Tuesday, March 30, 2010

London treats and sweets











The last fews days in London consisted of cupcakes, tea, sweets, and more cupcakes! :)
Emma, Jazmine, Tom and I walked down to Portobello market where we found beautiful pastel houses, antiques, street music and red velvet cupcakes!!!

Last day in Paris was spent sleeping in! Something I haven't done since Hong Kong. MMM it was so nice. After finally rolling out of bed and showering we lazily meandered out the door and filled our afternoon finding our way to Hyde park and Kensington palace to partake in traditional afternoon tea. The cute place beheld the title of The Orangery and was crisp and white inside. We each chose our tea and type of fare. I treated myself to a tea set that consisted of small finger sandwiches, a fruit scone with clotted cream(which by the way is the most delicious thing I have ever tasted) and strawberry jam, finished with a petit eclair and orange passionfruit tart. MMMMMM it was divine.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Chunnel today gone tomorrow

I missed my train to Paris. What a dumba$$ I have been. Read the wrong time on my ticket and realized 15 mins after the train had already left London. Oooh I was pissed. Now I have a few more days in London which will be fun! Danced all night last night and definatly feeling it this morning. Going to Borough Market today to get lovely delicious market food :) YUM

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pie and Mash




London smiled on me the first two days I set foot here. The sun was shining and all was new and blissful.

This past week has been full of fun, friends, pints, and coffee.

I can now officially say that I have experienced college dorms, male college dorms to be exact. I have been living in the cave of a room that my friend Tom lives in. I have also endured 8 days using the public dorm toilets, which has been delightful.

Too much fun = not much sleep, lots of booze, and coffee to try and get through it all. I have been in a daze that works out quite well when you have no responsibilities in the world besides being a tourist.

I have seen the artworks of Andy Warhol, Picasso, Holbein, Monet, Van Gough, Dali, Pollock, Duchamp, Bacon, and many more… most of the Art museums are free in London, which make them a great place to escape.

I have eaten proper Indian Curry, A proper English breakfast, Fish and Chips, and Pie and Mash.

I have imbibed in Snakebite (black current cordial with beer and cider), Pimms, Sambuca(licorice liquor), Hard apple Cider, and of course pints and pints of golden blissful beer.

Big Ben is as cool as he seems.

The changing of the guards in front of Buckingham Palace was a laugh. It seemed like a slow badly choreographed dance played by the silly silly men with bayonets and bear skin hats.

Everywhere you look there is an old beautiful building.

Most houses are made of brick with the most charming rainbow colored doors.



Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Thoughts from economy class

Stuck in a small confined area for 13 hours of my life, seriously people I don’t know why I always think flying is so exciting. I love the terminal part, getting checked in, getting to your gate, buying snacks and a magazine for the flight… I even like the taking off and landing part… but sitting in a small confined area for 13 hours of my life… no, not so much. There is a baby on this flight, fortunately it is about 10 rows up and it’s screaming is more of a background noise rather than a headache. Someone just stole my complimentary airplane pillow. I let it fall down to the right in between my armrest and the window and they just swooped in with their skinny little hand and took it. People. I will be landing in London in three hours, but by the time I post this I will have already been on the tube, felt the vibe of the city, and most likely have taken a nice hot shower.

I am officially off on a new adventure. I left states with a small outline of a plan. Get to Hong Kong on a one-way ticket, stay at least 2 to 3 weeks, then find a one-way ticket to Europe to meet up with my friend Bryn in Ireland. After Ireland and maybe a few trips in Europe hop over on another one way ticket to Argentina arriving before school starts in September. Boy oh boy… Open plans have now let me to another loose outline… Fly one way to London, stay a week, hop on the Chunnel to Paris, stay a week by my lonesome and soak up everything while drinking as much espresso and red wine as I can and devouring baguettes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Next meet up with the amazing and talented film guru Bryn Silverman and bus or train down to southern France near Lyon to stay with more friends and see the country, next to Spain, then over to Morocco. Wow! And that’s not it folks. This part of the trip will be over by mid April. Then I can basically travel alone again, maybe use my Portuguese in Portugal and then fly up to Ireland. Next set plan is to strut side-by-side Bryn as she finds her familial roots… in Poland. We fly there May 6th. My uncle told my in the car on the way to airport today that the Obendorf clan actually was from Poland. They think the original town Obendorf is from Poland not Germany and that they were in the beer business. How awesome is that! So I might be looking in a few local phonebooks me self. Ok so after Poland there is no plan except to travel Eastern Europe and eventually end up in Berlin to fly out to Kazakhstan in June. Yeah… I’m going to Kazakhstan… yeah HA life is beautiful.

AIAIAI meu deus do ceu! Que locura! Nossa senhora! So yeah feeling like leaving things open has led to an intense euro trip that I didn’t imagine myself taking. All I need from all of you is your prayers that I will make it to Argentina with a couple of dollars in my pocket. Really don’t know if I will be able to budget this. Really wished I played a guitar right now so I could play a little tune and set out my hat for donation. Even if I have to be hungry a bit….It’s all part of the adventure!!!!!

I’m ready. Let’s Go!



Last day in Hong Kong was spent watching a Chinese film, grubbing at a fancy high tea, then on a drive to discover monkeys! What a nice day!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Here are a few more photos from China....


Snails n Carrots
Dried goods
Yao man


video
Watch this guy go... mmm fresh handmade noodles



Saturday, March 13, 2010

Bicycle


Hi, I can't move. ugh, rode for 22 miles today on a mountain bike in the backroads of northern Hong Kong. For some probably that sounds like a nice workout, but for me... brea, girl who never exercises (I know it's bad) it was enough to kill me just a little. ugh.

It was great though. It was nice to go out with my Uncle and see what he does(He is a travel agent/missionary/bike tour guide.)

I'm sitting in my room realizing that I leave Asia in on Monday morning at 7 AM and I am not packed nor are my clothes washed. Tomorrow will be chill though, going to a movie with the fam then for lunch then guessing I will just pop home and pack up my life into my pack again. Which sounds so good! I am so ready for Europe. First stop will be London, staying with my good ole friend Tom, should be a blast. Then taking the Chunnel train(I think that's what it's called) to Paris to drink espresso and wander. :) Eventually will meet up with Bryndaloo there.

Oh, and my camera broke during the China trip. Really pissed about it. I bought it a week into this trip and it already pooped out on me. I took it to the olympus customer service headquarters and they will fix it for free but it won't be finished for 6 days. That means no camera for London as my family here will have to ship it through to mail to me. Grrrr

This post it a bit of a ramble. sorry, off to bed.





Thursday, March 11, 2010

Ch ch ch ch China!








China!

The one word that pops into my head when thinking about my China experience....FREEZING! Three days engulfed by numbing cold. My body starting shutting down organ functions it was so cold. My feet were in so much pain I thought they might just chip off.

But,

...Other than the cold, China was the most amazing, majestic, beautiful, odd, dirty, smelly combination of wonderfulness. I had fun.

We hopped on the Subway(MTR) to border cross, then onto a train, then onto a bus, then onto another bus to get to a small town just outside of the village and pig farm that we visited during the trip.

All meals consisted of rice or noodles and meat. simple and classic.

The first day we went to the Pig Farm, where my aunt needed to check up on things and she brought a friend who works with WWF who would also take a look at the farm and try and find ways to make it more efficient and sustainable. The farm has a pig loan program set up with one of the local villages nearby that helps Yao people in need gain a small profit from the pigs. Pretty cool to see and learn about.

The second day was spent in a Yao village about an hour away from the city. My aunt has been creating relationships with this village for over 17 years and so we were welcomed into the village as friends, not strange tourists. We spent the day in and out of various houses meeting everyone. Pumpkin, preserved pork, black beans, and squishy rice was served for lunch with a beverage of beer and sprite combined. YUM!

The village is split into two sides with houses and roads on the outside and green rice fields sandwiched in between. The sound was silence and calm mixed with the occasional rooster crow. At one point in the day I heard a horrible screaming sound, only to find out that pigs were being slaughtered across the way. Food is cooked on a wood fire makeshift stovetop. Chickens, dogs, and cats roam throughout the house. The only heat comes from a coal fire.

highlights:

I ate handmade noodles made on the spot in a muslim noodle shop
I rode on a motorcycle :)
I wore the headdress of the Yao
I was gifted a cigarette as a sign of friendship
I got to peek into a woman's life as she was embroidering a cloth meant to be worn after death.
I discovered the sheer joy that can come from hot tea



video

an attempt to capture the village

video

Our Yao friends singing to us on a long walk home.

Saturday, March 6, 2010






Woke up at 8am to get to an early showing of Alice and Wonderland. It was about 5 bucks cheaper so I figured it was worth the early rise. The new version was pretty good, worth seeing. Alice and Wonderland was the only movie I would watch when I was sick as a little girl. It was my comfort movie.

After the movie went to see one of the tallest sitting buddha statues in the world. We rode cable cars up and over Lantau island. It was a 30 min ride and we opted for the crystal cabin, which was all clear plastic all around. The feeling was great, I couldn't help but be reminded of the glass elevator in Charlie and the Chocolate factory.

Once we got to the top it was pretty foggy and windy but not too horrible. We walked up a couple flights of stairs to get to the top and hang out with this massive copper buddha. I waited for the spiritual energy but got nothin. too bad.

Next back down and over to the Po Lin Monestary. I loved every bit of the incense offerings. They were so beautiful and the smell intoxicating. The smoke was so thick you could barely breathe and the world in front of you blurry. Its sticky thickness stuck into the fibers of all my clothes and hair. The temple was filled with flowers in every corner, tourists weren't allowed inside but just standing by the doors and you could inhale the sweet scent. Mmm it was yummy. Robed monks were chanting loudly in unison. I wondered if they felt like a theme park show with all of the tourists gawking in at them.



Went home and finished all of my portuguese entries for the term! Yahoo!!

Off to mainland China tomorrow for a 3 day trip to hang out with the Yao people in a rural village with a pig farm. Wish me luck!



Tuesday, March 2, 2010




I'm getting pretty good at walking, riding the MTR, and getting lost. I'm constantly reminded of how directionally challenged I am. Give me a map, two cross roads, and a place to meet, and you have a fifty fifty chance of me meeting you there.

Hong Kong is sticky and humid yet anything indoors is an icy antarctic air-con. This leads to me feeling hot outside to being freeze blasted to death once I enter the subway or a store. I have to carry a sweatshirt and scarf in my bag even though it is high 70's with 93% humidity outside. wacko

These are my fav photos of the day. HOMELESS I AM :) and loving it!

Just finished Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer.. it was beautiful and charming.

quotes :

Do you think I'm wonderful? she asked him one day as they leaned against the trunk of a petrified maple.
No, he said.
Why?
Because so many girls are wonderful. I imagine hundreds of men have called their loves wonderful today, and it's only noon, You couldn't be something that hundreds of others are.
Are you saying that I am not-wonderful?
Yes, I am.
Do you think I am not-Beautiful?
You are incredibly not-beautiful. You are the farthest possible thing from beautiful.

From space, astronauts can see people making love as a tiny speck of light. Not light, exactly, but a glow that could be mistaken for light- a coital radiance that takes generations to pour like honey through the darkness to the astronaut's eyes.

if there is no love in the world, we will make a new world, and we will give it heavy walls, and we will furnish it with soft red interiors, from the inside out, and give it a knocker that resonates like a diamond falling to a jeweler's felt so that we should never hear it. Love me, because love doesn't exist, and I have tired everything that does.