Mink Machine

Posts of year 2009

New Years Eve in Prague

New Years Eve in Prague

The year is about to end and I’m spending the last days of it in Prague, the beautiful gothic capital of Czech Republic. Since it’s also the last day of the decade, we might as well go out with a bang. And what better way than the herbal bitter Becherovka, a classic Czech brew.

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Kraftwerk

Fave concerts of 2009

2009 must have been one of the busiest concert years ever. Perhaps in some way due to the decrease in record sales which forces the artists to hit the roads. Regardless of the reason I estimate that I visited about 80 gigs during the year, and here are some of the highlights.

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Kidnap the Sinterklaas in Amsterdam

Kidnap the Sinterklaas in Amsterdam

I’m back in Amsterdam where they celebrate the Saint Nicholas’ eve today. This guy is the basis for the more familiar Santa Claus, but originally this eve was the celebration of Saint Nicholas, patron saint of children.

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Choir

From Gothenburg to Tokyo by train

About one year ago, it felt like a good idea at the time to cross a third of the world in 37 days. A 12000 kilometer journey by train, ferry, horse, bus, Shinkansen, tram, subway, taxi, foot and swan boat. Going from Gothenburg to Tokyo by train is one of the longest routes available. It spans across nine time zones and seven countries. The largest part is the Trans-Siberian railway from Moscow to the Pacific, the world’s longest railway with 9238 kilometers.

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Review: Air Babylon

Review: Air Babylon

This book by Imogen Edwards-Jones tells the tale of a character who works on a big airline. It actually feels like a collection of anecdotes tied together by something vaguely resembling a storyline. For instance, we get ironic puns about how to get Semtex bombs aboard, details about the irritating boy band who sneaks away with the hosties in first class and how rude people gets tagged at check-in and later served food spiced with laxative.

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Fall of the Berlin Wall

Fall of the Berlin Wall

Twenty years ago, the Berlin Wall was opened and Germany was reunited about a year later. I remember reading about it on 9th of November 1989, maybe a bit too young to fully understand the impact of this monumental event.

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Firefox celebrates 5th birthday

Firefox celebrates 5th birthday

I remember a day in 2003 when I first tried Phoenix, a daring offspring of the bloated Mozilla suite. It was a breath of fresh air compared to the horrible IE6. It was later renamed Firebird, then Firefox, and finally version 1.0 was released on November 9 2004. It felt faster than any browser I had previously used and I instantly found myself addicted to using tabs instead of opening new IE windows all the time.

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Review: Rule no 5: No sex on the bus
Review: Nasty Bits

Review: Nasty Bits

Anthony Bourdain used to be a chef at Les Halles in New York and rose to stardom after his book “Kitchen Confidential” in 2000. Even though this book may have launched him into stardom, it fell below my radar at the time. But I’ve been a fan of Bourdain ever since I picked up Nasty Bits in Singapore.

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Travel book reviews

Travel book reviews

Apart from moleskins and iPods, a good book is an essential companion for long journeys. And what book could be better than one about traveling? I’ve read a fair bit of travel books in my days. Guides such as Lonely Planet provide great facts for a traveler while you’re on the road and have saved me on numerous occasions, but they are rarely inspiring.

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Alone in Kyoto

Alone in Kyoto

"I tried my best to sneak across the building, but the floor revealed me each time. I suppose I would make a lousy ninja."
Roaming in Valletta

Roaming in Valletta

"I passed the statue of Jean de Valette, the 49th Grand Master who laid the foundation stone to Valletta in 1566, to gaze at the golden interior of St. John’s Co-Cathedral, where he is buried in the crypt."
The lakes of Lombardy

The lakes of Lombardy

"The town of Como, largest settlement around Lake Como, attracts a lot of people with big wallets. But I preferred to take the funicular up the mountain to the Brunate region, where you get a much better view of the lake."
New Years Eve in Sydney

New Years Eve in Sydney

"Opera House is seen in front of the massive fireworks in the harbor area, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Harbour Bridge."
Wazzup in Vaduz

Wazzup in Vaduz

"Vaduz Castle is overlooking the town from a hill, a short walk from the center. It’s really a postcard view with the alps in the background, which I’m sure the prince enjoys as he sips his morning coffee while towering above his loyal subjects."
The streets of Paris

The streets of Paris

"One of the advantages of repeated visits to a place is the leisure pace of awe and discovery while drifting slowly down the worn streets of the French capital."

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Seville
Venice
Fever Ray
Rome
Basel
Kuala Lumpur