Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Of Caesars and Popes

aka. J the Chocoholic's trip to Italy Part 1 - Rome! (Note: Very photo heavy post)

First stop - ROME!
The Colosseum:
Outside the Colloseum and A Look At the Hordes of Tourists Trying To Get In.....

The Arch Of Constantine:
The Arch Of Constantine.....

The Monument of Vittorio Emmanuelle II:

A Few Glimpses of The Monument to Vittorio Emmanuelle II.....

The Basilica di San Pietro (Saint Peter's Church):

The Exterior and Interior of the Breathtaking Saint Peter's Church in The Vatican City.....

The Spanish Steps:
Wah - A Sea of People At The Spanish Steps.....

The Trevi fountain:
Make A Wish At The Trevi Fountain.....

(Sorry - some of the photos are a bit fuzzy because the weather was a bit cloudy at the start of the day... Besides, my camera is not so "canggih"...)

It's really amazing how much history (bloody or otherwise) that is contained in this city: Buildings and structures that can be up to thousands of years old, each with their own story.

You know what's a real pity though?
One Example Of Graffiti Found In and Around Rome.....
(Click on the photo for a closer look)

I actually quite like graffiti (if tastefully done) as it's somewhat of a modern art but I think it's a real shame to deface these historical monuments with it.

I mean this is the place where the Roman Empire stood at it's (rather eccentrically murderous) peak.... and where historical figures as diverse as the gifted Michelangelo, the crazy Emperor Caligula (among others) and the powerful Julius Caeser have graced with their presence.

Why would anyone want to defile it with a can of spray paint?
(According to the tour guide, the Italian government has to spend quite a fair bit of money every year to clean up graffiti...)

It's not quite the right way to leave a mark on the world, don't you think?
(Some more, most of the graffiti weren't nice - so unimaginative! - it was usually just the person's name over and over again)

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Home Sweat Home

I'm back from Italy...
... and I'm currently afflicted with a cold + fever + achey bones.
(Luckily this only hit me right on the last day - I guess the jet lag and hectic tour schedule finally got to me by then)

And I feel SO hot!
I can't stop sweating - even with the aircond on.
It's amazing how quickly I got used to the cold weather over there - it's 8 to 15 degrees but beautifully sunny on most days.... I just hope I will just as quickly get back to appreciating our lovely 30+ degree weather here in hot and humid Malaysia.
(If not I'll just become a permanently sweaty and grumpy chocoholic)

Anyway, all in all, Italy was fun but I'm happy to be home.
(Despite all the whining... Really!)
I will try my best to organise my photos and post up the nice ones for you all soon.
(This might take a while though - I completely maxed out both of my 2MB memory cards...)

Also, Happy Chinese New Year to you all.....
May you and your families be blessed with luck, happiness and prosperity in the Year of the Pig.
To the single ppl out there: I hope you will have a bountiful collection of ang pows this year!
To the married ppl out there: Thank you for your generosity! ;)


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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Life In Transit

A sign of life!

Hello all,

I know... my hiatus started much early than planned.
Couldn't help it - I was super, crazy, ulcer inducingly busy at work.

Still, that's all behind me now.
It's holiday time!
*woo hoo*

I'm at the Dubai airport now - killing some time in between plane rides so I thought I'd just do a quick post.
(Just so you all know I'm not dead yet)

It's been a tiring journey so far.
I started off with a 6+ hour plane ride from KLIA to Dubai in the wee hours of the morning,... I'm now enjoying a 3 hour transit and I have another 5+ hour plane ride to Rome to look forward to.
(Hate flying long flights)

Still, I am looking forward to the whole trip.
(As much as I dislike tour groups....)
Italy: Scenic countrysides, cool upmarket fashion shops (to look at only though - cannot afford *sigh*), quaint towns, romantic waterways and lots of yummy food!
I will take lots and lots of piccies and post it up when I get back, k?

Till then, take care everyone!


PS/ Thank you Mr. Samsung for having free internet kiosks here! I promise I will be a more loyal consumer to you in future as a sign of appreciation.... ;)

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Monday, February 12, 2007

Notice of Hiatus

Finally, the time has (almost) come for me to go on my annual long Chinese New Year break!

This year, I'll be going on a nice trip to Italy with my parents.
So, I will not be updating from Friday, 16th of Feb till Sunday, 25th of Feb.

I'm really looking forward to this trip...
(Seeing as I haven't been to Europe for over 10 years)
... but I am SO not looking forward to the weather!: The last I checked it's about 2 to 8 degrees celcius in Italy right now.

Hopefully I won't freeze to death.
I know that if some North Canadians or Alaskans come across this particular post, they'll probably think: "WUSS! It's not cold if it's warmer than 20 below zero!" but hey, these things are very relative and I'm used to hot and humid 30+ degree weather everyday.....

Wish me luck!


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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Not A Good Day


I feel sick...
.... and tired.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

101 Degrees East Of Eden

AKA. When bad service happens to nice places...


I already had my doubts when Pat told me we were going to check out Dunhill's concept store/ bar/ lounge in the Bukit Bintang area.... I thought: "Sheet. I don't smoke and I hate having second hand smoke blown in my face - So, why the Hell am I going to a bar opened by a cigarette company??"
From the Outside, Looking In.....

Still, when I walked into this low key bar just opposite KL Plaza, I was pretty blown away by the lovely ambience - split into 2 levels, it was plush, luxurious and sophisticated with a sort of retro but futuristic look:
A look at the second level.....

There was also a pretty extensive menu of the usual beers, wines and some interesting sounding cocktails for reasonable prices (not cheap, but not expensive either).
One of the many cocktails.....

Sounds good so far?
Yeah - but I'm never EVER going back there again.

"Why lah J?", you ask?

Well, I am pretty fussy about service and the service here sucks.
I mean, we were pretty much the only people there that night... but after taking our orders and serving us our first round of drinks, all 6 waiters lined up at the bar area and decided that they should serve us a consistent stream of menacing frowns that shouted:
"Why are you still here?? - I want to go home and you are being a bother by making me serve you".

They pretty much left us to ourselves for the one hour we sat there, not bothering to ask us whether we wanted anything else/ smile/ etc.
(To be fair, there was one waiter who was nice and friendly... but the rest of them are a pain)

It's a real pity.
This place could have been really nice.
(They also serve food there - didn't try it as the kitchen was closed already - and interestingly, for you cancer stick suckers out there, they have a ciggie sommelier who can blend custom cigarrettes according to your specifications)

101° East @ KL

134, Jalan Bukit Bintang,
55100 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel : 03 - 2145 9101

Opening Hours
Mon - Thurs: 12noon - 12midnight
Fri - Sat: 12noon - 2am
(Closed on Sundays)

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Different Wavelengths

I have evolved to the next stage of life:
Now I am consistently listening to Mix FM and not Hitz FM.

The little signs of old age!
(Very soon I will be listening to Light & Easy FM and humming along to the Classics/ Oldies.....)

On another note, I had a great long weekend.

Monday was a nightmare though - the first Monday of the month usually is (with all the meetings I have to attend and reports that are due) but I survived it relatively unscathed, so it's good.

Now, I just have to make it through the rest of the year.

(I hope the week has started off well for all of you)


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Monday, February 05, 2007

The Kiss Goodbye

Ah, the salty taste of disappointment....

The Dinner

Klimt's is a cute little Austrian restaurant at the foot of the Damansara Heights area that has been around for ages....

The interior of Klimt.....

For years, I had always heard from friends about how great the food at Klimt's is and now when I finally make my way there, it really looks like I've completely missed the boat.

To be fair, the soups we started off with that night (Mushroom Soup and Beef Goulash Soup) were ok...
The Beef Goulash Soup and the Mushroom Soup

The serving size was a bit small but overall, both soups were nice: the texture was thick and they tasted deliciously wholesome.

However, the mains were a totally different story.
That night, we ordered funkily named Beef Something (sorry, sorry - the name's in a foreign language so it's slipped my mind) and the Klimt's platter:
The Beef Something and the Klimt's Platter.....

Z and I decided that if we had to rename the dishes to something more fitting with reality, his dish would be "Tasteless, Soggy Broiled Meat With Chinese Style Veggies" and mine would be "Variety of Dry, Overcooked, Oily and Salty Processed Meat Served with a Pickle".
(And mind you, the food there isn't cheap! The mains can range anywhere from about RM25++ to RM70++)

Maybe I'm just being a bit too quick to judge.

Apparently, the pasta and the fish dishes there are nice....
... but before you Klimt fans out there say that I'm being unfair, please consider this: Do you think that any normal person who tries out a restaurant for the first time and gets charged so much for such yucky food would EVER voluntarily go back to find out whether the rest of the food is nice?
(I think they desperately need to clean up their menu to make sure that there are no more total "bombs" on it)

Having been disappointed with the mains, I decided to cut my losses and NOT order dessert.
(So, sorry... no dessert piccies and review)

So, it's: Cosy, dimly lit "romantic" but simple ambience and nice soups BUT some real "bombs" on the menu and it's pretty expensive considering food quality and serving size.

Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:

Klimt @ Damansara, KL

Taste: 4
Ambience : 5
Service : 5
Price** : RM 60/++ per person
Parking: OK

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks

Telephone No.: 03-2092 1978
Opening Hours:
Monday to Friday: 12noon - 2.30pm, 6pm - 11pm,
Saturday: 6pm - 11pm,
Sunday closed


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