The Little Princes

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Chinese New Year 2007

It's been a pretty eventful Chinese New Year, with the pre-New Year trip to Paris, the New Year visiting, food and gambling. The last week was quite relaxed too as many are still in the New Year mood.

Anyway, CNY is not over yet but I'll be off to HK for business. Hmm, would be good to catch a glimpse of how CNY is like over there. Finished packing most of my stuff already as the flight is at 1630. Today is 初八 and I should be back by next Sat (初十四) before 元宵.

Here's wishing one and all ...

新年快乐,万事如意!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Paris-London Feb 2007 Photos


View them HERE!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Home Sweet Home

Although feeling jetlagged, sick and can only move around by hobbling, its glad to be home.

Touched down at around 1030 and went straight home. Its Valentine's day and I have a doctor's appointment at 1445. Both Wifey and myself were so tired out that we went straight to sleep after lunch. Unfortunately, I had to wake up 1 hour later to drag myself to NUH for the appointment.

Doc said I had to wait at least 2 years before removing my implants, so its another appointment in 6 months time.

On the way back, the roads were wet and slippery, and this guy in an army uniform had to skid and fall right in front of me as we were entering the expressway, luckily I was awake enough to stop in time!

Monday, February 12, 2007

London - Day 4 & 5

We took the 0807 EuroStar to London and arrived in a familiar English speaking environment about 2.5 hours.

The EuroStar stops at Waterloo Station so it was a breeze going to Victoria Station where our hotel was. The Tube tickets are pretty expensive so we decided to get the "Oyster" card (stored value).

We didn't really get a good first impression of London, especially the hotel which we stayed. Small, dusty/dirty and expensive. Everything is NOT INCLUDED and needed to pay extra. For example, the "cold breakfast" which essentially was just cereal, coffee/tea and toast cost 3.5 pounds.

Anyway, we managed to survive on our 100 pound budget for the 2 days, including paying for entrance tickets to the Tower of London and the Queen's Gallery. The rest of the sights are mostly free.

London Collage

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Paris - Day 3

Today was the day trip to the Loir Valley. This trip consists of actually visits to 3 Chateaus. They are:

- Chateau Chambord
- Chateau Cheverny
- Chateau Chenonceau

The morning was pretty dismal as it was cold, windy AND raining ... but luckily, as the day progressed, it got slightly warmer and the rain stopped.

Chambord was nice, huge but a bit old and run down. I think they are in the process of restoring it further. I guess it is also in this state because it is Government owned while the other 2 are privately owned.

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Lunch was near Cheverny in a place called Le Grande Chancelier. Food was nice but wasn't particularly impressive.

I did enjoy the trip although most of the time I had to walk slowly because by now my left knee was slightly painful from all the walking. Anyway, we arrived back in Paris at around 8pm for dinner at ... Le McDonalds! :-D

Friday, February 09, 2007

Paris - Day 2

The day started off very early. Went for breakfast with Wifey and her colleagues. After that, we set off together at 0845, they went to work and I went walking again!

First stop, Musee du Louvre. As I was early, it wasn't very crowded. No need to queue for tickets or entry. Spent at least 3 hours non-stop walking through the huge museum and I think I only covered 70%!

Lunch at the Louvre was as usual, touristically expensive. Think my cold cous cous and orange drink cost me 9 euros ...

After that, I had only time to take a walk to the Notre Dame before returning to the hotel to plan/book for day trips for the next day. The Notre Dame was most impressive on the outside, and even more so on the inside ...

Back at the hotel, I had wanted to book for a day trip to the Mont St Michel Abbey on an island. However, I think the tour was very popular so its already full. In the end, Wifey and I finally decided on a tour to the Loir Valley just before we went out for dinner, this time with her colleagues at a nearby Bistro.

By now, I had clocked a total of almost 12 hours of walking time, and my legs feel like they are going to drop off any moment!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Paris - Day 1

Luckily the flight was not full. Got an empty seat beside me so quite spacious. Didn't bother to watch the inflight movies cos they were not really the latest. Spent most of the time sleeping. Guess the flight can be summarised as follows:

Takeoff...eat...toilet...sleep...wakeup...sleep..wakeup ...sleep...wakeup...sleep...wakeup...eat...landing

Going through immigration was a breeze, no need to fill up any forms. However, after that, things got a bit confusing. Supposed to take the RER Line B but there were no signs showing where I should go. Finally asked the staff at the Information and was told to take Bus No. 2. Managed to find and board the bus. Had no idea where to alight so just followed the crowd. Again, followed the crowd to buy tickets to Paris and board the train.

Alighted correctly at Gare Du Nord to change to the Magenta RER Line E. Nearly took the wrong train going in the opposite direction. The right train, however, was PACKED! Worse than the MRT back home during peak hour. Literally have to force ur way in and hold ur breath. Luckily, peak hour Parisians seem to be well groomed and do not have any BO!

Finally reached the hotel at 0830, just in time to catch wifey as she was leaving for work. A quick freshening up and I was out of the hotel (very near St Lazare) at 0945.

Went to the following places:

- St Lazare
- Place de la Concorde
- Champs Elysees
- Louis Vuitton :-D
- Arc de Triomphe
- Palais de Chaillot
- Tour Eiffel
- Champ de Mars
- Ecole Militaire
- Hotel des Invalides


If you need an interactive map of Paris, this one's not bad.

Paris Collage

Along Avenue Kleber (between the Arc de Triomphe and Palais de Chaillot), I met a desperate Italian man. He waved at me and stopped his car in front of me. He told me he is in the fashion business and was here for an exhibition. He showed me 3 nice jackets in Italian leather and told me he approached me because they were the right size for me. Next, comes his story...

Apparently, he has gambled away most of his money at a local casino and spent money on girls. He also maxxed out all his overseas credit cards, so he wanted to sell me the 3 jackets for 200€ for petrol back to Italy. Initially, I thought its some sort of con, but then later I find that he sounded quite genuine. I told him I was short of cash and only had 50€. The "bargaining" went on and eventually I managed to get 2 of the jackets for 70€.

Back at the hotel I tried them on and they fit very nicely! The leather was soft and comfortable. I decided to start wearing one of them immediately.

So Dominic (that was his name), whether you were genuine or not, I hope you managed to get back to Italy.

Dinner was at one of the restaurants called Hippopotamus. They have a lot of branches over Paris. Food is nice, at least I tried their "authentic" French Onion Soup.

IMG_1096

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Waiting @ KLIA

I'm surprised that KLIA has FREE wifi Internet access while Changi requires you to pay. In this aspec, I think KLIA is better than CIA.

Took a while to transfer flights as had to take a train.

Ok, they are calling for boarding now, gotta go.

Waiting ... again ...

Now at boarding gate F31, waiting to board. No free wireless access so standing at one of the terminals here to write this. Hope the flight is not too full going to CDG.

Anyway, just received an SMS from Wifey that it is snowing in Paris! Wow, so suaku both of us. Hope it will snow again in the next few days.

Out for now.

Waiting for my hair to dry ...

It's past 4am in the morning and I've just finished taking a shower after coming back from ... work!

It's been a pretty eventful evening I should say. Started off after work when I metup with Dad and my Bro+SIL+Nikki for dinner. It was my Dad's birthday. We had cheap "zi cha" at Cactus Road near my office.

In the middle of the dinner, I received a call from a customer about their system having some problems. So after dinner and sending Dad back, it was off to customer's place, and eventually spent the evening and early morning troubleshooting with 2 other engineers (and chatting with each other when we realised that the fault was not with our system). The problem was finally fixed and by the time we left, it was 3am.

Its been a long while since I am out till so early in the morning. Enjoyed the nice drive back on empty roads and expressways. Highlights on the way back: 1) about 50+ cabs waiting outside St James Power station but don't see any crowd ... ; 2) Police road block along Woodlands Road which stopped and checked all vehicles about 1km from my home.

Ok, hair almost dry, time to catch some winks before some last minute tasks tomorrow.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Trip Preparation

Just dropped Wifey off at the airport. Her flight is at 2350hrs so should be in the air by now. Another few more days it will be my turn. Most of my stuff is already packed in a haversack, just left with the toiletries and some electronics.

Wifey is a "lister", so I got a list of chores to do tomorrow. She also listed down stuff which I have yet to pack. Hmmm, better keep the list properly and not lose it. (It is kinda freaky that my horoscope for Feb 3 also talks about planning for upcoming trips and making lists!)

Hopefully there will be free wireless Internet access somewhere near the hotel for me to post daily updates to this blog through the PDA. If not, there will be silence till I am back on Valentine's Day ... :-)