Occam’s Razor

November 23, 2007

Teaser…

Alright just a quick teaser… I’m not sure if you’ve seen my throat screamin on tv but I was just right behind Roger and Pete during the match. How did that happen when those tickets were sold out? I’ll tell you more when I get more time to really blog. For now, here:

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November 3, 2007

Cold

Filed under: hanoi, travel, world — Tags: — lesturla @ 9:17 pm

The supposed visit to the dentist (TJ’s root canal slash our legit excuse to finally stop holing ourselves up in our apartment) proved colder for our regular jackets/windbreakers to handle. And since we were waaaay late on the scheduled appointment we were told that the dentist was busy so we went out and got ourselves some handmade Vietnamese winter get ups instead. It’s actually still Fall and the forecast said it’s supposed to be 14 degrees outside but it sure feels like 10 degrees lang.

Normally, I thrive at cold tempretures and usually set my office and also my bedroom at 18 degrees. But heck outside it’s really cold. It’s still pleasant though but when the wind blows… brrrrr.

Buying the winter stuff was actually fun. Since I am a shameless amateur haggler (I learned from TJ’s mom the art of haggling: always haggle for half the price they first give you), negotiating proved to be so much fun for me. I think after haggling with the vendor in her shop she basically wanted to throw me out and put a sign to never allow me in again. She was sooo annoyed. She offered 30 US dollars for a sweater (showing me only in her calculator as she has limited English).

So I told her,

“You gotta be kidding me!”

She smiles.

I negotiated to 5 dollars (take note not 15 as what I was taught.) She signalled that I was insane. “I already know that!” I said, “I’m not buying then!” And as I started walking out of her store she runs after me and counters to 10 USD. I closed the deal since it was a pretty good sweater. I pity foreign retail owners each time they have to deal with Pinoy hagglers. This one in particular nearly threw me out of her store the moment I paid her.

We went to Pepperoni’s Pizza for dinner. Food was good as usual. And then we went to this new shop near Hoan Kiem called Ilayna. Neat stuff they have but a bit too pricey. It’s a local brand but they have really neat leather stuff like this mailman’s bag that I saw but it costs about 28 thousand pesos. There’s lots of other things I’d rather spend that amount of money on instead of a friggin bag.

TJ wanted to chill somewhere so we decided to have coffee and tea at Hapro right beside Hoan Kiem Lake. Ganda ng view, music, ambience pati yung weather sarap. Haaay!



October 26, 2007

Foot Prints


I’ve been meaning to give an update on my, uh, so-called “Global Foot Print” (my friend Anna is getting excited too, read her) as soon as I got Paris reading. Perhaps it’s the French couple I met in one of those trips who visited my blog. In any case, when I got the Paris flag it got me really excited  for reasons I have previously blogged about. I guess also because of this Eurocentricity that I’m afflicted with.

Check out the map, my blog is read almost all over the US. In Europe the distribution is a bit less dense but spread out to my satisfaction. Teehee! Must work on my Australian  readership (guess it’s been only CJ who’s been reading hehe). Need to also spruce up readership in Asia although I’ve been getting traffic from Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines of course. But in China, Korea, HK, Japan — zilch!

In any case, what is the point of my post you might ask? Nothing. It’s just that I need to document this before I start losing interest. That kind of thing happens you know, what with the limited attention span our generation was cursed with!

Plus, it has been one heck of a work-week. October has been really, ugh, stressful at work. So I really need to remind myself that I have something to be excited about. Like flags!

So let’s go back to flags. Here now, presenting my most recent Flag list, tada!

So happy, sooo berry happy!

October 15, 2007

I Want Your Flag

Filed under: drivel, play, travel, world — lesturla @ 8:04 am

I have this silly fascination with flags lately courtesy of Globetrackr.com. I have since included this “widget” in my wordpress blog. And I must admit that everytime I get a new hit from a new spot in the world I get a silly high. At the top are the flag hits that my blog has received (can’t do it here in Multiply though.)

As you can see, I have so far amassed hits from the UK to Munich to both US coasts all the way to Caloocan. Besides Vietnam, my hits mostly come from the US. The Philippines is only at third place in terms of the traffic that my site receives. I am sure to get hits from East and West Coasts because of family and friends over there. But my friends in PI should really step up a bit (hahaha!) and give me those hits! I don’t even think that the traffic I’ve been getting from PI are from friends, I mean I have received hits from Caloocan and Roosevelt — places that I’ve never been to (not by choice but there just wasn’t a chance).

And boy, Munich? UK? Possibly random hits although it will be a blast to realize that I have readers from those places who find my extremely self absorbed posts entertaining. The funny thing is I don’t even have ads in my blog yet so this fascination is really just for the “kilig” factor knowing that you are read around the world! Wahoo! Les Turla is going global ampotah! I feel like giving away virtual beers again! Yebah! I know it’s extremely babaw but what the heck, I find joy in simple things like this. So give this one to me na. Knowing me, I’m sure to outgrow this fascination in say two more weeks… but right now… Woohoo! I’m lovin it heaps!

August 29, 2007

Manila

Filed under: drivel, friends, movies, music, travel — lesturla @ 11:12 am

I miss Manila. Not that I am terribly lonely or bored, in fact I’m neither one of those. It’s just that sometimes it kicks you in the balls so hard that you can’t ignore it anymore — I miss home. Darn it!

Now, before you go all “deep” on me about “home” being where the heart is (which is nothing but a poetic excuse for the nomadic) and get into a purely semantics debate let me make it clear: I miss my country. Home. Physical place. No heart talk here. This is not one of those days. Aren’t you glad?

Even for those who are together with family but are living abroad, it comes — the kick in the balls I mean. Although we try to avoid it as much as we could, TJ and I were discussing some of the things that we miss about home. Lookie:

  1. Powerbooks, A Different Bookstore, Fully Booked — we want books lots of them. Send us books!
  2. Driving along C-5 on Saturday mornings bereft of traffic
  3. Driving along C-5 on Friday nights with ALL the traffic
  4. Sunday afternoons in UP Diliman — those trees are phenomenal!
  5. Rare times when Megamall is not swarmed with people
  6. Walking around and deciding on which restaurant to eat at in Greenbelt 3 and 2…
  7. … And bumping into friends while making that decision
  8. Sunday lunches at the Shang (both Mactan and Makati)
  9. TJ’s shopping haunts
  10. Eluding wiseass traffic enforcers (lalo na pag coding and we just vroom pag hinuhuli na! Whatta trip!)
  11. Inuman with the gang (Kroc, and that tiny place near Makati Med, NSG, Big Sky at QC — actually kahit saan basta may…)
  12. San Mig Light! — dayum I almost forgot how this beer tasted
  13. The Fort — nights of making the rounds (dinners at Le Souffle, beers at Pier 1, then Embassy or Cuisine for more beers)
  14. Krispy Kreme
  15. SM Home Appliance Center — oo trying to imagine how our home would look like when we’re all trippy
  16. Eastwood on Sunday afternoons — swarmed with kids and fellow ‘rents, so we basically find out who recently got knocked up and is with a child
  17. Cuisine — feeling VIP kasi parati free
  18. Redbox — it’s still the only karaoke joint that has Pearl Jam’s Black in their playlist. When I visit next sana they have DMBs Grace is Gone
  19. Embassy (funny story about elections at “The Embassy” — feeling VIP rin kasi parati free)
  20. Flyovers — I don’t why pero nakaka miss lalo na the one from EDSA going to LSGH
  21. Chats with pet-owners in Eastwood
  22. Carousels for Cullen lalo na the one at Shang Ortigas
  23. Ortigas Center at 5 am weekday or early Saturday afternoon
  24. Highstreet/ Serendra before we left it was kinda the new place eh I wonder if it picked up from the initial curiosity
  25. Philippe the French stylist from F Salon — still the only stylist that doesn’t make me feel I am being played with and I always walk out happy after some sniping

I could go on and on but there’s really no place like Manila.

August 16, 2007

Obsessions

Filed under: play, tennis, travel, work — lesturla @ 4:31 pm

There hasn’t been a tennis season more exciting than this year’s. The profusion of talent especially in the men’s field simply leaves me with no adjectives (perhaps it’s the vodka). In last week’s Roger’s Cup in Montreal, the young Serb Novak Djokovic beat the top 3 players in the world en route to capturing this year’s title. The last time this happened was years ago circa Boris Becker times. (From the top of my head I think Steffi Graf did this in the women’s field at Roland Garros in 1999 when she beat Martina Hingis, Monica Seles, Lindsay Davenport, Anna Kournikova and Venus Williams <?> as she earned her 22nd Grand Slam title).

I have been following Novak Djokovic’s rise and I am convinced that barring any injuries, he is destined to become world number one someday. The kid is extremely talented and can whip amazing winners from both wings. He also has a very interesting personality and doesn’t take himself too seriously. No toxic intensity from this kid at all. Sure it might be an absolute blast for anyone to beat Roger Federer but Djokovic has fun in the court no matter what the circumstances are and no matter who he beats.

The best part is he will be in Bangkok late next month for the Thailand Open along with Rafael Nadal, Tommy Haas and Andy Roddick. The only players in the field missing are Marat Safin and Roger Federer to complete my favorites list. Why are they my favorites? Here’s why:

  1. Roger Federer – the greatest and most complete player of all time. He’s lost quite a few times this season but for a learned tennis fan, this does not matter as much as talent and consistency does. Roger is the complete package, he is the idol of his tennis idols. How weird is that? He’s that good. Gee, how do I explain his goodness? Watch his matches.
  2. Rafael Nadal – no doubt a great talent too. His intensity on the court and his dedication to improving his craft is bound to get him to higher heights in tennis. His dominance of Roland Garros will remain for a long time.
  3. Novak Djokovic – believe me when I say that he will be world number one someday. He’s got what it takes. He will beat Rafa and Roger again for sure and when he gets that habit he will be unstoppable.
  4. Tommy Haas – again talent profusion. One of few who’s beat Federer. His movement on the court and backhand to forehand transitions are just a beauty to watch.
  5. Marat Safin – he is insane but in terms of talent, there are only a few in his company namely Federer, Gasquet and Djokovic.
  6. Andy Roddick – he sure makes watching tennis a lot of fun. No other tennis player makes post match interviews as interesting as he does.

I am seeing 4 of 6 in this list next month — here’s to hoping that none of them withdraws as they usually do when it’s an Asian tournament. Ugh!

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