Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Let's Just Be Friends

"I have no interest in being your friend!"
Let's Just Be Friends - Alex Lewis

Exactly my feelings towards him. Even less interest in being his girlfriend!

And, boy, do gay men (like him) have the potential to jeopardize straight men's chances as this video demonstrates.

Anyway, iz ah really funny video me finks.

More funnies than above
I Just Had Sex - The Lonely Island feat Akon

I love The Lonely Island. So funny. So explicit. Handsome. Quite clear cut and no faffy "in the stupid closet business" ambiguity like that guy. It's girls and sex straight up but not degrading, just funny.


So, I have just finished reading One Day by David Nichols. It was a good book but I think I'd save my review for another day.

I have read a couple of books in the last two or three months. I hope to read more and my intentions are well. But, it is easy to get engrossed in a book and that can be time consuming. So, I try to read it only when I exercise but most times, the reading continues beyond 30 minutes. Maybe I'm just really (supposedly) busy this month and hobby-reading is an extra thing I could/should do without, like TV.

But, I digress from my real reason for posting. I have to, or else I'd be too short. At the end of David Nichols' book, he thanks and apologises to his friends/colleagues/acquaintances collectively for using some of their smart remarks in his book. At first, one might have thought he came up with those smart remarks himself and I had been impressed. But the fact is, smart remarks don't come easy except to a select few like my friend KA. A bit like Mensa intelligence.

And so, Mr Nichols has collected some quotes he has liked throughout his years. I didn't know people did that because I do, too. Some, I have put on a secret place called Facebook but most are in my head, usually for daily usage, if I ever get the chance. But, putting it in a novel is clever. Clever. And, like an honouring gesture... (unless there's money involved).

But anyway, quotes.. Maybe one day I'd consume my time to write a novel instead of read novels.. and revolve the story around the amazing quotes, rather than make a story and use the quotes. How amazing is that idea?

Sunday, 20 November 2011


Finished our two day course today. And I passed too!

It's a course we need to do and it is compulsory for our work. Although we had to pay £400+ each upfront, our work will reimburse us back. However, if we fail we need to re-take the course and the money comes outta our pocket the second time. Plus, it's sooooo time consuming!

So, I was really keen on trying to pass so I don't have to waste money on a re-take. That was my main motivation followed by the lack of stamina to study and sit in a course over the whole weekend. Passing with flying colours would have been a bonus but now that I'm older and (hopefully!) wiser, i feel there's more to it than the colours. It's how I have learnt from it and continue to improve rather than be judged on one test. Besides, I have a lot on my plate right now so getting one thing done properly really helps.

For a treat I decided on KFC! I love the hot wings. Really tastes like the real KFC back home. And, I have been looking forward to the Rekorderlig cider all week which I couldn't drink because I had to study. I have a report to write but I'm sure some alcohol would help make the report less mundane and appropriately humourous....

One down, many, many more to go.

Thursday, 17 November 2011


Busy!!!! Busy!!!!!!!

And I was ill! Eeeeeeelllllll, eeeelll, I tell you, ill! That was last Friday when my gut pretty much stopped working. I was nauseous, vomiting anything and everything. And I wondered if I was going to ever get water in my system. In hindsight, it was a bit silly and kinda funny; I almost passed out in the shower, almost threw up over myself and that's about as much detail as I'd go into. The main thing that stopped me from lying on the shower floor was the thought of having to shower and pass out, again. Mind over uhm, there was no control, really. I did get to a bag to throw up on time, though. Ok! That's about as much embarrassing detail I'd go into that blur of a day.

That's some gastric virus I caught. It still rages havoc. I think I feel hungry but after a few mouthfuls I'm full and feel the food lingering. There's a constant supply of gas, too. It's really bad and I have to behave myself in public as best I can. I hope I don't get gut cancer, you know with the human papilloma virus and cervical cancers and all. Who knows what other viruses cause cancer?

But at least I'm not crippled, vomiting all over and passing out now. In fact, I'm eating a carrot cake! Below is a picture: it looks unbelievably dry but it's actually rather moist!

Anyway, I have been meaning to write some apparently meaningful thoughts. And also post about Venice and show off some AH-MAY-ZING Venetian pictures. No time! No time, though. Like I said a few posts before the next couple of months are gonna be busy. So, this is a quick update.

Until another random post (hopefully an apparently meaningful post), adios amigos!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Venice Day Two

I found it hard to fall asleep the night before. Venetian air is rather humid, which I liked but it was too humid. The female half of the couple opposite me wanted the window shut, presumably to dampen the noise of the valporettos passing by our conveniently located hostel, L'imbarcadero. The heater was turned on full blast and everyone was drying their clothes, wet from the rain. I think I only fell asleep when the heaters shut some time past midnight.

One of the two lounges at the hostel shared accommodation
The other lounge came with a TV
And the kitchen area had a free computer with internet + Wi-Fi which is usually a given at most good hostels
I was awaken by the other handsome guy's alarm and constant shuffling. And upon noticing it hadn't rained throughout his shuffle, I jumped up, got ready and was out the door, kicking my heels along the Grand Canal within 30 minutes! No more photographic frustration!

I headed or more accurately, rushed to Rialto Bridge to get some photos before returning to the hostel in time to check-in into L'imbarcadero's private double en-suite as a friend was to join me later that day. The double en-suite was double the price I thought it was! At €35ppp I was taken aback. But I consoled myself after looking around the accommodation; it came with a large double bed; ample cupboard space which we didn't need; a large bathroom complete with jacuzzi, washing machine and weighing scale; a decent shared kitchen; and a large living area with a piano. The biggest downside was the lack of Internet access. But it was good to be able to be a little more carefree with my stuff.

The rustic shared living area in the private accommocation
None of the other tenants lounged here which made sense seeing they did book a 'private' room
There was a musty smell and looking around, one got the impression it was probably a family home beforehand
Right: The main entrance and our room door
Left: A shower-toilet, another room
Behind: Another room and a hallway leading to the shared kitchen

The Other Room
Not en-suite but presumably the toilet off the living room belonged to the tenants of this room
The only place in this house with a TV! Not that I really wanted to watch TV.
Our Room with a grander bed frame and large redundant cupboards to the right
Our en-suite
A well-equipped toilet
Maybe this is why I had to pay 10 euros more than when I stayed in the hostel... Hahaha..
I wanted to ask the girl at the hostel looking for a washing machine to come over to do her laundry just to make use of it!
The lovely back garden which we could only admire but not enter
The shared kitchen
With hindsight, it would have been nice to have bought some fresh seafood from Rialto's pescharia (fish market) and made use of the kitchen!
Walking around Venice was quickly wearing me down; although it wasn't difficult getting from A to Z, it was still tiring dodging in and out of various alleyways. I tried to buy a 72 hour pass but was easily dissuaded by transport staff. They were on strike on Monday but at least the valporettos still worked between the major stations and tourist sites. I got a 72 hour pass PLUS a ticket for the water boat to the airport for €36 which I thought was OK considering I planned on doing a quick visit to Murano famed for it's glass making. In the bygone days, a master glass maker from Murano could only leave the island by way of death. This allowed Murano to keep it's glass making technique a nice secret.

WTH is a valporetto???
This is a valporetto - the Venetian metro service
Riva de Biasio
Our local valporetto station outside our door which encouraged laziness to walk
Murano was a tranquil little island. Much like the city centre of Venice but with less people. I suppose with the grey weather, it was even quieter. After much walking, I finally found a glass demonstration workshop which I had to pay €5 to watch. Oh well. At least he made a glass vase and a glass horse coloured blue by cobalt. At least, she showed me the possible consequences should I have touched either items; it look like I'd have spontaneously combusted. And, she told me both items would be turned into recycled glass which they'd use again because a properly made item would be kept in an oven to cool for 24 hours, or it'd crack from cooling too quickly.

Back in Venice, I still had a bit of time to kill so I went to Plazza San Marco for quick snaps of Basillica San Marco and the Doge's Palace. Torrential rain was forecasted in the next two days. I wasn't sure when I could snap either! But then, it continued drizzling and I had to rush to meet my friend.

Bellini - an alcoholic cocktail consisting of peach juice and sparkling white wine
Tasting very much like juice, one is in great danger of downing the drink unintentionally
Concocted by Cirpriani, the founder of Harry's bar where Ernest Hemingway loved to hang out
Ah, we forgot to have a drink/eat at Harry's Bar...
Taken from

Spaghetti con il Nero di Seppia
Squid ink spaghetti
Contrary to my friend's impression of this dish, I thought it looked appetizing and looked forward to eating it!
The squid was nicely cooked and very tender
Taken from as my friend has all the pictures at the moment

The mouth watering sarde in saor
Taken from
The arrival of my friend meant dinner with company and I lost the 'L for Loser' sign on my forehead, although I feel other people are more aware of it than I am. We shared a starter of delicious Venetian sardin soer whilst I had the pitch black spaghetti con il Nero di Seppia downed with a lovely glass of Bellini. Sardin soer is a dish of fried sardines which we suspect is cooked with onion seasoned with either lemons or vinegar; it looked so simple but was probably the best dish I had in Venice. The squid ink spaghetti was tasty but eventually got a bit saltyyyy... And the deceptive peachy taste of the bellini got me whoozy by the end of dinner. Walking home across Venice was seen to be an absolute chore in our relaxed state but thank goodness for the valporettos.

Sleep was absolutely welcomed. Lying in bed, I thought about the highlights of my day before drifting off to sleep:

1) Stumbling across a little alleyway in Cannaregio along the grande strada which was drenched by the acqua alta. This lead onto a flooded wooden dock and I felt like I was standing IN the Grand Canal itself. I watched the traghettos set off nearby; another tourist took pictures of me standing on the dock but not daring to wander too far out herself; observed half eaten apples an oranges float across my feet; when two servicemen came rolling a washing machine into the low tide towards me to load in their boat. I was intrigued by them and they, by me.

2) Again stumbling across a queue of locals catching a traghetto down stream the Rialto bridge at San Silveatro when they learnt there were valporetto strikes. At 50 cents, I got to indulge myself in standing on a treacherous and rocky traghetto trip 10 metres across the Grand Canal whilst the locals hardly flinched. It is customary for the passenger to stand although tourists are ignorant of this fact and (probably wisely) have a sit.

And, I realised in all my busy-ness and excitement for Venice, I hardly thought of him on day two.. It was a tiring but great day out. The six rolls of film has been dropped off and let's hope there are good photos a plenty.

Back to Reality

I am back in London. There is no longer an excitement when I wake up alone in my room and to modern buildings, roads, cars and trains. I miss the company of some other person be it the random hostel backpacker.. even the neighbourhood cat. There is no busy river outside my room.

The melancholia...

And so, I shall head off to get my films developed and admire the last four days immortalized in my photographs. Let's hope the majority come out nice.

And, I shall post about my trip over the next two days before I get busy again.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Venice Day One

Today's journey to Venice required three bus rides. A bit much for me but I think the excitement curbed most of the nausea I usually get.

The first ride was with National Rail replacement due to engineering works. It is a common occurrence and has become predictable, almost expected.

The next two was a bit strange. The Stansted Express TRAIN service said 'Bus' Platform 10. I wrinkled my nose, wrinkled my forehead and imagined a bus on the tracks. The lady selling tickets was getting annoyed; I think a lot of people had given her an expression of disbelief about a bus being on a platform. Bus lo and behold, there it was (maybe I should have taken a picture, wasn't spectacular). This was the most nauseating ride. I felt like having a vasovagal but it would be disastrous to be sent to hospital... Luckily it was only 40 minutes and quicker than the train itself!

The third was pretty misleading. At Marco Polo airport, I asked the tourist information counter guy who wouldn't look at me (looked at the next guy after me, must be gay) "Heya! How do I get to the city?". "Water bus, to the right", he replied. Imagine my excitement; I thought it was a lovely boat ride. Imagine my disappointment; it was a proper bus but only a 20 minute journey. I did discover later there was an actual water boat some where but double the price too.

When I got to Venice, I hadn't a clue where I was. I hate maps, preferring to 'figure it out' by way of the sun, roughly remembering the city layout, major sights and tourist crowds. Venice had me staring at the map a good 15 minutes before needing someone to point out where we were. I happened to be off the map. Using my instincts it took another 30 minutes trying to get to the hostel before getting there.

The hostel is pretty decent. Clean, spacious, two lounges, free computer and Internet, several showers and uber friendly staff. We're also overlooking the Grand Canal which is awesome except for the worry I have about acqua alta tides flooding us. Uhmm..

Otherwise, sight seeing and photo taking has been at a minimum tonight. Italy is raining cats and dogs with flash floods up in Genoa. This leaves me extremely photo-frustrated like a man gets sexual frustrated, I guess. Hence, the lack of anything exciting to talk about at the end of Day One.

Except maybe for my wellies and souvenir purchases in 3 hours. Big uh-oh! The hostel people were pretty impressed I rocked up with fancy Union Jack wellies, congratulating me, "Well done, well done". And even more impressed when I told them it was less than £10 and from Primark to the point he shouted to his friend to 'come see'. Understandably because some ugly wellies were selling for 18-29 euros outside!

Also, this was a conversation with staff at Stansted:
A: They're all wearing wellies these days.
B: It's Essex fashion, innit?
Scanning round, there were two more girls with wellies! Whoop! and I felt a bit less silly.

Even dinner was mediocre. No fancy restaurant. Venice consists of tiny streets and most look like dodgy back alleys although the guidebook reassures me that dodgy it isn't. It's pleasantly surprising that what looks like a dead end actually leads out to a larger street or even, plaza. The charms of Venice.. But, with a maze and rain I settled for a tart, tiramisu and my large ass cookie from earlier.

Will talk about em souvenirs another day. Who knows how many more I'd accumulate although hopefully my friend will curb it to some extent!! Shiny, shiny murano glass and beads!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

See The Light

Nothing religious. Just, that I can see better. Literally and uhm, abstractly?

I live in a room. Some of us live in rooms. It feels instituitionalised, doesn't it? But the fact is, it is cheap and pretty comfortable which allows me to save.. ahem, spend money (economy needs it right now). But I was complaining to a few work colleagues how it is difficult to read in my room and how I'm going blind. And a guy replied, "Just change your light bulb! After all, we don't pay the bills". That is so true. All bills included.

So yesterday, I went and bought some light bulbs. I was surprised there were no 100W light bulbs. Is it illegal in the United Kingdom? I am pretty sure I've seen 100W light bulbs before??

60W vs 92W
100W with lamp shade off..
Can you see the difference? Lol
It is brighter. My iPhone couldn't tell
92W, the best they could do

So, my room is brighter. Possibly the light at the end of the tunnel is brighter. Am I out of the tunnel yet? I'm not so sure, it isn't as blinding like it should be. Maybe you could think of the tunnel as a translucent tunnel. Things are definitely brighter.. Maybe it would be more accurate to say opportunities are presenting themselves, like mushrooms. And, my job is to get up and harvest them at the best times and use them with great care, thought and respect. I hope I can, I hope I can, I know I can, I know I can.

November, December and January are going to be busy months; job applications, new job, exams, life management, etc, etc.. I will try to sit down and put my muddled thoughts into apparently insightful words. I do have some insightful things I'd like to talk about. For one, I can certainly say most of the shit has been purged out (some of you never quite caught on to what I was trying to do for myself, never saw the light at the end of the tunnel. But it was my tunnel, anyway). For two, you'd have to wait for it. But, for now, silly things still excite me...

The Phillips Eco30 Dimmable 92W Lightbulb which works on only 70W
1200 1m 2 years 2000h - I would genuinely like to know WTH this means so I can sound pro at the supermarket next time
And look at the mechanics/engineering of the bulb, some of which I presume makes it 'dimmable' and eco-friendly
Light bulbs have come a long way from Thomas Edison's (English!) basic design, innit?
Oh, oh, I got the lighbulbs on the 3 for £4 deal again! And, I suppose yes, I am like the Phillips Eco30... dimmable at times. 

Off to The City of Love, Venice tomorrow. A friend will be joining me one quarter through my trip! Incontinent-ly exciting.