A Travellerspoint blog

leaving Miube and going to Fabio's

[being forced into a limousine] The Dude: Hey, careful, man, there's a beverage here!

sunny 15 °C

The next day, Mischu had to go to his office to catch up on some work. While waiting, Bettina very kindly prepared a big breakfast :)
We catched up on some news online and after that went for a walk in the city center along the river.
Really enjoyable, most of the shops were closed and all the swiss people there were just basking in the sun, having picnics...
The whole place was just really relaxing and peaceful. What a great sunday, in Singapore Sundays are not really sundays ( if u get what i mean)
It would have been perfect if i had an ice cream, but mere mortals cannot dream of purchasing an ice cream in the swiss, and im only a man.

In the evening, we met up with Miube and they drove us to the forest to see some caves and for another walk :)
Soon, it was time for dinner...
Miube was really very nice, they brought back Cheese fondue for us...Epic...
I would have to say it is a tie between Raclette and cheese fondue and it boils down a little to personal preference.
However, anyone who loves cheese wikll have a really good time :)
We played some games ( cup stacking ) talked more and chilled but i was auite sad that day as i knew i was leaving them the next day....
Said a very rushed goodbye to them as we woke up a little late and left on the train to Fabio' house...

We took an early morning train and Fabio picked us up at the train station bringing us to his place.
We knew there were 3 other guys staying there with him, so there would be a total of 7 guys staying together. Chaos ! haha
4IMG_0297.jpg

After settling down, we went to the supermarket to buy some food with Fabio for the next few days, we felt bad again that it was so expensive we couldnt really pay for the groceries. Jason and daniel went for a free tour of the parliment, however i got rejected as they said i was too smelly.
( no la, they just didnt accept my student identity card for some reason :( ) So, i sat by myself and wrote my journal and chill beside the river ;)
Nice dinner (homemade pizza)
2IMG_0304.jpg

The next day we went hiking and climbed up Guertenbahn ( a high point where u can overlook Bern, the Alps and more)
It was a really nice place and we met a bunch of school kids going up for a school excursion and i said to Jason wa lao our school excursion go sentosa, they come here !!!!
Risotto dinner and Interlaken the next day...
Super touristy place, every shop catered to tourist (luxurious watches, overpriced chocolates...) Dont go if u are in switzerland :)

We have been having alot of fun living with Fabio and his friends.
IMG_0466.jpg
We eventually they were all dudes, its hard too explain it now, but when any of u see the pictures, u might understand a little.
They really took life easy, especially Fabio ( mini lebowski) they were all undergraduates and somehow managed to find alot of time to live life and have fun. Also, there is a constant bottle of beer growing from all their hands !!! haha
IMG_0473.jpg

Fabio and the dudes ( Ralph, Deja and Christhoff) also briught us to the river one evening for a BBQ, it was great ;)
Many swiss were ther just chilling beside the lake and having BBQs, some how they were 0 Tourist and definitely no Asians at all haha.
The dude had brought along 4 cartoons of beer ( 3 with 10 bottles an,d the last with 3) and there were only 5 ppl drinking.
They also smoked some weed, and no i didnt try haha :)
It was really epic, as Deja and Ralph became really high and they were just sayings lots of stuff and behaving in a very funny way :)
2IMG_0463.jpg

Love must be sincere, hate what is evil, cling to what is good.
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.
Honour one another above yourself.
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spirits fervor, serving the lord.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Share with God's people who are in need, practise hospitality.

Only with the Lord's help can i do this.

Posted by shawnified 06:02 Archived in Switzerland Comments (2)

Favourite day ! haha

Mischu+Bettina=Miube=Lovely :)

sunny 22 °C

The night before Miube kindly offered to drive us and go up Oberes Heiti ( top of Heiti).
We had a nice breakfast and left excitedly, on hindsight i realise that it has been a really long time since i sat in a car.
I was very excited to be driven around and told jason, `wa, we wanted to walk up, no joke man...` As it was firstly quite a distance from their house to the foot of the mountain and than further up...Sitting in the car, we saw Thun and the Alps in a really different angle, it was a beautiful city with low level houses and peaceful roads where congestion was unheard of and surrounded by the Alps ( this is my perception)

The journey up...

The day before we were introduced to the swiss machine (ueli steck, http://kletterszene.com/news/ueli-steck-the-swiss-machine-video) by mischu. Deep inside, i wish i could be like him one day! haha, well he is a machine after all...
We started walking up the mountain, and it was a little steep ☺ really enjoying the hike up as it brought back a little feeling of how i felt climbing `mountains` in army.
IMG_1662.jpg
Miuschu and bettina were really nice, watching out for us while climbing and snapping shots ☺ After awhile we took a breather, sat down and had a mini picnic and took a really nice picture. We continued walking and the view was really the most amazing thing i had ever experienced in my life.
IMG_1667.jpg
It was so beautiful, i nearly cried, i really wish you guys were here with me and i sincerly hope that one day you will get to see it too. Words cannot describe what we have seen and pictures simply do injustice to the scenery. I just hope my family would get to see it also, i know my dad would just really enjoy the scenery and the serene environment.
IMG_1708.jpg
Ambrish and kian pin will also take a million pictures and probably scold me for using a lousy camera. Matthew will probably migrate here and be a monk meditating for 7 years, Leon will scream and shout saying `wa shawn power only` Warrick will say `wa jon should come with us ` haha, Joel would be very happy but will say ì wish my girlfriend was here also`haha !! Yi xian would be very happy and probably be very quiet and just taking it all in. Eliza and Elena would be really happy to be up also....
Aiyah, dont say already la, very nice must come, imagine makansutra for scenery this is Die Die must see ☺
We had another picnic and ate more of our nuts, haha and jason and i left the rest behind and adventured slightly further higher, where we really got an even better view, Daniel you should have come up la ! We had a 360 unobstructed view of the entire area, behind us were some mountains, while in front of us was Lake Thun and Interlaken. On the other side was the three famous mountains ( Eiger, Monch and Jungfraujoch, which Mischu later explained was tiger monk virgin translated literally) Beautiful...
IMG_1698.jpg
Walking down wasnt easy, hah as we had `bashed up`( taking a more direct and steep route) we decided to walk down by the designated trails, however most of it was totally covered in knee high snow !
Our shoes were soaked and as ice went into my shoe my feet started to feel really cold and was getting numb ! haha, i finally understood why waterproof shoes were needed !
IMG_1721.jpg
The whole time, i was thinking, aiyah i damn zai, where running shoe for hiking ☺ so the three of us were wearing running shoes, and mine was full of holes to allow air to circulate freely ( and snow to come in also) ☹
I remembered Mischu saying `you know what some Swiss people think of asians? ` What ? `they always try and climb our alps without any gear and ill-equipped ! `haha, he than said there was once a group of japanese who tried to climb the Alps with Flip flops, and had to be Helievacuated HAHA !
We finally decended with muddy and soaked shoes which we washed in the snow before getting into the car and went back tired.

We chilled in the house for awhile, and as the day before i had ask Miube what was a traditional swiss dish, Bettina replied `Raclette and Cheese Fondue` At that point of time, those words meant nothing to me....
However, Miube told us they were going to let us try both of them that weekend !
At that time, it still wasnt too much of a big deal to me...
Mischu than said we were going to meet his friend Flavi’s house for dinner
At that time, it also didnt mean much to me...

We went for some grocery shopping at Coop(supermarket), we wanted to pay as we felt really bad that they were paying everything and they were still working...however, very soon as the trolley grew, the price grew larger than our wallet could swallow it was really expensive ! Like i said, Switzerland is the most expensive place in this galaxy! haha, several Groceries were like 300 SGD!!! wa painful. Felt so bad....

Best evening ever 0
-----→ that was a full Stop that was so big, it turned into a zero ( to emphasis the period ☺)

We arrived at Flavi`s house and i saw a strange looking thing, i turned and asked Mischu what that thing was and he replied `in this house, you will see alot of stuff that seem a little strange, and i dont know what they are so dont ask ;) `
It turned out to be exactly as he said ! Seriously the coolest house i have ever been to, but first i must introduce the amazing family.

The Dad, constructed the house and other things around the house himself as well as made his own Grappa ( strong liquor)
The Mom, made alot of the house decorations ( some intersting and bizzare)
The brother made his own ammunition
And Flavi Brewed his own beer, wait he made the brewer himself also ( this does not seem like much but trust me there is alot of work and innovation involved)
IMG_1755.jpg
Its hard to describe the house as it is too unique ! oh wait, they also can bake their own pizza ! haha,they grew their own grapes just at the front door and....it was just a really cool family living in a relly cool house. ☺

We chatted and looked around their `backyard` ( in singapore, it would be called a mini soccer field) haha ! as Miube and Flavi prepared the food and set up the Raclette `machine`

Soon it was time to satisfy our hungry stomachs, and the right way to do it was with cheese, the Raclette way.
Let me explain, You take a slab of cheese, put it on this mini tray put whatever you want on it ( salt, pepper, spices,bacon, onions....) put it on the grill and let the cheese melt, after awhile pour the melted cheese on the poor boiled potatos waiting on your plate. Open your mouth, maintain your decency and eat it slowly ☺
IMG_1778.jpg
IMG_1780.jpg
Shawn`s ultimate temptation = staring at a plate of Raclette and not eating it ☺

Heavenly, especially for those of you who love cheese... What could be better than cheese ?
Melted cheese!!! and what could be better than that, when its poured on some delicious food.
What could be better than that ? when you enjoy it with friends chatting over a meal.
IMG_1758.jpg
IMG_1770.jpg
And what could be better than that ? when you have it outdoors with perfect weather in a friend`s backyard ! It doesnt get any better right ? Wrong !!!
Having all that and having the swiss Alps in the background !!!!!
IMG_1763.jpgIMG_1764.jpg
Once again, i can try to describe that dinner, but i wont as it will just be a miserable attempt.
After several delicious servings, i just turned to daniel and said `really nothing to say right` Yes, we were totally lost for words and i was in a state of ultimate happiness and contentment and i was just so grateful for meeting Miube and God`s blessings in my life ! What a great dinner...

After dinner, Mischu said lets go to the other side of the house to watch the sunset !!!
I was like, you can do that ?? oh ya !!!! WEEEEE !
IMG_1783.jpg
Watching the sunset after a filling and delicious meal with your friends, with the Alps in the background. You could see the Alps turn from white to bright orange to a redish hue to Dark with a hint of snow and being Lighted by small Lights at the top... Beautiful ☺
IMG_1792.jpg
We were than given a proper Tour of the super cool house, which should totally be featured on discovery channel ! haha. The basement was the coolest, it had the microbrewery and a large stash of beer, as well the dad`s workshop which was really heavy hard core and no nonsense place where you could find really professional stuff. The mothers work station where she did really interesting sculptures and other stuff and some store rooms...
After a short tutorial on how the magic beer was made, we went up for supper !! haha
IMG_1811.jpg
It was really windy outside so we soon went inside to sit down.. Beer and chips, and some Grappa... The homebrewed beer had a `burnt wheaty taste`which i felt was probably the best beer i had ever drunk ( i really like the wheaty taste) however, most of the rest didnt like it haha, well as they say one man`s meat is another man`s poison.
That night, i drank the most beer i had ever drunk in my life (which isnt that much la) haha
What a nice evening...
Went back, crashed...

While im writing this, im thinking of the time where i wrote another entry in Mischu house, and he said. `Hey are you writing a book?!`Haha, yes i realise that my entries are starting to get longer and im getting more Loh soh, but haha, i want to remember this ☺

I have also been trying to read my bible frequently, and im still in Romans now.
Its a really good book and i like it alot, however im really sad there are some parts i find hard to understand, and i realise i really need God`s help in living a life that glorifies his name.
Oh lord, help me !

Posted by shawnified 12:10 Archived in Switzerland Comments (2)

Switzerland Suisse Svizzera day 1 !

nearly the best alternative

sunny 10 °C

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

Cambridge---at daniel's house while discussing our travel plans, we were deciding to forgo Switzerland to spend more time in paris...
However, some how our plans turned out differently due to unforeseen circumstances and we went to switzerland instead...
Best choice ever ;)

The train there from Paris was quite long and we were supposed to arrive at Michu and Bettina's house at 3.30 pm, however there was a last minute email saying they could only make it at 8 pm so we had alot of time to spare. We decided to get off at our 'change overs' and look around the different cities.
We first got off at Geneva and went to see Lake Geneva, it was a long walk and we took a break halfway to eat branch.
After, the lake, we walked to the UN- united nations, nothing much and despite really hard starring we couldnt find the Sinapore Flag.

Jason and i brought alot of clothes ( long johns, gloves, scarfs....) all for switzerland. Ironically, it was the hottest country we visited so far... crap .
We were sweating like nonsense for the first time since we flew over and were getting tired after walking with our field pack for so long.
While walking back, we suddenly found a Trolley ! haha, so we took it and walk back to the train station ( yes we did help to return it to the spermarket)
We boarded the train and went to Lausanne, where we took another walk, but really very tired la, so after awile we left for Thun where Mischu and Bettina stayed. On a side note, after spending 4 hours in Switzerland we found out it was the most expensive country in the galaxy !!! Crap, so we drawed 300 hundred francs (about 450 sg) for the next 7 days. Which to me was way too much money...

We arrived at Thun and oh man, blown away again. Thun is said to be the gate of the Alps and just at the train station we could alreadsy see the Swiss Alps.
We navigated our way to Miube ( Mischu+ Bettina ) house and since it was way too early and we were reall tired and hungry we decided, ah, we would dump our bags in their garage and grab some stuff to eat...
You must understand that unlike paris, switzerland gives you a really safe feeling, its hard to describe but somehow you just feel so safe in the swiss especially in Thun.
There were some people having a party at the next block starring at us suspiciously so we just did it quickly and than left.
I decided it was a good idea to hang around at the junction to see if anyone tried to pull Stunt :)
After awhile we went , we went across the road to check out the nearest restaurant (20-30 swiss francs for the cheapest meal) wa !!! super expensive, even daniel who usually just wack decided not to eat...
We walked a little further and we saw an old guy with long hair and asked him if he spoke english and when he said yes, we continued and asked. ' Where is the cheapest place we can grab something to eat ? ' He said, Keb and roll a kebab joint and gave us the directions to the place.
When we finally arrived famished, we managed to contact Michu to update him on our location and status. He decide to join us for dinner !!!!
So we ordered and i told the boss to hold our order till our friends came. After awhile, Miube arrived, they looked great ! and i was really happy to be meet our first couple host !
Nice diner and talk, we were a little tired though, so couldnt talk so much....
Went back to their place, they were lauging about us keeping our field packs at the garage haha !! 3 crazy guy :)
Mischu than opened the door and introduced us to the first house which had carpets (wait for it)....not on the floor but on all the walls !!! haha Epic ( thir flat was inside their house)
When the doors open, Happiness just enveloped me, after some time in the mini flats in paris, we entered a mansion ( for paris standards) haha and it was super cool and a really nice house........
IMG_1602.jpg
IMG_1599.jpg
There were three rooms,a kitchen and a bathroom. Each decorated uniquely and offering one a peak into their fun lives ☺
They showed us to our rooms where two comfortable beds begged us to lie on them. While in the other room there was a sofa that muttered softly `lie on me dude, i know you are tired :)`
A good night sleep awaits ☺

Posted by shawnified 11:42 Archived in Switzerland Comments (2)

Paris onwards

Learning from the experienced...secret tips :)

overcast 13 °C

We arrived in the evening at Tanguy's house in the late evening, after a quick introduction he decided to cook some dinner and we decided that that was a splendid idea, hungry and broke as ever :)
Tanguy was a really nice guy, he had spent 6 months in Ntu as an exchange student studying engineering, maybe michael ser knows him haha.
Jason and i watched quite a few Tv series ( Chuck, prison break, walking dead, Heroes, how i met your mother..) more or less but that night we found out during dinner that Tanguy watched at least 10x more than us, he showed us his Movie, music and Tv series collection and it was Crazy ! haha, i have no idea how he managed to watch so many shows and still manage to have so much time to do other stuff.
We also found out during dinner he was a real life engineer.
He made alot of the stuff in his house by himself, from altering the curtains to sewing the entire Sofa cover and installing his bed...Respect.
We were really tired soon and crashed after a nice hot shower ( which turned cold halfway for me :( )

The next day Tanguy had three Fit and dangerously good looking man escorting him to work ;)
After we departed from his office, we had a nice walk in half of Parc De Bercy and decided to go check out the National Library which he told us to go see.
It was a interesting and very big building, comprising of 4 'corners` which were mainly office buildings the library was like in B1 and B2 with a mini forrest growing from the bottom to the first storey.
However, to our horror we found out the library wasnt free ! Ya what the crap right, Toilets arent free now even libriaries arent free....
While sitting on some benches, we suddenly saw the backpacker again ! It was crazy, we have a lready met him 2 other times coincidentally and now at the library ! haha so this time we went to introduce ourselves formally.
His name was Chiam and he was 37. He said he has travelled through all of Europe except 3 places ( cant rmb) and i told jason`eh this guy a little niang eh` but jason say `no la, maybe he is like that`
He immediately told us a thousand tips( free entry into library 2 hours before it closed every day !) haha, and otbher tips about traveling and hitchhiking...
He was really super zai, he told us his has been enjoying himself on 3 Euros a week for the whole time !
Sweet...Knowing we were backpackers also he asked if we had a place to stay and food to eat and than explained how he managed to get so many things for free !
He explained that almost every cith had a homeless shelter that lets people sleep and a few outlets that distributed food to the broke and poor...
We than decide to go for dinner together at the `outlet` and as it was still early, we went for a walk in china town.

While walking there, he wanted to show us where to meet for dinner, and we saw a buch of hobos queuing.
We decided to go in for a hot drink for the road.
After, we had our drink they suddenly started serving food...So Chiam, said `Lets eat now, better to eat earlier than later` :)
So we joined the queue also, while queing i started to realise that we were totally dressed in the wrong attire (we didnt look like hobos at all !!!)
And a black man, looked at me and said with a cheeky face, No cheena ok !
So i smiled and laughed and continued queuing, and started feeling really sorry for all this people...
I really hope that one day if i can afford i can set up one of these shelters also to feed the hungry.
The rising income gap is just ridiculous, in the next street you have people dining in luxury and buying stupid branded stuff while all these people are hungry and have almost no idea how to get their next meal.

Yes, for some of them, they are in these circumstance because of their mistakes or bad choices in life, however i am sure that some of the people queing beside me found it hard to get out of the `rut`
With this, we were soon got our `meal` Seriously, it was great, one of the best meals i had in Paris.( i haven been eating much)
You would have a `minced meat wrapped with cabbage` some rice with minestrone sauce, bread, vegetable soup (cream based), yogurt, an apple and a lemon( yes a lemon) and a ice lemon tea or ice water... super nice, serious...
After a nice satisrying meal, it was time for chinatown...the whole time i had really nice chats with Chiam and really found he that he was a nice guy with alot of knowledge to impart and i felt a little sad that he had nowhere to stay that night.
He was calling the emergency line (really funny) half the time to try to get a shelter, i was thinking of asking him to Tanguy's house for the night, but Dan and Jason were against the idea...So we bid him farewell and went to meet Tanguy for grocery shopping..
He was cooking some morocco beef stew for us, feeling bad, we paid for the groceries ( my highest expense in Paris !)
We had a nice satisfying dinner and tried to have an early night as we had a train at 8.09 am the next morning.
We really enjoyed our time with Tanguy talking and eating Ice cream and watching Family guy haha !!!

Switzerland here we come !!!!

Posted by shawnified 11:30 Archived in France Comments (2)

Paris Day 4-5 :)

speaking french doesnt make you french :)

semi-overcast 10 °C

Time and tide waits for no man

(Sunday)

Time wasnt on our side again so we quickly booked our tickets for the next leg of our trip.

We went to port de clignancourt where the famous flea market was suppose to be.
However my excitement turned to disappointment when we got lost and visited a 'fake' flea market instead...
So we wandered around the area ( total black neighbourhood) and walked all the way to La chapelle where we took the metro home and had our dinner, discuss our trip and chill.

--while walking through the black neighbourhood in the afternoon...

Warning !

After reading the next part your perception of me might change...
But cheers,
Dude ! just take it easy man ;)

We saw that all the fruit and vegetable market were closing and alot of stuff were just getting dumped and the entire streets were in a mess.
There were alot of cleaners just getting all the thrash and spraying water all over the place.
Suddenly, we noticed alot of people just rummaging through the stacks and packets of stuff and keeping it !!
With excitement, i said "Jason ! eh lets take also la !!"
So i quickly, followed them ( lao jiao) and started rummaging also.
The first stop there was just almost 100 potatoes in a tray and i was like dude !!!
And when i tried to get some the black big woman who was feeling her plastic bag, shouted at me....
(im guessing it was something along the line, go away this is all mine you chinese punk) haha
So i quickly continued walking, when you start to open your eyes, you actually realise that there is alot of decent stuff there ! haha
ok cutting the long story short and helping you guys to be not as disgusted as you already are, here are some photos of our final spoils back home... Yes nothing much, but i still have a decent standard of cleanliness :)
Heh heh heh
IMG_1258.jpgIMG_1257.jpg

After that, we went home cooked, chatted with Thibaut and just enjoyed our last night :)
The next morning. Goodbye Thibaut and Hello Pierre....

We took the Metro to Pierre house, very near the area we visited mentioned earlier.
Black neighbourhood, but thankfully a nice Condo ! haha
We put down our bags and he told us to come back at 5.30 pm for dinner.
So we left the house and walked around went to Montmartre (my favourite place in Paris ! its the place where you can find cobblestoned roads and like an authentic paris ! Featured in Amelie Poulain !!
didnt find her though :( )
It had a beautiful view seriously epic, the best view so far in probably my whole life.
A little tired to describe it but seriously, Wow !
However the place was a little spoilt by numerous touts (mainly from Romania)
Alot of nice shops (expensive though) and nice cafes.

After a tiring day we went back.
When we arrived, Pierre was already waiting for us.
We had a nice chat for an hour or so, and than it was time to cook dinner !
The dish of the day was Ratatouille ( Stewed vegetable dish ) !
While preparing the food, i was like oh no this is real bad, im going hungry tonight...
We also baked an apple pie for dessert !
We all learned to cook the Ratatouille together and had a real fun time cooking chopping talking...
As the Ratatouille needed some time to stew we had some appetisers while waiting ( Canapés) it was bread with a really nice spread ( Tarama) which is essenitially fish egg salad, similar to the one we have on sushi.
The whole time we were having real interesting chats about French people, history, culture....
Finally dinner was ready, i felt really rude if i didnt even try it, and after preparing it for so long. I knew it was only right to try it....
So, i summoned my reserve will power and dug into a mouthfull of vegetables !
Yes, i have to admit it, it was really nice !!!
Its one of the rare occassions i had vegetables and this time was probably the second time i liked it ! haha
Really nice dinner, healthy also :) pierre explained the amazing thing about the stew was that all the flavours of the vegetables were still preserved, and the taste only fuses together in your mouth ! Great :)
After we finished dinner, Apple Pie !!! really great serious, and we made it ourselves !!
Sweet juicy and delicious :)
simply lovely :)

The next night was almost the same thing just that we had pasta instead, Pierre is a really good cook and all our dinners lasted 3-4 hours everynight as we cooked, had appetisers, ate and talked the whole night.
In the day we went to montmartre, where this time the view was way better as the fog had lifted and we could see paris really well.
With perfect weather, great music ( african rastafarian singing and rapping as well as other people singing), great view... simply perfect.
We just sat there for a real long time enjoying the scenery and music.
We also met a fellow backpacker whom we had met earlier in the bus station ! haha not forgetting the stunning ang moh girls !
haha.
One thing that spoiled it though was a romanian gypsey (pretending to be deaf) who tried to get some money from me and when i said no, he grab my beautiful tasty pastry and just crushed the entire thing !!
Pek chek !
Also we did pop by a french hospital, and it was quite nice and pretty decent.
Lastly, we bough some middle eastern bread and nuts :)

Thank you Pierre !

Leaving for Tanguy house !!!

Posted by shawnified 14:29 Archived in France Comments (3)

Paris Day 1-3 :)

Champs-Élysées

semi-overcast 13 °C

3.30pm-- Our bus brought us to Gallieni bus station in the outskirts of Paris and we had until 7.30 pm to find our way to Avenue De Ternes near the famous Champ elysees so there we went walking (full gear :)
While walking we got to see numerous sights that really was quite amazing(but i guess a little unappreciated due to our fatigue and me still dizzy from westminster abbey haha)
After a 3.45 hour (very tiring) walk, we finally arrived at our Thibaut house !!!

When we first met he was a real nice gentleman and brought us to his studio apartment which was really nice and cozy (pictures will be up 1 day)
Next moment, breaking news. He was leaving the next day to his parents house (an hour drive from Paris) as he had a Duathlon to go to.
Puzzled, i asked " what about us ?"
Thibaut " oh dont worry, u will stay here. I give you my keys"
Shawn(with a calm composure) "oh, ok" ( EPIC !!!! Screaming in my mind !!! Wooooo !!!!)
Thibaut trusted us with his entire house before he had even met us !
We had changed our dates last minute and he could have very real rejected us as he wouldnt have been home but he didnt !
Instead he trusted us with his beloved apartment :) to me, evidence of people geniune kind nature :)

The next day we bid farewell and rushed off to Cathedral Notre Dame where Jason suggested for us to join the Paris "free" tour.
We were first given a brief history on how the cathedral was neglected and partially saved by Victor Hugo who wrote (the Hunchback of Notre Dame) inspiring people in paris to save it from neglect.

Right after, we had a nice stroll along the Seine river ( it was supposed to be romantic but..dude i was with 2 other guys) haha and headed to the Lourve, Yes ! the Lourve :)

  • For those of you who dont know the Lourve it is basically the biggest toilet in Paris
  • and for those who thought that was true please stop reading this blog and get out, find the nearest stranger and ask him to slap you :)

yes do it now

The Lourve was way bigger than we thought in fact one of the amazing things of it was the sheer size of the museum ( the queue also) but man, it was one big museum !
there are 35,000 artefacts in it !
If you see 1 artefact a second u would still need 9 hours to completely see them all !
We didnt go in... as

1)The queue
2)the price
3)we had already seen the british museum which was argued to be better or just as good.
4)The outside of the building itself was already worth the trip, also we did get to see the "invincible pyramid" haha

After passing through the Lourve, we walked pass the great garden " Jardin des tuileries" created by Queen Catherine de medici.
It was quite nice, as it had almost perfect symmetry from the start to the end on both sides.
However the real mind blower was at the end of the garden, there was a 6km amazing line of monuments (the Historical axis) go google it ;)
where all the famous monuments run straight for almost 6km
simply amazing !

After we finished walking the historical axis, we carried on walking along the river and finally reached a nice small park where there was a great view of the Eiffel tower. Our guide explained that it was constructed for the 1889 world exhibition and it was meant to be a temporary exhibitation, but when the French finally fell in love with it they decided to let it stay so they put up a radio transmitter.
We left the tour (after paying about 3 Euros of tips, you just have to pay somehow) and went to eat and hang around the area as we wanted to see the tower at night :)

At 7.40 pm, we finally walked towards the tower and just waited for 8pm.
7.55 PM- the tower was beautiful (seriously) just standing there and admiring it for who knows how long. Off course we took photos.
8 PM - The flashing lights finally started. Sweet :) gotta see it if u are in Paris !
.....
Went back home tired and yes spent the night chilling and eating Cheese ! hahaha :)

Roger dont so sad eh !
i was going to buy the Eiffel tower back for you but they say 152 million, my pocket not enough money.
Sorry :)

Posted by shawnified 09:00 Archived in France Tagged couchsurfing Comments (5)

Across the channel

Initial plan---Reality

rain 14 °C

(Initial plan)

Get tickets in the morning.
Meet daniel immediately after exams--3.30pm
Catch the bus to London--4.30pm to 6.45pm
Meet Richard for dinner --7.30pm to 8.30 pm
Catch bus to Paris -------9.30pm to 7.30 am

(Reality)

Meet daniel immediately after exams--3.30pm
Catch the bus to London--4.30pm to 7.45pm (nonsense jam)
Eat dinner in the bus station---7.45pm to 9.10pm
Attempt to catch the bus --9.10pm to 9.30pm ( missed the bus as we did not know we needed to check in at least 15 mins before, and did not do so !)

(Our first night out)

Walking around the train station and looking for somewhere to camp, we eventually found a flat "platform" between a staircase where it was quiet, laid out our bags and crashed. (11pm) we needed to wake up at around 6.30am to catch the 1st bus :)

3.45am
woke up shivering and needing to pee, jason and dan had both took out their sleeping bags and looked quite soundly asleep.
I was shivering so badly, it almost felt like the time i was sleeping in the rain up in "Mount Biang" (Brunei mountain)
So lazy as i was, i said " im not sleeping anymore, ima go pee now"
.....
went around the station looking for somehere to pee
pee in the backalley outside the station
walked around the station and read the local news
Dan and Jason got up
Finally boarded the 8 Hour bus to Paris !
Crossed the channel !
(the entire bus got swalloed by a train carriage, the shutters close and when the shutters open woala ! France ! haha :) )

Sorry the entries are getting less frequent, internet access is plenty but its hard to blog from a phone.
We havent really had a chance to use a computer for a long time and when opportunity arises, we had to use it for our "research"
So hang on ! lots of stories to tell, pictures to share but...
Patience is a virtue :)
Not many have.

Excuse me spelling errors and typos ( Darn this french keyboards ! )

Posted by shawnified 08:18 Archived in France Comments (0)

Goodbye Cambridge, Bonjour Paris

Mistakes we (should have) knew we were making

sunny 14 °C

Experiences whether good or bad often turn into good when looking back on hindsight.

After much discussion...
Unfortunately, for the next leg of our journey to Paris we will not be hitchhiking but instead travel by bus.
Reasons ?

1) Convenience and time as we "have" to arrive in Paris by 25th as our accommodation has been arranged. ( could be push back but...)

2) to skip the immense effort to research on how to hitchhike out of London into Paris (crossing the channel isnt as easy and might be time consuming, especially since we are 3 people now)

Well, i sincerly hope my first experience wont be my last.

We decided to but the tickets 2 days ago in the evening, however we didnt book it online as i felt we could go to the counter the next day instead and book it over the counter in case there were better timings, better prices...
However the next day, when we were walking to the counter, we got "lost" and decided ah, might as well just go back home and book it online...
We got home and went online, but there was just so much "redtape" that somehow all our cards didnt work !
All 4 cards, what the crap !
and this morning, when we tried booking the Tickets on the phone, we found out the price had increased alot ! ( from 7.5+38 =45.5 to 16 + 50sth...)
And yes off course i was sad, broke as i am, the tickets now had an inelastic demand and the price could be as high as it could be and we would still have to buy it.

Real crazy day, i ran around with jason the whole morning to buy from 1 place, print from another place. And after jason left( he is meeting us in London later at 7pm) i had to rush back to buy some misc stuff and pack.

Being sad didnt really change the situation we were in, so i just want to share (with you guys and hope in turn remind me) the application of knowledge, which some people define as wisdom.
We all know last minute tickets are expensive..... and all the different things people tell you are likely to be true, but until you have experienced it for yourself, it is unlikely to register.
Hence, a conscious effort is needed to constantly apply what one has learnt whether from yourself or other people's experiences.
Well, now that i have experienced it, i guess the experience serves as a painful reminder to my wallet and hopefully preventing me from making similar mistakes.

I will leave you all with a quote and in anticipation as i go meet David Belle and Amelie poulain in Paris ! :)

Meanwhile my butt is going to die as i sit on him for the 1630 till 0730 tmr :(

It isn't the problems along the way that make us or break us. It's how we learn to stand and face them that makes the difference."
— Joan Bauer

Also, im reading Romans now,
Really convicting and uplifting book.

In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive in Christ Jesus.
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.
Romans 6.11

Posted by shawnified 06:06 Archived in England Comments (4)

Chilling in cambridge

part 2

Yes, we are still chlling in cambridge.
Living the dude life and being a Lebowski ( I speak only for myself)
We haven been up to much recently just spending a few hours a day walking around cambridge ( yes everywhere on foot, Infantry ! haha)
Going to Sainsbury alot, to buy food to cook, the funny thing is though the only way we can cook is a microwave, and its really hard. HAHA !
Wish ambrish and kian pin were here to cook for me !
We are planning to leave on thursday, but the plan is really unfixed, just last night i recieved a mail from Richard in London asking us to go back to London for the weekend to hang !
Oh man, i dont know if Dan and Jason wants to, as we are suppose to be in Paris from 25-31...Well i guess we ll find out when i ask them later.
Im a "morning person" in singapore, ironically its the same here ! So, my "morning person" has actually remain a "morning person" but is secretly now a "night person"

And yes, i really find myself enjoying the lunches in the park, nice weather on top of the relaxing and beautiful scenery. Lovely :)
And also, i personally think the Fish and chips here are over rated :()
If you find what i just said is nonsense, maybe its because you haven watched The Big Lebowski,
Just take it easy man !
Cheers :)

DSC00781.jpgDSC00779.jpgDSC00778.jpgDSC00777.jpgDSC00775.jpgDSC00772.jpgDSC00766.jpgDSC00765.jpgDSC00763.jpgDSC00756.jpgDSC00754.jpgDSC00752.jpgDSC00748.jpgDSC00747.jpgDSC00746.jpgDSC00745.jpgDSC00757.jpg

Question of the day !!

Is this the best drink in the world ?
Or is the best drink in the world this ?
Cheers !

large_papaya_20milk.jpg

Thanks buddy ! :)

Posted by shawnified 03:12 Comments (0)

Chilling in cambridge

With Dan

semi-overcast 5 °C

We have been Staying in Cambridge since thursday, and we are planning to stay a little longer, maybe till next thursday to chill and enjoy the beautiful Cambridge :)
I just have to get this off my chest, contrary to popular belief, the food here is not as expensive as everyone makes it out to be, cheaper still if u make the effort to cook yourself. many of my photos show sweets tidbits and more, all going for a pound or less, kettle chips for 99pence,4 mars bars for a pound...the general idea is to avoid restaurants, they are the ones who kill your wallet :)
Also, the clothes here are unbelievably cheap, i was tempted to buy a long sleeve H&M shirt for 9 pounds, Jason was tempted to buy soccer jerseys which goes for 80+Sgd for 25 pounds...
What i am beginning to realise is the world is not what it is made out to be.
Your perception of the world is ultimately shaped by your experiences, do not take what everyone says as truth ( for i believe there is no absolute truth except in God)
Also, Kenni (fellow Couch surfer) were talking and both of us sincerly believe that people in general are nice and do not seek to "injure" those they are friends with. Except for a few nut heads here and there, maybe i ll get robbed tommorrow :)

Lastly, as we have been Crashing on Daniel's floor the past few nights, Daniel has been insisting that we take turns with the bed.
Honestly, even though i wanted the bed as my back has been hurting( for who knows what) i geniunely couldnt bring myself to take it even with his constant offer. I just felt that if anyone should be on the floor its not going to be Dan.
So i went to sleep, Daniel who got back a little late, was using the computer quietly while the both of us were sleeping.
In the middle of the night(around 3+, 4) i awoke to pee, and daniel was still on the computer. As i walked backed semi conscious, i suddenly saw Dan, slipping into my sleeping bag lying on the floor ! Shocked, i insisted that he go to the bed, but he was already settled in...Slowly, i knew the sacrifice he made was already cemented and there was nothing i could do but thank him in the morning and hope to do the same in the future.
Perhaps, this is true hospitality, it cannot be expressed in words or actions, but the attitude to place your guest higher or at the same status as you will result in you moulding your actions to do just that.

Oh God, give me a selfless heart, to place others above myself

I bought a new Lunchbox, Diary, and pencil case( the law of straightness( for those who know my old one :) )
My lunchbox says: "only good food allowed"
"no bible no breakfast"
"no devotion no dinner" ( came up myself ! ) haha :)

Cheers ! DSC00743.jpgDSC00737.jpgDSC00732.jpgDSC00730.jpgDSC00729.jpgDSC00728.jpgDSC00727.jpgDSC00720.jpg4DSC00716.jpgDSC00711.jpgDSC00702.jpg9DSC00694.jpg

Posted by shawnified 01:57 Archived in England Comments (6)

(Entries 41 - 50 of 57) « Page 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 »