søndag 31. mai 2009


I just noticed that this is the 100th post in this blog.


I haven't heard too much about this place until I heard the song by Jay Chow. The whole idea for this trip was a way to "celebrate" my dad's retirement. I had picked out 7 cities which we can go within a reasonable money and time budget. Towards the end, Moscow, Prague and Madrid came up and Moscow dropped out because it requires visa. Eventually my dad picked Prague and Prague it is. Because I had been super busy the few weeks before the trip so we havn't done much research, but with 5 days and 4 nights there, we can afford to get the info at the hotel and plan our trip with the first day.

We have an afternoon flight so I try to restrain myself from eating too much for lunch because I expect to enjoy a big dinner. Comparing to Norway, food in every country is always better and cheaper.

My usual practice is to get some local currency before the flight in case I can't find any minibank that works with my card at the destination. However, the currency exchange at the airport has just sold out the Czech Crowns and I remember Hana said that it is better to use Euros there, so instead I got myself 200 euros, in 50 euro bills, plus I have some euros from before so I believe it should be enough.

The flight is only half full so the 4 of us occupied 6 seats and it gave us a lot of room to move around. Since my previous two trips were domestic flights to Bergen that were 100% filled, I really appreciate the empty seats. Two hours later we arrived at Prague and the first objective is to secure the transportation to the hotel. I remembered from wiki travel that taxis are known for ripping people off, so I am trying to look for some alternatives. It turns out that there are several vans parked behind the taxis that are used to transport people to hotels from the airport, they are privately own and is actually not much cheaper (as I later found out, since I took taxi to the airport on my way home). The most annoying part is that they have 8 seats in the van and they wouldn't just drive with the 4 of us, insisting to fill the van as much as possible. After 10 min of waiting I told the driver that I will only wait 10 more minutes, and if he still don't drive, then we will take taxi instead. Somehow he managed to find 2 more tourists before the deadline and off we go.

It cost 480 kc for the trip between 1 to 4 people, since I only got 440 kc from 20 euros in the airport, I naturally pulled out the 50 Euro bill, and the driver looked so surprised and cannot offer me change, asking me if I have anything smaller. So at the end, I gave him all my kc in my waller plus a 2 euro coin. He drove off happily.

After settling down in the hotel, it is time for dinner and it happens to be a restaurant close by which serve some Czech cusines, and we decided to check it out. My eyes were glowing when I saw the meny, there are many meat dishes and the price is so cheap. The amount that was writting on the menu are either smaller or equal to the menu I see in Norway, except Czech crowns are worth only about 1/3 as much. So we stuffed ourselves for the price that could only buy me a dinner for 2 at most in Norway.

After dinner we decided to get some rest and get ready for tomorrow.

tirsdag 26. mai 2009




City View from Powder Tower:






Panoramic view: (with Olympus stylus1020)

onsdag 20. mai 2009


真的很久没有出Post, 之前想讲一下挪威国庆, 但由于没有好的照片, 只能等等.


去了读Course, 是.NET的, 一共五天.
然后五月十七是挪威的国庆节, 但也是餐馆一年最忙的一天, 幸好自己的一双腿还在.

然后又要去出差, 这次跟父母一起, 这里(BERGEN)住了一个我爸的旧朋友, 久别重逢, 开心.

星期四挪威放假, 放什么不知道, 但打算去上班, 然后星期五才放假.

星期五下午就去捷克的布拉格, 五天四夜, 行程还没定好.


fredag 8. mai 2009

Letter to my wife

Dear wife,
I am happy to hear that you are studying diligently during my trip away. In fact, you have been studying very diligently the whole time. Norwegian is a totally new language to you and for people like us who are not born in a latin language based country, the process of learning Norwegian could be long and boring.

Is there something I can do to help? I know that my temper isn't exactly the best, especially when I am teaching you Norwegian, so I am happy that since my mom has arrived, she had taken over my role and becoming your tutor. Seeing you two learning together, although my face doesn't show it, I am really happy. I have told myself to be patient and I know you will master the language someday. Therefore all I can do at this moment is wait.

Remember how I told you that you are not in a hurry to learn the language? Because I am perfectly capable of supporting this family with my jobs. As long as I am capable of working, you, my parents, and even our future babies will not have to worry about living expenses. It is true, and it will always be true, because it is my job to put a roof above our heads and put food on the table.

However, my dear, our lives would be so much better if we both are working. There are many more dreams and goals that we can reach if we both have our career. Although I am perfectly happy about the way things are right now with our married life and my personal life, I have to say there are so many more ways to improve. For example, you have always want to have more privacy, we could use a bigger house with multiple floors so that we can have more privacy. We would also want to be able to retire early and the best way to do it is to put money aside now and let it grow in various investments. We could also appease your parents since they believe you should be achieving something with your master degree in Law.

My dear, I am glad that you are studying so hard right now, but I have to point it out to you that there is a major difference between studying a language and studying in university. There is also a big difference in learning a Latin-based language and learning Chinese. You should really learn the alphabets by heart so that you can learn to pronounce the words even if you don't know the words. When you can speak the word well, people can understand you better and that's when the doors of opportunities open. Yes, the grammar is important, but being able to speak the language is far more important. So please keep this in mind when you plan your study ahead. When you have finally learned enough Norwegian to carry a normal conversation with people, we will be able to realize a lot of our dreams and create a better future.

I can't wait to go back home tonight, I miss you a lot.


Your hubby.


torsdag 7. mai 2009


I am writing this post as I am sitting at my hotelroom in Bergen, the second largest city in Norway. The reason I am here is really because I am starting my process of learning .NET and the system architect of my mother company have a day free to walk me through some design patterns and some basic .NET programming. Plus I have a couple of meetings with my team members and it is just convenient to stay one more day to meet with him face to face instead of over the speakerphone.

It has been quite eventful so far. The flight was booked for 7:15am and I had to wake up at 5:30 to make sure I can arrive at the airport with 30 minutes to spare which is more than enough for domestic flights. Just as I was about to leave my apartment at 6 I got an SMS from the airline saying that my flight is cancelled, and instead I was automatically booked for the next flight which leaves at 8:00. That plane will arrive at Bergen at 8:55 and I will only have 20 minutes to get to the office before the workshop begins. Well, I didn't really have a choice...

So I board that plane, and it landed 5 minutes early which gave me some room to work with. I forgot to mention that my boss is also going to Bergen today and we happened to book the same flight originally, since our flight was cancelled I assumed he ended up in the same flight as me, but I was wrong. I couldn't see him on the plane and I couldn't find him in the terminal. At first I just want to share a taxi with him to the office, but I guess we just have to go separately.

I got to the office at exactly 9:15am and I was overjoyed, so I paid and jump out of the taxi and up to the office, greeted the system architect and get ready to start the day, just as I reach for my notebook I realize that I left my laptop at the taxi. So I have to call the taxi station to get a hold of the driver and tell him to come back with my laptop. Luckily I have the receipt so I was able to tell them who the driver was, otherwise it will take a long time to search for that driver (of course I have to save the receipt, that's the only way to claim the money back). As I was waiting for the laptop to come back my boss walked in. It turned out that he was not automatically booked to the next flight because he refused to use the company's travel pass (instead using his own frequent flyer program), have to sneak away before he realize how stupid he was.

My laptop eventually got delivered to me after 10 minutes or so and the day begins. Overall the day was very informative and I learned a lot. I am just surprised the coffee managed to keep me awake.

As I left the office, it's actually not raining so I have to use this chance to checkout the town (Bergen is known to rain/snow 200 days a year). So instead of taking the taxi to the hotel, I walked (4km). I took some nice pictures along the way which I will put up when I get back.

I didn't really looked at the hotel reservation until I got to the hotel and I found out that my hotel stay costs 2050NOK (about 2500 HKD) (I guess HK's 平机会主席 should feel better now.). Plus the plane ticket which costs about 3000, this trip actually cost them 5000. On top of that they sent me to a .NET course next week, the total come up to be 25000 NOK. I guess it is all worth it if they can finally put me into use.

It's 18:20 and I am dead tired. I think I am going to bed now even though the sun is still high up and it doesn't get dark until 9:45pm in Norway nowadays.

Good night.