Monday, April 30, 2012

Bersih 3 event @ Paris

Below is the content of the press release for France Bersih event. The eight request below shows that it is no a political motivated move but its more on people aspirations to have a clean and fair election for all.

Malaysian citizens in France call for a show of solidarity with participants in the BERSIH* campaign in Kuala Lumpur who will be gathering on the 28th of April in support of free and fair elections in Malaysia. BERSIH is a non-partisan, civil society campaign endorsed by over 60 Malaysian NGOs calling for immediate electoral reform in eight main areas:

1. Clean the electoral roll
2. Reform postal ballot
3. Use of indelible ink
4. Minimum 21 days campaign period
5. Free and fair access to media
6. Strengthen public institutions
7. Stop corruption
8. Stop dirty politics

100 000 people are expected on the streets of Kuala Lumpur and of other Malaysian cities. Events in support of BERSIH will place in more than 40 cities around the world**, all organized by citizens in their own names. These also call for a ninth point of electoral reform: suffrage for Malaysians residing abroad.

In 2007 and again in 2011, 50,000 people attended previous gatherings in Kuala Lumpur, which proceeded peacefully except for the ‘dispersion’ of participants by the police using tear gas and water cannons. In 2011, almost 2000 people were arrested in connection with BERSIH including for ‘wearing yellow T-shirts’, yellow being the BERSIH colour. The BERSIH campaign also aims to raise general awareness about the need for free and fair elections in Malaysia especially in view of the fact that national elections will be held later this year or early next year.

This gathering is co-sponsored by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). It will be preceded by a potluck picnic in the Jardins du Trocadéro starting at noon. Participants are encouraged to wear yellow and to bring a dish (halal if possible) to share at the picnic.

* ‘Bersih’ means ‘clean’ in Malay.
**in more than 15 countries including Australia, UK, Korea, USA, France, Japan, Switzerland, China …

Malaysian flag with Eiffel tower as background.

Rainy and cloudy day.

Metro station: Trocadéro (lines 6 and 9). Now I know that this Metro station offers good view of Eiffel tower from elevated area.

Oud Holland @ Amsterdam

Its quite surprisingly that not easy to find traditional Dutch cuisine in Amsterdam. On one night, I having tough time to find a shop to dine in. I am looking for a good traditional Dutch cuisine but I stumbled upon this restaurant that seems to cater to tourist looking for that. The waiter suggest me to take the Dutch mix but what he didn't realise that I am alone! When the meal came, it was a lot! I can say its easily enough for 2-3 persons. Not only that the meal is not that good, the amount is so much until I am having hard time to finish it.

Taste:5/10(So-so. The meat is hard and blend. The only good about the menu is the beetroot with carrot).
Price:4/10(Expensive. Dutch mix at EUR20.00 and mineral water at EUR2.75. Some more the water is so expensive. Don't come here if you have other options).

Located on the main road and easily accessible from Dam Square.

The main dish. Pork with mashed potato.

Mashed potato with pork, beetroot with carrot, salad and potatoes. Not nice.

Inside of Oud Holland.

The restaurant from outside.

Address: Nieuwezijdsvoorburgwal 105, 1012 RG Amsterdam
Phone: 020-4229018
Coordinate/GPS: 52.374525,4.891727
Tram: Dam station.

Special interest to reality

When I was young, particularly during early years of secondary school, I have a special interest to develop my general knowledge. Then the habit of going to school library everyday begins to start. Basically I like to read anything about history, world records, science and fascinating facts. At that time, I begins to collect "The Great Artist" magazine which was produced weekly. The magazine is about the life and their works during 15th century until the modern art era in the 20s. I do monitor almost every week and look for those featured artist which I wanted to know about. I didn't want to buy the whole set because at that time MYR5.90 for a magazine is considered quite expensive. Little that I know that this kind of interest has encouraged me wanted to go and see the real painting itself and to know the story behind the painting. And at that time, I don't even think of doing that as its quite impossible. So, its true when dreams/interest can becomes reality when we work hard towards that.

Some of my collections.

Besides the featured artist lives, it also tells the news during the year the artist successful years. Based on this article, I can't believe that I actually had read about Fontainebleau palace 15 years ago! And now I know that they already have train to go there since 1849!

Painting in Lourve, Paris.

Lourve is the largest art museum in the world. Formerly, its a functional palace.

Most people only recognize Lourve via the two large glass pyramid.

painting by Renoir in Musee d'Orsay, Paris.

Musee d'Orsay has a lot of 18th century paintings.

Painting by Renoir in Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET), New York.

Outside of MET. This is still my favourite art museum.

Modern art by Miro in MET.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Andouillette and foie gras @ Dudule Restaurant, Paris

Dudule located in Place d'Italie, Paris is a traditional brasserie which serve authentic French food. One particular funny that I encountered in this restaurant. I went in this restaurant as the crowd on that night is very good and I don't feel like going far from my hotel for late dinner. Plus, it was raining and cold on that day. I found out this restaurant has a good menu and reasonable price but I not exactly sure what they are serving. I am not sure not to order but I know I would like to have one starter and one main course.

For starter, I don't think much as I know what I want have. Its my last night in Paris, so I want to try foie gras. Although the way foie gras produced is quite controversial, I would like to try myself to find out what make people desired to savour this fine duck liver. For main course, I only understand one item from the menu which is sausage. But I was wondering why this sausage have AAAAA appended to the name. Little that I know, I just ordered this.

When I get my main course, I cut thru the so called sausage and somehow weird smell from the sausage. It smelled like shit! When I look closer, it looks like colon in there. Then I tasted it. Wow, the taste is strong mixture of shit and garlic smell. As I continue to eat it, I think the menu is not too bad and quite tasty :-) After the meal, I went to my hotel room to find out what am I actually eating on that night. Its andouillette. And AAAAA is the abbreviation for "Association Amicale des Amateurs d'Andouillette Authentique" which is an association for andouillette lover. According to Wiki, Andouillette is a coarse-grained sausage made with pork (or occasionally, veal), intestines or chitterlings, pepper, wine, onions, and seasonings.

Taste:8/10(Delicious. Foie gras is good and creamy. But the bread comes with foie gras is very hard and dry. Now I know why people like foie gras. As for Andouillette, I like it after a while. The fried potato slices are very good).
Price:5/10(Near expensive. Foie gras with toast price at Euro 12 and Andouillette at Euro 14)


Foie gras with toast.

My dish of Andouillette with potato slices and salad.

This is how Andouillette content look like when I cut thru it.

The potato slices are so good.

GPS/Coordinate: 48.831028, 2.357529
Address: 205 Boulevard Vincent Auriol 75013 Paris.
Paris Metro: Place d'Italie station. It is located just opposite the metro station.

Night view of Eiffel Tower @ Paris

Built in 1889 as the entrance arch to the 1889 World's Fair, it has become both a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The tower is divided into two stages. You can either go up to the top or to the second floor. The top floor can only be accessible via lift and it cost Euro 14 to get there. The ticket is Euro 8.50 if you just want to reach second floor and Euro 5.00 if you plan to climb the stair to second floor. Make sure that you have enough stamina to climb 1,652 stairs. Usually the queue to go up Eiffel is quite long and you may have to queue from 2 hours to 4 hours. Plan to come in the early morning or late evening if you would like to skip the queue.

In my opinion, Eiffel tower sight is better at night as the light illuminate the tower and every hour after dawn, it will blinks for 5 minutes.

Eiffel during rainy day.

Eiffel Tower in Paris bursts into a shimmering display of lights.

Blinking Eiffel.

Captured using my wide angle lens.

Underneath Eiffel.

Engineer Gustave Eiffel. His company designed and built the tower.

Me with Eiffel tower.

Located: On the Champ de Mars in the 7th arrondissement (midwest Paris)
Metro: Bir Hakeim or Trocadero (Line 6), Ecole Militaire (Line 8)
RER: Champs de Mars-Tour Eiffel (Line C)

Fontainebleau Palace - The gardens @ Fontainebleau, France

Besides the Fontainebleau main palace building, you should spend some time in its garden. The garden although not as huge as Versailles but it offers some beautiful landscape. The landscape here is simple but neat.

Overlooking The Cour d’Honneur, Fontainebleau main court yard.

Main Courtyard.

The Pavillion de l’Étang. With some China tourist taking photos.

The Cour Ovale.

This is how huge the park is.

The Cour de la Fontaine.

The park. Its a 1 kilometre long human made lake.

The Cour des Offices is a large complex formed of three wings which housed domestic and administrative services.

Beautiful private garden.

The Jardin de Diane, is formerly the queen’s private garden, until the 19th century this garden was closed off by buildings whose destruction, following the purchase of a strip of adjoining land, allowed expansion towards the town.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Fontainebleau Palace @ Fontainebleau, France

Fontainebleau is home to the kings of France from the 12th century. Located 55 kilometres from the centre of Paris, is one of the largest French royal palace. It is also the medieval royal hunting lodge of Fontainebleau, standing at the heart of a vast forest in the Ile-de-France, was transformed, enlarged and embellished in the 16th century by François I, who wanted to make a 'New Rome' of it. Surrounded by an immense park, the Italianate palace combines Renaissance and French artistic traditions.

To make your journey easier, I would recommend you to buy a day pass zone 5 ticket. This will enable you to take train until Fontainebleau Avon station from Gare de Lyon and then use the same ticket to Fontainebleau Palace via bus number 1.

SNCF train from Gary de Lyon station.

Pass by yellow colour field on the way to Fontainebleau.

Reached Fontainebleau Avon station.

Reached main entrance.

Main palace building.

Palace lawn.

Quite different when compared with Versailles.

Outside view from inside the palace.

The design is so complex. Its bed room.

Golden ceiling.

An area overlooking palace lobby.


Dining room.

Main hall.


Reception room.

Another bed room.


Royal bed.

Meeting room.

The ceiling is so delicately crafted.

Coordinate/GPS: 48.401884,2.698106
Address: Place du Général de Gaulle, 77300 Fontainebleau, France
Transport: From Paris, you will need to take SNCF train from Gary de Lyon station. take train until Fontainebleau Avon station. After that, you need to take bus number 1 to reach Fontainebleau Palace. The whole journey by train will take you around 50 minutes and bus another 15 minutes. Mobilis zone 5 ticket cost Euro 14.00.

Admission fee: Euro 10.

The château is open every day except for Tuesdays, 1 January, 1 May and 25 December.
From October to March : 9.30am – 5pm (last admissions at 4.15pm)
From April to September : 9.30am – 6pm (last admissions at 5.15pm)

The courtyards and gardens are open every day.
From November to February : 9am – 5pm
March, April & October : 9am – 6pm
From May to September : 9am – 7pm

For further information please visit: