Friday, July 26, 2013

Life

And just like that, more than half of the year is over. I haven't even finished writing about the EU trip I took a long time ago. I've taken two more trips since then, and they still remain in my 'for future blog posts' list. :(

Less than a week ago, my plane landed in Manila from Denpasar, Bali. We were rewarded with a glorious sunrise view as we drove to Ngurah Rai Airport, and the fact that I am never awake early enough to see the sunrise as beautiful as this one made it harder to leave. I still cannot sit still thinking about having to go back to an office job while there as so many things I need to see, experience, and learn from.



Bali is diverse and beautiful, but more than the touristy sights, it's traveling with a person you have known for seventeen years, the house with the smells of clove cigarettes, sandalwood incense, and herbal mosquito coils, the kindness of the people we met along the way, a little personal achievement in the form of a decent Bakasana in Canggu, my funny lifeguard rescue, the smiles, glimpses of simple yet full lives... sure to be back.

"As beautiful as this island is, the real Bali exists primarily in its people-- as well as in the mind of the beholder."

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

so this is the new year and i don't feel any different

From Neil Gaiman's blog:
It's a New Year and with it comes a fresh opportunity to shape our world.

So this is my wish, a wish for me as much as it is a wish for you: in the world to come, let us be brave – let us walk into the dark without fear, and step into the unknown with smiles on our faces, even if we're faking them.

And whatever happens to us, whatever we make, whatever we learn, let us take joy in it. We can find joy in the world if it's joy we're looking for, we can take joy in the act of creation.

So that is my wish for you, and for me. Bravery and joy.

Bravery and joy.
It's exactly what I wish for myself as well. Both have eluded me for so long.

Here's to a brighter year ahead.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

pique-nique au Champs de Mars

After spending the day at the shops, we head to the neighborhood Monoprix and bought a few things for dinner. We decided to spend the rest of the evening at the Eiffel Tower grounds, at the Champs de Mars.

Our little spread.
our little pique nique

It was such a fine evening, and I'm glad I took a few nice pictures at least.
Below is my favorite photo of the Eiffel; it actually gets more crowded as you get closer to the tower. People sat and lay on the grass, chatting, having picnics and drinks, celebrating birthdays, singing, cuddling, making music. A tall steel tower with twinkling lights, the sound of French chatter and pleasant, happy people all around, Dutch cheese and balsamique crisps, the cool grass and the neatly trimmed hedges, and an evening much warmer than the one prior. I am reminded of why I decided to come to this place.
Tour Eiffel
Picnic at Champs de Mars Tour Eiffel

the terrace view at Printemps

After visiting Galeries Lafayette, we walk to another department store called Printemps. The Printemps flagship store is by this area, and the top floor (9th) offers a pretty view of the city.

This is my favorite picture from this early evening.
love

The Haussmannian view, I cannot say it enough, that this city was designed so well. Haussmann probably destroyed whatever was unsightly during his time, redesigned buildings, and established certain standards on future constructions.
view from Printemps
Not related to Paris, but the layout of the Eixample area in Barcelona (Spain) is also amazing!

Truth be told, the cafe with the unappealing sandwiches looked a bit sad. Glad there is beer from the tap! Ordered a blonde Leffe.
Leffe blonde

Enjoying the view and our drinks, people watching
At the Printemps terrace
At the Printemps terrace
At the Printemps terrace A at Printemps

City views: Pantheon area and the Montmartre area.
view from Printemps
view from Printemps

Printemps
64 Boulevard Haussmann
Paris
Metro: Havre Caumartin
http://departmentstoreparis.printemps.com

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Galeries Lafayette

After almost a week of museums and touristy sights, we decided to take it a easier on our seventh day in France. We spent the morning at Forum des Halles, which is a shopping centre near our rented apartment. The Les Halles area used to be the belly of Paris, the central marketplace-- and it had been so for centuries, until the congestion had become so bad that they had to relocate the market elsewhere. It is now in Rungis, in the Southern suburbs of Paris, and it is said to be the largest food market in the world.

Had lunch at L'Entrecote des Halles and took the metro to Paris's iconic department store, Galeries Lafayette.

The grand Belle Epoque dome
Galeries Lafayette

Granted, the place mostly caters to tourists than locals and I'm quite sure most of the shoppers are just visiting. At some point, Chinese tourists asked if we could buy bags for them, using our passports. I've heard of this before because some friends already had the same experience. There is a limit of bag purchases for tourists of certain nationalities because of the widespread counterfeiting of the bags.
Galeries Lafayette
Galeries Lafayette Galeries Lafayette

A closer photo of the dome
Galeries Lafayette
Galeries Lafayette

The Pierre Hermé store, apparently they have the best macarons, even better than Ladurée. I had quite a list of food shops / pâtisseries I wanted to try and I regret not even going to most of them. (Jean-Paul Hevin, Ladurée, Dalloyau, Poilane, Eric Kayser..) Moodiness get the best of me.
Pierre Herme

Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann
40, boulevard Haussmann, 75009 Paris
Metro: Chaussée d'Antin La Fayette, Opéra or
RER: (A) Auber or (E) Haussmann St Lazare