thought of the day: robtrust and i had a discussion on paying for toilets. during our travel in europe, there were many places that charged you to use their toilets. 1st of all, that's pretty messed up to charge for toilets. it's not like they're exceptionally clean or nice. but anyway, we were at palace of versailles and the entrance cost was $7.50. cost for restrooms was $.50. the question came to this. would you rather pay $8 entrance fee and have free access to the restrooms or $7.50 entrance fee and pay $.50 for restroom. from an economic standpoint, assuming you only need to use the restroom once or less, it's more logical to go $7.50 then $.50 since there's a possibility you don't have to use it. however, upon the need to use the restroom, no one wants to fork out that $.50 but would rather pee behind a tree or something. robtrust even went as far as saying he'd take 2 dumps in there for $.50 when he didn't need to take a dump at all. but returning to the topic. including that $.50 into the entrance fee is more economically sound for the people that work there. they no longer need people in front of each restroom collecting money, saving a dozen or two worker's allowances + if you average out the # of restroom uses per person, it comes pretty close to 1.
thought of the day: when i first arrived at london, there were 2 symbols for money: £ and p. i know £ means pounds, but what the heck is p? i was trying to think of all the terms possible and came up with either little pounds (lower case p) or pennies. turns out it means pence (found out a day later). i still like my idea of little pounds.
some of you may have noticed i've taken down my guestbook signing. i received over 500 postings, mostly spam, during my my trip. i've decided i need to figure out how to stop that before i resume my guestbook signings. might actually need one of those enter what word you see in the picture type thing. that should deter spammers away.
it's sure been awhile. i know many of you are waiting to hear about my trip to europe, but i'm probably going to split that up into days. it's just too much for 1 entry. i also have a big list of thoughts of the days waiting to be posted. first and foremost, i had a great time in europe. it's been really fun and i've gotten to see many things i've read or heard about. you ever wonder if the world is lying to you when they tell you all these places exists. it's not till you've been there that you can fully accept it as a fact. i mean you knew europe existed, but you don't feel that it really exists until you've actually been there. before it was just some place on the map. now that i've been there and lived there for a couple of weeks, i can say that i feel quite differently about it now.
welp, here's all the pictures i've taken on this trip:
so the plane ride there was pretty smooth. we had a stop at toronto and we reached london @ 9pm ish. first thing wrong that happened was the fire alarm went off when we were about to pickup our baggage and we we were told to come back in later. we were shushed out and were scared we couldn't go back in. thankfully, there were many other people in our situation and it was easy to follow directions in english. imagine if this was france or italy. haha. next thing we know, some taxi guy comes up and asks where we're going. we showed him the address and he goes, that'll cost you at least 30£ taking public transport and he was saying he can take us to the door for £35. we decided to check the subway on our own. turns out it only costed £3.80 to get to where we wanted and it was just a block away from the station. we checked in and the 1st thing i noticed was internet costed 1£ for 1hr. i thought it was pretty expensive. that's like $2/hr, but since i've really never paid for internet outside my regular broadband connection, how wrong i was. anyway, i'll get back to that in the later countries.
1st nite in london while we were walking around, we got solicited for sex. we weren't even on some dark alley or anything, it was actually quite lit and crowded. guy comes up and tells up about these 18 year olds and etc. tells us we don't have to pay yet and just to come check them out. as hot-blooded teenage, i mean twenty-two year olds... just kidding. we said no many times, but he followed us the entire block. he finally give up and asked if he could have a cigarette. unfortunately neither of us smoked and he said some cuss word and went the other way.
next day, we walked around a got a feel of how to get around and where to get food. the underground (subway) system was quite easy to use. trains also came often. it was actually quite similar to the hongkong subway system, but more stations and more routes. one thing you'll notice quite fast is that things in london are really expensive. the exchange rate is pretty close to US$2 for £1. sandwiches costed around $3 everywhere. even sandwiches at the supermarket costed £2. oh yah, another thing is if you're traveling on a tight budget, supermarkets are your best friend. most times, that'll be your place for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. dinner meals started around £10 and went up. a $20 meal in the states can get me so much food and at a pretty fancy restaurant too!
so 1st day at london, we went to the london eye, basically a big ferris wheel by british airways. visited big ben and the house of parliament. visited the buckingham palace. and finally ended the nite watching Les Misérables. it was a great musical. we were actually trying to decide between that and The Phantom of the Opera. the former had a 50% off student discount so we chose that one instead.
2nd day, we visited st. paul's cathedral. really big and nice church. we then hit the tower of london which was very beatitful. took tons of pix there. oh yah, some baggage room lady at the london eye asked what'd we think of london so far. i said it was quite beautiful. and she seemed shocked (knowing we were from california). i mean london isn't pretty in the sense of green and shiny new, but it has really nice classical architecture. we then hit the tower bridge followed by the queen's gallery (which houses many of the queen's paintings and jewelry). we were also planning to visit windsor castle the same day, but we had a miscalculation on time. not knowing how the train system worked, we didn't give ourselves enough time to get there before the ticket sales stopped. so we tried hampton's court instead and also got there about 30mins late. but we got to stroll around the outside of it and saw the beautiful garden inside.
on the 3rd day, we visted the national gallery. tons of paintings, mostly religious. it was also the queen's birthday or at least she was holding a parade for her bday. there were so many people we couldn't even see the queen. the kewl thing was you noticed armed police men holding big guns on the roofs of many buildings along her parade path. we hit windsor castle next and got to see the queen's resort. they actually have a flag system like the buckingham palace where if the queen is in, they raise a certain flag. we tried to get to the british museum before closing time, but just got there 15mins before it closed. it was huge, but unfortunately, we didn't get to see much. that was our last day at london. early the next morning, we flew to rome.
oh yah. at heathrow airport, hsbc had these really interesting "never underestimate the power of local knowledge" ads up:
got this comic strip from fet forums: Marui's Iron Stomach vs Inui Juice!!. very cute if you've watched prince of tennis.
thanks to ungsunghero for donating this article: High court OKs personal property seizures. then read this: Hotel Lost Liberty. quite an interesting read. makes you think what's wrong with the supreme court nowadays.
thanks to kaworu for donating this article: Boffins create zombie dogs. SCIENTISTS have created eerie zombie dogs, reanimating the canines after several hours of clinical death in attempts to develop suspended animation for humans. imagine the possibilites! maybe those stories of zombies aren't entirely fasle...
thanks to rayalom for donating this video: Tom Cruise Kills Oprah. what's wrong with Tom Cruise nowadays...
thanks to belldandy for showing me this new product: Wireless Headphones for iPod. *drools* bluetooth headphones for the ipod. the headphones even comes with a remote control! too bad it retails for $150. that's almost the same price as an ipod mini!
got this article from animeedu: Jackie Chan says take our women, spread the word. It's hard enough as it is for China's menfolk to get a bride these days as they face a growing gender imbalance brought about by the one-child policy. But now it seems that Russian ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky and action star Jackie Chan are out to make it even worse.
got this link from /. : BLOCK STRUCTURE PORN. if you're offended by lego porn, please don't click. ;p
got this article from yahoo: Somebody's sure to notice this.... A Taiwan stock trader mistakenly bought T$7.9 billion ($251 million) worth of shares with a mis-stroke of her computer, meaning her company is looking at a paper loss of more than $12 million and she is looking for a new job. as fuzzywuzzy puts it: how do you explain that to your new potential boss...
got this article from yahoo: Women stripping in forest to foil police. Some of the women belong to a timber mafia in the heavily-forested state of Jharkhand while others are paid to strip in front of the police, who are too embarrassed to arrest them or too distracted to hunt the gang down, the daily said. as fuzzywuzzy puts it: haha...timber mafia...you know your country's in the shits when organized crime has nothing better to do than cut down trees
got this article from yahoo: Irish Man Fails to Set World Bee Record. always kewl to see these world records.
got this article from yahoo: Hot enough for ya?. A German man endured scorching temperatures of 110 Celsius (230 Fahrenheit) for almost five minutes to win the nation's first sauna endurance competition.
i'm so backlogged with links and pix. pya images will hopefully resume tomorrow.