Updates from November, 2009 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • georgesong 11:23 am on November 30, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: adrian merryman, anoint, , cnn, , , , http://onedayswages.org, , judas, microfinancing, nard, opportunity international, perfume, poverty, resources, thanksgiving, union church, waste   

    wasting resources…? 

    [*this was to be posted last week, but discovered that wordpress + twitter were still being unreachable while in china.]

    viv and i got a chance to vist union church this past sunday (an english-speaking church where we attend whenever we’re in hk). it was a good sunday for us to be there. much was heard and digested (spiritually and physically) and still gestating in me (mainly the spiritual things now).
    being away from seattle/home and our normal day-to-day routines we’ve sort of lost track of time… we’re no longer looking at clocks, outlook calendars, etc. and it’s weird but equally good for our soul! we find ourselves unsure of the day of the week or even the time of the month. that’s why it was both serendipitous and a bit sad when the welcoming pastor announced a thanksgiving feast/meal after service.
    thanksgiving time already?!?!
    has that much time passed?
    my stomach was like: turkey, cranberries, sweet potato and pumpkin pie… YES!

    BUT… it also meant the first time i’d be away from my immediate/extended family for the holidays and our time abroad will be coming to a close soon… 😦 (More …)

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  • georgesong 5:40 pm on November 23, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 9 streets, , anne frank, canal, centraal station, dam square, F google, , public transportation, red light district, rikjsmuseum, special brownies, steve balmer, stroopwafel, tandem bike, tisfris, tot zien, trader joe's, travel, van gogh, , www.ijm.org, www.thesoldproject.org   

    where in the world… (part 4)? 

    are viv + i?
    hallo…” from amsterdam, netherlands!

    definitely an interesting place… especially after the scenic, country-side feel we experienced while in southern france. amsterdam is well known for many things: it’s historic churches/buildings, great public transportations: trains, trams, buses + bicycles, windmills and beautiful canals… and probably equally known for their, er… ummm… well, open views (like hatred of google, recreational drug use + prostitution, just to name a few).

    steve balmer's favorite t-shirt (had to censor the 'F' word for the younger viewers)...

    I AM-sterdam-it!

    viv had heard about their “special” brownies so we decided to  (More …)

     
    • Rach S 10:14 pm on November 24, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Enjoy seeing your updates!
      I see Vivien got you in a scarf. =)

    • esther lee chong 7:02 am on November 25, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      hey george! how are you? i see that you are out and about roaming the world. how fun! hope you are well.

      • georgesong 10:38 am on November 30, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        @ esther lee chong: spending time w/ viv’s family in HK and taking some excursions when we can! blessings + peace to your family!

    • ni appa 5:46 pm on December 10, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Glad you guys are enjoying Europe! My boss lives in Amsterdam and sends me stroopwaffels all the time….bomb.com.

      When you’re in london and want a good cheap eat….go to Taza, it’s a shawarma hole in the wall. Easy to find…get off the Queensway tube stop on the red line (or Bayswater stop on the green/yellow line), take a left out of either station and it’s a half a block up on your left side. Can’t miss the long line that will be standing outside. £3 for a shawarma…..so freakin good.

      • georgesong 10:47 am on December 18, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        @ni appa: remember, you can get the stroopwafels at trader joe’s now! as for london, we’ll have to save the great tip for next time… we only had a layover there. 😦

  • georgesong 3:54 pm on November 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: aix en provence, arles, avignon, avis, bible, bonjour, calanques, cannes, , côte d'azur, driving, europe, eze village, french riviera, gelato, guidebook, isla sur la sorgue, les baux, mademoiselle, marc chagall, marseille, mon ami, monaco, monsieur, , nice, nimes, old testament, opel, orange, palais de papes, , rental car   

    where in the world… (part 3)? 

    are viv + i?
    bonjour mon ami…” from southern france!

    using rick steves’ provence & the french riviera guidebook (a.k.a. our “other” bible in southern france), vivien outlined a tour de southern france via our avis rental car: an opel. definitely a different experience for me… cause when i vacation, i tend to stay in one hotel/location for the duration of the stay and take a taxi. the long, windy and scenic roads from town to town were pretty fun to drive.

    bonjour from hotel negresco in nice! le'g+v...

    not knowing what to expect for the city driving/parking conditions, it was crazy and stressful! the streets were SO narrow and often-times one-way and it was shared by cars, bicyclists, scooters, cats and dogs all at the same time! in most intersections, they had these roundabouts that were a bit confusing as well… and just required you to pretty much close your eye and jump into the circle of death and drive around until you find the right road to get off to! you just had to pay attention to the many arrowed signs and pray you chose the right one!

    when in doubt... always head toward "centre ville"...

    driving stats:

    • total distance driven: 1234km = 766.772 miles
    • total spent on diesel: €106 euros = $158.73 USD
    • total number of swear words dropped: 11mutha F-bombs” 😐

    thank the Lord that there were so many things to ease my driving stress… paellas, poissons and pâtisseries, oh my!  😀

    the places: (More …)

     
    • Jeff Lam 6:45 pm on November 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      George — beautiful pictures and fun commentary =). You’re brave for renting a car and driving for so long. What an amazing experience.

      • georgesong 7:16 pm on November 22, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        @Jeff Lam: i’m constantly learning that happy wife = happy life… and after reading your last few posts, you’re the real “brave” one for what you do day in and day out teaching. you ROCK! PS – happy “early” anniversary to team lam!

    • Daniel Azuma 7:31 pm on November 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      So beautiful out there! I’d love to see those Chagall paintings. Can’t believe even Viv was mesmerized. Glad you guys are enjoying this time!

      • david 9:09 pm on November 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        dude. stop flaunting your european vacation. it’s 40 degrees, wet, windy, and flooded in seattle. boo! chris would like un baguette, s’il vous plait.

        • georgesong 7:18 pm on November 22, 2009 Permalink

          @Daniel Azuma: thanks, d. maybe you + ada can go next year? 😉
          @david: oui oui, monsieur!

    • Sub 11:09 pm on November 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Very nice! But what with the downer info about Van Gogh? haha… Glad to hear you guys are having such a great adventure. Tell Viv to hang in there. She only has a month or so and she’ll be free of you….I joke! ps. Don’t forget my presents…(yes, one track mind)…

    • lilnova 6:24 am on November 21, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Still feeling envious….. Your trip sounds so amazing….

      • georgesong 7:21 pm on November 22, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        @lilnova: i’m sure your “One really awesome trip: 5%” for 2010 you’ve budgeted will be a blast too! 🙂

  • georgesong 11:52 am on November 6, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: aunt, auntie, , cousin, esther, , jim, october 23, ramborger, sophie, uncle, yae-eun   

    welcome, baby sophie yae-eun ramborger… 

    daddy's little girl...

    i can see it already... daddy's little girl! 🙂

    dob: 10/23/2009 (post is delayed b/c i was in nepal…)
    time: 09:04pm
    weight: 8lbs 1.7oz
    height: 19.5in (will probably be super tall, look at her dad)
    to: proud 1st time parents… papa jim + mama esther

    can’t wait to see you when we return!
    love,
    auntie viv + uncle george

     
  • georgesong 7:42 pm on November 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: annapurna, guide, himalayas, international porter protection group, ippg, kathmandu, maoist, namaste, natural hot springs, nepal, , poon hill, porter, sunrise, swine flu, tatopani, traveller's diarrhea, trekking, tribhuvan,   

    where in the world… (part 2)? 

    are viv + i?
    namaste…
    nama-stah,
    ma-ma-coo-sa from nepal!

    definitely a dream destination (more so for vivien + her love for outdoor adventure than i). the sights were spectacular and awe-inspiring… how could one look at it all and not acknowledge the Creator?

    the places:

    • kathmandu (1400m/4593ft)
    • pokhara (910m/2986ft) – a short 25min flight from kathmandu.
    • phedi (950m/3116ft) – starting point of our 6-day trek with a gazillion stone steps and insane incline grade!
      we were blessed to have our guide: manoj + our porter: kumar. over the journey they became more like family! while we had our hiking boots, performance gear attire, trekking poles and only carrying day packs… kumar wore nike tennis shoes, jeans, a button-up shirt, used NO poles and carried our 35lb. backpack through some sick terrain. he saved our lives (and our backs… literally).
      ** note: am thankful for international porter protection group (i.p.p.g.) and hope they continue to look out/care for the porters. and in the future, we hope trekkers will have enough porters for the gear they bring as to not overload/work and pose potential harm to them!
    • tolka (1790m/5872ft) – first night’s stay. having no electricity at this teahouse, viv + i, ended up going to sleep at 7pm! one of the most restful nights of sleep i ever had! only took going to nepal to find it. who would’ve thunk it?
    • ghandruk (2020m/6627ft) – imagine having this view while eating breakfast!
      P1000600

      momo having mint tea + traditional chapati bread

      (More …)

     
    • SuJ'n 8:42 pm on November 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I am insanely envious. I tried to get to Nepal in late spring/early summer of 2007 – but alas, my subletter had left before I could finish my Asia travels and my kitties were home alone.

      • georgesong 4:19 pm on November 3, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        @SuJ’n: actually, you were one of my early influences! seeing all your travels to different asian countries gave me the travel bug! hope you get a chance to go to nepal!

    • lil 9:19 pm on November 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      good to see an update from you guys! safe travels.

    • leah 2:15 am on November 3, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      wow, this is AWESOME. thanks for the pics + update. feel better soon, and bring back some awesome adventure stories from team song!

      • georgesong 4:20 pm on November 3, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        @leah: thanks, zaff! started on some antibiotics and much needed bed rest… we’re both feeling better already.

    • Annie 5:28 am on November 3, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      awesome pictures!!! sorry to hear about the traveler sickness. get well soon and get ready for your next stop!

      • georgesong 4:22 pm on November 3, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        @Annie: dohd-zay (“thank you” in cantonese)… glad south of france + amsterdam will be a much more leisure trip than the rigorous trekking of nepal! can’t wait to see where you and siang go when you retire and travel the world in a couple more years! 😉

    • ni appa 4:29 pm on November 5, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      dude, looks like you’re having a blast…why am i not surprised viv is embracing the traditional garb and you’re still in your trendy coats. 🙂 oh yeah, can you friggin get a facebook account and update us like the rest of the world does? wordpress is so 5 years ago, bro.

      • georgesong 9:49 am on November 6, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        @ni appa: when we go to korea i’ll put on a han-bohk. and bah-humbug! facebook schmacebook… now hurry and get your marketing blog on wordpress setup! 😉

    • Sub 8:35 pm on November 5, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Nice! Don’t forget to get me presents. Yes, plural. If you find pepto, take it like every day. It helps to protect your stomach from any food caused stuff…..=)

      • georgesong 9:50 am on November 6, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        @Sub: great idea! i’ll take your current present + break it into pieces. i am buying a belt holster for a bottle of pepto… 😐

        • Sub 4:41 pm on November 12, 2009 Permalink

          You break it, I break you! Have fun and have some delicious madelines and don’t forget the presents….one track mind? Yes.

    • Rach S 1:10 am on November 6, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Great photos! Stay healthy! Looking forward to hearing about France and Amsterdam.

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