Thursday, March 27, 2008

London Trip

this is my 1st major trip which i planned and researched thoroughly for. though i didn't get to go to all the places that i wanted to go, but i must still admit that it was a success! london is such a lovely place and i'm really glad everything fell into place when we were there. actually through my whole life, even with my acceptance into the NOC programme (which i am currently on right now), it has been so blessed by God. i can only attribute all the wonderful blessings & so-called "luck" to God. my life has been one awesome journey!

ok so back to my london trip. it was a 4 day trip starting with our flight on wed night (19 march) to our flight back on mon morning dawn. as our flight was on wed night, we brought everything with us to work and left from there after work. we had to take a bus from central stockholm to this ulu budget airport which was abt 1.5 hrs away, and then catch a 2hr plus flight to another ulu airport in london and then catch another 1.5hr bus ride from that airport to london central. that's the trouble we have to go through to get a budget flight. from there we could walk to juliet's place. she's one of our seniors in NOC who kindly opened up her aparptment to house us for our holiday. and she was really nice to make supper for us. ginseng soup, some chicken with gravy and long beans. thanx juliet! but we weren't free loaders, we bought her a nice bright pink jacket from h&m as a gift for her. ;) that was day 0.

(we're in london baby...)

the next morning we went to visit the places nearest to her place like westminster abbey, house of parliament and london eye. but we didn't go for the london eye as it was super ex, £17. but in the end we also spent quite alot on lunch by having a £9.45 fish and chips. we didn't know what the market rate was and i guess it was more expensive as we had it near all the tourist attraction places... oh well...

(westminster bridge)

after that we headed to leicester sq to get tix for our musical. we were thinking of either les miserables or wicked. but there weren't cheap ones for that nite so we bought les miserables for tmr nite instead. on the way there, we passed by covent garden and stopped to catch some buskers...

then we headed to oxford street for shopping and then we had turkish food for dinner. yummy... on the way back, we met some ppl having a party in the subway...

and that was day 1.

(big ben..)

on friday morning, we visited st paul's cathedral which had a good friday service going on. and thus we unable to take any photos of the beautiful interior. so we moved on to the tower of london, which was a castle fortress, extremely awesome. though it was rather costly @ £14, but it was worth it. then again, what's not ex in london? after that we headed for the tower bridge, which was so much more impressive than the "famous" london bridge which we often sing about.

(london bridge)

(tower bridge)

then we moved on to the highlight of the night, to catch les miserables. it's an awesome musical! and i'm currently addicted to the soundtrack, listening to it every other day! although the ending didn't really climax as i wished it could have, it was still a fantastic musical with many laughs and touching moments. that was day 2.

(les miserables)

the next morning, we had traditional english breakfast and a pub. and then terence, another NOC alumni, joined us for that day. our 1st stop was buckingham palace, to check out the change of guards. and boy the whole place was packed! it's like 100 times more packed than what you would see at the istana on a sunday for the change of guards.

then we headed to trafagular square and then to the national art gallery. but while we were that we caught an interesting sight..

in the gallery, the paintings were very intricately painted and i was totally captivated by them while listening to it's commentry via the headset. if i had the time, i could almost spend the whole morning there, going through all the paintings. unfortunately, that's something we don't really have, so we moved on and had english high tea. after which we headed to another museum. nothing much there. then we had chinese dinner in chinatown. after which we headed for a salsa club. that was another interesting stop. and the ppl there were good at salsa! it was like in the movie dirty dancing: havana nights. a nice show btw, gota catch it. i think we were the only ppl on the dance floor who couldn't dance salsa, except for terence, but had had fun nonetheless. that was day 3.

it's easter sunday. and how could we not be in church on easter sunday? and we made our way down to hillsong london. it was in a theatre, which was really awesome, but it was like a normal service. and i kinda missed watching our dramas during easter. it's just different.

(hillsong london)

after that, we headed for The Comedy Pub to catch the big match, man u vs liverpool! it was an extremely exciting match. and seng wee's entire day was ruined by that match. but it totally made mine.. hah... after that clash, we headed down to camden lock market. it was the bugis village of london. and there was an aldo factory-outlet / old-season outlet and everything was 50% off! we, or maybe just me, went crazy!! i bought 2 pair of white shoes, of which my mum would always tell me, DON'T BUY WHITE SHOES! heh.. then we had dinner there and had a great time talking about everything under the sun. really learnt alot about work, passion and life in general from juliet and terence, extremely insightful. at night, juliet's neighbour invited us over to his place for some mini party. and from there, we headed to the airport to catch our flight back to stockholm.

so that was my london trip in 1 blog. ;)

more pics & vids here...

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Monday, March 17, 2008

Romme Snow Boarding Trip

Right now, snow boarding is my latest coveted sports! it over takes wake boarding.. but personally i would prefer snow boarding over wake boarding, it's so much more exciting! in snow boarding, you are person in total control in terms of speed and direction. after yesterday, i could now comprehend why people would go for annual ski trips, even if they have to fly hours across continents to do it.. it's just so fun!

Romme Alpin is a 2hr 45min drive, north west of stockholm. it was a peaceful ride with wonderful sceneries of huge lakes and large plains of the country side. and i was watching The Godfather which they were showing on the bus. Though we left at 7am and i barely got any rest the past few days, but i was really captivated by that show about the italian mafia family.

When we reached Romme, it was like the feeling of finally achieving it in life! I just stood at the bottom of the snow slope and beheld it in awe and reverence. it's an amazing sight..

after getting my snow board, i got changed up immediately and made my way up to the top. we had another school mate who have been snow boarding since young to give us some crash course lessons, figuratively and literally speaking. it was tough initially, but it's those kind of sports where you have to fall to learn. the question is more of how bad is your fall.. and i injured every joint in my body there was and flipped in all kinds of directions possible. i had alot of falls on my wrist initially, got bruises on my knees and almost felt my shoulder dislocated on one occasion when i had a flip in the air. but my worst one was when i flew and landed on my back, on my tail bone! that one hurt real bad! *ouch*

despite all that, it was all worth it. the thrill and excitement of snow boarding was just exhilarating. by the time i went for my last run, i could make it down the beginner slope with just a record of 3 falls. ;)

the combination of office moving on sat, with the carrying of the all the tables, chairs, equipments and what not, plus all the falls during snow boarding, my entire body is aching today man.. but like what i say, it's all worth it! snow boarding rocks! ;)

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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Life in Sweden

These few days have been kinda busy for me. like what's new right? ;)

Been busy working everyday, doing development work and debugging, extremely fruitful and fulfilling i would say. and i just love my new LCD monitor and Apple Keyboard.. though they didn't have the international keyboard, but the swedish one worked real fine for me.. so now i've got 3 monitor screens, 2 for my Apple MacBook and 1 for the Windows OS. 

And recently during work, i had a great opportunity to meet up with the ceo and developer of our partner company to discuss certain collaboration stuffs. I really thank God for the favor of men. Initially, it was supposed to be my boss and i, but he called me up in the morning saying that he wasn't well. So i was expecting the meeting to be cancelled, but who would have thought that he would ask me to go on my own, an intern! And thank God it went really well.. looking forward to an exciting time ahead! ;)

Ok, so apart from work. What's been happening?

Recently, i started some new stuffs other than pasta. but pasta is still my regular dish... xP But apart from that i made Chicken Ham & Cheese Sandwich with Fries, Meatballs & Potato Salad. Cool right? It was nice.. really. 

And then recently, Seng Seng and I combined forces to make Sweet & Sour Pork aka ku lu yok. POWER right?? We were really impressed with ourselves! Though it took us almost 2 hrs to make it, but it was a success and proved to be worth it... almost... if not for the metallic bitter taste. Still... it was good! ;)

In the upcoming weeks, i'll be doing a bit of travelling. In the coming sun, i'll be gng snow boarding. Then during easter weekend, i'll be in london. Then in one weekend in april, i'll be on a cruise to Tallinn. And in july, i'll be touring a few countries in europe! exciting days ahead! ;)

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