vendredi, août 18, 2006


15 August is a public holiday here in France. This year it fell on a tuesday. As everyone in the office except two of us were on holiday, my boss decided to close the office on monday. This means that I had four days to go for a short trip.

Anca would like to go to the beach. Seb would prefer to go to the mountains. I just would like to get away. As it was such a last min planning, we could only get accomodation in the mountains and not near the sea.

So, we set off for the town Clermont Ferrand which is about 400km away from Paris. The region is Auvergne . It is a beautiful region with old volcanos, lakes in craters and valleys.

Once we reached there, we left Bao Bei in the hotel room and set off for the nearest peak. Yeah, it was so last min that we could not find a cat-sitter for Bao Bei. Hotels here usually accept animals for a small fee but do not provide any food or bed. Still, we think this moving caused stress to Bao Bei. It is really not a good idea.

We visited the town Clermont Ferrand. It was not very colorful and in no time at all, we had finished visiting the up town. We headed to the nearest peak, Puy de Drôme. As we were there late in the afternoon, we decided to take the bus to the peak. Trekking up the mountain will take about 1h 45mins. It was really windy up there but the view was fanastic.

Below is the Lac Pavin. We took an hour to walk round the lake. It was crystal green and calm.

We visited villages in Auvergne. In the village Saint Nectaire, we bought cheese Saint Nectaire which is produced there.

One of the last place we visited in our stay in Auvergne was Mont Doré. We trekked along Puy de Sancy. During winter, there is a small ski station beside. There were cows grazing along the fields. I saw this lovely mountain flower and could not resist to take a photo.

mercredi, août 09, 2006

Singapore's National Day

I am a Singaporean.
When I was in Singapore, I called myself a chinese.
When I was in Australia, I had an identity crisis.
-"Are you a chinese?"
-"So you are from china!"
-"No, I'm a singaporean."

When I was in US, the same situation occurred.
-"You are a chinese."
-"Yes, I am."
-"You are from china."
-"No, I'm from singapore."
-"Oh, yes. Singapore. It is the island that was colonised by the British ....."
-"... and was returned to China..."
-"No. That was Hong Kong."

Now in France, I simply said that I am a Singaporean. Still, the story reminds much the same on my identity....
-"Are you a chinese then?"
-"Your ancestors were from China?"
-"I never thought about it but I think so. I have no family in China."
-"How many chinese are there in Singapore?"
-"Almost 75% of the population."

I am proud to be a singaporean. There are only 3 million unique pure singaporeans in this world. How rare that is. The foreigners I came across either had personal experiences with Singapore like having visited it, read a special article about its cleaniness etc; or had never heard of it and do not know where on earth it is.

Today is 9 August. Singapore's birthday.

For non-Singaporeans who do not know about Singapore, I hope this blog will make you go search a little more about this sunny island.

For fellow Singaporeans, I hope that you enjoyed the National Day Parade. I will try to catch it online.