My new blog: For those who came here for the cake pop class, I've created a new blog with updates on classes and photos over at guiri in the kitchen

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Weekend at Genève

My course won't start till the 2nd of August, so I am left with nothing much to do in Chambéry. Having done all I have to do, and I am so frustrated I can't find an additional courses to fill my time, and it's been so cloudy and rainy ever since I paid for that one month pool pass.

So I decided to spend my weekend in Geneva, and it's only about 1hr 20 minutes from Chambéry. Mattias said he'll finish his exams by Friday, so I could go over on Saturday. With his help, I found a nice place to stay at Youth hostel, and it costs me only 27CHF (that's about RM89) per night with breakfast inclusive! Of course it was a 6 bedded room, but it wasn't a problem at all, you get your own private locker to put your stuff in. Plus, the shower room is really good too with a power hot shower.

I arrived Geneva at about 9:30am and Mattias was already there waiting for me. That's really sweet of him considering that he partied all night long till 4 am the night before! We took a stroll around town, then met up with his friend Antoine (hope I got his name correctly). Then we drove to Evian (yes, that's where the Evian mineral water comes from!), back in France to watch the golf tournament, Evian Masters 2006. How funny. I have never been a fan of golf, neither do I know how the game works! :P Mattias explained to me a little so that I was not completely lost. Anyway, I did enjoy myself a lot, and I got to see Michelle Wie up close! (well, quite close)

We were suppose to take the boat to Lausanne, but unfortunately timing was not right, so we went back straight to Geneva instead. While I checked into the hostel, Mattias took a train to Lausanne to get his car. At night, after dinner, we took a stroll in town and stopped at a bar where 2 girls were dancing Sevillanas. Oh I was so tempted to dance as well, though I have completely forgotten what the steps were :P Later that evening, Mattias and I joined his friends, Andy and Rob at the Pré Fêtes de Genève.

The next morning I had to check-out by 10am, and Summer, a girl I met at the Youth Hostel, joined me. We went to the Cornavin train station to put her stuff in a locker, then walked to the Tourist Office to get a map of the city. I smartly thought I was suppose to leave from Gare des Eaux-Vives (whatever gave me that idea???!?!?) , so we walked to the closest park to have picnic. On the way, we stopped at Baby Plage, so that Summer could take a dip in the lake. As for me, I didn't want to be all wet and sticky in the train, so I stayed nice and dry and under the shade. Mattias joined us later about noon time, and then when casually we talked about the train station:

Mattias: Are you sure you are leaving from Gare des Eaux-Vives??
Me: Erm, I think so....
Mattias: Shouldn't you be leaving from the same train station that you arrived?
Me: It's NOT the same station??????
Mattias: Nope, you arrived at Gare de Cornavin.
Me: WHAT?!?!?

Ok, I got a little panic there (just a little), as the other station would take approx. 30 minutes walk from the plage. Lucky for me it was still early, and I had ample time to walk back. LUCKY for me, I didn't find out 10 minutes before the train leaves....*phew* or else I'd have to take the next train home. Hmmm...come to think of it, it wouldn't have been too bad at all, it was really nice to just sit by the lake :D

The Geneva photos are stored in my Europe Tour album.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Settling down

I went to school early Wednesday morning to take the pre-entry test, only to find out that I have to wait till 2nd August, to take the test with the rest of the group that starts on the same day.

Then I had my bicycle rented, only to find out that there are no parking space in my apartment for bicycles. I had to carry the bike all the way up to the 3rd floor coz it couldn't fit into the lift. Anyway, now I tied it next to the tree in the lawn downstairs, couldn't be bothered to carry it up and down the stairs everytime I need to use it.

After that I wanted to do my laundry, but there were no washing machine. Gotta hand wash lah, what to do?

Then I tried looking for courses of Yoga or Dance or anything at all, to fill my time, only to find that EVERY single clubs and associations are closed for summer holiday and only re-open for registration in September.

ARrrgghhHH....Okay, okay, so yesterday I paid for a one month pass to use the swimming pool. It's really nice to take a dip in the pool in a hot summer like this. And guess what?? It's raining cats and dogs today!!!

OOOOoohh Làaaa Làaaaa!!!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Indomie for dinner

Just touched down Chambéry a few hours ago..... damn it's HOT! How disappointing, I was hoping that the temperature would be a little lower than the rest of France, considering that Chambéry is surrounded by mountains. Am keeping my fingers crossed it will be better tonight.

I was so busy unpacking that I forgot to do my grocery shopping before the shops closes at 7:30pm. Bummer. Lucky for me, thanks to my darling, I have several packets of Indomie Mi Goreng as my dinner backup :D

Will try to update my blog as soon as I settle down: grocery shopping, laundry, rent a bike, take a pre-entry French test (again...arrggh..!)

Monday, July 24, 2006

More Tortures for the "Puteri Lilin"

After Paris, we proceed to Avignon, Aix-en-Provence and Marseille. The rooms in Avignon and Aix was climatisée, so TW was less grumpy. At least he could have a good night's sleep. But still, it's like walking in an oven when we did our sight-seeing. So while we were in Aix-en-Provence, I left him in the hotel room to sleep while I went exploring :P That way I could go shopping peacefully without a bee buzzing next to my ear.

Anyway, while we were in Marseille, we managed to take the bus to the beach area, because he wanted to see if women really did go topless while sunbathing. So I let him see it for himself lor.... Ö

For lunch we had it somewhere near the vieux port, a big dissapointment, I must say. Since TW didn't want to go round looking and comparing the menus because of his blisters, we decided to just randomly choose one, well, the closest one to our position was more like it. I had a quick glance at the menu they put outside, and it seemed alright, so we sat down. At first, the owner greeted us with all smiles, and then gave us a menu to look at. I found that the menu was slightly different than the one I glanced at the entrance: this one was in English, and had only the pricey food items on the list. Then I requested for the French menu, only to find that there was also the Set menu on it, which was not on the other English menu. We both ordered the set menu, with entrée and a main course.

I guess the owner was not too happy that we chose one of the cheapest menu.....coz after that the service definitely deteriorated; he was busy serving the rest who ordered expensive dish like the bouillabaisse, then after the entrée, we had to wait very long to be served the main course, and at the end, when we wanted to pay our bills, he insisted that we had to pay by cash because credit card was not accepted, then proceed to accepting somebody else's credit card. Seriously, I was not in a mood to argue with him, but TW did not want to give in, and argued with the owner until he was willing to give it a try with our credit card. His reason was that his machine would not accept a card without a chip, but he denied us even without checking if our card had chip or not!! The transaction went through fine, and we left without leaving any tips, OF COURSE!!!

I forgot the name of the restaurant, only remembered that it had something that started with the letter "R". Serves me right for taking so long to update this post :P (19 Oct '06)

Photos for Avignon, Aix-en-Provence & Marseille

Friday, July 21, 2006


The guard had to scream across a crowded hall to stop people from taking photos. I don't understand why some people can be so stubborn. Despite being told off several times, these people still don't get it. In certain halls of the Louvre, there were signs in all possible language that say, NO PHOTOGRAPHY ALLOWED. And yet, people just click away. I had to tell one lady off, but she just smiled at me and walked off, continuing taking photos of other works of art.

I really don't know who has more rights, the museum, who owns the art collection, or the visitors, who paid to see these exhibits and wants a photo as a souvenir, as something to show to their friends that they've been there. Of course, when we paid for the tickets to enter, we agree to abide the rules of the museum. The same with performances, just when you are enjoying the show, you see flashes coming from the audience. Arrggghhh, I just get so irritated when people TAK FAHAM BAHASA!!!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Romantic Paris?? ......NOT!!!

Well, I have just been branded the new Queen of Torture. Immediately after mon amour arrived, I took him to the hotel. Though he was quite happy to see me, he was not at all pleased to find that it was not air-conditioned. Anyway, I told him we won't be spending too much time in the hotel because I wanted him to see as much as possible of Paris during his short 4 days stay. And so, we started on our journey immediately with Versaille.

Day 1

At the Chateau de Versaille, though I thought it would be nice and romantic to walk in the gardens, my darling thought it was too hot to walk in such a BIG garden, and we ended up driving around in an electronic car instead. There were long queues everywhere; ticketing booth, entrance into museums, toilets, etc. It was certainly not as pleasant as it was when I was there end of May, although there were less restoration work going on, and lots of beautiful flowers nicely planted in all the gardens with magnificent fountains shows. Then I was guilty of starving him - we had our lunch really really late, coz I was being such a miser and refuse to eat within the Chateau, and we only had one ice cream each as lunch. After spending close to 5 hours at the Chateau and the parks, we finally had our meal in a Tex-Mex restaurant next to the train station. Then we headed straight back to Paris and decided to have an early night rest (here I'll skip the details :P)

Day 2

The very next morning, I made TW walk again, this time to the Office de Tourisme. He was practically whining all the way, thought it was probably just a 15 mins walk. From the tourist office, we got our Museum Pass (2 consecutive days of visit), Disneyland tickets (this was on his MUST-DO list) and Moulin Rouge performance + River Cruise tickets.

I made a lists of museums to visit on Monday, and another list for Tuesday. He was not too keen on museums, neither was I, but there are some that you just can't miss while you are in Paris. We made our first trip to The Louvre, which he had absolutely no idea what it was about except that it has that transparent pyramid thingy. When I explained that Mona Lisa was part of the exhibits, he showed a little bit more interest. In fact, that was his ONLY objective, as after we found our way to Mona Lisa's, he already wanted to leave. I made him stay a little while more, then we went over to Centre Pompidou to see displays of modern art. There he was nauseous when he saw a video clip of gays making love to each other.

We didn't visit any more museums after that as we needed to do some shopping. There was a dress code for the Moulin Rouge show. No jeans, no sneakers. I reminded him to bring shirt and slacks in case we needed to be somewhere formal, and so he did. But he forgot about the shoes. Being particularly picky about shoes, we spent few hours looking for a pair that pleased him. He finally decided just to randomly pick one from Zara because his feet was just too sore to walk anymore....(more whining about the heat)

After the dinner, we took a metro to the meeting point for the cruise and Moulin Rouge show. The cruise was really nice, and when the sun set, the view was breathtaking. No offense, but the Moulin Rouge show which took place after the cruise was a BIG disappointment (ok...not completely, certain parts e.g. the acrobatic show was quite alright). You get a glass of champagne with the show, then you cramp into a small hall with the rest of the tourists. While the women danced half naked on the stage, the men were fully clothed from head to toe. It could have been that both of us were tired from a day's walk - seriously, we almost nodded off during the performance. I guess I don't find bouncing breasts on stage at all interesting, although credit must be given to the costume designer; they are really EXTRAVAGANT! As the show ended very late, we were sent directly to the hotel by a coach, which was perfect, we would have gotten a taxi anyway.

Day 3

More museum visits. But I kept it to a minimum as TW was getting blisters on almost every single toe, and instead of shopping for Louis Vuitton or Gucci, we were shopping for Hansaplast. We went to see Eiffel tower, he can't leave Paris without having climbed the Eiffel tower (we took the elevator lah.... I am not really that MAD). We also went up the Arc de Triomphe at the end of Champs-Elysees street, but we skipped Musée d'Orsay. I had to reserve our energy for Disneyland the next day.

Day 4

I guess this was probably his happiest day in Paris. We went on kiddy rides, watch Winnie the Pooh and his friends performed, took pictures of Mickey & Minnie, Pluto, the princesses, Chip & Dale (they are call Tic and Tac in cute) and many other Disney characters whom I didn't recognize. Because it was so HOT, we probably spent more time in the souvenir shops than outside because the shops were air-conditioned. What I couldn't stand was, every shop he entered, all he thought of was what to get for my brother!!! "I think he will like this mug... I want to buy this Chicken Little for WL... This is cute, shall I get it for your brother???" Heyyyyy!!! He was suppose to reserve his baggage space for me, not fill it up with presents for my brother! :( Anyway, we stayed there until about 7ish, that was after the parade of the Disney characters. By the time I got to Paris, it was too late to meet up with Dita, she was already at the train station. So we spent time packing for the trip down south, while exchanging stuff. I gave lots of books and brochures and stuff for him to bring home .... including the bottle of Limoncello that I have been carrying from town to town since Perugia, while he gave me packets of Indomie, sambal goreng, and asam jawa, an apron, my yoga mat, and some additional shirt and shorts. Phew! A pleasure doing business with you! Hehe...

Of course, every fairy tale must have a happy ending :D. Especially one that takes place in Paris. We had someone take this photo in front of Eiffel Tower after the climb to the top.

Here are the rest of the photos taken in Paris, Versaille and Disneyland.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Reorganization of Photo Albums

Thought that it would be better to categorize the photos in France by city, rather than dumping all of them in one album. So that's what I did this afternoon, a little bit of reorganization.

1. Paris & Versaille
2. Toulouse & Carcassonne
3. Bordeaux
4. La Rochelle

Off I go to Cap Ferret tomorrow (again) with a group of students from AF Bordeaux, and on Saturday, to Paris. I probably won't have the chance to update my blog until I reach Chambéry on the 25th of July (where I will have permanent wi-fi and internet access from the comfort my room, YIPPEEE!!!)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Toute Seule Au Cap Ferret

Au bord de la mer,
tout le monde bronzait

Que vienne l'eau"

La pauvre....aie!
Personne ne l'aidait

C'est mouillé,
tout est salé

Le cahier, les stylos
aussi le petit sac-a-dos.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Life after World Cup 2006

Bordeaux was not as calm as I thought after France lost in the finals. Well, the town was not too crazy neither, but supporters of Italy were setting off small firecrackers, cheering, and running around with the Italian flag near Place Victoire, where I watched the game. The rest quietly went home did not make too much noise. Stanislas, the only son of the family that I am staying with, who was extremely hyper before the match, was also unusually quiet. So, life goes on, and nobody else mentioned about the match anymore today (except for some talks about Zidane). No grand fireworks, nothing.

Oh well...forget about the WC2006. So what if France didn't win. Everybody talks about Le Tour de La France now!

La Rochelle et les SOLDES!

Most of the students from Alliance Française that I know have decided to go to the beach at Biarritz this weekend. Since I only had one weekend in Bordeaux, I chose La Rochelle over Biarritz, and travelled alone.

But it was NOT BAD, not bad at all! In fact, I am really glad I chose La Rochelle, cette ville est tellement très très jolie!!! I arrived La Rochelle about 1pm, approximately 30 minutes late from the original scheduled time, but it was alright. The weather was perfect, not too hot, with occassional cool breeze, and not too crowded. As usual, I headed straight to the Office de Tourisme (OfT) when I arrive in a new town, and got myself a guide for just 20 cents. From the OfT, I found out that there is this Vélos Jaunes, that offers free use of bicycle for the first 2 hours, and subsequent hours for just 1 euro/hour!!! C'est genial!

I didn't start on my tour immediately as my tummy was growling. I found a nice restaurant just by the Quai Duperré (Vieux Port). Well, there wasn't just one, but a whole lot of restaurants there, so I had to randomly choose one, Les Regates, which turned out to be quite good. I ordered Moules Marinères as a starter, and a plat du jour, which was some kind of fish served with Normandie sauce, accompanied by some vegetables and rice. The seafood was really fresh, and portion was also sizeable enough to fill my tummy. While having my lunch, I went through the guide and found recommended walks in town for 1 hour, or 3 hours, which was really helpful.

I started my tour by first going to Vélo Jaunes, and found the process of getting the bike to be fuss-free. Just give them your ID or driving license, fill up a simple form, and you off you go with a bike. No money deposit, ilek. From Vieux Port, I cycled up to Baie de Port Neuf, then across Promenade de Chef de Baie, to Port de Pêche and Port de Commerce de "La Pallice" before heading to city centre, along Parc Charruyer then back to Vieux Port. After approx. 3.5 hours of cycling, I returned the bike and did the city centre tour by foot.

Oooh là là... what did I find?? Arts and crafts market, and rows of shops on summer sale! I know...I know.... I really shouldn't be doing any more shopping, not when my luggage is already up to the max weight limit. So I limited myself to just tinnie winnie little handmade necklace. That was it!!! Really....honestly, that was the only thing I bought! Of course, I uhm, am waiting for my darling to come over next week, so that I can offload some of my stuff for him to bring home, and uhmmm... then I can shop again :P

Ok, back to my trip.... I was yet again caught in another delay when returning from La Rochelle, due to some Rave Party, where lots of youngsters group together for drinking sessions, techno music, and doing other crazy stuff. They happen to be partying right beside the railway track, and the train had to go real slow, to be able to brake on time. Why? Some wasted youngsters may decide to do some stunts on the track, then end up being like those bugs on your car windscreen when you drive late at night. And that slow down thingy caused a delay of 40 minutes, and I only managed my dinner at 10:40pm.

Anyway, the trip had been great, just regretted that I was not able to spend a little bit more time there, so that I could also visit Ile de Ré. Next time perhaps! Here's the photo album specially dedicated to La Rochelle.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Allez Les Bleus!!!

More football matches for me. Apa nak buat, Malaysia tak jadi masuk World Cup 2006, but France jadi mah. While I am here, gotta give a bit of support lah. Plus, if they win, also means lots of party party here...hehehe.... everyone was crazy yesterday when Zidane scored the but. Unfortunately, Carolina (espagnole) and Paula (brezilienne) were both supporting Portugal and were really disappointed. U faham, I faham lah........

Next match: France vs. Italy (Lo siento Federico, me quedo con la Francia!!!)

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Perfect Timing

I arrived Bordeaux during noon time, and Mdm Brosseau was already at the station waiting for me. She was with Paula, une brazilienne who arrived last Thursday. I was really really surprised when Mdm Brosseau told me she has 5 kids!!! :O That's really not a very common sight on this part of the world. The kids range from 3.5 yrs old to 16 years old, and the youngest, Anne-Victoire, is really really cute. The rest of the girls and a boy, must be like the sweetest kids ever! And not to mention, hyper-active!

Today the family had some guests at the house; while the adults dine inside, the rest, which include the kids (of Mdm Brosseau and the guests), Paula and myself, had our lunch in the garden, with sausages, fries, fruits and ice-cream. The kids were kept busy with lots of toys and games, so that they wouldn't disturb the adults, while Paula and I chatted away.

In the evening, Carolina arrived from Madrid, and all 3 of us went to the Bordeaux Fête Le Vin. It has been running for 4 days in a row, it was the last day today. Seriously I couldn't have arrived Bordeaux at a better timing. We thought it would be nice to get ourselves Pass de Degustacion to try out the wines while we were there. With each purchase of the booklet, we get a wine glass, nicely stored in a pouch. Everyone was tent-hopping to try out all the wines available. That evening we managed to taste 3 types of vin blanc, 2 vin rouge, 1 rosé, 1 margarita and 1 mojito. And guess what, after that, with the alcohol still in our heads, we had to run home as it was raining cats and dogs. The very next morning, we hafta wake up early for class...... TOUGH!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Sachiko et Si Theng

Those are the names that I am giving to my 2 new friends. Sachiko, who adores rabbit and the colour olive green, gave me 2 new friends to accompany me on my trip. I decided to name the frog after Sachiko, since it was in her favourite colour, and the rabbit after myself, since I was wearing pink all the time in France (I have no idea why 80% of my wardrobe is in pink...though my fav colour has never been pink). Anyway, from now on they will join Li'l Teddy and Blue Friend in all my adventures!

Sachiko/Si Theng/Li'lTeddy/Blue Friend

Saturday, July 01, 2006


Ouch, my butt hurts. On my last day in Toulouse, I decided to watch the match between France and Brazil at the Place du Capitole, where the Mairie de Toulouse have set up a grand projection screen for this grand match. By 9pm, the square was crowded with football fans. Sachiko and I found a nice spot to sit, but we forgot our beer. Ai ya ya ya ya yahhh... Neither of us wanted to leave the place or else it would be gone in a second. Il faisait très très chaud, and we felt as if we were enclosed in an oven. Plus, the floor was so hard (I know...when has floor ever been soft?) and I had to shift several times during the first half of the match.

During the break, we decided to move to a bar where there were less people. Although it was just as warm, at least I did not have someone kicking on my butt everytime they tried to squeeze through the crowd to join their friends. France played a good game. Seriously I thought Brazil would kick their butts, but after the first half, I was convinced that they had a good chance of winning. I guess watching a football match is NOT so bad after all. Especially with good company and good beer :D