bright and sunny fourth day in Prague

Woo hoo! It was bright and sunny again on our fourth day in Prague. So, we walked to the city centre instead of taking the tram.
Loreta Church. We went there on our previous day, but were late for the entrance – result of procrastination.
So, this is one of the entrance of Prague Castle.
It was still cold although there was bright sun. But, look!! We saw a group of tourists wearing only a layer of shirt! Hoo laa~~
Me in a thick coat and scarf!!
The cathedral in the castle. It was rather unusual that photography was permitted inside a cathedral.
Then we walked all the way down to the city centre. We did nothing much but enjoyed our walk on that day.
The Prague city centre, unlike other major cities of the world, is rather quiet at night. This was because most of the locals stayed in suburbs, leaving the historical center/tourist attractions empty at night.
With their efficient, cheap and wide-ranging transport network, it was probably a better choice to stay in the suburbs and commute daily. This resulted in a lack of supermarkets in the city center, so it’s kinda hard to buy groceries in the city center. Also, the city is flooded with people, tourists and locals alike in the daytime, and deserted at night.
dinner

I can’t see!

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Laptop saved!

A few days ago, something went wrong with my laptop.

It happened a day after I did a recovery of the laptop system. I did a backup of my important stuff before I did the recovery. However, after the recovery, I transferred them all BACK to the desktop, leaving no backup copy, much like “undoing” the backup. Stupid, I know. Not long after, there was an error message when I tried to boot the laptop. I was asked to insert the recovery disc to run the Vista repair program. However, the menu only allowed me to reformat, without an option to repair. Which is obviously a problem since all my important stuff was back in the laptop!

Eventually I manage to solve the problem. With the help of Ubuntu, I managed to extract the files from my laptop, and then I proceeded to reformat the laptop of course. It took me quite some time and probably would have been longer without Alex’s guidance. I came across meaningless tech jargon like BIOS, MDR, .iso etc.

Now my laptop is fixed and it seems smoother, even when compared to the last few recoveries I made. The whole thing made me realise that since I was here, I had to solve all my laptop issues on my own (with some help from friends). Perhaps I should also say, it wasn’t only laptop issues that I had to learn to solve, but many problems in life in general.

So, feeling self-satisfied, extremely independent and content, I wrote this post. Cheers!

p.s. ubuntu is great for retrieving files from your system when Windows won’t boot!

gloomy (third) day in Prague

Depending on your type of travelling/sightseeing, two full days is generally enough to explore most of the Prague city centre, but our procrastination took us about 4 days. We left the house late each morning, walked really slow, took many breaks, and spent a fair bit of our time in restaurants (getting free heat). 
On the third day we were supposed to visit Liberec, where Eliska studies. Unfortunately, she fell sick, so instead her brother took us out for half a day, going to places tourists don’t usually go. It was quite interesting to see how typical Praguers lived their daily life and how the Prague suburbs contrasted with the beautiful city center.
And on the more touristy side, we visited Mala Strana (little quarter) – clusters of development around the foothills of Prague Castle and Hradčany (the district around Prague Castle).
The weather on that day was much colder than the other days we were there. It started to rain in the afternoon. Gloomy dark day… 
We explored Prague castle in the drizzling rain…
a photo of emo alex
a photo of happy flora
St Vitus Church at Prague Castle night facade..
Prague Castle at night 
the Church of Our Lady
In the evening, we met up with Pavel, Alex’s ex-housemate from their days in Glasgow. 

i think he looks like tom cruise. 
(i mean the guy on the left) ;p

Chinese New Year?!!

Chinese New Year came and went…

I didn’t realise that the first day of Chinese New Year was the day I flew back from Prague until a month ago.

I didn’t notice when Chap Goh Mei was until I read my friends’ blog about it.

I didn’t do anything Chinese or special during that 15 days, AT ALL!!

After all, I feel that I couldn’t create the Chinese New Year atmosphere, hence didn’t intend to do anything about it.

But I still want my angpows!!!!!!!! 🙁

work at coffee house

Working in a coffee house always reminds me of the scenes in movies where writers spend their whole day in a coffeeshop waiting for inspiration to strike. I now understand why. We see all sorts of different behaviour in a

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cafe, all the more so when you’re in the cafe almost everyday.

Sometimes I wondered if it will be interesting to post a short note on tiny eccentricities that set different people apart.

There is a customer who comes in every early in the morning for a cup of cappuccino and a butter croissant. He never orders anything else. He is almost always the first customer during the day, every weekday, however this week he has not been appearing. On holiday, or up to something else?

Rothko exhibition

One autumn weekend, Alex and I went to see the Mark Rothko exhibition at the Tate Modern.
Rothko’s paintings are composed of luminous, soft-edged rectangles saturated with colour, or to put it simply, boxes within boxes inside boxes. There were many people at the exhibition hall looking at Rothko’s “boxes”, and when I first walked into the room, I couldn’t feel anything. I wondered if I missed something as everyone around me was walking around and gazing deeply from one box to another, seemingly deciphering the secrets residing within the canvases. Feeling frustrated and miserable, I decided to sit down on a bench and relax. 
After a few minutes I resumed my staring. Now, looking at the boxes seemed like looking out of a window into infinite space. Switching my gaze back to the room, I had the sensation of being in an inverted space. The “outside” that I was previously looking at seemed now to be inverted, enclosed by walls. Everything inside is now outside and everything outside is formed from within. I wondered if I was inside or outside the “box” that was the Main Gallery.
Later on I moved from room to room, looking at the themes among the different series. Hung on the wall, the different works were distinguished only by insignificant tonalities among the colors. Limited palette it may be, but each surface was a complex, personalised message. At that point in my life, I was facing quite a bit of stress about looking for a job; the paintings seemed to reach out to calm and soothe my pressures away.
The strokes and patterns on the canvases are like the hymms that expresses emotions, and many people compared seeing a Rothko exhibition to being in a cathedral. People often categorize his style as ‘abstract expressionism’, though he always refused to be labelled that way. That statement would have to depend on individual interpretation, like everything else about him – He was very tight-lipped about his inspiration, his ideas, his thoughts, his techniques.
Rothko is counted among the most enigmatic and mysterious artist of modern times. He once said: “I am not an abstract painter. I am not interested in the relationship between form and colour. The only thing I care about is the expression of man’s basic emotions: tragedy, ecstasy, destiny.” As a consequence, many people relate his work to darkness, depression and sadness. But – as quoted from an article – in Vogue magazine, only in dark lies true enlightenment, which I thoroughly agree with. And with that sentence I leave you a few links to other articles about him….

deactivated

A bank letter arrived at my home address last week. The bank will terminate my account if it is still not reactivated. I don’t remember where my passbook is. My ATM card is here with me. There is no use mailing it back to my mum since I don’t remember the pincode. And I forgot my online banking username and password. Good job, Flora!!

Also, my Malaysia mobile number has been deactivated long time ago.