Thursday, April 28, 2011

August Rush

The other day I watched "August Rush" and one thing that really hit me was when Wizard (played by Robin Williams) asked Evan/August, "Close your eyes and tell me what you want to be when you grow up. It can be anything. What do you want to be?"

Evan/August answers, "Found."

Why did it hit me? Because the story is about an orphan boy whose mother and father didn't even know he existed. How could that be? I'm not going to spoil the story to you he he he...but anyhow, can you imagine his wish to be found by his own birth parents? He's always got this strong feeling that his own parents want him, thus he wants to be found by them.

This part hit me so much 'coz I've always known that I'm wanted by my parents. Even my Dad (a Chinese who usually wants boys as heir) had always wanted to have a girl as a first child. I just want to cherish that fact that I've always been wanted, 'coz not everybody is wanted that way.

To those of you who feel unwanted, I hope that out there in this big big world you'll find people who WANT you just the way you are.

P.S. The movie is not a regular movie 'coz it incorporates lots of music in it, but it makes it different than other movies.

Monday, April 25, 2011

3BT: Random Days

1. A customer told me, "Don't EVER stop working here! I'll be disappointed if you stop working here." :-D :-D :-D

2. Gave the little girl whom I adore (who also likes me) some candies. :-D

3. Spring is finally here. Though there's still some snow left in the yard, but yesterday I spent half an hour sunbathing on the swing while reading a novel.

4. Going back to my regular exercise regime after not having been doing it regularly for months.

5. Taking this silly picture and making MIL giggle so much. Note: Actually R2 was the one who inspired me. He was eating some candies and he bit off a little bit of one part of the candies and shoved both candies to his teeth to make "fake fangs" so I followed suit and R2 took this pic.

6. Knowing that MIL has many friends who take her out on a walk or invite her in or do other things with her 'coz it doesn't seem that FIL can go back home to live with her anymore.

7. MIL has been going to sauna with us here once a week and we've had fun playing cards together in our kitchen table.

8. Doing spring cleaning (only halfway done), but it feels GREAT to have a clean house.

9. Having some days off due to Easter holiday and being able to relax at home with hubby.

10. A few days ago I got my return tax information (which will be transferred to my bank account in December) and this is the first time I can get MUCH more than I thought I could get ('coz I had started working last year). WOOOOHHOOOOO!!! I can save the money in December!!!

11. Having a caring, understanding immediate superior who laughs and smiles a lot and who works well under stress. I don't think I can handle it being in that position.

12. Finding a pair of cute sandals in a local auction online shop for Ken (which I hope are still too big for him so that he can wear them later). :-D

13. A few days ago I ordered a not-too-expensive outdoor grill (to be used with coal). Can't wait to grill some food outside. I'm dying to grill some fish and eat it with soy sauce with chili!!! :-D Maybe I should invite my MIL, BIL and SIL to have a grill party sometime. :-D

14. Being able to understand jokes when customers throw some at me. A few years back I felt stumped 'coz I had to have jokes translated by hubby to me and it's just not fun to have to listen to translated jokes 'coz then it's not fun to "laugh later on your own", so I'm THANKFUL to be able to understand jokes.

15. Having a hubby who rarely complains (the only time he complains is when he's frustrated about fixing a computer or gaming or when there's a long queue, but other than that he rarely complains) and I don't want to take that for granted.

16. Sense of humour and people who smile. :-D

17. Hubby's making pancake today. WHOOOOPPPPEEEEE!!! :-D

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Budapest Video Clips: Gellert Hill Area

As promised, here are three video clips that I took around Gellert Hill area. The first one shows the Freedom Bridge, the Central Market Hall, and Gellert Hill before we cross the Freedom Bridge and climb the hill. Here it is:

The second video clip was taken when we had reached the top of Gellert Hill. Pardon R2's weird mimic in the beginning. He thought I was taking a pic of him instead of a video ha ha ha ha...

Third one was taken from another side of Gellert Hill (after we walked past the huge statue of the lady holding a leaf) and the sun had already started to set by then.

OK, hope you enjoy the videos. If for some reasons you can't open the links, here they are:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Budapest Trip: Gellert Hill

OK, now let's continue with my travelogue, shall we? We went to Gellert Hill after going to the spa, which was a HUGE mistake ha ha ha...but then again there was no other time to go there. The view from up there was just BREATHTAKING. Just be prepared to walk up so many stairs to get there, though ha ha...

As you can see from this pic below, we have to get to the top of the hill on the left side of the picture where there's a statue of a lady (click the pic to view a bigger version):

We were ready to cross the Freedom Bridge to get to Gellert Hill. Here's a pic of R2 with the bridge:

Now we started climbing up the stairs...

After about 10 minutes, we were finally up there!!! I've taken some video clips, but I'll upload them in a separate post, OK? Here are some views from the top.

Back there on my left side there's a resto, but we didn't go there 'coz it was a bit on the expensive side. Besides, I was craving for some Chinese food hi hi...

We wanted to wait until it got dark but it was so windy up there and it got cooler and cooler plus I got hungry already, so we decided to walk back down. When we got down, we took some pics from the bridge:

Hope you enjoyed the pics, people!!! And HAPPY EASTERRRRRRRRRRRR to you who celebrate it! :-D

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Two More Highlights in Budapest

Before I continue showing you more pics, I forgot to add these two highlights in Budapest:

1. ISIS Day Spa.

We're both VERY satisfied with the spa experience. We chose a couple's package for two people (1.5 hours - Cleopatra bath plus 60 minute massage). After walking around EVERYWHERE for a few days, our feet were in need for some relaxation he he...

From the front, the place looked small, but it was very cosy inside (and VERY clean too!!!). In the beginning we had to fill in a form first (allergies, etc.) 'coz it was our first visit there. And we also had to choose which one of us wanted a masseur - I chose a masseuse, whereas R2 chose the masseur. The Cleopatra hot bath was very relaxing and we got to choose our own drinks (R2 chose wine) ha ha...

The massage was similar to our spa experience in Bali, though (unfortunately) the BEST massage experience (not spa experience 'coz the massage wasn't done in a real spa) we ever had was in Singapore. Remember the "triple price" lady??? (click on the link to read it if you haven't read it yet)

Anyway, we felt so relaxed and our bodies felt
(plus our feet) MUCH lighter after the bath and massage. It was just SPLENDID. The only thing I thought the place could do better is cover up the window of our massage room to make it darker. We were there at around 1 pm, so the sun was shining so brightly inside and I felt that I'd feel more relaxed if the place was "darker" (like the spa in Bali or in Bandung where they closed the blinds and turn on some candles).

But all in all I'd recommend this spa. Definitely. :-D

Our probably worst massage experience was in Rhodes 'coz their massage wasn't that good, though the spa was the loveliest ever and the price included rain shower and steam bath and sauna, but I prefer getting better massages than being in fancy spas that don't provide too satisfying massages.

2. Treehugger Dan's Bookstore and Cafe.

In the hotel we stayed in, they had this magazine filled with different lists of restaurants, bookstores, etc. and I noticed this used English bookstore (click on the link above). We went to the one in Csengery Street. There were SO many books there and I would have bought more than two, but we still wanted to look around other places and I didn't want to burden R2's back with more weight (he was the one who carried a backpack) 'coz he also bought one book. And as you know, books aren't exactly that light to carry, esp. if they're thick ones.

I bought two English novels. Each one cost 900 HUF (around €3.3). Many of the used books are still in very good shape, so I really enjoy browsing there. If I ever go back to Budapest (I think we may just go back there again someday), I'll make sure I go back to that store, as well ha ha ha ha ha ha...

OK that's all for now. I'm pretty tired now so I'm gonna rest and relax. Take care, people!!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Budapest Trip: Labyrinth

FIL update: He's doing better now, but the doctor has told MIL to apply for a place in the old people's home 'coz he said that MIL couldn't possibly take care of FIL all alone in their apartment anymore. After all, now there needs to be at least two people to help him change position or things like that. So it doesn't seem like he can go back home again. :-((( Keep on praying for them to be able to get the peace beyond understanding to accept the things they can't change, please...


OK, now let's continue with our Budapest trip. As promised, in this post I'll talk about Labyrinth, an underground maze located in Castle Hill area. Our tour guide told us that it'd be more thrilling to go there after 6 pm 'coz then we had to take a lantern to walk through the maze, so we stayed in that area until 6 pm before we went there. The ticket price is 2000 HUF (around €7.5) per person, but we felt that it was REALLY worth it. We were there for an hour he he he...However, don't take the labyrinth too seriously 'coz some objects are really like for jokes only he he...

After paying our tickets, the only bad thing was that the receptionist didn't tell us to take some lanterns (the lanterns were on the other side of the receptionist's desk) so we entered without taking any. Not long after that we realized it was REALLY pitch dark there in some parts 'coz there were no lights at all, so we had to go back to get a lantern (we didn't take two 'coz one of us wanted to take pics, so it was more practical that way). I have to tell you, though, that it was really thrilling 'coz they put some sound effects there that made the whole experience felt so eerie hi hi hi hi...I wouldn't have gone there alone, but it was SO MUCH FUN going there with R2.

In some parts there were dead ends and maps. I let R2 guide the way and pick the way 'coz I'm not that good at reading maps ha ha ha ha ha...OK, before boring you all with the details, let me share some pics...

Goofing around in the dark...

In the pic below, R2 was posing with the backside of the same statue that I posed with in the above pic.

See how dark it can be? The photo below was taken without flash. In some parts it was almost impossible to see the details of the statues without coming close to them with your lantern.

This one is a VERY HUGE half-sunk head he he he...It was VERY dark in this part, so when I put the lantern closer to it, we were stunned to see this HUGE head hi hi...

Actually we missed one small, dark passage after passing through this huge head (we thought it was a dead end) so we went back to the place where there was a map and we went back here. A couple of women also experienced the same thing - they were confused. The dark passage that we missed was located in such a corner that if we didn't come VERY close to it with our lantern, it would be invisible to the eye. Crazy R2 told me that he thought it'd be more thrilling if nobody could bring a lantern along he he he he he...

Here's a little comparison (not the best comparison, but you get the idea):

The pic below was taken with night mode (no flash). Looks so eerie, eh? ;-D

R2 wanted to pose like that just for fun HA HA HA HA HA...I managed to cut off the lady's "paws" 'coz it was a narrow aisle and I couldn't really see well. I took another (better) pic, but R2's facial expression had changed, so this one is funnier he he...

This one below is supposedly some kind of forever running wine, but we weren't supposed to taste it. I didn't want to taste it, anyway ha ha ha...

OK, that's a wrap for todayyyyy...hope you've all been doing well there. Next week I'll be busier with work, so we'll see when I can continue with my travelogue. Take care, people!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Castle Hill Area

Before I continue with my travelogue, just in case some people are wondering about FIL: he's still in hospital. They still haven't found out what's wrong with him. His inflammation gets better one day and then two days later it goes bad again. The same goes with his blood count. Tomorrow I'll hear more from MIL so we shall see. It doesn't seem that he's going to be back home soon, though. let me share some pics of Castle Hill area. It's such a vast area with many places of interest, so we didn't get to visit all of them. We were still tagging along with the Free Budapest Walking Tour, remember? Here we were, crossing one of the bridges connecting Pest and Buda (Pest is a flat area, whereas Buda is hilly), following our tour guide.

View from the side of the bridge that we passed by:

Beautiful sunny day, eh? ;-D In the below pic, we've already crossed the bridge and we were going to cross the street to go up to Castle Hill area (on the right side of the tunnel there are steps going up there, toward the point where the bird statue is).

Here's a zoomed-in pic of the bird statue:

Ta-daaaa...we were finally up. It's nothing compared to going up Gellert Hill, though (which I'll write about in another post). The view from the top: you can see in the middle of this below pic some railings for funicular, but we didn't go up using that 'coz going up the steps wasn't too hard anyway. Besides, they say it's expensive to go up using funicular.

Another view from the top:

A pic of us with Danube River as the background:

Zooming in on the Parliament House:

Then the tour continued and in this pic you can see the tour guide assistant demonstrating something. Yep, he was rubbing the horse statue's balls. Unfortunately none of my pics show the balls clearly, but they're VERY VERY shiny. It's believed that if you want to get "extra abilities in bed", you have to rub the balls with BOTH hands. Only one guy in our group did it after the demonstration hi hi hi...

Here's another side of the statue:

Here's a pic of Matthias Church in Castle Hill area. Too bad it was being renovated, so we couldn't get in:

Then ended the tour in front of this beautiful castle, Buda Palace:

Here's a pic of me near the castle. We spent quite some time up there enjoying the view. I have taken many more pics but I'll share them later on before the post gets too long ha ha...

Before we ended the tour, 'coz it was lunch time already, the tour guide and assistant asked if we wanted to go have lunch with them in a local canteen, so half of us went with them. We wouldn't have known the place if we hadn't gone along with them 'coz it was located in a secluded second floor of a building.

The menu didn't have any English translation, so the tour guide and assistant helped us. I had rice, grilled chicken, beet, and a glass of Coke and it cost 1490 HUF (around 5.6 Euros). Sorry no photo 'coz we were STARVING (the tour went longer than 2.5 hours and 'coz we walked everywhere, we deserved a BIG lunch hi hi...R2 had pasta, curry chicken, and a glass of Coke and it cost almost the same. They're both VERY spicy and delicious. Oh, and they offered also chili sauce, so it was really GREAT hi hi hi...

I'll end this now and next I'll write about Labyrinth (an underground cave with dark tunnels). Stay tuned!!! ;-D

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

St. Stephen's Basilica

Yesterday I felt unwell so I didn't write any posts. Let's carry on today then. With Free Budapest Walking Tour, we passed through St. Stephen's Basilica. The tour guide told us stories about the church and then let us take pictures with the church. Here are some of the pictures.

The church from different angles:

Some details of the statues...

We didn't get inside the church at that time, but we did go inside on a different day. I think we paid around 200 HUF each to get in (around €0.75) but it wasn't a guided tour and we just put the money in the offering box in front of the main chapel, so we just looked around the place ourselves. You have to pay a separate fee to get up to the tower to take a look from there, but our tour guide told us that we shouldn't have bothered 'coz during the trip we would go up to Castle Hill area where we could take better pics of the city from there. I'll write about Castle Hill district in a separate post.

Here are some pics of the inside of the church (they still use the church for masses):

Then we went to a chapel, a room behind the one on the above pictures. However, we couldn't take pictures using flash in that room.

Wonder what's in the above "cabinet"? It's St. Stephen's mummified fist. If you wanna see it clearly, you have to pay (put some money inside a box and then the cabinet would be lit up for 2 minutes). We didn't pay the money - instead we waited for another tourist to do it, but still I couldn't really see it too clearly. If you want to see a clear picture of the mummified fist, click on this link.

The story goes that when St. Stephen's body was dug up, they found out that only his right hand was mummified, so some people thought it was a divine miracle, though experts offer a different POV using science as a method to explain why only that hand is mummified. The hand was cut off into three parts and Hungary got the fist (I think the other part goes to Vienna, but I forgot where the last part goes to).

On the left hand side of the church (I mean if you walk out of the church itself, then it's the left side street) there's a gelato shop, so we went there to get some. A small flower-shaped gelato with 2 flavours cost 350 HUF (around €1.30) whereas a medium flower-shaped gelato with 3 flavours cost 450 HUF (around 1.70). I chose chocolate (in the middle) and raspberry. It was DELICIIOUUUSSS!!! :-D

Here's a pic of both our ice-cream:

OK, I'll end this post here before it gets too long ha ha ha...