Wednesday, 28 September 2011

part II - raffles

i've realised that when you stay somewhere for a bit longer than just the odd week, you become lazy and don't do all the things you would normally manage to squeeze in to short trips. mainly because you have so much time! and then all of a sudden all that time is just gone and you've reached the end of your stay. that's (one of the reasons) why it's so good when people come to visit. they are tourists and they want to do all those things that you had planned on doing, but been too lazy to actually do.

so.. when betina was here, we also took the opportunity to go to raffles for a (or maybe two) singapore sling(s). we were of course taking a lot of photos to capture this big moment and a very nice gentleman offered to take a picture of us both.
(the gentleman's friends also posed very gently in the background)

on each table there was a bowl of peanuts and in spite of raffles being a quite posh place, you are supposed to throw the shells on the floor.
there was also a great band playing and before we knew it, they had sweet talked us (with stories about having been to sweden loads of times and what a lovely country it is) into getting up on stage, singing along to 'hey jude'. but if you're a tourist, you're a tourist, right? i did of course manage to find a tambourine as well to accompany (read: drown) our lovely singing. and with my excellent sense of rhythm..
the singapore sling is a very popular (tourist) cocktail here in singapore. raffles has broadened the concept and also created spring sling, summer sling, autumn sling and winter sling. i just had to try the spring sling (would of course never in my life had had a second drink on a school night if it wasn't for the fact that i had to try the spring sling so it turns out to be a quite successful strategy).
(as you can see, this was an evening of crashing photos. one of the band members decided to jump in and to be honest, there is not that much he could have done to make these photos worse)

they also got this russian guy up on stage. i'm not a very good singer, probably one of the worst in the world to be fair. my sister says that if i had been able to find the right tone and melody, then maybe it wouldn't be that bad. don't know what to think about that actually - is it a disguised compliment or just a full on insult?

anyway, this guy was bad. really bad. so bad he didn't even manage to get the words right for 'laalaalaalalalalaaaaaaaa, lalalalaaaaaa, hey jude'. plus his name was igor. don't know why we thought it was so funny, just such a typical russian name.. hmm.. probably one of those things you must experience. it might also have been a trick to get us up on stage as we did of course not feel as intimidated after his performance..

Monday, 26 September 2011

part I - borneo

last week betina came to visit. we decided to go to borneo for a long weekend to see some wildlife and chill on the beach. just in case anyone is interested, borneo is the third largest island in the world and is divided among three countries: brunei, indonesia and malaysia. in the eveing of the friday last weekend, we left for kuching, located in the malaysian part sarawak. kuching means the cat city and there were statues of cats everywhere. not that many real cats though.

when booking the trip, we realised that we could stay in a really nice hotel for almost no money at all. ended up staying in a four star hotel called the grand margherita. i did of course think that would mean they had amazing margaritas, but soon realised it had no connection at all (this is of course a stolen image from some website somewhere).
on the first day we went to damai beach. it was nice to have a really chilled out day and we stayed there (from quite late seeing that we slep until almost noon) until the sun went down. very tasty sipping on a cold tiger beer while watching the sunset.
the following day, it was time for the big adventure! we were going to see the orangutans. had to get up at an uneartly hour to have time to take advantage of the nice breakfast buffet before leaving. and off we went in the rain. first thing we saw when getting out if the mini bus was an orangutan in a tree. wohoo, good sign! our guide lee, told us we were lucky it was raining as the orangutans were more likely to come down to the feeding area when it wasn't as warm as the previous days. unless it started raining a lot. which it of course did. no orangutans at all at the feeding area and th whole group of hopeful people started to slowly walk back in the rain. but.. half way back to the parking, some orangutans appeared, swinging themselves in the trees. and all of a sudden there were orangutans everywhere!

most spectacular was the orangutan they called big mama. she showed up with her little baby and sat there for us to look at her. apparently, she was not a very friendly orangutan having bitten many of the rangers so they were quite cautious to let us get too close. still managed to get some good shots and this film:

after the orangutans, we went to a crocodile farm. not a big hit. the farm was dirty and they didn't seem to take care of the poor animals. we watched the feeding and the guys feeding the crocodiles were really mean, making the crocodiles jump for food just to take it away last minutes. we also saw some monkey and there were litter in their cages and one of the monkeys was alone and his cage and seemed incredibly lonely.

we also managed to time the world cup in wakeboarding, which was quite cool. not that we say much of it, but there was a big hullabaloo with fireworks and a ragatta.
our second day trip was to bako national park, where we saw three types of monkeys, snakes and lovely rain forest and beaches. we managed to get the same guide and he was very knowledgeable, taking us around the peninsula. or not really around, we went for the shortest trekking path they had as the sun was shining and it was boiling hot.
we also saw some incredibly blue crabs.
finishing off the day trip, we went on a little trip with the boat to see one of the other beaches.

but the trip was not only wildlife and nature. we also went to some lovely restaurants - the junk restaurant and bla bla bla. funny names. gladely could have stayed at least another couple of days, if not weeks..

bad blogging.. the sense that there has been no blogging at all. at least i'd like to think that is worse than my actual blogging. in an attempt to make this up to you, my dear readers (hi mum), i've decided to make a trilogy - standalone episodes of course.

part I - borneo

part II - raffles

part III - singapore grand prix

i understand the excitment is unbearable, but before starting, here are a few pictures from the birthday barbeque (as promised).

Thursday, 8 September 2011

30. 30..? 30??!!!

omg, the day has come! and strangely enough passed without any noticeable difference..

anyway, had a lovely day! first, i went to my friend clara's place. she lives in a very fancy condo with a massive swimming pool and barbeque pits. we had lots of nice food and drinks and swam in the pool and jacuzzi. afterwards, i went home to skype with my lovely family. it was of course my brother's birthday too so they were all together at the country house, celebrating. one of the homesick moments, i must admit. but.. the night was still young. after some drinks at lucia's house, we headed out to a very nice club on clarke quay.

incredibly happy about all the lovely birthday wishes from my amazing family and friends! my parents even set the alarm at 2 o'clock in the morning to be able to call me and wake me up with their lovely singing. probably shouldn't mention that i had the phone on silent and didn't wake up? bad daughter. also grateful to have met so many nice people here, who got together to celebrate and make the big three ooo day a happy day.

here are a few pictures. more will follow shortly, just not a very good paparazzi so waiting for the girls to share their pictures with me.