Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Good time passed by so fast... However, I am still looking forward to the New Year's Eve. It will be fun for me I am sure :)
Time sure passed you by when you wake up around 11am and get back home around 19:00 I guess...
The weather sure is strange... It is getting a bit warmer tonight. I wondered how it will be tomorrow...
Sunday, December 28, 2008
I started to notice my symptom yesterday. After waking up way too early with the symptom worsen, I decided to go to the hospital. I must say I love my job. Because the health insurance I have through my work can be use at private hospital. I have got another set of those horse pill, Augmentin, again.
I feels a bit better, after two pills, I hope it will clear up before the New Year's Eve time :)
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
I like having time off from work. Although it can be a bit nerve racking because I usually do not have any plans. I do not have a lot of friend to keep me entertained. And I do not have the desire to shop much... I am planning for another expensive trip after all. Besides, I mostly shopped for clothes anyway. I did noticed lately though that I have been checking work shirts a lot more than I used to. I suppose it is because I now have to wear shirt to work. This change of happen made me feels unsettled, I am not sure what to think of this.
I really need a hair cut though... My French friend call me today, saying he just arrive in BKK. No, he did not ask to meet, saying he was tired. I certainly understand that. He will be away to an island in the Andaman side of Thailand in a couple of days. Hopefully we will be able to see each other. I have not seen him for a couple of years now.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
The tree was about 20% full before I had a go at it. The star on the top is already there and I quite like it. The 'theme' that I aimed for was 'Gold and Silver'
Hence, the glitter gold and silver ornaments.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
What happen today and yesterday was not directly related to the first paragraph, only slightly. I asked my boss, the office manager, last week that I would like to buy Christmas decorating stuffs for the office. Especially for our Christmas tree. My boss approve of the idea, so I spend Wednesday (our public holiday) shopping for the decors at 2 superstores and one department store. I bought banners, tinsels, ornaments, Christmas lights, streamers, etc. I felt a rush of accomplishment while I shopped for these items. Perhaps knowing that I did well, I gets to shop, and I will claim the expense later :P
I spend the first half of my workday put up all the decorations. I began with the Christmas tree by put up all the ornaments and light strings. I have bought some very beautiful gold and silver glittered wrought ornaments, clapped on holly branches, red and golden Christmas flowers, blue ornaments with gold threads, and another set of golden and silver glittered wrought ornaments. I also braided 3 tinsels together to make them more eye catching to hang in front of the counter.
Then, I waited for one of the teacher who said that she would like shop for the office decor as well to come to the office so we can go buy more stuff. However, after she arrived, she said she had a lot to do so she won't accompany me. Which turns out to be for the best, since the nearby superstore did not have the cheap tinsels that I wants to buy. So I hopped on the motorcycle bike and went to another superstore that has them. This is also good because the second store also have a lot of streamers and banners to choose from.
In total I spent about 1,700 baht to decorate the whole office area. I got some compliments for the rest of the staff :) The boss is also pleased, which is perhaps the most important :P
Monday, December 08, 2008
Too bad that the original version of this MV seems to be long gone. This is the karaoke version, hence the big letters. This is one of the saddest song that you can felt without understanding the language (I think)
About my big purchase, I just spend 4,190 baht on a warm shower machine. For those of you who was wondering what does it do, it just do as the name said. It warm the water for your to shower. Why do I need such machine in tropical country of Thailand? Because it can get rather cold here and my old one did not have enough power to warm the water up. This new one is really great.
I must say I enjoy my shower more than before, because of the warm shower with 5 adjustable levels shower head :)
Friday, December 05, 2008
I did not take this photo, I tried with my mobile phone but I don't think it would work :) The news said this is because of Jupiter and Venus are at the right angle, along with the crescent moon. It could only be seen in early evening around 19:00 onward. It was certainly cute :)
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
As it turns out, the government also waiting for the outcome of the contitution court regarding the potilical parties disband for forgery. The ruling came out yesterday in favor of disbanding three political parties, including the one that PM belongs to. Therefore, this oust him from the PM post. The anti-government mob is happy, though it seem that they siege the airport for nothing.
This siege damage Thailand on many aspect whether it's the confidents, toursim, shipping, etc. not to mention how many of my friends are due to visit Thailand in December. Hopefully the airport will be operating soon and never ever happen again.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
This is probably the fourth times I have to buy this thing. Nothing is wrong with the headphones itself, but you can't use it for anything else because it was so short. At first I was resigned myself to the prospect of having to spend another 500 baht on a rather necessary accessory for the phone that I am planning to replace in 3-4 months. But a quick search on the net and I found some cheaper options from other shops.
*sigh* I am looking forward to not spending money replacing this darn thing when I switch the phone.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
The shoes in question, is my work shoes. I current work shoes is of the brand 'Stonesheep'. I first buy it, partly because my younger brother said it is a good brand with good cushion. I tried it and it was nice so I buy it (at sales of course).
Presently, somehow my left foot create a hole in the cushion. The company refuse to replace it, saying that they will have to take them apart to replace it. I was told this after they have the shoes for two and half months for repair. Needless to say I will not be buying this brand anymore.
I am tempted to buy the Hush Puppy brand but it very expensive, even after the sales, which will end on November 23rd. I prefer the shoes with soft cushion, heels, maybe a little decor and most importantly, easy and fast repaired process.
I am tempted to buy Taywin brand again, it was my first dress shoes I ever had, which I got it when I enter university. But even Taywin brand is not that cheap either... The Stonesheep shoes that I bought was about 1,200 baht. The ones that I like from both brands are way more expensive... I should also added that I do not like them That much. Otherwise this decision will be a lot easier...
My cheapest option is to buy another cushion pad to replace the one I am using and already tored it at the same spot... I do not like this option because it make the shoes felt too snug fit for my taste. I still have a few days to decide at least. If not I am sure there will be planty of sales events in December.
Although I am still quite happy with my w810i, I am itching for a newer mobile phone. I am not resigned to the fact that my next phone will not be Sony Ericcson w902, which was panned as overpriced and underperformed. I am still deciding between Motorola ZN5 and Nokia 5800 Xpress Music. ZN5 have better camera and perhaps sounds but 5800 have better designs, has touchscreen, and video record capability.
There are still time to decide on this, obviously it will be next year before I made the purchase. Hopefully the price will drop some more or newer models will be released.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
What trigger this trip based solely on my current employment situation. The very fact that, British Council is my employer. Which entitled me to have many leave days, the office is close by that I have no transportation cost, and that I now have a bonus (for the first times in my life), allowed me to even start thinking about traveling.
My initial thoughts was that I should start in London, since Grace and CA was there, in addition to the fact that my employment should help with the visa application (which it seems to do the trick). I also think that with UK visa, which is said to be difficult to get, it should help with my future trip as well, as far as visa application goes.
I finally made the trip and my thought had changed from nonchalant attitude "I just wanna go there just to have UK visa stamp in my passport" to "I think I will go back there one day". I did had a nice time during my stay and I felt like I would do better next times. Like go out more, see more places and meet new people. I did not do much in the last part...
While I was in London, it felt like I could actually live there. Of course that was just an illusion, since I am not sure how I can cope with the winter. I already wore thick t-shirt and jeans in their summer! Not to mention the lack of washing hose in the toilet. I still do not understand why it is not popular. They can do it in Doha, with warm water even!!
The real kick in the nuts, however, is the currency rate. The pound has became so weak that today it is about 55 baht per pound, 11 baht cheaper than when I made the trip :~(. I am still unable to sell my pound yet with this rate :(.
I must say again that I am very happy with choice of lodging. You can find the place at this link http://www.gaytoz.com/oval/oval.asp. He was a gracious and generous host and I will be using his place again, if I still have not find someone whom I can stay with for free :p
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
The flight was, again, uneventful. Except when it was time for the morning meal. They ran out of chicken pasta set so I have to settle for the beef musamun (a Thai food) instead. Had I not accept to change my seat, which was more toward the middle of the plane, I would have had the pasta... This is what I got for being nice to strangers :(.
The landing and the entry went smoothly. The taxi ride home was smooth, but I was horrified by the fare. It was about 300s baht excluding the 50 baht charge.
I arrived home safely in the morning, unpack, shower, and get back to my own routine.
Retrospect post will come later.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
So today's plan was to visit St. Paul Cathedral, Tower of London, meet my German friend and dinner at Grace's. St. Paul was added to the trip after I was told by CA how gorgeous the view from the top dome was. I had checked the website and found that there will be almost 11 pounds entrance fees. I asked the B&B owner about this and he said it probably just the for top dome.
I finally arrive at the near by tube station. The surrounding area was nice, the public toilets was quite nice too :P
Needless to say I was appalled when I enter the cathedral that the entrance fee was for the whole deal. So I just glance around from the entrances for a little while before heading off to my next destination, the Tower of London.
I called Grace earlier asking where I can buy some English toffee, as my choice of souvenir for the office colleagues. She recommended Tower of London's souvenir shop for it. But when I actually saw the items, I was not happy. They were rather small paper packages with the pattern of London's 2 decks bus. So I decided to call B&B owner, asking him to buy some English toffee for me.
Then I went to the ticket booth, pay for my ticket, and went to the entrance. I was lucky that I was just in time for the Yeoman Warder tour.
The tour was both informative and very entertaining laced with the self-depreciated comedy that the British are known for. I am highly recommended the tour if you planned to visit the Tower.
The tour was not long, only about 30 minutes, it was free after all. It ended in the small chapel which hundred of bodies were buried underneath. I went on to take a look inside the white tower, the crown jewels, and the souvenir shop (of course :P).
I even went for the food in the canteen area. I made a horrible mistake of chosen salmon dish, without realizing it was a cold dish. I still have to try to finish it all, it was almost 10 pounds... Then I made up for that with a piece of chocolate cake. Which helps a bit.
My German friend then text me wanted to know when I could meet him. I gave him the time, about 1 hour so have a bit more time to see more of the tower. I finally ended up in the royal bedroom before it was time for me to leave.
I went to wait for my friend at Tower tube station. During that time I text B&B owner asking him how much the toffee was. His reply? It's free, a gift from him and his boyfriend :) I wait for about 20 minutes before my friend text me again which said that he had arrive near the Tower souvenir shop. I hurried back to the souvenir shop and found my friend waiting by his bike.
After chatting a bit, I told him that I have another appointment at my friend's house. He asked where that is, I told him, he said it would be near by on the bike, and off we went.
It was a nice change of pace to see London on a motorbike. We went to a park, it has a small park with toilet building near by. My friend informed me that it used to be very busy cruising spot until it was shutdown. We then proceed to the park, sitting on the bench and talk. I did not, however, commented on how his black shirt got cat hairs all over.
We catching up on things, talk about life and so on. It has been a really long times since we last saw each other. We talked for more than an hour and yet we kept on talking. Until it was almost time to meet Grace.
When the time came we walked back to the bike and he took me to the meeting spot, Shadwell tube station. It took her a since she arrived on foot which gave me some more time to talk with my German friend.
Grace finally arrive and I bid farewell to my friend. She lived not far away from the station. She live on the first floor of an apartment building. It has a large garden as well, which I think it's actually bigger than the apartment itself. I catch up with Grace a bit as well as her hubby. She then retreat to the kitchen to cook me dinner and sent me and the hubby to the garden table.
The meal was bolognese spaghetti with meatballs, broccoli, and mushroom. It was good, she even pack some as my breakfast :) It was almost 21:00 before we finish the meal. Soon after, Grace's hubby walked me back to the tube station to go back to the B&B.
Back at the B&B it was after 21:00, so I hurriedly take a shower, get dress in my best shirt, spray some cologne. Then I came downstairs and talk to the B&B a bit, thanking him about the gift and paid my fee since I will leave early in the morning.
Then CA text me to say that he won't be able to make it because his plan did not turn out the way he thought. That left me kinda bump, but with some thinking on my feet, I decided to offer for him to come visit me at the B&B instead. So I text him with that message, he did not reply. I wait for about 10 minutes before I decided to call him. He said he was in a far part of the city which would still took him quite a long time to reach me. He added that he did not wants to be out too late and forced to use taxi because they are very expensive.
To make it short, he did not come, and I lost my interest in going out by then. So I just hang out in the living room with the B&B owner and his boyfriend. The owner teased me that I whine and moan about not getting laid and yet I spend my last night in London, Saturday night no less, not going out.
In the end I hang out with them until around midnight then go back to my room, pack most of my stuff, take a shower and go to bed.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Still unable to find the right souvenirs, I consult the B&B owner. He suggested that I should went to Camden Market. He said it is an interesting market place and lots to see. So I did went and was not disappointed.
It reminded me of Chathuchak market in Bangkok, though Camden Market is lot more open and spread out over the blocks. There were some area that sell clothes, which looks curiously similar to those that sell in MBK. There were also many shops that sell marijuana paraphernalia. Many of which display them in the front area, before the more common souvenir like key chains :P
There is a souvenir cart shop just across the street from the tube station. After scouting several places, this shop have the cheapest price. I mulled over whether I should buy the key chains for all the Thai staffs in my office or not. Though it was not That expensive, they still looks rather touristy and not that interesting. In the end I only buy one for the office maid and a few for myself and my mom.
There were also a few boots shop that Ursula would love to get (she confirmed this since I already emailed her the photos ;)
Then I walked to the perhaps the main market area which used to be stable building. There were quite a few cloth shops, craft shops, even Goth-Loli cloth shop, none of which really caught my eyes.
There were also some open space area along the river. There was also a water gate which the ferry must use.
There was this one shop that sell cyberpunk style stuffs that looks great. Even the staff seems to be genuine punks themselves. The clothes are cyberpunk style while the whole shop was flooded with black-light. There was one shirts that I was quite fond of but at about 25 pounds... It was too expensive for me.
There were several food stalls, few of which were Chinese style noodle and various sauce toppings to choose from. The noodle was chicken noodle, which I guess it was similar taste to the fried chicken leg sticks. I choose seafood sauce topping which seems to have fake squid and shrimp. It was slightly awkward eating with the plastic forks but I managed.
One of the main building was a horse stable. Come to think of it... I think the whole area used to be horse stable.
There was also one stall that sell authentic English toffee. Too bad that they did not offer any samples... Otherwise I might have bought some.
There was an area with beautiful carvings. The details were amazing
After having enough of walking around, I hop on the tube to Tottenham Court station again to do another GPS scouting. I also went to British Museum again and found a section that I missed the last times. And here are what I have found :)
Then I went back to the B&B to clean up and get ready to meet CA. We meet at a gay bar in Old Compton Street. The place was packed and people were standing everywhere with drinks in their hands. We meet and chat for a while until his friends arrived.
After a perhaps half an hour we went to have dinner. CA took us to a Chinese restaurant that he said it's better quality. His friend was a Malaysian (I think), so he give the order in Chinese which I think is a good thing. The food were good but during the dinner I felt a pang in my gut. I am still not sure what caused it, perhaps it was my lunch at Camden Market... It did not go away until I get back to the B&B...
We chat quite animatedly at the dinner table. I think it went well :) Then we left the restaurant, his friends have other places. CA and I went to the tube station. We hug and parted, with a little attempt to get him back to the B&B :P. That did not works, too bad for me :p.
Before I went to bed, I start to pack a bit as it is almost at the end of my trip. Now I know that I will probably be back again.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
I am toward my end of the trip so I began to think about souvenir. Since Harrod is already on my list of places to visit, I thought it's the best times to go. After getting general direction from the B&B owner, I was off.
Getting to Harrod was not that difficult, the shopping mall itself was not quite what I expected. The first thing that happen when I stepped into the door was the guard told me to carried my backpack in my hand so I would not accidentally knock things over. The only place that looks interesting was the first floor with the Egyptian room and escalator. The whole place feels low ceilings and a bit stuffy somehow... Quite a few area was being renovated and the whole place just looks... again low ceiling. The menrooms are nice :P There were plastic cups to drink water with as well as a room's staff to... manage the place I suppose, like in the old days.
Here are some of the photos of the things I like from what I saw in Harrod :)
There was a Harrod souvenir section. I browse around quite a bit but found that most of the items are rather expensive.
In the toy department, they were selling fake snow. By add water the white dust just absorb them all in seconds and puffed out. It seems to expands ten folds. The end results were white fluff that's cool to touch and I think it even draw moisture from the surroundings. It even reusable, the demontrator said that it will shrink back to the original state in two weeks. But at about 15 pounds a box... I did not buy it :P
After spending some hours in the shopping, I looks that my map and found that Harrod is very close to Hyde Park so I decide to go there next.
However, there was a big construction nearby which blocked the path to the park from my view. I was lost for perhaps a good hour looking for it. Eventually I found the way but not before I became quite hungry and decided to enter a chain Italian restaurant called 'Spaghetti House' for late lunch. I was undecided between a few menu but decided on Devon crab pasta dish (cost me almost 11 pounds). It was quite nice, although I almost ruined it by adding too much olive oil :P
After the meal I crossed the road and walked to Hyde Park. It was interesting that the park has no official fence, just huge trees lining the grass area and dirt paths. The park was huge and I think I only explore just a small part of it.
I was surprise that there are quite a lot of people in swimsuit sunning themselves in the park. That's never happen in Bangkok :P I was also able to sneak a photos of a hunk playing football shirtless with his friend ;P
There was a big lake with flocks of geese and ducks. There was also a seagull as well. I was very surprised when I hear seagull in the park. I looked up and there it was, a seagull hovering over the lake. Too bad that my camera was in my backpack at the time so no photo of it.
I also did the sensible thing to do in the park in UK: sitting down on the grass and read Mary Poppins in the Park :D
There was a huge tree with large canopy that grew down to the ground. It looks quite secluded inside and I am sure it had seen of a lot of actions over the years :P
I must say I was really impressed with the park. It was huge, lots of huge trees and wide open space. There is similar place in Bangkok, but it is far away from my home.
Then I return to the B&B and wait for the time to see my date of the day :P He is a Spanish guy living in London. After I meet him at the tube station, I take him back to the B&B ;)
After a nice time together, we parted, cleaned up and wait for the time to go to 'The Eagle' the club suggested by the B&B.The club was in Vauxhall area and it was about 15 minutes walk from the B&B. The club was, to put it frankly, pretty much dead. It seems that it has only about 30 people or less that night. I finally went home after 1am.
Sunday, September 07, 2008
I decided to see Tower of London so I plot my route and off I went. I got off at London Bridge station so I could walked over the Tower Bridge and to Tower of London.
I walked along side the river and came across a modern building with interesting modern art in the center of the building.
I totally forgot the name of this place... It was in one of the brochure I put away somewhere... Anyway, there was a PriceWaterHouseCooper office in the building. I was wondering if Grace's hubby works there (turns out he wasn't). There was also a Boots shop (the personal care shop not shoes :P). I went inside, found and contemplate whether I should buy a bottle of lavender shower gel. I eventually decide against it. It was rather expensive and I just started my trip of the day anyway.Further toward the Tower bridge, there were some modern office buildings and public park.
There was a small muesum near the tower about something... I totally forgot about it now but they have souvenir shop...
When I finally arrive the Tower, I walked along the side (it was quite a long walk) pass the souvenir store, the food stall, and finally to the ticket booths.
I was not happy that it would cost me 16.50 pounds to get in... Plus I noticed that there will be special events to demonstrate the seize of the Tower in the weekends. So I decided come back on Saturday instead, just to make my money worthwhile :P After eating fish & chips for the second times in London, I walked to Tower tube station to go to Greenwich area, as suggested by the B&B owner.
It was a long walk through Tower station toward the new tube line. I got on the train only to jump off the very next station when I saw ticket checker coming towards me. My plan was to only check out the station while not actually leaving it. I panicked, hopped off the train when it reach the first station and got back to tower station, thinking that the ticket checker might actually charge my card.
I also stop by King's Cross station where I heard that there was a new addition to celebrate UK's more recent icon 'Harry Potter'. It came in the shape of pushing cart disappearing into the wall of platform 9 3/4 :)By that time I was quite worn out by the whole experiences. The unusual sunlight cycle, the foods, the walks... Plus I wants to catch up on posting as well (see the first London post). So I spent a relaxing late afternoon and evening lounging around the living room, have dinner and contemplating the merit of buying a tour to Stonehenge and Bath.
The tour was quite costly, the cheapest one cost at 45 pounds. Plus the pick up time in the wee morning which do not bode well with my plan of going to XXL club (recommended by the B&B owner as the place only open on Wednesday and Saturday night).
Since the clubs usually get busy around midnight, I discuss the night bus I need to take back to the B&B with the owner because the tube close at midnight. He drew me a map leading to XXL and the number of the bus back to the B&B.
Even with the map, it took me quite sometime to find the club. But I found it eventually.
The club, XXL, is a bear club but not exclusive. I paid my entrance, went in, and check my jacket.
XXL was not big, although I was told that there were three dance floor, only one open on Wednesday night. There were quite a number of people there already. The club can be divided roughly into three sections: the smoking/socializing area outside, the bar/lounging area after the entrance, and the dance floor + *back room* area. I must say that I am still quite surprise of how *open* these people were. While the whole area was poorly lit, it was not completely dark, yet people just having sex out in the open with others look on. The crowds were mostly comprise of bear and chubs guy, there was a few nicely built guys too but they were not interested in me :pp I hang around until about 1am when I decided to leave. There were quite a lot of action in the back room but I did not get the attentions from the guys I wants so...
It took me a while to walk to the bus stop and wait about 20 minutes before the bus arrive. There was, however, a drunk couple sitting near by making out. By the looks of it, I suspected that they were *penetrating* :p The bus arrive on time and I got off at the right stop and got back alright.
I go to bed right after I showered and freshen up.