Monday, November 20, 2006

Back from holiday

It's back to work for me today, despite not sleeping enough since the body hasn't quite adjusted to local sleeping hours. I woke up at 3am last night, after less than 3 hrs of sleep, and wondered if I should get up to do something or just lie in bed trying to sleep. I finally dozed off after 5am and here I am now, trying not to doze off at the office!

Overall, it's an enjoyable trip, considering it's the first time the SO and I took a packaged tour. A few interesting observations about Europe:

1. Most European countries has a designated bicycle lane on the roads and cyclist has as much rights, if not more, than motorists. Austria even has a special statue dedicated to cyclists, all of which left Uncle S and I salivating...

2. Dog food is dirt cheap (by their local living standards), at less than 1 Euro for an extra large can, so by deduction, I think cat food must be cheap too, although it's not as common on the shelves. (1 Euro = around S$2)

3. Dogs can go anywhere in most of Europe, such as the shops, deli, restaurants, the departmental stores, etc. along with their owners. I've seen big dogs that aren't even leashed. It's lovely to see such wide acceptance of dogs as part of the humans' daily life. Some beggars even have a dog with them, usually sleeping in the owner's laps.

4. One needs to bring very little tissue paper to Europe, that's because:
(a) our oily skin becomes dry, so there's less need to dab on the oily t-zone

(b) the toilets are all very clean and well-equipped with tissue paper, whether or not one needs to pay to use the toilets (cost ranging from 0.40 Euro to 1 Pound). At 1 British Pound to about S$3, this means it can cost S$1.50 just to use the public toilet in London ! However, we did manage to use a free public toilet near the Tower of London, which also provided warm tap water to wash our hands, although the square pieces of toilet paper was funny, and waxy enough to line baking trays for cakes...haha!

5. About toilets, I was very impressed by the automatic-rotating-self-cleaning toilet seat in Germany's public toilets, that I managed to snap a photo hastily. And don't think the public toilets in France have spoiled light bulbs...each toilet cubicle actually has its own light switch, so one needs to turn on/off the light everytime.

We saw a few cats too, although understandably, they weren't as obvious as dogs in the cities. Those cats we saw were outdoors, well-fed and happily roaming about in freedom. I do think these cats have a pretty good life. :)

For now, it's back to the daily grind...


san said...

welcome back aunty_p. So may countries in 3 weeks?

cat_aunty said...

Welcome back!! Take things slowly.

KXBC said...

Welcome back to the daily grind. Heeheeheehee.....

Now that you have had a quick tour of Europe, you should just tour one European country per trip to savour how delightful and different each country is on its own.

I vote for Spain. Historical, pretty, lots of things to see and do. And did I say cheaper than most European countries? And lots of Zara shops too at prices around 70% that of Singapore.

auntie p said...

Dear San, Cat aunty and kxbc, thanks for the welcome, I think. :P We did cover many cities in 2+ weeks.

kxbc: that's the general idea, to have an overview to see which places we like and go on free & easy trips in future. Actually, I found the cost of living in some places to be lower than in Sg, including London, that is, if one is earning British pounds.

We didn't go to Spain this time, but I've been told it's real nice. We didn't like Rome or Venice which are too touristy.

Aiya, don't tempt me with Zara or Mango stuff lah. I told the SO it's a good thing the shops are currently featuring winter wear. Otherwise, I would be lugging many more stuff back from the trip!

KXBC said...

I like Italy, especially the architecture and food. Did I mention the delicious gelato and pasta? Yum yum. Will go there again one of these days.

Celeste Lock said...

When I was in Copenhagen end Oct, I was in a shopping mall where dogs were shopping alongside with their owners - it was such a lovely sight. The hotel I stayed in even allowed pets! People go everywhere with their pets. Wish we could do the same here in Singapore.