Visiting the Microsoft Theater

7 07 2017

My recent trip to downtown LA had something to do with this event that was held at the Microsoft Theater.

And it is one impressive theater.  At a 7,000 people capacity, anywhere in the audience you sat, it seemed that you had a center-stage view.

The VIP area.

Backstage public area.

And we’re on.

Backstage before and after show.

 





The KGB Hotel of Tallinn, Estonia

11 04 2017

It is quite unbelievable that Estonia and other Baltic states were all under Soviet rule until the early ’90s.  I cannot imagine the fear people lived under and the limited freedom they were allowed.

In the only hotel in Tallinn, Estonia where foreigners were allowed to stay during the Soviet regime, is the “KGB Museum“.  On the 23rd floor of the still working hotel were the secret KGB offices used to spy on guests.  Filled with memorabilia including one room where everything is left as the KGB left it, rooms have been turned into a museum.

Near the ticket booth of the museum, you find cynical and irritated Snicker bars which we thought was hilarious.

View from the 22nd floor balcony

The door to the stairs leading up to the secret 23rd floor. The museum sign reads “entrance” at the top but the bottom part in Estonian and Russian apparently says “Do not enter” as it said when the top floor was occupied by the KGB.

Old floor guide

Selfie point

Direct to Moscow line

Our funny and excellent guide

What the KGB left in chaos.

The hotel in its present day at night





Arriving in Guangzhou, China

1 02 2017

So I visited Guangzhou, China at the start of the Chinese New Year this past weekend.  I booked my trip w/o knowing it was the holiday season but discovered that was the case at the end of last year when I was visiting Penang, Malaysia from my Grab (equivalent of Uber) driver.

Anyway, as I arrived at CAN, decorations suggested celebrations were underway but in the city it was business as usual in some parts.

At the airport

In the cab

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At my hotel

At dinner in a nearby shopping mall

At supermarket after dinner in the same shopping mall.  The incorrect Japanese on the packaging of the squid snack is beyond funny.

In my room at hotel after an OK day!

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Happy Chinese New Year!!





Eastern & Oriental Hotel, George Town, Penang

16 01 2017

Every city with a colonial charm has a “heritage hotel” and the one in George Town, Penang, Malaysia is  “Eastern & Oriental Hotel“.  Went to pay a visit to its bar during my stay in the World Heritage city.

When viewed from the city side, it looks as though it is perched on a hill. When you get there, it doesn't feel that way.

When viewed from the city side, it looks as though it is perched on a hill. When you get there, it doesn’t feel that way.

It's a huge building. It took me a while to get to the front entrance from one end of the hotel.

It’s a huge building. It took me a while to get to the front entrance from one end of the hotel.

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The obligatory Christmas tree past the Christmas day

The obligatory Christmas tree past the Christmas day

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The hotel as viewed from another nearby hotel's rooftop.

The hotel as viewed from another nearby hotel’s rooftop.

BTW the service at the bar was disappointing!!





To Market! in George Town, Penang, Part 2

4 01 2017

Just outside, or really on the same premises near the entrance of the Chowrasta Market in George Town, Penang, Malaysia where I was visiting was this shop selling very tasty dried meats.  I asked to try some, the shop keeper let me, and they were so good I decided to buy RM 10 (a little more than US$2) worth of the “Special pork roll” and the “Dried mince meat” which came out to be quite substantial.  It was a good snack to carry around and to nibble on in my hotel room at night.

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And then on the next day I passed by the same spot in the afternoon when all the market stalls were gone but saw that the same shop had this permanent establishment very close by to where I bought the goodies.

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Really yummy and recommended.





Street Food in Yangon

20 11 2016

I was tempted to try some of these from the streets of Yangon, Myanmar but was warned by my Myanmar friend that I shouldn’t for hygienic reasons.  😦   They all look so good though maybe not the insects.

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The Reykjavik Food Walk, Part 3

2 09 2016

Next up on the Reykjavik Food Walk was a stop we were initially supposed to do before going for the lobster soup but there was a long line of people so we saved it for afterwards.

When we returned, there was still a long line.

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To make good use of time, Gabriella (pictured above in the middle) gave us each a little taste of Iceland that is Skyr.

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Had the plain kind for breakfast with fresh blueberries.

In my apartment had the plain kind for breakfast with fresh blueberries.

In the meantime, the line was getting shorter.

In the meantime, the line was getting shorter.

The best dog in Iceland so they say and they seem to eat lots of hot dogs (as well as pizzas).

Our next meal: Icelandic hot dog which comes with a lamb sausage. The name of the hot dog stand translates as “the best hot dog in town”.

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BTW it’s very easy to stay in Reykjavik w/o carrying any local currency as even hot dog stands and ice cream parlors take credit cards. Not where I come from.

The "one with everything"

“The works” with ketchup, sweet mustard, fried onion, raw onion and remolaði, a mayonnaise-based sauce with sweet relish. Yum.

Bæjarins beztu pylsur








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