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Home “Bitter” Home September 30, 2010

Posted by blackpumpkin in Holiday, LJMU, UK.
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I’m finally back in Bolehland and I missed Liverpool damn much! I missed everything there! The friendly people, the nice weather, the dog which loves to sit in the middle of the road while ignoring everyone else (my coursemate created a fb page for it), and my darling superlambananas (:

I seriously dislike the hot weather here! Ahhhh! And life has been so meaningless now that I’ve lost my aim. Lols. Back when I was in Liverpool, I have an aim that kept me going – superlambanana hunting! I’d walk for hours just to find for a superlambanana i.e. 6 hours walk to Royal Hospital, Edge Hill and Women’s Hospital or 3 hours walk to South Parkway station. And I’m proud to say I’ve found 58 superlambananas despite having them all relocated as they are now private property.

I stole this pic from Madu’s blog XD But hey, this is my album in facebook! So I have the right to use it. Huhu. Anw, it was really mad crazy. All my friends know how obsessed I am with it. They’ll inform me and tag me whenever they found new lambananas. And I’d go to forums and google to find the lambananas whereabouts. To save money, I’ll drag my friends to hunt for these lambananas by foot with me, along with my hand-drawn map XD But it’s not a bad thing to be so obsessed.

Because of these lambananas, I learned to draw maps.
Because of these lambananas, I learned to read maps.
Because of these lambananas, I discovered places in Liverpool which a normal student wouldn’t go.
Because of these lambananas, I won the photography competition by my uni.
Because of these lambananas, I met really nice locals.
Because of these lambananas, my life’s so much more interesting!

I spent my last night in Liverpool in Hampton by Hilton hotel. It’s just Hampton but when I googled it, “by Hilton” seems to be in its name too. Hmm.. afterall, Hilton’s really popular so I think they need to let people know XD

Anw, I think the hotel’s amazing! perhaps it’s because I’ve been staying in hostels too much. But the price is reasonable. It’s even cheaper than a hostel in London! And they serve yummy breakfast (: I super like their scrambled eggs and baked beans (:

I’m just lousy with angles so the room ended up looking somewhat tiny here. Huhu. Anw, all good things come to an end~

And I have to stuff my luggage with all the stuffs I bought for the past 3 months.

And also hand carried a shoebox-full of candies and chocolates home XD

I was damn worried my luggage will be overweight. I came with around 26kg or 27kg check-in luggage and asked Madu to bring another smaller bag for me when he came. And I went back with 36kg check-in luggage. Fuhhh. Lucky I have 40kg baggage allowance! (: So everything ended well. I’m super glad I didn’t have to pay or throw anything away. Huhu.

*sigh* everything seems like a dream now. I’m melting in Bolehland.. and living like a zombie without aim. Lols.


Hello Barcelona! September 17, 2010

Posted by blackpumpkin in Holiday.
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When you’re in Barcelona, there’s one person you MUST know of! Antoni Gaudi!

He’s an amazing architect and I am totally in love with his works! Though Madu tends to feel like puking whenever he sees his works. i.e. Sagrada Familia which has little humans sculpted on the temple, Casa Batlo with skull-like balcony.. Anw, because of Gaudi, I WANNA GO BACK TO BARCELONA! 2026! That’s the year Sagrada Familia is expected to be completed ^.^

This is Parc Guell, also the work of Gaudi. It was tooo crowded with people. But his work’s really beautiful there (: Ohh. And this is his only huge work which do not require admission fee XD

Moving on to less important stuffs (anything unrelated to Gaudi is not important =P), here’s the Museo d’Art. I didn’t go in but the exterior’s amazing enough. Looks like some castle (:

But Museo d’Art’s not where we intended to go XD Stumbled upon it while looking for Poble Espanyol.

And this is one of the shops in Poble Espanyol! (: We’ve made reservations to watch flamenco in Poble Espanyol Huhu. Didn’t walk much in Poble Espanyol cos the shops closing up.. which is really sort of a waste.

The flamenco’s dresses weren’t what I was expecting at all. I expected a flared dress with fanciful, bright colours. But the dancer in the pic was amazing.. She really put in lotsa energy XD And I think it’s a bit like tap dance. Huhu.

Ohh. Port Vell’s also not bad. The water’s crystal clear I tell ya! You can actually see fishies swimming in the water which is a really nice sight (:

This is really random. I was walking and suddenly I saw.. KUALA LUMPUR! Wth. Anw, out of curiosity, we went in and see what’s so special of it.. To be honest, nothing much -.- I don’t even see what’s so Kuala Lumpur-ish bout it.

Another attraction in Barcelona is the Magic Fountain of Montjuic. I took a folder-full of pictures but I can’t possibly upload them all here. Huhu. And we actually went there 2 hours earlier to get a nice place! Huhu. It only starts at 9pm.

Madu has this “thing” for moving vehicles i.e. Segway. And now, GoCars. I wouldn’t recommend anyone to rent a GoCar to drive. Lols. We drove it like.. 2 hours? And all the time, we were lost T.T Never drive your GoCar to La Ramblas or you’ll stuck in the jam for god-knows-how-long.

Some nice, huge bubbles pic for you to see. Haha I DIE DIE MUST POST THIS! Cos we paid for it. Rawr. I thought the guys were playing it for fun.. So I fished out my camera, snapped a pic of it.. and one of the guys came with his cap asking for money. WTH. Thus, we hung out there longer than expected over there to snap more pics XD

You can’t say you’ve been to Barcelona if you haven’t been to their beaches. So we went to Barceloneta beach, which was the nearest to our hostel. Huhu went there in the evening to avoid the sun.. but we’re not alone. (which was surprising)

Tadaaaa~ And that’s the end of my Europe trip! Huhu. The next time I go, I MUST go to Paris Disneyland for 3 days, and visit Sagrada Familia! ^.^

Hello Toledo! September 16, 2010

Posted by blackpumpkin in Holiday.
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I can’t remember how far is it from Madrid.. Maybe an hour train ride from Madrid. Huhu. We took a bus up to Zocodover which was easy since we don’t have to climb up. But as we walk.. and walk.. we somehow walked down and it was too early to leave so we have to climb our way up again T.T

Toledo is like a hill. You know you see in those old shows.. it’s like a hugeee brick castle.. and they have winding road going uphill. Something like that. Huhu. Anw, this place is famous for its weapon and armor making. So it’s not suprising that 50% of the shops there sell swords (real swords), suit of armor or kitchen knives XD

This is my souvenir for mommy ^.^ It’s actually used to eat fruits and I thought it’s pretty cute (: I was surveying the price all over and the cheapest I found was €9.60. You can get lotsa sword-like letter opener too which costs below €10, depending on their length/size.

The scenery’s nice and all. Oh! One thing which is weird is that.. there’s no toilets *curse curse curse* Only restaurants have it and if you’re not their customer, they won’t allow you to use it! Lucky though, there’s McD! XD

And I was practically freezing there cos Madu told me it’s warm. Warmer than Madrid.. which turns out to be wrong. I WAS FREAKING COLD THERE IN TOLEDO! Rawr. Thus, a bad day for me. Tchh.

Hello Madrid! September 12, 2010

Posted by blackpumpkin in Food, Holiday.
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“Donde ai aseos?”

My favourite phrase in Spain which means ‘Where is the toilet?’ XD

I think Madrid is a beautiful place. I must especially praise their public transport – train. It was incredibly clean and new! Which is incomparable to Paris *pfft* And who says if you get cheap flight, it’ll cost you a lot to get to the city center? Huhu it’s only €2 to get to the city from the airport. I’d recommend Hostal Residencial Rober to stay. It’s a veryyy clean and nice place with friendly staffs.

When I first stepped out of the airport, I saw a fat lady statue. I think she somehow reminded me of an opera singer XD But after googling it, I found out that Fernando Botero is famous for making fat statues.. and I found 2 of them in Madrid!

Sexayyyyyyyy. Lols.

I was dragged to.. the plaza de toros to watch bullfight. All the while, I have no idea that bulls are killed in bullfighting until Madu told me. It was CRUEL! Poor poor toros. I noticed lotsa people only watched one round and they left the stadium. There’s a total of 6 rounds and 3 bull fighters.

This is the opening ceremony. All the members marched out to the stadium before the bullfight began. Madu was pretty excited with the whole thing. But I ended up snapping pics of the sky and brushing up my spanish. Anything but to watch the bull being tortured to death. Wuwuu. Anw, I think Barcelona did it right to ban bullfighting. I know it’s their culture and all.. but I think most of the audiences there are tourists and not locals. So it’s not really like some sort of traditional thing if the locals hardly come to watch it.

Moving on to less depressing stuffs, here’s San Miguel’s market! There’s lotsa food stalls and dessert stalls inside. Oooh! fruit stalls too! I bought some really sweet cherries (:

And we took a 2½ hours Segway tour. It was funnnn! I was pretty worried with the balancing stuffs at first. When I first rode it, I was like what if I can’t get it right? What if in the end I can’t ride it at all cos of my poor balancing? But after a while, I got used to it and it’s fun! To operate it, I just have to bend forward, backward or sideways (: No buttons, gears or anything.

Fun fun funnnn! I wish I could own one now! Huhu. We visited quite a lot of places but I can’t really remember their spanish names. The thing I remember the most is the statue of the literature Don Quixote de la Mancha. It’s about this guy Don Quixote who thought the windmill’s an evil giant and wants to fight it. I thought it’s pretty stupid when my tour guide told us the story. Lols.

We walked to the Retiro park as recommended by my Segway tour guide after the segway tour. It’s a nice place. AND I WANTED TO KAYAKKKK BUT MADU SAYS NOOOO T.T Aihhh. Sad betul.

I have horrible memories with food in Madrid too. I asked my segway tour guide for local food recommendations. Anyway, he did recommend that thing below.

It looks disgusting, no? But I managed to put them in my mouth. It’s squid and rice. I didn’t manage to finish it when I noticed the squid still has its intestines (or whatever you call it) inside. And later, I found out those black sauce is the squid’s ink. Gosh. I felt like puking. I can’t believe I ate it!

Another bad eating experience.. Paella mixta was nice (: Only thing is, I didn’t get a chance to eat the prawn. WTH RIGHT?! I kept the prawn last but it was a two course meal we’re eating. Madu finished his food and the waiter came (he can’t speak english). Anyway, he asked me to put down my fork and spoon. I told him I still wanna eat and he nodded (though I doubt he understood what I was saying). Then he asked me to put down my fork and spoon again.. AND HE COLLECTED MY PLATE.. WITH MY PRAWNS! *curse curse curse*

But he’s a nice waiter. He gave us free ice-cream and showed me each of the desserts cos we don’t understand him. And his name is Benetto. Huhu. Dang. We’re like bribed with ice-creams XD Anw, that’s it in Madrid (: Toledo’s next!

Desserts haven September 11, 2010

Posted by blackpumpkin in Food, Holiday.
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My new FAVOURITE word on signboards in Paris – BOULANGER! PATTISERIE!

My FAVOURITE moment of the trip – DESSERTS!

That’s my sole purpose of going to Paris. I planned to stuff myself with desserts ’til I get bloated! ^.^ Anw, we got lost and couldn’t find Pierre Herme. That’s a really sad thing to begin my dessert hunting plan. Was looking forward to try its macarons since that’s what it’s famous for. So we proceeded on with our second dessert stop – Sadaharu Aoki! I ended up trying the macarons there. It’s so yummy! Tried some of its cakes too. It’s so pretty that you can’t resist it!

It was managed by a Japanese staff and she speaks little English.

The cakes are priced at €5.20 per slice.

Colourful macarons! Veryyyyyy naisss! We tried lemon, caramel, coffee, pistachio, blackcurrant.. erm.. I can’t remember the rest XD

Another place for desserts which you MUST go in Paris is Laduree! Also famous for macarons (:

Dining in is more expensive but the ambience there is great. They even have a bar with pink lights! FREAKING NICE I TELL YOU! ^.^ Anyway, I got some mini macarons (they have 2 sizes here) and a cake. They sell chocs too. AND THE QUEUE IS FREAKING LONGGG!

Cafe Angelina’s also a popular one. It’s famous for mont blanc and hot chocolate to be specific. So I decided to give it a try.. since I have never tried mont blanc anyway.

Mont blanc! Erm.. I don’t really like it.. it tastes like mooncake paste. And I don’t like mooncake. But lotsa ppl likes mooncake.. so I guess it’ll taste nice to them. Huhu.

Their hot chocolate.. one tiny jug like this is enough for two person. I shared with Madu and still couldn’t finish it. It’s too chocolatey. And I mean REALLY chocolatey. It’s like concentrated, melted chocolate. Not to my liking either.

The shop below is one I randomly bumped into on the way to Sacre Coeur. I tried their raspberry cookie and it was so damn nice! And so damn expensive T.T So I didn’t get any. I’ll tell you how it works here.. you buy a paper bag or fancy empty tins from them, then you fill it up with your own variety of cookies and they’ll weigh it. So the cookies are sold based on their weight and you have to buy the tins.. which is pretty expensive for me.

The tins are on top and the cookies are stacked down there. Huhu. So that’s about my dessert hunt. I mean, these are the popular ones I went to. But I still got random desserts whenever I passed by some shops.

Oh! And I wanted to try the Breton crepes in Beizh Cafe but guess what? IT WAS UNDER RENOVATION! *curse curse curse* Damn disappointed that time as I was really looking forward to it. And whoever goes to Paris must must try Berthillon sorbet. I forgot to take a pic of it. But it has this really smooth and soft texture. One word – YUMMY!

Hello Paris! September 10, 2010

Posted by blackpumpkin in Holiday.
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After summer programme, I ran off to Paris and Spain with Madu for holiday! ^.^ Sounds romantic, no? XD

Look at the multi-colour mini eiffel keychain! ^.^ I was so tempted to buy them but I know I’ll find cheaper ones when I go elsewhere. Souvenirs near popular attractions are all overpriced! Anyway, I got one gold and silver keychain for €1 each! I thought that was a bargain! Until we reached Eiffel tower, there lots of such keyrings and you can get 6 for €1 if you bargain! *curse curse curse* I did feel better when I compared the quality though (the cheap ones and the ones I got). Mine was definitely of better quality (:

Madu and I climbed the ever famous notre dame cathedral for the sake of gargoyles. Youths (below 25) gets discount. All you gotta do is show them your passport or student card.

Man, the climb was exhausting! The stairs were winding and steep.. and you just keep climbing in circles which never seems to end. Plus, there’s people behind you and I get pressurised actually. Worried if I was blocking the people behind me for climbing the stairs too slowly.

I did get to see the gargoyles though! Was a bit disappointed that I couldn’t sound the bell. Huhu. This gargoyle is the freaky one. I can’t tell what’s it eating.

Next, we went for the cruise tour. It was HOT on top.. But you get a better view and maybe some cooling air occasionally. I think I’m not so into this especially when there’s sun.

We had our lunch in Jardin du Luxembourg. Bought some desserts to savour there ^.^ There’re some really nice parks in Paris to go.

Our plans at night was to see the EIFFEL TOWER! We waited..

And waited..

FOR THEM TO SWITCH ON THE BLINKING LIGHTS! ^.^ It’s only for 5 minutes every hour (: The next day we took the lift up eiffel tower. The view here is nicer than notre dame.

The buildings are so organised, no? (: And there’s youth price for this too! Huhu. I’ve had enough of stairs climbing after the notre dame so I opted for the lift. Huhu.

This is the sacre coeur. Nothing much inside also. Huhu I still think Liv metropolitan cathedral looks nicer.

And lastly, the pyramid near louvre museum! Was running short on time so we only took the pic of it outside. But if you go down, you can see the rainbow colours reflected on the floor by the glass aka prism.