Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Kiss in Time

I look straight into her grass green eyes. I’ve never seen eyes that color before.
“Thank you, my prince,” she sighs,
Then the green eyes widen.
“Who are you"
And that’s when she screams

Kiss in time is one of the fairytale-themed books of Alex Flinn. It's based on the classic Sleeping Beauty waking up with her true love's kiss.

I've always been an impatient person when it comes to reading books and even on watching movies. I easily get bored especially when progress of the story is too slow thought I know it’s important for the author to build rapport at the beginning. But anyway, this book was like those books that you shouldn't give up because it gets better and better.

So the story was set in Europe with Talia, princess of Euphrasia, sleeping for 300 years, being found by Jack (from Miami, who is on a student tour in Europe) who waked her up from her sleep through a kiss. But what if she's not her true true love's kiss? And imagine how a princess waking up after 300 years live in the 21st century. I like the wittiness of the story and how the point of view of both characters was presented. I love the way the author let her readers feel what it's like from two different perspectives. And the moral lessons just how old fairytales go. Obedience. Kindness. Go forth your dreams. Plus the realizations on how's life gone by in the present times.

“I have never heard of a party without gowns. This is turning out to be a very disappointing century.”

Now I can't wait to get "Cloaked"! =]

Hotel Review: First House Hotel

We checked in at First House Hotel during our 3 day stay in Bangkok.
The hotel location in the central of Bangkok' main shopping areas pratunam wholesale market Shopping area at your feet , Platinum Shopping mall , MBK , Siam Paragon , Siam Square , Platinum and Pantip Plaza within 10 minutes walk of the hotel and 20 minutes walk to BTS and 10 minutes Airport Rail Link is the fastest most convenient transport link between the Suvarnabhumi International Airport and the Bangkok inner city. –

So I’ll start this with the positive ones:
  • The location is there advantage. It’s located in the center of shopping malls/market. If one of your purposes in going to BKK is to shop for low priced goods, FH can be one of the hotels you can consider.
  • There front desk staffs are welcoming and easy to talk with. Language barrier is one of the problems in BKK, but I can see the staffs are trying their best in communicating and understanding what the guests want.
  • The rooms are clean. No cockroach/insects or bad smelling bed sheets. Hot and cold shower is working. Though the entirety looks old and need a revamp, I’m not demanding and choosy so the room can be regarded as acceptable. (The space and power outlets would be another. =))

The not-so-positive things I noticed while were there:
  • On our first day, the bell boys helped in putting down our baggage so after checking in we went up to our room, all the while believing that they will bring up our baggage because they placed it in their pushcart. After a couple of minutes, we went down just to see it was just left on the side so we just brought it up ourselves. Thanks a lot for the help?
  • The room was ok but more space won’t hurt. I heard there’s an ongoing renovation so I think that’s the one they are showing in their website. Plus they only have two extra power outlets. Hassle on charging your gadgets. We just plugged out the tv to make use of an extra outlet.
  • NO FREE WIFI. They charge 100baht to access their wifi for an hour(cumulative). Ahmm..seriously?

So to sum it up, it’s good enough for you to rest on after a long day of shopping. It’s suitable for those who want to have access on the main shopping malls/market in BKK. But perhaps, they should really consider offering free wifi. As in. lol. XD

Bangkok trip: Day 3

Day 3: Bye BKK!

Our last day was spent on last minute shopping and stuffing everything in our bags. Good thing we brought 2 loose baggages for extra space.
Big Bang!

On the way to the airport.

Bye Bangkok!

the loooong line for the checking in of baggage for our flight.

Saw this group of Thai students with the same haircut while waiting in line at the immigration. I wonder if that's a requirement for them. seriously?

that purple bag attracts meeeeee. XD

Searching for candies to munch on in their Duty Free shops.

-the plane we're about to board in. ~~up up here we go go!

the very spacious Thai airport

We arrived around 6pm and there's no free gate so we disembarked using a mobile staircase.

Hello Philippines! Waiting and searching for your baggage can get tiring. The customs people are not too strict with the inspection this time compared to what my mother kept telling us. Maybe because it’s already past 6pm and they’re already tired. Hehe. We got an X mark on two of our baggage. One of it was because of the tamarind candies that scattered that kept clanging inside. And the other I innocently dusted off because I thought it was just a dirt dust. Haha! Papa picked us up and then went straight home. We were supposed to eat out because it was papa’s birthday the next day but just opted to do it on the original day.

Bangkok trip: Day 2

Day 2: I'm back on track! =]

yea! Finally, I regained my energy. We went down for breakfast around 6:30am for an early start to maximize our 3 days there. We supposed to have a floating market tour included in the package but decided not to take it. So we just inquired about other tourist spots near the place that we can go to. There's a guy posted outside the hotel that has a brochure of places that tourists can go, I think they can also arrange tours depending on the customer's choice. So we just ended up asking about the nearest place we can go to and they said it's the Golden Buddha.

And just in time, a taxi in front of the hotel was looking for passengers. We asked how much it would cost us going to the Golden Buddha, and he said it was 50baht and then he started discussing to us other places that he can bring us to if we want. But our plan was only to go to the nearest one so we can have more time for shopping. But he kept suggesting the mini tour because he says something about a sponsor, where he gets free gas (100baht) for every shop/place he would bring us to, so he can just charge us for a lower price of 300baht for the whole duration of our travel till our chosen endpoint: Emporium. So we ended up taking it after a cost-benefit analysis. chos! haha! Besides I think we got a good deal and a win-win situation there. We get to travel hassle-free and enjoy visiting more places without worrying where and how to get there while the friendly driver gets to have 300baht plus the free gas he gets from some shops. nice! I think that's a really great way to get tourists to see the tourist destinations of a country, right? I think this must be considered in the PH too. Plus it would be a great help for our taxi drivers. So our 300baht brought us to 4 shops and 2 places with Golden Buddha. We were also supposed to go to the Golden Palace but it's a Sunday and there's so many tourists in there plus they charge an entrance fee of 350baht and we don't have time to go around the entire palace (we asked our friendly driver and he said it would take about 1hr. to walk around the entire place), so no thanks.

Our friendly taxi driver turned tour guide. =]

The places we went to:

at the Golden Buddha shrine

One of the souvenir shops we went to:

I can't remember the name of the place, basta it's full of more golden Buddha all around:-the touch of gold =]

a row of Buddhas. sacred place.

DIRTY ICE CREAM?: costs only20baht! 3 scoops of ice cream and your choice of toppings.

One thing I noticed while we were driving around is their king's face can be seen everywhere. If I counted each one, it would be around 20+! o diba? After the tour we went to Emporium mall and roamed around a bit.

Run for Japan

Spotted: their uniforms remind me of a Thai movie. Hmm?

Afterwards, we rode a taxi to Samping market. A place to buy different accessories. There are also some stores that sell cute stuff toys and character products.
ANGRY BIRDS!: aww.. I super regret not buying the AB pouches I saw in one of the shops there.

We rode a tok-tok taxi back to the hotel because no metered taxi wants to go to the area because it's already traffic. very familiar lang noh? After a couple of minutes, I went down again with mama to walk again going to Big C, the nearest mall with a grocery store (ask for the grocery store not the supermarket). They got lower prices for most of their grocery products. Like their 4pack yoghurt only costs 28baht? Then we went back walking again, I also bought my pasalubong shirts on the way back.

Thai traffic on a Sunday afternoon.

Then we ate dinner and rested for a bit then went back again around 6pm . And one more thing, the stalls there open and close in a weird manner. As early as 6am they are already preparing to open and around 4-5pm some are already closed. Then some are just preparing to open, maybe they got shifting hours there because around 6pm, different goods are hanged in the make-shift stalls. Then make sure to buy the first time you see it because you might not see it again when you get back because some of them close as early as 9pm.

Back at the hotel:
THAILAND'S GOT TALENT: may similarity din yung host kanila Luis and Billy? lol. =]

Bangkok trip: Day 1

Last March 26-28, I was able to travel abroad for the first time. And this would also be my first ever airplane ride. Yey! So imagine my excitement, haha! But I would first have to concentrate and endure our finals week first before I get to actually grasp my first ever trip. Papa wasn’t able to go with us because it’s hard to get a leave on their work so it’s only me, mama and kuya.

This draft/entry was left too long in my files and I was able to continue it only now. Tsk.tsk. Ang tamad ko. So idadaan ko na lang sa pictures. =]

Day1: We arrived at the airport around 8:30am just in time to finish all the steps and be "on time" for the last boarding call for our 10:30 flight. haha! We were seated at the middle backmost part of the plane. Hooray for being the last ones to check in. haha! I first prayed the rosary while waiting. So after a couple of minutes the plane started its engine and began to prepare for take-off. first time. yee. haha! After a couple of minutes the stewardess are already preparing the food and distributing immigration forms for arrival at the Bangkok airport.

Look what I found in the in flight magazine: *insert Thomasian pride here
One of my idols in photography.
400 years of UST and counting

MEAT or FISH: backseat gets no choice (most of the time, maybe?). My taste buds didn't agree with the fish and the veggies. Anyway, the choco mousse made up for it.

We arrived at the Bangkok airport around 1:40pm. The airport was so nice, very spacious and clean. Ayoko man sabihin: ang layo ng kanila sa atin, or maybe di ko pa kasi nakikita yung terminal 3. After getting out, lining up for the immigration for more than an hour naman. Sila na mabagal o sila na ang maraming turista? I think I would choose the latter.
After getting our luggage, we spend a couple of minutes walking around the waiting area twice looking for the agency rep who would take us to the hotel.

At the hotel. After checking in we brought our luggage up and settled for a minute then went straight down again to start shopping! Hehe. Good thing about the location of our hotel is that it’s situated near the tiannges/shopping malls and the like.We first went to Peridot store that mama has always been going to whenever she's there. They sell leather bags and wallet of high quality at reasonable prices. This is where we also exchanged our dollars for baht, they've got better rates, I think. I was amused that one of the store owners even recognized mama or maybe it was her bag they recognized. haha! Because it was bought there, years back, around 2002. Very friendly people they got there.

After walking a bit more, we settled on a mall like that of 168 and ate dinner at KFC. They've got bigger drinks. I only ordered fries because I was not feeling well, I think it's because of the fish meal on the airplane. No offense, but every time I remember the smell and taste, it makes me want to ****. So after eating, we went back to the hotel and I just opted to stay and rest because my head is already pounding and I'm feeling a fever rising up. It's official. I'M SICK. nyaa! What a nice way to start my first day. So I was just left there in the room while they went back outside to shop. I slept for a couple of hours before they went back around 9 with a tablet for my headache. And still my headache's still on, but luckily, not until the next day.


I’m back!, for now, because summer classes starts on the 12th. So I only spent my 2-week vacation updating myself on the latest books and a bit traveling on the side. So I finally got to shake of my laziness and update this blog instead.
So as I was scanning in the net for books I could read while I still have a free time, I stumbled upon Alex Flinn a lot of times. I was intrigued about the theme of her latest works. Fairytale in the modern day setting? nice! So now my fascination for her novels started.
"Kiss in Time" was the first one I was supposed to buy but can't find it when I went to MOA. I even tweeted FullyBooked the day before I went there to check if they had it available in there MOA branch. They said they still have 2 remaining in there and suggested that I call their hotline to reserve it, but I’m in Cavite and our phone is locked so no choice but to hope that it won’t taken before I go. I went there straight ahead after my last exam the next day. Around 4pm I arrived and the last 2 stock was already gone. Siya na in demand!
So I went next to National Bookstore and tried my luck. Asked the customer service there that said they don't have it. I don't know if she even got the author right when she asked again. So anyway, went to my last resort, Powerbooks. Good thing that I somehow memorized already the location of the stores in MOA so I don't have to go around and around. haha! Imagine me losing hope already. Skimmed around the store for a while but I didn't saw any in the front tables, so I asked the guy there and said it was already sold out a long time ago. He just suggested Beastly (another Flinn novel) which was already made into a movie to be shown this April, and Cloaked which was also already available but it's still on HB. I've always regarded staffs of Powerbooks in MOA as friendly and accommodating. I remember one time, I accompanied my friend there to buy for our exchange gift and they’re a great help when you don’t know which book is suitable for a person. I can see they're book lovers themselves so it's not hard for them to recommend and make a conversation with their customers. Thumbs up! So I ended up buying Beastly, I want both but I don’t have enough money for the Cloaked HB. haha!
"If I hadn't been transformed, I would never have known what I was missing"
As for the story, it was Beauty and the Beast retold in the modern days. I never read or watched BB so I can't tell all the difference. But all the important parts were there, afaik. How the beast was so beastly inside that he was transformed and how Lindy (Beauty) was forced to be in Beast's place and how she saw Beast past his appearance. Realizations only pop out when a person loses everything he thought he won't lose, things he thought he can't live without. Just imagine how a good-looking, rich and popular highschool boy turned to a beast would deal with the people in NYC when suddenly he changed into someone he never wanted to be. Cool version. Must read. Can't wait to see it in the big screen! =]

~I want the original cover :(