and Fish Head at Damansara Perdana (arghh... forgot to buy the champagne chocolate from ROYCE!). Supposedly famous but to me the fish paste is just average. And don't bother with the fish head noodles. With our little time left for the day, we headed back to SK's 'bordello' to do our 'porn re-enactment'. Was really longing for him. After so long, we still managed to discover new things about each other in bed and try out some new stuff... But I guess it's due to our LDR limitations. Whatever little butter is spread thin across many slices of bread. And we savour each bite. Gave KH a kiss and hug goodbye before sending him home. Love you baby.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

MarketWhat(tm): MarketDar(tm)


Hi guys. My filler posts have run dry and I still have not found the time to write my next "European Exercise" episode. And I have yet to process the photos from France too! So you'll have to make do with this rare installment from MarketWhat(tm). Judging from this sexyback photo I took at the OUG Wet Market, do you think that this guy is gay? How many percent? Let the assessment begin!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

European Exercise X: Eau de Cologne

 Neustadt-Nord by williamnyk
Neustadt-Nord, swiped from williamnyk on Flickr.
Woke up the next morning to the smell of fried eggs and toast. Our hosts, Mike and Matthias were already awake preparing us breakfast. Mike looked like your typical buffed German with silver hair and chiseled face, while his boyfriend was much younger than him. The kid mostly kept quiet and did the cooking while the former did all the talking. Mike could speak some English but I wasn't really paying attention to what he was saying as i could see the outline of his thick cock against his sweatpants. Huh. In the day, finally could see the place clearly. Typical gay house with plenty of decorations and very neat. Outside the kitchen, were crates of beer and sexy underwear left out to dry. They ushered us to the dining table and invited us to eat. In order to give us some space, they retreated into the bedroom. In addition to the cold cuts and buns, we cooked some of the wurst that Jaz had brought for us. For drinks, we had coffee and orange juice. An extremely good deal for E45 a night, don't you think? From the small talk earlier, found out that Mike basically makes a living renting out his place and designing websites. His PC was right in the kitchen area, continously flashing naked male bodies on the screensaver. Definitely works up an appetite. At around 9:00am, Jaz arrived at the door and he joined us for some breakfast. Noticed that nearly everything in the house was of the Ja! brand. Apparently, they produce a long line of products at consistently cheaper prices than the competition.

Cologne Hosts

Ja!

First stop in Cologne was Kölner Dom, the landmark of the city. See a rainbow sticker with a silhouette of the twin towers of the Dom on a car? The driver is a queer from Cologne! Walked out from Mike's place and took a DB train from Eberplatz to the Köln Hauptbahnhof station. On the way, we managed to stop by at St. Agnes, the second largest cathedral in the city. Easter Sunday masses all around. The Kölner Dom is a big and imposing structure. The cathedral is black due to the weathering of the stone. Some preservation work was going on on one of the spires. Inside, things were just as impressive with loads of details and decorations. And we were lucky enough to observe mass in progress. The atmosphere seem charged with the grandeur of the cathedral, the stained glass, the incense and the hymns. Halfway through the mass, heard a loud "CLUNK!" and it turned out that a kid passed out on the pew. Poor fella. Outside the Dom was a huge a plaza with street performers and the homeless. Most of them stay in the shade and some of them even turn the street into their living room, complete with carpets, rugs and vases. Also quite common to see elderly or unkempt gentlemen walking around with a plastic bag, rummaging through refuse to find recyclable items like plastic bottles. According to Jaz, the surrender value of such items can add up to quite a bit.

Kölner Dom

Easter Mass

Cologne Cathedral

At around noon, we took the bus tour around the city. Days before, Jaz actually bought us another set of tickets, but we had to burn those because it was a walking tour and it was entirely in German. The bus tour was quite bad because the audio recording was horrible. The recorded voice droned on like a monotonous robot and the timing was perfect-- it would start everytime the bus went through a noisy tunnel. :S. It also didn't help that a boisterous Spanish woman sat near us. We sat at the top deck and the sun was brightly shining. The sunniest in my whole trip. Soaked up the most rays in one day! Nearly got fried! (luckliy Jaz treated us to ice cream after that) The bus went around the city bringing us along the ancient Roman wall, several of the famous Romanic churches and across the beautiful bridges that connect Cologne across the Rhein. Also passed by the HQ of Eau de Cologne! Didn't buy any of that stuff... looked vile. :P. Surprisingly, Cologne was crawling with mainland Chinese tourists. The Japanese are no longer the world's travellers. Now, the Chinese have superior buying power. Not only that, the air in Cologne was thick with pollen. We were in the midst of hay fever season and the not-so-shy sun was causing the plants to release their loads. All of the cars were covered in the powdery stuff and even my camera was not spared. Can't imagine how much I had pulled into my lungs.

Köln Hauptbahnhof

Yellow

Walked around Heumarkt and Neumarkt before stopping by at Era Cafe & Bar, smack dab in the middle of the Gay Triangle area. A great place to watch people but unfortunately most of the hot gay boys were in Berlin, for the long weekend (and all the retail shops were closed). It wasn't a disappointment though, still had a great view of two lesbians kissing passionately in front of us. Ordered a Flamkuchen (square, thin crust pizza with salmn) and salad topped with a big chunk of Gouda drizzled with honey. Drank the local beer-- Kolsch and also ordered a Radler, basically beer plus coke. Drinks in Germany are served with exact volume. It is stated in the menu and the scale is imprinted on the glass so that you know that you aren't shortchanged. Did more walking around and ended up at Hohenzollernbrücke, one of the many bridges in Cologne. The interesting thing about it was the love locks left by couples on the metal link fence. Also learned a bit about hoof position symbolism in equestrian statues-- if one foot is in the air, the rider was wounded in battle; both feet in the air means the rider died in battle and if all four are on the ground, the rider did not die in battle. Passed by the Archbishop's residence and was amused that someone had strung up a pair of panties on the road in front of it. Also tried a Berliner, a hole-less doughnut filled with loads of jam and dusted with castor sugar. Sugar-overload! Feeling tired, we stopped for drinks later at Stella D' Oro. Ordered a Fragolini, ice-blended fruit juice with a dash of champagne.

Europe201116

Equestrian

Hohenzollernbrücke

Love Locks

In the evening, we headed to IX Bar for the happy hour. All cocktails were half off!! It was interesting sitting in the gay bar watching all the flirting going on. Eyes were flashing and electricity was thick in the air. Plus, the bartender had a very cute boy next door look!!! Ordered the house special while Jaz got his favourite pina colada. Several cute kids tried their luck at the bar, but were rejected due to their age. Too much alcohol wasn't a good idea, so we left at about nine to look for food. Passed by a twinky bar called Mumu and several guys loitering outside made some comments in German. I asked Jaz what the fuss was about-- turns out they were joking that we were from Fukushima. Heh. As the host, Jaz bought dinner for us at Der Lowenbrau, at the tourist strip. Although it was white asparagus season, we decided against that, so we ordered sourbratten with red kraut (basically vinegared pork), pizza with artichoke (an expensive but tasteless ingredient) and ham. Had Erdinger beer that time round. On our way back to Mike's place, we had a curry wurst at a roadside kiosk-- the typical German snack. Since it was very late by the time we got home and we had to take the early train out the next day, Jaz crashed at Mike's place too. Just a brief stopover... had to say goodbye to Jaz and Germany already.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

LRT Celebrities: Pole-Dancing Polly & Patty


Stainless steel. Sounds so clean right? Unfortunately, it couldn't be farther from the truth. On the LRTs, the material is usually used for the poles and handrails. When one touches a stainless steel pole, the expected feeling is one of metallic coolness and an unbeatable smoothness. However, on the LRT, what one can expect is usually a grimy feeling left behind by a barrage of sweaty commuters, whose hands you don't have visited how many bodily orifices. The poles are the perfect place to leave behind patches of dead skin mingled with human oil, creating an interesting greasy poultice that clings... So one can't blame Polly and Patty here who have found a way to protect themselves from unhygienic poles... a quick fix of paper napkins and unwanted flyers. Next time, they should really just pull on some gloves, or just put a handy can of Lysol in their handbags. Ever found anything more disgusting in the LRT?

Monday, June 13, 2011

European Exercise IX: Sagrada Família Revisited

Magic Square by williamnyk
Magic Square, swiped from williamnyk on Flickr.

Early the next morning, we dragged ourselves out of bed although we were quite tired. All in the name of beating the queue at Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família. However, we still had to line up for an hour in the cold. :S. Ate breakfast in the queue-- bought an on over-priced panini with way too much coriander flakes. We took turns standing. One would stay while the other would go exploring around the exterior. Much construction was still ongoing after more than a century. The spires were flanked by cranes and one can see the difference between new stone and weathered stone. Once the line started moving, we got in rather quickly. The entrance was through the Passion Façade, a work by Josep Maria Subirachs. Depicts the Passion of the Christ through the use of "bare-bone" sculptures with rigid and angular lines. I didn't quite like it. Inside, I was awed by the sheer size of the nave. Gigantic columns rose up from the floor and joined the ceiling like tree branches supporting the sky. Looking up, I had a mixed feeling of nature and extra-terrestrial at the same time. The ceiling could be described as star-like and flower-like with all the radiating geometry. At the main altar, the crucifix was suspended under a giant parasol with grapes and lamps hanging from the sides. After ohh-ing and ahh-ing on ground level, we took the trip up to the spires. Strangely, only Asians were in the line. Every time a Westerner ventured in, the staff would usher them off. Peculiar! The view from the top was amazing, but it was quite confusing. One could go up and down the tight spiral staircases from spire to spire. Got lost with a bunch Japanese tourists. The old lady kept on talking to me in Japanese though she knew I could not understand. :S.

An Alien Sky

Holding up the Sky

Let in the Light

He Shelters Us

Next up, we admired Gaudi's work on the Nativity Façade. Another amazing work of art dedicated to the birth of Christ! Highly-decorated with animals, plants and flowers, it told the story of Christ's beginnings-- The Annunciation, His birth, Jesus teaching at the Temple, and etc. So many details! Most tourists were smitten by the beauty of it. Refusing to leave so quickly, we spent more time inside trying to discover new details. The Glory Façade was still under construction so perhaps we will revisit it again in the future. Hehe. Our last stop in Barcelona was La Pedrera. Another long wait to get in. Took us more than an hour! A trickle at a time. Ugh. Took a light snack from Farggi. By the time we got, we both agreed that it was not as impressive as Casa Battlo. The only thing impressed us was the attic and the roof with its famously weird chimneys and ventilation towers. Before checking out at our hotel, we had lunch at Cafe & Te again, KH's favourite restaurant in Barcelona. In our zeal, we over-ordered-- had bikini de jamon (not swimwear, but a ham sandwich), pepito de lomo and a mixed snack plate. KH wanted to try cava (Spanish white wine), but he mistakenly told the waitress that he actually wanted red. Without batting an eyelid, she poured the whole glass down the sink. Shy to order it again, I ordered cava, from another waiter. Haha. Dessert was Tarta Sacher, a deliciously chocolate-y end to our Spanish experience.

Tourista

Out of the Spire

Spires

Spiral Spire

Nativity Façade

Nativity Façade: Assumption of Mary

Actually, we had another night at Alimara Hotel, but we just checked out anyway, cause the deal was as such and we had a plane to catch. Took the Metro down to the airport for just Euro 1.10. Bloody cheap don't you think? Before going through airport security, we sat on the steps finishing a can of Alhambra beer that we bought on the first day in BCN. Inside, we snacked on a salty pizza from El Fornet's. Flew GermanWings to Cologne Bonn Airport. My very first time seeing a stewardess with spectacles. Arrived at about 10:00pm. Still not used to the fact that inter-European Union travel does not require one to clear immigration. JM was already there waiting for us at the airport. gave him a big hug and off we went to catch our train to my host's apartment. Was quite surprised to find many food outlets still open. The first thing that JM told me about Germany was:

"Feel free to hold hands with KH. Germans here don't bat an eyelid."

If JM wasn't there to get us, I think we would have had much trouble trying to figure things out. Everything was in German and the train schedule was chock-full of fine print and at least 0.75m in length. And it being the Easter weekend, maintenance work was going on, requiring us to change trains and get to Wevelinghovener Strasse. Feeling a bit hungry, we had supper at one of the nearby kebab shops. Had a delicious doner. It was filled to the brim with fresh lettuce, grilled chicken and other condiments. A very satisfying meal at only E2.50! Chatted at length with JM and he regaled us about intra-European migration and how people take advantage of Germany's social security. By the time we arrived, our hosts were already asleep, so we tip-toed in and JM briefed us a bit about how things worked. Our room was clean and cozy. On the side table, gay magazines, condoms and lube were available. Thinking of everything, JM brought us water (can never get why Europeans like sparkling water so much), chocolate Easter bunnies, Easter eggs and some typical German food to try. After we had settled in, JM left and we took a nice warm shower before heading for bed.

Espanta Bruixes

Undulating

Atrium

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Nice Shorts!

Nice shorts! by Vaughanoblapski!
Nice shorts!, swiped from Vaughanoblapski! on Flickr.

Jogging at Taman Bukit Jalil can swing from boring to motivational depending on the position of the stars and the planets. Just two weeks back I was trying to match my pace with a fit jogger who had pinged my gaydar. That didn't go as planned. Didn't manage to catch up and ended up pulling my hamstring. Damn. A week after, I had thought my legs were recovered... but just after five minutes, the pain emerged from deep within! Shit. So I was relegated to brisk walking with some intermittent hobbling. But just as I was about to leave, a gay couple appeared. One fella was dressed in a loose tank top and some basketball shorts but his friend really knew how to turn heads. His gym-toned body was clad in a one-size-too-small tank top, and he wore hot pants that would even make Lex of the Jaylex Foundation blush. The pants were a deep red... short and tight. Obviously not for sports as he even wore a belt with it. If he actually ran, I can't imagine what kind of torture his family jewels would have to endure. But I don't think I would be jogging until I get some suitable shoes. KH had been grumbling...

P.S.: Bumped into the fit jogger at The Weld. Ada jodoh!. Think he works nearby.
P.P.S.: Sorry, no spy pic of Mr Skanky Shorts! Perhaps I'll bump into him in the coming week. :P

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Do You Have The Black Plague?

After blogging for years and years, I have to come to see a pattern in reader behaviour. We all know that sex sells and yadda, yadda, yadda... but I also noticed that one should not post anything on a Friday. Readership always sucks on that day. I have no idea why. Any theories to share?

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

European Exercise VIII : Books and Roses

St. George's Day by williamnyk
St. George's Day, a photo by williamnyk on Flickr.
On our third day in Spain, we visited the hospital. Don't worry, it wasn't due to some sex-related accident the night before. Hospital de la Santa Creu i de Sant Pau was actually a fully-functioning hospital until mid-2009, but it's now closed for restoration. Sant Pau means Saint Paul. Nothing to do with char siew pau, k? Lluís Domènech i Montaner designed the place and his idea behind the breathtaking complex is that the beauty of its surroundings would help patients to recover quicker. With the closure, we had only access to a small fraction. The interiors were off-limits except for one building that housed an expo-- "9 Conditions for a World Without Poverty". Truth be told, the place looks like a small village with the buildings resembling churches rather than hospital blocks. Lucky for us, the cathedral inside the hospital grounds was open. A small bunch of octogenerians were busy setting up the place for the coming Easter tridiuum. So sad to see the lack of new blood in European churches.

Hospital de Sant Pau I

"9 Conditions for a World Without Poverty"

Hospital de Sant Pau II

The sun was getting hot and I was getting hungry, so we left. Had a short caffeine stop at Savory Express. Ordered the Vienesse. Hot coffee topped with whipped cream. Not bad at all seeing that whipped cream normally makes me throw up. Made our way to the Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família. The lines were crazy. Snaking all around the side of the building and it ain't no small structure. Awed by the magnificence of the place. Gaudi's masterpiece. Outside, it was crawling with tourists, tourist traps, souvenir shops, street vendors and buskers. One street artist holed himself up in a pram and made high-pitched whines (like a baby with its head getting clamped?!). Looked like something out of a Stephen King novel. Over at the Nativity Facade, a Japano-Hispano ceremony was going on. Security was quite tight with high media presence. Met a Korean tourist who was alone. We obliged when he asked us to help him take a photograph. The moment I put the camera to my face, he flipped up his hoody and up came a faux bear head. And he proceeded to flash a victory sign. I nearly choked.

Baby on Elm Street

Sagradia Familia

For lunch, we chose Picasso Restaurant, just a stone's throw from the Sagradia Familia. Obviously a tourist trap but were too lazy to walk. Tasted our first Paella in Barcelona and washed it down with loads of beer. Next we explored the Barri Gòtic. Ended up in Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia-- Barcelona's Gothic Cathedral. The large cathedral was dark and ornate with twenty eight side chapels. With some coins one can light up the LED candles at each chapel. The crypt of Saint Eulalia, Barcelona's patron saint is also found inside. A short elevator ride brought us up to the roof, but the view wasn't that great. At the side was a cloister with a central courtyard, a fountain and more chapels, bathed in streamed in sunlight. KH's colleague told him about a fountain that was featured in a Korean drama-- if you drink from that fountain, you will come back to BCN with your loved one. Luckily we did not drink from the murky water, think he mistook it with the drinking fountain at Las Ramblas!!

Enter

The Altar

Roof-Cross

From there, we rushed to Palau de la Música Catalana to follow the guided tour. Another masterpiece designed by Montaner. Unfortunately, no photography was allowed due to copyright reasons. Boo. The concert hall was full of glass and it had the feeling of an indoor garden. The most amazing feature was the stained glass skylight that was in the shape of an inverted dome, kinda like the sun nourishing the 'interior garden'. Behind the stage were eighteen muses, representing music from all parts of the world. Coincidentally, the foundation stone of the building was laid on exactly the day we visited some one hundred years ago-- St. George's Day. No wonder people were selling roses with a stalk of wheat (tied with ribbons of yellow and red, the colours of the Catalan flag) and books all over the place!!! And I thought it was related to the Easter Tridiuum. Men are supposed to buy roses for women, and the women are supposed to return the favour with a book! "A rose for love and a book forever". I refused KH's offer of a rose. :P.

Palau de la Musica: New

Palau de la Musica: Old

Before dinner, we did more wandering around the Gothic Quarter. The whole place was jammed up with tourists and street performers. Went from restaurant to restaurant before deciding to eat at Don Fernando. The owners were definitely big fans of Futbol Club Barcelona. The walls were full of FCB jerseys (a Messi jersey actually costs 90 euros :S) and flags. They would take our order and suddenly zone out looking at the game on TV. Ordered some tapas and sangria. Bumped into a bunch of Malaysian students from Nottingham University who were in town for the long weekend. Immediately recognized a fellow Malaysian when they started asking for set meals at the door. LOL. Was amused that all of them wore two watches on one hand. Took drunk-ish walk down to Las Ramblas. Unfortunately we couldn't explore the La Boqueria Market as they were already closing. Looked very interesting. Before heading home, we visited the Universitat area to check out the gay scene, but we were too early. Had covered a lot of ground that day, so we just headed back to the hotel to explore each other.

Tapas

Crazy Crowd