Saturday, January 31, 2004

Auroras missed

Today Prinja (my astronomy lecturer) said, apparently there were auroras in London last year November. How come I din know about it at all? What was I doing then? Argh... Let's hope there are more powerful coronal mass ejections coming soon, then I don't have to go to Scandinavia to aurora-watch...

Also, I learnt how stars are classified according to its temperature and luminosity. Pretty interesting. Though I was only taught that the sun is a G2V star, G2 meaning its a redder and cooler star compared to other stars in the galaxy, and that V means that the sun is a dwarf. Maybe there will be more stars to learn...

Chocolate shopping

My room is flooded with chocolates now...

Again, I went to Sainsbury with the sole intention of buying biscuits cos I ran out already. In the end, I couldn't resist the temptation and bought lots of chocolates and coffee and biscuits for 17+ pounds for my sole consumption. Let's see what I have... Nescafe Cappucino, Nescafe Mocha, Mcvities Belgian Chocolate biscuits, Mcvities Jaffa cakes, Mcvities Caramel biscuits, Mcvities Caramel & Plain Chocolate biscuits, Mcvities Hazelnut & Caramel biscuits, 20 snickers (snack size), Bendick Mingle Chocolates, TCO Sensations Chocolates... Yummy.

On top of that, I still haven finish the supply of chocolates and coffee I bought a fortnight ago. Which means now I have twice the amount of chocolates and coffee in my room now.

This is going to last me till summer I think.

I reckon I am going to get poisoned by caffine one day.

Can somebody stop me?!

Experiments + Money

Before the unintended chocolate shopping spree, I went to Topman as well and bought a hooded top for 17 pounds. Spending money is so shiok, especially when its neither mine nor my parents', but SPH's. Have been supplementing my allowance by doing psych experiments though. Just earned 5 pounds in 10 mins after astronomy lecture. I've scheduled 2 more experiments next week. Hopefully I get another one which pays 20 pounds on average, but its 2 hours long.

When is my next allowance coming???

(P.S. Every single item I bought today is on sale. =p)

(1) Go LT's house at 1730 tmr.
(2) Write essay.
(3) Contact wenlong.

Friday, January 30, 2004


Ice has beginning to melt a bit, but it's still slippery. Almost slipped a few times. Somewhat like ice-skating or roller blading with a normal pair of sports shoes. And water gets into my shoes occassionally when it rains heavily. I need a pair of boots.

I wonder what's the logic of spraying salt on roads and certain areas only and not on the pavements where people walk. To save money and pounds?

Psychology of decision making

I really like this course... really interesting to study how people make decisions and form judgments and to learn how we can make decisions better and undertake risks. All decisions and judgments rest on the way we see and interpret the world. And that these are influenced by selective perception, pressures toward cognitive dissonance, biases in memory and changes in context and so on and so forth......

The following is another classic problem taken from a study by Tversky and Kahneman (1982).

Linda is 31 years old, single, outspoken, and very bright. She majored in philosophy. As a student, she was deeply concerned with issues of discrimination and social justice, and also participated in antinuclear demonstrations. Which is more likely?

A: Linda is a bank teller.
B: Linda is a bank teller and is active in the feminist movement.

What do you think? How do you decide and judge? How do you make that choice? =p

"Today isn't any other day, you know."

"I don't understand you," said Alice. "It's dreadfully confusing!"

"That's the effect of living backwards," the Queen said kindly: "it always makes one a little giddy at first..."

"Living backwards!" Alice repeated in great astonishment. "I never heard of such a thing!"

"... but there's one great advantage in it, that one's memory works both ways...... It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards," the Queen reminded.

adapted from Lewis Carroll's "Through the Looking-Glass"

(1) Read and read.
(2) Experiment at 1600 at Room 208.

Thursday, January 29, 2004






我走进撒哈拉沙漠 空无一人站在太阳下
摄氏六十六点六度 快要焚化我的眼珠
忽然一场大雨降下来 汗水被那雨水冲走
结束四十天的折磨 荒漠已转变成了绿洲
彩虹下有一棵大树 大树上有一个苹果
咬下一口我就全明白 可不可以让我再
让我再一次 回到那个美丽世界里找自己
哗啦 啦啦啦啦 天在下雨
哗啦 啦啦啦啦 云再哭泣
哗啦 啦啦啦啦 滴入我的心
不用说我只会胡思乱想 不用跟我说我只会妄想
哗啦 啦啦啦啦 让我去淋雨
我只希望能够再 能够再一次
回到那个美丽时光里 找自己
挤在公车像个沙丁鱼 上班下班每天是规律
这么多的人到哪里去 每个面孔写着无奈
爸爸妈妈彼此没有爱 难道这就是生命的真理?
可不可以让我再 让我再一次
躲在我的屋檐下oh 睡在我的被单里oh
哗啦 啦啦啦啦 天在下雨
哗啦 啦啦啦啦 雪在哭泣
哗啦 啦啦啦啦 滴入我的心
不用说我只会胡思乱想 不用跟我说我只会妄想
哗啦 啦啦啦啦 让我去淋雨
我只希望能够再 能够再一次
回到那个美丽时光里 找回自己


Apparently it snowed at noon but I din see any at all cos I was having a statistics practical.

Err... wait a minute...

Oh my god!!! It's snowing like crazy NOW!!!


1st snow in London this winter!

Blog again tonight. =p

Wednesday, January 28, 2004


It's 2 degrees celsius now.

Temperature dipped by a few degrees today, trying desperately to maintain above freezing point. But I dun feel anything at all. Am I numb or what?

Heavy snow was reported in some Northern parts of UK and it is forecasted that outbreaks of sleet and snow might be occurring in the South.

So snow in London doesn't seem that impossible for the rest for this week.

Somehow I missed the snow in Vienna now.

I want to see snow in London.

Are Several Heads Better than One?

"A man bought a horse for $60 and sold it for $70. Then he bought it back for $80 and again sold it for $90. How much money did he make in the horse business?"

I was 100% confident that my answer will be correct and I was extremely surprised when I found out that I actually got it wrong. Am I retarded? Am I an idiot?

This question is from a classic study by psychologists Maier and Solem (1952). They found that only 45% of the college students they asked could solve the problem when working alone. When students worked in five- or six-person groups, however, they did considerably better. Students who worked in groups with an "inactive" leader (a person who simply observed the conversation) answered correctly 72% of the time, and students who worked in groups with a "permissive" leader (who encouraged all group members to express an opinion) answered correctly 84% of the time.

So, it is shown that open discussion can lead to a significant increase in accuracy.

Can you solve the question alone?

Contact me if you want the solution.

(1) Finish reading Plous's "The psychology of decision making".
(2) Start writing essay.
(3) Experiment on 28/01/04 1400 hrs Room 228.

(1) Go LT's house this Sat.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Internet and CNY

I was completely away for the past 2 days from the virtual world. I realised that my dependence on the internet has been so great that I am unable to complete much work without it. But then again, it shows how we human beings can be so reliant on technology and makes us more vulnerable in another sense. This is no good. I must make some hard copies of my lectures, blog, emails, bank statements etc. Hmm… I wondered how I survived without a handphone in JC.

Anyway, the whole of Saturday was spent in my hall doing reading and writing my lab report, so that I was able to go out on the next day for the CNY celebrations.

And it turned out to be really great. Weather was exceptionally sunny and bright. I must say the weather yesterday was the best so far throughout my stay since last September.

Sharon and I thought that the celebrations were only limited to Leicester Square and Chinatown. The scenes were like those of Chinatown in Singapore, but much more civilised. There were stalls selling artwork, selling traditional Chinese food, selling Singaporean and Malaysian food. Some people sold calligraphy works as well, which we thought we can write better than them. And it was like 10 pounds for a piece. Ang mohs are very fascinated by the calligraphy and buy them like they are free. Maybe I’ll consider setting up a calligraphy stall next year and earn some extra pocket money for travel. =p

Just when we thought that was all, we decided to walk to Trafalgar Square and oh my, to our surprise, the entire Trafalgar Square was exploding with life. People from dunno where flooded the square instead of the usual inhabitants (loads of tourists and pigeons). The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, was there as well, and it goes to show the status of CNY and the Chinese community in London.

One disappointment is that we didn’t manage to catch the fire crackers and fireworks cos we were in Wong Kei eating roast duck while the performance was taking place. We decided that our tummies were more important than the crackers. Ha… Never mind, there’s always next year and the year after next. And oh yah, the service of Wong Kei has improved tremendously since the last time I went in November 2003. Maybe the change in attitude and service was just due to CNY. (P.S. Wong Kei is so infamous and notorious for its extremely lousy service that it made it into the Guinness Records many many years back.)

Then after lunch, they had the lion dance troops going to virtually every store in Chinatown. The whole Lisle Street and Gerrad Street were packed like sardines with more ang mohs than Chinese. But a good thing is the weather is cool and of course, “no sweat” at all squeezing through the hordes of Chinese, British and tourists.

That’s about it for now. 1st time blogging in school. Argh… Going for lecture now. When is my room internet going to revive?

Saturday, January 24, 2004


Yeah, finally got my hair cut after so many days of procrastination. Its the most expensive cut I had so far in my life in a normal barber shop (18 sing dollars). That young chap who cut my hair was extremely friendly though. Asked me how I want him to cut my hair, if I want my hair to continue covering my ears, if I want my sideburn long or short, if I want a long fringe or not bla bla bla. He even wished me a happy Chinese Christmas... after which I corrected him immediately... =p

Anyway, I reckon the next time I cut my hair will be when I'm back in Singapore in summer. I don't want to spend another 6 pounds again on losing my hair.


Finally went to Borders students' 20% discount sale and bought a memory textbook by Baddeley for 13.20 pounds. Wanted to buy another text but it was 32.99 pounds (before discount) for a small thin book. I refused to part with that amount of money. Add a few pounds to that figure and I can fly to Paris/Amsterdam/Rome/Milan/Zurich/etc and back again. No way am I going to spend so much on that thin paperback text...

Another dinner

Went to Luna's house at Notting Hill for dinner after astronomy.

Got lost on the way there. Spent 30 mins looking for her flat. I didn't even know I walked past Portobello Road Market till she told me. Watched 2 movies and ate a lot.

Was nearly midnite when I reached my hall.

Fire Alarm

Fancy a fire alarm that went off at 1am in the morning???

What the hell, this isn't the 1st time this is happening already.

Luckily I haven't fallen asleep and I haven't the intention to do so cos I am still doing my laundry.

But I must say the fire engine was really efficient - it arrived within 3 mins or so.

Ok... time to go downstairs to collect laundry.

Gd nite, myself.

(1) Finish lab report

Friday, January 23, 2004

Chinese New Year Dinner

I had a bad New Year's eve becos of one stupid dream, and so I refused to attend the steamboat dinner organised by Sing Soc yesterday. Instead I cooped myself up in my hostel... didn't even bothered to step out of my room into the kitchen to cook dinner yesterday night. So today, when Sharon invited me for a CNY dinner with her bunch of medicine friends, I agreed instantaneously without hesitation. No point making myself dispirited and doleful on the first day of CNY in a foreign land, yah?

So we had a dunno-how-many-course Chinese dinner at this Chinese restaurant called Kam Tom (I think that's what it's called... can't remember liao... =p) at Bayswater for 16.50 pounds per person. They tried booking two tables at Four Seasons two weeks ago but all seats were reserved then... Sighz. I miss the roast duck there. I will go back there soon.

Anyway, the dinner wasn't as fantastic as expected, though we had some pretty palatable decent Chinese food. We expected Four Seasons to be better if we managed to have tables there, but it was still a great time spent... Even though I dunno any single person there out of 20+ future doctors-to-be (except Sharon), the 2 tables of Chinese (Singaporeans, Malaysians, Hong Kees, and 1 ang moh -- boyfriend of a friend) in the land of the ang mohs still somehow made this occassion an enjoyable and pleasurable one. We all miss home, that's an undeniable fact. But when we get together, it feels as though we are back home again, with all the lah, lor, leh, huh, kao pehs etc... and that's simply wonderful, cos we do not all come from Singapore, but we are all Chinese (except that ang moh boyfriend). Yah, Malaysians and Hong Kees have a bit of lah, lor, leh also.

So, I'm glad I went to the dinner after that stupid dream.

And I'm looking forward to this coming Sunday, where Chinatown and Leicester Square will hold its annual CNY celebration with firecrackers (I missed that in Singapore, so I will NOT miss the fire crackers here even though I have a lab report to finish by the next morning), fireworks, acrobat, wu long wu shi...

And I should call back home tomorrow. Haven't done that yet... tsk tsk...

Hope you guys had a great Chinese New Year as well... =)

(1) Call home.
(2) Cut hair.
(3) Go Borders look for TextBook.

Thursday, January 22, 2004




















Wednesday, January 21, 2004


I've gotten so used to the cool and temperate weather that I'm afraid I'm unable to adapt when I go home.

I've gotten so used to the dry air here that I worry I'll have breathing difficulties when I go home.

I'm used to applying lip balm after every meal.

I'm used to moisturise my body after every bath.

I'm used to wearing many layers of clothes prior to going out and taking them off one by one when I go indoor, however troublesome these tasks may seem.

I'm so used to the crisp and chilly weather that I can walk to Sainsbury 10 mins from my hall in a singlet, a thin flimsy windbreaker, a delicate pair of trackpants and a pair of slippers.

I used to detest the weather a lot; now I am habitutated so much so that it seems pretty enjoyable.

Especially in the morning when the freezing winds are the most refreshing and invigorating.

I asked Jan, who just flew back from home, when we were walking towards Tottenham Court Road that evening after school, "How's the weather back home?"

"Still the same."

"What's the same?"

"You mean you've forgotten the weather back home?!"


Yeah, I think I've "forgotten" already.

I even sweated a little when I was rushing from the bus stop to the lecture theatre in 5-degree-Celsius London last week.

Nevermind, winter is ending, spring is approaching.

At least, I'll have normal daylight hours again.


I'll just have to condition myself again and again.

That's what it's all about - constantly changing, always attuning...

(1) Continue writing lab.
(2) Continue reading Social Psych Chapters 2 and 3.
(3) Go Borders' sale.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

prospective memory, retrospective memory, frontal lobes, medial temporal lobes, executive contribution, encoding, retrieval, storage, external cues, internal cues, event-based, time-based, null hypothesis, alternative hypothesis, multi-task, distractor, free and delayed recall, t-test, pearson product moment correlation, significant, not significant, glisky, baddeley, neuropsychology, abstract, intro, method, results, discussion, reference, appendix... KO.


(1) Finish lab report.
(2) Read Social Psych Chapter 2 and 3.
(3) Watch love actually.

Monday, January 19, 2004

Crack in my cup

My nescafe always seep through my cup. There must be a crack in my hwa chong eternal flames cup that I brought from Singapore. Thank goodness, its black and so the crack is invisible. After careful examination, I still can't find where the crack is. Although it's no longer perfect, the cup will always remind me of the eternal flames that I had then.

Hopefully the crack doesn't widen.

It must be due to the boiling water I pour in to make my nescafe everyday. Hmm...

Coffee Freak

I like bitter coffee. Always put twice as much coffee powder intended to make two cups of coffee to make one cup of highy toxic nescafe shot. I'm immuned to caffine long ago. Its effects on me are random and haphazard. Sometimes, I feel ok even without drinking coffee for a few days (e.g. when I go travelling), but sometimes I'll get a migraine and my whole body willl turn soft in the evening if I do not have coffee by lunch.

I miss my ah gong's kopi-o now.

Shall buy some ground coffee beans and try making westernised kopi-o (espresso) with my mini coffee "maker" bought from Venice some day.


Received a call from my mum complaining that I haven't called back for the past 2 weeks, when I was in Tesco shopping for milk and bread. Yeah time really flies. It's going to be Chinese New Year in a few day's time. And it feels like I've just called home yesterday and she said I must be enjoying myself so much that I forgot to call back. Ha and yah... How I wish I can enjoy...


I happened to stumbled on this single picture and it just triggers off every single piece of retrospective memory that was encoded in my brain four to five years back then. How powerful photographs are!?

(1) Go post office.
(2) Read Social Psych Chapter 6 on attitude change.
(3) Hoover room.
(4) Cut hair.
(5) Bring pen/pencil/writing materials to lectures.

(1) Read Social Psych Chapter 3 on attribution theory.
(2) Call SIA and confirm June's exact flight home.

Saturday, January 17, 2004


I've came up with a brand new blog layout again... *what!? again!? You just changed 4 days ago!?* No, I'm not fickle minded. I'm just not happy with my blog design, I'm not happy that I can't have a graphical background, I'm not happy to look at a dull design everyday writing my blog... and so, I spent some time researching how to add pictorial backgrounds, how to revive my comments, how to include other new and fun features...

You must be wondering why I've so much free time looking at those html and script that I myself don't understand much also... ha...

I'm a determined person. Once I've decided to do something, I will try all my means to accomplish what I want and if possible, to complete the tasks near-prefectly (NOTHING in this world can be perfect). If not, I can't even be bothered to start in the first place.

HTML isn't as difficult as I thought it will be.

It just takes some time and lots of effort. This applies to everything under the sun, doesn't it?


And I managed to revive the comments feature. All past comments are left intact. Yeah, feel free to shout, scream, squeal, shriek...
Harrods Shopping

Went to Harrods in the morning before the astronomy lecture with Luna, Melissa and her mum. Finally. 1st visit to Harrods after 4 months in London. Really cool place. Bought some Harrods toffees to bring home in summer. Went to the chocolate bar and had a tiny cup of dark thick chocolate at 3.50 pounds. Really really good. Went to the food halls and was marvelled by all the food and chocolates and pastries. Was tempted to buy as usual, but somehow managed to suppress my burning desires to do so. Spent 8 pounds instead of the usual 11.50 pounds for 3 sticks of cocoa butter and hemp lip balm at The Body Shop instead. (cocoa butter is really good, my lips never crack once, though it always makes me feel like eating chocolate. =p)

Reminded of the miserable Harrods store at the basement of Takashimaya which is not even 1% of the Harrods London. Is it still there?


Then went to school for my 1st Astronomy lecture. One of the best lectures with one of the best lecturers. Corny and humorous guy whose whole life is so devoted to astronomy and nothing else but astronomy. Learnt about the brief history of astronomy today. Will be going to the London Planetarium soon to have a lesson. Hopefully can do some star-gazing then. Haven't done that for a long long time.

Learnt today that we are supposed to be able to see as many as 3000 stars with our naked eyes on a cloudless night. I can only remember how to identify the northern star, the great dipper, the orion belt now, haven't paid a visit and talked to them for a while liao, the rest of the stars and constellations I can vaguely remember. I remember the clear sky in Kem Eco, Malaysia, where I was taught how to identify Scorpio, Leo, Northern Star, Southern Cross bla bla bla. I remember the four or five shooting stars I saw then as well. Really beautiful. I remember wanting to go star-gazing during the meteor shower in 1998, but was having O levels then. Now I regret it.

I love stars. London's sky is always so cloudy, comparable to Singapore's. Where else can I go star-gazing? Anybody wants to go?

I want to see the aurora borealis (northern lights) as well.


Walked into the lecture theatre to realise that I forgot to bring my stationery for the first time in my WHOLE academic life. Remembered to bring paper though. Had to borrow pen from a stranger in the end to take notes. Tsk tsk... What's happening to me?


Haven't had such a sumptuous home-cooked dinner for a long time. Cooked curry chicken, terriyaki salmon, and cabbage with carrots. Yummy. Spent 50 pounds (150 sing dollars... I can't help to convert again) on grocery shopping for these stuff though... Bought loads of food that should be able to last the two of us for 3 weeks to a month. =)


Finally uploaded the photos I'd taken at Greenwich (click here to have a look) end of last year. Didn't take many photos since it was rainy and I had a cold then.

(1) Cut hair.
(2) Start writing lab report.

(1) Hoover room on Monday.
(2) Upload Austrian photos.

Friday, January 16, 2004











“风吹落最后一片叶 我的心也飘着雪
爱只能往回忆里堆叠 oh~ 给下个季节
忽然间树梢冒花蕊 我怎么会都没有感觉
oh~ 整条街 都是恋爱的人 我独自走在暖风的夜
多想要向过去告别 当季节不停更迭 oh~
却还是少一点坚决 在这寂寞的季节
艳阳高照在那海边 爱情盛开的世界
远远看着热闹一切 oh~ 我记得那狂烈
窗外是快枯黄的叶 感伤在心中有一些 oh~
我了解 那些爱过的人 心是如何慢慢在凋谢
多想要向过去告别 当季节不停更迭 oh~
却还是少一点坚决 在这寂寞的季节
又走过风吹的冷冽 最后一盏灯熄灭
从回忆我慢慢穿越 在这寂寞的季节
还是寂寞的季节 一样寂寞的季节”



Thursday, January 15, 2004


才放了四个星期的假,她 (EL) 整个人竟然180度变得面目全非。








(1) 剪发。
(2) 收拾房间之残局。

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

New template + New Music

Blogspeak - the comment server - died yesterday evening (use the tagboard instead bah). And I was sick of seeing the previous blog template for 2 months, and hence this change of layout. I still don't like this design though I spent a few hours finding this new template and amending its script and html. Wanted to upload pictures as my background but the free account with blogger doesn't allow me to do so. Sian. Anyway, this is the best text-based template that I can find and I decide that green should be more soothing for the eyes. Will change again when I am sick of seeing this layout in a few weeks time I guess.

I get sick of things quite fast.

I need variety.

And since I can't add pictures, I'll add music. David Tao's 普通朋友. Switch on your speakers. =)

Long Hair

Met Sharon at King's Cross to help her with her luggage in the evening and one of the 1st things she said to me was, "What happened to your hair?"

I guess I really need a haircut.



(1) Read Chapter 1 on social psych by Hogg and Vaughan.
(2) Call Lonely Planet again.

(1) Hoover my room.
(2) Apply for credit card when I get my allowance next month.
(3) Cut hair.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

First Day of School

Saw many familiar faces once again at my department. Some of them are still in Singapore (or whatever their hometown is) though. I was bewildered by the attendance for today's lectures - the lecture theatre was almost full - many unfamiliar faces, probably affliate students who are here for only one academic term.

This term's timetable isn't really fantastic. Have to go to school everyday, no more free days this term. Although I have only around 18 hours per week, the lectures are all spread out with 3 or 4 hours break in between the lectures. I end at 5 pm for Tuesdays to Thursdays and 4 pm on Mondays and Fridays for the first half of this term. Thursdays are the worst, with lessons from 10 am all the way till 5 pm with only an hour lunch break in between. What the hell...

First Two Lectures and Lots of Notes

Only two hours of lectures today on the introduction and history of social psychology. And I have already 6 + 2 + 21 +7 + 17 + 8 (I dun wan to know the sum of those figures) pages full of black ink awaiting my scrutiny on the FIRST day of school after ONLY two lectures. So many new terms and names staring at me... Le Bon, Lazarus, Steinthal, Wundt, Lewin, Stouffer, Cartwright... They know me but I dunno them as yet. Hopefully I will in the future.


The typical London weather. Rain and never-ending rain. It wasn't a thunderstorm, just drizzle. And so again, I roamed the streets without an umbrella. Temperature was 7 degrees. Very refreshing.

Cloud Nine

First time after so many months that I stepped out of the lecture theatre at 4 pm and it hadn't turned dark. The sky after the drizzle was cloudless, really cloudless, not even a single cloud, and I was on cloud nine, cos the day is getting longer everyday by about 4 minutes. That means winter is ending and spring is coming soon. Yeah!


Received another greeting card. Feels great to receive something from a place 13 hours away by air. It really makes my day. Thanks momo. I really appreciate it though your previous postcard should have gotten lost in the mail.


After school, I went to Tesco with the one and only intention of spending 45 pence on buying bread. In the end I spent 10 times more to bag away 1 extra bottle of crunchy peanut butter, 4 more Kit Kat Chunkys (on offer!) and 1 extra box of Anthon Berg Strawberry in Champagne Chocolate (on offer as well!). Tsk Tsk...


No plans to get a haircut until Melissa commented today that my hair was getting long. Yup indeed... haven been to a barber since I stepped into London September last year... 4+ months already... Shall wait till it gets out of control before parting with at least 6 pounds on a cut.

Getting Poorer

The exchange rate now stands at 1.00 GBP = 3.12915 SGD. Incredible. Plus transport fares hikes. I promise I am going to have less salmon, chicken, beef, pork and chocolate from now on.


I need a new diary for 2004, but I'm too stingy to buy one for myself in London, so I shall remind myself everyday at the end of an entry some things that I must/should do for the next day, in case I forget:

(1) Help Sharon with her luggage at King's Cross after school.
(2) Call up Lonely Planet to ask for my overdue order.
(3) Pay my accomodation fees (1002.75 pounds) for this term and the Easter break by 23rd January.
(4) Get the printer cartridges from Melissa.
(5) Write letters and replies.

(1) Hoover my room (the last time I hoovered was before I left for Austria, oh my god, tt's 3 weeks ago!)
(2) Apply for credit card at HSBC. (hopefully its successful, they reject me the last time.)
(3) Read and read and read and read... (x infinity)
(4) Upload my photos taken in Greenwich and Austria.
(5) Stop eating too much chocolate.
(6) Exercise.

That's all for today. Going to make sandwich for dinner. Good Luck to myself and the world.

Monday, January 12, 2004














Sunday, January 11, 2004



但是昨天定顺寄了个网页给我,我却花了蛮长的一段时间把双眸定在电脑荧幕上,久久不肯离开这个网站写我星期一要交的lab report。

网页是一组照片,还有背景音乐,歌曲唱的是庾澄庆的《你那边下雪了吗?》。这几张照片声称是中国2003年最好的十大照片,我不知道这句话的可靠性有多强,但无论如何,那十张照片还是把我慑住了。太微妙了。A picture is more than a thousand words,这组照片再次应证了这句话。




于是,我又花了不少时间尝试在Kazaa想下载这首歌却碰了钉子,结果在google search里好不容易找着这首歌。



lab report 始终还没写完。




Saturday, January 10, 2004


回到伦敦已经整整两天却连一件建设性的事也没有成就,只是做了几件家务事,像洗了背包里的脏衣,煮了饭,吃了不知多少巧克力,啃了不知几块的Tesco面包,喝了不知多少杯的Nescafe。你究竟在搞什么鬼啊?终日赖在宿舍,对着电脑,面对打了一半的lab report,又在这里和自己自言自语,又是看了意大利的照片想把照片说明写完,再把Greenwich和奥地利的照片上载到网上,可是正想开始写说明和上载照片的时候,肚子又咕噜咕噜地叫了起来,于是又开始找饼干吃,找面包啃,泡Milo喝。这样一来,一天又过去了,天四点又黑了,于是又打不起精神开始做任何事,于是又翻箱倒柜找了朋友的卡片和信件,重新读起,好不容易开始动笔写了第一封的回信,于是肚子又不听使命地大叫起来。这回,我忍着。才四点多钟,不能再向不听话的肚子屈服,于是尝试在这里和自己讲废话,试图忘记饥饿,到目前为止还撑得住。





Friday, January 09, 2004

Another mundane record of another trip in another country in Europe

Dec 30th to Dec 31st - Salzburg

Early Morning Flight Again

This trip was sort of a last minute decision. I wanted to go somewhere after Italy since nobody will be in my flat for new year. We managed to secure the air tickets (return) for less than 38 pounds, just two weeks before the actual trip. We took a 640 am Ryanair flight and arrived in Salzburg at around 920am (Austria is ahead of London by an hour).

Salzburg has lots to offer, especially because it’s the birth and residential place of Mozart, and because most scenes of the highly acclaimed film, The Sound of Music, were filmed here. However, Salzburg didn’t manage to charm me as much as Innsbruck did.

Dec 31st to 2nd Jan - Innsbruck

White New Year in Austria instead

A bit of snow is nice but not too much of it. An overdose of anything isn’t good. The exact right amount would be perfect.

The weather was bright and sunny the moment we landed in Salzburg, after which it snowed everyday. Light snow started on the second morning in Salzburg, which followed us to Innsbruck, and then it got the heaviest and worst in the last day in Vienna. Heaven decided that we had enough snow by then, and so there was little snow at Graz.

New Year Check-in and 1st New Year abroad

We took an evening train and arrived in Innsbruck at 1030pm on New Year’s eve and to our astonishment, we discovered the reception of the hostel is closed and will only open at 1230am.

So the two of us waited and stared blankly at the numerous fireworks that lit up the winter sky. There was a party, however, in the hostel and when the year 2004 arrived, everybody, including us, hugged and wished one another Frohe Neuer Jahr. Not a bad start for 2004 to be greeted by so many exuberant youngsters and strangers despite having to wait two hours to check in.

My 1st pocket watch and 1st Swarovski crystal

I like Innsbruck (provincial capital of Tyrol) - one of my 2 favourite places in Austria that we visited. It’s a small but beautiful town. The snow-capped Alps surrounding the city, the marvellous confectionary, the fireworks on New Year’s eve, my 1st ever pocket watch and my 1st ever Swarovski crystal that I bought (Yes, Swarovski is Austrian, Tyrolean to be more precise. I didn’t know that till I came to Innsbruck) are all the things I will remember Innsbruck for. Being a ski town, it’s a pity we didn’t go skiing due to the astronomical costs involved. We did go up to the base of the peak at an elevation of 860 metres and the scenery is simply stupendous. I will definitely come back here, but not in the near future I guess.

2nd Jan to 5th Jan - Vienna

This was the worst of the worst. Somehow capital cities never managed to captivate me thus far (same as Italy, I prefer Florence and Venice to Rome).

Nonetheless, Vienna, which is most famous for the Blue Danube, has beautiful palaces, churches and numerous museums, opera houses and so on. Shall describe more with pictures in my gallery in a few days time.

Perhaps one of the reasons why Vienna didn’t leave a good impression on me is its heavy snow and strong cold chilly winds. It was the lowest temperatures I have experienced thus far - around negative 7 to 10 degrees Celsius. *shivers*

By the way, the hostel we stayed in - Wombat’s - is one of the best thus far. Friendly staff, good location, spacious rooms, en suite rooms etc etc.

5th Jan to 7th Jan - Graz

This is another favourite Austrian city of mine - the second largest city in Austria (the biggest being Vienna). To be honest, Graz has nothing much to offer in terms of sightseeing. I guess it’s the people you meet, the place you stayed in that makes the difference. My words won’t be able to do Graz justice.

We missed the train from Vienna to Graz, and Kurt (Wenda’s Austrian flatmate) was nice enough to pick us up late at night at the Hauptbahnhof (main train station). Upon reaching his place, we were greeted by his super friendly parents in English. They don't know English at all, and according to Kurt, they got so excited, when they knew that they are going to receive guests from a far far away place called Singapore, that they tried learning English a few weeks in advance. Very hospitable family indeed!

We stayed in Kurt’s place which is at a small village called Zettling, part of the countryside about 10 km away from the city centre. It’s a really nice place, a small cosy house (not really small though, it’s like Singapore’s bungalow) with its own farm.

During breakfast, Kurt's father showed me the Austrian newspaper and tried to tell me what has happened all over the world, including the SARS case in China, and asked me if Singapore has the same problems. Too bad my Deutsch is still at a very elementary level and I could only reply in a few phrases. After which we attended a mass in a Catholic church - it was their religious public holiday that day called the Epiphany.

We toured around the city centre in the afternoon and then headed back to his place for dinner and a night of board games. Its a simple stay in Graz. Simple and peaceful.

We practically saved quite a bit of euros by staying at Kurt’s place, by sitting in Kurt’s car touring around the city centre, by having home-cooked Austrian meals for that two days. Basically, every kind of food is home-made, with the exception of rice. From milk to bread, from vegetables to meat to eggs, and even juice, everything is grown or reared or baked by them.

To be able to work on the farm and harvest personally what is grown is satisfying. To be able to live away from the bustling city centre is bliss. If only I can stay there forever for the rest of my life…

7th Jan - Back to London

We got so used to the freaking freezing colder weather in Austria that we feel warm when we touched down at London Stansted Airport (3 degrees Celsius then).

Back to reality…

Hopefully the four bottles of wine that I bought in Austria are able to make me drunk occasionally and take me away from reality when necessary (before the next journey to perhaps Belgium and the Netherlands...)

Thursday, January 08, 2004

I'm back

Dear myself,

I'm back in London. Too tired to write anything now. And there is too much to record everything that happened to myself in the past 10 days. It has been a good break. But I reckon I'll have trouble picking up my books in 5 days time.

good luck,