Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bonjour Paris Day 1! Part II-- The one in Champs-Élysées, Arc de Triomphe

We reached Champs de Élysées, the extremely famous high street... Famous for it's posh fashion houses, and insanely high priced clothes.

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It is so hot!!! Me with the lemon sorbet on one hand, camera and guide book on the other hand!

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On the High Street.

 

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Look how busy is the street!

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Wa....

And finally, I reached the Arc de Triomphe! This is the place I dreamt of stepping my foot on when I'm successful in life since in high school 10years ago! And now I'm here.. It's an emotional affair...

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My dream came true!

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Closer look...

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Of course this visit won't complete without climbing up the Arc de Triomphe... The photo was taken while climbing up the Arch...

The view from the top of the Arc is nothing less than spectacular!

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The right lane is Champs de Élysées... not sure bout the left one. Haha...

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Champs de Élysées

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Tour Eiffel can be seen on the right... 

arc de Bird's eye view. Click on the image to view the enlarge size of the photo...

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After coming down from the arch, I took another shot. Ha!

IMG_0167 The detailed and true to life sculptures on the Arc de Triomphe

IMG_0168 Another shot... The one that has been crowned is none that the other than Napolean.

OK, where are we going next? Stay tuned!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Bonjour Paris! 23.07.08 Part I-- The one in Tour de Eiffel, Champ-de-Mars, Pont Alexandra III, Petit Palais

Paris, the city of light, the romantic city of the world. My next dream city after England. On 23rd July, I finally fulfilled my dream...

Budget =GBP150
duration = 4days 3nights.
Transportation= Fly to Charles de Gaulle airport (paris) by BMI baby.low cost airline. Within city: Metro, walking, crawling, running.... Back to Uk: Eurostar, swimming through English Channel (just kidding)

Day1:
4am-- I guess this is the earliest I ever got up in England! We have to take Skylink Nottingham bus to the East Midland Airport!

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A few hours later, I'm in Paris Charles de Gaulle Aiport!

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Waiting for the train to Luxemburg Station, which is near to the Residence that I've booked.

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My first good impression of Paris come straight out of their immaculate design of the apartment buildings and with a hind of art in it.

Once we all placed the luggage in the apartment, we headed to the first iconic landmark in Paris!   

Tour de Eiffel (The Eiffel Tower)! Er, with tree leaves! Haha...

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Built in 1889 for the world exhibition, it's was being labeled rubbish by then from the Parisians! But my opinion comes in 3 expressions, It's magnificent! fantastic! romantic!

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Tour de Eiffel with a very clear blue sky...

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Me with the famous Tour de Eiffel. You have no idea how hot that day was! 30C!

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Shot underneath the tower.

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View of the tower from Champs de Mars.

Of course I marked my territory there by G jump! Woot!

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Come across this poster...

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Parisian style party? Testicles?

Lunch time approached, so what to eat in Paris? Of course Baguette and their oh so tasty pastries!!!

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The first authentic French Patisserie I visited

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One corner inside of the shop.. Amazingly friendly Parisian... Very kind and helpful with lots of patience with us! Haha...

Alright, after lunch, we walked to Pont Alexandra III ( Alexandra III Bridge)  passing by Les Invalides, the final resting place of Napoleon... Do note that the dome is covered with gold leaves!

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Les Invalides..

Reached the bridge...the most decorated bridge in Paris... Absolutely marvelous!

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Look! The bridge looks exactly as the photo in travel book! Not photoshopped! Do note the four high pillars in my background, All four of them are lavishly decorated with allegorical sculptures

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The bridge took 3 years to build, based on the design of engineers Jean Resal and Amedee Alby... Officially unveiled for the first time in 1900, yet again for the Exposition Universelle (means Universal exhibition).

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An elaborated art nouveau style lamp posts

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The bronze nymph and the Eiffel...

After crossing the bridge, we reached the Grand Palais & Petit Palais. Built for the Universal Exhibition in 1900 to Charles Girault's designs. They were actually exhibition halls, rather than being a palace.  It has quite a special designed courtyard...

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The Petit Palais... Another amazing building...

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The main entrance, do note the well crafted sculptures around the main door!

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Inside of the courtyard...

IMG_8449 The circular shaped courtyard overlooking the dome...It is a full circular courtyard.. Use ur imagination... Haha...

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Alright, where are we going for the next stop?? Hehe... You will be surprised, or maybe not.. Stay Tuned!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Teaser...

Right, I know this week I didn't update my blog at all... It might be due to the fact that I was pretty busy for the whole week, and I went to Cambridge for another one day trip.. Hehe... But too bad I missed Steven Hawking! He is in Cambridge currently to launch a new clock design...

Anyway, stay tuned to this blog, as I have almost finished compile the comprehensive recent non-UK tour blog post... It took me a while, but nevertheless it is almost done!

Wait for the cool photos ok? Ha!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

London's Calling...

It's been the n times I have been to London for job interviews. Been to many different places that I've never thought of going. Snapped a couple of photos too...

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Busy tube scene on peak hour... I'm quite worry when snapping this photo at that time, worry that people might suspect me have ulterior motives...

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In the British Musuem.

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Fruit juice bar, Borough Market

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Tower Bridge, with city hall at the foreground...

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London Bridge

Been to Selfridge in Oxford St. too, an extremely high class departmental store. Some clothes and suits are even too expensive to display the price tag, seriously there are no price tag on them. Well, you can find many world renowned brands under one roof, you name it they have it. LV, Gucci, Paul Smith, Bvlgari etc... Oh well, they don't have Clarks and Greenwoods anyway. Haha.. Try to find something that I can buy as a souvenir.. Finally found one which is affordable for me, a pair of Paul Smith cuff links, GBP30! I figured the amount of money paid for that tiny cufflinks couldn't justified it! I didn't buy it in the end... Maybe when I got a high paid job, then only buy one dozen... Haha.

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This is the world well known, arguable as the world most posh and beautiful departmental store- Harrods. I felt a bit skeptical about the claim before I went into the store because the exterior doesn't lavishly decorated as It's suppose to be, BUT I was so blown away by the interior! Well known brands are all in this place too.. I know the photo didn't do the store justice. Check out their website or wikipedia..http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrods

They even have a cafe area which the ceiling covered with chandeliers! But no photos allowed. But you can check out these website for photos: http://www.urbanpath.com/london/cafes/laduree.htm

harrods fresh food

Same luxuries setting goes to the Veg and Fruits sections... And meat sections!

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check out the chandelier!

All right, I know this post is by far the most randomly written one... Now! The Chinatown!

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The Chinatown Main gate was decorated to usher the Olympics opening ceremony...

All in all, it's so much to discover & explore in London! Oh boy I have to visit this unique city again!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

New UK migrant worker rules outlined updated September 2008

What can I say more, when you thought that life is tough, this thing just dropped it like a bomb! Now it is getting tougher! Guess the Home Office in UK is getting on the nerve of the potential international skilled workers, experts or specialists who wanted to contribute in the UK. Oh, and talk about the application fees, £400 a pop for post study work visa, and £900 for a 3years Skilled Worker Visa... What a rip off...

Read the BBC News today
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7605455.stm

New migrant worker rules outlined

Immigration officer
The list was compiled by the Migration Advisory Committee

A list of jobs for which there is deemed to be a shortage of skilled workers in the UK has been released.

The Migration Advisory Committee was asked by ministers to say which type of jobs had shortages and should be open to workers from outside the EU.

Its draft list includes skilled nurses and consultants, some engineering jobs, maths and English teachers but not care workers or nuclear energy workers.

Ministers say they will publish the final list next month.

Home Office minister Tony McNulty said the MAC's list "seems broadly right" but he wanted to study it in more detail and test its findings.

The list will be part of the government's "points-based migration" system aimed at better tailoring non-EU immigration to the needs of business.

MAC chairman, Professor David Metcalf, said that an employer would have to clear three hurdles to be able to hire somebody from outside Europe.

"Firstly the job has got to be skilled, secondly there has got to be a shortage, and thirdly and perhaps most importantly, it has to be sensible to bring a person in - there we are looking at the tension between the short-run fix of bringing immigrants in and the long-run need to upskill the economy," he said.

The changes, which involved looking at 12 different indicators, will result in a more skilled labour supply, he added.

FROM THE TODAY PROGRAMME

According to the list, maths and science teachers are still needed, but secondary school teachers in other subjects, allowed in under the current system, will face restrictions.

Midwives, social workers and IT technicians from outside the EU are all no longer needed, according to the list.

Only care workers earning at least £8.80 an hour will be allowed to come to Britain from later this year - a salary level most care-home owners will not be able to pay.

"It is so far above what the medium pay levels are within care homes for senior care workers, it is just not going to be achievable," said Mandy Thorn, a board member of the National Care Association.

She said the sector had tried to recruit from the UK and Europe but had not been able to attract sufficient numbers. More staff are needed to support a growing number of vulnerable people, she added.

Occupations which are allowed to use foreign workers due to shortages include ship and hovercraft officers and racehorse trainers.

There is also a shortage of skilled chefs, civil and chemical engineers and veterinary surgeons, while quantity surveyors and project managers are needed for property development and construction.

Some other occupations in the hospitality and construction industries were considered by the MAC but rejected from the final list.

On Sunday an all-party group of MPs called for "balanced migration" and four-year limits for foreign workers.

The group said Britain will not be able to cope with an estimated seven million additional migrants forecast to arrive by 2031.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

I found my peace, at last...

If you did read my last post, you might know that I have been in a lot of troubles and turbulence in the past 2 weeks.

I have been blessed to have so many friends and work colleagues that concerned about me and offers a much needed helping hands and words of encouragement.

Helps, be it just words of encouragements, or getting things sorted out on behalf of me, offering me a temporary place to chill for 2 weeks; are pouring in from all over the world, China(Thanks so much Vera! Thanks Jay!) England(Thanks Flix, Aaron, Dawn, Mike, Andry, David, Trish, Diane, Both Dennises etc...sorry if I miss out some one here...), Taiwan (Thanks Gary and James!), Thailand (Thanks Bow! and thanks Kanin!), Japan (Thanks Tosh!),Ireland(Thanks Rourri), Hong Kong(Gab!), Malaysia (Ben, Justin, Chong), Philipines (Thanks Archi!), South Africa (Sartaj), India (Thanks Kiran and Anu), Sweden (Thanks Dee), Chile (Thanks Roxana!), Denmark (Johnny!), Nigeria (Ikye!)... The list of people that get me through this dark moment is exhaustless, your kindness are forever remembered by me... I pray to God to bless you all, my friends for your kind souls!

For now, at least I am back on track, getting back on the normal pace of life and trying to get jobs done and some more traveling and sight seeing to do! =p  I learned, to find peace in the midst of chaos; to find strength while in the darkness hours; to know who is true friends in heart and who is not... I think I grow more mature than before... But time will tell whether I am more mature than the cheddar cheese!

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