London Callings

Oh, crossing the streets is a major nuisance here. I feel like I’m breaking all sorts of laws when crossing. Even Zoe said that she still doesn’t quite know when she is allowed to cross or not, because very often the pedestrian light turns red, but so does the light for cars. This is when I usually run across. I’m obviously confused as to which way to look, but luckily there are directions painted on sides of the roads: “Look left”, “look right”. I find it strange that back in 1999 I didn’t find the “right” side of the road to be a problem. In Russia the same sides as in Canada and US are the “right” sides, but I never took notice. Perhaps I didn’t cross the streets enough.

Well, alas, tomorrow I have to return to North America. I may be that sapping young woman on a plane that everyone is going to think said good bye to her boyfriend and is now sad. Whilst in fact, I will be sad about leaving Europe. I’m from here, and I will be back (for good)! Terminator said so, and he returned, see.

Ah yes, stay tuned for the art and literature reviews. I picked up so many fabulous books! I’ll have to work my charms at the British Airways check-in desk tomorrow, making sure they don’t charge me extra for going over the allowed bag weight.

From one of my new acquisitions: “Don’t bunt. Aim out of the park. Aim for the company of immortals.” David Ogilvy, Confessions of an Advertising Man.

Catalunya

Well! I am in Spain. It has been my secret desire for some time now, I must admit.

I always wanted to have tapas and enjoy the chatter of passers by.

Barcelona is a wondrous and surreal place in way that a Juan Miro’s work is, with its grotesque animal shapes and disfigured perspective, with its narrow streets that make you slightly uncomfortable but definitely welcome you to get lost and find yourself in some safely tucked away Placa… I keep thinking that I will uncover some secret when I walk around the Barri Gotic or even Barceloneta. I am convinced there is a secret that a handful of locals are able to whisper, yet they all have it in their hearts, Catalan hearts.

My dreams of seeing the artworks by Picasso and Miro are coming true! I absorb the culture like a sponge of sorts and I am extremely happy to have the opportunity to do so. I am grateful for the friends that are with me.

Xavi and Sal are great guides. They took us on a tour yesterday. We went into a small square where the building walls still bear the gunshot marks from the times of the Civil War. I could not believe my eyes, but my video camera did.

The food, the food. Let us discuss – we went to the Mercat Santa Caterina, and my eyes fell out at the sights of fresh seafood, and several dozens of cured ham varieties. Ladies and gentlemen, make sure you go to the markets. Skinned rabbits, goat heads, cow brains, steaks, mushrooms, cheeses… Yes.

Last night we drank homemade sangria (guess what, i’ve acquired the recipe, too…), and went to Gracia neighborhood for some drinks. The narrow streets are littered with small bars and whatnot. Did I mention that I used the Bicing system and biked through the hilly city (in a slightly not so sober state, oops)! I did well, and unfortunately Georgina did not because she and Sal fell off their bikes 😦

And it’s been only two days so far. More museums, more food from the markets awaits me, and more fun. We still have to go to the Sidecar and dance our socks off.

Tomatina happens on Wednesday! Stay tuned. Oh, definitely do. Salud!

Ibiza

Ibiza is a wonderful place. Word of caution: you have to do more than just party party.

We rented a scooter and drove all over the island.

First, of course, we took a cab to Sant Antoni, and went to party at Space. We saw Carl Cox. 6am end time, cabs with British ladies and all that.

We rented a scooter, and I must say, a scooter is an important part of an Ibiza experience, unless of course you want to pay €25 for a ride to Ibiza town.

Krystel and I had an awesome experience riding all over the island, particularly at night. Yesterday we covered half of the island, in pitch dark, with rabbits hopping about the road.

The villas here are rathe fancy, and i’d like to own one someday. He he he.

We ventured into areas that not so many tourists go to; we toured all over the dark northern coast of Ibiza, sat in the middle of the road and stared at the sky (with our helmets on of course he he).

We ate swordfish, and drank local wine. You must must must drink wine from Ibiza; it is absolutely wondrous!!

We danced like there is no tomorrow.

I must say that there were too many trashy British girls; they gave a bad name to the whole Empire. I will post a video of some exceptional examples as soon as I get back to Toronto.

Overall, Ibiza was a great experience. The sun, the fun, the lost in the hilly residential areas with barely any fuel left, and then eating grapes off someone’s wine estate, and scootering through druglords’ villas and whatnot.

Ibiza is a wonderful place, but you must do more than just party till the wee hours and sit on the populated beaches!!! Toy must explore and you must go deep into the island to uncover the true story.

On a return train

More observations include the fact that eggs come in 10- or 6-packs. Wherefore did the idea of a dozen disappeared to?

Wind power is pretty widespread here. Florian was saying that the government will pay you a lot of money to install one of the wind power-generating mills.

I tapped into the German popculture when I purchased an Ampelmann from Eastern Germany. Hehe. Pretty cool.

I didn’t manage to swim in the Baltic Sea due to horrid weather, but Florian did go for a quick swim and he fished out a pair of Baltic sea sunglasses in surprise dive (sentence structure?).

I got off at a wrong train stop, so am currently trying out all methods of trainsportation in Berlin in order to get back to Kreuzberg.

Taking Berlin

Well, well, well. I am in Germany! It is fantastic. Last night I went to Tresor night club, which is a former power plant, and now is a crazy techno club. Gritty place, complete with cold basement spilling over hard techno sounds and scary looking employees with t-shirts that proclaim “Tresor never sleeps”. Agreed. We escaped the full-on party around 5:30am, and that’s nevertheless early.

Tonight I am going to Rostock to rock out a bit there, eat some fish, and drink champagne with Florian.

I’ve had currywurst for the first time, and it was fabulous. I also noticed that cigarette packs have 17 units in them, which I find completely odd. There is no such thing as “last call”, which is the way it should be. People bike a lot in Berlin, and I am even thinking of renting one myself and cruise the city.

Humboldt Universitat sells awesome t-shirts: “Wilhelm & Alexander & ich”. I got one for myself.

I’m taking videos and photographs here, living in Berlin in a less touristy way and having a generally awesome time. Great company, great city, great weather, great memories.

Party in Style (N. America excluded)

While working on compiling Travel Packs for PlanetEye, I found some pretty interesting spots. Reading Forbes Travel makes me so much more excited about traveling in general. First of all, their writers are amazing. Second of all, they really do know what to select, especially if you have your AmEx ready to pay for the recommendations.

The story on Insomnia in Style a.k.a. after hours locations from Madrid to Hong Kong. What caught my eye is the fact that people start partying later, and go all the way to the morning, ending a night on town with breakfast. The place I wanna go to in London after hopping from place to place is “London’s first 24-hour upscale brassiere, Vingt-Quatre, is a cross-Channel import meant to fill the hungry stomachs of Chelsea’s party clique with staple French food.” Yeah! Yeah!

I’m not a big fan of extremely upscale venues, because usually the music is not so good and it becomes more about your designer outfit or a quid stack. Maybe I’m too young 😉 Oh yeah, since this post is about “partying in style”, London’s Intercontinental recently started to offer the “3am to 10am exclusive experience” priced at $7,000. It buys you one of the four Signature Suites at the Park Lane property and plenty of Belvedere vodka, mixers and soft beverages for you and 9 others.

Oh, also a while back when I had an issue with squirrels, I wanted to find out if any restaurants cook it. And what do you know, London’s St John Restaurant offered squirrel. Apparently it’s like tender rabbit, or a very gamey chicken or something like that. Point being, why not try that. Unfortunately, it seems that August is not the squirrel season, and I won’t get to try it. When I live there, then.

PS. Jebus Christ, I really do blog about food too much. Well, excuse me, fine food, company and conversation are some of the most important things for me. As are respect, productivity, health and trendhunting.