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26 April 2008


I just got back from the Philippines/Singapore 2 days ago. I had a wonderful time. It was really exciting, actually, and completely different than what I've been seeing here in Europe. I really want to tour Asia now! It seems that the more I travel, the more places I want to go. If only I could be so free...

Singapore was awesome. It's totally different than anywhere in Europe of America, but everyone speaks English. So it's the easiest city in Asia to get around. In one word, it was manageable. The heat was overwhelming, though. Mind you, I had just came from snow falling in London two days before my departure. I loved it though, met some really nice Australians at my hostel, and they're all going through Malaysia, Thailand, or someplace more "exotic", or they're on their way to Europe.

And my week and a half in the Philippines was also nice. Eye-opening, too, to see the huge rich-poor disparity in Manila. I was lucky enough to be staying with my Aunt in Manila and other relatives in the province, so I got clean water and air conditioning! The islands have the most natural beauty I have seen so far in my travels. It's all so green! I didn't have enough time, though. With a few more days there, I could join my relatives to travel to Cebu and Bohol (home of the famous chocolate hills). Next time, then...

But now to London. After arriving on Wednesday night (after a 13.5-hour flight and an hour waiting to get through passport control!), I unpacked and soon after fell asleep. 7 hour time difference. 10 hours asleep--sounds good! But the next day, Thursday, I actually was already busy. Not with schoolwork or anything, but I met a friend of mine who is studying in the Netherlands. Kristen was traveling with her friend Lana, and I showed them around London. In half a day we managed to see many of the major sights! Believe it or not, we hit the following sights: the British Museum, the West End, Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, National Portrait Gallery, Whitehall, Parliament, London Eye (didn't go up, but they did the next day), Tate Modern, St. Paul's, the Monument, the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, King's Cross, and Brick Lane for dinner! It was absolutely exhausting, but I love showing people around and exploring more of London.

They left yesterday, after seeing the Changing of the Guard, having an English Breakfast, and going on the Eye. I saw them off at Liverpool St. Station and then did a little shopping for myself at Primark and had lunch at Camden market.

And today, I woke up feeling tired and nauseous. So I stayed at home and took care of myself, accomplishing very little even for my standards. I took a nap at an awkward time--5 to 8 pm. I'll try to force myself to sleep soon.

07 April 2008

About to Embark... Again

Well, I'm leaving tomorrow morning for Singapore, than the Philippines for my cousin's wedding. I'm excited, though not as much as I would have been if I hadn't been traveling everywhere this year.

I really should keep packing/getting ready. I still have a lot left to do, for it being 9pm already. I really want to spend more time writing about all that's going on, but I really don't have time. So I just take lots and lots of pictures. I'm sure I have several thousand by now. And since a picture is worth a thousand words, that means I have several million words' worth of memories stored in my photos!

Yesterday: After exploring in the snow (yay!), I grabbed some lunch at the Brick Lane market (my Sunday favorite), then went to St. Paul's to see the olympic torch! I got a good space, at the front of the crowd on the sidewalk. And we waited, the royal band playing. Meanwhile, there were a lot of protesters who started a yelling contest: "Free Tibet!" they'd say, then all the Chinese there (and there were a lot) would respond, "One China!". Well, what eventually happened is that the torch passed by inside of a bus instead of being ran down. Disappointing. I hopped on a bus, though, and got off at Whitechapel, which is further down the relay route. There were fewer people there (it's not in central London), so I had plenty of space to (finally!) see the torch come down the street, surrounded by a mob of police officers. It was pretty cool, a huge crowd of people were running alongside the torch runner on the sidewalk, so I joined in for a few blocks. There were a few protestors, but they weren't as loud as at St. Paul's.

Ok, that's all for now. I don't think I'll be able to post for several weeks, as I'll be in Asia! Until then, Cheers out!

06 April 2008

Let It Snow!

A few days ago, it was beginning to feel like spring in London. Sunny, long days and temperatures climbing above 15C (near 60F) for the first time since... November(?).

Well, that didn't last long. Today I woke up late, because my bed felt extra cozy. And I opened my windows and was greeted with the coolest surprise: SNOW! Everything outside was covered in a layer of snow.

I never would have thought that the first snowfall of the winter in London would take place on April 6. But I'm not complaining. I'm going to go frolick outside now! Cheers out!