Saturday, October 31, 2009

Any volunteers to give my tangled yarn ball of a blog layout a vamp up?

The owner is just plain clueless on this alien language called HTML codes.

Meal on me!

Posted at 02:18 pm by Astral86
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Thursday, October 22, 2009

This is Neuschwanstein Castle.

I dare you to spell that with your eyes close.

Located on top of a hill in Bavaria, this is one famous landmark that tourists would flock to when they are in Germany.

Part of the tourist waiting queue

'Famous?' you asked? Well, if you haven't heard the name, I bet you have seen it before.

Yes, that Sleeping Beauty castle logo you see on anything Disney? Totally inspired by Neuschwanstein.

The Neuschwanstein Castle can be an enchanting view with its majestic facade and the breathtaking surroundings..

Photo obviously not taken by me

...Only if you are viewing it from the Marienbrucke (A not-for-acrophobics bridge across the castle) or the only son of Krypton.

The suspended bridge is Marienbrucke alright. Vertigo much?

Up close and personal, not so much.

Pardon the annoying figure over there

To get to the castle, you will have to hike a distance littered with horse shits if you are a pauper like us, or pay approximately 15 euroes to sit a smelly horse carriage that moves above 0.2 m/s faster than foot. Your choice.

Although the surrounding atmosphere was amazing when you reach the top, the crowd of tourists can be quite a nuisance. After a few compulsary camwhoring sessions, we purchased our tickets and waited for our turn for a guided tour in the Neuschwanstein itself.

The scenic surroundings.

To add to the air of fantasy, our tour guide was a meek, scrawny, wooden, soft spoken guy alike those castle servants or butlers straight from a fantasy book. We were led through the rooms and chambers once accomodated by a certain Ludwig II.

Replica of the castle

Disappointed to say that the tour was pretty short and no photos were allowed in the premises. What a bummer.

Only photo from within the castle

Fortunately, none of us were acrophobic so off we hiked to the Marienbrucke which promises a great side view of the castle itself while enjoying the cool air, tranquility, strong winds and shaky railings. Such bliss!

On the shaky wooden planks of Marienburcke. Woot

Beauty ain't it?

To end this post, I should attempt spelling the name with my eyes closed. neusawstein...nsrudvhsesndyrin.......neauschwanstein.... me give up.

Posted at 10:38 pm by Astral86
(3) had boosted my esteem  

Sunday, October 18, 2009
The Nottingham Nostalgia

My friend took me down memory lane by tagging me in a facebook note reminiscing the good times we had during our year in Nottingham UK. After leaving university for a while now, those memories are indeed sweet and precious.

Nothing feels better than a little nostalgia.

So, to rehash what I'd written in facebook, these are some things that I miss in Nottingham, just for old times sake. (If case some photos looked familiar, that is because I had used them before.)

The greenary and amazing view and environment we find ourselves in, every single day.

Our very first jakun taste of snow. Ran straight out from class to savour the moment.

Our first cooking session in our life that I promise did not kill anyone alive.

George Green library. Don't want to be there, but you will fail if you do not step foot in it.

Fresher Fayres! Free goodies given out here might come in handy. Free Dominos pizza, who can say no to that. Five slices please.

Just plain chilling out with friends out in the open under amazing weather where nobody give a damn what we are up to.

Chicken Joes in Portland Building. We love our chicken legs!

..and chicken pita too. Miss the meal card as well. No hearty lunch everyday without it!

Sherwood Hall is wonderful! Best hall ever.

Place I call home. (Pardon the overflowed trash can, I'm a huge eater)

With some of the best people I'd the privilege to meet.

Not forgetting the personal fridge I can't live without.

To the breakfast I would sacrifice sleep for.

Derby Hall. Place where I improved my pots and pans washing skill working under the nicest chef Richard.

The green serene path to class every single day. Walking has never feel so good. Unless you have to run back to your room cause you forgot your assignment and its near deadline. (Happened once!)

The Chemical Engineering buildings and labs.

Fun times trying not to blow anything up in the labs.

Assignments, courseworks, projects, presentations. What would university life be without these essentials.

Got to say I even miss the times we burn the midnight oils for projects or exams.

Am I the only one who misses university life?

Posted at 09:31 pm by Astral86
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Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Eating in Greece

Seeing that I was absent for long, I was about to go on a long Mediterranean food journey through Greece describing all the exotic and awesome food that I'd tried...

The land of Alpha, Beta, Gamma

...before I realised, I can't actually remember much about Greek food.

Not that there is nothing special to eat in Greece, its just that we didn't have much opportunity to savour them - with the paid for hearty cruise meals that we were entitled to.

My daily cruiseship Greek appetizer - Pita bread with tzatziki and other delicious sauces. Can't resist.

But there were two Greek cuisine that was etched on my mind though - apart from the rather delicious cheap McD chicken burger there of course.

First of all, you can't go wrong with souvlaki. (or gyros? I am still confused at the difference)

Pardon my unappealing photo, can't wait to munch it.

Pretty similar with kebab, this grilled and succulent piece of meat (and some greens too..pfft) wrapped in pita bread is one of the most inexpensive and tasty fast food found in Greece.

Preparing those mouth watering souvlaki and gyros

I believed I gorged on a couple of these fantastic meat during my days in Athens. The hot juices and sauce that splurt out of those pita, orgasmic I assure you, if done well.

The next on the list would be this thing here:

Ok, I don't know about you but when I ordered grilled octopus, I was expecting to see at least parts of an octupus body, like those seasoned Japanese octopus in medium size you know. Hell'a', not just ONE freaking tentacle! To think I have to share this dish as well.

It was pretty pricey as well. Possibly the most expensive body part I'd eaten ever. Quite yummy though.

Oh, I remembered another Greek dish I'd tried. Something that looked like the lovechild of pasta and lasagna called the Pastitsio.

As the description suggest, it tasted just like lasagna mashed with loads of pasta stuffed into its gut. Quite a filling dish nonetheless.

Despite the fact that my taste bud did not go wild during my time in Greece, rest assured, my eyes did. Greece is a pretty pretty place.

But of course, I will leave it till next time. Procrastination rocks.



Posted at 09:48 pm by Astral86
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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

At the rate my procrastination is going, my blog is gonna die a slow and painful death.

So much material, so little time. Perservere!

Posted at 09:37 pm by Astral86
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Sunday, September 20, 2009
Eating in Germany

When you associate food with Germans, you could not go wrong with beer, pork and especially sausages.

I am sure I have never eaten so many sausages in my life ever.

While travelling through Munich and Berlin, it's common to see Bratwurst (pork, beef or veal sausages) being sold everywhere from convenience stalls, food fairs,..

...to the portable Bratwurst-man.

There is no way you would get hungry with these affordable snacks (~1.20 euro) around. Huge and tastier than my usual McD burgers. Definitely a far cry from the measly supermarket processed sausages we have here too.

Bratwurst for supper. Thumbs up.

In Berlin, there exist a variation of Bratwurst that is a staple and hugely popular among the locals called the Currywurst. Pretty self explainatory - the currywurst is basically bratwurst topped with curry powder and ketchup but this baby is absolutely delicious.

I'd been to 3 different places to basically eat the similar dish in one day, and not one bit sick of it. The currywurst is normally eaten with a piece of bread and one plate is indeed insufficient.

Konnopke Imbiss, the popular Currywurst stall in Berlin.

The recommended currywurst stalls in Berlin where the crowd would be is either Konnopke Imbiss or Curry 36 where steaming hot currywurst are served every minute of the day. Yes, I have tried both and even one from a random stall.

Free sweets on the table for Curry 36.

Ketchup overload.

But there was one sausage that caught me by surprise in Munich. A Bavarian white sausage called the Weisswurst.

The Weisswurst.

Don't be fooled by its small and harmless stature. I thought this was just another bratwurst made from a different kinda meat and attempted to gorge on it. Unknowingly, I chewed on the sausage and wondered for a moment the elasticity of this harmless sausage. Only did I realise that the Weisswurst comes with a layer of inedible skin that should be removed before consuming.

Seeing that I bought this in a food fair with no place to sit, the aftermath of consuming the Weisswurst was not a pretty sight to behold.

Pork dishes are pretty popular in Germany so needless to say while we were in Munich for dinner, the dish to have had to be pork.

Zum Durnbrau, since 1487. That's old!

While dining at a recommended restaurant named Zum Durnbrau, I skimmed through the menu and immediately knew what I wanted to order - The Schweinshaxe. Even the name sounds cool.

Huge roasted to perfection pork knuckle, sinfully crunchy skin, interesting side dishes (the potato dumpling was chewy) equals to a winner dish for a carnivour like me. Absoluately one of the best meaty and hearty meal I have had in Europe. Well, guess you would expect this from a Bakuteh fan.

How would you not salivate?

However, not all is dandy regarding the local food in Germany. That is one snack that I would not thought I would dislike, until I had tasted it. The German pretzel.

What are salts doing on my pretzel?

Hard, thick and coated with salt. Big huge chunks of salt. Pretzels with salt just taste horrible. Pretzels are suppose to be sweet, as far as I am concerned. I never knew the original European pretzels were salty.

Thank god for the commercialisation of pretzels into the sweet snacks they are today. If not, I swear I wouldn't touch an original salted pretzel ever.

Oh, I can't manage to finish the pretzel above. Says it all.



Posted at 01:35 am by Astral86
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Monday, September 07, 2009
That's why the actor paint my love 25 minutes too late

Now, who would have thought? Dear old cheapskate me forking out money to watch a concert.

Not any current superstar mindblowing must-watch hugely famous bands mind you, but Michael Learns to Rock. Yeah, I repeat. MLTR - that oldschool Danish band famous for their emo love ballads in the 90s that probably kids nowadays never have the chance to enjoy. This is further proven by the fact that their official radio sponsor is now LiteFM and half the concertgoers can pass as my parents. Haha.

My virgin paid concert being MLTR has further solidify the fact that I am indeed growing old. But to my defence, I wouldn't have attend the concert if it aint for KMun proposing the idea. I bet those karaoke sessions with MLTR songs must have assisted in the decision somehow.

Karaoke partner

I must admit, their songs are good enjoyable karaoke choices.

My girlfriend was there with her family

The Eternity Live Tour was held in the Arena of Stars, Genting. All these while I thought the Arena of Stars should be some cool concert venue but I was disappointed at how it pales in comparison with the Bukit Jalil stadium. In fact, I feel the whole of Genting looked pretty shabby and run down these days. Nothing magical no more. Unless if I win the jackpot or something.

Not a very spectacular venue I would say

I wouldn't say Malaysians are the most passionate and vocal concertgoers, but I couldn't believe how dead the atmosphere was during the first half of the concert. A few cheers and claps was all I'd heard....coupled with some yawns as well. Unbelievable. Guess the slow music and tempo (first song being Sleeping Child, how approriate) and higher average crowd age didn't help.

How far we were from the stage

But things went uphill from there fortunately when MLTR started belting their famous hits that 80s kids like us would probably remember, starting from The Actor, Breaking my Heart to Take Me to your Heart. The crowd went absolutely wild and the Arena of Stars momentarily transformed into a huge karaoke session.

Jascha crooning

Despite aging quite a bit comparing their looks from their music videos, MLTR managed to produce an entertaining performance by interacting well with the crowd and charming the audience with the nostalgic love ballads. I can see those swooning eyes from lovebirds singing along to the song. Even one old uncle was shaking his booty to the music. Seriously.

Great night out for my first paid concert. However, was pissed that we weren't allowed to go near the stage and have some close up photos but those with cheaper tickets on the right having no restrictions to go upfront and shake hands with them. Bummer.

To end this with a fun fact! Now who here didn't know there is nobody named Michael at all in the band?

Ok, I see some hands. Lol.




Posted at 09:53 pm by Astral86
(1) had boosted my esteem  

Thursday, September 03, 2009
Information Centre

Spotted in Amsterdam.

You know, just in case you have no idea why those fine ladies are standing behind a red window half dressed. How tourist friendly.


Posted at 09:47 pm by Astral86
(2) had boosted my esteem  

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I need and want to blog but just can't see myself doing that at the moment. Why?

Posted at 08:11 pm by Astral86
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Thursday, August 13, 2009
La Rambla

As I'm bored out of my wits now, I would reach out to whatever memories I have left and take a stroll down one of the most famous streets in the world - La Rambla in Barcelona.

Apart from the flooding tourists, La Rambla houses pretty much everything you could and would find on a street.

Ever busy street

For example, the usual talented caricature artists that tend to overcharge tourists and street magicians doing card tricks that you would find in most European tourist spots.

Too many artists

Street magician. Not too impressive.

Frankly, I thought those artists were pretty good. If only the exorbitant price ain't an issue, I would have gotten myself a good portrait and probably admire myself from time to time.

Yeah, La Rambla is home to an extensive variety of weird people as well. No kidding.

Even the invisible man chose to take a nap on this wonderful street. Not that I can see his eyes of course.

On the far corner, we have Cleopatra haggling for a change and a corpse bride lamenting her fate after falling into a tin of blue dye.

Heck, there were numerous weird people with weird costumes on that I can't possibly know or describe. What are you suppose to call this? A harpy?

Boy seemed extremely fascinated

What do I call this? A chrome statue wannabe?

I wonder if people attempts to steal their pot of coins, how would they chase after them in these outrageous outfits?

One of the most famous street performer (who doesn't really perform anything but stay still and pose) is this guy right here. The strongest man ever lived.

Spot the huge beach ball

He had this don't mess with me look and the same position every single time I passed the street. No wonder he has the most newspaper coverage out of everybody there. Whole world on his shoulders, not easy yo.

Oh, in case you are wondering. I did not spend a dime. Gotta love the zooming functions in cameras.

Darn, I am still bored out of my wits.

Posted at 02:01 am by Astral86
(1) had boosted my esteem  

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22 years of age attempting to stay young forever.


Klang, Selangor, Malaysia

SJK(C) Hin Hua, Sek.Tengku Ampuan Rahimah, Taylors College, University of Nottingham

TV addict, Online junkie, Slumber. Idolize Juan Pablo Montoya. Supports Chelsea

Status :
Full time student, Part time member of Anti Assignments Society.

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