Where is my one hour?

The time was adjusted forward one hour yesterday, marking the beginning of spring!! I like it when it is no longer too bright early in the morning, and also when I ”earn” more daylight in the evening. 
I have lost count of the times the clock was switched back and forth since I came here, but it was the first time I saw the digit skip an hour last night. Supposedly I was to go to bed at 1am, it seemed like I went to bed at 2am. (Oh no! So late!) It felt like one hour was taken miraculously from my day although the clock is only a gadget to measure time. 
Anyway, I’m looking forward towards spring. Flower buds already started to swell and it’s time for more spring photos! 

Norway wasn’t cheap

The moment I booked my flight ticket to Oslo, I already knew that it would be an expensive city to travel in. But then I thought, it shouldn’t be a lot more expensive than London. I was wrong. Oslo was really a freaking expensive city. Hostels in Oslo were almost twice as expensive as hostels in London; not only that, food in general were more expensive compared

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to similar ones in London as well, mostly due to the sky-high taxes. (and I thought London’s taxes were high…)

However, it is an entirely new experience to travel in Oslo. Rather than seeing Gothic, Renaissance or Baroque buildings like in most other European countries, it was more common to learn about the Vikings and Norsemen in this Scandinavian country. Well, I now knew more because I bugged Alex throughout the trip to explain all these.
Also, I realise that while this may not be actual fact, I strongly felt that the Norwegian language is more similar to Dutch than it is compared to other Germanic languages. Most Norwegians could speak fluent English, and their accent sounded pretty sexy.
blend into the background
can you see me?!!

Camera spoilt

I broke my camera again, the third time in a year!!! No worries- just a matter of sending it to the factory again, and it was delivered back within 3 working days. However, this time around I purchased the extended warranty before I sent my camera off, as the original warranty usually doesn’t cover drop damage. I suppose a 2-year extended warranty should be a good bargain for people like me…. 
It wasn’t my carelessness this time – blame the cold weather in Oslo, so cold that my hand was too numb to hold the camera properly….

Gap year could be cool

With all the things that happened in the past few months, I began to think that a gap year of doing something unrelated to architecture isn’t such a bad idea after all. At the very least, it gave me a break to contemplate my future as well as reflect upon my earlier dreams that I wanted to realise but missed the opportunity to.
I am sure that if my journey had been smooth, I would not have the desire to stop and ponder.
Not too long time ago, I never understood why people have gap years in between their studies. I personally thought it was a waste of time, when they could finish their studies early and start developing their career. I remember my reluctance to attend the National Service program when I was chosen in 2004, not because I didn’t like it, but because I didn’t want to start my college studies one semester later. At that time, I wanted to graduate as early as possible.
But now I am glad for the opportunity to try something new, instead of flying back home immediately and be spoilt by my parents (and bottomless ATM).
As the saying goes: architecture is related to almost every aspect of our life. Who knows – I might one day come out with some brilliant idea to

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integrate something previously unrelated into what I have studied and vice versa.

Oslo is the capital city of Norway

The flight ticket to Norway was extremely cheap (£2 for return tickets), but not the travel expenses. 
March was a perfect time to travel in Norway. The sun began to set not so early. The temperature was fine, and it snowed rather a lot. I however didn’t expect that, so I wore sneakers instead of boots – cold wet feet walking on slippery floors.
It was a 5 days 4 nights trip. We spent two full days exploring the city and a day at the ski trail.

iphone 3.0 software release

I have never been so obsessed with tech gadgets news. But, today I have been following the iphone 3.0 software release news on Google since early in the morning, although it was obvious that most people in USA were still in bed at

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that time. So, it seemed like I spent almost a day waiting for the news – they announced it at 6pm (UK time). I followed the news on macworld’s live update coverage, and the speed the journalists updated the announcement speech on the webpage really amazed me.

Although I wasn’t planning to get one now, I was extremely curious to know its new features. Isn’t it the coolest gadget on earth ever? After all, it was only software update, but with more than 100 new features. Current iphone users can still update the software for free, considering if the phone isn’t unlocked – thou certain features such as MMS and bluetooth will not work on the original model. It is expected to be released in this summer, and here is the link for the update summary.
With phones like iphone, HTC mobile and google G1, other mobile brands like Sony Ericsson, Samsung, Nokia etc really have to work harder on their new products in this competitive market. Anyway, Sony Ericsson announced its 12.0 megapixel Idou phone a few months ago – that’s the camera phone with the highest resolution so far. You can print a huge poster with that!

back from oslo

I just came

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back from a quick holiday a few days ago…

Oslo, Norway

the day we bid farewell to eliska

So, this was Eliska that I mentioned in all my previous Prague travel post.

the room we stayed at her house
We visited the Dancing House designed by Frank Gehry before we left.
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Praha (Prague) terminal
sunny day
back to UK by Ryanair
We actually spent about £150 per person for 6days and 5nights trip including the flight tickets, return train tickets to Birmingham airport, food, public transport, attractions charges, souvenirs and a mini orchestra concert.

fifth day in prague

Rather early in the morning (9.50am was early!), we walked to visit Villa Muller designed by Aldof Loos. It was only a few streets away from Eliska’s house. [isn’t it cool to stay near a famous architect designed house?]
The house reminded me of Howard Roark designed house in the Fountainhead novel. The story was written at the same time where the house was commissioned. Both houses design (in reality or fiction) was bold and not generally accepted in that era. But, it was the change that we see in our houses nowadays.
his famous quote: ornament is a crime
photos taken from galinsky
We then visited the Jewish Quarter. I didn’t take any photos thou – it was a depressing place. We visited the Jewish cemetery and a few synagogues. 
Eliska recommended us to visit the contemporary art gallery which was opened in the early of the year. So, we took the metro, were lost in out of city centre area and wandered around.
so, this was the another side of prague city
me with the statue looking at the map
Finally, we reached the DOX gallery.
I firstly didn’t dare to step inside the hole in the stack of books, because I was afraid if they would collapse. Then, the afraid of height me was terrified to look into the hole. Apparently the mirrors were arranged in a box to create an optical illusion of infinite space depth and length. It was a brilliant artwork!
just in case the birds couldn’t see the glass windows
It was also the Chinese New Year eve. We had our ”dinner” at a cafe beside the river. I blogged about it in one of the previous post.