Whimsical city

Friday, November 19, 2010

Greetings from Florence, Italy

Another much anticipated postcard posted by Bernie and Sid from Europe has arrived at my mailbox again. This time from Florence, Italy! The first sight of the postcard caught me by surprise though. A naked man. In toto. LOL. After reading the postcard and embarking on a brief research myself, the "naked man" is David. Not just any David but "the David". The much well-known and well-respected statue sculpted by Michaelangelo himself in 1504. This masterpiece was accepted to be one of Florence's greatest sculpture. So who is this David exactly?

Any Christian would be familiar with the story of David and Goliath from the Bible. For a brief recollection, the history of D & G (not Dolce & Gabbana) started when the Philistines initiated war with the Israelites. Philistines was led by a giant measuring over 9 feet tall and wearing complete FULL armor (I emphasize on the word FULL because if you read the Bible, his armour is no joke) by the name Goliath. He was arrogant and challenged the Israelites ruthlessly to fight him. Saul, the King of Israel together with his army were helpless. And this was when David, only a teenager then, volunteered to fight this big giant. When Goliath saw David, it was not surprising that he laughed and cursed at David. Instead of being intimidated by Goliath (which is only reasonable), David said to the big giant, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.." 

As Goliath charged towards him, David reached into his bag, took out a stone and slung it towards Goliath. The stone struck Goliath straight into his forehead and it was this one blow that brought this giant to fall facedown on the ground. David claimed victory over Goliath by killing him with the Philistine's sword and be-headed him.

Michaelangelo's David was sculpted exceptionally and carefully to display David's character to the public, which was why the renowned artist [slash] architect [slash] scholar [slash] great sculptor took 3 years to finish it. 

If one were to guess how would Michaelangelo carve his David, it would probably be the moment when David triumphed over Goliath's defeat, i.e. the be-heading of Goliath. Instead, Michaelangelo sculpted David standing in his ownself, every part of his body was detailed in expressing the power and strength exerted by David. David's hands, face, the out of proportion neck which is bigger than half his chest; were all crafted exquisitely to symbolise what was referred to as "physical strength and the intellectual reasoning of man."

This 4 1/2 metres high statue stood majestically at the Academy Gallery in Florence.
An interesting piece of sculpture. Say no more. He's David by Michaelangelo.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Goodies from Europe

My personalised swiss army knife

My dearest SIS, Bernie (that's the nickname I gave her) a.k.a the newly-wed bride has just returned from her Europe honeymoon with her husband, Sid (that's the nickname VIV gave him). It was lovely to listen to her journey and I wish to tour Europe some day.. This is how their journey goes : KL - London - Paris - Venice - Florence - Milan - Rome - Switzerland - London - KL. There are two postcards from them when I checked my mailbox today!! I have always loved the traditional way of correspondence and I still am! Though I just read the messages on the postcards now when they are already physically back to Malaysia, probably whining down at their cosy new home in One B at this moment, I still find it meaningful.

As for my souvenirs, I received a LongChamp bag from Paris; Lindt chocolates (Lindor: 4 flavours with an irresistably smooth filling; once I bit it, the filling in the centre just spilt out...awwww....I'm melting inside. It's totally worth it although I may need to work out more to burn them away :P) and a Swiss Army Knife from Switzerland! 

I bought one Swiss Army Knife in year 2004 with my name engraved on it when I went skiing with my college mates in Switzerland but the prawn-head me, recklessly placed my knife in my handcarry bag when i was travelling to Japan and was confiscated at the Japan Airport! Sobssss...I was practically close to tears when I saw it being dumped into a transparent container with all the other species of blades then. But luckily my dear Bernie bought me another one with my name engraved on it too. Thankss!!

I really do wish to tour Europe.. the feeling was even more overwhelmed after listening to the stories my CLP mate Irene, encountered during her 1-month backpacking trip in Europe.

This is one brave lady, backpacking alone to more than 10 countries in Europe! I salute her!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Lovely Lunch at Fat Spoon

The entrance to Fat Spoon
The mixed and matched chairs
I have not been catching up with my friend, Jazmyn for quite so time so I initiated a lunch meetup on 15-11-2010. She suggested a restaurant in Uptown called Fat Spoon. An interesting find by her, again. It is very retro, with interesting designs and I spent a good 10 minutes gazing at every detail in the restaurant. All the tables and chairs are not of the same designs and colours. The bathroom is quite interesting as well, sheets of old comic magazines are pasted around the walls, you could actually have a read while "doing your business" :P Even the tap in the washing basin is an eye opener.

The Menu

The menu was the 1st thing that amazed me actually. It is pasted on Peter and Jane story books!! Aahh.. reminiscence of my primary school days. Jaz started with a cuppa of Flat White and bread and butter pudding.
As for the main courses, we ordered Nyonya Curry Chicken (RM8.90) and Fried Chicken with Thai Chilli..something (I can't remember the exact name haha). Fat Spoon offers its special dishes every other day so you would not be able to taste the food under the special menu on a particular day. According to Jaz, the lamb stew she had the other day was quite good but it was not on the menu today.

We had a good catchup. I ordered a cuppa of Latte to end our lovely evening. Jaz loves the coffee there and I agree with her. Though the food is not superbly delicious but it is considered good given the price is reasonable. PLUS the cosy and retro-come-back feeling I get there, I give it a thumbs up!

A night at Subak, dine with nature

Subak, a restaurant serving western-inspired Malaysian and Indonesian cuisine can indeed live up to its name - "dine with nature".

The first impression that I had when I walked up the slope towards Subak with the birthday boy whom I've brought along as a birthday treat to him as well as to be my ally as experimental mice together, I felt like I've just entered a rainforest. One would never have thought that there could be a restaurant of this kind in Petaling Jaya.

It was drizzling on 11-11-2010 and the time was approximately 8.30p.m so the temperature was quite chilly. It has a pond in the middle with a wooden bridge crossing over to the other side where our reserved table is located. The atmosphere is serene and comfortable. Again, I need to stress the feeling of being in a rainforest, surrounded with the sounds of flowing water and crickets chirping. Occasionally, I think i heard the sound of a toad or frog croaking.

We started with Subak's highly recommended Ibu Yati's Gado Gado (RM12.00) and Tom Yam Soup (RM20.00) (I've done a bit of a research before attempting to try out this restaurant). I'm not a fan of peanut sauce but the Gado Gado is surprisingly lip-smacking good! As for the Tom Yam Soup, the birthday boy finds it too spicy for him. I find it quite pricey given that there's only one tiger prawn inside. Contemplating on the main courses, we ordered Subak's NZ Lamb Shank Masala (RM45.00) and out of recommendation by the staff, Subak's Barbeque Beef Ribs (RM48.00). Personally, I prefer the former course and it was quite good. Probably due to me having the impression that the latter is barbequed AND is actually ribs. Turns out, it's more like just beef splattered with barbeque sauce. To give what it's worth, it is not too bad either.

We ended our dinner with Subak's Ice Cendol with Tapai (RM12.00). It was not really to both our liking. (I've never tried tapai before and it tasted sour. I was actually inclined to ask how tapai should taste like i.e whether it's supposed to be sour but I held that thought to myself in the end.) It was a good dinner overall.

Due to the insufficient lighting, I attempted to take only one picture which is a capture of the two main courses. If one would want to enjoy the scenery and get a feeling of the serene rainforest atmosphere free from the pollution of noise, traffic and stress, Subak is definitely recommended. I would suggest you to come during the daytime to have more sight of the greenery. It's about time to ask the girls for high tea one weekend!