Thursday, July 01, 2010

Germany Trip, Day Two: Touring Munich

My sleep was restless the previous night. It was somewhat a relieve to finally hear my alarm goes off. After the morning routines I went down to breakfast.

The breakfast was nice, quite a variety but, as I learned later, not change at all each morning. There were scramble egg, 2 types of sausages (I like the white one), cereals, 3 types of yogurts, 4-5 bowl of cut fruits, 6-7 kind of breads, and 3 kind of juices. Overall it was a hearty selections but not very flavourful. I tried to eat as much as I can with in an hour, this times not forget to pick out various of teas to take home.

I left the hotel around 9:00 I went to the main train station to look for the place to buy package tour to see Neuchswanstein. I got the brochure from the hotel lobby the night I check-in. I tried the information counter but they just point out that the train will leave for Fussen city at this and this time. After getting no help, I examine the brochure more closely and found a map to their office. Turns out their office is not far from Marientplatz. So I took the subway and heading to it.

The Marienplatz was not as what I envisioned from the game. But then my memory of it was rather vague now… I wish I played it again before the made the trip.

Anyhow, the rain was drizzling all the time. I am glad I packed my umbrella otherwise I might be sick before the trip ends. I walked around the square a bit and then set off the look for the tour office. It wasn’t hard to find. The staffs look young and hips, a few of them I would certainly wanna… Anyway, when I arrived, the person in charge was not there so I have to wait a while. The office was warm and dry which is a nice break for me from the cold rain. After the guy in charge arrived, I tell him what I want, etc. He explained the tour to me. He said the advantage of buying the tour from them were that they use coach bus which use roughly the same amount of time traveling to the castle without the hassle of using the train which will need another bus to go to the castle anyway. Plus the tour guide will buy the ticket for us in advance with the right timestamps to get in so we don’t have to queue up for tickets.

I opted out from the bicycle tour part of the package, which save me 10 Euro. I don’t know how to ride the bicycle anyway. I paid for the tour and then I pointed to the ‘Free Walk Tour’ brochure and said I will be doing that today and wondered if they will come out with when it’s raining. The guy said these guys will be there regardless of weather. Soon I bid them goodbye and return to Marienplatz, waiting for the gathering time for the Free Walk Tour.

There were a fair amount of people waiting for the tour. Turns out two of them were Thais. The guide, who is Chinese but speaks with perfect American accent, began by regale us with the history of the city. He said the Marienplatz, though looks old, it is actually been rebuilt like that because the original was destroyed during the war. The same goes for many historical buildings in Munich. The city started out as the city where monks brew beer which became popular by the locales and attracts more resident. Then we went to one of the church, inside there was a footprint of the engineer who built it. Then we walk pass another church which has a cannon ball lodge above one of the tall windows. The guide told us that this is not a well known fact even to the locals. The cannon ball was stuck there during the First World War and then fell out during the Second World War. A resident found it on the street near the church, kept it, and return it to the church after war and told the church to put it back up :P I notice many plagues attached around churches so I ask the guide what they are. He said there used to be cemeteries around the church, once the development start to happen around the church, they moved the plagues and put it around the church so relatives can still come to mourn. Later on we walked to a plague, a Jewish memorial of that location dedicated to one of the early event of Jew persecution. The guide said there are hundreds of these small memorial plaques all around Munich, all of which are simple plague with no label or indication to what it is. He added that he prefer this type of memorial more than the large showy type in Berlin. Since this way whoever saw them and got curious will do research about it and it will have more meaning than just listening to the guide.

Then we went through the Viktualienmarkt, a local fresh market. The guide mention that the price of goods here are not cheap. In fact, you will find cheaper stuffs else where in the city.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Germany Trip, Day One: Torturous Day Flight

My mom, again, volunteered to drive me to airport. I am grateful with this, she even bought breakfast for both of us, but we arrived 4 hours before the departure time. I hope the airport link will be fully operate by the time I went to Australia.

I use AirBerlin this time. The flight was delayed by one hour. This, as it turns out, was not a problem for me, much. Because I was due for two hours transit with my connecting flight to Munich. The plane, however, was Airbus A330. I could not dissuade you guys enough to change flight or airline to avoid this plane. In my opinion, it was too small for any flight longer than 5 hours. There were only 4 bathrooms for us poor people (read riding coach) to use. The left and right aisel are connected only at the back of the plane. So there will times when people queued up for bathroom on one side while the other were empty. I have to trod all the way to the back of the plane to get to the other side to use the bathroom...

Also There was no entertainment system at the back of the seat, naturally, but then the charge 3 Euro to buy the headphone... They also seems to use the same kitchen as KLM. Since the food menu and package looks the same.
I must say I miss flying Middle Eastern airlines already...

As I stated in the title, the day flight was torturous. It would have been fine if they turn off the lights and indicate the passengers to close the windows but no... As a results I only slept a little bit. They also did not stocked blindfold for day flight (I asked). There were several, not a few, Several, turbulence during the flight. It was really bad but one time it happen when the flight attendances bring out food, so they have to wheel their cart back and wait it out.
The flight could not end fast enough I tell ya.

The only good thing was that it was not as cold as my flight Prague and back to Amsterdam last year. We eventually landed in Dussendolf. The Thai girl seated with me asked if she could tag along during the transit procedure as this is her first international flight. She was slightly nervous because she has a connecting flight to Paris which could have left already without people from our flight. I assured her that the airline will provide any necessities should she been stranded here. As it turns out, about 15% of the passengers in our flight seems to be going to Paris as well so that flight was waiting. When we finally arrived at the immigration, an AirBerlin staff called out to passengers to Paris to go with him. So she as well as the other French people were rushed through the security by the AirBerlin staff to get to the connecting flight. I myself bolted into the terminal after I pass my security check to find my gate as well. I ran all the way to the gate and finally got in to the plane. This one has got leather seats! But it seems that the plane was poorly cleaned before we boarded.

The flight was not full so after the door closed I move to an empty row for the window seat. They only serve light snack on the plane, meaning we only have the choice between a bag of chips or biscuits. Thankfully it was not a long flight, nor eventful like the first one. Finally arrived in quiet airport in Munich, waiting for my luggage and then I went looking for the subway station.

The rather cute guy at the ticket counter consulted me with options on which ticket I should buy for my 4 days stints in the city. It should have been 3 days but then I arrived on Monday around 21:40 local time. So I ended up paying around 28 Euro for 4 days tickets including the extension to go to and from the airport which is in the outer rim of the system. It's a good thing that I did get the card because a ticket master came into the train about 4 stations later to card check passengers. After 45 minutes, I arrived at Haufbanhof , the city central station, and I began to search for my hotel. After a few asking around I found it. It was a mere 5 minutes walk from the station, perfect location really,
especially after I later found the station entrance about 10 steps away from the building.

I quickly check-in, asked if I wants to pay right away (to which I said tomorrow), and quickly went to my room. I took me a while to figured out the system here. The doorknob was a deadknob that did not turn, I fooled around with the key for quite a while, wondering if I have to schelp back to the lobby for help or not. Until I eventually figured out that I have to turn the key all the way to the right to also turn the bolt and open the door. The room was small. Small as in it has single bed, no fridge, small TV hanging above the foot of the bed small. But it's ok since I was not going to spend much time in it. Then I went into the bathroom for much needed shower, I tore open the soap package, tried the soap and found that it is of poor quality that will make my skin dry out like salted dry fish. But I used it a bit anyway, I packed some lotion as well (in case of dry skin, thank you very much).

I did not slept well that night despite the cold weather. I guess it's part jet-lagged and sleeping in new place. I came around like every 2-3 hours. Until finally my alarm goes off and it's time to get ready to see the city

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I am Back From My Germany Trip

I am back from my trip now. Will blog about it over the weekend. Photos will uploaded later... Not sure where now... My Flickr account is full, my picasa account is not full yet but it might be this time.

I am still a bit tired from the trip... I called in sick today to recuperate but I am back to work tomorrow. So later for now.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The eve of my Germany Trip

I am going through list of things in my mind of things to do and what I should buy for my trip that will begins tomorrow.

I have got a couple of cool t-shirts and a cool fake diesel watch (with chain attached). The funny thing is the watch is cheaper than the t-shirt :P I am thinking about buying a couple of snacks to put in my backpack. Thinking back I don't think I was a snack person... Lucky me I suppose...

My mom will take me to the airport again. Hopefully the next times I am on a trip, to Australin in early Dec if things goes as planned, I will be able to use the BTS, MRT, and the Airport Link system. I will time our ride to the airport this times to see how long it will take. The Airport Link system will definitely be faster and cheaper than the other methods.

I am a little nervous.. Since this trip was kind of a rush compare to other trips that I have made before. But I intend to enjoy it nontheless. It's a shame though that I will be seeing Munich less... But then I think it would be enough for now to see the Merianplatz, the same one that I have seen from "Gabriel Knights: The Beast Within" game.

So expect lots of pictures. I will be away for a week with may or may not have a chance of blogging along the way.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Public Trial of Bangkok Airport Link System

I have been waiting for this Airport Link to open for quite sometime now. It's finally been open for public trial at the beginning of this month and I just tried it out today.

It is free during this public trial period. From June to August, Monday to Friday, from 7:00-10:00 and 16:00-19:00, the train will run from Phayathai station to the airport station. It is free to use which it great :) Although the announcement said that they don't accept luggage, you can still bring your luggage in to and from the airport.

It was hassle free to get it and out. Although I find that the train seems rather narrow compare to the other trains car like the BTS and the MRT lines here. The Phayathai station also have an extension that goes toward the BTS Phayathai station. So it is highly likely that the station will be connected in the near future. It would be really troubling if the station did not have adequate escalator or lifts to help travelers with big luggage.

To avoid any complication, I think I will forgo using it on my way to Germany but I will try to make it on my return trip. I am not sure if I will be able to make it to the last train or not... But I will certainly try.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Back to normal. Sort of

This is the end of my first week back to work. It was nice but I like the dayoff :)

The sad thing was to actually see the extend of damage of Siam Theater that was arson. It was not just a theater but a one block complex comprised of many shops from apparels to music shop and restaurants. about two third of the block was burned down and now closed off to the public. This includes two small 7-Eleven shops in the same block.

This is a vicious act of senseless violent. It doesn't matter what their cause or intention were, it is plain wrong to burn the theater down.

This theater was open for more than 40 years! It survive the rise of Cineplex and Shopping malls multiplex along with the other 2 older generation of movie theater left, Lido and Scala theater. They are survivors and for one of them to go down like this? It just make me sad.

I doubt the police will be able to catch the culprits. It was in the no man's land zone after all. I do hope karma will catch to those criminal eventually.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bangkok Curfew

Today the government announce curfew from 8pm to 6am in response to the heavy unrest after the redshirts leader surrender to the police.

Now the main road outside my house is eerie quiet. And I live on the main road, which usually have many cars passed by every now and then.

I hope the military can get control soon. Many places has been torched. A few of the biggest damage are Central World Shopping Mall and Siam Theater. That is quite in my office area. Luckily we are quite deep into the back of the area so it should be ok.

I suppose it will be highly unlikely to catch whoever did this because it happens in the heart of the redshirts stage. I do hope karma will catch up with those people eventually.

I think now the redshirts have lost any credibility that they might have. However, they seems to still be quite popular in the provinces. As the unrest spread out to several other provinces.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Bangkok Unrest results in Offices Close

Due to the unrest in Bangkok, my offices are close for the week.

I don't really mind that I hope that I won't have to use my leave days to compensate for this though... Since my leave days are already tight with two trips schedules this year.

I hope the unrest will ends soon though. The damages are already tremendous. I suppose it came down to a point where this has to happen. To bring closure to the event that have drag on for longer than a month.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Visa Get! and Heatwaves

I finally get the Schegen visa for my Germany trip :D. So expect more photos when the time comes ;)

For the pass two nights it's been exceptionally hot in Bangkok. I barely slept at all at night when it was like 34c-35c in my room around midnight with the fan on. I even have to get up and go get myself a gulp of cold water from the fridge. Last night I even jump into the shower for a soothing cold shower. My room have good ventillation but it felt like mild oven lately. I have thoughts of just call in sick so I can rest in bed for the day.

I am sorely tempted that for sure...

Monday, May 03, 2010

Today at Germany Embassy

I finally done the visa interview at Germany Embassy. The process was painless but it didn't went smoothly.

I was kinda nervous and their process was kinda confusing. I arrived a bit before my appointment time, got my queue card and went to waiting area. I show the card to one of the guard and he told me to wait for the call. Then the call happen I went to the guard who oversee the appointment list. When it's my turn, he jived in with "Where were you when I call for your time". To which I replied "I was already show my card to the other guard who told me to wait".

Anyway he then proceed to tell me to get inside for my interview. There were 3 booths and two interviewers. I think waited for about 10 minutes before it's my turn. The greeting from the interviewer? "Please hurry, there are other people waiting"... The interview seems to went well I think... There was a few mishap with my filling in the wrong address and using the wrong photo. But all those where corrected during the interview and hopefully I get the visa.

My passport is due to be picked up on Thursday. Hopefully there won't be any problem with that.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Gleeking over Glee

I downloaded episodes of Glee a few months back, after hearing many celebrities said that they are watching it on Jay Leno show. I read up about it a bit on wikipedia and boy I didn't know that it would be this good :D

I won't go on about what the show is, you should watch it anyway. I really love the music part of the show. They have got many talent actor/singers. Quite a few are from Broadway shows, while a few others are fresh off the casting couch.

The main girl and the teacher are from Broadway show while Chris Colfer, a male soprano, who play Kurt is a fresh faced one. The songs they use are both new and old and those who sang them nailed the songs very nicely. I especially like Kurt's rendition of 'Defying Gravity'.

In the latest episode, Home, Kurt's rendition of 'A House is Not a Home' could reduce men to tears. I am related to the sense of loneliness in this particular episode. The last song, 'Home', by Kristen Chenoweth is also very touching. Especially when she closing the song by hitting the high note.

On a related issue, I love to see Kristen Chenoweth on TV :) I think she is kinda like Bette Midler in that she can act, she can sing and she is very funny. Anyway, I now sometimes play Glee episodes on my computer to listen to the songs :)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Stepping Stone

Duffy is one my favorite singer of late. Her voice is really great with broad range and power.

She is also one of the few that would sound better live than in the album.

Here is one of my favorite song of her in live version that I like best.

Now the song is in my phone, lulled me when I am on the road :) I think that if she ever held a concert in Bangkok, I would pay the thousands of baht for the ticket to go see her live.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sporadic Office Closing

With the redshirt mobs causing staging protest near my office area in Siam Square, my office has been close from time to time.

Today my office send another SMS to say that all the offices are close for today and we should stay home. Not that I mind, just that I have plans at my branch office today...

Hopefully things will be resume tomorrow...

I think I will do take a bit of nap to enjoy my morning off at least...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I Hate The Morning Shift

I am not a morning person, I am just not. I might have stem from my stint as night time operator but still I don't like to wake up using my alarm.

In my old branch office, I can wake up at 9:30 because the office open at 11:00. It was a dream job for me for sure. But now that the HQ, I am stuck at morning shift. 8:30 is my due time to start the day. Plus it is about an hour to get there in morning traffic. So now I have to wake up at 6:30...

I also could not shake the habit of sleeping around midnight... The heat of summer did not help enticing me into my bed either...

At least I can nap in my ride to work...

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Returns of the Building Leaper

I finally finish Assassin's Creed II a couple of days ago. It certainly was a fun game to play.

The story seems to continue right from the ending of the first game (seems because I never actually finish the first one). After Lucy help Desmond escape the bad guy's compound, she take her to one of the assassin's safe house to have Desmond use the Animus again, not only to utilize the bleeding effects to train Desmond to fight but also find the clues to the Templar's objective.

The gameplay as whole feels much more fun than the first game. A lot tighter and can be quick pace if you choose to focus on the main missions. The missions themselves, however, are not very varied but spaced out quite nicely.

The character models are the most expressive among the games I played lately. The facial expressions were done very well.

The game made quite a buzz for having the most uptight DRM system, the kind that required you to be online all the time to play the game. This DRM system is quite effective. None of the usual scene group come up with a proper crack for the game. However, all are not lost, by the efforts of some Russians group, a server emulation was created. The setting were done to fool the DRM system into looking for the server on IP and the fake server program will feed the necessary value to the game, enable it to progress.

This emulation came out about a month after the game release. Quite understandable, since there were nothing like this before. At first all hope were lost because none of the scene groups release any working crack. The game publisher said that if a working crack came out they will release a patch to stop the need for internet connection. The pirates are successful in circumventing the DRM. But the game itself was not crack in anyway.

I wondered how the publisher will react to this. Since the game now can be played offline but the DRM system itself is not broken, just rerouted.

Anyhoo, the game itself it fun to play, it looks great, and it set in Italy!! They use Italian language in the game as well, which I like. I may play the game again to get memorize some of the words and line to use when I went to Italy next year :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A nice week so far

I had a nice week so far this week. My old office held a program to test the teachers to get a higher teaching certificate. There will be teachers from outside, an IT staff should be present to assist them if needed. Since I made a good impression on the previous group last year, I was asked to be here two days a week for two weeks.

If the circumstance were differents, I might not like this but since my old office is close to my house. I loved it.

This will be the last week of this arrangement... But I know it should be like this next year as well. For now I am looking forward to the Songkran holiday :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Visiting Underland

I finally get to see the new "Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland" in 3D at IMAX theater which is now located near my office.

I bought the ticket one day before just to make sure I will get good seat. Which was the right thing to do since the good seats seems to either been reserved or bought.

The 3D glasses was a lot less bulkier than the one I used years ago when IMAX theater was near my house. Now it looks like a small toy glasses. The price was 300 baht, it wasn't the best row (it was E row) which is why it is cheaper.

Overall the move was... Not all that it could be. Not a big disappointment but this Alice seems colourless in the presence of all the crazy characters. This Alice did not seems to be curious about her surrounding and seems to just go along with whatever happens, for the most parts anyway. Some how, I did not find the lead actress that charming...

I do agreed with one of the review that I read that the script is rather weak and that perhaps being a Disney movie, Burton do not have much room to really exercise his own twisted style.

In the end, I felt letdown, things could have been spectacular, instead it just lukewarm and not at all memorable...

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Second Mass Effect of Dragon Age

It's been too long since I do a game review post. As usual, this will be a double-billed game review post :)

Dragon Age: The Origins

My first thought when I start playing it was "This is Mass Effect, the fantasy version!". The character movement, the scenaries, the speech animations, etc., all reminded me of Mass Effect. Not that it was a bad point, it just that the similarities were rather jarring.

Overall, the game was entertaining, though it was not innovative in anyway regarding redefining the genre. Every things in this game were rather standard fantasy RPG motif. From the races, the classes, the weapons & armours, the settings, etc. The story was even rather standard as well. Some big demon army is marching to destroy all of mankind and the hero and his peer must defeat the demons and save all of mankind. It even use the accidental hero thing where the main character was thrusted into the chaos without really knowing the magnitude of it all.

I do like the fact that you have to recruit various people, can court the same sex character, and companions' quip in the map walk. The dialogues, however, can be straining sometimes.

Right now I am at about 2/3 or 3/4 into the game and did not feels like continuing on. But I will do it soon... I do wnana see what the end battle scene was like.

Mass Effect 2

It start with a bang, literally. Soon after the first scene start, the Normandy got hit by mysterious cruiser class ship. Shepard then have to go drag Joker (the pilot) from the bridge to escape pod and got thrown into the space with ruptured suit. After being dead for two years, he got resurrected by old enemy, Cerberus. The head of Cerberus wants to recruit Shepard to spearheaded the fight against the common enemy, The Reapers, following the events of missing colonies citizens.

So commander Shepard takes on the impossible mission again with the new ship, mixture of old and new crews and squard, and some interesting missions.

This times everything seems to be sleeker and easier to get into. The weapon systems got simplified tremendously. Now when you found an upgrade, your whole squard got it. The number of skills has been greatly reduced. Your squard initially got only three skills and the last one can be unlocked after successfully finished the loyalty missions of that sqaurd member.

I finished the game once already. Only to find out later how to finish one of the loyalty mission correctly. So now I have been replaying it from an old save. It is quite enjoyable to play than Dragon Age somehow. I guess it is because the fighting in Mass Effect 2 feels a lot more fast paced and reltively quick to finish. After all, you were attacking with guns and biotic power instead of sword and magic which is a lot more melee.

As of last night, I seems to skill have not got enough Praragon point to choose the correct dialogue choice for *the* loyalty mission. I still have a few other missions I can gain more Paragon points on, so I will tried that and see how it goes. If it's really bad then I would have to do the Renegade option instead...

Also, I still have problem with the graphic card driver. I just read a tip about how to fix this. I will tried it later tonight, eventhough I wants to just go home and try it right now.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Back to more *regular* post

Like I wrote in the previous post, I will probably have to start a seperate travel blog. Otherwise I seems to lost the motivation to post anything else.

I had a 4 days weekend last week, the weekend transition period. So I decided to use this opportunity to do the overhaul on my computer. This will be a total upgrade. Since I planned and ended up replacing every parts in in the case, including the power supply. Also, I decided I wants to use Windows 7 64 bits, I also have to replace my simple ADSL modem with ADSL modem router. This is something I have been resisting to do for a long time. I simply do not wants to muck around with the setup and what not.

Now I have Intel i5, with 4GB RAM, nVidia GTS250 and Western Digital 64mb 1.5TB harddisk + 1Tb + 750Gb. Now Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age: Origins run smoothly :)

So on Saturday I went to Zears Rangsit with my mom who also wants to go there to fix one of the computer from her shop. Over all, it was 3-4 hours before the overhaul is complete and Windows 7 installed.

It took me two days to completely transfer the files from my replaced harddisk to the new one, setup all the programs, getting used to Windows 7, and working the router. It took me a long while to make the utorrent WebGUI works but it finally works today. I will definitely export the settings for safe keeping tonight.

I only start searching for solution for my webcam driver. I found a few possible leads which I will try later tonight.

I will also do a game reviews post soon.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Summaries of Amsterdam

Honestly, by now the Amsterdam parts are almost blurred together. With so much time has gone until I finally have the urge to do this post, I think it's best to just sums it all up. I think I will have to start a seperate traveling blog... Otherwise I won't write anything else until the trip is finish.

Somehow I have managed to meet most of my friends who live in Amsterdam. I did the free walk tour again and I have seen the famous canal pride. I went to the central station. I also went into one of the sexshop along the way. I buy sandwiches from A&H, the biggest supermarket chain there. Things are quite expensive in Amsterdam than Prague, naturally.

I also noticed that Jack Russell Terrier seems to be quite popular. I saw quite a few people walking that breed in the city. My friend also have one, they named him Max. Max is a rotund JR terrier with personalities to match. They definitely spoiled him a lot :) He has a sizable pile of toys in one corner of the house and love to chase them when you throw it for him. Max also have a habit of fall asleep on his back with all of his four legs in the air.

I visited bars, museum (with entrance fee *grumble*, I guess I have been spoiled by the free museums in London), the china town area, and many hash shops :P One of my friend treated me to his favorite chinese restaurant which serve wanton noodle. The portion was great, with about 10 wantons in the bowl. They also have chilli paste, which perk up my palette considerbly. I added that a bit too much though :P.

My friend remember my birthday which I forgot since I was traveling :P. He gave me a birthday card ;)

I also visited a windmill park courtesy of my friend's hubby. It was a nice, relaxing, and free to enter park with several still functioning windmills with different purposes. One was use for making paint, another was use for making flour, etc. There is also a clog making demonstration which we were able to catch. They also sell Netherland style waffle crack. They were very sweet, heavier than they look, and quite delicious. The hubby recommended this as the souvenier to buy. I ended up buying a few for my family, colleages and myself. Before we left we had a pancake meal Amsterdam style. The Amsterdam style referred to the way the pancake was cooked which is a tin slice on hotplate on wheel being rotated into hot oven. It was quite good as well :)

On my last day, I went into the city for the last time and bought a rice chocolate cake from A&H that I has been eyeing for a few days. It was a half round piece so I planned to share it with my friend and his husband. After I returned, I began packing my stuffs, with sometime left I decided to check out one last place I wanna see. I went to a lake not far from my friend's house which is also the cruising area. The beach areas of the lake were pack as it was quite hot that day. Once I got back, I finish packing up, shower, and eat. My friend was also there taking me to the airport. He told me that his husband will be home late that day. So I told him of the cake I bought for them. He also worried whether I will make it in time to the airport as I scuffle down leftover pasta.

My friend could only drop me off at the terminal. We hugged and said goodbye and then I went to the KLM counter.

When it was my turn, the counter lady told me that I will be put on reserve, that there might be a chance that I will have to take the next flight, and that I should went to the gate as soon as possible. I was slightly panic by this but the staff told me that in that case the airline will pay for accomodations and what not. So quickly went to the gate. But I also have the time to stop and look at several paintings that were on loan from the musuem. I also texted my friend to inform him of the situation.

Half of me wants the overbook to happens since it would be means another day of vacation but the other half do wants to go home already. Eventually, I got the seat alright and the flight home was without a hitch. It was older model of airplane though as there were no enetertainment system in the back of the seat. The A/C was way cold as usual, the food was so so, the movie was Duplicity.

The taxi home was slightly cheaper than the last times so it was nice.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Day 6 Tuesday: Final Day in Prague & First day in Amsterdam

I woke up, wash up, went to breakfast, swipe a bunch of tea from the tea station and went back to my room to finish packing.

Then I leave the hotel to get to the airport. I went to the subway station, the one that's downhill from my hotel and the one that I walk through quite a lot this trip. I decided to buy the ticket for the ride since I did not want to risk it. I was traveling with a suitcase after all, so I will be noticeable.

The trip to the airport went smoothly. Although I got off the bus at terminal 1 instead of terminal 2. So I ended up walking quite a distant to the right one. There was a security check at the inner terminal entrance. I ended up finishing my water bottle before reaching the entrance. Inside there were some duty free and souvenir shop but I did not buy any.

I arrived at my gate well before the boarding time. So I playing game on my mobile phone. My NDS almost ran out of battery because the stupid charger short-circuited on my second night at the hotel.

It was a fairly long wait but eventually it was boarding time. The plane ride was smooth, the snack was the same croissant sandwich as my arrival flight. I eventually my phone ran out of battery. I was panicking a bit, thinking how will I contact my friend now.

Luckily he was waiting at the terminal exit to pick me up. We got into his car and he drive back to his house. My friend's house was only about 5 minutes walk to one of the tram stop, which makes city exploring quite convenience for me. He shows me my room for the week. It was quite small but enough for temporary stay and it had a computer with internet connection :) I went into the room, used the computer a bit, and settled down.

Before diner time my friend take me to the near by supermarket to introduce me to how to buy and use the stripe ticket for the tram, the best way to get into the city. Then we went back, his husband finishing with dinner preparation and we start eating.

Later that night we went into the city where my friend shows me the gay district and all the bars and what station to got off, to get back, where to buy cheap food and what's to looks for.

After a bit of crash course of life in Amsterdam and hitting one of the gay bar which has been renovated recently, we went home around midnight and I went to bed.