Food, life, and fun in my "kampung,"(village), KL (Kuala Lumpur). Did I mention "food?"

Budapest - Architecture

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

Budapest had some of the most amazing architecture I've ever seen. The connection to the Austro-Hungarian Empire is obvious; look at the similarities between Vienna and Budapest. The facades of even the most mundane buildings were works of art. The craftsmanship was impeccable. The decor of the interior of some of the more famous buildings hark back to Orthodox Church's influence on tastes.

Budapest, Opera House

Building facade - the most ordinary flats are housed in buildings like this
Angel guarding the Duna (Danube)
Budapest - Hungary's Parliament - notice the Riot Police. There were riots the day we got in.
Inside the Opera House
Hungary's Parliament
Another Building Facade
Sze's Apartment Block Courtyard
Some art museum / school

Another gorgeous facade - of a department store

Budapest is a melancholy city. As Sze says, Hungary is the only city that has public holidays commemorating failed revolutions and lost wars. As a matter of fact, the day we arrived was a public holiday in honour of the 23 Oct 1956 revolution, which Hungary lost. This air of melancholy pervades the atmosphere. However, people are very friendly and very accomodating once you get past that initial impression.

A Truly British (or is it Bri'ish) Wedding

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

Instead of a chronological diary of events that occured on our Big Adventure, I thought it might be more interesting to relate stories or events that happened during that time. So there will be a series of stories and tales from our trip which won't be in any order. Just as long as a photo from my flickr collection piques my memory, I'll stick it in here as an entry.

As some of you may know, we didn't go to the UK on a whim. My young cuz was getting married to the man of her dreams (yes, she's sure, they've been going out for 9 years) and they were finally going to tie the knot. Her elder sister had just done the deed a few months before in KL and now it was Cee's turn.

So off we went.

The day of the wedding dawned bright and clear. Yes folks, Bright and Clear. In Cambridge. In the middle of an English Autumn. If that's not a sure sign of global warming I don't know what is. George Bush should have come over to have a look. He would have signed the Kyoto Protocols for sure!

And so, Allan and I had brought the wedding cake for Celia and we gave that as our present as well as the handbouquets for the Bride and Matron of Honour. Celia bought the flowers and Allan put the bouquets together. We were told that each bouquet could cost upwards of 100 Pounds. Insane.

In any case, the day proceeded beautifully and we have some memorable photos for keepsakes.





Now the curious thing about a Bri'ish wedding; like us it stretches through the day but in some ways, it's even more strenous than what we put ourselves through. They start at around 2pm with the ceremony. It was in the gorgeous Girton College of the University of Cambridge. And from the on, it's a non-stop affair. After the wedding proper there are snacks and photographs. By this time, it's around 4pm and they adjourn for the Wedding Breakfast...at 530pm or thereabouts. And it truly is a BREAK-FAST. Like Sahur! ;-)

People eat, drink, and be merry. Speeches in that droll British style. And after THAT, they invite a few more guests for the evening festivities which start at 8pm. And go on till the wee hours when the bride and groom make their escape.

Mum and Dad called time at around 7pm and Allan and I had to go back to our B&B for a nap before we came back for the evening festivities. Whew!

And what festivities they were.

The photos say it all.

Nigel, Padlick, Allan
Padlick, Allan
Cousin It
Richard, Viv
Vidya, Allan
American Beauty? ;-)
Padlick, Viv

Returning home to this?

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

Mum and Dad came to pick me up at KL Sentral. We drove out to see this ongoing demonstraton. Wow! Al Jazeera reported this as a protest by Bersih, 71 NGOs, demanding a change in electoral rules so that we can have free and fair elections. Pictures of the FRU spraying foam on protestors have been played over and over on Al Jazeera. Curiously, BBC has not said a peep on it's website. I haven't watched the news over on BBC News on TV yet.

Information Minister Zainuddin Maidin was interviewed by Al Jazeera by telephone and I'm not sure what he was trying to say. He sounded livid and incoherent. And I think the journalist made the most of it, as they would. I think our Cabinet Ministers need to get better press advisors. ;-)