Tuesday, December 30, 2008
AAHH!! packing is such a headache and a backache too. all the bundling, rolling, and inserting things here and there gave me a sleepless night. i want a Mary Poppin's bag! my bag is definitely over weight and i am thinking of checking another smaller bag too. i have simply too many things to bring back. and aunt wants me to bring back the small mooncakes she makes yesterday. even the cabin bag is full!! 4 pairs of shoes in that bag alone because i wanna get VAT refund at the airport, so i have to put them in the cabin bag in case they wanna see my purchase. i hope they dun request to see it because i am sure the content of the bag will just spill out as soon as the zipper is undone. i am definitely going to push and shove the stuff inside. such hard work!
the temperature is sub zero outside although the sky is clear and sun is so happy showing itself. well, goodbye germany after spending about 40 days here.
and goodbye 2008. thank you for being a smooth year. it might not be a smooth one in world affairs (earthquake, political tsunami, economic crisis, etc) but personally, it is an ok year.
so i hope my last 2 days in germany and of the year will be trouble-free and i will reach 09 and malaysia with all my bags and spirit in tow. hahaah....
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! HAVE A GOOD 2009!!!
Monday, December 29, 2008
this is the outdoor pool, nothing to worry although the weather was at around 1C yesterday. just dip the head into the water when u feel cold. the pool was quite crowded yesterday with holiday makers. a wrong day to go when u wanted a swim. most came from outside bad ems looking at the cars parked around the area. and we also saw a lot of hairy chests but no more exposed 'fruits'.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
yeelin and i are planning to go to emser-therme for another swim. so i guess i will not be doing anymore running because my clothes will not dry in time for me to pack them and go home. i hope the place is not going to be crowded. will do more laps this time around. last time, we frolicked more in the outdoor pool enjoying all the water massages they have instead.
few days ago, i was complaining about not doing enough reading here, and 2 days later, i have finished 2 books. haha...i have finished reading middlesex and hotel babylon (in one day) and now i am halfway through on chesil beach by ian mcewan. i think i can finish it by tomorrow. i have been tucking myself into bed early and doing reading and the afternoons too reading by the clear sunlight.
yesterday, aunt, yeelin and i went to a mall called Centro in oberhausen for some shopping. it is about 90 mins drive away. it is a mall so we do not have to worry about the cold outside. the shops there were nothing special, quite boring actually. yeelin got the most while i got myself a belt. the place was so crowded with ppl on holidays. this is the time for them to take holidays till new year.
well, have finished reading my morning papers already so will be logging off soon and continue with my reading. oh, on the topic of newspaper, i am wondering whether i should stop buying newspaper for next year...i managed to get all the news online at the star website, so why bother holding the hard copy? i will be switching on my computer at work everyday and at home, so is there a need to spend rm1.20 everyday? haha...everyone is talking about fund management for 2009, so i guess this is one way of cutting down too huh. what do u think?
Friday, December 26, 2008
i am the only one awake at the moment and i have finished my breakfast and reading my morning paper online. the rest of the household are still asleep, dog included.
what is the day's activity going to be? i think the stores in town are still closed and they will only open on 27. there is no boxing day sale tradition here i think.
i think i will go and finish reading middlesex later. it is such an interesting story...nothing vulgar mind you. i brought 3 other books with me but they will remain untouch till i go back to malaysia. hahha..i thought i had time to do some reading here but i was wrong. will make sure i finish this one book.
oh, is everyone reflecting on 2008 that is almost coming to an end? i am counting the days for me to board the flight on 31 dec at 12 noon at frankfurt.
what does 2008 mean to me? i wanted to be happy in 2008, well and i guess i manage to stay in that line of happiness. anything special? not that i can think of. still single, a year older and still love shopping. haha...
what is waiting in 2009? it is the year to start saving, expand my part-time, not neglect the responsibilities given, and plan another trip to europe (??!!). oh shall i learn to use the sewing machine as well? this thought just suddenly came to mind few days ago. grandma is good with the sewing machine and the best i can do is to fix a dropped button. maybe i should give it a try. hard to believe huh?
well, hope the remaining days of 2008 will be good for everyone. stay cheerful and optimistic and whatever gloomy days will turn all right. have faith!
this is the second living room in the house downstairs. seldom used. yeelin and i decorated the christmas tree yesterday, every branch has one piece of decoration. haha...and we still have some we did not put up.
this is what we had for our christmas eve dinner at aunt friend's chinese restaurants. 3 families including the owner's. 12 of us. just a small affair with some simple dishes. yummy...chinese herbal soup, steamed fish, stirfried mushroom,pumpkin, prawns and roasted duck. i din have any vege because i dun take pumpkin but i had lots of the others. haha..luckily i din take rice, dunno how to eat the dishes then.
and today...we had pork chop, sausage, potato and salad at home. call it our christmas dinner. yeelin is going out with friends to disco again...that is the place where german youths hang out i guess. music, dancing and drinking.
this is just a random shot of bread counter....yummy...love them...every morning have them for breakfast without fail. ahaha.
this is bad ems's rathaus....haha...so pathetic compared to the others i have got from the big cities. oh, i have visited the 3 biggest cities in germany in this trip- berlin, hamburg and munich. i wonder which is the 4th biggest.
one corner before reaching the house from bad ems town centre. we walked home in the drizzle after our swim.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
no fee was collected and they were supposed to charge us €3 for a car at the carpark, but no one was on duty. so it was free.
it is now made into a memorial site and is quite barren but of course the atrocities that happened here will never be forgotten. because it was the first concentration camp by the nazi, they had records in the forms of photos and videos as models for the other camps to be built later.
as you reach the entrance of the camp, you will see what is left of a railway track that was used to transport prisoners.
the entrance building and the gate that all prisoners had to pass through. above were the officers and scanning rooms. on the gate: arbeit macht frei means work for freedom. the only kind of freedom i can think of for the prisoners was death. the prisoners were forced to labour without food and and bath, and no proper sanitation. watching the clips shown in the small cinema really turned everything in your stomach. we made it for the 11.30am show which was in english. they have it in 4 languages. deutsche, english, italian and french. the short clip runs for 22 mins.
inside the prisoners' barrack they were not allowed to shower for months and no change of clothes. so diseases killed a number of prisoners. even those sick prisoners were called out during roll call and were humiliated in front at the square. some received beatings and were still forced to work.
the gas chamber which was never utilised in this camp. no reason was given why it was not used. prisoners who were to be gassed were sent to other camps instead. the prisoners had to go through 2 rooms before reaching the 'shower chamber'. the waiting room and the disrobing room.
the execution, mass grave and ashes sites.
we drove on a stretch of road called the romantic road where a lot of classic fairy tales came from. it was a beautiful stretch with beautiful landscape. hilly mountains and rolling fields. the journey was almost 2 hours from dachao and i was so worried that we would not make it in time to buy a ticket for the tour of the castle. ticket office closes one hour earlier which is 3p.m. while the palace admits its last visitor at 4p.m.
everyone would park at the village of hohenswangau before going up the hill on foot, bus, or horse-drawn carriage. it is €4.50 at the car park for each car. the walk up the hill will take around 30 mins. to go up by bus, u pay €1.80 while by carriage- €5. those carriage owners are really making big bucks.
different faces of the palace.
there are so many tours that there is one every 5 mins and u take turns queueing at the lanes assigned with numbers of the tour. chinese ones come with audio guide, no chinese speaking tour guide. we saw many chinese there and japanese too. imagine the queue in summer...
the trip to munich, which took us through beautiful bavarian landscapes was more than 5 hours long. we booked ourselves a hotel in zone A which is 3 mins walk from the s-bahn station. after checking in and refreshing ourselves, it was time to head out to the city with our day card.
it was drizzling as we reach the central station but of course our spirit was not dampened. it was straight to exploring with our hoods on. above is karls tor (tor is a gate), the entrance into the old town. again, streets were filled with christmas shoppers but it was not that crowded yet at that time.
er...do u call this piece of potruding tangerine colour woodwork art? it is installed by louis vuitton. they have the same kind of theme in their window display. those in italy are nicer.
michaels- kirsche. a church...renovation again. and this ipod advert can be seen everywhere.
my afternoon snack. banana dipped in chocolate bought from the christmas market. €2.50...damn expensive i know...but just had to have it.
we were in time to catch the musical clockwork chiming at 12noon. everyone stopped their tracks and observed the scenes displayed one after another with each rotation. here u see the scenes of 2 knights fighting and the red one lost the fight.
the galerie was closed.
we then took the underground to olympic park, where the olympics was held in munich in 1972. there was nothing much except the still standing stadiums and of course the bmw world and museum here.
the bmw museum, closed on monday...well, saves me €12 for the entrance. haha...if it was opened, i would be undecisive whether to go or not to go and wondering what i would have missed. dunno much about cars to really appreciate the displays i think and uncle wouldn't have forked out that amount to go in. if i were to go in, it would be me alone.
the collection level, we are not allowed there unless we are going to collect our car. we could only view this from the bridge. and of course i was dreaming of being on the other side while on the bridge. hahaa.... i dun care if it is the smallest car there. uncle was commenting how the cars there (those being collected) were not great at all. by great he meant those four-wheel-drive models.
some of the stalls told classic fairy tales of little red riding hood and hansel and gretel which originated from germany. the others had christmas tales and of course plenty of food and souvenir stalls.
the attractive window display by the famous dallmayr store in munich. well i only know it is famous the other day when i saw their coffee beans sold at lidl supermarket. the store has been around since 1700 and was supplier to the aristocrats in munich. the store occupies almost the whole block of building and gosh, it was crowded. things inside were not cheap at all and one would bulk at the prices. but hey, the customers inside were shopping like that was the only store in town. it was so crowded and busy that it was impossible to get a photo. they sell teas, coffee beans, wine, food, pastry, meat, fish, and fruits.
marianplatz in the evening.
went into a bookstore opposite the plaza to check murakami's diary and boy, it was another big crowd inside. i cannot remember the name of the bookstore but i think it is one of the big ones in germany because they have another english bookstore a few streets away. ppl were christmas shopping and the queues were endless at the cashiers. good reading culture in germany? i think so, saw many ppl reading on trains and subways. and the crowd here proofs it i guess. the store is not very big but it has 6 storeys including lift and escalators.
and the diary? well, the price is €13.20 which is available at their english bookstore. wei has helped me check the price of the diary in bangsar. it is rm40.90. but i didn't buy it because according to him it is mini...not like normal diary size. well, maybe i will check it out myself when i go down to kl with atticus. tq wei for helping me to check and ringint me at 6a.m. this morning. hehehe...nope, i din pick up the call but he smsed after waking me up.
nordsee..how i hate u. this was where we had our dinner. sigh...as if there was no other restaurants in munich. i want my white wurst!! uncle kept using aunt as excuse saying that she does not take chops and stuff but the truth is he was just too thrifty to spend on food. everything was too expensive and not worth it. and he complained again after the nordsee meal, saying that he was not full at all. sigh. a nordsee meal was not exactly cheap, it averaged at €7 and above depending on which meal u choose. aunt and i were full. a meal at restaurant for let's say chicken chop would be around 9 or 10. better than nordsee lah.
and when we reached our hotel, we crossed the road to lidl to shop for food. sigh, he bought yoghurt and bananas and had them with the bread we brought from home. i had the choc mousse with banana although i was not really hungry. just wanna try the mousse because i din have any since i come.
we retired early for the night as everyone was tired. all slept before 10 and it was a sound sleep indeed. but i woke up at 6a.m. and could not sleep anymore. snores snores and snores...well, i had enough rest, so it was ok. was glad that i could sleep well despite the non-stop snores from the other side. phew!