Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"Meat" Salad

Saw this video from a food website...It's damn funny & disgusting at the same time. The 2nd vid is in response to the 1st video. Enjoy!

Warning: Do not view this after a full meal! Oops, did you just do that?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Diagnosis of my persistently swollen 3rd Toe (Right foot)

Finally after 2 months of agonishly less pain but nagging feeling, i got an X-ray to find out what the HELL is wrong with my toe - I have a recovering Fracture!!!!! Small one, but still a fracture!!!!!

If you remember, I mentioned my swollen toe in my earlier blogs of travelling in US and Paris where I travelled and walked for hours since Dec 2010 with a swollen toe, the result after a run on the treadmill one fine night in Charlotte hotel. So u can fracture your toe while running! And I didnt even run like a cheetah or hit a wall!

I had put off seeing a doc during my travels, thinking that it might just be a normal sprain. But it didnt wear off after 1mth, so I went to see a doc the day I returned. And what a gondo doc I saw! He didnt seem v professional, and he was tardy looking, and looked like he didnt sleep the night b4. So he was quite sloppy and shoddy in his diagnosis:

Me: So what is wrong?
Doc: Oh you probably just sprained a ligament or sth. Your toe is not made of many important structure, so it's not serious.
Me: Oh (abit unconvinced). So how long will it remain swollen?
Doc: Oh this kind is either a few days or a few months. Since yours already 1mth, so I guess it's not the 1st case. So it'll be a few mths
Me: *thinking - duh! i also know this myself!!!!!!!!!*
Doc: Hmm, since you so concerned, I give you some medicine la!
Me: Ok, so should I come back if still swollen?
Doc: Hm, you can if you want to, but no need la. Maybe I give you more dosage so you don't have to come back so soon.
Me: Ok.....

Thanks Doc! I also know!! I self medicated myself before seeing you!!! U knw they have been complaining abt the standard of medical care in US, i think sometimes, the docs need to improve their service in Singapore also. I've met a couple of docs who are just as nonchalant as this one, esp those who work for group medical care centres, like they're just counting down to the number of patients they have...

But anyway, I took the medicine (pain killer and anti swelling) and refrained from excessive exercise. But seems like still swollen and abit pain. So I decided to consult another doc, my usual doc near my coy. Turned out my fav doc was not ard, so an ah pek doc saw me and recommended xray. I was shocked but he said better to xray to find out the cause. So i went for it. And tada! Recovering fracture. Thankfully it's recovering! But it's scary that I have a fracture! And I walked miles and miles and hours and hours with it!!! Haven received the actual Xray film yet, but the report was out, so now waiting to see how the fracture actually looks like to classify as 'Recovering'.

Feel abit less worried now that I know what's wrong, but damn sad that it's really a fracture!!! Now gota rest a few more mths for it to fully recover....

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Famous Choc Chip Cookies Diary

I like to bake (in case you readers do not know) but i've never actually blogged about this passion of mine or showed some baking procedure. So I suddenly decided, hey why not do it now? Instead of highlighting and bombarding you readers with my glorious travelogues and photos, in the process possibly inducing salivation and awe at the adventures, mayb I should switch it up a little, you know, like comfort food after days of gourmet cuisine or plain water after downing bottles of alcohol! So what better to blog about then my critically acclaimed Chocolate Chip Cookies!

It all started with an email from an old friend titled 'Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies', which described the recipe as THE RECIPE for Famous Amos Choc Chip Cookies! Knowing that I'm an avid baker, my friend emailed me the recipe and I decided to give it a try! Turned out, it's actually delicious!! But of cos, Famous Amos had come out to deny the authenticity of the recipe. But who cares! It tastes great! So from then on, it's become a tradition for me to bake this recipe once a year (only once, cos it's a time-consuming, back hurting exercise), and normally for Xmas or latest New Year.

No, i'm not selling the cookies. I give them out to those lucky few (you know who you are) and these cookies have been tried and tested and praised over the years (>6yrs and counting). There are even those who requested for more after 1st round, but sorry, supply is limited, one person gets only 1!

This year, or rather last year, due to my travelling, I was not at home to bake them for Xmas, or even New Year. And I thot that I would NOT bake them at all, but suddenly i thot - "Hey, Y break the tradition?" And since Chinese new year is coming, might as well bake them for that occassion! So after shopping for the ingredients, I set out to work...

Gathering the ingredients, I decided to only bake half portion of original recipe (which is what I normally do) cos the full recipe will take me like AGES!! Too tired to pull the entire recipe, you'll know how tiring it is to actually complete just half a portion

The ingredients - Flour,oatmeal,choc,chips,butter,sugar,eggs,vanilla essence + most important =Perserverance

So all you gota do is cream the wet ingredients, add the dry ingredients and wala!

Almost done. At this point, muscles are required to mix the batter

Chips and everything else added and mixed. It pays to train your arm muscles on a regular basis. This is hard work! Beats 10reps of 3kg dumbells

Spooning bite sized portions on the baking tray. If you want to get down and dirty, u can use your hands to shape the dough

Actually the recipe calls for using hands to shape the dough, but i don't wana get my hands dirty haha. Also, note that my cookies are small, really small. Not like those Mrs Fields gigantic cookies. I like it small, cos it's crunchier that way. It gets slightly chewy when it's bigger. And it's looks more when you pack alot of small pieces, compared to 3 big pieces hahhahha
And after about 10minutes, 'ding'! They're done! Make sure to let them rest on the tray for a few minutes before removing them to completely cool off on a rack or just on plates

YumYum! Feast your eyes on these lovely crunchies!

Cooling off the cookies

That's the size of 1 cookie, comparable to the size of my thumb haha
And after 2.5hrs of constant non-stop baking in 2 ovens simultaneously working overtime, I finally finished the entire batch! Yes, that' 2.5hrs of baking NON-STOP!! Excludes time taken to prep the ingredients and mix them (that takes about 30-40mins). And mind you, it was non-stop! No time to go pee-pee or drink water. That's y i always feel damn dehydrated and tired after completing the batch. Cos the process is like 1st tray in, 10mins start, prep 2nd tray for 2nd oven, pop 2nd tray in, start prepping another tray for 1st oven, 'ding' 1st oven done, take out 1st tray to cool, quickly pop another tray into 1st oven, 2nd oven 'ding', take 2nd tray out, prep another tray.....and so on and so forth until u get down to the last cookie dough and you go 'Phew' So imagine baking the full recipe.... FYI i only did that ONCE.
The results -2 medium containers, 1 peanut butter sized container and 1 small container
>3hrs of effort translated to only 4 containers hahah...Very Very hard work! And the hardest part? The cleaning up! Damn! Worse than washing the dishes! Cos of all that doughy material, it's more difficult to clean.

So who gets these lovely cookies?? Heheheheheheh

Friday, January 14, 2011

I'm A Saggi I'm A Saggi I'm A Saggi..Regardless of what they say

Changes in Zodiac Signs

Have you guys read this ridiculous article? Summarize the main points:

"...At least one astronomer claims that individuals' astrological signs may be different than previously thought because of changes in Earth's alignment..."
"...Star doctors now say that one's Zodiac sign must be reconfigured given the change in the Earth's location..."
"...The changes mean people's signs may be off by about a month (check below for your — possibly — new sign). Plus, there may be a thirteenth Zodiac sign: Ophiuchus...."

How crazy is that! And you wana know the new alignment??

Capricorn: Jan. 20 - Feb. 16
Aquarius: Feb. 16 - March 11
Pisces: March 11- April 18
Aries: April 18- May 13
Taurus: May 13- June 21
Gemini: June 21- July 20
Cancer: July 20- Aug. 10
Leo: Aug. 10- Sept. 16
Virgo: Sept. 16- Oct. 30
Libra: Oct. 30- Nov. 23
Scorpio: Nov. 23- Nov. 29
Ophiuchus: Nov. 29- Dec. 17
Sagittarius: Dec. 17- Jan. 20

What the hell is Ophiuchus? The name itself is hideous. Ok it has another name "Serpentarius" but still doesnt sound great. Apparently, this is the sign for Ophiuchus:

Ok, who would want to be born in that zodiac sign? How fugly and unimaginative is the sign? It actually looks like those buddhist talisman.

That's beside the point, luckily my supposedly new zodiac is not this. But, I've suddenly become Scorpio!!! What the F***! NO way man, i was born a saggi, lived as a saggi and will CONTINUE as a saggi! What is a scorpio? Man, I don't fit into that! And it's pathetic that a scorpio has only 7 days! Whatever is said, I'm a SAGGITARIUS!! True Blue Saggi! So very saggi! I'm a FIRE sign! Yes I have the fire in me :)

Anyway, this debate is not going to last. Who will suddenly accept this new fact after like eon years!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bonjour Paris

Paris! After a 10hr torturous flight (overnighter on Continental economy is not the best way to travel), I finally arrived in Paris! Not so long ago, I departed from this airport to US, now I'm back! With 2 suitcases, I tackled the train to my hostel. Should not be a problem right? It was at 1st, until I had to change train at Gard Du Nord Station. Turned out, you had to walk quite a distance to transfer to Line 2! And the most devastating of all is the STAIRS!! Maybe they had escalators that were hidden, but I sure DID NOT see any signs pointing to that! So i had to slowly and tediously pull and push my suitcases one at a time up the many flights of stairs! But thanks to friendly French (maybe they didnt know I was NOT french) a guy came forward to help me. He probably said sth but hey I dont understand French!
Transferring at Line 2 and arriving at my station, more stairs awaited me! Turned out there is actually an elevator but was hidden in the middle of the station (i only found out recently through another fren's blog). Damn, they just like to make pple work! All these pushing, pulling, carrying up stairs and along cobbled streets actually aggravated my shoulder pain. But not too serious as to render me disabled! Just need some rest and break from excessive loads..
So checked into my hostel (accomodation is expensive in Paris) which I paid EUR40 per night (very expensive right), I cleaned up and headed out to explore Montmarte (where my hostel is located). 1st stop Sacre Coeur! It was beautiful! Weather was quite alright that day although sky was not very clear, but nice to explore! For those who are wondering y the hell am I wearing a friendship band thingy on my right wrist (the only accessory i wear is earrings and nth else), I got it there! But those stupid scammers, saying that it's a church thingy. Oh well, whatever la, anyway paid EUR2 for it only, claiming I had no $$ hehe!

Interesting looking varieties of cheeses

The area of Montmarte near my hostel is quite the red-light district. When you walk down, plenty of sex shops to choose from! It's just a street full of sex shops! Then further down, you have the famous Moulin Rouge!! Didn't go in la, just 1 person, not so fun!

The night was still young, so I went to Eiffel Tower for the night scenery! Damn the Q is Long! It seems like everywhere in Paris, Qs form! All single attraction I passed by! For Eiffel it was a good 40mins wait b4 i actually bought the ticket, and another 15-20mins wait b4 I boarded the lift up! It was a cloudy day, so I only went up to 2nd floor. Anyway, not much difference between 2nd and top floor! Excited abt seeing the night lightings (good experience from Top of the Rock), I was slightly disappointed by what I saw... It was not so much bright after all! Yes, there were lightings, sparks etc, but 'City of Lights' it is not. At least not to my expectation... Slightly disappointed. It was very cold up there, so I didnt bother to stay much longer and headed back to hostel for some rest....

After a restless night (jetlag setting in), I woke up early the next day to visit Lourve Musuem! I heard that you had to get there early (like when it open) as Qs form later the day. So I reached there slightly b4 9am, only to be met by a long long long long Q!!!!!

Look at the Q!!
After more than 1hr wait, I finally got in! Time to start exploring the musuem! FYI, it's only EUR9.50 per entry, not as exp as I would think! Also, on Wed and Fri, they have late nights and reduced ticket entry from 6pm onwards
Lourve Musuem is damn big! So plan your time and what you want to see! Of cos, go for those recommended art!
Stop shooting me papparazzi
Female or male????? Haha The answer may surprise you!

After 1.5hr in the musuem (too much is an overkill), I walked out to a bright and sunny day!! Damn I love the sun! Time to start walking again! So I started walking pass the garden, towards Triumph Arc, to Eiffel Tower, and then to St Michel!
And of cos, pass the boutique shopping district and LV SHOP!!! And here comes another story!
A few blocks in front of LV shop, a chinese lady stopped me:
Chinese Lady: Can you speak English?
Me: Yes
Chinese Lady: Can you speak Chinese?
Me: Yes (in Mandarin)
Chinese Lady: Oh good, we are all Chinese (in Mandarin)
Me: Thinking "Great, sth is going to happen"
And indeed! She wanted me to help her buy more LV bags (there's a quota per person). As I had nth bter to do and not buying LV, I agreed! Gives me a chance to officially walk into LV as a customer! She readily pulled out the designs she wanted, and handed me a stack of money Yes CASH!! All EUR1,500 of it!! Right into my hands! Oh great! She wasn't even worried that I might just run away with the money!! I suppose I don't have the sinister/conmen look! But hypothetically, I could and she wouldn't know! SO anyway, I walked into this:
After like eternity, I walked out with my purchases and handed them to her! The best part?? She gave me the tax refund!! WooHoo!!! Good Karma pays!!! Just for walking into LV and buying things, I get like EUR130 in payment! Haha That means I actually stayed for free in Paris! Cool!
With happy mood, I continued my walk. Alas, the sky turned cloudy the moment I walked out of LV shop but luckily it did not rain...

The day ended ard 4pm, and I set out back to hostel for some rest. Damn jet lag, it makes you really really tired but hard to sleep! I passed out literally at 8pm, and slept through my roomie entering! But good things nvr seem to last. I found myself awake suddenly at 2am, and didnt fall back to sleep until like 5am. Then it was restless sleep until 8am, and finally pushed myself off the bed at 930am.
3rd and last official day in Paris - Notre Dame and Latin Quarter!

Met a Chinese student (from Beijing) who was spending half a day b4 catching a train to London, so we ended up touring Notre Dame together! Then it was off to guided free tour at 11am of Latin Quarter. you can check out for more information abt their free tours! It was good and informative and they bring you to interesting places that you may not know if you're just following the guidebooks!

Happen to chance upon this bridge where French display their Locks of Love!! If only I had brought mine that day....Damn it, missed chance! Imagine the possibilities I could have locked myself into.....

Then it was off to wonder Latin Quarter! Nice little part of Paris! Lots of eateries and interesting cafes...

Stopping for a bite of Cheese Crepe, a very popular snack in Paris! It's HUGE and very filling! I was totally full halfway through my piece! But delicious!

Jet lag kicked in again, rendering me almost zombie-like by 1pm.. So I headed back to hostel and had a long, good nap of 2.5hrs! It was refreshing to wake up after a good nap! After a shower, it was off to the kitchen for some food and internet!

Coincidentally there was a group of hostelites drinking and chatting at one corner, and I just invited myself to join the party! Hey it was New Year's Eve! A Party is always welcomed!

My new friends from Paris
THe group consisted of many different nationalities - Korean, Americans, Australian, Filipino, Londoners and me Singaporean! It was a fun fun night! And lots of booze!!

We were like a group of people on New Year's Eve, no idea of what to do to celebrate the coming of the New Year, so we just drank and chatted and started photo-snapping!

As time passed and neared the 12hour mark, we decided to head to Sacre Coeur for the countdown! FYI, there used to be fireworks @ Eiffel Tower to celebrate the New Year, but they cancelled it this year due to security and safety issue. Apparently, pple were hurt maybe due to crowding or stampede!

So with 30mins to spare we made our way up Sacre Coeur and managed to find a great spot to overlook the city, surrounded by equally high and energetic Parisians, tourists! At this point in time, all the jet lag just miraculously melted away! I was super HIGH!!
And just like that, 12midnight came and went! There was not really a great HooHaa, and we actually didnt realised it was time until we saw fireworks! Seemed like pple were one beat slower to celebrate the new year! A few minutes after 12midnight, fireworks were lit, pple were cheering....

We left not long after, feeling still energetic and yearning for more, we headed to a nearby bar for more booze and party! I ended up in bed past 3am, too HIGH from the party and booze that sleep was hard to come. When it finally sorta came, I had to get up for my flight back home. Dragging a tired, hung-0ver self, I packed and left for my trip back home...
So was I satisfied with Paris trip? Not really, I missed Versailles, thanks to the flight delay. Was Paris as fantastic as many pple made it out to be? I personally do not think so. At least not from this trip! Romantic? Not really, but I have been told it was cos I was alone. But then again, isnt it best to be alone in Paris? It happens alot in movies, when u'r alone, u meet the love of your life! Haha, dream on! Maybe cos I was in NY the week b4, and the contrast was great! NY was a great city to be in, and Paris sorta paled abit in comparison. Also, the Parisians, hmmmmm not the most friendly person in general on 1st impression, especially when u'r a non-French speaking tourist. Maybe it is fate! Maybe i'm fated to have a not so great impression of Paris so that I HAVE to come back again (for Versailles!!) to judge again the great city! Haha, maybe next time I should go with somebody else to experience the romance the city has to offer... Maybe Maybe... Who knows if i'll go back to Paris again. It's not that near to Singapore, but in life, nothing is guaranteed, only life and death.
And then, my longest trip away from home has ended...On a HIGH!!! Literally!! And the worst was to come! I spent 3 days to be completely rid of my jet lag!! Worse! I must have been away for too long to take so damn long to tune back to Singapore Time!! And back with a leaner frame! All of 3kg leaner... Time to hit the gym and swimming pool to get my stamina and muscles back!

Niagara Falls and My Eventful End to US Trip

Finally, Niagara Falls, one of the highlights of the trip! To visit one of the 7 natural wonders of the world and during winter, should be quite an experience! But 1st, the journey there to endure! As the saying goes 'No Pain No Gain', so in order to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Niagara Falls, you need to endure the pain of the journey there, which is a 12 hour bus ride from NYC. And, one thing I learnt, getting a ticket does not necessarily guarantee you a seat!! Yes, alot of passengers were faced with the problem of not getting seats for the timing as per ticket and had to wait for the next bus which could be like 3-4 hours later!! Luckily i was not one of them, if not, I'll just cry! And lest u think, overnighter should be quite comfy, you're forgetting that it's Greyhound, Not Grassland or 5-stars here in Singapore! You get a normal 40-seater bus, with minimal inclination and cramped space to TRY and fall asleep, with numerous breaks (4 in total) in between. Try getting sleep under those conditions!
So, I arrived @ Niagara Falls with barely a winker (maybe 3hours in total), braving myself for the cold assault which actually turned out to be milder than I thought it would be! Maybe it's cos I was decked out in 2 layers of pants, 2 layers of sweaters + down jacket + thick scarf + beanie hat + gloves..... But seriously, not as cold as I would expect (at least not yet). 1st thing 1st, settle my return bus ticket. Checking with the counter and after much confusion and explanation, I finally got my return ticket back to NYC!! As it turned out, the timing printed on the ticket is redundant cos apparently u can hop onto any bus scheduled on the date specified on the ticket! See what I mean! It's a matter of luck and fate! Anyway, onto my Niagara Falls Whirlwind tour!
1st stop - Canadian falls (aka Horseshoe Falls)

Note for winter visiting, quite a number of attractions/rides are closed due to weather, but u get a different feel of the Falls. I visited on Xmas Eve (probably not the best time of the year) so alot of attractions close early, and surrounding shops are closed during the day. Still you get to go on Journey Behind the Falls, where u walk behind the Horseshoe Falls and witness the mightiness of the Falls. Of cos, the attraction prices are lower!

Cute B&B Houses

I decided to give Canadian side a quick tour and move to American side as I was to come back to Canada for night view & my bus ride home. So I crossed the rainbow bridge! And you have to pay a toll to cross it!! Even if you're just walking across!! But u can a great view of the entire Horseshoes Falls

The American side had more attraction stops compared to Canadian side, and you get to go on the gorge walk (reduced version) where you can see Canadian side & the Bridal Veils, which is AWESOME!!!!! The park is open 24/7, however attractions follow opening times. So best advise is to visit all the attractions 1st, then take your time to explore and admire the park views. Also, the tram is FOC and it takes you around the park. So if you're lazy, hop on it! I just walked my way around. Too bad the observatory tower was closed due to weather, but it's also FOC if it were open! I think probably only so during winter...

How gorgeous is Bridal Veils

The gorge walk was fantastic!! Especially the Bridal Veils cos during winter you see those ice formations and they add a different take to Niagara Falls!! Really beautiful!

The mist is forever there 24/7
Walking the entire park took a good 1.5hour, slowly walking and stopping along the way to admire the scenery and take photos! Luckily the weather was not that cold during the day so the walk was enjoyable!

Of cos, after much walking, time to some food and during Xmas eve, it's not the easiest time to find eatery open! I stopped by Denny's for late lunch cum dinner and waited for evening to come where Niagara Falls come to live!! The Illumination. I was still @ America side as I wanted to view the night scenery from both sides, and it's very troublesome to keep crossing here and there (crossing the custom is a chore, so once is tiring enough!) While waiting, I stopped by the casino and promptly lost USD20 playing the slot machines. Actually, I had no idea what I was playing, just put $$, and press. I think i won like $10 but lost them back. Anyway it was no fun! I thought Beginner's Luck would bestow upon me but alas, that is only a myth! Damn it!
At 6pm, i promptly walked to the American Falls, set up my tripod and photo taking begun! Niagara Falls started to be illuminated with Green, White, Red, Blue lights! Well, it was beautiful, but maybe I was expecting much more brightness...

Night Illumination of Niagara Falls

Soon after, I made my way across the Rainbow bridge and onto Canada! As it was still early (my bus was past midnight) i decided to rest abit, have a cup of hot choco @ starbucks and wait for later when fireworks begin (9pm).

Fun fact (at least i find it fun): U have to change your USD to Canadian $$ for most shops, but of cos some accept USD, but they return Canadian to you, and you CANNOT change back to USD. However, there is no exchange difference between the two!! At 1st, i thought there is, so when I wanted to change, i asked 'What's the exchange rate', no answer. I just got back the change without inspecting. Then after a few payments, I realized 'Hey it's weird that they don't ask how much when I pay in USD and just accept!' Then I realized, duh there's no difference between the 2 currencies!! So what's the point!! They even look alike! Just trying to make your life more difficult!

So after a cuppa, I made my way to Horsehoe Falls close to 9pm and started taking photos of the illumination! The colours looked prettier at the Canadian side, with Orange, Green, Blue and Purple (My favourite!!)

People were starting to gather, and by 9pm, crowds were gathering, waiting for the fireworks! Yes, I had stayed late because I wanted to see the fireworks! A few mins after 9pm, it just started 'Boom' 'Boom'... After like 10-15mins, it stopped just as suddenly as it started... Some pple complained that it was too short but it was alright..

Fireworks, not that fantastic but good enough

Crowd started to dissipate after the fireworks, and I felt empty after that cos I had nth to do, and my bus was like 3hrs away... Not hungry, so nth bter to do than to walk back to the bus station and wait... Apparently, it's much more happening @ the Canadian side as compared to American Side. It was like a dead town over US side, but all shops, restaurants were in full force and pple were out over @ Canadian side! The casino also looked classier...

Thinking that I can finally get some warmth (it was getting cold at night) sheltering at the bus station, I walked briskly... But!!! The bus station closed at 1030pm, and they just chased us out in the cold to wait for our bus!! Yes, those heartless pple!! They didnt care abt us at all! A bunch of us had no other choice but to sit out in the cold (extreme cold!) and wait for 3hrs!!!

The 1st 1hr was not too bad, I occupied myself watching movie on my HP, but my HP died on me soon, and i was left freezing in the cold and counting down to my bus arrival... We all were freezing terribly! The wind just cut through your skin! Even with all those layers of protection!! You just wanted to DIE!!!!! Finally when the bus came, it was like striking the TOTO!! Finally warmth!! However, it could be the extreme hours we spent in the cold but it felt like eternal coldness in the bus that refuses to thaw away.......

Anyhow, after another tortuorous 12hrs bus ride, it was back to NYC!! Where i finally get a nice bed and room to rest & recharge! It was a great feeling to be back to sleep... Before my s'posed flight to paris the next day...

However, good fortunes do not last long!! The next day, thanks to warning by my colleague, I went to check my flight status (even though it was 'On Schedule' just the night before) and was SHOCKED (yes i was truly shocked) to find 'cancelled' without any notice or email warning from the airline! I was stunned and didnt know what to do in like 5mins...Thinking through my brain what was going on! Apparently, a snow storm was approaching and the airport is closing at 3pm! So with my fastest speed ever, I poured everything into my suitcases (luckily i sorta packed most of the things the night b4) dressed up and rushed to the airport with my bags hoping for a miracle!

Alas, a miracle was not to be had! The line for re-accomodation was hellishly long!! After an almost 3hours wait, I was finally @ the counter and got my next available flight - 2 days later! Damn it! Totally ruined my Paris plan! Now only down to 2.5 days in Paris! I was comtemplating whether to extend or not, but decided against it cos the result of extending my NY stay ended up with delayed flight, and I was afraid the bad karma will continue should I decide to extend.. So hey 1 more extra day in NYC, although not much could be done as weather wreaked havoc throughout NY, and sorta crippled the Transport system...

Bravely, I decided to venture out to Manhattan the next day, seeing that the morning sky was clear and bright. Transport was madness as trains were delayed, and no buses in operation, but I still managed to get into Manhattan to witness the tremendous pile of snow on the sidewalks, and experience the mighty push of the wind! I was almost knocked off by the wind! But it was a good day for shopping and great bargains await (post-Xmas sale). Greedily after purchases from H&M, i walked over to Macy's hoping for more bargains instead of following my instinct to head back to the hotel. THis proved a deathly MISTAKE!!! Just cos of my 30min tour of Macy's (with nth to buy), I boarded THE TRAIN that would make the day a bad one! The train got stuck soon after it departed NYC, due to faulty train ahead. After 1hr wait in the train, it was discovered that power failure prevented trains from crossing over to Newark & we had to turn back. I was just totally shocked and in a mess! What was I to do in a foreign city with no means of getting home! Then all other trains were delayed. Communication was scarce, and noone was there to help stranded passengers! Some people pointed to PATH (another means of tpt) to get to Newark, but when we got there, we were told otherwise (No we do not go to Newark).

Luckily, I met a group of pple in the same situation and we just tried our luck on PATH to get to some destination where there's possibly a way to get to Newark! So from 3-6pm, I was just frantically searching my way around NYC, finally reaching some station where there could be a way to Newark. 1hr later, no news of any further trains available and everyone was just frantic!! Luckily for me, a family was staying in Ramada Hotel nearby (funnily, they had no idea the hotel was so close by until they called the hotel after like 40mins waiting with us!!) and I followed them back to the hotel and waited for the airport transfer to get to my hotel! All in all, I wasted a good 7hrs of my time doing nth when I could have been laying in bed watching movies!! I only managed to reach hotel at 11pm..

If only I had not wandered to Macy's, I would not have been in such a situation........ Damn it! If i had bought sth in Macy's it would not have been that bad, but I didnt! Why did I go to Macy's?!?!?! It was damn tiring. And it's under such situation that you begin to miss Singapore's efficient transport and communication systems! Of cos we don't have weather conditions to deal with, but I wld think that the govt is efficient to deal with any kinda situation! Passengers would not have been left stranded with little/no information! But then again, it's little things like that that make your life experience more wide! In times like these, u meet pple in same situation who would take their time to help you even though you're just a stranger! The group of pple i met were totally strangers to me and each other, but we stuck together and tried our luck! The family had no obligation to help me, but they did!! Then again, if I had not gone to Macy's nth like this would have happened... Haha it's a vicious cycle.....

And that ends my USA trip... BTW, my flight was further delayed 2days later..How sucky was that! And the airport was in a terrible mess!! Horrible I tell you!!..... Till next time, onto bter things Paris City of Lights...