Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Prague (Part 2) - Updated

After my coworker from Algeria arrived, we went to for a short excursion to Prague's renowned Old Town Square for a visit and dinner.

The Old Town Square and the nearby Charles Bridge (more than 600 years old) offered amazing sights of wonderful architectural structures that are rich in history and culture.

After spending an evening soaking up the fabulous medieval-ish European atmosphere, I've decided that I cannot adequately capture the moment in words. Unfortunately, my poor skills with the camera don't do justice to the pictures I've taken either.

As the evening draws on, it got colder (around 5 degrees) and we were inadequately clothed. Taking the recommendation of our taxi driver, we found a local restaurant that is "less touristy" to take our dinner near the square.

Here's some pictures that do the Czech historical sites gross injustice...but anyway... (I'm going to add comments later).

Streets Around the Hotel
A type of Czech architectural styles

Big Loreal office building and store: Eat you heart out, ladies!

Around the Old Town
Dancing Building named after Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers: Could you guess who is who?


Old Town Square
Approach to Old Town Square

It's romantic to walk to Old Town Square in the Evening

The Astronomical Clock Tower in Old Town Square

Old Town Square

Astronomical Clock & Tyn Cathedral

Tyn Cathedral

Jan Hus Memorial

Great looking building

Doorway to Tyn Cathedral

A puppet shop

Another nice building - Byzantine syle?

Stone carved decorations

Charles Bridge

View of Prague Castle from Charles Bridge

My Algerian Colleague

Dinner @ Apetit
A recommendation from the cabbie

Cozy interior

Traditional beef meatball soup

Bohemian style beef with dumplings (the white bread-ish thingie on top

Trufito or something...Nice!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


I arrived in Prague via Istanbul. This is the initial leg of a first long trip to the European continent, excluding all the airport transits in Paris in the past. I will be in Prague for two days for a business trip before leaving for Netherlands on vacation.

My flight to Prague was an ultra early flight via a long transit of 5 hours in Istanbul. It was reminiscent of my first flight to Algeria where I reported for work for the first time in late 2005. I was similarly stuck in Istanbul airport for quite a while then.

As I've only just checked in (I'm blogging from the hotel business center), I've yet to see the splendor of Prague, a much touted city of architectural and historical marvel.

Since tomorrow's business itinerary will be starting a bit late, I'm waiting the arrival of another co-worker before planning to catch a glimpse of some of the interesting places that Prague can offer later in the evening and tomorrow morning. And of course, to have a glass of the famous local pilsner while I'm at it. Meanwhile, enjoy some pictures here...

Ripping off the hotel postcard ^^''

Main building of Hotel Movenpick, my hotel, is in the foreground. Looks like a school doesn't it?

Lobby of the main building

Says here I need to take the cable car to the executive wing. Same car as seen in the hotel postcard.

Glimpse of my room

I'm about to raid the minibar!!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Big Dinner In Little China

We found this Chinese restaurant, Little China, recently at the entrance of the popular Beirut clubbing Monot Street (think Mohammad Sultan street of Singapore).

Looks like a 5-foot way entrance, ain't it?

Apart from having a name that doesn't inspire any of my appetite, the interior of the small restaurant does invoke an authentically Asian feel. From the management and crew, interior decorations down to the tableware, everything looks made in China.

Raise the red lanterns

The Manchurian Candidate?

Paintings of the four seasons

According to the restaurants sole waitress, who hailed from Beijing, the restaurant has a long history in Beirut, since her brother started it more than 10 years ago.

This is obviously no "Rush Hour".

Asian usually dine around 6pm, we arrived way ahead of the dinner crowd.

Conversing in our rusty mandarin, we stated our preference (make it extra spicy!!!) to the waitress but left it to them to bring us the food that they think we would like.

Eat Drink Man Woman: Hungry and expectant customers

The moment of truth came as we tasted dish after dish. Altogether the three of us had 6 dishes. The generous food serving was notably untypical of overseas Chinese restaurants.

There was authenticity in the cooking in this restaurant. For example, I could discern the different base of Asian sauces used to prepare each of the dish. The plus side of having more flavour in their cooking is that they can save on sprinkling more MSG or salt, which makes the food more enjoyable.

This is unlike other Chinese restaurants, like Chopsticks, which basically based most of their dishes with either one or two sauce base: i.e. soy sauce or bean paste sauce (rare) or curry (not even East Asian). Usually, the aftertaste is terribly salty and an insatiable thirst usually associated with eating too much MSG.

I considered the quality of food in Little China to be comparable to the more mainstream restaurants in Asia and definitely should be returning to the restaurant soon to try more of their fare.

Springrolls that was tad too oily, as characteristic of Northern Chinese cooking.

Hot and Sour soup, which was neither hot (my standards) nor sour at all. But it still taste good.

Huay Guo Ruo, refried pork slices

Teppan Yaki beef, Chinese style. This dish was rare in this region.

"Fried Rice Paradise"*. This was the worst dish of all. The taste was a little bland. So no, I didn't go to paradise after eating this. (*Name of a popular Singaporean musical)

Smiling customer = Happy customer


Did I mentioned before that I lost my PSP in Morocco last year?

Now I have a new kick-ass PSP Slim in Mint Green, courtesy of my financial advisor, Gillian!

Googled it, the mint green version is only a Japan release recently launched in February 2008.
I think it's an awfully cool color. Don't you?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Is That My Car?

I was blog surfing (at work!) when I came across these blogs.

Almost couldn't refrain from bursting out in laughter.

Parking Idiots in Singapore: covers reader contributions before 2007
Singapore Parking Idiots: covers reader contributions after 2007

I'm just glad to know that I'm not alone out there...

Anyone interested to start a blog about parking & driving idiots in Algeria.