Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Brussels (Part 3)

I'm on a roll!!! I'm so determined to clear my old photos and get up-to-date, it's criminal, I tell ya.

I know some of you *ahemfrachelyandmumsybumsyahem* are tired of seeing Brussels photos, but here's the last batch. They're really nice, so I couldn't bear to just delete them.

At the famous Manneken Pis fountain. Not easy to get a photo there, I tell ya.

Just an example of how crowded Brussels is on a hot summer's day.

Better than television, she says.

Santé! You can't spend a weekend in Brussels and not enjoy their Belgian beer! We hunted up and down for a cosy bar and our efforts were rewarded. The sun sets late in summer and we just ordered untasted-before Belgian beers till late. It was really fun. I chose the fruitier beers as I'm not much of a beer drinker. I must say though, that Belgian beers are still nicer than the common ones we find in KL bars/clubs.

The view from our bar. Doesn't it look like a film set??

Self-control is key.

But letting go is much more fun!

The very flamboyant gay young waiter took this for us.

Back at the hotel, HAD to take a photo of this segment on MTV called 'Shake ton booty'. Hahaha.

Next day, Sunday, the roads are quiet as a cemetery. Bloody difficult to find a lunch place!

So thirsty that I see a vision of a cup of tea and drink it.

Finally find a taxi driver's cafe/bar which serves lunch. Wonderful! Hearty amounts of spaghetti on a bright summer's Sunday. Mmmmmm.

I don't know either.

I can't resist wandering into a park when I see one. Especially when it's a hot day.

I guess if we were of a more similar height, we'd be able to get our whole heads in pictures.

I like seeing families and couples enjoy the sun in a park.

And the freestylin' of musicians and artists.

I also love how you can stumble on nice surprises in a park. Like how this gazebo around the corner had a high school orchestra performing.

Schrobbenmaster's wonderful photography skills.

So sneaky.

Nice old building in front.

We shouldn't really complain about having so many languages on signboards in Malaysia. Even Belgium has their dilemmas.

One of the best buys ever! A vintage/rustic bathroom shelf that is now proudly hanging on our bathroom door.

Very nice, quaint street with cafes. Most importantly, shaded from the blinding sun.

Another showcase of their comic-loving culture.

Sat down for tea and saw they had scones... how could I resist!

I feel like having a scone right now. I wonder where they have good ones in Rotterdam?

This is just so unique I keep having to take photos! I've never seen so many comic influences on huge display in a city.

Not long after, we headed back on our first class train to Rotterdam Centraal :) What a wonderful weekend away!

Rotterdam's architecture, expat meetups and randoms

Now that frachely has gone back to Singapore, I have a little more time on my hands to blog. Work is still going insanely, but at least for the rest of the month and October, I can work from home. Saves a lot of travel time indeed!

It was really great to have frachely over, shopping and taking pictures (almost) shamelessly like an Asian. Will put up some pictures later on. First off, I still need to clear my Blog folder on my desktop!

Is this photo too large? Does the pizza look too yummy? Does my leather jacket look amazing or what? Oh daymn, now I've made myself want to eat this.

Rotterdam is one of the more modern cities in NL. As a result of the heavy bombing by the Nazis during WW2, lots of its old, charming Dutch buildings were ruined. It's a pity, but a blessing in disguise, that they now have the space and opportunity to make this an interesting architectural city.

While driving to the DIY warehouse one day, I took photos of the various buildings we passed.

I think this is a building for creatives. All sorts of creative agencies gather together in one building and they can use one another's resources and talents.

Kind of eye-boggling.

The Euromast. Why does every city have to have a tall tower for tourists? :S

Yes, we also have our share of sex clubs and coffee shops. It's not just in Amsterdam, geez.

The Erasmus bridge. It's really nice at night.

I really like the gradient on that skyscraper. Very cool. Not like the gradient pink of our Menara KL.

Onto some random pics to brighten up your day...

Piercing stare from our Pim. Probably glaring at someone who didn't fill up his breakfast bowl.

Wow, this was a long time ago. Firstly, it was summer, hence only one layer of clothing (as opposed to all frachely's holiday photos where we're wearing 2 to 3 layers). And it was during the World Cup, when Albert Heijn supermarket was giving out these orange "beasties". You could see it on almost every car, on their antennas or their mirrors. Pim really likes it.

This was at one of our few expat meetups. Was held at Hotel New York, across the Erasmus bridge. And because we figured we'd be having some alcohol, we took our bikes there. I DIDN'T KNOW IT WAS FRIGGIN HELLISH TO BIKE OVER THE ERASMUS BRIDGE.

And I had to do it twice! I'm not exaggerating, I nearly passed out on my bike :S

There were several nationalities there that night. Was nice and comfortable. Just too bad about that bridge.

Okay, Pim is now walking back and forth in front of my computer demanding attention, so this post will come to a halt right here.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Clubbing in Rotterdam

Otherwise known as the attempt to club in Rotterdam.

A few months ago, our company organised an event where we hired a DJ and a VJ. And I mean a VJ that creates visuals on a big display behind the decks to enhance the music played, not those MTV hosts on TV.

Anyway, after the event, the VJ, Ian, invited us to a gig he was playing later that month at Watt in Rotterdam. Watt is one of the bigger clubs in the city so I was quite excited about going. It was supposed to be a techno/electronic sorta night as well.

It was also the first time I'd be biking to a club. Haha, how quaint is that?? Turns out the night wasn't as I expected it to be...

As you know, dark places and little cameras don't work too well together. That's the DJ. The VJ has his place one floor above and opposite the DJ in order to look at the screen that's behind the DJ.

And I guess you can see why it wasn't the sort of exciting, happening night I expected. Geez, the only people our age were probably the staff.

I'm only putting this photo up because I have so little of our 'clubbing' night.

Some younger people, but well, they don't look half as good as we do back in KL, do they?

To close off this post, I guess I should also reveal that Watt is now closed down because they lost the support from the government. Yeahhhh apparently places like clubs are supported by the government because they're considered to be part of 'culture'. But I guess Watt just didn't do well enough.

One last thing... it's so friggin hard to get mixed drinks in clubs here. It's just beer, beer or beer. The only mixed drink you can get is with a Red Bull. And that costs €7,50 compared to €3 for a beer!! I hate clubbing here.

When Charles visited from Paris

I just realised that I have a folder of photos to put on my blog and they go waaaaaaay back. I've already deleted many that aren't even interesting anymore. But here are a few from when Charles came to Rotterdam for the weekend to visit his friend Ludo. It was quite a significant meeting because it was through Charles that I met Ludo, and through Ludo that I was suddenly introduced to the world of expats in Rotterdam.

Unfortunately, by now, Ludo has finished his contract in Rotterdam and is back in Paris. Nice guy and very sociable, albeit with a really strong French accent. Hopefully we can meet up again soon.

After breakfast at Bagels n Beans in Rotterdam, we decided to have a day out in Amsterdam. We parked the car at our office then walked past the houseboats to the tram.

Me and Charles on the tram.

People enjoying the sunny summer's day. There was also some breakdancing going on over there on the right.

Walking around the centre and through the street market selling flowers, tulip bulbs (most important!) and some children's marijuana growing kit.

I'm not quite sure what kind of conversation is going on here between the both of them, but the guy with the camera behind there sure is interested.

Charles collects photos of beer, beer and beer. Sometimes cocktails.

Just a nice scenic Amsterdammy photo for your viewing pleasure. And to get frachely even more excited.

Time for bed now! G'nite peeps, xxx.