Posts Tagged ‘musings’

It’s true. Be very careful what you wish for.

Hello !  Renxkyoko Iglesias here, reporting for duty. * salutes *

 

I have not been  blog reading  much , I know, and I’m sorry for that.  I’ve been busy doing  other things, boring things, routine stuff…. like  going to work, coming home,  doing household chores,  yadiya…… and watching YouTube.  Wow. I didn’t know there was so much stuff to watch on YouTube.  I am aware we can’t believe everything we see there,  nevertheless, they are all fascinating.

 

Then I saw footages of the extent of  damage  from the 3 – year drought in California.  Now , THAT I can believe.  I don’t even have to see that on YouTube .  Right here at our own backyard,  2 of our 7 redwood trees are goners.  I took pictures of the trees , but I feel lazy  uploading them into my computer.  Later.

 

Funny thing is,  they say it needs to rain continuously for 5 or 6 months to get to the normal level of water at our reservoirs, especially here in Northern California.  NorCal  is the one that supplies water to Southern California  (  where LA is, if  you don’t know it ) . In 2016, our wishes have been granted.  It’s been raining since October until , well, today, and it’s almost March. Skiing resorts have been revived.  And when snow starts to melt , you bet there’s going to be plenty of water to go around when summer comes.

 

Melting snow from the mountains….. that’s the main source of water for California . But, since it’s been raining continuously for 5 months now,  we don’t have to wait for snow to melt. Our rivers and reservoirs are full and overflowing. People near the dams and rivers have been evacuated, and in fact, a co- worker was absent for 2 days because they had to evacuate to drier areas.  A friend texted me that she and her family had to leave their home, because the river had overflowed and had already reached their elevated porch.  Where I live, there are levees that protect us from  the river overflows.  My city is like a bowl.  The levees are like the rim of the bowl. Just imagine that.

 

So, yeah, be careful what you wish for.

 

This is all for now. Thank you for reading.

 

Check out my anime/manga/video games blogsite  at http://2megaworthitwordpresscomblog.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

 

 

My thoughts on Syria and the Muslims

Hi ! Renxkyoko Iglesias here.
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I’m seriously running out of topic to talk about. I’m thinking of something mundane that I can somehow make interesting for my smart , intelligent readers…..like say, how to boil an egg.

So, okay, I can talk about current issues, like that horrible killing in London. You’ve all heard about that, I presume? So, what do I think about that? Seriously, you don’t wanna know.. I’m afraid I’ve become an isolationist. I want the US to get out of some country’s business and deal with so many pending problems here at home. . How about Syria, you ask? Well, what about it? What do they want the US to do? You know, I was on my way to school the other day, listening to NPR ( National Public Radio…. darn, I should be listening to Adele, instead), then , I heard this interview ( by BBC ) of a Syrian victim of poison gas that the government had allegedly used on its citizens. The interview was held at the hospital, and I could hear some people crying Obama, Obama, Obama. What do they want Obama to do? Why can’t they ask other Arab countries for help? Come to think of it, why don’t other Arab countries help? What are Saudi Arabia, Dubai, and all the other rich Arab countries doing for their fellow Muslims?. Aren’t they supposed to be each other’s ” keeper “? Another interview by BBC was with Syrian widows at the refugee camps in Jordan who have started selling their daughters ( aged 12 to 16, that’s the range) to rich Arabs for sex, and , after having their way with these kids, they are returned to their mothers. Where’s the outcry here?
*ponders*
Regarding the use of chemical weapons…… I feel horrified with the thought that the US had used chemical weapons , too, napalm, is what it’s called, most effectively and extensively in Vietnam. ” Ah, I love the smell of napalm in the morning. ”
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Damn ! It’s the children. It’s always the children.

Chris Matthews ( talk show host of MSNBC’s Hardball ) said, and he said this several times on his show… ” I’d prefer to watch Syrians killing Syrians on international news, rather than Americans killing Syrians. ” I admit that’s harsh and cold, and rather surprising, since these words came from the mouth of a bleeding heart liberal. But his words went right into the core of the problem. It’s a lose-lose situation for the US. Damn if you do, damn if you don’t. But when in doubt ,err on the side of reason and caution . And what exactly does it mean? It means, don’t meddle, militarily. Send food, medicine, but do not send anything that kills. Have I truly become a peacenik? Nope, I want to blow Kim Il Sung to smitheereens if he threatens South Korea, Japan and the US again.

The US is still at war, with Al-Queada, but not with Assad. The US is also at war with lone wolves, like the Boston marathon bombers and those murderers in London. How do Syrian ” rebels” expect the US to help when it’s an open secret Al_Queada terrorists are effectively assisiting them? It would be like, a person picking up a rock and hitting himself with that rock , on his own head. How can the US kill idealogy and religious fanaticism/ extremism? ? That’s what Americans have to deal with from hereon , unless Muslim communities help in thwarting extremism in their midst. As it is, anger, resentment and hatred are spreading in England and across Europe….. most especially in London , where majority of 3 million Muslims live. Most Londoners now fear Islamification of their city. This murder and past bombings in London perpetrated by Muslims have fueled this fear.

So , now you ask, am I an Islamophobe ? My answer is No. I’m just voicing out honestly what my concerns are about what’s happening around me. In fact, I’m more concerned about the garden variety all -American hate groups, and politicians who spew hatred , stupidities and invectives towards anyone who is not white, straight, and Christian.

Also, my very best friend since forever, a guy, is a Muslim….. from Bosnia-Herzegovena, a European Muslim. We liked each other before, but we had decided not to pursue that path. One day, he burst out he wouldn’t convert, and I was like, who told you to convert, ha ha ha. This guy has never done any shopping without me. But…..

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Aaaargh. I should have gone with him and chosen the gift myself. The necklace is like something Cleopatra would wear thousnads of years ago. I’ll wear it, “I”, promise ! ~(^_^~)(~^_^)~

Speaking of which, I did promise to post about my Bordeux, France tour. But, I think I’ve been too chatty here. Next post then, okay?

This is all for now. Good day and PEACE !

Don’t hate.

I’m conflicted.. My thoughts evolved as I was writing this post. It’s weird. I think it was the photo of the Vietnamese children that got me.I don’t know what to think anymore.
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My Musings on Jews in the Philippines

Hi, there ! It’s me , Renxkyoko Iglesias.

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My previous post was a bit intense, huh, and I’m sure I  had offended a few readers.  I couldn’t help it, though.  I was  on  edge , and so was everybody else here in the US.  Although I was careful  with the words I used so as not to offend anyone,  I might have inadvertently  used some hurtful words.    I  did try my best to be politically correct, and , believe me, it was no mean feat. I was angry.  It was easier to just lash out, and be like this —-> bleep, bleep, bleep,  asdfghjk !  But  then I’d regret it forever.  Nothing comes out well with words said in the heat of the moment.

My family had a very interesting  topic of conversation over dinner  last night.  My brother who lives in San Francisco told us that he saw a documentary film about the history of Jews in the Philippines . The documentary was shown in San Francisco to commemorate the  unveiling of the second marker in Israel in honor of  Philippines -Israel friendship. This is actually the second marker. The first one is a monument  that was built  at the Holocaust Memorial Park located  outside of Tel Aviv.

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Philippine flag is shown. That’s a huge monument , isn’t it?

There’s an interesting story  behind these two memorial markers. First off, a bit of Philippine history.  The US colonized the Philippines in 1898 ( after defeating Spain  during the Spanish-American war ) . In 1935, the US turned over governance of the country  to a Filipino, Pres. Manuel Luis Quezon , with an American overseer , Commisioner McNutt. The Philippines  became  the Commonwealth of the Philippines.  Full independence was given on July 4, 1945 after it was liberated from the Japanese. In the 1930’s , we all know , of course , what went on in Germany.  The German Jews all wanted to leave  but there were very few countries that wanted to take them in by the thousands.

Now here’s the most interesting part…….

The Philippine government had decided to take in Jewish refugees ( in fact, the Philippines was one of  very few countries, including the USA , that took in refugees, and the only one in Asia ) during a poker game in 1938 ,, with players  Commisioner McNutt, Pres. Quezon,  General Douglas McArthur,  Gen. Dwight Einsenhower (  Gen, Eisenhower  became US President , but that time, he was just Gen. McArthur’ second in command  of the US Army in the Philippines. ), and an American- Jewish businessman living in the country named Frieder.  While playing poker,  Pres. Quezon decided right there and then, to take in Jewish refugees. Eisenhower  suggested 100, 000 visas should be issued.  Pres. Quezon immediately  issued 10,000 visas  to German Jews. It wasn’t only to German Jews that  visas were given.  Jews who were already in Asia and those from the Middle East, mostly from Turkey,  were allowed to come in.  Jewish immigartion stopped  when Japan invaded the Philippines.

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Pres. Quezon

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.A synagogue in Manila, later destroyed  during WW2.

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.A new synagogue in Manila, Philippines.

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Photo above were German refugees having a party in Marikina , where they were settled temporarily. The land was Pres. Quezon’s  property. ( Sorry I stole this photo from somewhere. Please don’t sue me.)

It’s weird that the matter of life and death  was decided during a poker game.  However, this was not the only time  the Philippine government had helped the Jewish people.  In 1947. the Philippines  ” delivered the  most crucial and deciding vote ” at the United Nations ‘ resolution to create a state of Israel.  The Philippines was also the only  Asian country to recognize Israel as a state.  As a footnote….. there were  Philippine officials then who had a few misgivings about allowing  so many Jews into the country . That was understandable because the country was totally Catholic.  Pres. Quezon angrily told them,  ” The Jews gave us Jesus Christ” ! ! ! Pres. Quezon was a hot-tempered man.  It was said that he would often use the gavel and yell , Puneta ! ! ( pronounced poon-ye-ta ) at Filipino officials. The word means literally masturbation, but it’s actually a generic all -purpose swear word.  Filipinos swear in Spanish. But I digress.

Majority of the Jews later  immigrated to Israel and the US after the war.  Some remained and became prominent businessmen. ( If you’re a Filipino reader of this post, I don’t know if you’re aware of the Ysmaels, Kahns, Menzis, Guthriers, Levy’s etc,. … appliance manufacturer, owns jewelry stores such as La Estrella del Norte, A&W,  Alhambra, Manila Stock Exchange, etc. They are all Jewish )

Well, that’s the history. I’m not surprised  then why Israel erected a huge monument in honor of  the  Philippines’ humanitarian efforts .

On a personal note……. and another bit of Philippine history.

The first European to step on Philippine soil was Ferdinand Magellan in 1521. He also died there. Spain colonized the country for almost 400 years , and named it in honor of King Philip II.  ( So now you know why it’s Philippines, ha ha ) In Europe at that time , there was a Catholic Inquisition that went on. In Spain, Catholics,  Jews and Muslims lived in harmony before the Spanish monarchy started The Inquisition in the 1590’s.  Muslims and Spanish Jews were either forced to convert or leave Spain.  Some of those who left went to the Philippines.  However, they still couldn’t practice their religion since the Philippines was now entirely Catholic. Practicing  Judaism  was punishable by death.  My mother was born in a remote town , about 200 miles from Manila. Although it was a remote town, there was a high concentration of Spaniards who lived there.  The town’s church is one of the oldest in the Philippines, and there’s a Spanish fort with cannons, to protect the town from Chinese pirates.

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.San Diego  de Alcala Church

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San Diego fort

Now I wrote above  that this story was something personal. We had an extremely  interesting discussion about  this over dinner and after dinner.  It might shed light  on some strange stuff that my mother had often  heard from her grandparents when she was just a kid.  *  Don’t let anyone know you’re a Jew.” It was always said randomly, and to a kid, it  was  really strange, and didn’t make sense.  I mentioned  above the Turkish Jews  who immigrated to the Philippines.  My mother thought back about  the unusually  large number of Turks in their remote town. In fact , right across from their house were the homes of  two Turkish families, the Adads.  The people there called them Turkos.  She remembers them very well because she had a humungous crush on one of them.  And by the way, Pres. Quezon  came from the same place.  The whole province was later named after him… Quezon Province.

Ha ! Conspiracy theory?  Anyway, won’t it be great to trace my genealogy ?  My mother’s side, of course. My father’s is pretty straightforward. We know where  his grandfather  came from… Sta. Maria la Nueva, Segovia, Spain. I wrote about him here (   Barcelona, Part 16). My grandmother even went there to Segovia to meet her relatives.  So, there’s nothing mysterious about that.  But, the idea of  possible Jewish roots  is almost unbelievable. Could it be….. ?  No, I don’t think so. It’s inconceivable. ……………..  It’s funny that 2 random people on 2 different occassions had asked me if I was Palestinian.  Huh ? Why were they  so specific about the place?   And just last week, I was asked by a customer  if  I was Persian . What ? Again?  ( My manager is a nice  Persian lady )  I’m Asian, people !

So, okay, I know  this post is  boring.  If you are  still reading at this point , thank you.

My next post will be my tour of Amboise and Bourdeux in France. Promise.

PEACE  ! ! !

Happy 2013 ! Random Thoughts and Foodie

May you all have a prosperous and fruitful 2013 !

Hello ! Renxkyoko Iglesias here.

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My European tour made 2012  quite an eventful year , and I’m glad I get to share it with you.  It was also quite an experience to be given an opportunity to help re-elect Pres. Obama.  My sister and I and several  thousand  Californians went as far as Nevada, Iowa, Colorado, and Wisconsin  as part of Pres. Obama’ s ground campaign.  ( Just Reno for me, though… specifically Washoe County, the poor part of  Nevada , totally Republican, dirt roads, trailer parks, all white * don’t they know they will be thrown under the bus by Romney, he he he, someone on a truck yelled Eff you at us , it was scary…… Anyway,  it was difficult ,  but we managed to turn  Nevada into a   Blue state.  ) But then, if not for those 2 above, 2012 would be same-o, same-o… school, work, home, study, check out if there are any manga updates of my favorite shojou romance, daydream or rant, sleep, go to school again… yep, story of my life. I must have sinned in my past life.

Well, we all got a love letter from WordPress, right?  My stats are modest, but I ‘m happy . I  get a fair amount of comments, and to me, that’s more important.   To be honest, I don’t know if those who click LIKE  really like my post. He he he…. One time, I was online when I heard a ping on my Messenger.  That means, there was  a reader who just clicked LIKE. But surprise, surprise, I heard 4 pings , one after another,  in 3 seconds duration.  Gotcha ! lol ! !  The blogger couldn’t have read my post in 3 seconds flat, could he/she?   As for me, rest assured I read your post word for word. This is also the reason why I have 5,471 unread emails , to date. I don’t delete. I read all, but……. my fellow bloggers, I cannot cope anymore. I have 50 subscriptions, and each day that I don’t get to open my email folder adds  about 200 emails.  I kid you not.

According to WordPress, I  had 24 posts in 2012.  That’s 2 a month.  And the blogger with the most comments is 35andupcynicismonhold.  What is most interesting  is the post that got the most number of views …… it also  got the most number of comments, 139 I think?  WordPress also says that it has the most ” staying power”.  I posted All About Nothing , as usual in February, 2012, and believe it or not, I still get  at least 10 views a day from that post for almost a year now. WordPress didn’t give the total number of views, but I’m sure it must be in the thousands already. Happy Valentine’s Day comes second.  OMgosh, I was so pathetic here ! !  Well, I’m still pathetic.

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There is one  post in 2011 and one in 2010 that also got tons of views.  I mean, I still get so many views from these old posts.  WordPress suggests I  should consider  writing about these topics again.  Uhm, not really, except  this one….. HAPPY NEW YEAR, 2012 ! ! !  I like the foodie post myself.  When I reread this, I was surprised to see the paella and the empanada that I cooked that year.  Yeah, I cooked those ! Here are  the pictures…..

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Paella

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.Empanada….. by the way, I made a mistake with the dough. I used a fluffy dough.  It was store dough, ready made…. I don’t know how to make a dough, haha. I’m intimidated.

Empanada dough should look like this.

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.I mentioned these two because the best food I had eaten by far  in Europe were Spanish empanadas and the paella in Spain, Both are very common foods in the Philippines.  In the Philippines, Paella is sometimes called Arroz a la Valenciana. Philippine dishes are basically of Spanish origin.  The Philippines was under Spanish rule for almost 400 years, so the similar palate shouldn’t come as a surprise….. for example, Filipinos eat pig’s blood too. In Spain, it’s called Morcilla.  I had Morcilla in Burgos and it was good. The blood sausage in London wasn’t that good though. Well, I love pig’s blood.  It’s one of my favorite Filipino dish.  It’s an acquired taste, so don’t hate, lol.  I’ll talk about this soon. (  Filipino stores here in the US sell pig’s blood  )

Below are some photos of our New Year spread. Not much this year, though. It was just family, all 6 of us.

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Hmmmm, I notice the program on TV… it was The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC.  Eh. We were watching  a political talk show  during  New Year’s Day lunch.

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Noodles

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Stewed beef we call Pochero. It’s made of beef, cabbage, garbanzos, long, green beans, potatoes, garlic, onions, tomato sauce.

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Lumpia… just ground pork and shrimps, watercress, carrots, etc, wrapped in egg wrapper, then fried… eaten with sweet – sour sauce.  The one on the right is roast pork dip made up of soy sauce, vinegar and  fried tofu.

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Roasted spare ribs, we call Lechon.  This one will  give us a massive coronary, but it tastes  so good, especially the crunchy skin. Oh, my. . The dip is the one with tofu, but I prefer liver sauce. You can see the liver sauce bottle in the pic.

006The one above is one of my favorite desserts.  It’s  pandan flavoured agar-agar ( similar to Jello) and lychees . Pandan essence comes from the leaves of Pandanus plant, which is very common in SouthEast Asia.  Sometimes, we add pandan leaves when cooking rice to give that great aroma. ( The leaves are sold in Asian stores here in the US. )

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Fruit salad…. A mainstay Philippine dessert.  It’s just a mixture of fruit cocktail,  cream,  nata de coco, and sweetened palm fruits. The last two are  ” must “ingredients  in any Philippine fruit salad. Nata de coco is Spanish for cream of coconut.  According to Wikipedia, nata is a chewy, translucent  jelly-like product produced by fermentation of coconut water by Acetobacter xylinus, a bacteria introduced into coconut water, the fermentation of which produces this jelly -like substance.  The process originated in the Philippines.

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Cubed colored nata gels. The white nata has the original color. Nata  is very, very delicious.  There is also nata de pina….. cream of pineapple.

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Above is fish with sweet sour sauce . We call the dish Escabeche. Escabeche is Spanish for pickled… the fish is not really pickled, just covered with vinegar- sugar sauce and soy sauce.

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We call the juice Sago Cooler. It’s made up of caramel ( boiled brown sugar with banana essence or almond essence ) and sago pearls.

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We use a tall glass with long teaspoon to scoop out the sago pearls. Guys, you should try this. It’s very good, If there’s no sago at the Asian store near you, you can float  gelatin, jello, or whatever. Be sure to add banana or almond essence, that’s all.

By the way, you can see 2 more desserts with the Sago Cooler photos.  The black colored dish is Biko, some sort of rice cake. Mom used deep purple rice, almost black rice. ( we also use white, sweet , glutinous rice, available at Asian stores… it’s different from regular rice). The other dish in the photo , the one in red dish is cassava cake. Cassava or yuca comes from the root and do you know it’s one of the most dangerous food in the world, if not prepared properly?  lol

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UBE,  ( pronounced  oo- beh )or purple yam, one of the Philippines’ favorite dessert. It’s used as ice cream flavor, in cakes, bread fillings, or as is, like the photo above.  It’s a mixture of condensed milk, butter and grated yam.  We use the Philippine variety, because the purple yam grown in other countries does not have the desired taste and consistency. In fact , that ube in the photo isn’t the real thing, and Mom got so pissed that she almost threw it away. It got saved when we added a Philippine variety that we found in the freezer. The store where we bought it ran out of ube and what we found were purple yams from another country, which we suspected were not really purple yam, just ordinary yam with purple food coloring. It was gooey and tasted weird.

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Aaaargh, holiday food ! !  It ‘s always a problem to lose weight after pigging out on all that goodness.

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I definitely won’t fit into my newly acquired  Runway dress shown below.

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I need to exercise again.

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To be honest, I want to make another WP account that will have food and fashion as my theme. Or , another account  where I can write about animes and mangas. (   I know, I know !  I  confess ! I’m an anime manga fan. Don’t hate ! )

So, anyway,  I’m almost done with my European travelogue.  Spain and France  are next.  Paris  was our last stop. From there , we flew back to good ol’ US of A. \

This is all for now. Barcelona and Madrid are next in my travelogue !  Good day to all and Peace ! !

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My European Trip Part 10 , Rome, Italy

Hi !!!  Renxkyoko Iglesias here.

Please allow me to luxuriate in the aftermath of Pres. Obama’s reelection.

.Well, excuse me, I  did work hard for Pres. Obama.

California is either super liberal or masochists.  The  Democrats now have super majority of both chambers, and across the state, from south to north,  all Propositions and  Measures increasing the tax have been approved by Californians.    We want you to pay a little more for playgrounds , parks,  libraries , new computers for schools. Yeah, sure ! Check.  An increase in tax for this and that….. Okay ! Check.   We Californians taxed ourselves, ha ha ha ! And to think, we have one of the highest tax rate in the US. Well,  we all have decided to share the burden . A shared sacrifice, if you will.  I mean, what can my $ 25 do to help others? Nada. But collectively, a lot. That’s good citizenship.  It’s not what the country can do for you, but what you can do for the country.  Okay, enough of this. I just want to put this out here.

Back to Rome……

After The Forum, we visited the usual places tourists go to.

The Trevi Fountain……. The fountain is unlike modern day fountains that are built merely as    decoration. The Trevi Fountain was the terminal point of one of the aqueducts that  supplied water to ancient Rome. But the Trevi Fountain itself, as we see it now, impressive and beautiful, was finished in 1762.

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.My 14 year old cousin

.Three coins in the fountain, each one seeking happiness, la di da….. There’s a legend that if you throw a coin into the fountain, you are guaranteed to return to Rome.  With your back to the fountain, you should throw the coin over your shoulder. This is how wishers do it. I threw a US penny though, ha ha. I hope that works, too.

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.In case you haven’t noticed, most Europeans drive Smart cars, really small cars. As an American. my eyes are not used to it. But I love it. It’s green. Sadly, Americans love the gas guzzlers, big cars, the bigger, the better.

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Above is the Roman Pantheon.  It is a building that is the most completely preserved ancient structure, built in 27 BC by Marcus Agrippa  to commemorate  Octavian’s ( later named Emperor Augustus , the first Roman Emperor….. before this , Rome was a republic,  headed by Senators ) Battle of Actium victory over Marc Anthomy and Cleopatra. This was a battle between 2 Roman forces. The original building burned down 100 years after, then Emperor  Hadrian rebuilt it and dedicated it to  ” all the gods ” , meaning “pan theos. “

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.Below is the interior of the Pantheon, courtesy of Wikipedia. We didn’t get to see  it. Tsk.

.That’s me below taking a picture .

.Above is the Fountain of Four Rivers, located at Plaza Navona, built by Pope Innocent, and designed by Bernini in 1651. The obelisk in the middle is an earlier structure that was built in AD 81.

.The place is really like an open market where paintings, arts and crafts are sold. I don’t know, but I wasn’t enthusiastic to be there. There were so just many people milling around. Or maybe I  had an overload of fountains in one day. .  This was the 10th one  we visited  that day.  I guess the Italians love fountains. I love it too. There’s one at our backyard here at home. Well, after seeing those magnificent fountains, ours is a just a water feature, a pathetic  teeny one, he he., like a bird bath.

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.Above picture is a structure at Piazza Venezia. You know , at the end of the road  from here is the Coloseum. One can also see The Forum from here.  We just drove by this structure to go to the Coloseum, but very slowly so we could take some  photos of the area. Anyway,  that imposing structure was built in honor of Vittorio Emanuel ll, the former King of Sardinia, then later became the first King of united Italy, the title he held until his death in 1878.  However, I got the impression the tour guide didn’t really like this structure. She was like, “Eh.” I thought it was pretty though.

.Well, this is it for Rome.

Oh, by the way, a commenter corrected me regarding Cleopatra.  He wrote that Cleopatra did speak Egyptian.  I’d like to be corrected.  I misspoke,  nonetheless,  what I understood  from several articles written about her was ,  she didn’t speak Egyptian in Egypt, even if she actually knew the language. Here’s my response to his comment.

Thank you for pointing that out to me. I reread that part, and yes, I did write she never spoke Egyptian, but I should have added that though she did speak speak Egyptian, what I understood was that she didn’t speak the language while she ruled Egypt…. so much so that government ” documents” had to be written in 2 languages, Greek and Egyptian. The discovery of such a document in 2 languages , the Rosetta Stone, led to the understanding of the hyroglyphics, because there is now a direct translation of an unknown written language to a known one. Please correct me again if I’m wrong. I appreciate it., after which I’ll edit my post

Oh, my, the politics here in the US… rape, aspirin between your knees, now it’s binders full of  Mata Haris. WTF ! I’m like reading a shoujo manga. It’s weird.  Two brilliant Generals,  one up for position of Supreme Commander of NATO aaaaaand, for crying out loud, the CIA Director !!!!!!  taken down by an email inbox.  Tom Clancy will never , ever have this as his plotline.  So, guys, please, if you are already ” committed”   , keep it in your pants, and zip it up. And ladies, we all know nature and time are not kind to us, so try to take good care of your physical appearance, and not let go. Don’t just go off into the sea and sail off.

I know this a shallow thinking, but men  , if given the opportunity, will do it with any attactive, willing women . Am I generalizing ?  I don’t think so. Such depressing thoughts.  ‘Course it takes two to tango.

* deep sigh *

This is all for now. Pisa, Assissi, and Flrence are next. G’day to all and PEACE.

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MY EUROPEAN TRIP PART 4 SWITZERLAND

Renxkyoko Iglesias here, hello !

This is Part 4 and I’m now in Switzerland. The trip from Germany ( Heilderberg) by way of Autobahn  to Switzerland took us nearly 5 hours.  The scenery was spectacular, as I expected…… the Swiss Alps,   the villages that dot the landscape, and herd of goats  peacefully eating grass on a hill  ( or were they sheep? )…… , that was so idyllic  and scenic !

Oh,  and it also  reminded me of the movie, The  Sound of Music. ( I know, the story happened in Austria, he he he ) But hey, I’m sure some of you know of the song, right.? * sings * High on the hill was a lonely goatherd, yodel, yodel, yodel *  Yep, the yodel thing was certainly Swiss.  Funny thing was, the tour director put in a  a  Swiss yodel cd , and let us  hear  a typical Swiss yodel song. I reckoned that was to get us in the mood.  Problem was,  for nearly 5 hours, those were the only songs that were played.  I was ready to jump off the bus after an hour of continous yodeling,, but couldn’t complain coz the old folks were merrily singing too. And horror !  I found myself unconciously tapping my feet and silently yodeling, as well.  ~.~

.Our destination was Lucerne, but the hotel we were booked in was actually in Fluelen, a small quiant town of  just over 2000 people.  The hotel was Hotel Hirschen. About the hotel….. it was the second worst hotel we’ve stayed in , so far.  Our room was tiny, and really, really in need of refurbishment.  The towels were frayed at the edges. The 2 wooden chairs were shabby and badly scratched.  But then I heard Switzerland’s recycling  rate is 96 %, so I guess, nothing is thrown away until it is totally  unuseusable..  We don’t know why Cosmos keeps on using this hotel, though.  Two reasons : very cheap, or the million dollar view from the hotel.  The hotel is right across from Lake Lucerne and part of Swiss Alps mountains.

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That was the view from our hotel room, which was on the second floor, the one in the middle with open curtains.

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The one below is what I saw  from my hotel window early  morning. .

There was an optional tour on our first night in Switzerland. It was dinner with Swiss folklore entertainment ( yodeling and maybe some dancing ). We didn’t get it. It was expensive , like 68 Euro each. ( $87 ) It was the only  optional tour that we didn’t get, if  I recall.   It was okay that we didn’t go. . Mom always had to pay for 3 people, herself,  me and my cousin.  So those of us  who stayed behind at the hotel had dinner  where  we could find it. There was a Burger King nearby.  Finally, an American style sandwich ! But then  we saw the price of one Whopper, small fries and regular Coke.  12,70 E ( $ 16.25 ! ! )  That’s less than $ 5 in the US ! ! (And the Coke is even unlimited) . We refused to buy not because we couldn’t afford it. It was out of principle.  We then  decided to buy something to eat at nearby convenience store, and  had coffee and drinks at the outdoor restaurant of the  hotel, and enjoyed the view.  Well, I guess the Swiss can afford to buy  a $ 16 Whopper. They have one of   the highest per capita income in the world, after all.

Next day was another optional tour that we got. . ……. At Mt. Titlis- Rotair, the world’s first revolving cable car  that  goes up to 10,000 feet.  75 E each ( $ 96 ). Mom also got  for me and my cousin a Titlus Ice Flyer for additional  12 E, an individual chair lift that takes each person  just a few feet above the glacier. Pardon me that I’m giving some dollar figures. This is just  a ” tip ” for  future travellers’  out – of  – budget  ” unexpected” expenses.

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My ears just popped and I didn’t like it.

And sorry for the blurry photos. They were taken through the cable car’s dirty glass windows.

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.By the way, I don’t know if you’ve even noticed it, but the grass look like carpet …. they aren’t tall, are they ?  They look like my neighbors’ lawns, ha ha ha.  I tend to notice little details like that, and wonder.  It’s mysterious, like, do they cut the grass or is that a special kind of grass that don’t grow tall ?

Well, guess what, they actually mow the grass ! ! !  I saw it ! ! !  They used  this ride – on lawnmowers, and  I saw 3 of them mowing the grass on the hills.  Mystery solved.

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These are the views at the top of the snowcapped mountains. It was  eerily beautiful/

. The photo directly  below was the topmost. We rode on individual  chair lifts and  it was really beautiful up there, waaaaay above the clouds, but at the same time, it was scary. I have fear of heights, actually.  I was seated so stiffly, a bit terrified, fearing that a cable would break and I’d plunge down to my early demise. Nevertheless, I couldn’t help but be in awe of the sheer raw beauty of the mountain.

That one above is the scenery leaving Mt. Titlis and  going to Lucerne.

After the Titlis tour, we proceeded to Lucerne  for some shopping and sightseeing.  I just wished it was Geneva though, or maybe Zurich ( Bern is the capital of Switzerland.  ) Lucerne is okay, I guess.

.Bought several packs of home-made like chocolates here. Authentic Swiss chocolates. The Swiss consume the most chocolates in the world.  Nestle, the biggest food company in the world, is Swiss. It started as a chocolate factory.  Hmmm, I wonder what that little boy was doing,  alone, at the corner. Do you see him?

.I’ve heard of Bucherer Rolex….. it’s  a  high- end store that sells 15,000 E watches and thousand dollar purses. Our tour director was being sly when he handed each of us a coupon, something like a gift certificate  from Bucherer. So we went in to see what free stuff we could get… it was a stainless Bucherer  Rolex spoon. Cool.  It was a come- on , really, to entice us to check out the store , and hopefully buy something.  Good sales tactic. My cousin and Mom bought a 39 Euro Swiss Knife, and had  names carved in the knife.,,,, for Dad, and  for my cousin’s BF. Aaargh, I don’t think  it’s a good idea to give guys potential weapons, he he, even if they  are the Swiss kind.

We got free dinner at the hotel.  That would be the second out of 9 free dinners  in the tour.  The next day was another Optional tour for us, Lake Lucerne  cruise at 28 Euro each.  Those who didn’t join  went  sightseeing  in the the city .

.Now, I don’t know if I heard it right, but the tour guide said ”  there’s no fish in this lake because it’s so clean,”.  It didn’t seem logical, but he could be right, in a way. If there’s no organic stuff to eat there, then no fish will thrive. It’ will just be one big aquarium.  Eh,  I don’t know.  We did see some swans swimming there.

And we organic humans  were there, too.

.After the cruise, we went sightseeing in the city, bought some souvenirs,  had lunch ( pastries ), and just  hang around the Bucherer area awaiting our departure for Italy.

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..That’s a sculpture of The Dying Lion, made in honor of  hundreds of Swiss Guards  that defended Versailles Palace from the French Revolutionaries. Switzerland has a policy of nuetrality, but, they did allow their soldiers to serve in other countries, usually as Guards,  and not as fighting  foot  soldiers. To this day, Swiss Guards are the ones guarding  The Vatican. I assume we all know The Vatican, the seat of Roman Catholicism,  is also a country,  yes ?  They  serve as the only standing army of the country, all just a  little over 100 of them.

.I don’t remember where this was taken,  (^__^). I was resting and  my cousin took my pic. I posed though. lol

.Taken on the cable car…… posted it just to remind myself, Look, Ma, no rashes !  My skin broke out in Italy. (#_#) Guess it was the sudden change in weather.  * looks closely at my pic * ….  I can see some blackheads, and 1 pimple, but no rashes yet.  Still looking  good at this point.   Subsequent pics from Italy will show ugly  rashes on my skin. Aaaaargh. ! ! !    d*_*b  Be warned.

This is it for Switzerland…….. Beautiful country, scenic and postcard pretty…… It really lived up to my expectations.

Next is Italy.   * looking  again at my pic*  Speaking of which, our  Italian tour guide jokingly  said I had a Roman nose.  She said she had a Roman nose, too. What exactly is a Roman nose ?  I don’t know if I’ll take that as a compliment or what .   * annoyed*   (=_= )”

Good day and PEACE ! ! Don’t forgt to read my next post ! ! ITALY !!!!

Man, I’m exhausted ! !

Hello!

Renxkyoko Iglesias musing here.

This is just an update of things that happened to me last week……

First off, we bought a 2009 Toyota Camry, with only 22,000 miles in it. That’s pretty good for a used car. Uhm, for  first time readers,  our family van was stolen while in my care, so yeah, I really feel guilty, though I know it isn’t my fault.  . Anyways, I’m relieved we ‘ve managed to replace the van as quickyly as possible. It was quite difficult to  have only one car for 3 people, myself, mom and dad. I don’t have a car, but I hope to get my sister’s car when she gets a new one. I hope, soon.

Also, I was able to enroll in my Chemistry class. Oh, what a relief ! ! There were 20 waitlisted students who were trying to get in, but only 2 were taken in, and thank goodness the other one was my Physics classmate last year who has been trying to get in for 3 semesters already.  This is my 4th Chemistry… 3 more to go. I just found out Chemistry is my de facto Minor, with Molecular Microbiology as my major course. I thought of making Forensic Science as a minor, but I guess Chemistry is better. My sister is a microbiology grad but is now working as a chemist . I see myself working in a lab …. not a bad career, if I do say so myself.. Meanwhile, I’m selling clothes and scooping ice cream. Speaking of which, I’m now # 2 in sales. Our target is $ 150 an hour, but I’m doing $ 300, so my boss is liking me more and more.  Oh, by the way, I now know what BCBG means…. it’s Bon Chic, Bon Genre. The name of our store is BCBG MAX AZRIA. Max Azria is the designer. It’s funny that the latest topic as suggested by WordPress is ” Do you work too much or too little?”  At this moment, I’m exhausted.  Alright, Saturday, I worked from 10 AM  – 2 PM at baskin and Robbins, then from 3 PM to 11 PM at BCBG. ( It was quite busy on Labor Day weekend sale ) Then on Sunday, I worked from 8 AM – 3 PM, then 5 PM -10 PM…. today, it’s the same time. I didn’t go to Mass this Sunday. I ‘m sure God understands. I don’t know why I feel troubled and guilty everytime  I don’t  go to Church.  I’m like, what if I keel over  tomorrow, I’ll go to hell? That’s the punishment for mortal sin. It’s a stupid thought, I know. . It’s just something from Sunday school that got stuck  in my head.  Meh.

My aunt from the Philippines  is here with us. First thing we did was shop until we dropped, all on her American Express. She wanted to  buy me a Tag Hauer watch, but I opted for cash and clothes, he he he. I have my cell phone to give me time, anyways.  She gave my siblings Tag Hauers last time she was here. ( Over a thousand dollars each ) I didn’t get one coz I was still in middle school.  And, didn’t I write on my previous post things were gonna be good this year ?  Well, my aunt promised  a European tour for me and my Mom next summer. I’m already daydreaming about it this early.  Yay ! Well, she says it’s 100 % sure thing. We pay for the airplane  fare  and she’ll take care of the rest…EurailPass, hotels, food ! ! All we have to do, she says,    is to pray nothing happens to her from now till next summer ! ! “ Luv ya, Aunty ! Stay healthy ! ”

What are top ten places i want to go to ?  1. Spain  2. Rome  3. Greece  4. Switzerland 5. England  6. Scotland  7. Ireland  8. Turkey  9. Netherlands  10. France…….. Uhm, why Turkey , you ask ? Well, my aunt says it’s one of the most beautiful places she’s been to, so far.  You know, the United states is also beautiful, but, it lacks culture ? I don’t really know what ” culture ” means…. Perhaps we have culture, but it’s 20th century culture, like Hollywood  culture …..it isn’t much, and it isn’t like something I’d like to ogle at and take pictures of.    I know we don’t really   have stateside  Antiquities   to show off….. just Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.   The US doesn’t have real castles, no Parthenon, no thousand year old structures………….. in other words, it lacks that Old World feeling . Anyways, I hope I can go to Egypt and Jerusalem to see the Pyramids and these Bible places, but my aunt  says  these places are not 100% safe.  There’s one place  in Asia, though,  that I really, really want to visit….it’s  Japan. Maybe it’s because of my manga obssession.  That’s a crazy reason why I want to go, unless of course I intend to stay there and experience the day to day Japanese life, like going to Festivals wearing a yukata, eating a bento, and meeting a manga hero that looks like this…..

It’s funny coz I see images of Japan with people in them, and definitely, not one looks like that guy here…….and truth be told, I swear this guy looks more like the deli guy at Subway that’s right across from Baskin and Robbins where I work.  Ahahaha !   Sheeesh. And, oh, yeah, Keanu Reeves ! He looks like the guy from L.DK.

Here he is, Shuseii from L.DK…. * drools*

Oh, gosh, I love L.DK…. L.DK means Living Room, Dining Room, Kitchen. Nice title  of a romance story.

I have to concede to Angus and Eros though. ( from the manga THE ONE ) They’re really pretty.

These two are the reasons why we keep on reading. He he he ……  Do you know what the problem is with these mangas? They raise the standard of  the “ideal man”, like,  how he should look like, act, and behave. I am now now attracted to guys with long hair.   But female manga readers do fantasize. Why do I know that ? Coz I read the forums and they’re like  this….

…………….. daydreaming that someday……..,,

Yeah.  Sweet, huh, See that? The guy is even blushing. Awwww ! That image is from the manga STROBE EDGE , one of the nicest, sweetet, cutest, albeit heart wrenching mangas I’ve ever read.  It is heart wrenching coz the guy has a girl friend. What’s worse is the girl friend is  prettier ( she’s a model) , and not only that, she’s actually nice.  T.T And the main girl, Nanako, does not get in the way of Ren’s and his gf’s relationship. She does not break them up… it’s a mutual decision. The GF lives in another city, and is quite busy with work and she does meet other people, but Ren himself does not break up with her because he’s a good , faithful and loyal guy, even though he has started to fall for Nanako. Once he’s free, he confesses to Nanako, but Nanako rejects him. Well, Ren has a best friend who’s also in love with nanako, and the best friend  has always been there with Nanako trying to make life easier for her  as she suffers from supposedly unrequited love for Ren.  Awww ! In the end of course, Ren and Nanako get together. ………..Hahaha, I know, it’s so cheesy, but I love it. So, yeah, that’s the stuff some mangas are made of….. pure, young love, the ideal one that impressionable girls are dreaming of.

Alright, this is all for now. I hope I can post  more often after this. It’s really been awhile, huh, more than 2 weeks from my last post , I think. Gosh, I’ve been so busy.

So, bye for now, be nice, be good, and PEACE !