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Meesa gonna kill you!

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

"I like life. It's something to do." - Ronnie Shakes

***

Japan trip
Day 4 - 9th June - Ryoanji, Kyoto
(Part 2)

The next destination was the Ryoanji temple.


Prominently advertised Western-style toilet


Kyoto Tea
I was given a sample, and it was salty and tasted like soup (must be the seaweed). Ugh. There's a reason why regional specialities often do not make it outside their home country.


World Heritage Plaque


Map


Pond


Buddha


Ryoanji sign


Scale model


Karesansui (rock garden)

The rock garden is supposed to inspire meditation:


With the rain, people and noise, I doubt it.


Crowd

The garden walls are made of clay soaked in oil. Over time, the oil seeped out and created patterns, and they need to be conserved since they're falling apart. I love how poor design has become a marketing point.




The Four Accomplishments: "playing the zither, mastering chess, practicing calligraphy and painting"
Basically they used to have 71 nice sliding door panels, which all got stolen. The owners don't want to reveal that they have them, for fear of ninjas rappelling in at night, so they found the owner of 4 panels, reproduced them and returned him the originals. "We're not happy they've our doors, but this is the best we can do"


Door panels


Moss garden. I liked this a lot too


Sketch


"We don't want the damn thing burning down again, do we?"


Tsukubai (Washing point). I have since discovered that the stone basin's opening acts as a "口", completing the 4 characters around its periphery. They then read: "吾唯足知" - "I only know plenty".


Side of building


Corridor


Moss


Vegetarian restaurant on the premises
"Yu-dofu (boiled soy bean curd with vegetables) - Y1,500
Rice - Y200
Vegetarian dish with yu-dofu - Y3,300"
So much for going vegetarian to save money


Lake


Wet path


Bus and public transport guide: "Please don't copy or use"
It was a very good guide, I must say.
Also: "Printed with Soy Ink. Trademark of American Soybean Association". I didn't know their reach extended here.
"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." - J. R. R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

***

Baltics trip
Day 4 - 19th May - Klaipeda, Lithuania
(Part 1)

Lithuania was a country where, although the beer was cold, the Coke was sometimes warmer than the outside air. Gah.

They have "BP" here: "Baltic Petroleum".

Some ads of Vilnius we saw (perhaps too late, hurr hurr):


Wonders of Lithuania:
"Medusa
Every day live erotic show
Erotic massage
Exclusive xxx show
Escort service
Amazing and stunning water show
Non stop striptease
Limo service"
I hope "water show" doesn't refer to golden showers


"The Best Place To Start The Evening... Come And Visit the Barbie of your dreams
Erotic food meniu (sic)
... Romantic dinner with our lady"
You get the idea


Hunters' Restaurant


"WANTED!!!
REWARD: 'CITY MAP' & 'EXPLORING VILNIUS'"

After leaving the hotel, we went to the bus station to wait for the bus to Klaipeda.


Lift shaft converted to art space


Boredom


Yellow flowers you see by the road a lot in Lithuania

[Addendum: These are rapeseed, used to make canola oil.]

At Klaipeda we stayed in the only dorm room of the trip.


Horrible typos in hostel rules


A very Chinese brochure (and not just due to English problems)
"Dear guests visiting the Curonian spit... A forest fire being noticed, dial number 112. Think of it, your intellect and sound judgement can help fragile nature of the spit. Enjoy it and do not forget that your visit should be harmonious and temperate. Do not be proud of being stronger than nature and do not rejoice when you have injured it. Nature does not forgive mistakes."


"PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT SEND ANY INFORMATION TO OUR COMPUTER FROM THE INTERNET!!!"
Hilarious.


"Night Clubs:
Eroticenbar... The name says everything"
Unfortunately we didn't go there

We then left for the Curonian spit, passing by a sculpture park.


He that lives by the sword...


Weird men statues

There is a non-negligible group of shorter men with taller girls in the Baltics.

I was considering learning choice Lithuanian phrases from the guidebook, but given that we were going to pass through 3 countries with 3 different national languages (one of which is totally different from the other 2), I didn't bother.


Bridge and port

Unsurprisingly, fewer people spoke English than in Vilnius.

Klaipeda was a short ferry ride away from the town of Smiltyne on the Curonian spit. Usually I find the chill invigorating, but the Baltic Sea was too much for me. Also, there was no warm, balmy ocean breeze moderating the weather as I'd expected (thanks, Baltic Sea).


"Welcome to Kursiu nerija national park"

They had nude beaches, coed nude beaches and women's clothing optional beaches. I was curious at what the difference was, besides wanting to see who was sturdy enough to sunbathe nude when even I was freezing, but we didn't have time.

We took a bus down to Nida, at the southern end of the Lithuanian section of the Spit.

The other 2 wanted to have smoked fish:


Shop sign


Assorted smoked fish


Smoked Perch


What must be the smallest museum in the world


There were a lot of irritating flying insects. The spiders had a field day.


Irritating flying insects


Another fish we didn't have the translated English name of

Someone ordered cider, which was not bad - like less-sweet Zappel (ie unlike other cider I've tried).


Fried bread


"Pig hand". This was listed under "beer snack". It also came with peas and bacon. It was essentially Schweinshaxe, but not the crispy variant (the skin was slimy).

We then walked to the dunes crowning the spit.


World Heritage pyramid



Coast


Quotes:

Just because you're racist doesn't mean you're wrong
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