Thursday, September 25, 2008

. . . nawtee in nottingham (20th-23rd Sept). . .


finally after years of dreamin, i finally set foot in the UK. well, i was actually expecting to go to the main centre city, London but then again Nottingham counts as UK too. plus that the fact that Robin Hood once lived here (i'll get to that later)...

i did expect it to b cold but was suddenly shocked bcoz it was quite windy. bear in mind, cold+wind is a deadly weather to me. every part of my body would be stiff cold (dont go thinking 'that part', please, kids might be reading this) i wished that my cousins n friends would've come last week as Geneva had an official 2 days off of work, Jeune Genevois (2-days respect for the dead) n a bonus of Saturday n Sunday which means a 4 day leave. i had to take a 2-day advance leave the following week for d sake of my cousins n friends (something which i did in vain as i planned to use all my annual leaves for visiting Brunei d next few years).

anyvain, i loved Nottingham. apart from the finger-ear freezing weather, it was actually nice being there. quite as similar to Geneva, except it was cleaner n best of all, i could understand what everyone is saying. they say that people in UK are not that friendly n can b a pain (i didnt say that, i just said i heard someone told me, i dont have anything against the Brits... except for the high exchange rate) but once u've been to Geneva, u'll also hv d same notion that everyone n everybody in Nottingham is quite pleasant.

some facts that i found r true:
its cold
it rains from time to time when u least expect it
the crisps (or junk food in general) r fabulous
exchange rate is expensive (but food in general r quite cheap)
its pleasant to walk around
lots of buildings with classic red bricks
taxi cabs go really fast (tie urself tightly to d seats)
cool policeman hats
erm... so far thats what i can think of...

the apartment we lived in (around Belward Street) was absolutely a place that i would love to have as my own apartment in Geneva, having everything from the kitchen sink to a washing/drying machine. gosh. the absolute thrill of having a washing/drying machine... only god knows. i did feel sad though that i didnt get to eat the famous fish n chips as i was busy with the friends n cousins. but they did me to a thai n an indian restaurant which was by far 50 times better than what they have in Geneva, whereby when it says in the menu 'tres piquant' or very hot, its absolutely rubbish. so rubbish that u cud stuff a whole bottle of chilli peppers into ur wide-hole (mouth) n it still wont taste of chilli or even a bit hot. but in Nottingham (or maybe the UK in general) they mean what they write on the menu. i was flabbergasted. i chucked down (not literally) a chicken vindaloo down my throat n i was gagging for water d next minute.

i'm not that foreign to hot or spicy foods but after spending more than 8 months in Switzerland, i tend to get very used to the sweet condiments so i'm really scared that it will take out the HOTNESS in me *winky-wink*

i love shopping for food as well. like i said its quite cheap n d quantity of an item is much more than it costs. quality-wise is also very good. i got hooked on M&S's chocolate mini-bites... sadly there were other types as well which i didnt hv d chance of grabbing em with my greedy stubby fingers.... ah, food heaven...

but not entirely my trip was that good. on d last day in Nottingham, i woke up late n missed my flight. i kept chanting curses on my way to the airport. chanted more after they told me i was too late to board. chanted even more when i heard a d taxi driver told me it costs 100 pounds to go Luton Airport (FYI, it takes nearly 2 hours to get from East-Midlands Airport to Luton Airport)... hence d endless chants of curses. but hey, no success without failure.

got back home at around 2230hrs... tired... penniless... happy. yep, most important mindset of all, being happy. i love that trip. wouldnt mind to do it again... without the mistakes...

some of the pictures i took... didnt really have time (or cameraman) to shoot d nice scenery of Nottingham.


PS. Robin Hood is definitely real. although i'm not sure if the rumors that he was gay was true or not. Solution: come/go to Nottingham n find out!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

. . . ramadhan al mubarak . . .


bagi sekalian umat muslimin n muslimat di seluruh dunia, tak kira dmana mereka berada, terutama mereka2 di Negara Brunei Darussalam ku yg indah permai...


sadang2 tah... tahan2 tia dulu parut tu. apa jua ganya sebulan. bulan2 lain ia jua nya abis ngasak makan saja. gerenti ada jua yg garut parut... denyut2 kepala... tais liur mliat makanan sana sini... gerai ramadhan bjuritan urang membali makanan...

i miss all that ;-(

anyways, yet again, selamat berpuasa.


. . . saturdays & food . . .

assalamualaikum (this blog was supposed to be posted on the 30th Aug)

ahhh... another peaceful day after a long week of work (more of like surfing endlessly n downloading tons of things...) another casual saturday which always seem to excite me even though there is a 95% chance that i will spend it sleeping through the whole day. however, for this saturday, i really wanted to go out & walk all day since next week is the start of Ramadhan... yaaaayy!!! s season of forgiveness n cleansing... (as well as starving... hehehe).

this Ramadhan i think will be semi-grueling due to the fact that one; its still summer n its hot as it can be... two; breaking fast would be somewhere around 820pm... another extra few hours compared back in Brunei, it'll be around 630pm at the most...

and so begins my mission to find, as always on my off days, things to stuff my ever hungry stomach. saturday is such a perfect day to find food, bearing in mind that i am also a lazy-ass who is lazy enough not to cook on off days... its rare for me to cook some kind of concoction early on saturday mornings. i just feel like sleeping... but then again its summer n its really hot... so i'd prefer to exchange it by going outside n enjoy the dead heat plus slurping happily to a Movenpick Ice Cream... yum2... or even McFlurry's!

before that, i will hunt down my usual menu, Lebanese kebab. A close friend n her cousin, Susan & Sibel, once told me that the Lebanese kebab here isnt as Lebanese kebab as the real Lebanese kebab... (did ur brain register that yet?)

however, being the hog that i am, anything that makes me feel close to home just happens to satisfy me quite a lot (trust me, i would consider on eating Nasi Katok, Cucur Pisang, Pais... etc but theres none here) theres also a Singaporean restaurant here but its either too salty or the amount of food is ridiculously little... or even both. so, i wouldnt suggest too much on going there.

lemme tell u a bit of kebab joints in Geneva. there is a heck lot of em here. i mean, theres like 20 of em within a 5km radious... or something like that... fact of the matter is, there lots of kebab places for u to pick. theres like so many, it took me quite a while to choose one which i really like. well, actually there are two places that i like best n would recommend you to go n try it for ur self.

Ali Haydar, situated along Rue de Lausanne, a very small restaurant. try to get a seat near the entrance coz its too hot inside. bear in mind that the sauce will add to the surrounding heat as well. they usually serve the order with 3 different sauces (depends if u want it or not also). 3 sauces; Spicy Mustard, some kind of mayonnaise with herbs & my personal favourite, thick (VERY HOT) chilly sauce or as they would say it in french, sauce piquant! absolutely fabulous. i always tend to order their assiette plate which is full of salads n meat of ur choice (lamb or chicken).

the other kebab joint, Parfum de Beyrouth. basically it sells food as similar to Ali Haydar or as any other kebab joints in geneva. i would say confidently that the only thing that makes the difference on how good each kebab place, is the sauce(s). i like the fact the d piquant sauce in Parfum de Beyrouth is a bit watery, very tasty f u try it with their famed shawarma.

either way, its for you to decide, if come to Geneva, do stop by these two places. dont hesitate to try the others as most of them are Halal.