tropicana ~ life is a kaleidoscope
Join The Princess in her journey of a plethora of changing colours and patterns

Of Frenzied Evening

Friday, March 30, 2007
Leaving for Japan soon. Sakura, don't you all dare fall, wait for The Princess, ok?

Damn, not enough time to pack, to relax before flight. Everything is so hurried.

As usual, be good and be safe.
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Of A Romantic Escapade

Friday, March 23, 2007
Bonjour, Mademoiselle/Madame/Monsieur!

As you can see from her sudden French greetings, The Princess just came back from Paris (must pronounce as paa-ree) and it was so bloody cold and damp. The first day was spent in museum and ambling about in central Paris, but she spent the second day coup up in the room as it was really too cold to go out.

Yeah, The Princess just can't stand extreme hot and extreme cold weather condition, so it's ironic she found herself a job in The Sandpit, where in the summer temperature can shoot up to 50ºC.

She has done Eiffel, Montmarte/Sacré-Coeur, Notre-Dame Cathedral and Champs-Elysées before, so this time she's off to pay a visit to the famous Louvre Museum. She just loves sitting in the Paris metro listening to the nice lady announcing the station names in French. So lovely!

The Louvre covers very huge grounds. My, you can spend a week there without even managing to cover all the exhibits. She entered through the main entrance (for the glass pyramid's sake) and this former palace's imposing structure hit her hard at the face.

The courtyard of Louvre

Pyramide Napoléon

Mini pyramid in the middle of fountain

With a giant glass pyramid as it's main entrance, flanked by two smaller pyramids at both sides, one can see the the Arc de Triomphe at the end, with Tuilleries Garden and Champs-Elysées lying along in a perfect line of sight.

Of course must cam-whore in front of the pyramid lar

The Louvre houses over 35,000 works of art, ranging from Egyptian Antiquities, Sculptures, Paintings, Islamic Art to Decorative Arts. Overwhelming isn't it, but one has to start somewhere (more like a plunge, if you ask her). After getting her copy of map (a must, if you intend to keep track of your location), she proceeded straight to Monalisa. Yes, Madame Monalisa, the beauty with half-smile by Leornado da Vinci, who some actually say is a self-portrait of Leornado himself.

Man, was The Princess disappointed. There she was, sitting in smaller-than-blackboard frame, smirking at all those people congregating to get a glimpse of her, it's almost mocking. And so The Princess tried out the "Monalisa stares at you from all corners" theory, and stared at her Monalisa did!

Now, the huge painting directly opposite Monalisa, that's a beauty (bearing in mind she knows nuts about paintings). Les Noces de Cana (The Wedding at Cana) by Paolo Caliari, depicts a grand feast attended by many people, and the only person The Princess can recognise is Jesus. Her best guess is this illustration is based some story in the Bible (?).

Works by Giuseppe Arcimboldo are cute. See, he creates imaginary portrait heads out of flowers and vegetables. For example, in Spring, he painted Spring as a young woman made of spring flowers and foliage. Genius, huh?

Sorry, peeps, but no picture of any of the paintings here as photography is not allowed. She didn't want to be fined €30, 000 just for that. But in other section, she did take a few photos.

The Louvre also has very interesting exhibitions on Egyptian antiquities, but sadly The Princess could only breeze through a fraction of it, because she's preoccupied on hunting down Monalisa.

Mummy shroud and panel portrait

A nicely preserved mummy

A marble statue of Alexander The Great

On close up, maybe not that great after all

Antinous, Hadrian's lover

Here's the close up

This is your ultimate male Greek body god, Adonis - Greek gods don't believe in circumcision, do they?

Inside The Louvre

Inside The Louvre, looking out into the courtyard

3 statues having a garden picnic in the rain

Can you spot Eiffel Tower?

Jardin des Tuileries (Tuileries Garden) is the starting point from The Louvre to Champs- Elysees

Tuileries Garden is not just any garden. In true Parisian style, Tuileries Garden exudes charm and elegance. Placed casually around the garden are sculptures by Rodin and Maillol (no idea who they are, but their names sound famous, no?) You know what would be great? Lazing around here during spring with a good book in hand and a picnic basket nearby and oh, the lingering flower scents are complimentary.

Taking postcard picture is a no-brainer in Paris - just point and shoot

Jardin des Tuileries

The Obelisk, transported from the temple of Ramses II at Thebes

For those who think French are snobs, The Princess is going to proof you wrong. See, she met this sweet, old little gentleman and in her non-existent French (and his limited English), they managed to strike up a conversation. He even walked The Princess all the way down Tuileries Garden to Place de la Concorde and recommended places to visit. He warned The Princess on pickpockets and insisted her to zip her bag then and there. Before parting, he planted 2 bises (The Princess just stood there, as it confuses her on which side to start) before bidding goodbye. How sweet.

West of Place de la Concorde, Arc de Triomphe can be seen

La Madeleine (Greek temple with tall columns in the background)

Place de la Concorde

She was walking west of Place de la Concorde heading towards Champs-Elysées when some grand buildings caught her attention. The detour justified the extra legwork. Hey, she has been walking from The Louvre, past through Tuleries Garden and Place de la Concorde in cold wind, ok? (Cue "These Boots Are Made for Walking").

Musée de Petit Palais

Sign of spring is approaching

Pondering maiden

Le Grand Palais

Musée du Petit Palais

The classic "tourist spoilt the photo" moment

Pont Alexcandre III

Sunshine boulevard

On each end of Pont Elexandre III stood gilded statues on high granite pillars

Cherubs and nymphs adorned both sides of the bridge

Pont Alexandre II connects Hôtel des Invalides on the left
bank with Petit and Grand Palais on the right bank

Another view of Palais Royal with the glass dome

The river Seine

Another view of Pont Alexandre III


Walking down Champs-Elysées really make one feel like a million-dollar (and you probably need as much to shop there). The Princess was trying her darndest to avoid the Louis Vuitton house as she was going down the avenue, but hey, that 1800 square meters of store filled with instant gratification is hard to ignore.

The cold must have frozen her brain as she walked right past the store before going down the metro station. And took the next train back to the hotel.

Damn, she wanted that passport holder.

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Of Incompetent Piece of Shit

Tuesday, March 20, 2007
The birds are chirping. The air is cool and the sun shining warmly, the kind of weather perfect for a cup of moring coffee and waffles al-fresco style. Already her mood was soured.

Damn these people. They have a way of getting at you. See, she woke up at 7.30am this morning and went to the office, as she needs to pick up some documents and also to get ZED ticket for her sis. She was the first in Staff Travel, and then they dropped the bomb. Effective 13 March, all ZED tickets request must be done through the E-Staff Travel. AND WHY DIDN'T THAT WRINKLED, WELFARE BITCH TOLD HER WHEN THE PRINCESS WENT ABOUT PROCESSING THE ZED TICKET REQUEST FORM AND THAT WRINKLED, OLD BTCH ASKED HER TO DROP THE FORM RIGHT INTO THE FORM BOX?

Fuck, fuck, fuck.

Now she has drag herself to office another time, a place she can only describe as political minefield with a little Hitler sitting on top, watch your steps, you don't want to end up blown into pieces.

So she checked out the new E-Staff Travel. True to form, the website was no where to be found.

Fuck, fuck, fuck.

Did she mention she's working tonight?
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Of Massage and Kamasutra

Sunday, March 18, 2007
The Princess just came back from submitting the Japan visa application. Fingers crossed, it will be approved very soon and whee....she'll be in Japan in 2 weeks' time, hopefully in time for some hanami action.

Last week was fun, as The Princess and Princess MoMo got to meet up with Ken Lee in Singapore. However, they took 3 freaking hours to finally print all the documents needed for visa. Finding a Japanese text reader, installing it and then the printer had to act up.

Finally they were able to go for a very-late dinner, canceling the earlier plan to grab a drink at bar because Ken Lee was leaving Singapore at midnight. Damn not syiok lor the feeling, as Princess MoMo had to get the idea of alcohol into The Princess' mind earlier. Luckily, the char chan teng serves alcohol and she ordered a beer to make up for the alco-disappointment.

Braised beef noodles

Crispy noodles Cantonese style

Baked cheese rice with chicken wings

Stuffed yu tiau in black pepper sauce

In Jakarta the next day, they went to Lembur Kuring for dinner. All the while The Princess was telling them they're going to Lembur Kuring for dinner, but all they heard was Lembu Kuning (Yellow Cow). They ordered Gurame Goreng, Daging Sapi Hot Plate, Tauhu Sumbat, Kangkung Goreng Belacan and of course, Bintang draught.

Tauhu Sumbat Seafood (Stuffed Beancurd)- Crispy outside, with vegetables and shrimps stuffed inside

Gurame Goreng (Crispy Gurame Fish)

Daging Sapi Hot (Plate Hot Plate Beef)

Kangkung Goreng Belacan (Fried Water Convolvus in Dried Shrimp Paste)

Swing, swing....

L-R: Farra, Dilah, The Princess and Princess MoMo

Spending their free day in Taman Anggerek, they went for Thai massage, manicure and pedicure. She had to blog about the Thai massage. It was great! Who would have thought to find excellent Thai massage in Indonesia. Heck, it's like the Karmasutra of Thai massage, if you would have it. One moment she was lying on her back, the next she was being flipped over and bent over, rolled around and pressed at all the right places. However, there was a fleeting moment she thought she's going to end up hurt when the lady masseur (she's big, by the way) stood on her back holding onto the railing above. Using just her big toe, she pressed 3 different sections of her spine, her bone creaked so loud it was bone-chilling. The Princess had one of the best sleep that night.

And oh, the next time you're in Jakarta, do get some Banana and Chocolate Bread from Bread Talk. It's so yummy!

In Singapore, The Princess finally pay a visit to Vivo City at Harbourfront after months of procrastination. Nothing much there, just the same old, same old shops selling the same old, same old stuff.

Harbourfront view

Princess MoMo brought her to Sushi Tei for dinner and they had, what else - salmon belly. The Princess is going to gorge herself silly with salmon belly in Japan, she just can't get enough of them.

She was thinking to herself the other day, if ever scientist is able to find the missing link between a person's body shape or metabolism rate, she's the first to volunteer for gene therapy. It's so unfair. Princess MoMo could eat whatever she wants and still stay slim. How unfair!

Diana, life's a bitch, get over it.

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He Says, She Says

Royal Entourage