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這篇文章真的很難寫。花了好長的時間,草稿改了又改,卻仍寫不出這段尼泊爾行帶給我的回憶。回想起來,在尼泊爾的時光就像是粉紅色的泡泡般,美好的事情都融在一起,不知道該從何開始敘述才好。記得走在加德滿都(Kathmandu)煙囂塵上的街,而伴隨著此起彼落震耳欲聾的喇叭聲的是尼泊爾人一張張友善的笑臉,還有在布卡拉(Pokhara)看到喜馬拉雅山一角的壯麗,以及騎摩托車「落殘」的經驗(沒錯,本人就是在台灣沒騎過摩托車,第一次上路就是挑戰尼泊爾泥巴路的傻妞(更傻的是,泥巴路沒摔,反倒在柏油路上摔了,嚇傻一票尼泊爾 人 拍謝 ))、還有在奇特旺(Chitwan)第一次騎大象、第一次泛舟就救了一票落船的中國遊客、以及尼泊爾司機說天氣太熱就載我們到山間的瀑布去游泳的隨興。

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封面

如同在上一篇文章中說的,我的書終於出版了!沒經歷過寫書的人不會知道出一本書是一場多麼陣痛的過程。什麼「倫敦自助超簡單」,根本就要改成「倫敦寫書不簡單才對」......

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超大的房間、國王size的床、獨立的衛浴、高隱私獨立進出的大門、免費高速wifi、噴水池、健身房、游泳池 - 這些都是米愛拉's房間能令旅人徹底放鬆的原因。而且一岀家門步行30秒(是秒,不是分喔)即達輕軌地鐵DLR Deptford Bridge站,十分安全,並有24小時直達所有觀光景點的巴士,交通四通八達,就算在市區玩晚了也不用擔心沒有車回家。

民宿位在倫敦2區,就在觀光重鎮格林威治的旁邊,到格林威治天文臺、格林威治市集走路都只要10-15分鐘,整個就像是我家的後花園。

, , ,

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嗚嗚嗚,開始戴牙套已經第4天了,整個覺得自己就是Ugly Bettey的女主角…雖然不像想像中痛,頂多也只是酸酸的感覺,但還是偶爾有種想要「繳械」的衝動,牙齒變得一大包,講話要花費很大力氣才不會大舌頭,吃東西都是用吞的,然後還要馬上刷牙,刷出一對麵條、肉絲之類的 XD,最重要的是自己講話在氣勢上莫名的弱了一些,唉呦…..超期待今年10月初就可以把它卸下來(這不就是個懷胎10月嗎)indefenseof-uglybetty-650

這真的不是我

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12月了、12月了(飛踢,搞甚麼鬼,都已經6號了!)想必倫敦的現在應該凍到不行吧,阿布達比也是變得號冷,大概25度左右吧(又要被踢了)XD。不過說實在的和倫敦到處張燈結綵的聖誕燈飾相比,阿布達比真是一點聖誕的氣氛都沒有,反倒是滿街的燈飾慶祝12/2號的國慶日,成為變相的「聖誕裝飾」。而且這邊的人真是超級愛國的,很多人還把車子塗上國旗的顏色,甚至是自己國家的leaders臉也印在超車上(可以想像把馬英九印上 車的樣子嗎?Safe挖鼻孔)、甚至投影到一整個建築物上,未免也太愛了吧。

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糊到不行的照片,大家矇看啊。總之路上那一團一團白白的光都是慶祝國慶日的燈飾,左邊大樓上白色的圖就是UAE每個邦的國王的剪影,慶祝聯合在一起43年。

好了!Enough Update from UAE,還是言歸正專說說倫敦這個月有甚麼值得期待的活動吧。

 

Mid Nov- Dec, 2014
CHRISTMAS LIGHTS IN THE WESTEND 倫敦聖誕燈飾 FREE

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BBC在英國有一齣有名的真人實境秀,叫做「Don't Tell the Bride」,節目很簡單,就是要在新娘完全不能參與的情況下讓新郎和新郎的狐群狗黨伴郎籌辦一場會讓新娘感動的婚禮。但弔詭的是,無論新郎多麼有心、多麼認真、多麼會規畫,結果通通都事與願違:新娘往往尖叫的比笑的多、抓狂的比喜悅的多、不出所料的在三個時刻歷經情緒崩潰:1. 看到新郎幫她選的婚紗時;2. 看到新郎幫牠的伴娘選得婚紗;3. 看到實際的婚禮會場時。(“Oh my god, oh my god, he is going to ruin my wedding!”)。

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根據大眼妹翠斯特說,我最近每次在部落格上發文都以「懺悔文」做開場白,雖然不甘心,但好像這又是一篇要以懺悔文型式開頭的文章……我錯了,我沒有更新倫敦10月活動;我錯了,這3個禮拜都沒有好好寫文章;我錯了,這4個禮拜玩得太兇,文章都不知道從哪裡開始寫(<-這已經不是懺悔文,是炫耀聞了吧(飛踢))。1382973261-lord-mayor-fireworks

照片出處

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其實在歡樂的氣氛中,還是有難過的事情的:那就是我們家的民宿在10/8號的時候正式收起來了。經營了2年多,近3年的時間裡,遇到了好多客人,發生了好多事情。從只需要為一間房間的客人做早餐,變到要做3間客房的早餐,再到因為搬到阿布達比之後而不得不取消早餐的這一年,好多的變化,很感謝,曾經給我機會讓我(還有之後的傑克管家)接待的客人;更多的感謝是給所有曾經幫助過我的親友:Ivy、大眼妹翠斯特、傑克先生、觀光客不知道的倫敦版主Whitney、Moote好好宅的Moote、另外是我最親愛的先生(也是我們家民宿實際的老闆)黑羊兄、還有我的公公婆婆。

想感謝的人太多,想敘述的回憶也太多,就讓我先暫停在這裡吧~

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剛從熱鬧的水上波頓離開後,來到Bibury時發現觀光客瞬間少了四分之三,少了人聲就多了分靜謐,也更合適這個寧靜的小村莊…

The Swan Hotel的外牆上有許多生長在牆上的植物,為這間歷史悠久的建築物帶來了許多生機,不只外觀美,在官網上看到的房間內部圖也美得讓我差點想灑大錢入住,但一晚要價129鎊起跳,我還是摸摸鼻子把網頁關掉吧,而飯店內的鱒魚料理評價也相當不錯,大家有機會來這不要錯過.

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Hello~這個禮拜要先跟大家分享科茲窩的其中一個小鎮【Stow on the wold】

那就請大家動動手指,點進去照片裡面看介紹唷~

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科茲窩小旅行的第一站, 就由Stow on the wold一間從1890年就開業的麵包店來揭開序幕吧!

在像似教堂但其實是圖書館旁的公車站下車後,就是一陣撲鼻誘人的麵包香氣『HUFFKINS』從外觀來看它有一個特別的地方,有發現到了嗎? 它長的…歪歪的,是不是很可愛呢?

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『HUFFKINS』除了是間麵包店外,在隔壁也有一間提供下午茶跟飲品的TEA ROOMS,但當天去的時候店內滿滿的客人,加上我們也要趕行程,只好選擇外帶摟.

我買了肉桂捲,朋友挑了SCONE跟鹹派,要跟大家強力推薦它的鹹派, 雖然依舊是典型的英國食物“冷冰冰”的派,但內餡調味處理的嘟嘟好,不會過鹹,朋友也直說好像在吃豬肉餡餅唷,只不過是冷的~哈哈 另外SCONE也好好吃,不愧是曾經得過獎的,口感上比較紮實, 有著淡淡的奶油香味,如果在配上鮮奶油及果醬那就太完美摟!!! (在這裡要說聲搜哩,因為我們實在太餓,所以…就沒拍到食物照)

遺珠之憾是忘記買『HUFFKINS』的購物袋,這種挺板的麻布材質最適合拿來裝便當了,顏色還有我最喜歡的粉紅跟草綠可以選擇,天阿…我怎麼會錯過它呢!!!

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“Stow on the wold”

這裡的房屋外觀幾乎都很相似,唯一不同的變化就在門上面,最喜歡的就是這一個,厚實的木門上,有著幾道像是經過歲月的淬煉才會留下的痕跡,和一些復古鐵鑄的裝飾.但似乎推開它要花上不小的力氣唷~

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喜歡這種飽和的綠色,另外發現在小鎮裡好多人的家門口都會在牆壁上掛著這樣彭派的花籃,或是養一些會攀爬的藤蔓植物,沿著牆壁上展開的生長,也是另一種特殊的裝潢呢!

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通常在倫敦的郵局,就是很簡單的寫著POST OFFICE,而且不起眼到常常讓我錯過它,但在這裡,掛上一個小招牌,畫上招牌的紅色郵筒,讓人想忽略也難阿…

下週請繼續收看…

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I found it very hard to put how I feel about Nepal into words. Since coming back from the country in the beginning of August, I don't know how many times have I rewritten my draft, but still couldn't manage to convey half of my feelings. How dusty and noisy Kathmandu was (no joke, it can drive every traveller mental in less than 10 minutes). How hard it was to find a restaurant that looked remotely safe from diarrhoea, and how annoying the power-cuts were that came everyday along with your breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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"Nepalese beauties"

However, despite all these, I remembered one after another friendly faces greeting me with a shy "Namaste", how helpful they were to me when I fell off from a bike in the mountain of Pokhara, and how much fun we had with our driver when he found a waterfall on the way back, let alone of all the stunning landscape, mountains and lakes.

My heart came alive again during the 6 days in Nepal.

Living in a city like Abu Dhabi, where there is infinite wealth from oil revenue, the concept of poverty, or conservation does not exist. BMW is normal. Even Aston Martin isn't that scarce. In this city, you got endless supply of one shopping mall after another shopping mall; one high-rise after another high-rise. As long as you have the money, you can get whatever you want.

But why I feel so empty here.

How different is the place where I am living to any other places I have been in the world? We eat hamburgers, pasta and afternoon teas. We got oversupply of food, LV, GUCCI, or Channel (the poor's version would be H&M and Zara) . But what's the culture here? What's so unique about this place? Despite from having a comfortable life, what's left? Is it inevitable that wealth in a globalised world creates homogeneous culture? Or is it simply how human beings naturally would like to live? I can't even find the purpose for why we work, why we earn money.

But Nepal is different. Nepal is still poor, so there is no McDonald's, department stores. Many people still live in houses that seem going to fall apart soon, and they probably still eat the same curries which their grandparents have taught them to make. Men wear little hats and women get this red dot on their forehead. Majority of the people still farm on the same pieces of lands they inherit from their ancestors. Their living condition is poor, but it feels authentic.

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Crazy Kathmandu. Small streets packed with traffic, noise, dust, horns.

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The house is seriously falling apart....

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Is it even safe to live in such a house?

But I know, the reason I can say I like Nepal's authenticity so easily is because - I don't live there. I can consume their "authentic" lifestyle preserved by poverty, but I can also quit poverty whenever I am tired and return to my forever 22°C apartment anywhere in the world whenever I want. I earn more in a month than a Nepalese in a year and I don't have to worry about being woken up by non-stop horning at 5am in the morning.

I don't know how I can call myself a non-selfish traveller?

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Can I live a life as such?

The smiles on Nepalese's faces disguise the history that Nepal had a domestic war only 8 years ago followed by regime change. Their friendly attitudes also made travellers happily ignore the fact that this place also has high suicide rate, and the reason is, unsurprisingly, poverty. Many parents drink pesticide to kill themselves because they can't afford to pay back the debts, leaving their kids becoming orphans or street kids.

"Very few street kids in Nepal manage to survive more than 5 years", said by the director and founder of My Home Orphanage, Mr. Ramesh. "However, under current political regime, there is no welfare available to them but from private civil society."

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I am still very grateful that I had a chance to see this side of Nepal, which is heart breaking and can be easily distracted by all the beautiful landscape and rich local culture. I know, if I didn't stay at B&B Cocina Mitho Chha, and listened to the owner, Mr. Debendra about his objective of establishing the B&B in aim to fund his cooking school teaching teenagers from disadvantaged family to learn the skill of cooking, and took me to visit the orphanage, My Home, I would have easily missed out this side of Nepal. Like an ordinary traveller, or tourist, shall I say, thinking how can this place entertain me, instead of how normal people here live their life.

As mentioned previously, Cocina Mitho Chaa isn't just a B&B; it is a social enterprise. Its objective is to provide funding to the cooking school helping teenagers from the orphanage or poor family to learn the skill of cooking at the age of 16 or 17.

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Adorable kids at My Home Orphanage

Mr. Debendra (first left); Director and Founder of My Home, Mr. Ramesh (second to the left; a volunteer from Spain (third to the right)

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Learning English and math. Mr. Ramesh wants to provide every kid the education that suites them the most.

Why did Mr. Ramesh start the orphanage?

To him, the answer was simple. Because if he didn't do it, those kids will die

When I asked Mr. Debendra why he started the cooking school?

Because if those kids leave the orphanage without any survival skill, they will never be able to leave poverty. Will never be self-sufficient.

The orphanage sustains their lives, but the cooking school provides them with a better future.

After all, everything is about surviving.

Seeing this side of Nepal broke my heart. However thanks to people like Mr. Ramesh and Mr. Debendra, I also saw the most beautiful side of Nepal.

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In a shabby room,

listening to teacher explaining how to make every tourist's must try - Momo.

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第二站來到號稱是英國的小威尼斯『Bourton on the water 』
滿 滿 滿到溢出來的觀光客,是我對這裡的第一個印象,連想要拍張沒有遊客入鏡的照片都無法阿… 

Bourton on the water是個一眼望去,大概五秒鐘就能快速瀏覽完的小小村莊,中間的一條河流就是整個村莊的主軸,所有的吃喝玩樂都圍繞在這週邊,河岸旁有許多餐廳跟紀念品商店.

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今年的9月出乎我意料的是個很多人要來倫敦玩的月份耶~好像比傳統暑假7、8月還要受歡迎的樣子。所以早在8月中的時候就有好多小傢伙在敲碗想要知道倫敦9月的活動了。

Open House

9月,一到9月就= Open House Day!!

唉,不過身為不負責任的部落客(攤手),還是罔顧了普羅大眾的心聲,硬是拖到了現在才發出(好,我去跪算盤好了...)不過好加在,今天才9月2號(有膽再說這種不負責任的話)

其實每次當我在寫倫敦每月活動的時候都會驚覺時間流逝之快還有一堆沒做到的新年計畫!像我的運動計畫、每天早上喝果汁記話、每天早起計畫、讀聖經計畫、部落格計畫,似乎都是虎頭蛇尾中(除了減肥計畫之外,這真的有在認真執行),看是要來個期中補考了,不然今年底又要捶心肝怨嘆時光匆匆了(不~~~)

大家一起加油吧!(如果不介意的話,歡迎在下面留言分享你2014年新年計畫(未)達成進度)

對了,對了,因為我現在住在阿布達比的關係,為了持續帶給大家關於倫敦最新的訊息,我的粉絲頁上最近加入了生力軍Chloe,她的【Chloe倫敦默默觀察周記】會持續記錄他在倫敦糜爛吃喝玩樂實用的資訊,大家去按個讚吧!(這裡: 米愛拉’s倫敦遊)

 

Sep1-30, 2014 & FREE

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Hello 8月了、8月了、是8月了呀!每年的8月8號,除了定期會收到一通米媽要我別忘了祝賀米爸父親節快樂的簡訊外,額外的大事就是我的部落格要過生日了。說是過生日,但根本就是個「展望會」(就是期待自己下一年會做得更好之類的什麼良心大批判會,因為什麼都沒做到 。)依照慣例,是要烤個蛋糕慶祝的,但是有看我粉絲頁的人就知道這項慣例因為黑羊兄做得一件事情而被打破了。

那就是,「親愛的先生,你買到一台烤到一半會自動熄火的烤箱了!!」unbelievable unbelievable unbelievable

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How to judge a cup of coffee?

Different type of coffees

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Namaste!趁著阿布達比齋戒月最後幾天的連假,黑羊兄和我去了一趟尼泊爾,直到這禮拜5才回到阿布達比。雖然只去了短短的幾天,我卻整個愛上了這個友善的國家,就算回到了阿布達比,腦中仍然不斷出現尼泊爾人親切的打招呼語「Namaste~」,好想和你們分享這一趟在尼泊爾的點滴。

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不過在分享之前重要的事情還是躲不掉的,哼哼哼~那就是倫敦8月活動啊!8月的倫敦依舊沐浴在溫暖的陽光中(一年溫暖也不過那幾天了!)所以活動甚麼的依舊是非常之多喔,其中又以一年一度的諾丁丘嘉年華會最顯盛大,如果那時候剛好在倫敦的話,千忘記得別錯過了。

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Lovebox-35

最近正個穆斯林世界都進入齋戒月了吧,我也是到阿布達比之後才發現原來齋戒月的開始與結束都是要看月亮的形狀來決定的耶,而且一到齋戒月,只要是穆斯林當太陽還在天上的時候都不能吃東西,於是大家都是早上4、5點爬起來吃早餐,吃完後睡個回籠覺,之後上班,然後比平時早2小時下班,之後又是回家睡覺,一直到太陽快下山之前在爬起來煮飯,會是衝去餐廳「等食」。

真的是等食喔,尤其在餐廳你會看到許多人桌上擺滿一盤盤的食物,眼巴巴的一直看著,就等時間一到,馬上狼吞虎嚥起來。所以雖然是齋戒月,但其實一想根本就是養豬月嘛,吃了就睡、睡醒了再吃,難怪每個人都沒變瘦,一樣肥滋滋的。

不過說到變瘦,我最近變瘦了,好開心!!!!!我終於回復到生產前的體重了。喔,對齁,我壓根就沒生過小孩,也還沒懷孕,不能拿這個當藉口。

那我為什麼會變胖!!!!!

嗚嗚,總之都是寫書害得...為了寫餐廳的評論,每天又睡眠不足狂吃之下,寫一本書胖了近5公斤,而且不知道是老了還是怎樣,以前明明很好減的體質,只要少吃一點,一個禮拜可以瘦個2公斤,但這次卻怎樣都減不下來,整個就是體脂肪有自己的意志,拒絕離開我的身體...我被指防附身了。而且麻煩的事情我真的做不來,像之前曾經試圖吃簡單、清單的減肥,但是餐餐要我煮真的是要命!而且你越不讓我吃得食物我越有衝動要吃,簡直是體內養了一隻野獸,不只性情兇猛,還很懶散,讓我無法持之以恆,做飯都這樣了,更何況是運動...結果體重當然是文風不動。

不過好在最近終於瘦下來一點了,我真的是要灑花加尖叫了!從原本的56公斤,終於瘦到52.7公斤左右了,其中受最多的是大腿,瘦了近6公分。唉呦我的媽呀,我真是太開心了,還要繼續努力,希望可以持續瘦下去,還我婚前身材~

啊~My God,忘了這篇文章其實是要介紹7月活動(7月都過了10天了說....),差點變成我的減肥日記了 XD 減肥的事情等我更有成果時再說吧!

以下,遲來的7月活動

 

June 27 – Aug 31, 2014 FREE

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最適合第一次約會的餐廳在哪裡呢?

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圖2.2-19倫敦活動

不敢相信,不敢相信,不敢相信!!!2014年居然已經快要過完一半了!說好今年要努力懷孕的計畫,怎麼過了半年還是一點動靜都沒有(皇上~~~~)然後說到減重計畫,怎麼減就只減了1公斤(還不時來給我個上下振福orz),然後部落格仍舊無法做到一周兩更(嗚嗚)看來如果要在今年底能夠很驕傲的回首的話,下半年要非常認真努力了!!重新許下下半年年度計畫!

6月對倫敦人而言就是「夏天真的要來啦~」的那一種感覺,每年到了這個時候就會有超多活動,一個一個冒出來,而且重量級的活動更是多。像是女王生日啊,溫布頓啊,倫敦餐廳節啊,總之6月的倫敦是個天天跑場的日子。所以我對不起大家啊,拖到現在才寫活動資訊,嗚嗚嗚~~~請節哀吧請看下去吧。

對了,雖然倫敦6月漸漸轉暖,但是早晚溫差仍然很大,沒有太陽的地方一樣讓你冷得批批挫,所以防寒衣物、雨具一定都要帶好喔。

 

May 30 – July14 , 2014 FREE

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我是英國人了!

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