Tuesday, May 31, 2011

29 April: Trans-Mongolian Train (Krasnoyarsk to Nizhneudinsk)

Wow, I have realised just how difficult it is to set your clock to a completely different time (like more than one or two hours) when you don't have a plane trip in between! I thought for sure I'd wake up at one of the 7 or 8am (local time) station stops. Some how we always seem to wake up at a stop. But, I didn't. I slept right thru and woke up at 10h45 when we arrived in Krasnoyarsk.

I am watching a gorgeous sunset while I write. Unbelievably absolutely no effort is made to clean the windows. I think it'd be such a simple thing to do on each of our stops. Hell, I'm sure if they just put out a bucket of water with a squeegee thing, the travellers would do it themselves! Apparently it's just not a priority tho :P

So, anyway. Being that I am now running on an alternate timezone to the train, the restaurant car wasn't going to be open for the pancakes I was craving anytime soon! So I had another of my apples.

I didn't end up eating till quite a bit later actually. But I did finally have those pancakes again :) For dinner I tried "Asia" with Bird. It was fine, but so far my favourites are definitely the pancakes, the borscht and the chicken fillet with cheese. Tomorrow will be our last day with the Russian Restaurant carriage and then we'll be trying new things off the Mongolian and Chinese ones :)

Other than that, today really has felt like the longest day so far. I'm trying to ration my reading. Will probably finish Book 2 this evening and then I'll only have one more left!

Also, although the scenery has changed a little, it's greener and there are more hills, it is still very much the same: tall trees as far as the eye can see (well, for the most part between the little towns).

I napped again today. Had some vodka with 7up. Yes, that's my first Vodka in Russia!

Tomorrow my alarm is set for 05h45 in the hopes of waking early enough to see Lake Baikal. I expect the scenery from there will also change as we head South towards Mongolia.

And below is a picture of Nizhneudinsk station showing the temperature at 4 degrees!

Monday, May 30, 2011

28 April: Trans-Mongolian Train (Ishim to Novosibirsk)

I slept much better last night, had some weird dreams, but that seems to be the norm lately. I woke up when the train was stopped at Ishim station - so far we seem to be doing approx 1000kms every 12 hours. The scenery does not seem to have changed too much. Although it got quite hilly at sunset last night in what I presume were the Urals.

Perhaps I spoke too soon, it does look like there are vast sections with no trees but rather stretches of fields. All very flat now tho.

I have also realised that in my fear for Russia's cold, I have supremely over packed! Which may seem strange as my bag was only 11.6Kgs on departure (for 3.5weeks). But there are plenty of jerseys, socks, stockings and long sleeved tops I will never use on this trip (I managed to wear just a T-shirt with a sleeveless windbreaker around Moscow). Sigh. Oh well, I guess if I do buy too much in China I can always get a 2nd bag. Will see how it goes :)

I had one of the apples I bought in Moscow for breakfast along with some Cal-C-Vita flavoured water. Decided it's a better idea to have the big meal of the day round lunch since we really are living a rather sedentary lifestyle on the train.

We waited till after the Omsk stop to have lunch. The stops are far less exciting than I expected from the book. It talks of all these fabulous foodstuffs you can buy. I find it all rather the same and have not bought anything today. I know if I buy snack food, I'll eat it even tho I'm not really hungry, just because it gives you something to do. I did open the packet of biscuits I bought in Moscow today tho. Am rationing myself - haha.

Anyway, yes, the train stops involve little more than a wander along the platform while a Coal Cart stops at each carriage refilling the coal supply for the water heater (samovar). I'm glad I don't drink tea or coffee since I didn't think to bring a cup! I've realised I really didn't give much thought to life on a train before I left at all! There is a UK couple in our carriage who have brought along all their own food. Planning trips to the restaurant carriage are helping to break up my day tho, so I'm quite enjoying it :)

I had trout for lunch today. Not bad, but I definitely preferred last night's chicken!

I tried charging my phone which was almost out of battery in our carriage socket but it was only a 48V so that did nothing but upset me :(

Eventually I did find a socket in the restaurant car so I happily sat with my charging phone, reading for quite a while this afternoon.

We're travelling on Moscow time till the Mongolian border but actually, the local time is slowly changing and today you could really tell. Instead of having light till after 20h30, we lost the sun at 17h30!

It may also be because there seems to have been rain before our arrival in Novosibirsk and the clouds overhead had been looking ominous since much earlier.

Only briefly hopped off at this stop, it was much colder! Hauled out the thick socks, gloves & hat. Brr!

But, after the stop, Rat and I headed to the restaurant carriage and had a light dinner of warm borscht with chicken (I don't know why they bother with the chicken), which was ideal!

I have decided to move my clock ahead tonight because the local time is now Moscow Time + 4, which is the same as Mongolia & China. And I figure the sooner I can get used to the time change the better, otherwise I'll be waking up at 3am to see Lake Baikal in 2 days!

So that makes it now after midnight for me, so I'm off to bed.


Urgh. Am feeling somewhat sorry for myself this morning. After assuring The Trucker that I don't get sick last Wednesday (when he was at the doc getting flu meds), it turns out I may be wrong :P My stupid left lymph node, throat gland or whatever it is is so so sore :( it has been since Saturday. I'm trying to maintain that I'm not, in fact, sick, since I have no other symptoms ... other than the pain when I swallow or cough :( I did have a panic-ed thought this morning that it could be a tonsil? But I don't even know what a tonsil is?!? (Although I do definitely have both of mine still).

Anyway. On with more cheery stuff. The weekend was lovely :) As I assume you must've gathered there is a boy in the picture, for a change, and things are currently quite blissful :)

Thursday evening I spent home and then on Friday night I went for after work drinks at Rocket with some of the girls to catch up. Since the merger we hardly see each other anymore, very sad. And then The Trucker & I went to get take-out Col'Cacchio pizza (yum!) and a dvd. Although we ended up skipping the dvd since we couldn't find one we wanted to watch and spent the evening watching series instead.

On Saturday morning we had breakfast at Doppio and then I headed off to do some much needed Winter shopping. Got a couple of new jerseys :) But am far from done (it's time for new Jeans again I think ... but I am terribly fussy)!

On Saturday evening we went to watch Limitless. I enjoyed it, it is occasionally predictable, but still quite fun to watch.

On Sunday we headed to Rosebank for breakfast at Europa and then to the Rooftop Market because I wanted to get the last frames for my photo wall (tick!). After that we spent the rest of the afternoon watching series and going for a walk (not sure if exercise is smart in my semi-sick state but oh well) and then we watched Up in the Air.

It's a pretty cool movie :) The Trucker has already seen it so I was trying to see how much of it I could predict - haha. He kept a straight face but I got a lot right. 

Sigh, these cold winter evenings are only good for curling up in front of the TV under a blanket! I am definitely missing having a bathtub in my place again :( Sob. And the dark mornings of getting up early for work ... I dunno how I'm gonna make it till 21 June!

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Fossil Artist by Graeme Friedman

This is a novel in the guise of a classic 'whodunit'. It's a story about what makes us human and about how we bring both love and pain to our family relationships. Fossil artist weaves matters of the heart and mind into a compelling story of one family, which traverses time and place, from the East End of London in the early 1900s to great archaeological sites in Africa. Powerful insights into the evolution of the human soul, of our expression of love and war, and of art and language, all emerge in this great story of our constant search for personal understanding. Russ Codron, a well-meaning optician, has dark secrets that not even his wife has been able to dig out of him. But when he is confronted with the mummified remains of his fossil-hunter father, in the pages of the Sunday Times, the chaos of his past crashes into the stability of his present. Needing desperately to find out what really happened to his father, he begins a quest that will lead him to the very core of the biggest scientific fraud of all time – the forgery of the Piltdown Man fossils – and to a discovery what it really means to be able to love.

I did enjoy this book, I guess because it combined so many different things I like to read about: Mummies, Fossils and Archaeology, Autism and plus, it was set locally which is always pretty cool :) The story is not an amazing wow or twisty-turny, it's just an interesting story of one fictional guy's (and I hesitate to use the word) journey to the truth. Anyway, I liked it. And I think The Peeb might too. Maybe like is too strong a word. I was interested to read it and I'm glad I did. Does that make sense?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

27 April: Trans-Mongolian Train (Kirov to Perm2)

Tossed and turned most of the night but did get quite a bit of sleep in the end. Woke up to a knock on the door at 08h30 (I think they were checking who was in each compartment). Was a little nervous we'd get a new addition! Anyway, after that it we were awake and got up. Tried out the carriage toilets, which were still nice and clean although we've read some horror stories about the state of them in the visitor's book we found in our carriage!

No showers on our train (found out much later that the first class carriages had them, but heard they weren't much use), so that'll be interesting. But I did manage to clean my face and brush my teeth in the little toilet compartment.

Then we headed down to find the restaurant carriage. Ordered some Pancakes with Jam and fruit juice for breakfast which turned out to be a great idea! Yum :)

Just after breakfast we stopped at Kirov (my first awake station stop), which means we've travelled almost 1000kms already!

So far the scenery is all quite similar. Lots of thin spindley trees (birch apparently) or firs, dry long grass and occasional patches of snow. Some towns , all of which seem to have wooden houses (for the most part, Russia made me think of Swiss Alps :P). It has a strange feeling of dryness, but a cold dryness (unlike the hot dryness of a desert).

After breakfast we lazed around in the cabin, alternately looking at the passing scenery or reading. I dozed off for about an hour. When there are so few options on what to do, one really has little choice but to truly succumb to relaxation.

At 13h30 we stopped at Balyezino station. This was the first one we've stopped at long enough to get out and have a wander and browse the local stalls. Mostly they're selling chips, beer cigarettes and chocolate etc. But a few have eggs, bread and fish.

And then it was back on the train. More reading, more watching the scenery go by. I will say that the Bryn Thomas book is ideal for this trip! Rat has the Lonely Planet one and it's apparently pretty useless unless you're getting off to explore the towns along the was. And considering this train runs weekly, I can't imagine why you would! Quite a few people on our carriage (which is 1 Norwegian guy, a recently-retired couple from the UK and a Mongolian girl ... and Rat & I) are getting off in Mongolia apparently. Unfortunately I didn't have the time, but I'm also not sure what there is to do there while you wait for the next train to Beijing.

Just before 6pm we stopped at the Perm-2 station. Keep in mind the train stays on Moscow time until we get to Mongolia although, the towns we are passing thru now are 2hrs ahead, which makes it about 8pm local time.

Perm was another get off and stroll the platform stop. But nothing really interesting to see and a few more permanent stalls selling the same old stuff.

After Perm we decided it was time for dinner. The restaurant car was full compared to almost just us at breakfast. But, we weren't in a hurry and the waitress is such a sweet lady rushing around. I'll admit, I was nervous of the food on the train. But it turned out to be usually really good. Although, all the meals look fairly similar, regardless of what you order. For dinner, I had a chicken fillet with cheese, which was one of my fav meals of the train trip. It came with very nice potatoes, fresh tomatoes, peppers and salad and that purple pickled onion stuff, which was not bad at all! I ate it all (except the rogue mushrooms hiding under the cheese sauce!). Rat's pork and the people sitting opposite us's beef looked identical to what I got except with different meat. I do want to try the borscht and the pancakes with caviar too now :) I had a beer with dinner (for some reason I *only* drink beer in foreign countries!) called Tri Myedvedya.

After dinner, I climbed into bed and finished reading my book.

A Three Year Milestone

Sigh. I appear to be having one of those my-brain-is-out-to-get me kinda days. I dunno why, there's no good reason. It's been a mostly good first week back (aside from waking up thinking it must surely be Friday this morning, boy was that a nasty surprise ...). Work is not blissful, but I'm surviving a 5 day week. Actually, today marks 3 years since I first started here. Wow. Seriously, wow. It's the longest I've ever spent at any one company ... although I'm not sure if that's true since it's technically not the same company after the merger. But I won't dwell on  that, it's causing me enough issues of it's own to put a damper of this minor achievement.

Real life is kinda blissful. I have had a busy week social. Out every night ... Had a lovely dinner with @Nadgia on Tuesday night at Luca's. So good to catch up, I haven't seen her since before she went away in April!

And then last night I went to The Trucker's for dinner. He cooked! We had some delish pasta, and I got spoilt with hot chocolate the way Rocket makes it too. It was lovely. Just a quiet evening chatting, eating and watching series.

 Oh, and some very exciting news (maybe, I don't really know what it means yet ...), I was invited to add my blog to the Nokia Ovi App store. So it's there. Feel free to download it or whatever it is you do with a Nokia App. Me, I'm entered into this competition to see if I can win a trip to SXSW 2012 (based on downloads from the App Store in July). And failing that, I still have a cute little cactus from Nokia on my desk ;)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

26 April: Moscow to Trans-Mongolian Train

Okay, so let me just start by saying that it sucks a lot more than I ever realised being miles away from anyone who even knows it is your birthday. But thanks to the free hotel wifi, I felt lots of love via Facebook, Twitter and BBM and I got plenty of smses too. So I didn't feel completely neglected ;) In fact I was completely amazed at all the wishes I received and repeatedly surprised at who all they came from. It really did make my day :)

And what a day it was. I had to repeatedly remind my feet that they have 7 days of just about no walking coming up, but they are still absolutely killing me!

I was up at 8am, showered and had repacked my bag before breakfast. I left the hotel around 10am after checking out. Off I headed back to Red Square (via a few more ornate metro stations) to queue to see Lenin's Mausoleum.

To say it was weird, even for me, would be an understatement. I'm not really sure why no photo's are allowed but, whatever. There he lies looking an awful lot like a Madame Tussaud wax figure. It did make me wonder who else in the last 100yrs they're preserved on purpose (I found out in China, that they've done the same to Mao. And apparently Ho Chi Minh too ... anyone else?). What a weird thought. I also saw Yuri Gargarin's memorial stone in the Kremlin wall.

After that I went to the Archaeological Museum which wasn't at all quite what I was expecting. It's more like a museum built underground around some ancient walls they discovered right there. Pretty cool, but I could've given it a skip. Most interesting to me were the money hoards that were found randomly hidden away so many years later. How awesome! (Oh, and to say my currency collection got a boost after this trip would be quite an understatement ;) )

Then, I figured since I am in Russia, I really should make the effort and go inside the Kremlin to check out the Faberge Egg exhibition because, where else am I likely to see that anyway?

The inside of The Kremlin complex was pretty cool. Lots of ornate churches. The Faberge Egg exhibition was a little disappointing - only 6 of the actual eggs on display. But they were pretty awesome to see. The rest was other gem-stuffs, which was nice enough to see, but didn't enthrall me all that much.

I stopped and had lunch in the gardens outside the Kremlin. I bought a sausage in a roll from a little stall. Street-food! Oh, and I saw the Eternal Flame at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier too.

Since it was still quite early in the afternoon, I decided why not go to the Moscow Zoo as well. Well, the Moscow Zoo is an experience. The place was far more packed with people than I could really understand. It was like going back in time! The enclosures are like old-style concrete floored cages. Truly surreal. It reminded me of what I expect the Old Zoo below Rhodes Memorial must've been like (I once had the opportunity to wander the overgrown remains as a child, it was awesome!). I kinda rushed thru it because the bizarre enclosures held a morbid fascination for me and I just felt sorry for the poor animals :(

Oh, and did I mention that it's pretty much in the middle of the city? You even have to cross over a bridge above heavy traffic to get from one half of the zoo to another. Truly a surreal experience. I wouldn't recommend it at all.

And then I really had to head back to the hotel to rest my weary feet. They got about an hour's break before I headed out again.

Next on my list was the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics. I think this was the highlight of my Moscow visit (and I'm not even that into space at all!). Even tho I could barely understand any of it (it was all in Russian), it is fantastically done with so many interesting bits of space-history. It is kinda awesome being there in the month of the 50th anniversay of Yuri Gargarin's Space Flight. The even have the first 2 dogs in space (stuffed), Mark Shuttleworth's space suit (that little piece of home definitely brought a smile to my face! And I've just found out, thanks Wikipedia, that yesterday, 25 April, marked 9 years since his space flight launched!) and a life sized model of the MIR space station which I got to go into.

After that, I dragged myself off to do a little grocery shopping before the train trip. Have bought myself 2 packets of novelty flavoured Lays to try: Crab and Caviar!

I got collected at the hotel by Tatyana and she took me to the station to wait for my train and then saw me onto it. I'm on carriage 6, berth 5. Luckily I'm only sharing with one other person, a UK/Australian girl, Rat. Yay, the relief was awesome (for us both, I think!). I have no idea how they fit 4 people in here usually!

The train left the station at 21h35 and we were on our way. We had a quiet night, just figuring out our cabin. We made our beds and chatted and read our books. There was not much to see in the dark thru the dirty windows.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

25 April: Moscow

Wow, what a fabulous full day I had in Moscow! I'll be honest and say I'm now looking forward to tomorrow more than ever. I think Moscow is very cool!

I slept well, woke up at 8am and went down for an average breakfast. I met up with my guide, Tatyana, at 10am. Okay, so here is about when I realise that this is not a tour group like I'm used to travelling with. It is literally me, on my own. I don't know if just no one else booked or this is just the way they do tours (as in you would book for a group thru them instead of them making up a group, like Intrepid does it). Anyway, will leave the worry about being completely alone on the train for another time!

We skipped the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics because it is closed on Mondays and I'd already wandered the rest myself yesterday. So we went straight to these Pavillions. I'm not sure I really understand them, but I think they were basically constructed to provide market places. Anyway, they were nice enough to wander thru.

After that we hopped on the Metro at VDNKh and she showed me how the tickets work etc. First we travelled to Prospect Mira where we got out, then to Komsomolskaya and then to Novoslobodskaya. This was all to see some of their gorgeously decorated Metro Stations. It was quite amazing! It is awesome that you can travel as much as you like, changing lines, on one trip cost until you go back up to the ground level. And it's only 28RUB per trip.

After that we headed to Smolenskaya and came up to walk along Arbat Street (a pedestrians only street). Was so peaceful, just a normal working day here in Moscow (back home it's a public holiday!).

From there we arrived at The Kremlin. We didn't go inside. I'm not sure I'm that interested to but, I might tomorrow depending on time because apparently there is a Faberge Egg Exhibition on. Other than that, I'm just not sure it's worth the long queues to get inside.

We walked around to the State History Museum building and stood on Kilometre Zero (apparently all distances in Moscow are measured from there). There is obviously some tradition of standing and throwing a coin behind you while standing on it but, what I thought was most peculiar was that there was an old Russian lady collecting the thrown coins up right as they landed. She wasn't even being subtle!

And then it was on into Red Square! Not super impressive (it's just a square), but I did absolutely adore St Basil's Cathedral. It really does look like something right out of Disneyland :)

We walked down to the bridge over the Moskva river and looked at the view. And then I asked what else there was left to do on our city-tour. Turns out we were done. Being just me, we'd managed to cover it all before 13h30. So, I sent my guide on her way, thrilled that I could spend the afternoon at the State History Museum. It seems to be one of the few things I want to see that is open on a Monday. Everything else is closed and I'll be trying to fit in tomorrow on my free day :)

But first, lunch as part of my traditional foreign MacDonalds experience. I had the Chicken & Bacon burger. The queues were insane (I was hoping that at 13h30 I'd have missed the lunchtime rush but no, it was chaos!). It was not noteworthy.

The State History Museum was pretty cool. Russia clearly has a very well documented history. I'll be honest and say they lost me a few military-uniform-rooms in. But I was fascinated by their old books on display. Apparently the Russian State Library (which we'd walked past on our way from Arbat Street to The Kremlin) is the 2nd biggest library in the world (third according to wikipedia).

After that I headed back to the hotel to collect my train ticket for tomorrow from a courier.

I spent my lonely evening going for two hour-long walks, exploring the area around the hotel. It is lovely that the sun is setting so late here. I didn't sit down for dinner till 20h30! Sadly I didn't find anywhere interesting to eat on my walks so I ate at another of the hotel restaurants. This time I spoilt myself with a fancy last-day-of-30 dinner of Russian Champagne and pasta with Salmon and Red Caviar. It was delish :)

Forgotten Things

There are so many things to blog about and so little time (at the moment). Things I forgot from yesterday's post:

1. This weekend was the DSJ Beerfest (apparently), which means it is pretty much exactly 7 years since I arrived in Joburg (after the longest drive ever with Mom). Wow, if you'd asked me then if I thought I would still be here now, the answer would definitely have been NO! But hey, life happens :)

2. I got stuffs. On Friday I received 2 deliveries. One I'm still trying out and will blog about another time. And the other was from Nokia with an invitation to add my blog to their Ovi App Store (it's being reviewed so isn't available yet, but I figured it was pretty ideal timing what with my holiday 2011 posts kicking off). Apparently I can win a competition too ;)

And then yesterday evening I got spoilt at SCM. Wow I have missed those dinners :) There was a gorgeous cake to wish me happy birthday and welcome home! And gifts! Sigh, I won't lie, it's been kinda weird missing my birthday, like it didn't happen at all. I should probably organise something myself, but it just seems not really worth the effort.

I think that's about everything I forgot ...

Monday, May 23, 2011

24 April: Johannesburg to Dubai to Moscow

06h20 (Dubai time = SA time + 2hrs)
I arrived at Dubai airport about an hour ago and did a thorough wander thru their duty-free. Not much of interest there, honestly. Was also quite tired because I didn't get much sleep on the flight from Joburg :(

Am so far not terribly impressed with my Emirates flying experience. Wouldn't you know, I get the only entertainment screen that wasn't working. At least the audio was fine tho because I need that to sleep on a plane. I will also say that the plus side of not being able to watch any Movies or TV was that I went thru all the audio on offer and found Tom Lehrer under the comedy section. Most of you probably won't have a clue who that is, but Gumdrop had all the records and I love him! So I sang along merrily to all the songs, smiling, reminded of Gum :)

Sigh, and something I can't stand when flying is sitting next to people who spill out of their own seat and into your tiny space. I was surrounded by a South African Muslim family of about 20, from grandmother to young kiddies and all the adult family members in between. It is equally unpleasant to be constantly talked over on a flight. Oh, and it was kinda surreal constantly having the 2 women next to me mumbling. I figured it was some kind of prayer they were saying and assumed that perhaps they were nervous flyers (it started just before take-off). But it just didn't stop. In fact, they got out their weird clicker-counter things and clearly they have to mumble the same thing an infinite number of times. Weird religionisms, I tell ya.

The food on the flight was fine and I had quite a nice blue-cheese pasta with vegetable ratatouille. Can't say the same for the very boring breakfast tho. And they must've cranked up the heating overnight because I was boiling hot!

It's another 3 hours or so before my next flight .... *waiting*

21h30 (Moscow time = SA time + 4hrs)
The time in Dubai passed uneventfully and soon I was on my flight to Moscow. Weird how some people just look Russian! Haha, do I look South African?

I sat next to a Russian guy who also took up more than his own seat and had a furious body odour. He was on his way home from the Seychelles and we attempted some conversation.

This time, my in-flight entertainment was working so I managed to watch some movies. First up was The Tourist, which I'd kinda meant to see on big screen but never got round to. Honestly I fell asleep watching it and finished it during lunch. It is a decidedly average offering from the likes of Angelina & Johnny and had a terribly predictable ending. Yawn.

Next I watched 127 Hours because I was curious about the story, but not curious enough to watch it at the cinema. This is one of those movies that does exactly what it says on the box. There is not really any "wow" to the storyline but the story itself (I say that because you pretty much know it all upfront, you're just going to watch it all play out). And yes, it is completely cover-your-eyes cringe worthy at the crucial moment. But, I think it's quite amazing what humans can do running on survival instinct alone.

And then it was just about time to land in Moscow. It's always quite strange landing in a new country. I mean, you know it's going to be different and all, but it's the how that always surprises me. Domodedovo airport seems to be in a logging district and is surrounded by fir and birch trees. It's pretty awesome to see.

Customs was easy, there were not that many people arriving without Russian passports. Baggage collection, however, was stressful. They literally had each bag come out on the carousel one by one. And mine just never came. But they did announce that all over-sized and fragile luggage had to be collected separately. Clearly they obeyed those old fragile stickers I still had stuck to my bag and that's where I found it.

I exited to find a man with my name on a board and he got me to my transfer. The drive was lengthy but I am so glad I learnt the alphabet because I could figure out some of the signs along the way just from sounding the letters out :)

I nodded off repeatedly in the cab on the way to Hotel Cosmos and on arrival it sure is intimidating. But I'm thrilled to find myself on the 22nd floor (of 25), with a lovely view!

There is free wifi here so I managed to catch up with a few people. I also took a little stroll across the road to Cosmonaut Alley. The sun didn't set till after 20h30! Sadly I didn't have enough time to get to the State History Museum this afternoon tho :( I'm really quite disappointed about that cause it's closed on Tuesdays and tomorrow we have our city-tour.

I had a quiet dinner in one of the many hotel restaurants and a nice hot bath. And now I'm off to read for a bit and then off to bed.

Welcome Back Weekend

So, it was my first weekend back. I'd like to say that after 2 days back at work I really needed it, luckily I didn't (but I'm not holding my breath that by Thursday of this week I won't). But it was a very welcome break none the less.

On Friday evening I went for dinner at Doppio Zero with The Trucker and then we went to watch Water for Elephants. Yes, I know it has that awful Robert Pattinson in it, but I loved the book so I figured I would overlook this fatal flaw.

It was not spectacular, it was a bit slow at stages. And really, they should have picked a better male lead. As if it could be possible, I think even less of this dude now than I did after Twilight :P What on earth do people see in him?!? Anyhoo, it was still a nice night out :)

On Saturday morning we went for breakfast at my favourite spot, The Salvation Cafe. The Trucker decided he needed to see if it was as awesome as I said it was :) Luckily he agrees, haha. Yum, it was just the breakfast I had in mind for my first weekend back!

And then it was admin Saturday with collecting post, buying bunny food and a new fish pump etc. The Trucker came over again in the afternoon after he'd been to work for a bit ... to fix my toilets :P (They don't seem to stop running water after flushing, it is breaking my recycling heart) Hahaha, I know. It's kinda surreal honestly. Trusting a boy to know how to actually do DIY. And he got them both working properly again (although the one seems to be leaking again, which he won't believe since they were working when he left! Haha).

And then on Saturday evening I headed off to have a holiday-catch-up dinner with Loulou (she'd been to Italy while I was off in Russia & China) at Adega. Yay for 1Kg of King Prawns and Strawberry Daquiris :)

After dinner, I went to Red Room for a bit with The Trucker, but it was a weird evening with a weird crowd. So we didn't stay very late.

Sunday was very lazy and spent watching series and eating crumpets for breakfast :) I managed to get a few of my holiday posts ready (Yay, they'll be starting today!). And that was pretty much the whole of Sunday. It was a beautiful day, and I did sort of feel I should've done something outdoorsey, but well, there'll be other weekends for that ... since The Rapture didn't get us :P Pahahahaha.

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