Thursday, February 28, 2008

I've had enough of Sweden...

...so I don't mind that it's time to leave. I'm at Malmoe train station and shall head off for Copenhagen shortly!

I will be in Denmark until Sunday and will be spending most of the weekend catching up with work.

Girls with God power!

...VC told me about this site: http://www.beautytipsforministers.com/

I think it's wonderful! I especially like this make-up advise:

Many of us preach under strong lights or in heavy vestments that make us sweat. On days we’re not preaching, we often leave the house in the a.m. hours, run around to a series of meetings or activities and then to a round of the same in the evening. We don’t have a lot of time to do elaborate touch-ups, and we can get very shiny and sweaty punims.

Blotting paper is terrific. It essentially allows you to powder your nose without powdering your nose. Blotting papers are tissue-thin (be careful taking them out of the package; lightly wet your fingertip first or you may pull out a whole wad instead of just the one you need) and you simply press them against your forehead, sides of nose, and chin. You will be amazed at how much oil winds up on the paper, so please don’t do this in public — it’s not a genteel, lady-like act the way pulling out a compact and discreetly banging on your schnoz after lunch can be.
For gals, blotting papers have the virtue of not adding another layer of make-up to your face, which is a good thing if you’re at the beginning of your day and don’t want to get cakey. If your make-up has worn off entirely, by all means give your face a swipe with a powder compact and blush and use the blotting papers just to avoid unseemly shine.




When Marie is in Sweden she...

- Wouldn’t dream of jail walking.
- Recycles EVERYTHING.
- Wears a seat belt for a 100 m drive (just in case!).
- Doesn’t swap seats on the train (too complicated).
- Eats lots of incredibly healthy food.
- Spells months and days with a lower case (januari, februari… mandag, tisdag).
- Avoids telling people she lives in Hong Kong because she doesn’t want to “brag” (jantelagen).
- Avoids telling people anything about her past 13 years in case it would be considered “bragging”.
- Obeys by all rules, whether they be in the LAW, or just printed on a paper napkin.
- Controls her urge to talk to strangers at bus stops and in lifts.
- Thinks that it’s naughty to have a glass of wine with dinner on a weekday

Spilling the dirt

Do you guys remember that my vicar-cousin (let’s call her VC) couldn’t meet up with me last time I was in Malmo because she had a kick-off party?

Well, the day after VC had to do a practical exercise baptizing dolls. According to cousin Charlotte (a reliable source) this was conducted with a good old hangover!! (VC says she was “just tired” –yeah right!). They then practice after-baptism-coffee to understand what their role would be in this particular social situation. VCs take on it was:

Well, I suppose it’s good to learn how to do things “the day after” since I’ll be working lots of Sunday mornings!

This profession intrigues me. The training is so contemporary. They even have set pay rates for a conducting a mass!

Nazi ice hockey

I'm in Malmo again!

My vicar cousin came for dinner tonight. She told me that when our cousin Charlotte was young, watching ice hockey, she asked:

Who's the Nazi they keep talking about?

The word "Nazi" in Swedish is "nassist".

In ice hockey you can make an assist! An Assist - A Nassist.

Bless her!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Berlin visitors

London-based friends Emma and Kathrin might be meeting up with me in Berlin. This is very good news. I have never been to Berlin and couldn't wish for better travel companionship!

I still haven't bought shoes...

...even though I am receiving evil emails tempting me to do so! I am more stubborn than you think!

Updated calendar

In brief:

In Gothenburg until Wednesday 27th, spending the night in Malmo

28th to Denmark until Sat or Sun when I fly to Finland

Next week: Mon-Tues Finland
Wed: Norway
Thurs: Norway or Berlin
Fri-Berlin

After that Berlin a few more days, and all over Germany for a week. Then either Paris, Prague or both!

I really want to go home around the 20th March so fingers crossed my boss doesn't look at a map of Europe and discovers Austria!

In Gothenburg now

Have been in Gothenburg since Friday evening. I have had an anti-internet weekend and not been online once since Thursday evening. I've been feeling a bit homesick actually but this is probably due to the fact that these are my last few days in Sweden.

I'm staying with my crazy cousin Charlotte. This has several advantages:

1. It's comfortable and convenient
2. She works in a really good Indian restaurant (she's a student) and brings me food.
3. She doesn't have a TV, which means no distractions. Although I did ruin this a bit with buying the entire series of TWIN PEAKS on DVD
4. She lives right next to a big park where there are moose - this is very cool
5. She doesn't mind that my things are EVERYWHERE in her flat by now

Tonight we are going for dinner and have also discussed impulse haircuts. I suppose the fact that we've discussed it, means it's not much impulse involved any longer. I will let you know what happens with this.

Thursday night

Thursday night I met with Fredrik, my high school buddy that I haven't seen for some 16 years.

I also met with Anders, a senior high school buddy that I haven't seen for 13 years.

Fredrik is the Deputy Dean at one of the schools I'm working with. Anders is Head of Press for the Swedish Ministry of Education and Research.

Sometimes I feel that I should probably work a bit harder on my career. Either that or find new friends with crappy jobs!

Had a lovely evening though - wish I had more time to meet with them. Perhaps I should visit Stockholm more often?

World's best MP

Wednesday I went over to visit my good friend Cecilia at her workplace, which just happen to be the Swedish Parliament. Cecilia is definitely the world's best MP. You can read more about her on http://www.welcome.to/widegren

Sitting in her office, I also met up with another MP, Henrik, whom I know from my past life in politics. He didn't recognise me at first, which I think is strange because my friends always say I look exactly the same as I did when I was 19. I suppose MPs get harassed by all sorts of crazy people all the time - not just me.

Been busy

...but will update you what's been happening now

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Tonight

I will be meeting up with some friends tonight at Marden on Tulegatan, close to Odenplan, from about 20.00. If there are more Stockholm people reading this, please come along!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Stop feeling sorry for criminals - PLEASE!

One of the things I don't like about Sweden is the way we (they?!) treat criminals. I'll try to illustrate my frustration.

There are riots in Denmark. Cars and schools are being burnt down, and there's a general state of chaos in Copenhagen. The PM Anders Fogh Rasmussen was asked what responsibility the government assumed for this and what they intend to do about it. His reply was:

This isn’t out fault. This is caused by youths who should wise up and get a job!

At the same time, in Sweden, a pro footballer for AIK (soccer player), took a car for a drive after spending the night boozing. In addition, the guy did not even hold a driver’s license. The police didn’t catch him, but there were numerous eyewitnesses. The AIK club management was asked what sort of punishment he would get from them. The spokesman replied:

No, we’re not going to punish him. We don’t know what kind of childhood he had or what he has been through in his life.

WTF?
I had better not commit a crime or I might just get an extra harsh punishment! I had a happy childhood you see!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Estocolmo

I've left my mum's house for Stockholm now. It was nice to be home although my mum persists in her constant nagging about how I should provide her with grandchildren.

She thinks I'm selfish.
I think she's greedy (she has 3 grandkids already)


I'm not a big fan of Stockholm. My family and friends excluded I think people here are both arrogant and ignorant. Madelene calls them "Stockholm-trash" - I think she's on to something!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sat 2.30 am, joined the fire brigade


At some point during the evening out with Pontus, I started talking to a fireman. Somewhat drunken Marie obviously told him that she’s never seen the inside of a fire station. Things like fire engines are like sweets for my inner freak, the one obsessed with how things are built and how they work.

Thomas the Fireman, who understood that a life cannot be complete without going inside a fire station, brought me over, at 2.30 am, for a private tour! I’m glad I had my camera or you would never have believed me.
Talk about a highlight to my journey! Beats Gstaad and Russian lesbians any day!

Marie FireWoman 2


Marie FireWoman 1


What Pontus did...


As predicted, it turned into a big night out. There are two nightclubs in Kalmar. One is for 18 year-olds. The bartender we were consulting told us we were too old for that place (hmpf!). The other nightclub was full of 50 year-olds dressed as 18 year-olds. Rather desperate but that’s where we ended up.
Pontus was in good form, and it was excellent catching up with him. I have been sworn to secrecy about something, but for a good bribe I’ll tell you!

I’m telepathic

CH thinks I’m telepathic! I think he might be right. Last weekend, out walking with my sister, I thought to myself: “Oh, when am I ever going to find time to visit Pontus in Gotland!”

I must have sent him some telepathic brainwave because on Tuesday Pontus called me up to let me know that he’s moved back to KALMAR, where incidentally I will be spending the weekend.

So we’re meeting for dinner tonight, no doubt it will be a big night – it always is when we get together! Perhaps it’s a good thing that I only see him every few years.

Snus and kisses

Swedish high schools smell like snus! Snus is tobacco that is placed under your lip. It stinks. It tastes like shit.
You can find used snus “prillor” everywhere in Sweden. When the smoking ban came into place, bars removed the ashtrays and put out snus-trays instead.

If ever you find yourself with a love interest who uses snus, make sure he or she rinse his/her mouth before any snogging takes place. As a 15-year old I kissed some boys that used snus – it still makes my stomach turn just thinking about it.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I'm cold!

I have been incredibly efficient today. I think I have probably contacted half of Germany (my phone bill will be gigantic).

I'm now leaving the library to go back to my hotel. I'm desperately cold and can't wait to crawl under some blankets.

Since the Telenor girls left yesterday I am again the only woman at the hotel. The male guests are not in telecoms but seem more like construction workers of some sort (this is purely based on what they are wearing). Some of them are German and some British. They are all very nice and polite so I much prefer them to the telecoms crew. I still think I'll avoid the hotel bar tonight.

Happy Valentine's Day to you all.
I hope you haven't spent all your hard-earned cash on flowers and chocolates that will be half price tomorrow!

Dividing up the world

When my boss and I discuss what countries to visit next, I always get the cold ones. Hence my current 3.5 week long stay in Scandinavia!

Dividing up the world for our March visits the options are South Africa, Madrid or Paris. I have put my case forward for South Africa, even claiming that I speak some Afrikaans (complete lie but how would he ever find out!?). It makes sense to send me to Madrid since I do speak enough Spanish to get by. It seems though that since Paris is likely to be the coldest place, this is where I'll end up!

At least I'll get a chance to catch up with my lovely friends over there!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Those crazy party-vicars!

My vicar cousin can't meet up with me tonight. She has a student "kick-off" party with her fellow vicar-trainees. Am I the only one who thinks this is funny? "Kick-off" parties are usually VERY drunken affairs, with lots of embarrassing tasks for the new students to complete.
I wonder what a vicar students' kick-off is like? Perhaps I should go check it out? (In disguise?)

WiFi in Swedish...

...is called "tradlos internetuppkoppling", the woman in the library just informed me of. I have to try to remember this!

Behaviour and Mating Rituals of the Telecoms Executive

In our series "Behaviour and Mating Rituals of the Telecoms Executive" we have now made it to Malmoe.
This southern-most city, in the telecoms Mecca that Sweden is, surely must have some prime examples of this illusive species.

Imagine my surprise then, when I discovered that the Telecoms Executives populating the Ibis hotel in Malmoe are all FEMALE!
At first I thought I must have made a mistake, but they were all wearing t-shirts with “Telenor” on them, and they didn’t exactly look like some sort of sponsored sports team. (I later discovered that Telenor is indeed hosting a conference in the hotel).

This explains the absence of adult movie channels!

The amateur student

My Windows Vista doesn't work with the hotel's WiFi network!

I have instead made it down to the public library, where there's not just free WiFi, but also lots of places to plug in a laptop, nice big windows, a cafe and about 5217 students.

I fit right in until my mobile phone went off. Now I feel like such an amateur!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Trust Sweden to bring on the winter!

-6C this morning! Dark and cold and nasty like only February can be. I just want to stay inside with a cup of tea. My break is over though and I'm off to Malmö this afternoon.
Leaving my completely deranged sister behind, I´m hoping to catch up with my mad cousin in Malmö. She's in her final year studying (training?) to become a vicar. We're very proud of her and all expect to get a VIP pass to heaven.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Madelene is making lasagna




Breaking rules - feeling naughty

Swedes are peculiar. I have moved from my reserved seat to get access to a power outlet. A woman just stepped on and told me I was in her seat. Since mine is just opposite I asked if she wouldn’t mind taking my seat instead so I could keep working. Goodness, you could have thought that I had asked her to move to a different continent!

“Oh, so this is your seat”
“Yes”
“But where are you going then so I don’t get kicked off in a few minutes – I’m going to Kalmar you see so it’s the end station”
“I’m going to Kalmar so you’ll be fine” (I would have told her I was going to Osby but since she got ON the train in Osby it would probably not have been very believable!)
“Ok, so it’s ok to change like this then”
“Yes it is”

Train conductor comes by:

“I’m sitting here but that over there is really my seat. I have switched with that girl because she needs the power outlet”
“Ok”
“So that’s ok then, I can sit here even if the ticket is for a different seat really”
“Yes, that’s absolutely fine”

Swedes are not very good at questioning authority – we like to stick to the rules, even the ones printed on a train ticket.

The woman from Osby

There is a woman on this train who keeps telling everyone where she is going. As soon as someone steps through the doors she goes:

“Am I in your seat? I’m going to Osby.”

Like it matters where she is going! It seems to work though because 2 people have now allowed her to stay even though they had booked that seat. I might try that next time!

“I’m going to Osby so can I have your seat please?”

What’s in Osby anyway? Will have to investigate.

Going to see my crazy family...and do laundry!

My mum lives in Monsteras. Funny name for a town isn’t it? There are a couple of dots missing over the o and a though so it’s actually called something different but my sister and I like calling it Monsteras. It’s such a small town we don’t even have traffic lights!
I like Kalmar better. In Kalmar there are traffic lights and McDonalds have been there for almost 10 years now. Very civilised.

Stupid Swedish trains

I have voiced my discontentment with the Swedish Railway Authority. The train that pulled into the station in Copenhagen had 6 wagons but only 3 were going to Kalmar. This is normal, Kalmar being a very small place. What’s not normal though was that there was nothing to indicate which three of the six wagons to choose! I jumped on one and realized that my seat must be at the very opposite end, meaning I would have to drag my heavy bags through the whole of the train. I pointed out this madness to the train conductor. She replied:

“People get so hung up on wagon numbers; you should look for your seat number instead!”

So you have to first get on the train and see which seat numbers are in that wagon, then guess which way the numbers are going….get off the train again, and calculate the number of seats in each wagon to get to the correct door. Ok-la, just so I know!

In Copenhagen - on my way to Kalmar

The best thing about Copenhagen airport is that it has a direct train connection with Kalmar, the best city in the world. I’m on my way there now. A bit bored actually as I just finished my book (The Grandmothers by Doris Lessing, rather good) and my Ipod has died.

Those damn Swiss Francs

When I am tired I get very irrationally irritable. When my alarm went off at 5 am this morning I was very tired! Up until I got to go back to sleep on the plane I found the following sources of irritation:

- The taxi driver that was 2 min late
- The check-in man who made it seem like such a magnanimous gesture to let my 2 kg excess weight slide.
- The security guy who made me take off my boots
- The Swiss Franc for not printing the name of the cents/ore/pennies on the coins. How are you supposed to know what they’re called? (yes, I was angry with a currency – I told you it was irrational)
- The waiter at the café – just because!
- The girl at the cash register who wouldn’t take my leftover Swiss coins and put in a charity box but instead suggested I buy a bar of chocolate.

For a while I was also very irritated with the arsenic-kid at the table next to mine, screaming her lungs out. I then realized that I completely sympathized with her and in fact what I would really want to do is to just scream!
I love this about kids. If they don’t get what they want, they just scream. Imagine walking into a restaurant only to be told that you have to have a reservation – start screaming your head off and I bet they’ll find you a table.

I slept on the plane so the rage has passed.

Visa for Denmark

My secretary phoned me up at 3 am to let me know that she forgot to get me a visa.

Visa for what, I asked.

“For Denmark. Your flight is for Copenhagen so do you have to go through immigration or can you wait with that until you get to Sweden?”

I have tried really hard to explain to her about the European Union, about Scandinavian open borders but it just doesn’t stick!

Perhaps I need to draft a memo.

Almost bought boots!

I very nearly lost a bet today. I have staked a dinner on not buying shoes for 8 weeks and NO, you can not join in on the bet even though I know it sounds like a safe one! I ended up in shoe shop (not sure how)…and there were these boots, you know the ones with kitten-fur on that I adore. They (the boots) really wanted me to take them home! But I thought to myself: I have got two pairs of boots just like these already and not much need for them in Hong Kong… but oh they’re so pretty!

However, I hate losing a bet so I walked away! My heart is aching! My suitcase is no heavier! I’m regretting my decision already!

Empty ski slopes


Saturday, February 9, 2008

The local shop


Gstaad is amazing. This is the only ski resort I’ve been to that has a Prada shop! The mountains are spectacular…and the slopes are empty! Ok, it probably costs an arm and a leg to stay here but I’d rather put my hard-earned (well?!) cash going here than spend 40 min queuing up for the ski-lift. It’s easy to get to! Fly into Geneva –take the train from the airport to Montreux and the Goldenpass Railway to Gstaad! The train has glass ceilings and you are traveling through the mountains. Beautiful!!

You have to have ear muffs!!


My meeting is over, so I’ve gone down to one of the many fantastic restaurants. Since my weekend has now formally started I’ve treated myself to some wine – I have been VERY well-behaved over the past two weeks but today I think I should get a treat!

Didn't fall on my bum!

What a day, and what a place! I know that I’ve complained a bit about a sore back, crappy secretary and heavy bags! Today I love my job. I’ve had one school visit only, to one of the most prestigious (well, most expensive!) high schools in the world…and I’m at their winter campus in Gstaad. My normally quite rushed visits and same old presentation was today a nice sit-down lunch with 4 intelligent and genuinely interested students. That was at 12.45 and I was there for one hour only.

I started the morning ice-skating. Considering that I have been ice-skating since I could walk I really ought to be a lot better at it. I normally blame my mother for my shortcomings, but she is actually very good, so are my sisters (and no doubt my brother)…I’m not sure what I’ve done wrong, I’m terrible! It was fun fun fun though, and I looked completely out of place in a skirt and blouse!

In Gstaad...

...well some 40 min from Gstaad where my secretary has booked me into some sort of road-side ski hotel, even though there was a cheaper and nicer option in Gstaad. I'm starting to think that she doesn't like me.No time for skiing but I'm considering some ice skating tomorrow...

Sun Sun Sun


Finally I’ve seen the sun! Geneva on a sunny day – what can beat that? I could live here if it wasn’t land-locked!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

"I love you babe"

I had a very bizarre evening. Having arrived rather late to my hotel I went down to the bar to try to get a sandwich. While enjoying that, I was dragged into a mad conversation with 2 bartenders and 1 (rather drunk) guest about African football. Mad because one of the bartenders and the guest spoke or understood no English so the conversation was in Spanish,, Italian, French and German, all jumbled up!
Actually, the (drunken) guest could say "I love you babe" and kept doing so throughout the evening, until they stopped serving him because he could no longer stand up! Hysterical.

Leaving the bar, a man from the table next to where the mad conversation was still going on, stopped me in the lobby and asked if I wanted to invite him up for a coffee. Do women actually say yes to this? I told him I didn't have coffee making facilities in my room, and quickly closed the lift door. I bet he was a telecoms executive!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Wankdorf


Sympathy please!

I pulled a muscle in my back this morning. I know many of you think this is a pretty cool trip, but dragging a 25kg suitcase, a 12kg (at least) backpack and the enormous box of "extra" brochures that my secretary has sent to get me past CNY...it's not fun with a bad back (I was feeling quite miserable).
I have left the suitcase and the box in Geneva, and I'm travelling with a small over-night kit stuffed into my handbag, but every time I have to lift my backpack I am not a happy camper. So pass some sympathy my way, or better yet, some Tiger Balm!

I'm in a piano bar in Zurich right now! Zurich is really quite nice.

Milan didn't even load properly...

...but I've fixed it now so if you want to read the last 2 entries from Milan, scroll down. It also meant two comments went lost, but here they are:

Gosh ! Am I the only poster on this blog which is close to pullitzer level ? Come on you readers, say something !!!!Charles

Last week I averaged 82 individual users per day...I don't have that many friends so I don't even know who the people reading this blog are....perhaps the Pulitzer Prize Committee?

I propose your blog to be renamed : the big bad business trip ON europe

:) I shall take that into account!

Thanks!!

Geneva, France

My secretary is very sweet, and very hard working, but she is quite useless. In Rome she booked me into the hotel from hell. In Milan I was in the red-light district. In Geneva she booked me into a hotel in…France! And not just across the border either, but some 60 km away. I tried to explain to her that just because a hotel is called Hotel Geneva, it doesn’t mean that it is in Geneva (although it did have wifi, which is my top criteria, so she got that right). I found a lovely little hotel all on my own (in Geneva). Clean and friendly, not a strip-club in sight! I have a crazy day today – I will be in Geneva, Bern and Zurich, all in one day.

New country, new currency, new language

Thank God for Switzerland (it’s not often you get to say that!). After Milan, Geneva is like heaven. It’s clean, organised and friendly. I’m terrible at French but the Swiss are fantastic with languages and really puts all other nationalities to shame (perhaps apart from the South Africans, they always speak heaps of languages). I hope to avoid linguistic mishaps this week. Towards the end of my stay in Milan, I could no longer be bothered guessing what they were saying, and just replied Si to everything. I think that’s how I ended up with a cup of espresso…three times! I should add perhaps that I don’t drink coffee!

I don't like Milan

I really do not like Milan! I have really tried, and there are nice parts, but it’s just not my cup of tea. I have never seen so many cars in my life. Contrary to Rome, if you try to cross the road in Milan, cars speed up! This goes for the trams as well. Only people with a death wish cross the road in Milan. Taxi drivers do not have a sense of humour. Waiters and Receptionists are rude. If I never return to Milan, it would be too soon (but I would like to go to Lake Como, I passed it on the train and it was beautiful)

I had a nice weekend though:
Saturday I toured the Duomo, which was impressive. I walked up to the Castello Sforzesco, where I did see the most incredibly interesting exhibit of body armour and weaponry from the 15th to 19th century. I also went to see a special exhibit on Leonardo’s study of the horse (!!) – is there no end to how ridiculous an exhibition can get?

For lunch I made it over to Brera, had Risotto Milanese, which was not very nice at all (as any good Swede, the taste of saffron gets me into the spirit of Christmas). I did do a bit of shopping, thinking I should pick up something cool and unusual. Found a fantastic pair of earrings and a bracelet…only to discover later that they are made in Norway. If anyone asks I will stick to the story that they are from a small shop in Milan!

Afternoon I spent people-watching. It was raining so I think the real fashionistas stayed at home because the people I was watching were all rather plain.
Unfortunately I had to work on Sunday so I stayed in with the exception for a power walk that brought me past IKEA. I almost went in for a plate of Swedish meatballs, but decided in the end not to be so sad.

Placido Domingo and Russian Lesbians


La Scala, yesterday - I hadn’t realised that it was Placido Domingo singing Cyrano, and AnnaMaria Popescu, whom I have had the pleasure of hearing in London, singing Roxane. It was simply outstanding!

La Scala, although very impressive, did suffer a bit from bad acoustics inside the boxes. Unlike Marinskij, where fabrics and dividing walls are used sparingly, La Scala’s boxes are quite sealed off. However, I was lucky enough to end up in a box with Russians only. Lucky because I got to practice my Russian. Lucky also because two of the women, both married with children, were there on a “girls’ weekend away” but with an unusual interpretation - they spent the whole time in the back of the box snogging like it was going out of fashion. Why was this lucky for me? I took one of their seats of course, so my Euro 80 ticket got me into a Euro 250 seat!

I did get a chance to talk to them during the Pause (about shoes actually). They were very nice, and as it turned out that one of them lives in Geneva (my next stop), I was asked to give her a call during the week. Funnily enough she put her age down on the note, it looks a bit like a personal ad, doesn’t it?? Unfortunately my busy schedule doesn’t allow for a rendezvous with a Russian closet-lesbian…but if anyone else would like to meet with Lilia, let me know and I shall pass the number.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Busy Bee

Sorry for the lack of updates over the weekend. My co-worker resigned on Friday and I was all of a sudden stuck with lots of tedious database work.
I'm off to Geneva this afternoon...

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Oolala Scala

I've had a most wonderful evening and I'm so ready for bed - tomorrow I'll tell you all about Placido Domingo and the Russian lesbians.
Until then, enjoy a video clip from inside La Scala. I don't know how to rotate videos so you'll have to tilt your head or your monitor, whichever is easiest.
video

All set

Ready to go! I was going to take a photo of what I ended up wearing, but I felt very silly standing in my room trying to get a full-body shot...the neighbours probably think there's a questionable photo shoot going on in my room for all the flashing (from the camera guys...I know what you're thinking!). A bit of a mish-mash but at least my handbag is Prada (make that Prada di Mong Kok, but you can't tell!) and I'm wearing a new scent that I got as a trial from the shop next door. Eau de Brothel I thought to myself considering the street clientel...and what do you know...

Friday, February 1, 2008

Getting away with murder

Wardrobe problematics..
In Russia we would dress up to the nines for the opera (well, only to end up next to a Japanese teenager in an adidas track suit). I'm guessing the Milanese are no different, only the problem is that I didn't exactly pack for the opera! It will have to be business attire (shock, horror)...I do have a dress. At least I'm blonde and can get away with almost anything!

Hotel bar or La Scala??


My first Friday night away is rapidly approaching. I have the appealing option of going down to the rather busy hotel bar and talking to telecoms executives (and we all know what they are like, don't we?!) or I can make use of my newly purchased ticket to LA SCALA!! It's Cyrano de Bergerac and I'm very, very excited!

...and I will get to wear my pretty shoes instead of boots...it's like Christmas!

Hubris strikes me down!

My comprehension of the Italian language has jumped exponentially since arriving on Sunday - to the point where in a state of complete hubris I thought I would start speaking it. Armed with a parleur I marched into the only local restaurant without strippers, to ask if they did take-away food.

Me: Buena Serra, blablablablablablblabla?
Waitress: (in perfect English) No, our food doesn't walk but I can give you a box to take it in.

This could have been a very funny line if she hadn't said it with such an attitude, so I thought about it for a minute and went:

Me: Oh, well in that case I'll try somewhere else.

The look on her face was priceless! I went next door to the kebab-place instead. Their food walked just fine!