Thursday, July 5, 2007


As a foreigner in many places, I feel like some places just have a sense of humor. Other places don't. I have a very offbeat sense of humor, so sometimes I think even the wierdest things are funny. I have always been intrsted in signs, for some reason. I found that I had a particular faciniation with them. It because conclusive durning my freshman year of college when i began stealing signs. anything that would seem funny, or else stole signs and put them in places that would seem alomst ironic. For instance, i've been putting a "this is not an exit" sign that i stole from the univeristy library above the exit of my door.
while traveling around, when i'm most likely to have a camera, I took a picture of cool or funny signs.
Here are just a plethra that I have seen:

A sex Shop in Amsterdam. Who woulnd't be happy going into there?

Bratslavia: It's amusing to combine a Pension AND a Jewish restraunt in one place!

Bratslavia: Man at work! It also accompanies a bronze statue.

Amsterdam: this man thinks he can save us!

Amsterdam: Apparently Herbs from the gods are shrooms.

Green Island, Taiwan: apparently, they really want to voice how the weather is!

Monday, April 23, 2007

missing you

I miss Spain. I miss everything about it. Mostly because I had such a great time roaming the streets of Barcelona, and seeing all of the differnet people on Las Rambalas. I will post some great pictures soon and include commentary when my life slows down a little bit here at university. Graduation here I come!

In the meantime, enjoy this little picture to start off my advanture when i recount it later on this week:This is a picture of Christphor Columbus pointing to the "new world" which opened up many opportunites for Spain. Too bad he was trying to find India. But they are very proud of thier cultural hertiate in Spain. Columbus is included in this...There is a roundabout surrounding his towering statue leads the way to the heart of the city: Las Rambalas
(please note that this picture was auctally taken 3 years ago and not on my recent trip)

Friday, April 6, 2007

Instructions for an airport traveler

At the airport, after you check-in, promplty report to the security check gate. While there, take off everything that could possibally set off the metal detector, and promply go thru the detector. Usually these people forget to take thier belt or have some keys in thier pocket. don't make that mistake!

When you get to your gate, harrass the woman at the counter by asking what time boarding will began. When you see lots of staff arriving, prompty grab your stuff, and run towards the counter. oh darn. old people and small childern first? 9 year old can pass for 5 yeah? wait, why does first class get to board first? i got class i should be able to board!

When your approportate boarding time has arrivied, quickly shuffle into line, kindly passivly pushing your way into the line without ending up in the back of the line. do this like heared sheep in the countryside all going into the barn. give a loud sigh or a mild scof to the jackass who is trying to board but can't find thier ticket and is holding up the line. If there is a long line of people, wait with them. don't be like the slow-pokes that wait on the side until majorirty has boarded because the plane is just going to leave without them anyways.

when you finally got thru the gate, hurry up. walk fast, try and push thru those that are walking towards the plane as well..they will take up your overhead compartnet space! hurry hurry hurry!

When you get onto the plane, you should be greated by the attendents, and prompty find your seat. when you do, stop abrubtly, and reach for the overhead compartmnet. carefully lay your bag, jacket, shoppoing bags, and small bag into there and arrange it all nice and neatly, oh yeah and in a row so that your stuff won't have to share space with other bags. don't even constider letting other people thru on the plane. they will be just be taking away valuable time you can use to stow away your things.

If your flight opperates on the Southwest model, and there are no assigned seats. and that poor mother comes in with her little child and is late boarding because she was changing thier diper while the other little one was running around causing hovoc, don't offer to give up your nice window/asile seat next to your significant other because let's face it, the childern are clearly old enough to tough it out without mommy..i mena they are breathing by themsevles, right? or else the childern are just adults in disguise wanting to sit together and will morph into their full adult selves once they secure those seats next to each other.

When the food/snack cart comes, poke your head up like a little gopher or marcat. contuine doing so until they auctally come to you. you have to look like a eager little kid otherwise they will not serve you. Not in your seat? hurry and rush back. In you miss this opportunity to return to your seat, you will forever be stuck at the end of the isle and even worse (gasp) you may not get your drink/snack/meal that you paid for in your airline ticket.
They get to your row and oh no! they are serving the other row across from you first! how dare they! greedily stare at them as they may take the last (insert food/drink name here)! and then you'll starve to death!

Once you get your food, greedly stare at it and think "that's it?" and give it a look of disgust. Then eat it, savor it, quickly now! This is because you are starving eventhou you got some food in the airport terminal and this food, like the terminal food are both equally inediable and made from mysterious products. and don't forget to eat every last crumb. this is the last meal you will get--FOREVER, so savor it you greedy smuck. When you're finished, put everything away, and wait and wait forever for the attadents to come colllect your trash. Oh wait, you see---they have yet to finish distributing the food.

the end.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

immigration waves

I have been to Europe 4 times now in the past 4 years (I am very lucky). I have noticed the waves of immigrants comming in. Last time I came to Barcelona, people told me to watch out for Gypies and Africans selling illegal things. This time, I noticed that there are many pakistanis illegally selling cheap beer (cerversas) on the street. While there has always been the normal immgation waves and beggers are still single Muslim women, it has become very very apparent. The Muslims are comming, and they are invading Europe by force and in large numbers.

Let's take another example. This summer, I travled to Rome and Paris. In Rome, in all of the major tourist destinations, there were, as always, blacks selling knock-offs. The very first time I went to Rome in 2004 there were also blacks selling knockoffs, but they also sold various trinkets. (trinkets in Rome varied anywhere from stupid toys with bells of whisltes to light-up toys to roses for women.) This time, it seems as if the Pakis have taken over the trinket business, while the blacks still sustain the knock-off business.
This goes for Paris as well. Years back, when I went in the winter of 2003 and the summer of 2004, under the Effiel Tower, there were blacks selling various trinkets. Now, it is all Paskistanies.

This leads me to ask: What is going on? What is cauisng such a large "immigrant" wave from this Musilm Country. And where are all of thier women? I have seen all of hte Pakistani men, but where are thier women?

In Rome, we attempted to ask one of the street vendors how he got to Rome. We attempted to ask if he came thru a company, but he didn't understand us. We also learned that he was from Calculatta, India, and not Pakistan like majority of the other street vendors. In addition, his reason for leaving India was because "it is very dangerous. they kill me if I go back. Street gangs" Now, all me nieve, but I have never heard of such dangerous situations in India. In fact, I thoguht that India and Pakistan were realtivity safe, nice nations, but with a large economic gap. Thefore, teh rich have very good opporutnites to be very well educated.

in the meantime, cna someone else give me a good reason why this is happening?

Thursday, March 29, 2007

British Invasion

Yesterday was the big Espana v. England Football game. So what happened??? Thousands of Brits crowded the streets of Barcelona. The night before at the club and also in the streets walking home I noticed there were many as well.

The night before, 2 drunk Englishmen from Manchester asked us for directions. However, they were unable to pronouce "Plaza Catalonyula" and instead handed us a card taht belonged to thier hostel.
"It is right there..that is where we are headed as well." we said.
"really? it's close. everyone told us to go the wrong way!"
"yeah..well it's right there. see, that is las rambalas. Plaza catyoulana is right at the top of it"
we were walking on las rambalas while they drunkly were walking in the same direction as well. One of them then saw a prostitutie and i heard him say "ay mate, i'm going to go get some action. "
The other guy laughed, while his friend ran off. he caught up with us and said "crazy bastard."
my friend told him "er, i wouln't let him go with that prostiute."
"why?" he replied
"well, unless if your friend wants to pay for a suprise dick, then let him go" i said
"OY!"---the brit then bolted off and chased after his friend.

Back to yesterday. I notied a consiterable amount of English speaking folk on Las Rambalas and many of them were wearing jersys. When I got to Plaza Real, it became very very clear. I guess as a point of fan inmiditation, they hung up english flags with thier team names on them. Many british sat there singing and chanting and drinking beer. later on, after the the games ended, they stood there chanting in the plaza celebrating. to celebrate, they proceeded on taking fruit and bottles of anything, and smashing them in the plaza.

the streets of barcelona are still filled with english folk. i have a feeling they will be here for awhile because it is easter vacation.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

crazy in Barcelona...Take 2

So I have to admit that I have not been seeing so much of the sights as for the culture. Sunday, Becuase we got back from the club so late, and I had jet lag. I slept until 5pm. My frined and I went to the olympic park by the beach to walk around. There they had posh hotels of very very modern articture.

Afterwords we ate at an Italian restruant. I was good.

As always, the center of life in Barcelona centers on the main street "Las Ramblas"
my friend and I proceeded to go to Plaza Real, where some argentians approahed us and invited us to a bar for a drink, we somehow ended up in a bar called "sugar"---the Argentenians made a joke on how most of the "non-english" speeking nations take "cute" english words and name things after this...for instance.the bar that we went to. The bar was really relaly small, It reminde me of the avalon in costa mesa. it spun a variety of music, from 80's to 90's rock and pop to spanish songs towards the end of the night. We then met a german guy and my friend showed us another bar, called Manchester Bar..where there were a good amount of "english speeking" folk.

It is intresting to note that in most pubs/ bar that are british/irish, there will be a lot of irish/british there. perhaps it is thier "comfort zone" It is just like how the Agentians that we met eneded up meeting other Argentinians. They all hit it off really really well and started conversing with each other in Spanish. I got to practice my Spanish for a bit. Becuase like Spain, the Argentenians did not know that much English. One of them that I conversed with did not konw many words at all. I realized that I understand Spanish and am less hestitant to use it when i'm under then influcence rather than when i'm not..perhaps I am less self-conscuious this way.

I then feel ill the next day but mandaged to go across the street to buy some pasteries and some groceries. Like most other nations, you have to pay for your plastic bags here. I noticed that most European nations have the theory "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" as well as they are pretty savey when it comes to waste....well except for water when every night they wash the streets of Barcelona with water, and the next morning it seems as if a rainstrom has come though with all of the puddles of water taht they made from the daily street washing. If I were a tax payer, I would suggest that they do it on the weekeneds, and that's it. But this is how they keep thier city clean, and this reflects on thier culture, for if you go to Spain, no one ever complined now dity it was.

I felt good enough eventually to go out at night. We went to this club called "Fellini's" it spun rock and indie pop..or "pop rock" the spanards like to call it (i personally think this is a more accuate description of this music, for "indie rock" is not so "independent" anymore). There were a multituides of characters there. I noticed that there were a lot of Irish people there, who were on "holidy" (vacation) and most of the didn't even know any spainsh..some irish girls in the bathroom were all asking me how to say simple spanish phrases. Because of it's convient location on Las Rambalas, and the club promoters, it was a easy location to attract tourists. my friend infomred me that durning the peak travel times, there are lots of foreignores, and other times there are mainly spanish people.

Monday, March 26, 2007


so i'm am finally here.

too bad i feel so gross. my body is basically like "WHAT? NO SLEEP? WHAT DRINKS? WHAT TOBACCO?"

the last two nights have been very very intresting. I have yet to bring a camera (stupid me!) to document what happened.

bascially, I landed in Zurich and took off again to Barcelona. There I took the REFE (train) to the city center then to line 5 where my friend lived. We met at the metro stop. she lives really close to it. it wasn't soo bad.

I came, then I quickly changed as for we were meeting people for tapas at 10:00pm. we were a bit late.

the tapas we had were excellent. I some some of a fien'ds friends. they were catalan, and they ordered catalan food. mainly seafood. it was great, and was also very very fishy tasting...and intrestingly enough, i eat seafood all of the time..and i thought that it was more on the fishy side..

at dinner i proceeded to drink wine and sangria. we cracked a joke taht sangria is like the jungle juice of spain. i think it is.

we then headed off to a bar, then a club, Razzamtaz. it was awesome. we danced the night away until 7am..literally.

more to come..but first..sleep.

Friday, March 23, 2007

[countdown to ] Espana

T minus 4 hours to go. I fly out at 8pm on Swiss Internatinoal airways to Zurich, then to Barcelona. i'm soo excited. my bags were packed in a short amount of time. I have the necessities I need. that's all.

Monday, March 19, 2007

[countdown to ] Espana

Gaudi House

So the countdown begins. I'll be in Spain, or Espana in 5 days. Now all I have to do is live thru this week of finals and sleep deprivation.

Monday, March 5, 2007

European Street Food-part 1.

The amount of street food in Europe is immaculate. In the states, the cheapest thing we can get is from our local fast food joint with the $1 specials. In Europe, eating at fast food chain we would find here would be more expensive then buying some groveling treats from the street. Here are is some scrumptious food that you can get from off the street! [side note: it is intresting that the Europeans aren't fat from all of this stuff..but then again, maybe it's because I'm an indulgent and eager tourist waiting to soak up everything every place had to offer. Basically, I think my travel buddy and I ate ourselves silly.]

Amsterdam, The Netherlands:

Vlaamse frites are actually just very scrumptious fries with mayo. no joke.

They are soo big on pastries in Europe. Cream-filled pastries to fit anyone's tastes!

A dutch favorite: Smoked fish..most likely sardines or Marcel with onions. it was good, but very fishy. I can honestly say that this fish was prepared in a way in which I have ever eaten fish. However, this would not be the way I would perfer to eat fish.

Brussels, Belgium:

Nothing rings more famous in Belgium than a Belgium Waffle. There are different varies: caramel dipped, chocolate dipped, and plain. It also comes with a immaculate number of toppings: ice cream, chocolate, strawberries, syrup, powered sugar, bananas..the possibilities are endless. They do live up to their standard. I can honestly say that my travel partner and I consumed many of them in our brief duration in the city center, with each one just as satisfying as the next one.

Budpest, Hungry

In Eastern Europe, if you want a sandwich, you're going to have to settle for something bite-sized. These sandwitches are covered with anything possible: tomato paste, to cream cheese, olives, cucmbers, you name it. Sandwiches are one of my favoriate food groups, and well, these little sandwitches are great becuase you can buy so many and have a good variety.

Zagarab, Cortia:

I know that this is not exctally the run of the mill street food, but I put it here because a) you get it on the street, and b)it was d'lish. Having to treeked all the way thru europe with the minium fruit intake i have ever had in my life, i was glad to find that the open air markets are always open i europe, I'm also glad that the quality of the fruit was just soo darn good. don't they look delicious?

Athens, Greece

if you could auctaly see the picture, you would see how amazing this is. An authentic Gryos full of chicken, veggies, onions and yogart sauce. It's really a delicous mouthful. Being in Greece was like going to Daphnie's everyday, except the guy making it was auctally GREEK. oh yeah, and it tasted 10x better. Even the vegetarian ones were awesome, and I enjoyed how they did scam you out of any meat or veggies--because i love both parts equally. not to mention that the bread was nicely toasted.

I'm going to now save the rest of the foods for later..until next time!

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Zurich--home of The Street Parade

The quiant town of Zurich, Swizerland is distubed once a year the Techno festival, Street Parade. Analgous to the Berlin Love Parade, this is the day in which the eccentric people come out. Just take a look at the costumes:

Okay, well auctally this is just a picture of some "hot" girls..but hey..have to give the boys something right?

but now serisouly, onto the costumes!
Um Snow White? A chicken and his chick?? I am assuming that the guy in the chicken suit is auctally pointing at me, and making fun of the fact that i'm asian and i'm taking a picture...because asians i guess take pictures of everything!
Er..yeah. fishnet all over the body really turns me own [not].

I really enjoy techno music, it calms me for some reason. I'm listening to it right now. However, I was covertly hiding that fact from my travel make. he thinks that techno/trance/house music lovers are "freaks." i beg to differ. they are just more eccentric. It was very intresting to see all of the eccentric people of this music culture come together. When I went, my travel buddy and I were unaware of the street parade, and couldn't figure out why for the life of us we couldn't get a room anywhere. However, hooray for internet deals, for we got a sweet room on an internet was for one person.but i sunk was the movenpeck. we boked it on the internet for 50euros... it was a five star hotel--came with down covers and down sheets, eventhou it was a one person room the bed was plently large to fit 2, and they had turn down service. oh yeah, their food there is kick ass..AND FREE BREAKFAST!!!

The street festival was very intresting. Everywhere vendors were set up..selling booze on the streets and food as well! oh lord, the food was great! There were also parades that would start and stop heart-pounding music.

Street parade--literally

stage set up in the main TRAIN STATION.
apparently Bacardi was the main sponsper

Tranny love!

Swizerland is known for its strict drug laws. (for the most of europe, it seems pretty strict. however stuff like weed is not enformed except only in the scandavian nations.) Thank god i look so clean cut. Because these gentlemen that stored thire stuff in a storage locker close to ours, the police asked them thier name then asked for an ID...then they were asked to empty thier pockets. And all the people did was cooporate. Wierd yeah? but we got a picture!

<<<-don't try this at home kids! <<<-drugs are bad!

Thursday, February 22, 2007


On March 23rd, I will be heading for Barcelona. I'm flying Swiss Airways. I have never flown Swiss Airways, i'm pretty psyched..[based on sterotypes] anything swiss has to be good right???

I have been to Barcelona before, but I was alone, and for 2 days and I didn't know where to go. This time, I will have a local to show me around, as one of my friends is studying abroad there for an entire year.
We are also thinking about going to Portugal as well. We shall see how that will work out.

I have a connection in Zurich, which I have already been to, so it won't be a loss cause if I stop there for just a little bit (as in, if I'm here, why don't I explore? type of ordeal)

I am very excited. Now, all I have to do is get through the next few weeks of papers and tests. And job searching.

AAHHHH!!! let the countdown began!

Monday, February 19, 2007

[tips] plane tickets

Getting a plane ticket to your desired destination can sometimes be a challange. If money is no issue, then chances are, skip this thread and move on.

Domestic: I have noticed that there are a variety of methods to use.
please note that if you use any sort of serach engine...that southwest airlines and jet blue will NOT come up. Usually, thier rates are so specalized, that it wouldn't matter.
Some search engines that has decent rates: Orbitz, Student Universe, STA travel (both are for students only....sorry), and Expedia.
-->if you're really flexiable, the name your price websites may work out for you. although I cannot really comment, becuase I have never used it.
-->Also, Sometimes, it may auctally be cheaper to buy on the website of the auctal carrier. This will have to be done with careful price comparisions.
Sometimes, if you really really want to do a lot of work, then combining various airlines and deals may do the trick..however I have yet to try it.

International: One way, and the painless way can be to go by travel agent. However, sometimes you may not be conviced that a travel agent may know what to do...( agents usually only charge and I think are by law to only charge a &10 service fee..yup..tha'ts the same fee you would pay to the online website...this about it.)
If you are a student, always ask to see if you can find student rates. Websites like will give you student tickets. STA Travel (website and locations) will also give you student rates from the airlines. If you use a travel agent, just ask...they could have access to them.

Here are some websites that I know of:
STA Travel
--> These student-deal sites are excellent. -->Good rates, BUT as I tried to recently book my ticket to Spain, I noticed that they had quoted me one price..but then when the conformation price came thru..the ticket price had changed..and got wayy more expensive. Again, this is due to the database which either thier database or the airline's database wasn't up to date.
AirLinguis--> they take you only to certian places. but this website can be GOD. With direct flights from Dublin to from LAX can be as low as 199 one way...but book fast..becuase i didn't and the price was up$100+ some 12 hours later! --> budget airlines for europe. -->UNCONFIRMED..but this site is owned my my friend's dad, who put this link up..and is very very very was cheaper than most of hte options i was consterding when I had almost given up.

Major HUBS: London, Paris, Germany, Swizerland, Amasterdam.
Sometimes, getting a ticket into a larger HUB city is better (better auctally means cheaper) than just buying a ticket directly to your destination. For instance, you want to get to Denmark (like I did this summer). A Direct flight at the time on any of those websites are going to be more expensive because not as many people go there. Therefore, find a ticket to any major HUB city, and then go on and search for a cheaper, charter european airliner (all are based on the Southwest Model, so be prepared to run for your seat).
This is not a fool proof plan. Theave a LONG layover time.
re are several things you have to constider:
1) how much of a layover would you have in between flights?'re going to have to get off of your plane, clear immigration, get your bags, clear customs, then go and wait in your line to check into your other airline carrier....this is not as easy as it seems..for some of the smaller carriers tend to change counters, like they did in London's Gatwick airport.
2) how much time do you have?? if you just want to get to your destination's not worth doing this combo method esp if you are low on time..and patience.
3)IS It really cheaper?? After the currency coversions, taxes and fees? better make sure. (it is easy to get fooled and not pay attention to pounds or euros, espcially if you're quickly looking for the numbers)
4) MAKE SURE THE TRANSITION IS IN THE SAME AIRPORT!!! I cannot stress this enough...There are 4 london airports...unless if the transportation between them is easy and realtivley cheap, then go for it....take a little advanture. But if you know, like me, in London, the airports are not only semi far away, it's a consteridable distance away..and most of the time, are NOT joined by a train. Be prepared to pay lots of moulah to get from one airport to another.
4) how far away is your trip? some of the popular airlines, and the poplualr may be very expensive the closer you book. Also consitder the day that you are traveling, and the airline, and what ctiy you are comming from.
5) how flexiable are you? if you're flexiable, then it's good. if not..i'm sorry. Remeber, they will most likly not forgive you if your flight into europe was delayed. Sorry, they aren't the company that delyaed you.

happy hunting!!!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

where have I been so far????

so, the big question is, where I have been? Well, here's this cool visited counteries map that I found online and i took it upon myself to generate a map

create your own visited countries map

Because of the size of the map, I'll list the places that I have been to (I will include cities, just to be more specific because just because you have visited one city doesn't really repesent the entire country.) [the list may be edited later if I ever figure out where I have really been]

North America
California: all over
MA: Boston and the greater Boston Area, Martha's vineyard
Mystic, CT
New York
Washington, DC
Arizona/ grand canyon
Utah: Salt lake city, bryce canyon
Las Vegas, NV
Grand Teton National Park
Yellowstone National Park
St. Lois, MO

Canada: Toronto, Nigara Falls
Mexico: Dirty old TJ

United Kingdom
Scotland: Skye, Edinbrough
England: Stonehendge, Brighton, London, Bath, Stradfrod Upon Avon, Warwick Castle, Blehimem Castle, Oxford, Cambridge, Windsor
Republic of Ireland: Bunratty, Galway, Irissmore, Sligo, Roundstone

Contiental Europe
France: Paris, Nice, Lyon
Republic of Monoco
Spain: Barcelona, Madrid, Alicante
Italy: Verona, Florence, Vience, Rome, Naples, Milan
Vadican City
Greece: Island of Ageina, Athens, Thessolonki
Sebia: Belgrade
Bulgaria: Sophia
Swizerland: Lucern, Interlocken, Zurich
Germany: Berlin, Munich
Belguim: Brussles
Denmark: Copenhaghan
Sweden: Lund, Helinsoborg
Norway: Oslo
Czech Republic: Prague
Slovenia: Bratslavia
Austira: Vienna
Hungry: Budapest
Slovakia: Ljubljana
Crotia: Zagarab, Pula
Luxenberg: Luxemborg

Taiwan: all over.
China: Hong Kong, Shanghani, Bejing, Shunzhen, more to be added later
Japan: Tokyo, Mt. Fuji

hello!--first entry!

This is my new online blog.
What's it about you say?
I have been to 27 counties so far.
What do I have? I would hope a lot of experiences and stories.
This is my attempt to write about past travels, and what I remember the most about these places.
Because i'm currently stationary, there probally aren't going to be any new posts about any recent travels. However, there will be many posts on my old travels.

Disclaimer: I will try and research all of the different places taht I post on in an attempt to be a "good" writer. Please also note that I have pretty horrible writing skils

i hope you like it.