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MOVIE REVIEW: The Giver

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  1. #1

    A Pinay in Europe

    Maganda'ng araw sa inyo'ng lahat na mga kababayan ko. Naisip ko'ng mag-open ng thread na ganito kasi dami ko'ng puede'ng i-share sa inyo na mga nakikita ko dito sa travels namin'g mag-asawa sa (Western) Europe - minsan nakakatawa, nakakainis, nakakainggit (na sana gayahin din natin sa Pinas), nakaka-tindig balahibo (sa ganda ng lugar), nakakadismaya (dahil bawat pag-hinga mo dito ay naglalabas ka ng pera!.... very expensive continent indeed!).

    Dahil sa trabaho ni mister, may chance kami na ma-explore marami'ng lugar, and kung may pagkakataon rin lang, like weekends, public holidays, long holidays, we try to go to different places and nearby countries via our car (na ngayo'y kakarag-karag na sa libo-libo'ng kilometro'ng na-biyahe), o kaya naman, by flying kasi mura na ang fares ngayon, basta nag-book ka several weeks earlier.

    Ito'ng thread na ito ay para din sa kapakanan ng mga kababayan natin na di magkaroon ng chance na makapag-travel, lalo na sa Europe. Eh sayang naman kung sasarilinin ko lang mga nakikita ko. Baka makakuha pa kayo ng tips di ba?

  2. #2
    It is supposed to be a 3-month assignment in Belgium so for the Nth time, we will be setting up a home far away from home (which is France).

    Driving from the south of France up to the north (where Belgium is attached to the northern part of France) takes 12 hours according to Mappy.com. But instead of taking the usual route of traversing the Hexagon (France is so-called because of its shape) in a straight vertical line, we opted to take the more interesting route - crossing through Italy, Switzerland, back to France (we skipped Germany because there's nothing much to see on that part of the drive), Luxembourg then Belgium.

    First country to traverse - Italy

    If you want to live longer, then for goodness' sake, don't drive in Italy!
    Italian drivers are suicidal! Red lights are treated as a form of street lighting, cars ahead of them are like toys to be bumped forward, overtaking on double lines on a two lane tunnel road is the norm, cars on your left will suddenly turn right in front of you, national roads are turned into carparks with the doubly-parked car facing the opposite direction, and one of the worst things we saw, a motorbike driving away from you but its tail lights in white instead of red!

    It's crazy......! we were on the edge of our seats the whole time that we were on the road and it didn't help that there are not enough directional signs to lead you where you should go! yeah! We got lost in Turin! driving for more than two hours - round and round while trying to save our lives! We knew that we were following the same circular direction kasi yung mga prostis (prostitutes) na nakita namin'g nakatayo sa may kanto ng simbahan ay mga 3 -4 times na yata namin'g nadaanan.

    And this is not the first time that we got lost in Turin! Tuwin'g dadaan kami doon, lagi na lang kaming naliligaw. Kasi there are not enough directional signs! May sign nga pero bigla na lang mawawala at balik ka na naman doon sa may mga naka-long black boots at micro-miniskirt. But all of these ladies were black, siguro mga taga-Africa wanting to find their luck in Italy.

    But to prove that it is not us to blame for our "Lost in Turin" predicament, we never get lost in France. Because in France, they are rich in road signs that even the novice driver doesn't get lost!
    Last edited by mariadams; Oct 18, 2006 at 12:15 AM.

  3. #3
    keep it flowin mariadams.

  4. #4
    it's your big lost for missing Germany. there are lots of interesting places/interest to see there, the autobahn alone is one to discover. the german autobahn is the most technological advance highway in the world.

  5. #5
    Amsterdam here I come!!!

  6. #6
    (Italy..contd)

    Finally found the autostrada ("expressway" in Italian) outside of Turin and planned to drive via Milan which is some 45 mins to the Swiss border. Turin and Milan are both highly industrialized towns - Turin as home to the Fiat car, Telecom Italia, the world famous Lavazzo coffee, wines and textiles and Milan to the Alfa Romero, Firelli, shoes, textiles among others.

    But which product comes from pigs - probably their famous prosciutto (ham) for we have to cover our noses for several kilometres smelling of pig s***t !
    And then nearing Milan, it was replaced by the odorously unpleasant sulfuric acid! Wikipedia says that the consumption of H2SO4 is one of the best indices of a nation's industrial development

    Quite an ugly expressway sight, no landscaping, just factories after factories and continuous building, extending and branching of the autostrada. Italy, I must say, is rolling in money!

    The second country to traverse - Switzerland

    This is not the first time we have passed through Switzerland. The two Swiss border stickers in the car's windshield says we went thru it twice and hence, no more passport check except that we have to pay 30 Swiss Francs for a 2006 sticker. The sticker is valid for a year and regardless who is inside the car, even your newly arrived grandmother from the province won't probably get visa-checked anymore, as long as the car she is riding has the Swiss border sticker on it. The more sticker, the more ease in getting past the border!

    http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j33/mariadams/autobahnvignette1.jpg
    A Swiss car sticker valid for all of 2005.
    Last edited by mariadams; Oct 18, 2006 at 10:48 PM.

  7. #7
    hello lonely pinoy.
    you are right, the German autobahn is one of the most high-tech, but still the French autoroute is more tourist friendly because they have loos (toilets) in every stop. The German? you only find them in Petrol station stops, otherwise, you have to just relieve yourself in the grass!

    Yes, we've been to some of Gerrmany's towns and cities too, they are very wealthy! and i really mean it! with houses as big as office buildings! (but i will delve on Germany on my future posts )

    cho_ree.....about amsterdam - are you talking about the girls on display windows? yes, that is amazing! a tourist attraction indeed!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by mariadams

    cho_ree.....about amsterdam - are you talking about the girls on display windows? yes, that is amazing! a tourist attraction indeed!
    I remember that. My dad and I walked through one of those alleys in Amsterdam. And then when we got to the next alley, my dad said let's go through this one also!!!

  9. #9
    http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j33/mariadams/swissflag.jpghttp://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j33/mariadams/redcross.jpg
    What's the difference between the two images?

    The first one is the Swiss flag sign....the second, the Red Cross sign.

    The use of the red cross on a white background, which is actually the Swiss flag reversed, was granted to the International Red Cross to commemorate the organization founded by Henri Dunant, citizen of Geneva (http://www.eda.admin.ch/washington_e...ninf/flag.html)

    Switzerland, here we come!

    From the chaotic and un-landscaped Italian expressway, the scenery gradually changes into that of green rolling meadows, pine trees, farms that are spotlessly clean with their logs perfectly stacked up and of course, all those mountains that Switzerland is known for, .

    We always saw Switzerland in her all-snow glory (and that I strongly advise that you visit it when the mountains are covered in snow...It's magical! It's like stepping into a postcard!)

    http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j33/mariadams/swiss.jpg Switzerland in the winter

    This time - in October, which is still mild - the mountains are green with vegetation but dotted with the orange, yellow and red colours of trees that will soon shed their leaves in the winter.

    You know that you are in Switzerland when you hear the tinkling of bells coming from cows. These bells which are hanging from cows' necks have become a Swiss icon, similar to the cuckoo clock which originated from there. And you bet, we had seen so much cows in just one day, not only in the meadows but also within residential areas, halos dumudungaw pa sa mga bahay ng ilan! So if you think sa India lang nagkalat ang mga baka, nagkakamali kayo!

    http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j33/mariadams/swiss2.jpg Lucerne in October

    Because of the 3 countries bordering Switzerland (Liechtenstein is the 4th but too small to influence it - only 33,000 inhabitants in a 160sqkm of land) - France, Italy and Germany - the architecture, language,food, culture, etc change accdg to which region you are. We have been to French-influenced Montreaux, the German-influenced Zurich, the Italian-influenced Lugano and what a big variation of everything - as if Switzerland itself is really a part of France, a part of Germany, or a part of Italy but since it is not, the common denominator is ORDER - CLEANLINESS - PERFECTION - PRECISION! For example, those unmaintained-looking Renaissance architecture in Italy (which i find charming anyway) will be perfectly painted, no speck of stain whatsoever in Lugano, Switzerland. Maganda pa rin pero nawalan na ng Italian charm!

    They have 4 official languages - German, French, Italian and Rumantsch, hence road/store/food/etc signs and labels are translated into 4, even 5 to include English!

    We stopped in Lucerne and the first thing we noticed is the artistic nature of the people who have inhabited the place centuries ago. Most buildings in the old town are painted with frescoes!

    http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j33/mariadams/swiss3.jpg frescoes

    http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j33/mariadams/swiss4.jpg an old square
    Last edited by mariadams; Oct 20, 2006 at 12:26 AM.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by LordVideoGame
    I remember that. My dad and I walked through one of those alleys in Amsterdam. And then when we got to the next alley, my dad said let's go through this one also!!!
    ikaw ahhh! ilang taon ka na noon?

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by mariadams
    ikaw ahhh! ilang taon ka na noon?
    I was like 21. I went to Amsterdam with my dad, and he was the one that was interested in going through another such alley.

  12. #12
    more pics, pls? I've always wanted to go to europe...kulang lang sa pera

  13. #13
    A true hybrid sd amboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    SD/LA/Manila
    Quote Originally Posted by mariadams
    http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j33/mariadams/swissflag.jpghttp://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j33/mariadams/redcross.jpg
    What's the difference between the two images?

    The first one is the Swiss flag sign....the second, the Red Cross sign.

    The use of the red cross on a white background, which is actually the Swiss flag reversed, was granted to the International Red Cross to commemorate the organization founded by Henri Dunant, citizen of Geneva (http://www.eda.admin.ch/washington_e...ninf/flag.html)

    Switzerland, here we come!

    From the chaotic and un-landscaped Italian expressway, the scenery gradually changes into that of green rolling meadows, pine trees, farms that are spotlessly clean with their logs perfectly stacked up and of course, all those mountains that Switzerland is known for, .

    We always saw Switzerland in her all-snow glory (and that I strongly advise that you visit it when the mountains are covered in snow...It's magical! It's like stepping into a postcard!)

    http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j33/mariadams/swiss.jpg Switzerland in the winter

    This time - in October, which is still mild - the mountains are green with vegetation but dotted with the orange, yellow and red colours of trees that will soon shed their leaves in the winter.

    You know that you are in Switzerland when you hear the tinkling of bells coming from cows. These bells which are hanging from cows' necks have become a Swiss icon, similar to the cuckoo clock which originated from there. And you bet, we had seen so much cows in just one day, not only in the meadows but also within residential areas, halos dumudungaw pa sa mga bahay ng ilan! So if you think sa India lang nagkalat ang mga baka, nagkakamali kayo!

    http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j33/mariadams/swiss2.jpg Lucerne in October

    Because of the 3 countries bordering Switzerland (Liechtenstein is the 4th but too small to influence it - only 33,000 inhabitants in a 160sqkm of land) - France, Italy and Germany - the architecture, language,food, culture, etc change accdg to which region you are. We have been to French-influenced Montreaux, the German-influenced Zurich, the Italian-influenced Lugano and what a big variation of everything - as if Switzerland itself is really a part of France, a part of Germany, or a part of Italy but since it is not, the common denominator is ORDER - CLEANLINESS - PERFECTION - PRECISION! For example, those unmaintained-looking Renaissance architecture in Italy (which i find charming anyway) will be perfectly painted, no speck of stain whatsoever in Lugano, Switzerland. Maganda pa rin pero nawalan na ng Italian charm!

    They have 4 official languages - German, French, Italian and Rumantsch, hence road/store/food/etc signs and labels are translated into 4, even 5 to include English!

    We stopped in Lucerne and the first thing we noticed is the artistic nature of the people who have inhabited the place centuries ago. Most buildings in the old town are painted with frescoes!

    http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j33/mariadams/swiss3.jpg frescoes

    http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j33/mariadams/swiss4.jpg an old square
    The swiss make very tasty chocolates.......and some of the best watches in the world.

  14. #14
    Switzerland.... (contd)

    Do you know ....

    - that all Swiss homes and public buildings like schools and hospitals have underground shelters where they can hide themselves in case of war or even a nuclear attack! that these shelters are well equipped with food, water and all necessary things for survival whilst underground.

    - that all homes keep guns for self-protection. all able-bodied men between 20-30 are registered in the army and issued with a rifle in the event of an alert.
    **********************

    Switzerland is a CASH society. Our visa/mastercards are mostly left unused except when withdrawing cash from ATM machines, but withdrawing is very limited as the minimum amount of choice are either 20 CHF (Swiss Franc) which is 16 USD or 100 CHF or 79 USD.
    In getting into a shop, restaurant or a hotel, always look if the visa/mastercard/amex/JCB etc card signs are stuck by the door or window, if not, then you are most likely be asked to pay in cash!

    Unlike in France, Italy and Belgium, fashion doesn't seem to be a national pastime, at least in Lucerne. People here are dressed more for comfort rather than for the show.

    We were looking forward to a nice meal. There are lots of international restaurants around the lake that it is very difficult to guess which one would be good. (I compare scouting for good restaurants to looking for a wife or a husband - sometimes you are lucky, sometimes you get so unhappy!)

    Menus with their prices are displayed outside of restaurants. All prices are way too high, but since we are in Switzerland, we thought... "oh what the heck! let's have a greal meal!" A nicely decorated Italian restaurant attracted our attention. Even the indoor decor was charming - with huge candle chandeliers and hanging pots of plants on the ceiling. We ordered lasagna and a half-bottle of red wine. When our order came, at the ridiculous price written on the menu, the plate (or shall i say the steel bowl where it was served was too disappointingly small for our hunger! ) The cheese was so overcooked it was almost melted rubber! and the taste of steel (on the bowl) seem to have gotten incorporated in the tomato sauce. it was so unpleasant, the ugliest lasagna i have ever had!

    The waitress came and asked if the food is alright - without hesitation I said "NO! the cheese is like rubber!"

    waitress: but i see that you have eaten it all!
    me: because it is so expensive, i might as well finish it!
    waitress: you could have told us, we could have given you another one!
    me: oh really? ok, next time!

    my husband swear that he saw her face getting red! that was the last time we saw the back of her. feeling that we are now getting ignored, we decided to go to the counter where we paid our bill.

    Lesson of the story: Never eat around lakes, rivers etc of a big town. the food is usually crap and expensive! It's usually the small family-run restaurants away from the crowd that offers very good value for your money.
    Last edited by mariadams; Oct 23, 2006 at 09:02 PM.

  15. #15
    http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j33/mariadams/houses.jpg
    Swiss homes.

    http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j33/mariadams/car.jpg
    Translation: Automobile Club of Schweiss. Schweiss is another town but it also sometimes pertain to Switzerland itself.

    http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j33/mariadams/fresco2.jpg
    A fresco of the Last Supper. This is a building in the old square.

    http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j33/mariadams/terrace.jpg
    The frame on the window is another fresco.

    http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j33/mariadams/door.jpg

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  17. #16
    Simoen... balang-araw makakarating ka rin! let's cross our fingers!

    sd amboy..you are exactly right! they are famous for their chocolates, the best watches in the world and banks (according to Bill Bryson, they have more banks than dentists!)

  18. #17
    Sana makapunta din ako dyan...

    Wala bang vacancy dyan? Hehehehe.

  19. #18
    hello ImKatrina
    marami rin ako'ng napansin na mga Pinay dito, kasama nila mga puti (most likely Swiss). One particular girl (i swear she doesn't look like she's from Manila) ay pilit na pinamimili ng lalaki infront of a watch shop "oh, you like this? how about that?".... di naman makapag-decide ang babae (suerte niya!) at pailot-ikot lang. nahuhuli ko kasi kung Pinoy o hindi, sa pagi-English na lang.

    Naku, napapansin ko talaga, lalo na dito sa Belgium, ang DAMI-DAMI'ng mixed couples na ang babae ay Asian! tipo'ng iyan na ang trend ngayon ng mga Europeans! - ang maghanap ng asawa'ng Asian!

  20. #19
    Usapang Brussels (naman tayo!)

    Guys, have you tried the Aquagym! You should! it's not only healthy, it's fun! and for me, I can already feel the difference after one session!
    The Sports Club is just a Metro stop away from our flat so today, i also went for the body-sculpting... geeh, mahirap pero if it's for keeping fit, then go for it!

    So for you all out there who just arrived in a place and don't know what to do and don't know anybody... the best start is to join activities like this. This is where you meet up people who eventually become your friends. Like today, at the changing room, parang United Nations, I already made friends with an American, a Belgian and a French.. all housewives!

    Brussels - like London and Paris - is a very cosmopolitan city. Mas marami pa nga yata'ng foreigners kaysa sa Belgians! And there are many Asians, too - Chinese, Japanese, Thais, etc. Because this is the seat of the European Parliament and the NATO Headquarters, there are many diplomats living here, so many countries represented, and they bring their entire families too, hence the multi-cultural mix.

    Last Sunday, we went to a Thai Festival held at a big square. Oh my gosh! we felt like we were in Bangkok that day! - the colourful costumes, the Thai dance, the Thai massage, the fruit and vegetable carving and most of all, Thai food and Thai delicacies! It's been 5 years since our last Thai holiday and after seeing that place, we are raring to go back for a good long visit to our favorite Asian country again!

    That day, the place was teeming with people! Belgian/European husbands came with their Asian or Thai wives and their cute mixed-looking children. Nakakatuwa talaga kapag napapaligiran ka ng mga Asians, nakaka-homesick! A group of Asian looking people joined our table while hubby and I were feasting on Tom Yan. Aba'y nagsalita ba naman sa Tagalog! "Filipino kayo?" I asked. It turned out, they are from the Philippine Embassy based in Brussels. I asked if there is any plan to do a similar thing kasi hanip talaga sa ganda ang naisip ng Thailand na ito, at di sila nagkamali, sobra'ng dami ng tao! Lahat ng food kiosks pinipilahan! They (the Phil Embassy people) said they are looking at preparing something for December, sayang at pauwi ako sa Pinas so I am going to miss it!

    http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j33/mariadams/thai.jpg
    Poster of the Thai Festival

    http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j33/mariadams/manekinpis.jpg
    Belgium's favorite statue, the pee-ing boy they call the 'Mannekin Pis'

    http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j33/mariadams/grotmarkt.jpg
    A building in the famous Grotte Markt, at night.

  21. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by lonely_pinoy
    keep it flowin mariadams.
    hello lonely_pinoy
    nabasa ko sa kabilang thread yung tinukoy mo about Black Forest in Germany. We've always wanted to go there pero wala'ng chance. Kuwento mo naman, please
    (at ano'ng relation no'n sa Black Forest cake )

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