Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Nona / 21 Mac 10

My house was on NONA!!!
It's the last part of the show... part 3 and part 4 if you're watching through www.tv3.com.my

Nona / 21 Mac 10

sigh.. I miss home.. :(

Monday, March 29, 2010

Moscow Metro Bomb Attack

The news said 37 people were killed so far (there might be more). Although this was not the first bombing attack that happened in Moscow Metro, it is still scary everytime I think about it though...

I'm taking the metro everyday wherever I go around the city.. It is our main transport here and somehow I never thought that something like this would occur.. Thank God I'm still alive, and my condolences to the victims family.. 2 Malaysian student are on the list of survivors, they are currently in the hospital.. They're not from my university though, MMA students.. We rarely use the Red Line... The Red Line are frequently use by MMA students because their hostel are located there.. We're staying at the Orange Line.. phewww~

Parents are worried.. My classmate's mom called early in the morning while we were waiting for the bus to get to class.. We're kinda ignorant being here, rarely checking out the news.. When we got to the Metro Station, there were announcements all the way.. The ring line was closed.. but everyone seemed to be getting on with their lives.. The metro was still crowded.. Some parents ask their child not to use the metro anymore.. I wish they knew how we are living here.. This isn't exactly KL, where you can easily call the cab.. I rarely see cabs in Moscow.. and the official cabs are so bloody expensive.. it's not like they have meters.. Money are essential here, and the metro is the best and cheapest way to get around..

I'm sad for the bombers too.. I wonder, teruk sangat ke ditindas sampai kena bunuh diri sendiri dan orang lain yg tak bersalah???

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Eurotrip 2010: Berlin

Last stop.. Berlin, Germany..
Sorry it took me a while to update this.. my class cycles didn't gave me any chance to "berfoya-foya".. and even if they did.. I would spend that time sleeping.. :P
So.. no time to waste.. lets start! ;D

1st February 2010

- Flight from Paris to Berlin took us 1 ½ hours.
- We arrived at Berlin Tegel Airport around noon.
- Bought bus tickets, board the bus. We were supposed to get down at Jakob-Kaiser-Platz U-Bahn station but we didn't realize that we had actually reached the U-Bahn station until the bus already closed the door.. but it stopped at the the 2nd station which is Jungfernheide station which is still in the same line as Jakob-Kaiser-Platz station.. Got us a bit worried for a while there.. :P
- So, we made our way into the U-Bahn station.. FYI, there's no ticket counter in Berlin Metro Station. Everything is technological. You have to buy your ticket through the ticket machine and then validate it. Theres a validate machine thingy next to the ticket machine. So, if you're somehow "buta IT" (IT blind..lol), and you're planning to use the metro as your main transport in Berlin.. better practice using the ticket machine in the LRT station.. hehee.. actually, it's not that hard.. except that The Metro System separates the city into 3 sections: A, B and C. You can choose to buy the tickets with choices of A&B, B&C or A,B&C. We picked A&B 2 days pass. [Make sure you bring your pass whenever you ride the metro. There are conductors checking the wagon every now and then. Otherwise, you have to pay a fine if you don't have your ticket with you. I'm not sure how much the fine costs.]
- Then we made our way to Hohenzollernplatz station. Actually, our hostel (Jetpak City) is situated near Spichernstraße Station but according to the google map, the road between Spichernstraße Station and Jetpak City hostel is a dead end. So we decided to get down at Hohenzollernplatz Station instead and the truth is, the dead end road on the google map is actually a building but you can walk through underneath that building (that building don't have 1st floor, just 2nd floor. I hope u get what I mean) and there'll be a small road with shop houses and the hostel will be there.
- When we got there, the hostel owner 'marah' us because she already gave directions to bB to get down at Spichernstraße Station but we didn't follow her instructions.. hehehh.. owh well, at least we got there safely.
- We requested the room as usual, 2 double decker beds with private bathrooms... but the room was under renovation. So they gave us the apartment instead with the price of the room we're supposed to get! We got the whole apartment to ourselves with TV, computer, 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms! haha.. lucky us! [actually, the owners really like Malaysians! but the room was really under renovations. ;D]
- Then we ask them where are the good places to go shopping.. They told us to go to Wittenbergplatz and walk all the way down Kleiststraße to Bülostraße and there'll be shops after shops to shop.. ;D
- So.. off we go to Wittenberplatz station and true enough there were rows of shops lining up by the road. But first! Eat! there's a mall called KaDeWe near the station, so went inside to get a look around. There's a food court at the topmost level. So we went there and eat. Not much choice though, most of the cuisine has pork in it and it was so bloody expensive! well, you really do have to look at the interiors. It looked a hotel buffet or something like that. SO PRETTY!!! I wish the hotel restaurants would look like this.. The food court is buffet-style and some you can actually ask the chefs to cook it there and there but it'll costs more. Me and bB just picked some vegetarian pasta and a shrimp salad if I'm not mistaken which taste really really good! [Sampai harini saya still mengidam that pasta.] I think its maccaroni alfredo. yum! Our lunch costs €24/+! erkk..
- After lunch, we made way to the streets to do some shopping! yeay! We went into shops after shops. Finally, everyone bought something and everyone was very satisfied especially Azam! heheee..
- The downside was, the shops closes at 8 p.m. but 8 is still better than 6. :P
- After all that walking, we came to Uhlandstraße Station. Instead of going towards Bülostraße Station, we went the opposite way. How many shops are there actually?? There were like so many!!! We actually went the opposite way and there were still more shops ahead! but we were already tired of shopping and it was already 8, all the shops were closing. So we thought of going to the Brandenburg Gate to snap some photos of the Gate at night. Into the Metro everyone! ;D
- Here's another info. If you're taking the metro from Uhlandstraße Station to Wittenbergplatz Station, the train goes through only 2 stations then it'll turn back to Uhlandstraße Station. You actually have to get down at Wittenbergplatz Station and change platforms to continue your journey. What a trouble!
- At this time, bB decided to go back and rest because he was tired. So me, Azam and Naqqib head on with our journey to Brandenburg Gate. We had to intersect at Potsdamer Platz and change to S-Bahn train to get to Brandenburger Tor Station (where the gate is situated).
- When we got there, we were kinda hungry and cold. So we decided to warm ourselves up first. There is a Starbucks and a Dunkin' Donut shop nearby.. but Starbucks was already closing so we had doughnuts and coffee at Dunkin' Donut. When we're done, we snap some photos with the Brandenburg Gate.
- After a while, it got colder and it was snowing heavier, we left the place and head back to our hostel.
- Reached home, bathe, and slept...

Jungfernheide U-Bahn Station

Our apartment

KaDeWe Mall Food Court - nice right?

After few hours of shopping we came across this cute snowman

Brandenburg Gate

2nd February 2010

- Woke up around 8 a.m.
- Bathe, got ready and had breakfast (the hostel doesn't include free breakfast).
- Off we go for another Free Tour.
- The starting point of the tour is at the Starbucks near the Brandenburg Gate. When you get out of the S-bahn station you can't miss the Starbucks.. The tour starts at 11 a.m. Like all of the other Free Tour that we went.. ;)
- Our tour guide is Max. He's a Jew living in London.. not sure if he's working or studying because we missed the introduction [we were buying coffee at Starbucks.. eheh. :P]
- So then the tour kicks off with Max telling about the Pariser Platz and the Brandenburg gate...
- We had a break when we reached Checkpoint Charlie.
- When everyone was done, we head out again.. walking around the City of Berlin along with the Tour.. ;)
- The tour ended around 2 p.m. (or is it 3 p.m?) at Berliner Dom.
- We were all freezing cold by this time.. It was snowing very heavily in Berlin.. So we decide to get into one of the museums..
- So we head towards the Museum Island (thats where all the famous museums in Berlin are situated). Max said the best one is The Pergamon Museum where you can see the Babylonian Gate.. ;D
- Off we go to find The Pergamon Museum.. and we found it! [my flu was getting really really bad by this time, nonetheless, it won't effect me from having fun! ;D]
- We got student price for the tickets, which costs €5 (normal price: €10; under-16s: free).
- The Pergamon Museum is definitely worth a visit. They have lots of cool archeological antiques and sculptures in there. I love the Greek section. I always have a thing for Greek myths so I was definitely excited looking at the sculptures of the 'Gods'.. ;) They even have Islamic Civilization section.. that was cool too!
- After a few hours inside the museum, we decided to head out to Wittenbergplatz Station. bB wanted to buy a jeans he saw at KaDeWe yesterday and wanted my opinion on it.
- We split up once we were in KaDeWe mall: me&bB and Naqqib went with Azam. And what a 'Baker' I was, I forgot my phone.. I left it under my pillow in the hostel, so when we want to get back together we couldn't find eachother...
- So me and bB left KaDeWe and walk around the streets looking for a souvenir shop. It was already 7:30 p.m when we left KaDeWe. So we were rushing to find a souvenir shop. When we found them, most of them were already closed. We were almost disappointed until we saw a bookstore. We went inside and they have a souvenir section although they are a little pricey but since we couldn't find any other souvenir shop, it'll just have to do. I forgot what's the bookstore called. Sorry. Besides the souvenir, I also bought 2 books: The Time Traveller's Wife and Eat,Pray,Love. :) Then the shop announced they're closing, so we hurriedly paid and left the shop.
- The shop was nearby the Memorial Church. So we stop and took some photos. Then we realized we hadn't had dinner yet. The only shop that was open still was McD. Before we entered bB said, "What if Naqqib&Azam is at McD right now?" and what lucky coincidence! They were at McD! Azam was ordering food when we got in. heheee.. They said they tried contacting me. I said I left my phone. ;P oh well, at least we are reunited again. lol!
- We had dinner, and after dinner we went back to our hostel. Bathe and Sleep.

Max the tour guide

Brandenburg Gate (before the tour starts)

Holocaust memorial

Berlin Wall (whats left of it)

Checkpoint Charlie

Empty Bookshelves at Bebel Platz signifies the 20 000 books that were burned during the Nazi regime.

Mass Grave (There are bodies of the soldiers and jews that died during the war underneath this building)

Berliner Dom

Pergamon Museum

The Babylonian Gate inside Pergamon Museum

Memorial Church

Dinner at McD on our last night in Berlin
3rd February 2010

- WE OVERSLEPT!!!! I turned off my alarm in my sleep! AND OUR FLIGHT IS TODAY! AT 10:30 a.m! AND WE OVERSLEPT! We woke up at 7:30 a.m. and we're supposed to wake up at 6 a.m. *sigh*
- Well, of course we were rushing. Lucky they gave us the apartment with 2 bathrooms and lucky that we finished packing our bags last night.
- We didn't even had breakfast. We rushed to the U-bahn station and bought the A,B&C 1 way tickets.
- The best way from Spichernstraße Station to get to the airport is to go to Rudow Station and take the X7 bus.
- While waiting for the bus, we got hungry.. so we bought some sandwiches and coffee.. Naqqib said we had actually missed the bus, but no worries.. they're actually quite frequent..
- We got onto the next bus and we arrived at the airport around 9:30 a.m. So we hurriedly check in and deal with the 'tax free for tourist' thing. That took a while. Then we hang around the airport for a while, bought a few more souvenirs. Just when we thought everything was settled.. I got called to go down because they want to see what's inside my luggage.. WTH??? WHAT IS INSIDE MY LUGGAGE?!?! [cuak gile! because like maybe someone seludup drugs or something kan inside my luggage].
- So I had to go back down, and open my luggage.. all the hastle because I put 2 lighters I bought for my brothers as a souvenir from Amsterdam. They said they can't allow lighters into the cargo. *sigh*
- When I was in Beijing, they confiscated The Hooters lighters and they said that lighters aren't allowed in the cabin but allowed in the cargo. Then here they said lighters aren't allowed into the cargo but allowed in the cabin. WHY CAN'T ALL THE AIRPORTS IN THE WORLD HAVE SYNCHRONIZED RULES!!! IT'S GIVING TRAVELERS SUCH A HEADACHE.. ;(
- Then I had the trouble of having to through all the security again, and the stewardess was rushing us because everyone was already inside the bus and waiting for us. This was so embarassing! but anyway, we got onto the plane safely and on time. ;)
- The flight took 2 ½ hours. FYI Germanwings is exactly like Air Asia. They don't serve food on the flight. You have to buy them. Lucky we still have the sandwiches we bought while waiting for the bus because on the flight 1 cup of water costs €1.50!!! Imagine how much a sandwich would costs! CRAZY!
- We arrived Moscow at 3 p.m.

Well everyone.. I hope you enjoyed reading my trip! Hope there'll be more trips to come! I had so much fun.. Paris is my favourite! although I wouldn't mind going to Berlin and Amsterdam again.. ;D It was such a fun trip!