[公告] 豐掌櫃《最佳銷售王》活動賽況排行及得獎名單(5/25第二批名單公佈)[公告] 痞客邦 PIXNET MIB(MONEY IN BLOG)部落格廣告分潤計劃申請流程調整[公告] 2015年度農曆春節期間服務公告 [公告] 痞客邦《行動管家app》全新改版上線囉![公告] 豐掌櫃「7 - ELEVEN 取貨」功能上線囉!部落格買賣小物,連物流都好便利~(得獎名單公佈)

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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好就沒有update倫敦活動了。從今年二月開始,我的生活整個轉了180度彎。因為公公得了急性淋巴癌的關係,我從二月開始就搬到了香港住,開始和婆婆兩人一起照顧公公,而情緒上也時常像座雲些飛車般隨這公公的時好時壞的病情起伏震盪。真的領悟到人生真的一切都是暫時的,痛苦的、幸福的、辛苦的、開心的,一切都是暫時的。真的要在有限的人生中好好努力,其他一切都只能交給上帝了 :)

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我覺得人生越少堅持的事情越有趣。這當然不是說我隨波逐流(難道是水性楊花?),相反的我強調的是極度的擇善固執,但除了少數的「善」之外,我倒是非常享受「不固執」帶來的樂趣。像拿跟朋友吃飯這件事說吧,除非吃了會讓我破產、拉肚子、行程過趕,不然朋友選擇的餐廳我都OK。對我而言這完全不遷就,反而非常有趣,不僅能讓我跳出自己平時行為的舒適圈,還能讓我透過觀察朋友的選擇讓我更認識對方。除了選餐廳之外,我也很享受讓朋友選菜。只是,凡事都有例外,有時就是會有幾個「特別」的朋友一不小心讓事情變成讓我頭皮發麻的情況:……當朋友點的菜離我的舒適圈真的太遠的時候,怎辦?

Scared and Angry

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這次來香港,對香港人有3個觀察:

1. 香港人對好就是好、海港酒家 (3 of 52)壞就是壞的好惡分明,說起話來直接無比、吃起飯來各個是食評。如果餐廳膽敢端出不好吃的東西,香港人第一口下肚後包準即刻抱怨、吃到一半再補一次、吃完後還要再來個回馬槍,就是要徹底紓發心中不爽啦。

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FQ1031如果你自認是個無藥可救的數學白癡;如果你相信數學好等於聰明(而自己剛好屬於另外一邊的人);或者已經確信自己永遠都不可能有數學細胞,那這本書就是寫給你的。拜託你拿起這本書吧!他拯救了我。(如果你是教數學的老師,或者是老師,也拜託你繼續讀完這篇文章吧)。

會拿起這本書是因為我的數學很差(對啦,有上面那些陣頭的就是我啦)。尤其上了高中開始,數學就更是常常在不及格邊緣。但偏偏我功課並不差,而且高中也是念了個第一志願,但不知道為什麼常常一看到數學考卷腦筋就瞬間變空白,看到數學也就越來越害怕。

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DSC00854 耶!現在人在香港喔!(揮手)然後有點怪異的是我這一趟香港行的第一篇美食文居然是以一間德國餐廳登場。唉~沒辦法,因為我這趟回來實在是被餵食太多香港美食了,吃的我有點累了(攤手)(<-- 跩屁),甚麼翠華、海港酒家、添好運、稻香、羅富記粥麵等等都吃夠了,於是當我有機會能選擇吃甚麼食物的時候,我馬上就說出「港式料理之外,一切都好。」

不過我要澄清,我並沒有不喜歡港式料理,也沒有覺得東西不好吃,只是沒有辦法天天吃啦~沒辦法,誰叫港式餐廳通常吃起來有點太油、"家姐"(服務生)有點太兇、速度有點太趕、環境有點太擠,讓我吃起東西來壓力有點太大,而且還要不定時進行「食物攻防戰」,防止我的盤子上不斷被婆婆塞進食物,另外還要「把關」我的茶杯,才不會瞬間茶杯又被斟滿了茶(香港人的熱情….)。總之一頓飯吃下來很難覺得放鬆,讓我這個過慣阿布達比緩慢步調的大嬸有點無法適應。

所以當我的香港101號朋友克里斯多~福問我想吃甚麼的時候,才會忍不住衝口而出「港式料理之外,一切都好」的宣言,外加要求要是個能好好坐下來吃飯、聊天的地方,讓我鬆鬆我的胃。而克里斯多~福幫我找的就是這家位在銅鑼灣和彎仔中間的柏林人(Berliner)餐廳。

這間餐廳並不難找,就在Hennessy道上的W Square裡面。而且我真的很鄉巴佬,當電梯一打開即是餐廳的時候我還整個被嚇到,是太習慣門一打開看到的是走廊還是怎樣。

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最近的中東,天天都佔據BBC國際新聞的版面,從綁架學生的Boko Haram,到前陣子在哥本哈根射殺猶太人的巴勒斯坦移民,天天都是中東相關的消息,天天都跟中東極端教義下的穆斯林有關。其中又以佔據敘利亞和伊拉克的ISIS最令人心煩,一下斬首了被綁架的日本人,一下又屠殺了幾百位的埃及基督徒,不然就是發布焚燒約旦戰鬥機駕駛員的影片,感覺就是要把整個世界搞得人仰馬翻才甘心。(我真的是很氣這些恐怖份子,氣到我會自言自語罵髒話!!!)

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由虎克船長帶你開啟一趟中東料理之旅吧!

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看這標題就知道我真是少女漫畫看太多了。不知道怎麼了,國高中時候不怎麼看得漫畫,卻在成為人妻第4年的時候一窩蜂的向我突襲(是在惆悵甚麼嗎?),就像去年是看超多言情小說一樣,今年整個就是被充斥著日本人詭異愛情觀的少女漫畫給攻佔了....(啊啊啊,我會回改的)

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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

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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

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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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