07 avril 2009
26 mars 2009
RTW - VIII - San Francisco - Feb 11th to 16th
I am determined to finish this series, if only so that I have archives come any trip down memory lane
Just back from Las Vegas, it was time to finally chill in San Francisco...
Good times were had by all as I stayed four days at Julien's and three at Adgenie's (I guess Adrien & Eugenie are Adgenie, just like Tomkat and Bradgelina, no?). Under the same logic, I'd like someone to explain how to combine Julien and Julie... Thx!
Some highlights need to be shared though:
The gigantic pillow fight on Valentine's Day
btw, if you like flashmobs, you'll just love that
So I had a couple considerations from the nightlife, given that Julien took me out quite a bit:
- I finally had an occasion of showing off my knowledge of the capital city of Honduras (Tegucigalpa) as I met a couple girls from Honduras at “French Tuesdays”. Yep... Go figure...
- It's official: in North America, girls and guys learn how to dance in hip hop music videos. Funnily enough, the lower the class, the more like it...
- Kindergarten teacher's assistant is a job that exists. And some find me attractive...
- Young girls don't understand me when I negligently say this line after a nerdy joke
“Well, you see darling, in Rain Man, I'm more Dustin Hoffman than Tom Cruise”
“In what? Is that a movie?”
“Pff... A tray... Lord Darth Vader? … Oh Forget it!”
Well, the pictures album on fb is there...
PS: Mysterious Valentine's day girl, you'll be remembered! What a mystery...
26 février 2009
RTW VII - Las Vegas - Feb 7th to 10th
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas...
So do the ca. 250$ I've lost at the Texas Hold'em tables... Considering the ca. 7% rake the bank takes I didn't really give money to other players at all, rather the contrary!
I finally healed the itching I had to become a pro poker player. I'm sure I could do it, if I gave it time, but I'd probably die of boredom...
This is still exciting though
And the nights in Vegas, you say?
I haven't narrated anything about going out, so I'm not starting now obviously...
I just think a note is needed about a BFBD, who would repeatedly throw stashes of one $ bills... A better investment than some money wasted in Vegas ;-)
Here's the mandatory FB album, I guess, for the ones not on FB
24 février 2009
RTW VI - Sydney - February 3rd to 6th
I love Sydney!!
Wow... So I fly to Sydney via Christchurch AND via Auckland... Thank you Mademoiselle, who booked my trip at Zurich airport!
At least I get to shop a bit: Hendrick's for Thomas v/o Fari and an All Blacks shirt for me (after being the equivalent of a big black dude in Japan, I felt entitled to that)
So I arrive in Sydney and, first thing, the customs guy calls me Daniel Vettori, apparently I'm a doppelganger of the Captain of the Kiwi cricket team... OK OK... I'll take it as a compliment!
Thomas picks me up and drives me straight to a Bavarian joint for a so-called Riesenschnitzel... I had had a lot of food in the lounge in Auckland, since my flight had been delayed, but I manage this tiny piece of veal like a German moustache wielding weight-lifting champ... Why do I add this? Because I can...
There follow three days of general happiness with a couple highlights:
I am positively in love with the Opera House :
here my facebook album about it
David Jones – the local Globus, very high-end supermarket... I love it a go shop for a pic-nic and also end up drinking a tomato, roquette, ginger & carrot juice – Fan-freaking-tastic!
Bondi Beach – I think I saw another HSG alum, but didn't have the balls to go and talk to her... Turns out it wasn't her ;-)
Bondi Burger – Oporto is a local fast food chain with grilled chicken, yum yum! Try the Bondi Burger...
Krispy Kreme – my first experience with those donuts, that are apparently so good... Chris Rock thinks so!
Top Gun – this really never gets old... Fari, Kerry & I doing a pic-nic in the park for an open-air movie. Couldn't have been a better movie... To think Fari hadn't seen it... Pfff...
And above all: Congrats Fari & Kerry, I'm so happy for you both!!!!!!
Here the album of my tourism in Sydney
20 février 2009
RTW V - Tokyo - January 31st to February 2nd
Tokyo was really really fun! Thank you Mio for taking me around...
Eight little considerations about Japan
On business cards, the titles come before the names. In the West, the other way round
On elevators, Japanese people walk on the right side and stand on the left...
They love schoolgirls, and they have bars dedicated to them... The local Hooters I guess!
Manners they tend to bow & clap at lot... and sleep on subways!
Food is fantastic:
- Bean based dessert are surprising but really really good “Age man ju” for example
- Sushi in small sushi places costs ridiculous 120 Yens for two standard pieces on sushi (the price of a cheeseburger)
- On the other hand alcohol is really expensive as they get drunk on three drinks. Hehe...
The beckoning cat is a cultural symbol... And I think it's an origination of the popular brand “Hello Kitty”
The Japanese alphabet is an alphabet of syllables, like Lo Cha Ti... Those are all just a letter. That explains why Japanese brands have such odd names like DoCoMo... In Japan, it's just a three letters acronym!
In Japan, foreigners are called gaijins. And we do inspire a bit of shock & awe... Here are some a prioris that Japanese people have about us (often rightfully so)
- We are rude. Tact, Japan style, goes way beyond our normal politeness
- We don't know how to eat with sticks (my style was adjusted)
- We are tall, blond and curly... Oh yeah, I abused that one too...
- We inspire some fantasies for some Japanese ladies...
Here are my pictures with impressions of Tokyo
12 février 2009
RTW IV - Shanghai - January 27th to 30th
I arrived in Shanghai and met Aline in my hotel (I had booked a free SPG night)...
Shanghai is closed seven days a year: Chinese new year... And that's exactly when I was there!
So we ended up eating at my hotel... Hmm... Lasagna...
After this odd start, I "moved in" at the girls: Nice apartment!!!
And right then and there started about three days of nice life in Shanghai:
Museum of Urbanism
Museum of Posters of Communist Propaganda
I was babysitted like a real baby! And got to learn:
Straight ahead, to the left, to the right
So when I left, all I could say in my approximative mandarin was:
Xie Xie Aline, you're a Bing Shuei guide...
Thank you Aline, you're a cold water guide!!!
Make sure to check out the facebook album
Still thanks! I'll be back in 2010 for the world expo in Shanghai!
04 février 2009
RTW III - HK - January 24th to 27th
Aaaaaaahhhh, a week-end in Hong-Kong with Lam!
After a plane ride to Beijing and two first taste of chinese behaviour
i) In Moscow at Shermentievo: pushing and shoving and disrespecting queues...
ii) In Beijing, where an airport employee clearly just doing his job went on a rant that I needed to pay him "ten dollars" (about as much english as he knew) for his services, i.e. cabbing me around for 300m as I was the last passenger the flight was waiting for! Oh unfortunately for him, I had no money so I gave him 8 roubles in coins...
These two themes ended up being recurrent so I won't really go into it any deeper. I'll just state that you always have to fight, bargain, push, claim, ask twice or more, and and and... Pfff!
Then again, Hong Kong was fantastic with a couple highlights:
- The flight attendant coming to tell me I'm "golden" and she'll take care of me [read: I have an airline gold status and she's responsible for my satisfaction with this flight]... Then coming back a couple minutes later and asking me with a shy smile "have I seen you on television?"
- Very good nightlife in Kowloon and in Lan Kwai Fong
- Shopping and visiting HK with Lam: Where we ended up being little "Victoria Beckham"s (thank you Vince for the nickname) "Lam? Maybe a pullover?"
- The food was fantastic, especially the Thai with Brad, an american golfpro met in aforementionned Lon Kwai Fong (and also especially after Moscow - Wink to Nico)
- Chinese New Year on Sunday was impressive...
- I loooooooooooooooooooove asian kids, they are the cutest... At some point, i had to stop taking pictures, because I thought I might come off a little politically uncorrect**!
If I was a bit let down by the attitude of some chinese people and really liked the one of native HK people, the attitude I come to disrespect most nowadays is the expat attitude, but that will be the topic of another article. And don't mistake me: It's not expats per se, it's people behaving like archetypical expats/colonialists that make me nauseous...
As ever, for more and spicy comments, enjoy the facebook album
** or to quote the movie "In Bruges" (quite good actually):
"What two things is Belgium know for?"
"Well, chocolates and child abuse... And they only invented chocolate to give to the kids..."