Thursday, August 31, 2006

Hari Merdeka

I've finally published a rather lengthy post on our time in Paris that I typed out a few days ago, but for some reason my internet browser of choice, Mozilla Firefox kept crashing on me whenever I was in the middle of uploading images. Frustrating, to say the least. Anyway, I finally managed to get some of our photos uploaded using Internet Explorer.

Today is Hari Merdeka - Independence day, commemorating the 49th year of independence for Malaysia from British colonial rule. It just so happens that Beachcombers, one of the restaurants at a hotel here in Dubai is celebrating this event by putting on a Malaysian feast, can't wait!

Merdeka, Merdeka, Merdeka!

Sunday, August 27, 2006


In the weekend, we picked up my 3 paintings from the framers and put them up. I'm really pleased with the job the framers did! [Photos to follow...]

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


I've been thinking about changing the name of this blog for some time. Really, it's been ever since my dear 80-something-year-old Grandmother checked it out for the first time at an internet cafe in Malaysia (really!), and thought it was something incredibly rude. Hee hee!

Anyway, the title has changed but the URL [] is still the same.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Paris, vous êtes belle!

I loved absolutely everything about this beautiful city - the language, the people, the art, the museums, the food, the wine, the architecture, the pretty façade of the buildings, the french windows... Really, what is there not to love?

...the view of Paris from atop L'arc de triomphe, CDG Etoile!...

...Gypsy Boy by L'Arc de Triomphe...

Paris was hands down my favourite city on this whole trip, and actually, it's probably in my top 3 favourite cities in the world!

...La Tour Eiffel...

We stayed in between the first and second arrondissements, just up the road from the Opéra, and down the road from the Louvre! As with most of the cities we visited on our trip, we bought passes which included unlimited entry to museums and also on public transport. This was fabulous value as we visited at least one museum each day of our stay [and avoided long queues at the same time!], and caught the métro everywhere.

...Louvre pyramid...

I was lucky enough to spend my Birthday last month in gorgeous Paris spending the morning in the Picasso Museum, the afternoon wandering down lovely rue Mouffetard in the Latin Quarter where we enjoyed some delicious crepes! Then, we browsed through the amazing Galeries Lafayette and neighbouring Printemps. ad for the Galeries Lafayette sale...

...Galeries Lafayette - inside...

..spice for sale at Galeries Lafayette...

I'd learnt about Galleries Lafayette in high school French class, so to actually finally see it and shop there was really cool! Gypsy Boy and I have taken a liking to eating escargots every now and then at home in Dubai. We can easily get them seasoned and frozen from France at our local Carrefour hypermarket in Dubai. So, at Galleries Lafayette Maison [the department store actually occupies more than one building in the block!], we were delighted to find the little plates, forchettes and pinces specially for escargots.

I was also excited to see Printemps - a French department store that my family used to frequent when I was little in Kuala Lumpur, except this was the real deal!

During our stay, we got to be friends with Moun a lovely French girl working at our hotel, who'd suggested the most amazing places to dine at as well as making reservations for us. One of which was at a wonderful little family run restaurant nearby, called La Cordonnerie. The chef passionately described the menu to us, his wife helped him in the kitchen, and their young son enthusiastically waited on guests! It was simply delightful, and the meals were delicious!

...My Birthday dinner at La Cordonnerie Restaurant...

One of the things we really wanted to do while in Paris, was to go to a French cabaret. There were a few choices such as The Crazy Horse, The Lido, and of course The Moulin Rouge amongst other smaller but also excellent cabaret shows. Once again, Moun was ever helpful in describing what each was like and seeing that we wanted to go to a real French cabaret [as opposed to a more 'Americanised' one], she made reservations for us to go to The Moulin Rouge. The tickets are as pricey as they are rumoured to be, however you do get a bottle of French champagne to enjoy with the show, and we loved every moment of it we even bought the CD afterwards!

...outside the Moulin Rouge...


6 days is probably more time than most visitors would spend in the French capital, however I was so in love with this beautiful city, I was ready to move in! It is however an extremely expensive city to be in and Chief Financial Controller [aka Gypsy Boy!] was ready to move on. More snippets of our stay in gorgeous Paris in photos:

...Le Bon Marché, the world's first department store!...

...a fruit market we stumbled across in Marais, the 3rd arrondissement...

...rue Mouffetard in the 5th arrondissement - great restaurants, cafes, traditional French shops, and a small market to boot at the end of the street...

...a Gargoyle enjoying the view of Paris from Nôtre Dame, with the Sacré Coeur in the background...

...The real deal! LV's flagship store on Avenue des Champs-Elysées...

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Land of hope and glory

First stop: London.

...view of London from the London Eye...

Liked: The view from the London Eye, Tate Modern, Piccadilly Circus & SOHO, cute dogs going everywhere with their masters including on the Tube!

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Loved: The Big Ben, the Monopoly feel, where we stayed - Twenty Nevern Square Hotel.

Highlights: Notting Hill, The Lion King.


London had such a great vibe. I liked the mix of nationalities and cultures, and therefore the range of cuisines and restaurants that are found here - we found some really good yum char places in Chinatown. London had me wanting to live there by the end of our visit to this cosmopolitan city. As mentioned above, highlights of London would have had to be Notting Hill and The Lion King at The Lyceum Theatre.

Some friends of mine who recently visited London raved on about The Lion King, the musical. I'm so glad we took their advice and booked our tickets early. It was a full house and the show was just amazing! I love musicals and this has to be one of the best I have seen.

...The Lyceum Theatre...

Notting Hill was another must see on my list and it is even more gorgeous than I could've imagined. Starting off at Notting Hill Gate, we followed the throngs of tourists down Portabello Road lined with quaint market stalls and shops housed in pretty candy coloured buildings. Rumoured to be the largest antique market in the world, we had lots of fun browsing and marvelling at a huge range of ceramics, porcelain and even swords and firearms. Notting Hill...

I could've gone crazy with all the really cute clothes on sale. They were all unique and very cute. The amazing thing is many of these garments are hand made and designed by the stall keepers themselves! It's no wonder the locals always look so trendy yet all carry a unique fashion style.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


To all of you who sent me Birthday wishes last month, it was really neat getting to read all your emails and messages! I had a wooooonderful day in Paris. Still sorting out the gazillion photos we took, amongst other things, so once that's done I'll post some on here.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Home, sweet home

We made it back to our apartment in Dubai yesterday morning at 3am after experiencing delays in both our flights yesterday due to the imminent security threats in the UK.

We spent the last few days of our holiday in Amsterdam, however we had to fly home to Dubai from London. On the bright side, it was London Gatwick and not London Heathrow.

Having disembarked an hour later than scheduled from our flight into London, we raced through the Gatwick airport to find queues everywhere. It seemed that overnight, new arrival forms had been introduced (when there were none previously), and immigration personnel and check-in staff were also interrogating each passenger with many questions.

The mood was sombre as we weaved our way through queues of passengers holding only their clear plastic bags. We were only allowed to take our passports, boarding passes, wallets and keys in these bags. No iPod, lip balm, cellphone, and forget about that Evian brumisateur! We ended up checking a whole suitcase in as fragile as it contained both our cameras, and some easily breakable items we'd picked up on our trip that we'd planned to take as cabin luggage.

It was a little comical as every single person had to take off their shoes and wait to be handsearched. It was also a little scary getting to the end of the line and seeing police with machine guns.

Although travelling under these conditions were challenging and restrictive, it was also strangely liberating in some respects! Once we were through with the security checks, it was a breeze not having to worry about hand luggage and embarking and disembarking has never been simpler or quicker! What an experience to end our trip with.