The coffee is working. It’s keeping me awake so that I can fight the jetlag. Yes I went to Europe (again), just cos I love the architecture and ambience so much. I think what attracted me the most to the continent is the history. Not the details of it, but the things represented by it. They are, really old. Which is what Spore as a young nation lacks, or is quick to wipe off from the facades of buildings. (Okay, I know. We don’t have space.)
Looking through the 1700+++ photos I’ve taken (and more in friends’ camera), I was amazed by the number of things I’d done and views I’d come across.
In Italy, I went to:
- Rome, and visited the Colosseum, Forum, Capitoline Museum, the Spanish steps, the Fountain of Trevi (also made a wish there by throwing a coin in), the Vatican City, and… many random streets. Ate a to-die-for gelato everyday. Sometimes I died twice a day.
- Pompei, and walked through the archeological site which nearly broke my back. B&B Studio83 blew my mind away; highly recommended if you’re heading there.
- Naples; where we ate a pizza margherita at the pizza place featured in the movie ‘Eat.Pray.Love’. It has got to be the best (thinnest and cheesiest), and cheapest at just $4.50 euros. Julia was not acting in that scene, she was just being true to herself.
Southampton and other close-by areas (i.e. close enough by car). Shakespeare’s birthplace + Shakespeare’s theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon; Lacock Abbey (where some scenes in Harry Potter’s movies were filmed). New Forest Wild Life Park. Stonehenge. My favourite? Quiz night @ a pub @ New Forest. Definitely a first for me, great spirits + great company = great fun. We didn’t win, in fact we were the last in scores. Well, but we got chocolates (yay!)
Oxford. Cousin took us punting, and it was so much fun! I was worried at the prospect of us falling into the water (no one wanted that especially me, cos it’s English temperature i.e. TOO COLD). But the scientist told us that odds are very low, and the only possibility of anyone falling is the punter himself i.e. him. One of the best experiences I had. He also took us round from college to college, and for me notably Christchurch college (yes Harry Potter again). :p
London – visited the Transport Museum (love old trains and buses). Grew to accept taste of olives in Borough Market. Caught the musical ‘Wicked’; I left my seat thinking I’d like to watch it again. Went to a Comedy Night in a pub. Watching it ‘live’ was nerve-wrecking cos you’re just so scared the comedian might call on you. Attended a food festival ‘Taste of London’ for 45mins (sigh). Went to a park – Regent Park (finally, in good weather). Influenced a newly-met British to start taking pictures of food like an Asian. Really happy to catch up with a dear Spanish friend + cool Italian husband who strangles their 1 yr-2months-old daughter to make her laugh (and she did). Also ate at Jamie’s Italian just cos I’m a fan.
And I’d like to share a little story. I was on a tram in Rome, and an accordionist came onboard to play some really wonderful tunes. When he came over, I put in a couple of euro coins to show appreciation, and also asked if I could take a photo with him. He promptly agreed, but the photo turned out bad cos he was trying hard to steady himself. I thought ok, I had my shot, it’s fine. He alighted at the same stop as us (different door exits though), and tried to get our attention by saying ‘Grazia!!’ a few times. We finally realised he was calling out to us, then he hand gestured for us to take a photo with the accordion ON us. I have to admit that the first thought I had was really bad… I thought that he had wanted more money for that photo. We quickly accepted anyway and he put the accordion on me. He was so friendly all those while and after we were done with the photo, he promptly took the accordion off and happily went off his way. Honestly at that point in time, I felt like, shit – a deep shame quickly came over me. He is a musician busker with a lot of pride and respect for what he does, yet I had him construed to be a lesser-being. I don’t want to find reasons for the way I had thought… don’t think I should ‘justify’ it. I just want to say, I am so glad he came into my life, just so that I could update my really negative stereotype.
This holiday tired me out, flat. But it made me feel really recharged in the mind. No negativity or restrain on the mind. I let it out to wander and be free to soar or dive. Music? My humming and random singing weren’t really much of singing. No musical instruments. I didn’t even hear much of songs except for songs in the streets. So now, I feel so ready to sing and perform. So!! Please come to my concert at:
Recital Studio, Esplanade
29 July 11, 930pm
Tickets now available at Sistic (free-seating)
I’ll be performing songs from my new album ‘Feel About You’, and will be sharing with you my new songs for the first time, with a fantastic band lineup. I really hope you don’t miss this.
See you there!