Thursday, December 21, 2006
Banyan was excellent! i will post pictures of it later. But back to Lijiang. Geez, the blue skies .... endless blue skies .....and vast vast land got me hooked. I honestly thought that in hkg/china, it's unlikely we will get to see clear blue skies ..... i was sooooo wrong. The Gu3 Cheng2 (old city)was quaint and reminds me of venice u know ..... it has its charms. We went to another old town Shu He which was equally rustic ... the ke4 zhan4 (guest houses) .... will probably make good locations for a martial arts film. Oh, i think one of Zhang Yi Mou's movie was filmed in Shu He.
The streams that run through Shu He apparently originates from the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (Yu4 Long2 Xue3 Shan1) and it's crystal clear. and i think locals use the water for washing their vegetables and cooking too. and it's so cold, it's used to iced-beer. the place is just quaint and brings one back in time.
Know something, apparently, the Naxi ethnic tribe which is one of the tribes you can find in Lijiang, the women are the ones who work hard for the familiy. Whilst the men enjoys the leisurely activities like playing chess and stuff. I am glad i am not from the Naxi tribe. Haha.
One drawback, everytime i travel in china is the toilets and food. sometimes i am glad i wore my sunglasses in the toilet, i see less of things.....hahaha ... ok ok, better don't to be grouse here.
and for a person like me, where food is integral to my holiday experience, i don't eat a lot of chinese food when i travel in china..... cos i don't particularly enjoy them .... guess that's why i always prefer japan as a holiday destination .....hehehehe.
the food we had in the Gu Cheng was decent (hotpot, roasted duck, local delicacies) ...... but ........ guess what, the meal i enjoyed the most, was probably the breakfast and dinner provided @ banyan during our stay ..... ;p
the 2 days we had in Lijiang was simply insufficient ...... there's so much more that we wanted to do...... so u bet we'll be back in lijiang again and hopefully, make it to shangrila as well. In fact, the next trip, i hope we will be able to go with some frens, that will be more fun!!
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Takayama is an "old town" -- especially the preserved old streets - they remind me of Kyoto ...... we enjoyed exploring the various arts and craft shops; shops selling local eats and delicacies and Sake! they are quite big on sake here. and quite reasonably priced i think :)
As we arrived close to noon, we missed the morning markets -- else that will be fun ..... i enjoy visiting the local markets where-ever i go ..... reflects my love for fooooooood.
Nagoya, was, a disappointment for us. Probably because most of the sites, castle, shrine etc, we have seen similar or even more "majestic" ones in the other japanese cities that we have been. In the end, we decided that it will be juz a lunch stop and we headed straight to GERO.
So, errr, i think we won't be back in nagoya anytime soon. unless we need to use it as a base to visit other areas.
GERO, we didn't have much time to explore the town as it grew dark very early. so, we spent our time in our ryokan hotel exploring it, the foot baths, and the hotsprings. hehehe. of course, we cannot take pictures in the hotspring bath.
Minoriso ryokan which we stayed in, is on a hill and provides an excellent view of the town. only complain i have about the ryokan is the food ...... it's ....... normal ..... hahahaha ..... maybe i've developed high expectations of meals served in ryokans. but of course, the previous 2 ryokans i stayed in (in hakone and ito) are traditional ryokans and costs us more.
to be fair, the food is good and the quantity ..... huge .... it's just not "delicate" enough ..... i think i am "spoilt" ..... heehee. but our room was excellent, big and with a private bath. very value for money.
the good thing abt Gero is the journey between gero and takayama -- it is lovely. i can imagine how it is to travel on the orient express .... it would be something like the train ride we had between gero and takayama .....(i am talking about the views, not the inside of the train ;p) even though it was early and rainy, our mood wasn't spoilt and we enjoyed the hour-long journey much.
Monday, December 18, 2006
Shirakawa-go is a very small village ..... and the huts -- they are called gassho-zukuri -- traditional vernacular farmhouse-style houses. To withstand the weight of heavy snow, the angle of the roof is sharp. and there are around 150 such houses in this village. so u can imagine how small the area is.
We arrived around 1 pm and it was a wet and rainy day. Initially i felt kind of dreadful ... cold and wet isn't a very good start and i was looking forward to seeing the "beautiful" sight as seen on postcards. ;) but surprisingly, it was still easy to walk about as the rain was light. we even managed to trek up to the "observatory" hill to take pictures of the entire village which is in the post below.
And of course, enjoy a leisurely lunch of HIDA-beef in one of the local restaurants. Be warned, when u come to a village such as this, there's not much to do at night. we were tired ..... and so we slept ard 8pm!!!! very early ah! even for my standard......hahahaha. actually, the few times i've stayed in the "country-side", it's always like this, sleep early, wake up early!
The minshuku we stayed in was very well kept and clean -- as you would imagine a japanese home. we shared the facilities (bath and toilet) with 3 other persons who were staying there at the same time. A japanese couple and an american lady. with breakfast and dinner provided, i felt it was a reasonable price @ 8000+ yen per person. (japan standards lah!) and the hosts are usually very friendly and nice ..... despite our language handicap ;) somehow, we manage to communicate ... .....
when we left shirakawa-go the next morning, it was a pretty fine morning ... and on the bus ride to takayama, seems like the Lord knew i was disappointed not to see snow in shirakawa-go, he decided to "reward" me with a snow-fall ....... right in the comfort of our bus, where we are warm and cosy.... :) .... and our destination takayama was bright and sunny, although cold.... perfect for exploring the old streets, corners and nooks.
Shirakawa-go, a UNESCO world heritage site and a very very quaint village it is! even on a rainy day -- which was juz that when we arrived there.
Apparently it had snowed the previous days but alas, the rain, melted most of the snow , since this is only "early" part of the winter ..... understand that in Feb, the snow is quite deep! 20 inches or something like that ......... someone who visited shirakawa-go last Dec experienced 3 inch snow and i was kind of hoping to see the village with its snow-capped thatched roofs. pictures i've seen of the place is really very very very nice ......... maybe there'll be some opportunity in the future for us to return to this lovely village.
Getting there was was also a beautiful journey ...... the train ride from Gero ( a hotspring village) to takayama was abt an hour (faster if one takes the limited express train) .... but we really enjoyed the "slow" "toot-ing" along on the train. It felt like we've travelled back in time. the surroundings were rural, to say the least, yet very peaceful, quaint and there was some charm about it.......the streams flowing, the lush greenery (even though it's into winter season) and the quietness of it all. Japan's countryside somehow makes me want to be a farmer. LOLOLOL. hahahaha.
and from takayama, it's a 1.5 - 2 hour bus ride and the road runs round the foot of the hills/mountains (whatever they are) .... so it's a very scenic drive.
in fact, i really enjoyed the "getting there" process as much as being there in shirakawa-go. not sure if you know what i mean.
Anyway, the pictures above are "bird's eye view" of the village ...... will post more of photos of the village and the FOOOOOOOOD we ate !
i tell u, it's no wonder i've been putting on weight....... i lurrrrrrve to eat. ;p
The HIDA beef (it's a specialty of the region).... it's a marbled beef ... looks like kobe beef u know ..... but not as expensive -- literally melted in my mouth. and they have this special miso, called Houba-miso used to grill this beef and it was excellento! houba -- i think refers to the leaf which the miso is so served on .. which apparently enhances the taste of the miso! even though, first taste of the miso i felt a bit weird ..... not used to the taste but after a few bites, i can see why they usually serve the beef with this miso .... it's yummmmie. according to an american we met on the trip, the houba -leaf, is actually magnolia leaf.
this trip we didn't eat much sashimi cos the area we went is more inland ..... so the focus on chicken, beef and wild vegetables. :)
will post pictures soon!
Monday, November 13, 2006
i don't know what to say of the chinese agricultural industry ....... the key goal is to make money and there is no regard for the safety of others...... ;(
for full story, read this.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
in my memory the weather here turns cooler ard end sep ...... what is becoming of our weather system ....... :(
talking about hot weather ....... singapore is hot all year round .. no seasons to talk about. someone actually commented that in that case, singapore should have less fat people cos it's quite unbearable in the heat ..... heeheee. i wonder if that is so??
Thursday, September 21, 2006
the last time i weighed myself in aug, i was 56.5kg, which though not my ideal weight, was at least acceptable.
blame it on my lack of discipline - haven't been exercising much cos of work (excuse excuse) and of course, i've not been very careful of what i eat ..... i eat what i want and sometimes excessively!!
aiyahzzzzzz -- i must go on a diet (again!) .... what a pain. hahahaha.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Friday, September 15, 2006
apparently there was a "earthquake" measuring 3.5 on the richter scale recorded last nite here in hong kong. but err, i didn't feel a thing !!
according to reports, the tremors were felt for 2-3 seconds ...... ard 8pm and i didn't even know until someone called me @ 10+ pm to tell me about it. and i think, even my dad in singapore knew about it before i did.
anywayz, so a non-event for me, despite being physically there.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
just this week, i forgot to pay up for a trade which i made last week .... good thing i suddenly remembered and called my broker to sort things out...... geez. and i really have no idea how i can forget to pay up??!!
Friday, September 08, 2006
ok ok, so it's not that pathetic, i go to the gym, pray, read the bible, go to church and stuff ..... but u get the drift, there isn't much exciting happening at this moment.
and so, to make my life more interesting, i decided to work on a french holiday itinerary!! ahahahahaha ... maybe i have the "potential" to be a tour planner! i did quite a fair bit of research and how i regret that!
cos i am like, let's go to france NOW!!!! but alas, that is not possible at this moment.
anybody interested in my itineraries?? Yes, i did up 3 itineraries!!! hahahaha, one is a 20+day itinerary covering north and south of france. the other 2 are shorter itineraries, one covering more the south of france, the other north/central.
i will be glad to share the itinerary cos i don't think i will have much use for it now ...
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
wellz, not that we were looking to buy a property immediately, juz that so much talk about rising property prices and so forth, decided to "look see look see" as to what's available on the market.
of course those located in the prime districts, prices have already climbed by a fair bit .... and don't think we can afford it lah. and so we looked @ the east and upcoming west. the new devts are indeed pricey ;( and so it lead me to think about why am i looking at properties now? when prices are climbing.
maybe we are afraid we will miss the "boat" so to speak; maybe it's that herd mentality, "everyone's" buying??? maybe it's juz a "desire" .... hahahah
but after giving much thought, i think it's not time for us to buy now lah. i think if i really want to, i should look at property stocks to hedge the rising property prices ...... hahahaha ....easier said than done. due to my "indecision" and a wrong call made, i've already missed 2 stocks that made the "run" this month. now back to waiting. one thing i've to develop, patience. ;)
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
From Inaba Ryokan in Ito, we travelled to Jogosaki Coast to view the suspension bridge (which is nothing lah!), but the coastline view is very nice and the waters, crystal clear :)
The train ride to Jogosaki was abt 25mins, but we had to walk 30 mins to reach the coast line. Walking there was fine. We thought we can find a buz or something to take us to the train station, but alas..... this place is so secluded, we cudn't find the bus stop ..... we had to walk back to the station, which is another 30 mins and was really very very tired!!
Good thing we found a lil' coffee place -- to rest and enjoy the peaceful surroundings of this town. nobody walks on the streets, there's hardly any cars and we suspect it's a "retirement" village of sorts ..... cos it's so far from civilisation, it's hard to imagine young, lively folks living here..... ;)
And then we head off to Kawazu to view the waterfalls ..... pictures as below!
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
the pictures u c below was the yummy breakfast we had ..... and if u r wondering why no pictures of dinner ...... errrr ...... we were so excited when we saw the dinner spread that we just "whacked" and forgot all about phototaking until we were almost finished ..... hahahahaha ..... talk about being "gluts" ....... ;p
the ryokan is a hotspring ryokan ..... :)
and for those interested in staying @ ryokans in japan, this is the website which i visit and booked through twice ... so far very reliable ;)
The pictures are taken during our walking trail to view the waterfalls .... the water is super duper clear and cool .... unfortunately it doesn't show.... being a 'city-gal' .... i was quite excited by the waterfalls ....hahahaha . so "swa koo" ah!!
Monday, July 31, 2006
on the way to the airport, was trying to verify with hubbie exactly how many times i have been to tokyo with him ..... and we both are not too sure .... ;p but whatever the case, we concluded that the next trip we should do to down to kyushu region or up to hokkaido ....... hehehe.
in any case, this trip, we went to Ito (via Atami) and spent 2 very lovely days travelling from Tokyo to Atami to Ito to Kawazu to Shuzenji (i think the entire region is called the Izu region) ...... and would you believe it or not, we went "hiking" ..... along a walking trail that led us to view 7 waterfalls .... i shall post the pictures very soon.
i never expected to go to japan to "hike", but it's really a way to see the local life and the places we went, i assure you, not a single "foreigner" around .... cos it's like countryside, fishing villages u know and with lots of onsen (hot springs) ........ we were probably the only foreigners around. and with my super duper limited japanese, we managed to hop on the local bus, order food, find our way around with no trouble/frustrations at all .....excellento!!
i like going out to the countryside of japan ...... very interesting and quiet and serene ..... and the food ........ awesome ..... especially the fresh sashimi ...... it can't get any better ..... :) but of course, some people may find it boring to visit the countryside ...... ;p
thank God hubbie also enjoys exploring places and doesn't mind "walking around" for extended periods ..... hehehe ..... and he enjoyed the waterfalls !! the last time, in kyoto/osaka, we went to a place called Otsu, he didn't like it much .....hehehehe
of course, it's not to say i didn't enjoy the city, this time round, i found out about a "factory outlet mall" 30 mins from tokyo and went there for shopping ...... at least, the prices similar to hong kong prices .....not those amazing japanese price tags that causes one to faint ....hahahaha.
okie okie ... i need to go eat something for lunch ..... will write more soon.
Friday, July 21, 2006
but, there was a period when for consecutive weeks it was juz horrible news about "dangerous food stuffs" -- like fake eggs, fake soya sauce, fake milk, pickled vegetables manufactured in horrible conditions and stuff ..... and as a result, i became rather conscious. and also developed the habit of choosing organic stuff if i can find them and the price is not too steep.
sometimes i think whether i am too paranoid?? afterall, millions others eat the ordinary stuff rite? but sometimes i think, if i can minimize these harmful materials into my body why not ... .. yea ...
and of course, there's also the news of vegetables overloaded with pesticides and chemicals and so i developed the habit of soaking my vegetables for at least an hour or 2 before cooking them! hahahaha .... not juz vegetables, grapes and blueberries too .... cos there's that "whitish wax" coating it rite?? not good for health .....
then, when news subside.........i forget ...... and happily go about my daily living ....
unfortunately, i am reminded once again to be more vigilant as a couple of days ago, there's news of watermelons "injected" with red coloring and other stuff to make it juicy and red..... these watermelons are sold in China .... yikes ....... i think i am not going to eat watermelon in restaurants for now ...... hahahahaha.......
and why did i start writing about dangerous foods??? all becos of the watermelon report .. reminded me that i should be more "mindful" and "alert" ...... nowadays, when i see "foodstuffs" sold along the street here in hong kong, i don't buy, cos i really don't know where they get their stuff from??? there's a lady near my place who occassionally sells [australian frozen abalone] @ a very cheap price -- i have no idea where she gets her [abalone], or who buys from her ..... but everytime i see the frozen packs of abalones stuffed in the carton box and not stored @ the right temperature in this sweltering heat .... cos she obviously is an illegal hawker........ i cringe ... ...... the [abalone] looks bad .....
that's all for now .......
Thursday, July 20, 2006
and of course, they provide the usual stock focus and stuff .......
Monday, July 17, 2006
nowadays -- i a bit lazy to update the blog ....heehee ....... "jialat" ....... anywayz, going up to tokyo next week .... 'look see look see' ;)
with the middle east tension -- the markets are having the time of their lives!! and taking years off mine ??? ........... hahahaha ..... no lah no lah ...... it's ok ....juz exaggerating ... ;) .......
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
i am reminded that i am supposed to be a tropical gal ..... so why am i complaining about the heat, sun and humidity??? hee hee ..... goes to show how adaptable the human species is.......
Monday, July 10, 2006
now, back to "normal" life and another 4 years to the next WC!!! and wonder who will be in the next WC team ...... ??
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
of course, there are the healthier options like fruits and stuff ...... but not the same ah!
anywayz, so sad, spain out!! good thing there's still italy in the going!! go Azzuris!!!
but even as a supporter, i must say that they haven't been performing that well ah ....... hope they win against ukraine!
Thursday, June 22, 2006
- fried chicken wings
- real simple magazine
so "wu(2) liao(2)" ...... hahahahaha ... but heyz, if ever i lose my memory one day, this blog can remind me of "myself" ;)
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
By faith, we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
-- Hebrews 11 :1,3
Thursday, June 15, 2006
and anywayz, who prepays for something 8 years in advance ?? it's quite unimaginable to me .... i mean i am not sure my "interest" will last so long in something u know ..... but, maybe it's juz me ???
now, she's in some dispute over the prepaid sum and suing the instructor for monies back.
come to think of it, the instructor also amazing rite , earn so much teaching latin dancing???
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Have no idea when this finance article was written, but apparently in the 80s???
And i guess, to everyone, what time the clock tells also abit different ..... say u think it's between 3pm-4pm, but 3.01pm and 3.59pm great difference rite!! and some more, this clock, one really doesn't know how long one hour lasts.......hehehehe.
but heyz ..... that's where lots of hardwork and guts can help ???
anywayz, whatever time it is now ...... i juz hope dinner time comes soon ;p
Friday, June 09, 2006
but then, this black rain -- looks like normal rain to me here leh ....... maybe other parts of hkg experiencing heavy downpour .....
but good weather to sleep in ;)
tonite world cup kick-off match!! so looking forward to it.
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
The Grass Is Greener On The Other Side -- isn't that a perennial problem for most people? Why is it so difficult to be content? To enjoy what one is doing without thinking of the alternative possibilities? That maybe, things could be better??
It's strange -- but were we brought up this way?? From young, how many times have we heard parents commented that the children's results could have been better? if only they had not been so careless, so lazy whatever. That so and so child's is doing better. That so and so can play the piano better/run faster/swim better whatever. As as the child grows up and enters adulthood ..... who doesn't desire a "better" job ? a bigger car? bigger apt? at work, thoughts such as so and so is promoted, why not me?? this and that would have fleeted by our minds many times .......
of course, not everyone is affected by such. some frens i know are very firmly rooted and praise God for that!! but such thoughts, the Deceiver knows, is an easy tool to cause one to be distracted and discontented. Everyone has a place and role in today's society. The trouble starts when we try to take another's place and role. Am i getting too cheeem here?? i think so! cos i also not sure what i am talking about now .......
but was reminded once again that so important is this issue, that God had to address it in the bible : Godliness with contentment is great gain. Such an easy statement to read. Such a difficult statement to live out.
I think lots of people are searching for true joy, but in the search, we replace joy with happiness cos we think : if only we could hv this, we could do that, we will be happier.
But happiness is a function of situations, but joy, true joy, is not reliant on our situations. Yes, we want to be happy. but more importantly, i think, it is to have the joy that no one/no situation can take away from us. Even when things are going wrong, not going our way, we can still have joy -- cos true joy is found in God alone and when we go to him with our prayers, needs, sorrows, happiness whatever, He takes it upon his shoulders and lifts us up when we are down. And the realisation that He, who makes heaven and earth, loves us unconditionally.
That one day, we will see Him face to face in heaven. It's a matter of time.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Monday, May 29, 2006
Realised that i did not write about our trip to Kyoto and Osaka last autumn ... the pictures were lovely and thought, it's not too late to share photos with frens!! I really like the Kyoto autumn foliage and the "old city" feel of the place ..... and whilst watching Memoirs of the Geisha, it really brought back memories ...... i like kyoto much!!! ;)
Anywayz -- so because it juz simply wont connect, i probably miss out on lots of action this morning in the sg stock market, what with the announcement of the casino license .... but heyz, a leisurely morning to run errands and spend more time in prayers -- hehehe.
If you are wondering ..... i am a public computer now ...... can't run away from computers can i??
Friday, May 26, 2006
Thursday, May 25, 2006
I am still building it ...... but everyone's welcomed to take a look !
"Am I a God near at hand," says the Lord
"And not a God afar off?
Can anyone hide himself in secret places,
So I shall not see him?" says the Lord;
"Do I not fill heaven and earth?" says the Lord
-- Jeremiah 23 : 23 - 24
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
and of course, i have the italy trip to thank for those additional pounds ..... but seriously, i am not obsessed with my weight ok??!!! i juz vain -- i want to be as slim as i was when i was 17 - that's all. hahahaha, an impossibility ...... considering that i will then have to lose 7-8kgs. i will be happy to lose 3-4 kgs.
But but, it's so difficult cos i love to eat ............. what a dilemma ...... and the amount of exercise i am doing is really insufficient to burn off all the fats ........ i need to exercise some self-control when it comes to eating.
But, it's kind of hard. e.g. i juz love fried chicken wings....... no matter how many horror stories i hear abt hormones being injected through the wing tip to the chicken etc etc, i find it very difficult to resist ....... and so i thought of frying my own chicken wings using hormone-free chickens ...... but alas, the taste ........ juz not the same!!
and, i actually like to eat burgers ....... and sometimes i can hv it twice a week ...... tsk tsk, i can see some heads shaking now ...... mine's shaking too.
and and, i like ice cream ...... i juz got rid of the last trace of ice cream from the freezer, as long as i control myself and not buy more, i should be safe, for the time being......
there are a thousand and one likes of mine, when it comes to eating ...... so it's really kinda difficult to "diet" ...... but, i think, i have no choice now ...... i have to stop eating so much!!!!
of course, i must also think of my health rite!! fancy having all those oily and fried stuff in me ... clogged arteries and all may be a consequence ;p
but we all know ....... the reason why i am fretting now is simple ........ i don't want to look like when i was 15!!!! hehehe.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
but funnie thing is, i always "complain" about having very few friends over for a visit from singapore ........ but when they come, strangely they come ALL together .....
i actually have 3 separate groups of friends/relatives who will be in hong kong @ the same time next week .... but well, better to have them then not!! :)
Monday, May 22, 2006
wonder how DJ will be tonite? and how the market will be tmr? i am beginning to enjoy this volatility ..... in the meantime, i think this is the best time to develop my own trading system/pattern .... ....... and trade the rebound ..... so, pls, don't be lazy weisze!!!! buck up!!!!
Sunday, May 21, 2006
and of course, with the interruptions (remember i went to italy and singapore in april/may, and singapore and bangkok in february), i've been quite laxed and progress has been slow.
earlier on in the year, when the market is on a general uptrend, sometimes purely going with momentum and even luck, is sufficient for me to make quick and small profits
and just prior to my italian trip, i cleared most of positions and am overweight on cash ..... which was a good thing.
however, the past week, being home and looking @ the market correction etc, i just got itchy hands ..... and decided to take up some positions ...... geeeee ....... is that being "stupid" or courageous i really don't know ...... i just know that after i keyed in the order, i wondered y?? hahahahaha. was i possessed? hahahahahah
i didn't sleep very well for 2 nites u know ... thank God, the stocks i chose decided to turn up on friday ...... not that i have alot of money invested ...juz my nature.... i hate losing (of course i know that one can't possibly have winning positions all the time ....... but aiyah, i am like that lor!) positions and managed to exit +vely.
sometimes i wonder if i am suited to be trading....... whilst i enjoy the process ..... i very "kiasi" and conservative u c. ..... which is absolutely a contradiction to what i perceive as a trader's nature ....
but so far, i think it has been a great learning experience for me .... i think i know abit more of myself everyday i trade..... how i think, how i make decisions. and of course, through it all, i've picked some Technical Analysis knowledge and had to "revise" my Financial Analysis knowledge ...... and being the "baby" i am, i know i am far from being .... but i think it's not about how much one knows, it's applying what 1 knows ;)
i am actually looking forward to tomorrow (Monday), to see how markets will go. The volatility is what makes it quite exciting ........
Monday, May 15, 2006
the weather was terribly hot back in singapore ..... gave me a headache. but as usual it was good to catch up with frens and spend time with family.
but a thought came to my mind when i was in singapore ..... somehow...... i don't feel very "belonged" in singapore ..... when i am in singapore, my mentality is that it's for a "short while" -- so i feel like a "tourist" ... not that i see hong kong as my home ...... when i am in hong kong, i wonder when we will leave ...... cos it's not home afterall .....
then i think, so where is it that i look forward to going "home" to???
and a fren of mine, summed it all up, by saying that i am "displaced" ..... hahahaha .... sounds funnie, but may be the truth .....
whatever it is, i shall continue to enjoy the state that i am in ...... cos things may change in future...... and i may not have the opportunity in future ;)
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
I think it will be really nice to stay @ a hotel which overlooks the lake and/or mountains -- very picturesque, tranquil and relaxing.
Of course, staying @ Lake Maggiore is similar ...... but somehow, i prefer Lugano....hehehe.
That's not to discount the beauty of the Italian part of Lake Maggiore ...... it's as lovely as it can be. But you know, sometimes personal preference is difficult to explain ;)
Lugano -- as i mentioned in one of my earlier posts -- is one of my favorite places during this trip. It's not actually in Italy, it's in switzerland.
When we drove into Lugano -- it reminded me of a song which i used to sing when i was a girl guide :
I know a place
Where no one ever goes
There is peace and quiet
Yet beauty and repose
It's hidden in the valley
Besides the moutain stream
and lying there besides the stream
i found that i could dream
Only of things of beauty to the eye
Snow peaked mountains, towering to the sky
now i know, that God has made this place for me
For you, for each and everyone
For me, for you , for each and everyone.
The snow-capped mountained, the lake, the tranquility of Lugano -- makes me want to stay forever ....... hahahaha ........
Monday, May 01, 2006
Venice -- the city on water -- is indeed a very charming place. And during the nite, it's quite enchanting ..... and romantic ;)
the 3 pictures above were taken @ San Marco, actually it is a "flooded" San Marco square -- we had to walk on platforms........ how fun.
In the day - San Marco square is a lively place with lots of people, where one can sip coffee at the various cafes located @ the square, enjoying the sun, clear blue skies and world passing by -- @ cut-throat prices!!!
as for me, i like it better @ nite -- as i enjoy the lights and stillness of the night more.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
one region which i think i will enjoy going back is the Tuscan region -- we visited Pisa and Firenze (otherwise known as Florence in english) this time.
Driving through the countryside and when we were enjoying the view of florence and surrounds (the pictures are of florence from Piazza Michaelangelo), i can imagine the tranquility of the countryside and the homemade delicious tuscan cuisine that one can enjoy as one explores the region.....
o, and Perugia is in the tuscan region -- and it's famous for italian chocolates!!
on a topic other than food, the famous statue of David by Michaelangelo is housed in a museum here in florence -- and i never imagined that i could stand infront of a statue, listening to the explanations of a local guide for almost half an hour and not be bored!!!
he said so many things that i never would hv noticed and he was so passionate about it..... that's one of the reasons why i would recommend a local guide and the advantages of joining a land package by operators such as Globus, Insight etc ....... really gives one the insight and greater appreciation of what one sees. makes a great difference.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
i have a REAL weakness for cookbooks. for that matter, books related to cooking (e.g. can be a food dictionary, or an ingredient book, or cake decorating techniques etc). even though i don't have any use for them ..... i am very very attracted to them. hehehe
and i like buying the cookbooks. in fact, i have a whole collection that i seldom refer to. **paiseh** (paiseh -- means embarassed -- for the non-singaporeans reading my blog. it's a hokkien term.)
no wonder hubbie sometimes "rolls" his eyes when i say i want to buy another cookbook. hehehe. just last sunday, i bought another 2, one relating to chinese soups (and i think i have 2 other already....) and now when i go travelling, the "souvenir" i buy to remind me of my trip are cookbooks.
i picked up one very nice penang cuisine cookbook when i went to malaysia last year and one in thailand this year and of course an italian cookbook.
and i have been eyeing one - Mrs Lee's cookbook which is a collection of nonya dishes -- for a long time now ...... been doing a good job stopping myself from buying every time i return to singapore. not sure if i can exercise the self-restraint again this coming trip back home (am going back next week u c).
wellz wellz, let's see .........
sorrento and capri are indeed very nice places -- the water is crystal blue k!! very very nice. my only complaint was the crowds ..... as u can now tell, i am "crowd-averse" person ..... i like "solitude"....hehehe
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
i love the lemon trees there -- reminds me of the failed lemon seedling which i tried to grow ;)
and there are sooooooooo many of them growing around and those that seem unattended are all so "fruitful" -- makes me sad that my lemon tree didn't make it ;(
and limoncello -- an interesting drink, although i don't really fancy it -- i don't really fancy the taste ... abit strong for me ;) maybe it will grow on me if i try ......
writing about alcohol, i fell in love with Prosecco -- the Italian sparkling white wine. Maybe it was italy, maybe i was in a happy mood -- i like it much better than champagne ;) heehee.
Even when mixed with orange juice to be sort of a cocktail -- it was a very refreshing drink.
i really really like Prosecco. Bought 3 small bottles with us!
On this topic of wine, i prefer Italian white wine. During the 15 days that we were in italy, i think i only had red wine on 2 occasions. they were ok -- but the whites! they were simply delicious! i had it with almost every meal every day. i am not much of a wine connoisseur -- so i don't really remember the vintage or vineyard or types -- simply ordering the house white was good enough most times!
and since i am reminded about my prosecco -- hmmm, maybe i should go hv a drink now.
Sunday, April 23, 2006
honestly, one of the greatest pleasures during our trip is the very very excellent local cuisine that we got to enjoy. so here's more pictures related to the food, or us in action, or the lovely surroundings that totally enhanced our eating experience!! i lurrrrrve italian cuisine :)
Saturday, April 22, 2006
some u pull the rope handle, some u press the button on top of the cistern, some it's a button at the side, some at the bottom of the cistern (when the cistern is mounted quite high), some is a pedal on the floor which u need to step on, some it's mounted on the wall ..... the variations is amazing.
u know, this time we joined a local tour package so we travel in big groups on tour buses and when the drive is long, we take toilet/coffee breaks along the way. and with all the aunties travelling with me, the queue is always long and there's bound to be someone in the queue after one goes to the toilet.
and the ways to flush the toilet occasionally emerge as a conversation topic while we are all in the toilet. hahahaha .....
imagine after a big business, one can't find where to flush and one knows there are many waiting for the cubicle to use......hahahaha .... but of course, we all managed to find it after a while :)
oh -- and the wash basin -- this is something i must write about -- never really happened to me -- but juz in case anyone experiences it. so far, in my whole life, i've seen 2 types of wash basin, one where it is automatic, place one's hands there and the water flows. the other, whereby we need to turn the tap and the tap handles are always prominently infront of us.
anywayz, in italian toilets -- i've seen people placed their hangs under the water tap thinking that the water will flow and it doesn't. and the person sees the next basin functionally perfectly. she goes to the next basin after the first user, places her hands under the tap again and again the water doesn't flow.
and someone says "you'll have to step on it!"
yep, for water to flow, one has to step on a pedal located on the floor! well, not that it doesn't make sense -- i find such a way very handy and convenient. just that it's not what we are used to back home! :) and when one is in the toilet, i supposed one doesn't expect to be "mentally" challenged.
anywayz -- enough of toilets and wash basins ...... i wish i have taken some pictures to share ;)
Friday, April 21, 2006
u know, one of my greatest pleasures is enjoying the local cuisine whenever i go overseas and this trip to italy has really "opened" my eyes in terms of the types of italian cuisine!
there are just so many choices -- not only abt pasta, pizza, foccacia bread!! and the best part is when we go into the different regions, they have different specialties ...... it's really a great time for me, sample all the local cuisines.
unfortunately, being regional cuisine, it does mean that once i leave the region, it's unlikely that i will find the dish -- unlike the common pasta dishes.
hubbie took a liking to the risotto -- risotto i've tried in the past were sometimes too creamy, not that tasty and i hardly eat risotto. but italy has shown me that the italianos are the risotto experts!! surely u must taste it to understand my excitement. the one i found special was risotto cooked in fig leaves -- the risotto was just full of the fragrance of the leaves and it wasn't a creamy risotto .... we found this risotto in sorrento and honestly, didn't see it any where else.
a dish that surprised was beef steak in balsamic vinegar sauce which we ate in florence. when it came, one look at it and i wondered if i was too adventurous! (it was recommended by the waiter who said it was good, so we decided to try!) it was just a piece of steak smothered in a BLACK sauce and the vinegar smell was quite strong. nothing else. and it's really BLACK sauce.
but one mouth of the beef and boy were we won over!! the looks and taste just didn't go. if i can find it on the menu elsewhere, i would have ordered. but alas, it was a florentine dish i suppose!
anywayz, enough of this raving about the food -- it makes me hungry. but also, i think, as you read it, u may not be able to "catch" excitement -- until and unless you have tasted them yourself.
so whatever is written here is just to whet appetite. the next time u visit italy, enjoy the gastronomic affair and don't think too much about putting on weight ;)
Thursday, April 20, 2006
on the contrary -- the city is wonderful, the basilica, sistine chapel and vatican awesome. just can't help feeling that it could have been better :)
and the crowds!! it was really crowded as i think there were lots of student visitors as the schools were having spring breaks. feels like we were jostling with the crowd most of the time. and that's the reason, our tour director tells us that we need to hv our wake-up call @ 630am so that we depart before 8am for our scheduled tours. it was really torturous the first few days -- i don't even wake up this early whilst i was working! plus, i am now not working!! it seems such an unearthly hour to be woken up and whilst we are holiday!! *sigh* but guess we got used to it after a few days and energised ourselves with siestas daily!
much as i think rome can be "cleaner", going to the country side and stuff, it's kinda of different ... and i think it's all a matter of expectations as well -- so sometimes it's really good that we don't set expectations ;p
the funnie part is, the "city" which i really liked (we visited soooooo many places during our 13 day tour) and enjoyed much is Lugano -- a Swiss city !!! -- it was part of our itinerary on our way to lake Maggiore as it's @ the swiss/italian border. when we got off at lugano -- i really could see that the place was clean, and neat and heehee -- much like singapore!! and i liked it immediately ;) guess i have my singaporean DNA deeply ingrained ....... hahahaha.
i am having some problems posting the pics -- but here's one of the nite scene in rome and hubbie did a great job i think! i particularly like the "ominous" looking sky :)
till the next time, Ciao!
and maybe God knew we will be very tired, so blessed us with an upgrade to business class on the flite the Roma and we will well-rested and ready to go when we touched down!! hehehe
anywayz, just some pictures to share . . . .
hubbie and fren -- this is their annual "pilgrimage"
hubbie bought these headgear specially for te event!
the sexy gals again .....
like i said before, u don't hv to understand rugby or enjoy watching it to enjoy the 7s. seriously. i mean, i was there the full 2.5 days! and i think we'll be back next yr if we can get tickets. ;)
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
after 2+ years in hong kong, i think i have forgotten what clear blue sky looks like!! :( no kidding. on the day that we returned, the first thing i noticed when the airport express train took off was that i couldn't see the sky at all in Hong Kong! it was depressing ..... but we rationalise, it was probably a foggy day..... hehehe.
and the second depressing thing is of course the weight that i've gained from 2 weeks of over-eating!! but i can't help it -- the food was excellento! like i tell hubbie, there's one sickness he knows that i can't possibly suffer from (not now, not in future) -- anorexia ! i shall post some food pictures later on -- as i don't hv the pictures, they are with hubbie who's in shanghai now.
anywayz, have you seen a white peacock before? i haven't until this trip to italy.
this beauty we saw in Lake Maggiore (near lake como) and it was living on Borromeo Island
(which houses the very very impressive Borromeo palace which has 100+ rooms! and the impressive thing is , the Borromeo's still use it today as their summer getaway or something. i think it was built in the 1800s ....... and today i think they have less than 10 in the entire borromeo clan ... i shall not go on, the "envy" is building up again!!!)
will write more about the places we visit later on ...... now time for siesta! (i can't help it, after 2 weeks of daily siesta, i think i have gotten used to the idea :P)
Monday, March 27, 2006
but before that, hubbie finally got 2 tickets to this year's rugby sevens here in hongkong, so it will be 3 days of rugby (fri to sun) and then, we fly off on Sunday nite to rome . . . . :)
looking forward and will certainly post pictures when they are ready......
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
before my trips to japan, i always "underestimate" the amount of cash (local currency) i may need -- that is a form of self-deception i know! but give me some credit - - i am trying to control my budget!!
anywayz - many a times my Yen is running low, it's the weekend, banks are closed, i look for an ATM and it's sickening but the ATMs i am able to find usually only accept locally-issued cards ! panic. panic. atm after atm, whether its located in a mall, or outside a branch, i couldn't access.
i am sure there are ATMs that accept international credit/debit cards in japan -- how can not be ?? - i juz need to know where!!!!!!!?????
to save you the grief next time you are in this same situation as me in Japan -- look for the General Post Office -- there's usually one located next to major train stations. ATMs accepting international credit/debit cards are located WITHIN the Post Office.
i was so glad i "knew" the trick during my last trip to kyoto and osaka -- cos we really ran out of cash on our 2nd day there.... hahahaha . . . . .
Monday, February 13, 2006
only downside was that part of the trail was quite "steep" -- and a sign of aging is my hurting knees when going downslop!!! ;(
haven't received the photos we took for this walk . . . but thought i shall post pictures of our last walk here just for fun. u will be amazed that this is Hong Kong . . . . such lovely outdoors!!