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!