rome – day 4

the food:

  • breakfast : scrambled egg, a piece of white, hard and tasteless bread, a cup of tea.
  • lunch: none.
  • afternoon tea: a cup of hot chocolate (any guess what my favourite hot drink is?)
  • dinner: back the the chinese restaurant from the first day. shared a plate of plain rice, vegies in oyster sauce (why is it that everything always has oyster sauce in chinese restaurant?) and squid on hot plate with MOH. had an order of sashimi.

what we did:

  • colosseo, baby!!!!!
    and today wasn’t just a few-seconds glance from a bus experience. today, we actually went inside the colosseum. rock ‘n roll!

    i wish i could explain what is what and the story and all that but i really can’t. so i’ll just post some pictures. we had a guide but honestly, i’m just not interested in ancient history.   
    i’m not sure what things are but i’m thinking it’s the part underneath the ground level.
    this is from the ground level.
    still on the ground level
    i took this from upstairs.
    look at the part between the arrows. i’m totally fascinated by how the colours from the building behind look like one of those fake backgrounds at photo studios.


    look at how tiny the cat is.


    i was there!

flight attendants

14 flights in two weeks. here’s one of my many, many, many observations on air travel.

frankfurt – singapore flight (i was going to write the nationality of the flight attendant but is that racist?)
me: could you help me put this up? (pointing to  my carry-on luggage that i wanted to place on the overhead compartment)
flight attendant: smiled a sweet smile and nodded.
me: (started lifting my luggage. looking expectantly at her but got no reaction. ended up doing it myself. curses, curses, curses).

makassar – jakarta flight
me: (didn’t say anything because it was my first flight of the day and was still full of energy. didn’t need any help to lift a 9 kilo luggage.)
flight attendant: (reached out automatically and helped without being asked.)
me: (very impressed.)

oslo-ålesund flight
me: so i have to put everything on the overhead compartment? (emergency exit seat)
flight attendant: yes.
me: (placing my handbag.)
flight attendant: you want this (pointing to my mini suitcase) up here (pointing to an empty space on the overhead compartment)?
me: yes. (started lifting it by the handle)
flight attendant: (grabbed the other side of the suitcase and helped.)

indonesian flight attendants win hands down 🙂

london – 02.09.10

did the touristy thing today. big ben, london eye and buckingham palace.


(check out that crazy guy in the middle of the road.)

i wasn’t into the seeing things, i was desperate to get to chinatown to go to the asian supermarkets. we managed to find our way to chinatown on foot. oh, on the way there, there was a girl who walked in front of us and she tripped on her own feet! and she fell. by fell i mean she hit the asphalt hard and ended up sitting on awkward position. i was totally shocked and it took me a few seconds to compose myself before i could reached out and said ‘are you okay’ to her. afterwards i thought, what a stupid question. the woman just fell on her bum on a city street, obviously she wasn’t okay.

anyway. got to chinatown. went to the first supermarket we found and went crazy. cheap stuffs. lots of different things from different asian countries. about three times the size of the little asian shop we have in ålesund. i had to really restrain myself from buying too much things. it was kinda heartbreaking not being able to buy more but i was thinking about how we would take them home to ålesund so i didn’t buy too much stuffs.

figured out that the china town is at the same area with the theatre we were at to see mamma mia! the day before.

we had yum cha for lunch. last time i had yum cha was when we went home to indo uhh… three years ago?

we then walked through st james park to buckingham palace. didn’t take any picture but i’m not really a monarchy kinda person. of course if prince william was there giving every female a peck on the cheek it would be another story altogether. i know, harry is better looking now but i used to daydream about prince william back when i was still in my white-and-red uniform. it went on to early days of white-and-grey uniform. but no, no prince giving out free peck on the cheek so we saw and left.

after we got back to the hotel, we went out to this asian supermarket nearby bayswater underground station, about 10 minutes walk from our hotel. again, try to buy not too much. again, heartbreaking


look, i found pei pa koa. would’ve bought more of it if the bottle wasn’t so heavy. bought indomie goreng too.

for dinner we wanted korean. MOH and i love korean food and i can’t even begin to tell you how much i love kimchi. we had a map and list of korean restaurants given to us by the concierge at our hotel and armed with that, we went looking for some korean food.

we got to our first choice but it turned the restaurant was no longer korean, it was now japanese. what a disappointment. so we continue our search and finally found one. the food was good though not as good as that restaurant at queen street mall in brissie. quite pricey too but we’ve been so deprived of korean food, we didn’t really care. and this is london, after all. but. we didn’t get any banchan. isn’t that the norm at korean restaurants? you get the banchan for free? part of the deal, no? anyway, at this place, you have to order the banchan and pay for them. dang. we used to ask forfree  refill back in brisbane. as much as we liked. goodness me. so we ordered kimchi and the bean sprouts thingy.

 

that’s all for today.

london – 01.09.10

30 years old and celebrating in style, baby!!!

off to madame tussauds first thing in the morning to avoid the queue. we were there very early, sometimes before 10, but when we got in, it was already packed. so packed in fact that it was difficult to see the figures.

some of those figures are scarily spot on while other are a bit… meeeeh. with all the people in there, i got a bit confused at times over which were real humans and which were the wax figures. seriously.

took a lot of photos of MOH but this one is my favourite.

this is the only clear pic of me. i married a man who can’t take a clear picture. tragic.

(i look pregnant, i know. forgot the belt. but now that we’ve established that i’m horrendously fat, let’s just focus on the wax figure i was standing next to. i mean,  hello, sexy!)

i just want to say this to anybody who hasn’t been to the scary part of the madame tussauds. can’t remember the name but it’s the part with real people. the part with real people who hide themselves. the part with real people who hide themselves and then come out of the blue screaming at you. the part with real people who hide themselves and then come out of the blue screaming at you making you jump out of freight and set your heart racing. oh, and they were in costumes complete with scary make-up. unless you love being scared half to death, do not go near that area. i walked with my  head down, screamed like  a mad woman and sweated like i just ran a marathon. phew.

had lunch at a pub after madam tussauds. the worst meal i had while i was in london. i had vegie sausages and mashed potatoes with brown gravy. the sausages were choked full of herb, it was unpeasant. the mashed was microwaved and absolutely tasteless, and the gravy was from a box. gross.

went back to the hotel to get ready for the most exciting part of the trip.

mamma mia!!!!!!!!!!!

mamma mia was awesome. fabulous. amazing. fantastic. i can’t put it into words, it was that good. the theatre was super warm though and i had tights, jumper and boots on. but that has nothing to do with the show itself. which was great. i’m telling you, it was great!

it was so much fun and the performers did such wonderful job. there were a few standouts for me, the ladies who played the mum and her friends, and one of the daughter’s best friends. i could not take my eyes off her because she was such an amazing dancer. obviously they all could dance but that girl was so, so, so incredibly good.

at the end we all got up and sang along to two songs. i might or might not have did a little bit of screaming at that point.

back to the hotel for dinner, yesterday’s takeaway sushi.

it was a nice way to celebrate turning 30. i was less depressed as i would’ve been otherwise.

london – 31.08.10

our hotel was practically next door to the lancaster gate underground station so that was great. on our first full day in london, we took the underground to bond street station (two stops away) because i wanted to walk along oxford street.

the underground in london might be smelly and hot and are always full, but i love how effective they are. we made our way around london using them. all you need is an oyster card which you can top up as you go and a map of the underground and you’re good to go.

the first shop we went to was hmv. i haven’t been to hmv since i left brisbane! three storeys with books, dvd’s and cd’s. holy moly. we went around going, ‘i want that, i want that, i want that’. we decided not to buy anything until the last day even though a lot of things were on sale befause i thought, what happened if we see something cheaper somewhere else.

after that we kinda just walked along oxford street. we went to marks & spencer and bought time out. i love time out. lovelovelove. again, years since i last had one. and then for lunch, we had sushi.

we had sushi for lunch.

i’ll say it again, sushi for lunch.

…..

about 5NOK for a piece of sushi. we ate heaps and then bought two boxes to take back to the hotel. what? it’s been a long time since we last walked into a place that sells sushi, ok. we live in a village!


here are the boxes that we bought and took back to the hotel. we ate about the same amount for lunch. the small box was bought from tesco. baaaaaad sushi.

and then… and then i found starbucks. now starbucks and sushi, that was like the old days. i always had sushi and starbucks in brisbane. so i had my first frappuccino since 2004. we could’ve gone back to ålesund after that and i’d be happy enough. after sushi and starbucks, i felt like… missions accompalished.


(yes, we had to pay for the sachets of soy sauce and wasabi. to think that i used to grabbed as many sachets as i wanted when i had takeaway sushi and didn’t have to pay a cent for them. is this common practice these days?)

went back to the hotel and asked the concierge where the nearest tesco was because i was on the mission to find tim tam and according to the internet, you can get them at tescos.

the concierge was super chatty. we must’ve been there talking to him for at least half-an-hour. got to tesco, didn’t find tim tams but found amazingly cheap alcohols. they were amazingly cheap.

for dinner, we made it to the japanese nooodles place. MOH tasted asahi beer for the first time and became a fan. the food was good, came in huge portion. we did manage to finish our food though. can’t remember how much we paid and can’t find the receipt probably under £25. two drinks, two main meals and an appetizer.

that was that for that day.

london – 30.08.10

on the way to the airport, right before the tunnel, we came to a dead stop. the tunnel was closed. the tunnel, which we had to drive through to get to the airport, was closed! we sat in the car, not moving (engine off and all) for what must’ve been around half-an-hour. i kept checking the time, getting more and more nervous by the time because what the heck were we going to do if we missed our flight?????

we made it to the airport okay. got to oslo okay. shopped at duty free then proceeded to our gate. i got my passport stamped. woo hoo!!! travelling within europe is so boring, you hardly ever get through immigration so your passport very rarely get stamped (or even checked at all) but uk is not part of schengen so i got a stamp on my passport.

and speaking about going through immigration… once we landed in london, we were at the immigration and when the officer saw my passport, asked me if i’ve filled this form which i guess is kinda like arrival card you fill when travelling to indo. the stupid thing is, when you fly to indo, they hand out the forms during the flight and this was not done on the london flight. so i had to take the form from the immigration officer and filled it up quickly then waited again. stupid, i tell you.

anyhow. no problem through immigration. got our luggage, found the heathrow express and off we went to the city. the stop was at paddington station which was a five-minutes walk from our hotel.

the hotel was nice. but. it didn’t exactly cater for super tall scandinavian. the bed was kinda short that even i had my feet dangling a few cm off the bed when i slept. and the bathroom was itsy bitsy. still nice though.

after relaxing for a bit, we had a shower then went out for dinner. we were going to go to this japanese restaurant found on one of our guidebooks but it turned out to be too long of a way so about 1/3 of a way (or maybe 1/4), we turned around. we must’ve walked around 45 minutes and it was super crowded even though it was after 9pm. i think it was the bank holiday.

so we turned back to the hotel and luckily for us, there was a indian restaurant across the street from our hotel. we paid around £17 for a seafood dish, a vegie dish, one serving of rice, a beer and a bitter lemon. we were stuffed silly. for that amount of money, we wouldn’t even get two burgers in ålesund. oh, joy.

we went back to the hotel to sleep.

after the holiday

london – AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

while i probably would go crazy if i had to take the warm and stinky underground every day, i wouldn’t mind living a few hours drive away from london so i could visit it frequently. that would be soooooo good.

i had the greatest time. and i did fun stuffs for my birthday.

16 extra kilos of baggage later, we came home.

home on saturday, worked on monday. and this week, i worked 53 hours. talk about crashing back to reality.

i will write about our days in london. which reminds me, still haven’t finished writing about the rome holiday. i’m such a slacker.

i’ll be working 53 hours again next week so we’ll see how things go.

here’s a picture taken from behind our hotel room’s window. sunset over london.

oh, how i miss london.

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