Saturday, July 30, 2011

Love God, Love Yourself, Love Others, Love The Earth

On Saturday, mum and I went for the sunset mass on Saturday because I had to leave for Brunei on a 06:45 am flight on Sunday. Was supposed to go home for dinner, but a talk on recycling by the Tzu Chi Merit Society caught mum's eye. My church's RCIA group had invited them over to share their experience about their extensive recycling campaigns. Up at their booth, a very nice-looking lady approached us to explain things. She spoke very politely in Mandarin and English. She was extolling five simple steps to reducing one's carbon footprint:

  1. Go vegetarian
  2. Reduce the use of air-conditioning
  3. Reduce the use food packaging
  4. Carpool or use public transport
  5. Save water

Simple enough? Next she showed us some instant rice and noodles that they manufacture for international relief efforts. Through DA.AI Technology, they managed to recycle PET bottles into clothing and blankets which are also used to provide warmth for those stricken by disasters. Light and surprisingly soft. Immediate relief as they would call it-- firstly a full belly and secondly, warm clothes. They also use their own food containers and chopsticks to reduce the proliferation of rubbish. These men and women diligently spend their time supporting these green initiatives by having weekly recyclables sorting and collecting activities. Extremely impressive. That night, they showed up in full force, but unfortunately, the audience was very small! Mum and I were like the VIPs there as they kept on taking pictures. Not many other subjects. LOL. Less than thirty I think. It was quite a failure, but they carried on with enthusiasm. Too bad we could not stay till the end as we were super hungry already. On the way out, they even had a small exit interview asking us our opinions on whether it was informative and whether we felt it was weird that a Buddhist society was doing a talk in church. Truth be told, it matters not as we are all extolling the same thing... love and compassion. Love for our fellow man, and of course, the earth.

As a parting gift, one of the women asked me to randomly open a mini book of Buddhist sayings and read the words of wisdom it contained. I do not remember the exact words, but the general meaning was for one not to project our own negative karma on others. :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tentacle Porn

Pixelated poinciana by judith511
Pixelated poinciana, swiped from judith511 on Flickr.

Taken from JapanProbe.com.

"Censorship is enough to completely turn off most Americans to Japanese porn. They are so used to seeing hardcore penetration shots that the fact that they can’t actually see the genitals make the porn useless to them. It’s a shame, since some out there think that Japanese pornography is often far superior to American adult videos. Japanese porn doesn’t focus on the penetration shot, instead using a variety of direction styles to create a sex scene. Without censorship, most Japanese directors would be as lazy as their American counterparts, who rely heavily on close-ups of penetration. It is possible that Japan’s wacky and innovative porn is a partial response to censorship."

I for one am a fan of Japanese porn. The cencorship doesn't really bother me. I'm OK with pixelated dicks. I can put things into perspective by cranking up my imagination. It doesn't take much. But some porn can be a tad too heavy-handed and that I admit is a turn off. The above quote mentions "wacky" and "innovative". After so many years of Japanese porn, I've really come across some quirky stuff but I think after so long, they have become normal for me:

  • The use of weird masks - keropi masks, goggles, leather masks
  • Fascination with toys and apparatus - dildos, vibrators, anal beads, chains, leather straps, red Japanese rope, leather accessories
  • The use of lube in huge packings that I can only describe as "industrial"
  • bukkake - the ultimate cumshot extravaganza
  • "another version" - literally straight gay porn. Such an oxymoron.
  • The love of masturbating straight guys while showing them look at straight porn on a portable DVD player
  • Rape scenes are also quite popular but I can do without some girlish squeeling
  • Sex in toilets, buses and trains are not uncommon
  • Some porn show some fun and games between the actors, shopping excursions, a walk in the park or a trip to the amusement park. It's like going on a date with 'em!
  • I have also seen some first person porn, shot from the other party's perspective
  • Any other things you guys can think of?


Most of the time, the Japanese porn actors are twinky and lean, with the typical J-Pop hair and slight tan. Definitely my type. And their selection of underwear is always sexy and colourful... *coos*. But still, I know J-Porn has its fair share of detractors. One man's meat, is another man's poison!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Where's My Money?!

Halftone by I'm George
Halftone, swiped from I'm George on Flickr.

I looked at my payslip today and found that my basic salary had been cut! WTF! I make MYRX400 a month and suddenly it was MYRX130!!! I quickly checked last month's payslip. Hmmm. Also MYRX130!!! The one before that also MYRX130!!! I went through twelve payslips before it me. I do make MYRX130 a month. LOL. Getting senile. For some reason I thought I make MYRX400 a month. Oh well. Drama over.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

European Exercise XV: Back to Reality

Vote One, Vote All by williamnyk
Vote One, Vote All, swiped from williamnyk on Flickr.

Back in KL then to Singapore, we were suddenly VERY aware of the heat. Our skin seemed prickly the closer we got to the outside world. Quickly jumped into the cab and headed to Serangoon. Wasn't quite sleepy, so I did some unpacking and repacking for my trip back to KL. So much stuff! Had to leave some stuff with KH. For food, we had mixed rice, winter melon soup and wantan noodles (the yucky variety with sweet chili sauce) at the Serangoon Foodcourt. Some eye candy was at the nearby table. Hehe. After filling our bellies, we went home to sleep. Also met KH's new housemates. A gay couple. One's a cute-ish IT guy and the other's a twinky Taiwanese student who spends way too much time with male escorts. Dinner was with KH's landlord at Kimly Seafood. POD and Nic also joined us. Singapore was a buzz with the impending election. Lots of talk about "Ling Vs Ling", the government airhead against the feisty opposition cili padi. The airhead had little substance.

Journalist: Ms. Ling, what is your biggest regret in life?

Airhead: Erm, I regret not bringing my parents to Universal Studios before the campiagning started. Now I have no time you know?


In the end, the opposition still lost at Marine Parade. Oh well. Ordered their set dinner made up of beancurd, pork ribs, vegetables, soup and what not. Couldn't remember. :P. That night, took some melatonin supplement before bed to help with the jet lag. Kinda worked. Woke up early on Labour Day, skanked and slept some more till one in the afternoon. Walked over to NEX for lunch at Ramen Play. Took their umami ramen and tonkotsu sanpou ramen. Both were average. The umami ramen was a bit novel as the soup was thick, kinda like loh mee. Our waiter's name was Vaness, but he bore no resemblance to the one in F4.

FoodieSg

Did more last minute packing and more snuggling before my flight back to KL (his pseudo-wifey also came to see me off while I had a bite to eat at Dome). I was unwilling to let go of KH. It was the longest time that we had spent together. For two weeks he was the last person I saw before I slept and first person to greet me whenever I opened my eyes in the morning. Every day he would shower me with kisses and let me cuddle against his warm body. For fourteen days we had a carefree time together. Like the world belonged to both of us. In that time we took every chance to be intimate, to partake in each other's passion. Wonderful. Really gateful to KH for forcing me to take the trip. Hehe. Many memories were created in Europe and I would remember them always. Love you lots.

And it's a wrap folks! My longest series so far. Hope you weren't bored out of your skulls. :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Helping Hand

Swiped from ewankojohn
Football. Bah! Everytime there is a game at Bukit Jalil Stadium, things go haywire. Arsenal was there last Wednesday and I got a very 'pleasant' surprise when I got down at Bukit Jalil Station to collect my car from the parking lot. It was surrounded by loads of motorcycles! F*ck! Dragged a few motorcycles out of the way, but some were extremely hard to move (learned that Kris is heavier than other brands!). Decided to enlist the help of a stranger. Thank goodness he was strong and knew how to move the locked motorcycles. We moved more than ten and had to slowly adjust the rows of motorcycles for me to able to manoeuver out. Still, it was too tight and I scratched the car a bit. Crap! And that ordeal really took a toll on my spindly arms. Ouch. Ouch. Ache. Ache.

The next day, while I was walking to KL Sentral, a trio of Thai girls stopped me to ask for directions. They wanted to get to My Hotel @ Brickfields. Those gung-ho girls only knew the name of the hotel. No address. No map. They just believed the website... "very close to KL Sentral". Brave. Very brave. The hotel was at Jalan Tun Sambanthan, so I led them downstairs to the Sky Bus departure point. The bloody elevator was shot, and one of the girls had this XL luggage that I swear contained the mutilated remains of the fourth missing Thai girl. Heavy!!! No choice but to help her lug it down the narrow stairs. Their spokesperson spoke Cantonese and was very happy to make conversation. Even offered to buy me dinner, but I declined. If only they were three cute Thai guys. Oh well. Conclusion is, my spindly arms had taken another critical blow. It was so sore that I couldn't reach the more challenging parts of my body in the shower! Anyone wanna help?

Ouch. Ouch. Ache. Ache.

P.S.: It's Chelsea tonight. Don't say I did not warn you.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

European Exercise XIV: Back To Square One

King's Cross by williamnyk
King's Cross, swiped from williamnyk on Flickr.

Took the EuroStar from Paris Gare du Nord back to London. Once again, the confusing signage nearly got the better of us. The departure was actually upstairs and we had to check-in ala air travel. Seeing that we were running late, the staff let us through the gates without filling out our immigration cards. Security was also a bitch to clear. Had another round of grilling from the British immigration. Once in train, we heaved a sigh of relief and went to get some drinks. Ordered a cafe au lait and ate some biscuits. The barista was cute! A whole bunch of midgety HK students were milling around the area too. Back at our seats, we had fun seeing a Malaysian couple discussing their holiday plans.

Boy: I wanna go the staidum. The stadium. The stadium.

Girl: Don't forget shopping. Shopping. and more shopping.

Boy: OK. Stadium then shopping.

Girl: How about shopping then stadium?


Old Vinyl

Gotta love 'em. Arrived at King's Cross St. Pancras in no time. The Tube to Swiss Cottage was surprisingly devoid of passengers. Then we saw the sign that the Westminster station was closed due to overcrowding at the royal wedding.... Ooooo... Lugged our bags up to the apartment. Matt and Jess were there watching the wedding on TV. They quickly freshened up and ushered us out to Camden Town for lunch. It's really a weird part of town. I only can describe it as the Petaling Street or Chatuchak of London. Chock-full of weird characters in a carnival-like atmosphere. Plenty of food around. And very touristy. Exactly like Petaling Street lo. The markets offer stuff from books, old records, alternative clothes (think Goth, Lollita, cyber punk), trinkets, junk, souveniers, paintings and etc. Food is also quite international with Chinese (enthusiastic staff offer a piece of hot bean sauce chicken to any passerby), Mexican, Moroccan, Indian and local cuisine. Spoilt for choice. Ended up sharing a big portion of lamb tagine with cous cous and a chicken taco. Post-lunch we had some donuts and banana fritters. The donuts were soooo light and fluffy. Kinda regret not tasting the liquid nitrogen ice cream there. Did some shopping at the Aldo outlet. F*cking cheap but all the shoes I liked did not come in my size! Also stopped by at H&M.

Sub-culture

Scoot Over

Harrod's

In Memoriam

Was really the last day to shop, so we also raided Marks and Spencers for some food stuff before heading out to Piccadilly Circus to get some football jerseys for a colleague and my nephew. And what's a visit to London without going to Harrod's? The shopping there was so atas. Eveything under the sun. All sorts of premium groceries and up-market brands. Hermes. Mullberry. Prada. Versace. Also had a glimpse of the shrine dedicated to the shade of Lady Di and Dodi Al Fayed. Did more shopping at a mall at Westfield London Shopping Centre at Shepherds Bush (sounds so wrong, kan?). Bought presents for mum and sis and House of Fraser. Munched on an aglioni from an Italian stall outside. A vile-tasting oily croquette filled with cheese. Spent way too much time there cause Matt and Jess were hounded by a very persuasive salesgirl peddling deep sea salt. Rushed off to dinner in a blackhat cab. So British! But the ride was very expensive.

Buy, Buy, Buy

Europe201122

Thank God we managed to catch the last order at Addie's Thai Restaurant. Matt and Jess ordered their favourites which included Pad Thai, Thai Green Curry, Spicy Fish, stir-fried beef, sticky rice with yam and screwpine pancake. Quality of food was quite good but the chairs were a little uncomfortable. To close the night, we went to Soho and Old Compton Road to see the revelry from the royal wedding. Although it was raining, people seemed too drunk to care. Most of the gay clubs were full to the brim, with many overflowing to the road. So we just looked in to see the gogo boys' gyrations. Someone actually asked us if we wanted to buy weed, but only Jess caught it. We just obliviously walked off. Haha. Did some browsing at a sex shop and saw a funny coffee table book on dicks and boobs that came with 3D glasses. LOL. Didn't stay out too late, had to go home to pack! On the way back, had a 'fantastic' view of a drunken couple feeling each other up on the Tube. Stuffed everything into our luggage by 2AM, showered and slept!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Arts to the Rescue

Auditorium-SJK-c-YUK-CHAI by ewinee
Auditorium-SJK-c-YUK-CHAI, swiped from ewinee on Flickr.

Once again, brought my mum to VerSeS: A Journey Through Time And Ages (AJTTA), a charity concert featuring sacred music. Already part IV this year. Held at SRJK(C) Yuk Chai, Taman Megah. The venue was easy to find as the school was huge. Quite impressed with the facilities. Looked posh with its contemplation garden complete with fountain, timber benches and canteen with stainless steel chairs and tables. It also has an auditorium-- that's where the concert was held. The concert coincided with BERSIH 2.0's rally, so I was a bit concerned about getting there. Wanted to check out ITIS, but the website was down for maintenance. Good timing hor? Conancat was kind enough to inform me that the LDP was free from roadblocks, so I chose that route. Upon arriving, I was shocked to see the enthusiam of its basketball teams. The coach carried his baby in one hand and shouted orders through his headset to keep the practice drill going. The players snaked around the court at high speed taking a shot at the basket. The scene kinda reminded me of some North Korean parade. Arrived quite early so we got to choose some good seats. BeautifulMale said he sang there before so he knew the sweet spots. Met quite a number of the BFF there as they helped with the logistics-- usherers, multimedia, ticketing, tah chap, etc. And a few also lent their voices. The audience was also full of gay lou. Just throw a program booklet, and I'm sure I would have hit at least one.

That night, Lex had his virgin night as MC. He was obviously a bit uncomfortable at first, but he found his mojo some time near intermission. Of his performance, my mum remarked:

"What happened to AJTTA III's MC? I like him."

Actually mum was referring to Adrienz who had a more radical approach. This time round, the concert featured music from the height of Catholicism in Europe. Had works from Byrd, Allegri, Vivaldi, Handel, Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Rossini, Verdi and more contemporary figures (read "not dead") like Eric Whitacre. Among one of the most interesting performance was the "Miserere mei, Deus" where the choir was split into three parts, one on stage, one on the floor and the other upstairs to create a uniqe experience. And Khairunnisa Diyana and Fairuz Zamani's performance also drew the loudest applause from the audience. Her voice was strong and it showed seeing how hard she heaved her bosom! Fairuz's fingerwork on the piano was also impressive. From the concert, I finally realize the importance of he conductor, seeing how the pianist and the ensemble are instructed to ensure harmony. Little wonder timing problems are the norm during mass at my church. After the show, mum and I rushed off the Restoran Risyadh to have a late dinner of dosai and chapati. Saw loads of police on the road, going home after the day's operation. Glad to hear that the beneficiary of the concert, Taman Megah Handicapped and Disabled Children's Home received in excess of MYR5000 for their building fund. Until AJTTA V! Kudos to EarlGrey and team.

Friday, July 15, 2011

European Exercise XIII: Trois Musées

Long Line To The Louvre by williamnyk
Long Line To The Louvre, swiped from williamnyk on Flickr.
The drunken sex from the night before really left us very tired and unprepared for the next day. Forgot to charge my camera and we were supposed to spend the day at Musée du Louvre. *smacks forehead*. It was relatively easy to enter the famous museum. KH was very proud that we used the lesser-known side entrance and made use of the Paris Museum Pass. Truth be told, the Louvre is super big. One really doesn't have the time to finish every wing and every floor. Thirty thousand objects of art! So our objective was just to look at the highlights and absorb whatever goody that we might come across on the way. Started out at the main atrium, right under the glass pyramids. Beautiful geometry. The building itself was impressive-- the Palais du Louvre. Seeing signs of the impending crowds, we quickly started our tour. First was Chevaux de Marly, the Marly Horses. Then it was the opulent rooms of Napolean III. Extremely ornate and dripping of luxury at every corner, from the gilded furniture to the crystal chandeliers. In terms of paintings, we saw "The Lacemaker" by the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer. I have no idea why it's famous. LOL. Also "The Cheat with the Ace of Diamonds" by Georges de La Tour. Believe it or not, we gave the "Mona Lisa" a miss. We already saw the super high quality immitation at the Singapore Science Center a couple of years back. Even had an up-close view from all angles. No point lining up for hours just to catch a glimpse from afar. Another highlight was "Winged Victory of Samothrace", a headless statue of the Goddess Nike. Considered one of the greatest surviving pieces from the Hellenistic period. Yawning yet? :P. Next up was "Venus de Milo", the epitome of graceful female beauty. People crowded around her like she was Lady Gaga.

Curls

Dine In Style

Gallery

Europe201120

Europe201121

Moving on, we saw the "Great Sphinx of Tanis", 24-tonnes of granite from the Old Kingdom. Then we went to th crypt to explore the original medieval base of The Louvre. It clearly shows it's beginnings as a fortress. Spent nearly four hours there. Too bad I took photos sparingly to conserver battery power. Sigh. Oh well. Outside, we managed to employ the help of tourists to help us take some couple shots. A girl stopped us at the glass pyramids:

Girl: Can you help us take a photo?

Moi: Sure. I'll do my best.

Girl: OMG. You're from KL? I'm from Ipoh la!


Come to Me

Water Lillies

Couple

It was getting cold, so brought out our scarves, huddled close together, clasped our hands and walked to the Musée de l'Orangerie, a treasure trove of of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings. The main features there were the "Water Lilies" murals by Claude Monet. Wasn't really in tune with his tortured brushstrokes. Haha. Recognized several paintings from my childhood (I used to read the Encyoclopedia Brittanica on a daily basis) like Paul Cézanne's "Fruits, serviette et boîte à lait" and Pierre-Auguste Renoir's "Girls at the Piano". I actually have that latter painting hanging as a jigsaw puzzle in my living room. Never knew it was a Renoir. :S. The third museum for the day was Musée d'Orsay (you see a pattern now?). But before that we grabbed a quick lunch at Osselin. On the way there, we tailed a nicely-dressed potato-rice gay couple. Was bloody sleepy by then. I nearly fell asleep on the many benches in the museum. The horrid thing about that museum was the fact that they forbid photograpy. Shit. The important paintings housed there were "Whistler's Mother" by James McNeill Whistler, Renoir's "Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette", Van Gogh's self portrait and interestingly, "L'ecole de Platon", Jean Delville's portrayal of a homosexual Jesus with his twelve very effeminate and affectionate disciples. We kept on going in and out of the museum and waited for a non-existent free tour. Had a expensive fruit salad at the former restaurant of the Hôtel d'Orsay, just to experience the dazzling chandeliers and the painted and gilded ceilings of this dining room, listed as a Historic Monument.

Seated

Salade de fruits

By the end of the evening, we were already super pooped, so we went home. Stopped by at L'Entrepôt for an early dinner. Was amnother disaster ordering food. Surprised ourselves with the andouvilette dijon (some kind of meat roll with fries of all things!), pate de sanglier (an interesting meatloaf with innards) and red wine (no aphrodisiac properties like the 2006 bordeaux we drank yesterday). Didn't have dessert at the restaurant but had it back at Le Rez de Chausse instead. The waitress recognized us. Chose the peach pie and a chocolate soufflé. Packed up that night and finished whatever leftover food we had. Brewed a couple cups of organic tea and called it a night. Tomorrow, back to London!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

LRT Celebrities: Top Train Twink


It's been a long time since I had a decent entry for "LRT Celebrities". Yesterday, I was cursing STAR LRT for the lateness of their 9:00pm train and the arrival of not one but two trains not in service. But every cloud has a silver lining. If not for that, perhaps I would not have bumped into this delicious specimen of Train Twink. As he walked in, my heart gave an immediate "WAH" and started to fire up the spy cam on my iPhone. As you can see, i had a very clear view and he was very co-operative since he was busy on the phone. Hehe. Very lean. Very toned. Very tanned. Very gay also. The material of his tank top was similar to those underwear worn by Rick Day's models. Thin and looks like it can be torn off anytime to get to his nipples. Opps... Got off at Bukit Jalil... someone was waiting for him. Don't think he is local, so the chances of us meeting again is quite slim.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Battle of the Envelopes


The Battle of the Envelopes (coined by Finnegan) has come to an end. Last week, I received a dozen business reply envelopes in an unmarked brown paper envelope. And they wrote my name wrongly. Omitted the "William". Ingat nama glamer ke? In my IC la... So the battle has been won, but the war wages on. Until next year. Hehe.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

These Shoes Were Made For Running

Not to be compared to an MYR519 pair of Nikes!
I'm not a shoe person. Such a break off from the gay stereotype hor?. The last pair of shoes I bought was in May last year. And that was a pair of casual shoes. My last pair of sports shoes were purchased before I entered university a decade ago. Think it was from Bata. And so, I broke the drought last, last Sunday by purchasing a pair from New Balance at the Gardens. KH had been nagging me about it because I complain about ankle and hamstring aches every time I come back from my Sunday jog. The salesman was very helpful. Showed me all the ranges, checked out my feet and asked me about my requirements.

"This range has the best cushioning and is suitable for someone like you with a high arch. This model is suitable for 20km. The one next to it 15km. How far would you be running?"

"Erm, just show me the 10km."

"How about the pair I am wearing? I ran in the KL Marathon before coming to work today."


So I walked out with a new pair of shoes and a couple of hundred bucks poorer. Luckily KH gave me a special Mega Sale discount. Huhu. It was raining outside, so mum and I skipped our Sunday exercise and continued shopping. Before heading home, we stopped by at Pastis for afternoon tea. Been hearing good things about the place, so I decided to give it a try. The place was packed and understaffed, but the Myanmarese waiter was polite enough to advise me on the current service situation. Just took them a bit longer to clean up and take our order. Tried the Cafe Gourmand. A cup of Lavazza coffee and a tester platter of four desserts -- crème brûlée, tiramisu, chocolate cake and something which I don't know. Perhaps -Alex- can help me out. A slab of sugar buried under copious amounts of whipped cream, strawberries and drizzled with raspberry sauce. Apa tu?


For dinner, we tried out the new Kuchai Lama Foodcourt, now located at the intersection of Jalan Puchong and Old Klang Road. The orientation's just like SS24's Ming Tien, but it boasts of a very old China feel. Wood stain everywhere, paper umbrellas, gazebos, loads of lanterns, bird cages, bamboo light fixtures, plastic sakuras, fake cranes, porcelain bowls in the toilet and red lighting ala ancient Chinese brothel at certain areas. Very kitschy. Ordered a lui cha and oyster omelette. Both so-so. But I did notice that nearly every table ordered the sweet and sour crab with man tao. Original shop from the Jalan Kuchai Lama days. I remember my last time there was with a bunch of bloggers.


(.... fast-forward today ....)

I tried out the running shoes already and I have no complaints. No more pain! Should have gotten proper shoes from the get go. :P

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Apathy

Kill Bill (2003) by YES, we like MOVIES !
Kill Bill (2003), swiped from YES, we like MOVIES ! on Flickr.
"BERSIH 2.0 is stupid. You happy now that KL is locked down? Annoying. Irritating. My shopping plans are now ruined!"

There are people who say that they have no business with politics and politics has no business with them. To them, nothing can be done to make things better. They think they are above it all. Just because they are content with their own inaction, they condemn those who support the cause or at least help to propagate the idea. And when things go down the crapper, they think they have sanctuary elsewhere.

In my opinion, these are not fence-sitters, but rather the fence. As the Chinese proverb goes, "unless the needle pokes into your own flesh, you won't feel the pain". Let's hope that when the day comes, the needle won't be too big!

Chaz Zye, Tulai and Grat who are currently marching in KL, keep safe and keep dry!

And for EarlGrey who is preparing for his charity concert tonight (an unfortunate clash), all the best. Truly a supporter of the cause with not a single complaint from your lips.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

European Exercise XII: Paris In A Day

Notre Dame by williamnyk
Notre Dame, swiped from williamnyk on Flickr.
Early the next morning, we headed to Notre Dame de Paris, the famous cathedral. An exquisite example of French Gothic architecture located on Île de la Cité, one of two natural islands in the Seine within Paris. No lines going in, so after taking a few photos at the plaza out front, we waltzed in. It was quite dark inside but all the more better to admire the magnificent stained glass. There were many vocation candles around, but at E15 a pop, we gave it a pass. Other than the Hunchback of Notre Dame, the real 'monster' to look out for at Notre Dame is the gargoyles. For that, we had to head out and queue in cold. KH and I took turns. While he waited in line, I went to the back of the cathedral to view the flying buttresses at the back and a beautiful garden by the Seine with box-shaped trees. When we finally ascended to the roof, we were greeted by the famous gargoyles. Monsters in all sorts of poses, looking contemplatively at the horizon. Being very narrow, at certain intervals we would be ushered to another part of the roof. The view was spectacular and we could see The Eiffel Tower and Sacre Couer in the distance. Back down, we visited The Crypt. Rocks and foundation stones before Paris was Paris. Boring! Luckily it was covered by our museum pass. Next, we walked to Le Saint-Chapelle. Joined the queue and found that we had wasted our time. They were closing for lunch and I had no intention of returning to see the famous stained glass there. Sigh.

Vocations

Flying

Gargoyle I

We walked over to the adjacent attraction-- La Conciergerie. Was quite awed by the large Salle des Gardes with its pillars and vaulted ceiling. The lighting showed it off to good effect. Inside, one could see the history of the place-- it was the "antechamber to the guillotine", a prison. Marie Antoinette was among the famous prisoners there. Inside, KH pointed to a pillar with the words:

INONDATION 28 JANVIER 1910

I replied, "What about it?". He rolled his eyes. Opps. It was our anniversary. I immediately placated him and we took a picture together there. Hehe. It was to mark the level of a flood in 1910. Shoulder level! With hothing much to see, we strolled back out and did some strolling along The Seine. Aspired to be a flâneur —- that of "a person who walks the city in order to experience it". However, our aching legs did not make it easy. Haha. We were lucky enough to catch Marché aux Fleur, the Flower Market, but half of the stalls were not open. Ended up at Hôtel de Ville, the MPSJ of Paris. Took some pics near the ceremonial doors under the clock which are flanked by allegorical figures of Art, by Laurent Marqueste, and Science, by Jules Blanchard. And we took a quick nip into Bazar de l'Hôtel de Ville to buy SK's Longchamp Planètes. Cheaper by nearly half in Paris. Lunch was at Brioche Dorée. A quick bite of a quiche and a sandwich.

The Seine

Great Hall

with our tummies filled we moved on to Musée Rodin. Among the manicured gardens were the famous bronze sculptures of "The Thinker", "The Kiss", and "The Gates of Hell". The museum used to be a hotel and the surrondings were beautiful. Bumped into three gay couples there, from all sorts of nationalities. spent quite some time there really admiring all the sculptures. Lots and lots of nudes. Huhuhu. Really making the best out of our Paris Museum Pass, next up was Musée de l'Armée. Located at Les Invalides, it houses the Tomb of Napolean. Very grand indeed. The giant red quartzite sarcophagus rests inside the Église du Dôme, a very ornate domed chapel. The altar looked much like the one in St. Peter's Basilica, Rome. As it was near closing time, we did not manage to visit the other parts.

Buy Me

Shopping

The Thinker

Garden

Before heading to the Eiffel Tower, we had coffee and an apricot sable (giant biscuit) at a nearby cafe. Was waiting for it to get darker. But there was still plenty of light out. So we just sat and reviewed some of our photographs. The cafe was quite interesting as it used a change dispenser machine. The woman behind the counter takes your money and the machine autmocatically dispenses your change. How novel. With nothing left to do, we took the long walk over to the tower. Ended up at the other end, we should have approached from L'Arc de Triomphe. The grounds were lurking with souvenir peddlers whoe prices start at E5 and quickly plummet to E0.20. Lotsa people lounged on the grass drinking wine. Being at the 'most romantic' spot in the world, we did not really feel any different. I just felt cold! Had to cuddle close to KH and share a scarf to protect ourselves from the wind. We even trekked all the way to base of the tower only to find that all the hot drinks were sold out! Took very long to get dark before we could see the night lights. Upon seeing that, KH gave me a kiss. Then hand in hand we walked back.

Les Invalides

Rest Here

French Baroque

Dinner was had at a French restaurant below our apartment, a recommendation from our landlady-- Le Rez de Chausse. Our waitress brought the giant blackboard over to our table. It was scribbled in French. She tried her best to explain things to us, but it was obvious that her vocabulary was limited. Chancing it, we ordered baked escargot (wonderful cream sauce), duck magret (super rare duck breast, but it was delicious) and a bottle of their vin du moment. The whole bottle was really too much. Walked out of the restaurant giggling like schoolgirls and frequently listed to one side. I guess wine and The Eiffel Tower do mix because we had intoxicated sex that night and I screamed my lungs out in bed. Forgot to do laundry. Forgot to charge our cameras! But it was worth it! I want more of that wine!

Eiffel I

Eiffel II

Magret de Canard

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Say Huat / Say What?!

Char Kuay Teow by Khor Hui Min
Char Kuay Teow, swiped from Khor Hui Min on Flickr.
Briyani recently changed his job and his new boss turned out to be quite a bitch, so SK and I asked him out for dinner one Saturday to let him blow off some steam. Brought CK along and we drove to his place in PJ. Dinner was at Restoran Say Huat. Near the place was a large square that was dotted with quite a few stalls. But he veto-ed most of them for hygiene violations. :S. So we ended up in the kopitiam instead. The whole area had a very 'new village' feel to it. As SK and I like to say, "a bit pengz". Predominantly student clientele. Definitely a plus point. We ordered CKT from Robert's CKT stall and Thai and Tomyam fried rice from the stall beside it. Just recently read a foodie entry on that CKT and boy.... was I disappointed. For me, it was below average. Sweet (as blasphemous as the Singaporean version) and lacking in wok hei. And the cockles were so small and shrivelled. The only positive was the fresh prawns. The fried rice was kinda good actually, but just that it did not live up to the name of "Thai" and "Tomyam". More Chinese than anything else. Officially I have banned Briyani's food recommendations. :P. Feeling hot in the shop, we quickly moved out to have gui lin gao at the stall outside (thanks for the treat Briyani!). So during the whole time, Briyani and SK bitched and bitched and bitched about their respective bosses. During the lulls, I would spy at the uni kids in tank tops. Halfway through, could already tell that Briyani's mind had fled back home to the business proposal he had left unfinished at home, so we bid him adieu.

P.S.: My dear Briyani... please make sure our next gathering includes the VIP guest that I wanna see!

Monday, July 04, 2011

风水轮流转

Mark Twain by sfjalar
Mark Twain, swiped from sfjalar on Flickr.

The Thais have decided. A Thaksin is back at the helm of Thailand's government. Lucky Yingluck, so to say. What's in store for Malaysia?

"Politicians are like diapers; they need to be changed often and for the same reason."
— Mark Twain