Archive for March, 2010

Coloane

Posted in Life in Macau with tags , , , , , , on March 28, 2010 by Yarn Over New York

Lion Statue in Coloane Village

Today (Sunday 28 March) Sita, Kirk, Alex, Lionel and I went to the southernmost island of Macau, Coloane.  Whereas Macau and Taipa are pretty crowded, busy and populated, Coloane is very green and relaxed.

Our First Stop- Hac Sa Beach

It is not the prettiest or largest of beaches, and I am not sure I will ever swim here, but it is a beach!  I can come read a book here on the weekends and go for a walk.

And if I want to swim, I can use this nearby pool.

Our next stop was sleepy Coloane Village. We got some egg tarts at the famous Lord Stow’s Bakery.  Then we walked through the tiny fishing village with its Portuguese architecture, fish shops and shrines.

Check out the view of mainland China. Windmills and haze.

You can find these little shrines all over Macau actually.

A View of Taipa- lots of haze

Dried fish at one of the markets

More photos of my first week here.

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Endorsed by Jackie Chan

Posted in Engrish, funny, Life in Macau with tags , , , , , , on March 27, 2010 by Yarn Over New York

Anti-hair Fall Shampoo

I have no words.  There is also a hair darkening version.

I Live in China Now

Posted in Getting There, Life in Macau with tags , , , , , , on March 22, 2010 by Yarn Over New York

I was supposed to live in Belgium for a mere 5 1/2 months, but ended up staying 18 months.  I don’t resent my time in Belgium, but am thrilled to say, “I DON’T LIVE IN BELGIUM ANYMORE!!”  I live in China.

A foggy view of the mountain

My flights were uneventful and I arrived safely in Macau.  Last night I went out with some of my fellow stage managers and had a great time.  Unlike Belgium, bars and restaurants are actually open at night and you can go shopping as late as 11pm!

A Portuguese Tower in Macau

Today, I spent most of the day house hunting.  I have 2 days to find an apartment.  I saw a lot of apartments, most of which are not what I am looking for, but I did see one cute 2 bedroom in Old Taipa that might be perfect!  I have a few more appointments tomorrow and then I guess I have to make a decision.

Macau - an interesting mix of China, Portugal and Las Vegas

I also stopped by the theatre just to see it for the first time.  It is way cool.  I am not allowed to post photos of it, but it is really quite impressive.  I can’t wait to getting started on making this show.

Don't worry Grandma, looks like I won't have trouble finding a date here!

See more photos here.

Leaving in less than 2 days

Posted in Getting There, Life in Belgium with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 19, 2010 by Yarn Over New York

GOOD-BYE BELGIUM

So indeed, I have 2 sleeps left in Belgium, one day of work and one morning; one presentation and one party, and I still gotta to finish all those last minute tasks one does one one moves across the globe.

I am clearly not going to finish the European Summer Adventure posts.  I will have to pick it up again once I get settled in Macau.

Here are a couple of Belgian pictures to say good-bye.

Sunset from my window

A Sculpture in Antwerp

Next post will be from the other side of the planet.

Music Genres

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , on March 12, 2010 by Yarn Over New York

Last night, while procrastinating from doing real work, I decided to organize my files in iTunes.  I used the SoundHound app on my iPhone to identify unlabeled songs and started to clean up my genre labels.  At first it was easy.  Merge “General Alternative” and “Alternative” into one category.  Do the same for “General Rock” and “Rock,” “General Folk” and “Folk,” etc.

But then, I asked myself, “What is the difference between Alternative and Rock?”  I mean, what is the difference, really?  In the early 90’s, there was a difference, right?  But what exactly was that difference?  What about now?  And what about the other genres, where do they fit in?

What is the difference between rock and alternative?

I understand that The Police are “Rock” and Tori Amos is “Alternative.”
But isn’t Tori more like what we would call “Folk” now?
As opposed to folk like James Taylor?
But maybe James Taylor is considered “Rock” now?
Like classic rock
Like The Monkees.
But wouldn’ t they actually be “Pop?”
Don’t even get me started on the Rap/Hip-Hop/R&B!
I’m so confused!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tallinn

Posted in European Summer Adventure 2009, Travel Europe with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 11, 2010 by Yarn Over New York

A Baltic Beach

During my whirlwind European Summer Adventure, I made a brief stop in Tallinn, Estonia.  I loved the mix of the old city and the new city.  Inside the orignal city walls, the buildings are painted bright colors and have a real old town feel.  Outside the walls, there are glass skyscrapers and all the modern clothing chains.

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Yellow Wall, Blue Door

After wandering the city, I decided to take a walk along to coast to visit the beaches and parks.

I sat for a little while at this monument and no less than 4 wedding parties came to take their photos here - Popular spot, i guess

Beach birdies for Elise

Another cool monument

Yellow wall and gray stairs

I only stayed in Tallinn for one day, then I hopped on a ferry to take me back to Scandinavia.

See more photos of Tallinn here.

Scandinavian Leg

Posted in European Summer Adventure 2009, Travel Europe with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 10, 2010 by Yarn Over New York

Sweden - Home of ABBA, Nokia, Stieg Larsson and Andy Warhol's Cows

Between my trip to Paris to visit Saram and my trip to Cyprus to visit more friends, I had two weeks of solo travel through Scandinavia.  Though I have been living in Northern Europe for the last year, I wanted to go really really far North.

Finland- Home of reindeer, cloudberries and Santa

NOTE: I had originally intended to write separate blog posts for each of the countries I visited on this leg, but my departure date for Macau is less than 2 weeks away and I need to blog through the rest of my European Summer Adventure before I leave.

Norway - Home of fjords, Sonja Henie and Gustav Vigeland

I traveled between and through the countries on every form of public transportation available.  I flew from Paris to Stockholm, took a train to Uppsala, a ferry to Tallinn and Helsinki, a train to Rovaniemi and Turku, both a ferry and a train to Oslo and both a bus and a train to get to Copenhagen.  I also rode the Tunnelbana and took buses in each city just to get around.  However, I never once took a cab or drove a car.

Denmark - Home of Hamlet, Christiania, and the Little Mermaid (sorry crappy photo)

Unfortunately, I did not have time to visit Iceland, otherwise my Scandinavian Leg would have been truly complete.

First Stop – Stockholm, Sweden

Due to the last-minute nature of my travel arrangements (mostly due to cash flow issues during the aftermath of the Zürich Wallet Theft).  I had very few options in choosing hostels in all of the Scandinavian cities I visited.  While visiting Stockholm, I actually had to stay 40 minutes outside of town at the Jumbo Hostel at Arlanda Airport.  It is the first of a chain of hostels created in retired jumbo jets.  The hostel was very clean and cute. The staff was also quite friendly and I loved that shoes were not allowed indoors.

The Arlanda Jumbo Hostel

A plane taking off into the sunset (as seen from the tarmac beneath my hostel)

The commute was a drag, but it actually inspired me to visit nearby Uppsala which was only about an hour from my hostel, but almost 2 hours from Stockholm.  I am pretty sure I wouldn’t have made that trek if I had actually been staying in the center of town.

A View from the Skeppsholmsbron Bridge

I enjoyed Stockholm very much, there is a tremendous amount of public art and a lot of great neighborhoods.  I was really impressed by the Moderna Museet. It has a great collection and is really well laid out.  Decorating the lawn outside the museum, are the works of Calder, de Saint Phalle and Tinguely.

Alexander Calder's "The Four Elements"

Niki de Saint Phalle and Jean Tinguely's "Le Paradis Fantastique"

Day Trip to Uppsala

Upon the recommendation of one of the receptionists at my hostel, I took a day trip to nearby Uppsala.  I found the town quite cute and inviting.  My absolute favorite part was the University’s botanical gardens.

Cool art at the Orangerie

More photos of Stockholm and Uppsala  here.

Second Stop- Helsinki, Finland

I actually spent a day in Tallinn, Estonia between Stockholm and Helsinki, but as Estonia is a Baltic state rather a Scandinavian one, I will write about it separately.

My stay in Helsinki, was somewhat marred by the rain.  I spent most of my time there soaking wet and cold and trying to find shelter.  I did mange to find many great coffee shops and bars around town, though. And I did manage to snap a few decent shots when the sun came out.

Eila Hiltunen 's Sibelius Monument

1952 Olympic Stadium

The Rock Church

Next Stop – The Arctic Circle, Rovaniemi

Though it cost me a chunk of time in train travel from southern Finland to the Laplands and back, my trip to the Arctic Circle and Santa’s Village was well worth the sacrifice.  I do not recommend making a trip this far North in the winter, as the sun barely shines.  But in the summer, a month after the Midnight Sun, the days were still long enough to enjoy the sights.   By the way if you want to buy canned reindeer meat, this is the place to go. Rovaniemi (and Napapiiri).

I crossed the line

Santa on Top of the World

Giant Cloudberries - They're Orange!

More photos of Rovaniemi and  here (also includes a few shots of the pit stop in Turku)

Onward to Oslo (Norway)

I took a 6 hour train ride from Rovaniemi to Turku, then hiked through town to get to the ferry terminal, then took the ferry overnight to Stockholm, then hiked through town to get to the train station, and from there I took a train to Oslo. All told, the journey took a day and a half.

The sun sets as the ferry sails away from Turku, Finland

A few hours later, the sun rises as we approach Stockholm, Sweden

Again, I felt lucky that it was August and I was able to enjoy a long well-lit evening on my first partial day in the city.  Although I did spend a couple of hours indoors seeing the movie Alexandra.  (Side note: I do not recommend this film.  It is more boring than a nightmare about boredom.)

Here is a great Norwegian to English translation.

Kylling = Chicken

I ❤ Ibsen

Way Cool Opera House - you can go on the roof!

My absolute favorite sight in Oslo was the Vigeland Sculpture Park.  The whole park is adorned with magnificent sculptures.  The sun was shining gloriously and a I got many great shots.

Unfortunately, it was tough to get an unobstructed shot of some sculptures

Last Stop – Copenhagen, Denmark

By the time I arrived in Copenhagen (after an overnight bus trip and an early morning train ride), I was exhausted.   I opted to take a boat tour to hit all the main attractions.

Shiny New Theater

Funky Opera House

We also saw the palace and converted shipyards and the Little Mermaid.

I did also do some walking and visited several areas on foot both the during the day in the evenings.

On the outskirts of Christiana

Ssssssssh, I'm Thinking

Some acrobats for my acrobats

See more photos of Copenhagen here.

I leave you with some more birds for Elise to name.

Spotted outside the Munch Museet in Oslo

Ducks in Helsinki

Stocky in Stockholm