Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Amsterdam: Where Venice Meets Sunny San Fran!

Here in Amsterdam I met up with my Maui friend Nicole and had plenty of sunny fun at park hangouts, made lots of home meals, watched her and friends kite surfing, and of course - cheese & beer samplings.

But first things first - the beard is gone. Caput and pa-cut it all off, despite my own protest. Nicole said i look very different without it, but as i predicted i'll always be the worst dressed yet best looking guy (with or without a beard) in Amsterdam:

 (Before and after. . . point proven, right?!)

Later, I took the bike around outer and inner Amsterdammit for some self-guided tour time:

The streets are so hard to cross here since you have to look 6 times as you haphazardly move over the bicycle & scooter lane, then the car lanes, then the metro, once your standing in the middle then repeat that to get across the last half of the road. This will soon be developed into a "Why did the tourist cross the road" joke. Something like, "to get some hits and fly high and consequently hospitalized at the Green Districts clinic".

 Random fact from Amsterdam who's Dutch colonies and influence spread far and wide - Piggy Banks are from the Pacific Islands. Similar to Chinese belief, pigs represent fat, rich delicious food and wealth so it makes sense to fill a clay pig with money - for symbolic reasons.

(the world's oldest grenade. . . made in India, really)

The parks were fun. Kid were doing "whippits" nitro shit and the cops came up to them to say "turn your music down" HOWEVER, the cops will put you in jail for walking dog at park with no leash and carrying no ID.  

 I met Nicole's family at her Dad's birthday gathering out in the quite countryside of Breda. . . 

(eerie large morbid moratorium machine making building of the master marketeers)

Now a quick visual guide to a fantastic restaraunt called Azur Bleu -

And the last bits of Amsterdam before i caught a flight to Denmark:

 (they're EVERYWHERE . . . forever!!!)

(sometimes you just know when it's your time to take-off - i found this under my foot)

Congratulations if you've read to the end - now you get the pleasure of finding out that ALL THE CHINESE MEN in todays blog were not actually there. They are not real at all. Just contemporary art by Yue Kinjun. 

However, its relevant because i started a new blog about China's history - http://thingschinainvented.blogspot.dk/


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

PARIS - freedom fries and paté pies!

My first day in Paris I struggled to organize myself in the metro. Eventually I got from Section 3 to Section 1 and went to the Quai Branly Museum.

A real shrunk head -

After, i Metro'd over to a canal and visited this giant monument of clever design - 

No not the tourist lond-boat. . . this!

*bike locks dominate this nearby bridge*

The only two guys with beards i saw in Paris -

Then a couple dozen bombers, jets, and large transport planes did a practice flyby of the Triumph Arc. In a few days it would be the Victory Day (Bastille Day) celebration in Paris.
Lastly, the sunset happens at 9:50 and twilight lasts till 11pm?!?!?! France is great

DAY 2!

Palace of Versailles


I chose wiser and ate better than the senseless consumer of the Homer Menu -
*pate, veggies, wine, and creme-fresh dessert atop my windowsill*

And now for something old and amazing - the entrance pieces to a lost Babylonian Palace:


*Sumerian mother nursing. . . alien child?*

(Master Crafters)

*the Owl watches over the Greek pottery*


*All in one case: the only representations of a Black man, woman, and 2 donkeys (not a politically correct arrangement of pottery*)

(these plates are so detailed I'd like to jump in and live there!)

*the famous CODE of HAMMURABI*


 *Then off to Brussels (Belgium)*

I visited the Museum of Comics (Brussels is the home of Tin Tin and . . . good food!)

Especially Brussels's Mussels!

 A rare and truly Belgian sport was played here at the Grand Place

So, we know that ping pong came from tennis. US Football (no feet involved) came from European Futból (lots of feet, but not so much of a hand-job here). And that originally soccer was a training tool for military soldiers in China (the equivalent is happening right now in Florences' piazzas aka "Calcio Storico" = Historic football . . . sort of like Shrovetide in England with punching and kicking allowed and no rules) . . . and Australian Aboriginals played soccer just for fun too.

Well i witness the origins of tennis here in Brussels - and after 2 hours of watching i still didn't believe it true.
Balle Pelote! It was fun. Lots of yelling. . . but from the players at the ref, not the crowd . . . 

With 6 times more players on each side than singles tennis and played on a uneven cobblestone plaza; it gets intense. Similar to baseball and hand-ball from Miama (Jai Alai) combined. In this open court they hit homerun balls into the audience a lot. But i lost interest after the ambulance arrived and all the players gathered around a tourist who need medical attention. Put a damper on my afternoon. All fun and games till someone gets hurt, then its just games.

Goodbye Brussels - i salute your Tin Tin shorts and tacky graffiti