Summer Glau practicing fight choreography for the movie, Serenity (2005). Her kicks are amazing for not having any martial arts experience. She only did ballet. It makes me wish that more ballerinas got into martial arts. Their flexibility is perfectly suited for it.
ENDER’S GAME - NOVEMBER 2013 ♦ THE ENEMY’S GATE IS DOWN
Spent the morning/early afternoon at the pasar malam. The street side market and flea market, I mean. Realized I have this aversion to buying souvenirs with the country’s name blazoned all over it.
Good lunch ordered in bad French. Train down to the basilica of the Sacred Heart where we ‘detoured’ and had to stop and ask for directions. Died climbing up the stairs (I knew it was on a hill why was I even surprised?). Got there in time for mass. I’d never been to mass, and the experience was pretty overwhelming. Singing+lights of the stained glass+Flickering candles+high arches the ceiling. And then out the cathedral door to a panoramic view of the Paris rooftops.
There was a sort of food festival on the grounds, and we spent the late afternoon sampling foie gras and escargot in the shadow of the basilica du Sacre Coeur.
Relatively uneventful today, but it felt more like what I was expecting. Relaxed pace, trying out new stuff, getting glimpses of local culture, instead of being ‘sold’ an experience tailored for consumption by tourists.
Got back late yesterday after a very tourist-y day. Iconic landmarks and so. much. walking.
Started the day late with croissants (again! Not that I’m complaining or anything) and coffee. Instead of opting for a guided tour we explored the Champs Elysses area on our own. Unfortunately I got us lost (as is quickly becoming the norm on this trip). Okay not lost exactly…let’s just say we made a couple of detours before we got to where we wanted to go. Wandered in the Petit Palais museum for a bit and pretended like my art history Prof actually taught me something. And then headed in the direction of the Louvre. Got distracted by the sparkly tourist gimmicks and meticulously manicured trees (cube shaped). I mean really, “Paris tuktuks”, and shaping trees so that the road is perfectly symmetrical and from straight on, the green of the trees forms a rectangular background for statues located at each end of the Champs Elysees Avenue? It’s really beautiful, I’m not denying that. But wow it just goes to show how tourism/commercialism is forefront in maintaining these stuff. And that sort of detracts a little bit from its splendour, I guess.
Along the way: men hawking Eiffel tower souvenirs looped into this huge ring. It’s pretty fascinating, actually. They just carry them around like a jail keeper’s keys and approach the susceptible. And when the police approach, they warn the others via Bluetooth and scatter. So neat and orderly. Like a syndicate. A syndicate dealing little pink Eiffel tower keychains.
(does that mean I’m helping to perpetuate the reign of some major souvenir-dealing crime ring?? Because I bought 6€ worth of stuff from a nice young man who gave me a huge discount just so he could escape before the police arrived)
Had lunch by a duck-populated fountain. Bread. Was slightly creeped out because I’ve watched zefrank1’s videos (Check out his true facts about animals series on YouTube, it’s hilarious).
You know how in pictures, the Louvre is the glass pyramid thing. So yeah I wasn’t expecting it to be too big. Or least it would be this underground network (bigger on the inside!). So yup I was pretty surprised. And the Mona Lisa is pretty small. Plus the administration built this barre to prevent visitors from getting too close, so the 5 or 6 feet of space between the glass and the crowd makes the painting look even smaller. Got lost quite a bit because of the museum’s sheer size, and also because we were really tuckered out from all the walking. Probably also because we haven’t been eating much, just bread and coffee and hardly any meat.
Wasn’t very early by the time we left, but figured we should finish our circuit of the area before heading back. Walked back down the Champs Elysees stretch towards the Arc de Triomphe in the rain. Aka Orchard Road, with familiar brands but better advertising. Dodging umbrellas and avoiding clouds of cigarette smoke, we squeezed our way past the Saturday night crowd. Took the necessary tourist shots of the Arc, and then wound our way to the tower.
Sat down to a dinner of Italian food on our way over. Cafés were all closing up for the night, and we didn’t really have much choice. Ended up being pretty pricey but bo bian lor.
It was 8, 9ish by the time we reached the Eiffel tower. Still bright, the sun sets about 9ish pm here. Freezing and tired, we didn’t stay long. Train back, quick planning for the next day and then crashing like a sack of potatoes.
Dreams feel real while we’re in them. It’s only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange.
Woke up today feeling like I’d done my usual sleep-past-noon-routine but was pleasantly surprised to find it a nice crisp 7-ish am. Dressed warmly and set off. We stopped at a restaurant/bar place across the road from our hostel to get breakfast where we confused the proprietor with our requests for food (“Do. You. Serve. Breakfast??”). Eventually subjecting the Parisan to my very bad, very rudimentary French (got a C+ for French 101), we sat down to wonderfully fresh croissants, bread, and coffee. After which we headed to the metro station, but were distracted by the street side market. Picked up some fruit (1,50€ for a moderately large platter of strawberries, can you believe it) and pastries for lunch before finally boarding the train to Disneyland.
Weather was beautiful today. Saw the blue of the sky and felt the sun on my face for the first time in days.
Okay 2 days.
But with all the foreign-ness of the last couple of days it reminded me of home. And warmth. Yes it’s like 14deg Celsius it’s not that cold but I’m this suaku tropical girl ok I’ve been feeling pretty cold.
Took lots of stalkeresque photos of children. They’re absolutely adorable and angmoh children are really pretty alright. Nothing like light colored hair and eyes to draw the eye. Especially the little girls dressed in princess outfits. Once in a while you’d see a mini-Belle or Aurora or something. It’s so cute. It really amazed me, because the parents are willing to go to such extents to build this magical experience for their kids. And the children in all their innocence, walking around, caring only that they were fulfilling their dreams of being princesses or whatever. And not that, in asserting their individuality, they stood out from the crowd and were different from all the other kids. Unfortunately that courage (or naiveté, whichever you choose) gets beaten out of them before long.
Would have loved to stay a lot longer but left early. Tired. And the others weren’t very interested anyway.
Dinner in the room. Chicken and coffee, with strawberries to make sure we don’t get scurvy or something. And then just lazing around. Blogging. Watching tv. Jy laughing at me because I’m horrible w laundry. (Suaku remember!)
Lots of walking planned for tomorrow, hope we have more energy.
This is supposed to happen the first time Persephone is back to the Underworld….so I went and made a sequel for a comic that hasn’t even happened yet. Wibbly wobbly timey wimey….
Did I regret anything? No. No I don’t.
this made me more emotional than I care to admit
It’s so easy to get lost here. All the buildings look so similar (at least to my untrained Asian eye). European architecture, large glass windows, metal grilles on the balcony, bicycles tethered to lampposts (all of which are intact and not the bare, stripped frames I’m used to seeing), graffiti-ed walls. The streets seem to melt into each other and there’s always something round the corner; the green blinking cross that marks each pharmacy or the smell of fresh bread.
Light colored hair, blue eyes, high aristocratic features and the cadences of a foreign language. People scootering their way along the streets. The kicking one, mind you, not the motor-ed Vespa type. Didn’t know people used those anymore. (Street scooter? Is that what they’re called?)
Purple (not yellow. Or white. Or red. Or garish pink) flowers. Playgrounds large enough to ride a horse in. And also, really really fat pigeons.
Going to Europe for 6 weeks. So I won’t be here but at least you know I’m not like dead from caffeine poisoning or something.
I’m still busy with last minute errands and haven’t really finished packing. So I’m not excited (yet). More apprehensive, actually. Like when I was planning this thing it didn’t really occur to me that I’ll be leaving my family for 6 whole weeks. The longest I’ve been away from them is like…a week, tops. And to a continent I’ve never been before whatwasithinkingohmycrapi’mgoingtogetlostandhavetosellmykidneytogetbackhome-
No I’m fine, really. The excitement was spread out over the 2 or 3 months I’ve been planning this I guess. At least I’m not bouncing off the walls going OMGOMG YAY YAY.
I’ll be missing quite a lot while away, so I can’t help but feel a bit like I should be staying here instead even though I’ve been wanting to leave for ages. Like concerts and job opportunities and birthday parties and movie releases and tv season finales. Okay, granted, the last two are completely asinine and partly the reason why I need time away from electronics. (but guys rw in two weeks i’ve been waiting since s2 for this. and dw finale! plus i’ll miss the meltdown/mayhem on my dash and also have to actively not come on tumblr to avoid spoilers-…)
NO. TRAVELLING. ADVENTURE. REAL LIFE THINGS. TAKING PHOTOS. GOOD FOOD. FRIENDS. NICE COLD WEATHER.
Yeah I’m not sorry to be leaving this weather behind. I’ve told some of you this but I’m going to say it again anyway. According to AccuWeather it’s been “feel[ing] like” freaking 45deg celsius. FORTY FIVE! And it’s so humid ugh. Although the last few days the sky’s been awfully nice and blue and pretty and almost worth the heat (sometimes).
Have to finish packing. Hopefully I’ll post if I get wify.