The Journey to Paraíba (an edited account)

I am still in the bus, but I’ve have entered Paraíba. There is a great amount of greenery here, but not like the lush greenery in England; it is a dry, crispier kind of green on the wide expanse of lands that stretch into the distant hills and mountains. At one point I just…stared, quite transfixed at the hues of orange in the horizons that’s so beautiful in the blue sky.

And so I travelled along such greenery. At one part of my journey, I saw lots of white horses grazing the field through the curtain. So I parted it excitedly, thinking, UNICORNS!! That smile promptly faded when I realised they’re just cows.

And then the bus moved on. Brief moments the bus passed through the villages, I saw boys playing football on a small piece of light, camel-ish coloured ground with self-constructed small, netless goal posts. A few moments later, boys playing football at a wider space at the edge of the woods. I thought how different these sights were compared to the boys playing on concrete back in my home. Roofed houses after houses, scattered across Brazil land, or built in clusters on sloping lands – such inconsistencies in design and unlike the carefully designed flats back home.

More undulating lands. Rolling hills. I thought, so much land, so much potential. What if this area were to be made into a golf course? There’s a random small lake in the middle of the greens too. It sure looks like a golf course with such unevenness. Just as this thought crossed my mind, I saw a meandering river in between two plains, of about six to seven metres in width. Its path turned and reached gently towards the road I was travelling on. It twinkled under the setting sun in such a quiet, beautiful way. I was startled out of my reverie and blinked in surprise; I hadn’t expected its sudden appearance. Then I smiled as the scene passed me by.

December 20, 2015

Somehow, it’s Bath

Four months ago, on my trip to London, I took a day-tour out to Stonehenge and Bath (including a stop at The Secret Place which shall-not-be-named) with The English Bus. Along the way, my small group that was just made up of three nationalities (Americans, Australians and Singaporeans) passed through villages and caught a few glimpses of the decreasing thatched houses from our small but trusty bus, accompanied by our wonderful guide, Chris and his excellent commentary. He knew just when to pause to let us catch up with our morning sleep, or when to let us gaze out undisturbed at the rolling greenery that passed us by. His commentary that was peppered with little jokes was extremely informative and educational. You’ll learn a lot if you get to follow his tour, be it about the attractions or even about the roads of England! I cannot recommend this tour company enough. You may not trust me, but please trust tripadvisor over here!

The City of Bath is a beautiful place linked to the Romans, cider, hot springs and Jane Austen, who was there for some years in her life. I heard the Jane Austen gift shop is rather touristy. I didn’t visit there but still fell prey to the charms of a Mr Darcy bookmark sold in a souvenir shop.

Mr Darcy Bookmark

The original hot spring bath has been closed a long time since 1978 after a girl who swam there contracted meningitis and died. Now, imagine the irony if Bath is without its bath! Therefore in its place came Thermae Bath Spa, which opened in 2006. (It beats me why it took 28 years!)

The original Roman Bath may be closed, but the water from the hot springs is still potable! Head into The Pump Room, where the hot spring water is still served from the taps of a fountain in the restaurant – without charge! The warm spring water has gathered rather mixed reviews, so don’t be embarrassed if you find that you can’t finish the whole glass ;).

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My time in Bath was regretfully short. I chose to take the recommendation of Chris and headed to the Pasty Presto to grab a quick but yummy bite!

Pasty Presto photo IMG_20140527_141325_zps4fcb6559.jpg(There was a cute guy in the shop.)

If you have limited time like I did, please grab a quick bite at Patsy Presto or anywhere! But be sure to take-out because you don’t want to miss soaking up the atmosphere outside. There are buskers to watch, milling people to look at, and pleasant music to enjoy!

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(Probably) Bacon & Leek Pasty and Me, plus Gordon Ramsay-look-alike and doggie lying down at the back.

My last few moments in Bath was particularly delightful. I entered a souvenir shop just to the left from the place in the picture above, and splurged on a embroidered rabbit cushion, the Mr Darcy bookmark and a small bear that was wearing a blue Bath shirt. I don’t know why I wanted a Bath bear – I just did! I passed by a make-your-own-bear shop in the bus when I first entered Bath but that obviously was somewhere I don’t know how to get to so my mind was pretty much obsessed with getting a manufactured bear since I couldn’t have a self-made one.

What was particularly wonderful was, all the while when I was being indecisive inside the shop, what floated into the shop was the beautiful, melodious voice of a guy and the strumming of his guitar. It brought time to a slow, and a new reality to the ticking seconds. Eventually I went out of the shop and stood for a few moments enjoying his soothing tones.

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(The video showed up only at the first time. Subsequently it keeps showing as just a link. I don’t know why?!)

I bought his CD but strangely, he didn’t include his name. What art thy name, ye with thy beautiful voice?

My tasks tonight was to watch Line Walker Episode 19 and attempt 7 minutes of abs exercise but it is 11.06pm now. Actually, when I was in the shower just now, I recalled this Uncle who sings outside the train station at my town and all I wanted to talk about was how he reminds me of Singing Guy in Bath. The first time I heard him, I donated some money and could not help but stand one side to appreciate his voice. There’s something about his guitar and that slow, low voice that reminded me of Singing Guy In Bath.

Anyway, gotta go catch Line Walker now! Very exciting TVB drama everyone needs to watch!!