Monday 24 January 2011

Paris, boulevard des boulevers├ęs

Oh dear, suddenly remembering this blog that I so lovingly created 4 years ago and coldheartedly neglected once its novelty wore off, I feel like Urashima Taro coming back after what seems like mere weeks that magnified into months! :P :P

For that, I have Paris to blame - for giving me so many splendid reasons and occasions to be away from my PC in the more than 8 months since I landed! That includes the reacquisition of a kitchen to call my own (revival of food posts!!!!), traipses through countless museums and quaint cobblestoned streets with Boy Scout, a newfangled social life, and err - how do I put this nicely? - a spineless cave-in to that social network I so vehemently rejected for years, arrrgh!!!!

Paris made me do it.

I would never have had to eat my vinegared words if I didn't give myself just 3 weeks between the end of my holiday in Japan and my move to Paris and then predictably run out of catch-up time during my last few weeks in Singapore with existing and reappearing old friends. :P

Nevertheless, despite the axe falling on my insouciant tax-free existence, I love Paris!!! I cannot understand how in the world Parisians earned their surly reputation because I find people here simply pleasant and helpful!

And that has made me want to emulate them by helping the lost tourist with his dog-eared map or the flummoxed French lass trying to decipher Asian ingredients in the ethnic supermarkets, in fact, I'm flattered to be asked for help if that makes me look like I've lived here long enough ! :)

More to come...

Tuesday 27 April 2010

Bar None

The unthinkable has happened... ;-)

Two years ago, when I'd packed my bags for Singapore, before Boy Scout trooped deftly into the picture, I was dead certain that it was for good!

With a nascent nous to deal with across continents and without the foggiest idea where it would take off, never in my wildest dreams would I have foreseen the combination of circumstances that has seen me packing my boxes over the past few weeks to move to... PARIS!

Paris was a constant wonder to me at each turn during past day trips from Lille, but the thought of living there seemed intimidating and therefore never lingered in my mind, mainly due to the third-hand horror stories I'd heard about the sky-high rents, stressful pace of life, minuscule living spaces and rude people. But then I realised, the same can safely be said of Singapore!!! So what's the problem??? :)

How could I fret now that I'll soon be living just some subway stations away from the bar that inspired it all? ;-)

The iconic Frog & Rosbif bar, which I'd heard of even before my first visit to France, which preceded even any ability on my part to speak French, and which I'd continue to hear about from various foreign persons living here, who would return over the years for an "Inseine" choice of beers, haha:

So, now I have a new set of sniffy goodbyes to say - to my mom and relatives I'd started to bond with, to new friends I have made, to friends who'd been there all along, to "lost" friends that I'd managed to track down through sheer luck and perseverance (and I'm not even on Facebook!), and most of all, to a region I have come to love dearly, which I had greatly misunderstood in my youthful ignorance.

Oh yes, and to my favourite bars:

No. 5 Emerald Hill, where I've sipped many a glass from the time I was of legal drinking age and where I've probably had a drink with EVERY SINGLE ONE of my friends who drink, heh heh!

Raffles Hotel's Long Bar, where I only go with foreign visitors, ie, tourists.

Rupee Room, even though they have a cover charge and an attitude...

Khazana, whose band is great, but whose patrons aren't exactly in my age group!

Mr Punch, a late discovery! Decent prices and music soft enough that nattering is possible, but loud enough to not be eavesdropped on :)

(There are tons more of which I do not have photos :( )

But the most painful part of it all has to be the timing, damn!

A little more than a month ago, just before I'd left to visit my sister in Osaka, I'd decided to purchase my ticket to Paris, opting for Thai Airways so that I could stop over for a week in Bangkok and catch a connecting flight to Paris. What a difference a month makes!

Now see what has happened to my beloved Bangkok! :( :( Not one to be easily daunted, unfortunately, the prospect of going there for a week and not being able to take the public transport to go to my favourite places and getting trapped in my hotel room did not make sense to me. To think that over the past few months, knowing I would be moving to Paris and deciding to do so via Bangkok, I had dedicated hours and hours to attempting to recognise Thai characters and memorising Thai words and phrases I was hoping to use and had bookmarked zillions of sites with info on the places I planned to see... sigh sigh sigh...

So now all I have are photos from past trips, particularly one from the infamous Patpong by day, of bars I did not go to, and probably won't consider:

Wednesday 14 April 2010

Hanami season

Byodoin Temple, Kyoto

This is not a postcard. This is not a postcard. :)

Gotta love those ephemeral cherry blossoms, I'm just grateful I made it to Japan at the right time!

Sunday 25 October 2009

Behold Youkali

Datai Bay, Langkawi

I might never succeed in surpassing this holiday experience!

Sunday 2 August 2009

Monkey attack!

On my most recent trip - to Bali - I underestimated the lure of a simple plastic bag containing postcards and stamps!

This took place in Ubud. My hotel was just mere paces away from Jalan Monkey Forest, and disregarding the advice of my dear pal S, I climbed up a short flight of stairs to get a better look at the little monkeys, and was tempted to stroke some of them, but after getting pounced at and gradually surrounded in the assumption I came in peace with edible supplies, ulp, I had to make a slow and tactful retreat...

Tuesday 30 June 2009

Gasping for breath

Outrageous! Did a very eventful half-year just whoosh by without my being able to exhale???

Granted, barely 8 hours into the new year, I'd set off on a 9-day impromptu shoestring adventure to Krabi by land with a long-lost gal pal and survived one of the most harrowing bus rides in my life, to be greeted by a welcome pile of work upon my return to terra firma (anything is firmer than the land upon which the scary Krabi bus trundled!), before getting ready for a long-awaited never-long-enough visit from Boy Scout, before holing up for weeks on end to plough through yet another dense pile of work, before scurrying off for 2 whole months to see my son (and Boy Scout) in Lille, before returning to Singapore again to find my sister, brother-in-law and precocious little nephew who were visiting from Japan, before succumbing to the lure of another budget (not!) trek to Bali just 2 weeks ago.

Whew! That made for some decent blogging fodder, or at least a slideshow, but if I had 48 hours in a day at my disposal, all this would have already been old news here! And this doesn't even include everything that happened LAST YEAR!! I don't even know how to backtrack anymore but I am determined to post all the nice photos I took, and soon!! :)

I'll sign off for now with a colourful pretty picture I took in Bali that ruffled my feathers but I had to take it anyway.