April 19, 2009 § 3 Comments
Time for the second round of recaps in the last months of travel. Continuing on from the previous one, here are some of the random moments lodged in my head for all time – the awesome awesomes, the low lows, and a few shudder-worthy ones I wish I could do a ‘Total Recall’ a la Arnold Schwarzenegger on.
1. Pissed drunk, confused and stupidly emotional one cold and strange night/morning in Toulouse: 4am, alone on unfamiliar street, sitting on the sidewalk, tears unable to come out.
2. Watching Obama’s take-over.
3. Snowboarding in the Swiss Alps with skater boy C.
4. Eating my first space cake and feeling like I was about to die. This memory I would like to erase forever.
5. Getting off at the wrong bus stop at 3am in Amsterdam and wandering in the biting 0 degree cold, almost pitch black, for about 15 minutes before I realized my mistake. I was out of the city, in the suburbs, cows and sheep on either side of me, no street lights, no cars, no humans. Luckily I walked back to the bus stop and another bus arrived to take me to the right one. Note: I hate buses, and there is more than one stop named ‘Dorp’. DOH!
6. Being super duper sick in Brussels with food poisoning and unable to savour all that yummy Belgian chocolate. Fortunately I hoarded some and got to eat them when I recovered.
7. Watching The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button in Brussels, along with the geriatics, unemployed, and the school-skippers.
8. Strangely beginning to feel very homesick during this period of time.
9. Going to an ‘art’ gallery-like place in a freaky derelict building in Berlin.
10. Visiting the Jewish Museum by Daniel Libeskind in Berlin. Archinerd dream come true.
11. Partying it up Czech style with a super cool couchsurfer and his friends in Prague. Details are hazy, but I remember it being fun.
12. Watching a classical concert at the fabulous Golden Hall at the Musikverein, Vienna.
13. Gawking at nude flabby Hungarian women at the thermal baths in Hungary. This was when my camera broke.
14. Going to the ballet in Copenhagen, and scored great seats with complimentary drinks despite only paying half-price for cheap-ass standing tickets.
15. Getting lost at night in Milan, and helped generously by two kind Italian souls who walked with me all the way to my destination. Thanks Sylvia and Daniel.
16. Meeting creepy greasy-haired Italian fellow whose idea of picking up foreign women was hooking arms upon meeting them for 5 minutes. Naturally no discretion was practiced here and I literally ran away.
17. Taking the ferry from Piraeus to the island of Aegina, spectacular.
18. Spending the night at Milan Malpensa airport and having to sleep uncomfortably on my backpack.
19. Watching the Coldplay concert live at Emirates Palace on one of Abu Dhabi’s rare stormy nights.
20. Arriving in Malaysia to visit the parents and feeling extreme relief at not having to think about transport/food/accommodation for a little while.
It really has been the trip of a lifetime, and I’ll be returning to Sydney with these cool souvenirs, thanks.
December 26, 2008 § 1 Comment
Well, I’m back in France, in Basque Country for Christmas. This is going to be a small pit stop for me, so when an individual such as myself finds some idle time during holiday season and such, I thought it would be nice to provide a short recap on the past 3 months of traveling. So, 5 countries, over 30 cities, and approximately 19 episodes of couchsurfing later, here are some random highlights – the good, bad, and just plain stupid.
1. Wading around, pitch black, in the Arabian Gulf trying for one hour and catching just one crab.
2. Sandboarding in the desert at the border of Dubai and Oman, eating lovely sand.
3. Getting really excited about riding my first camel only to realize the camel walks really slowly about 10 meters back and forth, and the ride is over in 2 minutes.
4. Going to secret pork-eating establishment in Dubai in what looked like an abandoned building.
5. Hitch-hiking at Cairo Airport at 4am, then miraculously ended up staying with someone who shared with me the services of her private chauffeur and maid.
6. Attending a private soiree at a Parisian train station, got duped into eating blue cheese, and meeting Creepy Polish Guy who insisted chocolate was bad for one’s health. What nonsense.
7. Meeting a French bus driver who tried to invite me back to his apartment to ‘practice his English’. Yeah right, I wasn’t born yesterday.
8. Scootering along the coast of the Mediterranean, in the rain.
9. Hanging out in some Toulouse gay nightclub where a guy brought along his grandpa to party with him.
10. Arranging all of Charlene’s ornamental elephants on top of the sofa in Bordeaux and taking glamour shots of ourselves with them.
11. Feeling completely miserable and lonely in Madrid in an extremely cold hostel with no heating, no friends, and no motivation to do anything.
12. Watching my first flamenco show with the Alhambra as the backdrop.
13. Watching The Matrix entirely in Spanish because there was no remote control for the DVD player to change the audio settings.
14. Convinced by some new Spanish friends to say ‘un chupito me cago en la puta!’ to the barman in Seville, which apparently means ‘one shot, fuck it!’ or something in that manner. The barman gave me my shots.
15. Eating several ‘white chocolate’ sandwiches at 2am in Bilbao.
16. Having midnight dinners in Spain…I still can’t get used to their timetable.
17. Wandering the streets of Porto for 2 hours, completely lost, and ending up in a posh hotel rewarding myself with some super fancy fries.
18. Tasting 2000 vintage port from a 180 euro bottle.
19. Getting used to being the only solo Asian female traveler around, and being somewhat of a novelty because I come from neither Japan nor China. I did briefly contemplate learning Japanese for the hell of it so I can finally respond to all the ‘Konichiwa’s people have sputtered at me.
20. Feeling disgustingly emotional during one of my many road trips on the bus, as I pass incredible Spanish and Portugese landscapes. Everybody should be able to experience all these places and people during their lifetime.
There you go, the top 20. The next installment will inevitably come soon. Merry Christmas and Boxing Day.