Thursday, November 08, 2007

15 minutes


15 minutes to go before the end of this prestigious Exhibition ends...

We had a terrific and excellent time here... its such a great opportunity and contributed our part informing the international visitors about the art scene in Singaore.
Its been a BLAST!

time to pack up... see u guys back in Singapore!!!
its Shopping time !!! Muahahaha!

Signing off for the last and final time
...... ryf n debs!

Monday, November 05, 2007

the End is near...


3 more days!!!!

Cass is arriving tomorrow afternoon... we cant wait !!
We will be leaving for Barcelona on the 15th.

4 days ago while cleaning the apartment, we stumbled upon a box full of lotuses. It was Jason's lotuses tucked away in the corner, we discovered there were 27pieces of Lotuses, and we put them up for sale! We were not informed that there were more lotuses in our apartment. And the lotuses were snapped up within two days. There was this couplme that bo]ought all 5 of the lotuses, must have wanted to recreate the smaller version of the chandelier.

Da wu's room is full of drawings and images that the table could no longer contain them. They spilled out to the floor and covered part of the room. He provided paper and drawing materials for visitors to draw/paint. The visitors were very excited and fond of contributing their artworks as part of the exhibition. But we are just wary as the visitors are allowed to keep their artworks, you would never know, if they took any of Da Wu's paintings. We kept checking the room to ensure that it does not happen.

The sonic dome has been a room full of treasures, where people leave their cameras, scarfs, hanphones behind. We had to constantly make rounds just to make sure that no one leaves anything behind. And they leave their mess as well, tissues and pieces of paper.

There was this perculiar writer from France who viewed Vincent's work and informed us that the penises from Vincent's sculptures were the same. We looked at him for a bit and then look at each other. We were just baffled. Why would anyone touch the penises of these sculptures, and what is he expecting, varyiing sizes? It was hilarious and we got a good laugh from that.

We are expecting more people nearing the end of the exhibition. So will write soon!
Have to clear the catalogues and the posters...

Vi di a'more
ryf n dubs.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Happy BIRDAY

2 days without internet (sigh)
8 more working days!!! wohoo...
8 more days till cass and phil comes...
16 more days to start of Euro trip...
37 more days till we see Singapore once again...
37 more days till we have to get a real job!!

Busy busy week. thursday we went shopping, the whole day dedicated to shopping. We bought more stuff for ourselves this time. Went to Rialto, and mestre to do a full, all out shopping spree!! Went to look for debs bag in mestre, was cheaper tho, but the design that she wanted was not available (don't remind her about it)..We bought musical stage puppets, handcrafted in Italy, and it moves to the music. One of a kind... Cost us a bomb (don't ask us about it..). On friday was Andrea's birthday, so we bought him a praline chocolate cake on the way to the train station and asked the shop keeper to reserve it for us till we got back about 8pm.Went mestre to look for bags, was a lengthy walk, and by the time we reach, most shops were closed for LUNCH. Apparently, italians have their lunch from 1230 till 1530. guess too much pasta requires a lil nap afterwards. We took a break at this asian cafe, where we had HARD croissants and NICE hot chocolate. We were sure the croissants were kept for a week! lol. Afterwards we asked for directions to Corso Del Popolo. Thats the location where they had the bags. We took a pit-stop at one of the deparmental stores, the first shopping mall we stepped into in Venice. I bought a top hat. NICE. We then made our way to Del Popolo, and when we reach the bag shop, we went on a hunt for the bag. Saw a similar one but the like i mentioned, it was not the right design. We then headed for the indian fast food restaurant where we bought tons of food, to celebrate Andrea on his birthday. We hopped on the bus (for free as the bus driver didn't have any more tickets to spare)...yay. We speed-walked from the rail station to get the cake, bought for Andrea a small towel that he requested for and paced ourselves home.

He was coming after work to celebrate with us, and we have to prepare everything before that. We prepared food for quite abit, and sneaked a preview of the chicken satay that I prepared before we left (to soak up the marination). It wasn't the ideal Singaporean Satay, but Deb thought it tasted good! We started to heat up the food we got from the indian restaurant, swithed on the TV and awaited Andrea's arrival. Time went by............and I fell asleep. Then suddenly awoken by the loud annoying buzzer. Andrea was FINALLY here. He arrived and changed into his first bday prezzie, given from his frn, a pink gay shirt! (it's supposedly a vintage tee....) We handed him our present he requested for, but what he didn't know was that we had a whole string of surprised up our sleeeeeves. =)



The food was good, on top of that, Andrea had commented that he preferred the satay chicken better than the tikka chicken frm the restaurant! YAAAAYY!!! A success! By the end of the dinner, we were all stuffed! Andrea got comfy on the sofa bed to watch TV, while Deb and I prepared the bday cake surprise...For once, the failing heating system was a blessing in disguise. We used that as an excuse for me to secretly bring the cake out to the laundry area (which has a window that connects to the toilet) while Deb "had to pee". So we both met at the window and I handed her the cake. She planted the nice candles and lit them, I gave her the signal to come out, and as she came out, we dimmed the lights and did a rather horrible rendition of a 'Happy Birthday'. He looked surprised, and said, "oh my god" several times... lol.. After blowing out the candles, we gave him the 2nd birthday gift, nother towel, this time a lil bigger just in case he needs a bigger one. Its actually a rolled-up Singapore Flag. By this time he was flustered. Hes been wanting to get a Singapore Flag for a long time, since he misses home so much. We asked Khim to get it for us when she came down...shh.. Then after he cut the cake and we had a slice each, we gave him his last birthday gift. We actually didn't know what to get someone who has everything, so we settled on a Fossil wallet, since it looked quite worn out. The fossil wallet was special as it had his embossed initial. Its one of a kind. He seemed quite pleased as well... with his many "oh my gods" We promised him that that was the last of our gifts.

Afterwards we just spent the rest of the evening watching a DVD of Hot fuzz... Then he slept over at our place, where the next day he was treated to a hearty breakfeast of one pancake (he was late for work and had to go... not our fault). Thats it for thursday and o friday we just spend the day at home after work watching buncha movies on tvs, Italian and German.

Will update again, whats happening in the week... happy reading

.ryf n dubs

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

we love our tap water.. COLD

Hello all...

We had a warm bath yesterday and the morning... FINALLY! and we had the heater / radiator fixed. its all controlled by one machine and max said that it was a temporary part that they replaced as they did not get exact part for the old model of the heater. And temporary it was. Just before we left, we tested the tap again, just to feel the warm relief of warm water once again, but to our dissapointment, THERE WAS NO HOT WATER... Sien...

WHY WHY WHY...

sigh...
well, on the plus side, Today is our favourite day. OFF day tomorrow. We are thinking of going to the curches/ museums, well maybe not museums, we'll wait for cass to come down to do tht. Thinking of going mestre to do a lil shopping. Buy deb's eastpak.

Talk soon.. off to a cold shower once again....

.ryf / dubs

Monday, October 22, 2007

Feeling chilly

The apartment is in a state of chaos. Max the landloard has been delaying to fix the heater. So right now there is no hot water, no heater, and practically no gas to cook. According to him, the people responsible for the heater has been delaying the process as they are attending similar problems. He says that its common, as winter is nearing and only now then they check the heater / radiators. we've been microwaving hot water for more than a week. And its simply unbearable. The water is ICY cold. no kidding how cold it is, seems like its spring waters from the mountains. Khim bought lots of food, and we are just waiting for the gas to be fixed so that we could cook. Haiz...

The weekend breezed pretty fast, On friday we went out for dinner in a restaurant recommended by Khim. The risotto was great, loaded with seafood and it came in a huge pot, enough for 4 people. We had that on the side of lobster spaghetti, fish soup and a plate serving of mixed grilled fish. The portions were huge. It was amazingly filling. Then we skipped desert for coffee and chocolatte drinks. When we steped out of the resturant, it had already started to rain. Lucky me, i didnt bring any water -proof coats and unmbrella, i had to run all the way back home, frezzing my ass off. Deb walked w khim, they walk slower anyways...lol.

On thursday, we went to Padua, where we were amazed by Giotto's amazing Scrovegni Church. We are only allowed to spend 15minutes in the curch and make way for the next group of tourist as the entire building is equipped with humitdity control to preserve the beautiful frescos by the great Giotto. The church was simply amazing!! we were awed by the magnificient frescos and the superb technique on how he sectioned the various chapters of jeasus and mary's lives. The last judgement was even more breathtaking. its such a pity we were unable to take pictures.

Next we made our way to the 2nd oldest university in Italy. University of Pardua. Although the school is still active, when u enter the building, it still resonates the feel and essence of nostalgia of the past occupants. We spend some time at the university... it had a presence that is hard to describe. maybe its just me...i like old buildings.

Nxt we went to Porta Della Valle, an area covered with statues. It seemed that rich /important people at that time had their statues erected as a sign of status. It was an amazing sight, with names of the staues carved, to be imortalized for their future grandchildren to behold.



Soon after we headed to San Antonio Curch. It looks odinary from the outside, but once you step in. The walls and the ceilings were not filled with painting, but SUPER AMAZING marble sculptures. It literally had marble sculptures as ornaments throughout the entire church. the curch was believed to house the tomb of Saint. Anthony, and in the middle of the room, there seemed to be a relic. It was believed to be the tongue of Saint Anthony. A lil unbelieveable, but, the idea, i have to admit was kind of interesting.



Then we headed back to the train station to mestre where we were on a hunt for an eastpack shop. We reached there pretty late, around 7, and the shops close iin half hour, we rushed through the drizzling rain cold winds to reach our destination. When we cant seem to find the right street we decided to head back. OOh, we went to a Trudi store there, and tried finding for foofoo, when we enquired the owner about foof and its model, he replied that she was an old model, and the new shipment would come in a months time, for christmas. Maybe, its destiny. we wunt be able to find foof a mate. lol.

There was a surge of visitors to the plazzo on the weekend, with Da Wu conducting his performance. Nataliah, the ex intern was here with her boyfiend, Mahmood. She told us that we are so lucky to be in the plazzo. Its so much better compared to the location she was in 2 years ago. yeah lucky us! lol. There were a lot of participnts for the performance, kids especially were having a great time experimenting with chinese ink and also other dry medium. It was great to see people of all walks enjoying each others company doing art together.





Khim has left Venice for istanbul, Alan, has left for Paris and Rofan is leaving us in 2 days time. Soon we will be all alone once again... Till our good old friend cass comes in november. Cant wait till for our EUROtrip. wohoooo..

talk soon!
.ryf

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Mixing it all in!

Friday we went to our Ochestra performance at Chisea San Vidal.Its an amazing and truely breathtaking experience. The Ochestra was playing Antonio Vivaldi's pieces, four seasons and more. The group was exhilarating and the audience cheered in celebration. Rofan was unlucky tho, as she bought her tix at another place for that similar concerto, but her's was at another location, so at the last minute, she had to rush to the other place, on the other side of Venice... Poor gal,she had to rush in her long dress n leather boots. But she managed to make it in time for the second half of the concert.

On Saturday we had sandwich for dinner, Andrea brought us to a terrific sandwich place where they had the most variety of sandwiches in Venice. We were hooked on the salmon, shrimp and crabstick sandwich and also tacchinno (turkey) mayo mix. Incredible servings at only 1.5 Euros. Its located near to the Rialto Bridge. Truely amazing. We bought the sadwiches back and enountered something uneventful that we will ever forget in Venice...

On our way back, we went our normal route back to the apartment, and we passed this group of teen, smoking and drinking along the allies. We passed by them and made our way. Suddenly, there was a commotion at the back and when i turned, i saw Andrea being tripped by one of the teens. And the whole group were mocknig us. pulling their eyes down and slanting their eyes, while yelling out asians! asians! We cant believe that there are people here that discreminate other race. If without Asians and the surge of tourists, venice won't flourish. It reflects how these teens are being taught in school about racial discremination. it was utterly disgusting. Andrea was furious, and we was constantly jeered at as they walk pass. He was so furious that he called up his friend, an Italian and wanted to settle the problem. he felt that they were disrespectful. Meanwhile we were in our apartment having the sandwiches, watching spongebob,and was very worried for Andrea. But he came back 20 mins later, fine and a little better. Aparently his friend was so intimidating that he scared the bunch of 20 teens. Its very sad tht in this day and age, there is still race discremination around, and the education system is not doing anything to stop it.

After the entire ordeal, we had our dinner and left for soccer at Giardini. it was a long and chilly walk but a nice one. We wanted to run, but deb doesnt have track pants and are wearing jeans, so we walked there instead. We were just playing a simple passing game when a group of people swarmed into the football field. After the incident, we are a lil wary of the company at first, but they turned out to be a group of nice guys from the jewish community in the ghettos in Venice. They are here to contribute their services and teach to the jewish community here. It was more challenging playing agaiinst them, but exhausting.

Sunday, we went to a sushi restaurant (again on Andrea Expenses, but he insisted). Food was clearly overpriced and the ammount was little. Paid 105 Euros for a sushi boat and 2 side dishes. Sushis are much better and fresher in SG. YES back home in SG! With that price, we could've bought 10 boats. lol. We went back and Rofan bought desserts for us. 5 flavour Gelatos.
Got back to the apartment to play taiti (big two). And the forfit for the loser is to be drawn at their backs. This is so they will not know what is being drawn till end of the game. We had lots of ticklish fun of being drawn on. lol.. here are a few of the finalist. Andrea won the best drawn on contest!




Before we forgot and failed to mention, WE DO NOT HAVE HOT WATER since Saturday!!!! and gas at our apartment. It's ridiculos. Deb was showering halfway and suddenly there was a surge of cold water. and she jumped out of the tub! The cold water is not even funny, its crazy cold! We called the landlord, Max and he said that he will call the company, and till now we are waiting...its WEDNESDAY! What do we do instead, you might ask? We microwave water and transfer them to bottles of mineral water to shower. haiz... And we took turns to shower and fill up for each other. Believe me, it looks like we are on a water rationing program...lol.

Rofan has left Venice for Istanbul, and will be back only on the 20th. Alan is now here, and hes bunking with us. He'll be here for about 3-4 days before leaving for florence. And Khim wil be coming down to Venice this evening with Pratas and more spices for us. haha. aren't we pigs! lol.

Tomorrow is our OFF day. Favourite day of the week, and we will be going out of the city to Treviso and also Padova. Alan will tagg along as he suggested cycling at the mountainous alps at Treviso, that would be fun. Scaling the mountains in our winter wear, braving through the near winter climate. i think we are nuts. but.. lets live a li'l dangerously..

Till friday!
.ryf n debs

Sunday, October 14, 2007

BUSY BUSY week



Its been a hectic week sofar. a lot of things snowballed and we were preocupied with things.
We went to Arsenale on our day off, could u believe it! More art exhibitions...OUR OFF DAY and we viewed more ART?!! arsenale was very intense with a gallery space, the size of 2 football field. There are many othrs, but we actually were caught up at the souvenir shop for about 30minutes. very NICE tees, just that its expensive for A tee(23Euros). I found the artwork on the left execptionally strong, although it could serve to be quite disrespectful. Hmmn, there were nice works aroud, sculptural ones prove to be more spectacular than others.



This artist packaged her works within suitcases (deb's favourite). She packed a series of offices within comparmentalized sections in the suitcase. Its amazing, how she included large bulky items such as typewriters, to teacup sets. Although not for carrying around. But for display. Thought provoking how working spaces could be packaged and you can bring that workspace anywhere around. What defines a workspace anyway? There were plenty of Video installations and most of them are not as effective as i think they should be. Come to think of it Zul's Sonic dome is the ONLY sound installation sofar. There were'nt much interactive media works at all in Arsenale.



Theres Also another work that resembles Joseph Beuys, and Vincent. The trenchcoat, is painted white and emerged from it are swirls of lines that lead up to an intricate pattern of maps. cool...Another work that is interesting is of a video work of people confessing that they are going to die. From all ages toall walks of life, to races. Its interesting to see that pause in their eyes when they utter those word "i will die". They know they are going to die suddenly.
its inevitable.

Before Arsenale, we went to San Marco Bascilica. Finally we made it in after 1 month here. it was amazing...golden mosaics all within the domes. nicely done paintings with mosaics. The highlight of the bascilica is actually the 4 horses of san marco which we are unable to take pictures of. Cameras are restricted so we only took pictures off the balcony of the bascilica. Nice view of San Marco Square.







Another stop that we made was at San Zacaria Curch. its one of the church with many wonderful paintings.. one of which was Bernini's last n most magnificient paintings. everyone was just gathering there and slotting coins, waiting for the spotlight to illuminate he paintings...
Very Excuisite.

Ok to cut things short, and not be so like a loh soh grandma (according to deb). Other things that we did were attending an ochestra, played soccer with Andrea and a couple of jewish kids. Got into a rascist fight... all in the next episode.

Tune in..
ryf.deb

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

wonderfulest day every wednesday!

Its been a long Tuesday and sofar Wednesday as well.. Thought that by expecting the fast to end this week, the week would digress faster…lol. Oh well. A lot has been happening, many people were here on Tuesday, as there were new cruise ships docked. The visitors have been delighted with the freshly, energized and newly pleasant smelling Sonic dome. While many others have been treated to the presence of Da Wu. Many liked his works ad complimented on his ability to portray the Asian culture. An Asian couple from Shanghai was amazed at how Vincent’s works are portraying a sort of deity. And asked if many actually prayed to the figure. Its good that visitors are making the connections themselves, in the attempt to understand the artwork, but its also a pity that most of them might have misconceptions and disillusions.

A lady from Scotland engaged us in a very long conversation, how she visited Singapore and how she fell in love with the city. She ate, according to her ‘the forbidden fruit’ (durian I think…) and also bought an apron where it illustrated the many fines signs of Singapore. She went about how Singapore is much cleaner than China, and almost got caught in this debate with a Chinese Student from China. She was a bit biased, but I think that China, has its equal share of strengths, which she have overlooked. But she was very nice, Deb walked with her and introduced the artworks to her, and stayed in the dome for the entire duration of Zul’s piece. She’s very chatty. And when she left she gave Deb a pear which she got bought as a token of friendship. Also, she mentioned that next to the palazzo there is an Antonio Vivaldi orchestra she will be attending tonight. She said we must WATCH. In her own exact words, “its like you died and gone to heaven”. We made a trip down to check it out. Looks good. We book tickets for Friday’s performance. My very first ! I’m gleefully excited!

Theres also this guy who keeps coming to the palazzo and handing us pamphlets, of the New Religion. He a very religious guy who preaches about some new religion. Quite scary, but interesting at the same time. He’s pamphlets are amazingly vivid, full color and amazingly descriptive. Will take a pic when we have the time. According to him, he’ll come again someday to give us more pamphlets. Maybe this time we’ll take a pic with him and upload in the blog…lol.

On Tuesday we bought our shoes, and are well on way to keep fit… (we can only hope).
I bought an asics shoes, nice leather for only 39 Euros, but not really for running, but what the heck, it’s a NICE pair…lol. Deb bought herself a very nice Adidas pair, specially for running. So we will go for a run this weekend with Andrea and probably kick a few balls of soccer with his friends as well.. Time to stop eating and start exercising.

On the cooking side, we did some local delights, stir fried spinach, and also roti john… we know we know.. we have to indulge in the Venetian delights, but we are cooking mainly coz we want to save up for our trip to Rome. Besides, we have our basic intake of Calzone, Pizzas, wraps, Kebab, and many more… Maybe we are just typical Asians..haha. Oh well, whatever it is… FaStING will be over on Saturday, and we will be able to have lunch like everyone else. Rofan is coming this Thursday.

And the plan for our next day off? We are going to many places within Venice, churches and museums and bask in their magnificent glory. Will update when we get back,

In the meantime… enjoy the coming end of a working week! Wahoo…!

Love
.ryf / deb

Monday, October 08, 2007

The guilt trips




And so...Ryf and I haven't exactly been feeling too well. First it was me, came down with a horrible sore throat and cough, then had a runny nose. And just when I was getting slightly better, poor Ryf got ill. He looked so miserable and maintained a strict diet for himself. He excluded all sorts of dairy products and cold drinks (i bet it was the 2 slices of Nutella sandwich that he ate the night before that got him all sick). To make things "better" we had stayed up a little later at night watching TV with Andrea and slept late, as a result, Ryf and I weren't able to wake up at 4am to have our breakfast (We had to eat before 5am due to the fast). However, Ryf did manage to tolerate not eating at all and being sick at the same time, I take my hat off to him! We had kebabs the for dinner.

A day later, we're all feeling much better. It had to be the healing powers of the kebab! it was a darn awesome kebab wrap!! One day, when we get another one, we'll be sure to document that magic moment! Along with the wonderful tasting kebab, came the mighty guilt trip with the relisation that: WE HAVEN'T EXERCISED IN THE LONGEST TIME!!! So we started hunting for some running shoes. They're pretty pricey i must say, but as for me, it's a pretty good timing that my trusty little beagle had chewed a huge hole in my running shoes at home. So time to buy new ones! Ryf's been having a tough time in deciding which pair to buy. Seems to me he prefers the women selection. =) (and he glares at me as i type this) Me on the other hand, have been a little too fusy over my choice plus i refuse to spend anything more than 60 Euros.

Both our parents have been really helpful (thanks to skype), they deliver useful recipes to us, in the fear that their poor chilren might starve. Ryf's mum taught him how to cook this absolutly delicious dish, Kentang Dadu Dadu, which is potatoes with minced meat. My mum gave me the recipe for doing up our own pancake mix (pancake mix very rare here, we found one that was 4 euros though). So off went to Billa again, with a list of things to get. We had checked some words up in a translation tool thing to make sure we knew what stuff was called in italian.

Last night, we were all set to prepare the pancake mix, with our consultant chef, Andrea. Until, he spoke.........instead of getting baking soda, we had bought YEAST instead. Anyway, we went ahead with it, and had pancakes this morning. How was it you ask? it was good....only a little hard, and tasted a little more like bread. oops.

OKay, leaving the food out, and talking more bout the important stuff, such as the Singapore Pavilion.... Da Wu was around yesterday (7th Oct, Sunday) and he did a performance. Many people were present for it. There was even this one lady who has been coming down here enquiring bout Da Wu's next performance. She was present for the performance. There was also another lady who told Da wu that his performance was in conjunction with her birthday and that she feels the people gathering for the performance, in a way was celebraing her birthday. Great response, many enjoyed having rice on the banana leaf. We bought a can of odour eliminator for Zul's dome. It smells a lot better now, no more smelly feet.

For this coming week some things that we are excited about. Rofan, our friend from ICA is coming on Thursday, shes bringing us more sardines and more instant curry powder....oh yea and also ryf's mum packed some kuih goodies coz he'll be spending hari raya here...Sadly... lol. Another thing is that fasting will be over this coming friday... so we can have lunch like normal people here do.

Ok, closing time...
debs / ryf

Saturday, October 06, 2007

The pavillion drunk is BACK


The pavilion drunk made his appearance at approx : 1310hrs. We are just observing his actions in the plazzo. Hes grinning to many people and looks very tipsy. We are just waiting for him to get in the dome and start drinking. then we call the security. Will update soon!

The moment we've been waiting for...



The pavilion drunk left at exactly : 1329hrs. He was asking us if he can charge his music at our desk. We told him to ask the security guard. He made his way to the guest book, and start to leave his comment. He spent 10mins doodling in the guest book. What a masterpiece it turned out. Someday it might be a valued drawing...u never know.

Anyhow, he was bobbing his head up and down while drawing in the book. Deb caught it on video but its too bad that we cant post a video on the blog. But we have a pic of the artwork.
Enjoy...

Friday, October 05, 2007

Lace it Up







Friday. Workday
We have settled in for work today. Yesterday was a terrific day off with great weather and a fantastic trip away from bustling Venice….And yes, a wonderful late morning…lol.

Da Wu came by the apartment to collect the banana plants. He’s doing a performance on Sunday and he’s using the closing day to prep his works. His plants are mighty heavy carrying it from one point to another. Soon after we left for the Mexican Pavilion and Bill Viola’s Ocean Without a Shore, before heading out to Burano, Murano and Torcello. Our day plan is Packed!!. Ocean Without a shore is very arresting. True to Viola’s style, he uses the gaze to engage audience, this time in the theme of Death. 3 screens portraying different people each time emerging behind a water screen in synchronization, one after the other. Amazing, disturbing, arresting. The Mexican Pavilion was good as well. Very interactive, Favorites were the light-bulbs on the ceilings that pulse according to the visitor’s heartbeat. There were about 100+ bulbs recording about 100 visitor’s heart pulse. Another was using shadows to tune in frequency of the airwaves. So its like yr shadows generate the volume and amplitude and strength of the signal. Pretty cool.

We thought of making a 4 island hop. The Cemetery (we heard good things about the view in the cemetery ), Murano, Burano and Torcello. But we started out late, so we only managed to get to Burano, Murano and Torcello. Murano was ok… we visited a glass workshop were they were creating art sculptures. But the prices there were pretty steep for my Singaporean wallet, lol.. so we didn’t get anything at Murano. Steep prices manz! And we cant afford to pack them in our backpack, and lugg it all down to Berlin and Rome. We went Burano, and was greeted with many colorful houses. Seemed like a coloring book gone wrong, but the colors made the whole place more vibrant and exhilarating. We walked about for a bit and realized that most shops are the same. But most laces are handmade as illustrated by their grandmothers and mothers that they display prominently knitting those intricate laces. Quite a sight. We bought a few souvenir lace coasters (although it’s a lil redundant as lace absorbs moisture and lets it seep to the table.. but oh well…) Deb bought a glass pendant from Murano for her aunt. Very nice and outstanding colors, and best of all, hand made from Murano. We headed back to the vap for our next stop Torcello. We reached Torcello at around 6ish, and we walked in a bit and decided to head back. The journey to central Torcello is at least 15mins, plus all attractions. Museums and all probably close around 7 – 7.30. We decided to headback to Venezia, Didn’t go to the cemetery though as it was going to be quite dark for us to see anything.

We headed back for some food. We walked past the first shop and bought our Kebabs. It was Halal. Yea for that. We were near the Rialto, so we thought we stopped at Billa to get some groceries. Time check 7.55. We ate outside Billa, to avoid the closing time at 8.30. At about 8pm, we threw away the kebab wrappers and walked towards Billa. The staff there was infront of the entrance and prevented anyone from entering. BILLA IS CLOSED. Damnit… and here we were just outside eating our food… Bad luck.

Because of that we decided to make ourselves feel better and treat ourselves to some gelatos. Yummy. We then head down to Rialto where we decided to make full use of our half day ticket, and take the ferry down the canal. Quite a nice boat ride home.. Quite a nice day I might say…

But today, im coming down with slight flu. Must be the Gelatos! Lol. Been sniffling constantly till Deb calls me sniffles. Nothing much happened today. Theres this sweet old Italian lady that commented that the exhibits should have Italian explanations instead of the English ones, as the biennale is held in Venice, Italy, we should accommodate their local language. Good point I think…

Otherwise, its off to an early bed for me, and hopefully tomorrow is a better day.

Ciao Bella…
.ryf / debs


1. Goofing around while waiting for the ever so long VAP at Torcello
2. A night / grand canal view of the Plazzo where The Singapore Pavilion is Held. Plus the Acadamia bridge.
3. Colorful Houses in Burano.
4. Mexican Exhibit, each bulb resonates to each visitor's pulse
5. Mexican Exhibit, Shadows corrosponds to the selection and strength of radiowave freuqencies.
6. Our very own chocolate + banana crepe. (Made with tortilla wraps... and chocolate)

Monday, October 01, 2007

Currrrrryyyyy !!


Blueuah….

We have Curry!!! Da Wu just arrived yesterday, with a couple of his friends, two from Germany and another from Singapore. He was so kind to have brought us curry powders and also some other spices… We can finally cook CURRY. That’s if I manage to get the ingredients right to cook a kickass curry. Da Wu arrived to install his works. Will update on that when its installed, but hearing from what he mentioned, it sounds pretty interesting.

Weekend swept by pretty fast, as there was a record high in the number of visitors on Sunday, a total of 654 people. Aside from that, it went quite fast because we met a fellow Singaporean, Andrea. He’s a 19 year old cook from Hotel Baur, and apprentice undergoing a course. He stays really close to us, 2mins away. Surprisingly he came to the Singapore Pavilion to meet fellow Singaporeans, so he looked us up, and chatted with us. He had weekends off, so he spent the Sunday with us at the booth. He’s good as he speaks Italian, and can understands questions and respond to them in Italian. On Saturday, he brought us to an Indian restaurant…. Real nice TANDOORI, and also Beryani. Quite a walk away, Ganish is located across the canal near the train station. The price is quite reasonable and the servings are reasonably large. We ordered quite a bit. Debs had a tandoori mix, I had the tandoori chicken, while Andrea had mutton beryani , samosas (which was gooooood) and also stuffed prata. How perfect can it be when our table overlooked the canal, so it’s a nice, warm and cosy setting. The meal was scrumptious, and for the first time since we came to Venice, we were FULL and satisfied, we can’t eat anymore. Very Good meal indeed. When we got up, we thought we were going to the counter to pay, but instead the owner bid farewell and goodbye to us Apparently, Andrea paid for dinner, and persisted that he didn’t want us to pay him back, but we passed him some money afterwards.

On Sunday, we decided to stay home and cook for dinner, so we invited Andrea for dinner. Pretty intimidating tho as we will be serving a cook, who is more proficient In his craft than both of us put together…lol. We made chicken, potato porcini pasta. And since we didn’t buy any pastas, we took the leftover pastas, that the previous interns had left and made a ROJAK chicken, potato, porcini pasta. Tasted awesome to me, and he said it was nice as well. He brought PSP, so we just basically hung out in the apartment.

Today he starts work again, and his schedule clashes with ours, so we can only meet him weekends. We’re glad, we met up with him, as its nice to meet fellow Singaporeans here in Venice. ITS VERY RARE…

…Today we will attempt to cook curry. …ATTEMPT ! (lol)

ryf / debs

1. Our friend, Andrea.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Smacked by an Italian






Helohh…

All refreshed from our day off, a lil tired from the lack of sleep, but we made it to work on a wet Friday morning. We headed off to Verona yesterday, on a 2hour train ride there. Passed by many interesting landmarks. Overall, we had a blast away from Venice and work altogether. Time to stretch our legs and do some walking.

We dozed off couple of times in the train tho, bobbing our heads (sorry ryf…not deb) frantically sideways on other passengers. But train ride was rather comfortable and exciting. One mistake that we think every tourist makes is stopping at Verona Porta Vescovo, a stop just before Verona Porta Nuvo. We got out and made or way to the train station, wanting to buy a ticket when we observed, where are all the tourists?!! We checked our train tickets and it said Porta Nuvo. So we waited for the next train, Toilet at the stop was good tho! So it was kind worth it…I think. Lol.

We reached Verona, and decided to walk down to the Arena. We could recognize the place, as it was swarming with tourists. We were drawn to the Arena instantly. Also because, there was this dude dressed in Roman Uniform and ushering the people in. We took a video and a photograph of him and he came up to us and smack our bottoms. Deb thought it was cool that a Roman / Italian hottie smacked our butts…lol. The arena was “ok” lah… nothing spectacular as we expected it to be. There was a concert being held there at night, so they were testing the sound system there…Sound system was excellent. We climbed into the arena and there were loads of people inside. Mostly all tourists. And then it started to rain… it was freezing cold, and the wind kept blowing our umbrella shut.

Then we made our way down to Casa de’ Giulette, where the story of Romeo and Juliet unfolded. We sought to see the famous balcony where Romeo and Juliet meet. Again, we were welcomed with hordes of people. Think he school let the kids out early today. There was this broze sculpture of Juliet and people were taking pictures of her while touching her boobs. It was elieved to give those that touch them, good luck in their love life. Other than that, nothing spectacular with the balcony, I believe they have capitalized on the Juliet story to a point where it becomes very overrated. Although there were nice fridge magnets there…lol. Anyways, we made our way to Castelvecchio bridge, where this massive bridge spans across the Verona river. It looks amazing, like in a fairytale where castles and knights rule. Deb met with a puppy there which she found totally adorable.

We then started to head down to the train station, not wanting to miss the 6pm train. As we head back, we passed by this toy store selling Trudi stuffed toys. You see… I have this bunny toy foofoo, and hes a Trudi toy. And we decided when we embark on this journey in Italy to find a replica of foofoo, as Trudi toys are made in Italy. We wanted to get foof a female partner… yes..WE ARE CRAZY….In any case, we went In the store to find if theres anymore foofoos, but there was none. Although, the owner of the store informed us that there was another Trudi store back at the Arena, so guess what we went on a hunt for foofoos the remaining of the day. Haha. But sadly, even that store did not have foof’s model (.. foofs quite old actually…shh). So we headed off our 2hr journey back home…

Splendid day out of Venice, I might say. Its very refreshing actually … oh wells, here we are at our desk again. 2weeks have passed, and how fast time flies when ur having fun!

Ciao!
-ryfus / dubbs

1. Italian dude that smacked our butts
2. Introducing Foofoo.
3. Picture taken with Castelvecchio bridge at the background.
4. The famous balcony of Juliet
5. The Arena in Verona.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Scissors-Paper-Stoned !!??

Heloooooo…

Its been a bad day sofar… been raining like crazy. And we started out our day storming the heavy rain to get to work. Darn Venetian buildings that have no sheltered walkways…lol. We got to work today soaking wet, and with wet shoes and socks!! And now all our toes feel like icicles..Brrr.. Also the morning was pretty slow, as there weren’t much people due to the rain.

Last night, after work, the both of us took a walk down to the Billa near to Rialto to stock up on our food supplies. It was a pretty nice stroll back, discovering new things each time. This time, we discovered the Venetian version of Daiso (the 1 Euro shop, though some stuff were 2 Euros). On the way back, we (although Ryf claims it was juz Deb) couldn’t resist the incredibly seducing Chocolate & Banana Crepes. We also made a quick stop by the cafĂ©/bar near our apartment to grab a hot slice of mozzarella pizza (according to Ryf’s words, it was “ DAMN SHIOK”). However, when we got back to the apartment, Ryf seemed somewhat full. So we debated over who should eat the last bite of the ever so fattening pizza, and figured after awhile, arguing didn’t work. We decided to resort to the most civilized manner in solving disputes, (one of which I feel most countries should adopt to stop wars)……We “scissored-papered-stoned”. That, my friends, is how our day pretty much ended. (Ryf lost)

Nevertheless, it is after all a Wednesday, and tomorrow comes our day off! We shall again attempt our escape to Verona.

OH OH OH!!! Mr. Phils Skyped us today! We miss prata plaster! And laksa, and nasi lemak, and nasi padang, AND BBQ STINGRAY!!!…..the list could go on forever.


CHAO CHAO. =)
US.

Monday, September 24, 2007

PICK-ME-UP n MAKE-ME-HAPPY!!






Hello!

Its been a hectic Sunday. Apparently, news ships have taken dock and there have been a swarm of people coming into the exhibit. Counted altogether 587 (refer to count sheet…haha). Many interesting people we have to say, theres one in particular, an art praticioner from Cyprus, Patricia Pitts. Born in the US, she chatted with us quite a bit. Being retired, she and her husband Bob, took a long cruise down various places, including Greece and Venice. She mentioned how she feels that artists are a lil more sensitive to the surroundings and materials and how they’re (artist) are always a step ahead. She told us about how she does ceramic paintings, and that she has two children whom she’s proud of, practicing art. She sounds so excited to have seen works form the Singapore Pavillion. She mentioned also that she would be stopping in Singapore sometime in January.

Other interesting happenings during work included our separate count sheet to count the number of people who trips as they enter the exhibition. Believe me, many people do not read notices. Although its quite an amusing sight, but we sympathize on those elderly ones. For Dawu’s works, several gave good feedbacks about how it reflects strongly the Asian culture, although but his banana leaves on the table are drying up. He’s coming down on 29th of September, to install more things I believe…oh yea and bringing us curry powder (I hope)….yey! Zul’s dome, is ever so meditative, many people were snoozing and rolling about in the dome. There was someone who even thought that the people rolling about were robots, which are part of the artwork, lol. Its very amusing, but the smell of the dome is getting a bit more unbearable, somehow it smells of bad fish, maybe it’s the smell of people’s feet..haha. But we aired the space when we close for the day, so its getting better… hopefully. There was also one occasion that the window to the balcony was opened, think someone actually opened it to take photos. It actually intrudes the artwork, so we are doing more frequent rounds around the space.

We have been busy cooking and conjuring up new recipes, although its been rather painful swallowing some of our experimental works. EXCRUCIATING… Lately we made Tiramisu, recipe from Aaron which is rum-free. Incredibly delicious, and FATTENING as well. Lol. While we were eating, Deb made a comment, which is shockingly true, since we didn’t bake the Tiramisu, it means we are actually eating RAW eggs. Ewww…. Well, on the brighter side, it didn’t taste of the raw eggs at all. (just FYI, we tried the Tiramisu about 4.30am this morning, when Ryf had to have his breakfast as he’s fasting).

We have discovered a cheaper way of indulging in gelato, Ryf made a trip down to Billa Supermarket and bought back this sinful tub of cacao gelato which was on a special offer 1.99 Euros!! But of course, the gelato at the Gelateria shops is nicer.

With the ice cream treats and sometimes a little chocolate chip cookie or two, we can now enjoy a nice little supper, sitting by the television watching cable TV. However, everything we watch is either news, weird bollywood stuff, occasionally happen to flip by what seems to be a low class sleazy channel…but among all, I must say that the only entertaining channel seems to be the cartoon channel….in GERMAN. We watched a Tim Allen movie, and they had dubbed his voice in German, it sounded sooooooo weird. Ryf fell asleep watching it. I decided to watch Pooh & Friends instead (it was still in German). So on the overall, We’ve both been watching a lot of German channels, cooking almost everyday and meeting all sorts of people and answer occasion weird questions.

Ciao!
Ryfus n Dubbus.

1. Tiramisu for Dummies. Instructional images
2. Count Sheet. (587 visitors on Sunday). record high!
3. The bridge of Sighs, reputedly named after the sighs of condemned prisoners
4. Statue of some dood on a horse at piazzetta St Marco (will get back to u on that..lol)1329
5. Very nice cosy, romantika Ristorante at St Marco Pier.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Wobbles Gobbles






Hey Guys,

It’s the start of a new working day after our first official day off. (not that we do take unofficial day offs …but u know what I mean.lol ). Aaron, was leaving for London on Thursday morning, so we bid him farewell, and thanked him for his great hospitality and his cooking recipes, ESPECIALLY the tiramisu ! And also his excellent recommendations on the places he found interesting. Yesterday, we attempted to take a trip out to Verona and Padua, but we missed the 10:51 train and we had to wait for another hr to take the next 1. We decided that we rather spend that time, exploring Venice, as our 1st expedition. We went around ala’ Amazing race with our backpacks, tripods and cameras, and went on a hunt for all the other exhibitions / pavilions.

We came to the Thailand exhibition, and was kinda disappointed as it was closed at 11.30am. So we took a peek at the key holes in an attempt to see a brief view of the works. We then moved on to Slovenia, Estonia, FYR Macedonia, Australia, Luxemburg, Moldova, Iceland. We were impressed with the artworks from Patrick Mimran, from NY, with his giant sized images of parking spaces in NY. Its amazing to see that there are a lot of text there that serve to assist you, but it seems to confuse you more. When asked if the images are ‘Photoshopd’, the gallery sitter, said the artist claimed that its an original photograph, not retouched at all. The colors are brilliant. There was also this artist Susan from Australia, who did a video piece of the East Java (Havoc), and addresses the issues that they are facing with the mudslide. I did not realize the issue, until it was showcased. Its very sad to know that your neighboring country is in this dilemma, and also realize how fortunate we are to be living in a place such as Singapore.

We went walking and walking and walking, and we went took the time to shop around and marvel and drool at their amazing chocolate selection, as well as their giant pizzas, which are about 2euros/slice. There’s also this artist we discovered, a local delight from Venice himself, Livio De Marchi. He does remarkable works of everyday objects, from JUST wood!!! Works ranging from raincoats, underwear, dirty socks!!! Its simply breathtaking. We went to his workshop, but he was not working today. Deb would’ve loved to meet and probably learn a thing or two from the great artist.

Past few days working has been good, we met with many people, as usual, but one I particular surprised us. LITERALLY !! Theres these 2 arab looking guys, who came up to us to enquire bout the price / rates of the artworks, if say he was interested in buying the artwork. We told him we didn’t have the list of prices and that he could contact NAC or the artist directly to enquire in purchasing the artworks. So we were curious and asked him which piece he liked, and thought of buying. He flipped through the catalogue, macam (IKEA catalogue like tat ) and opened up to Zul’s page. He pointed out and said he wanted to buy the Sonic Dome. When asked if he’s for real, he said casually, yea… why not… (at this moment we were flabbergasted). The Dude is only in his early twenties, and he has the cash to buy a Sonic DOME…..!!!... Must be an oil tycoons son. Lol…

So its back to work for us. Enjoy the images…
-ryf / debs

images

1. Livio De Marchi' jacket
2. A bar, with BRAs as their ornamental decorations.
3. Home-made Ciabatta loaded with Turkey ham, chicken, egg, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese. A mouthful, even to describe…lol
4. Debb, immersed in a garden of GIANT FRUITS.
5. Panoramic picture of the sunset at Fondementa Zattere Ponte’ pier

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A wet weather program



Hey guys,

It’s been a wonderful almost 6 days in Venice. The weather is getting colder as the day pass. It has rained the past 3days. And you can see people running about seeking shelter, as there aren’t any covered walkways. Kind of an exciting sight to see people scampering around Campo Santo Stefano. We took our 1st walk in the rain yesterday, on the way to the supermacato. REALLY REALLY cold… brrrr… And all our clothes that we have put up 2 dry, needs yet another day, as the weather keeps pouring.

We have been having hot meals at home, cooking pastas, grilled fish, omelets with mushrooms, onions and potatoes, not forgetting OUR local delicacies which we miss so much, such as fried rice (thanks to mum for packing those instant sambals….lol). The dreadful thing is that, this is the month of rahmadan, and im fasting, so im waking up like 4am in the morning just to eat, and deb has graciously accompanied me in all of my meals and cooking them with me. It was pretty hard to get used to, but I think now we are slightly better at waking up. And the plus point is that we save money. Lol. We took some excellent pictures, and specially love the night shots, lugging around to different bridges and alleys with our tripod, camera and remote.

Seems that we are nearing to a week of our internship, and we have not gotten bored of it yet, seems that its going well… and work-wise, we try to occupy our time, doing rounds, and chatting up with interesting people. Its an excellent experience, interacting with an international audience. They have many things to say, view or even witness that we cannot even do in our lifetime. We met Josephine, a musician that frequents his trips from Venice to the greek islands via a cruise ships, enlightening audiences music from his saxophone. This Russian guy, whos visiting Venice, and insists that we visit Pardua, since its such a lovely place. And Erica Tan, who was from Singapore and now based in London, that thinks that the exhibition is a wonderful display of local talent. She came here 2x, one with her dad and showed him around.

There were also feedbacks from people, one about Jason’s chandelier’s 2000 lotuses. Hisayuki Amae, a graphic designer from Japan, commented that the lotuses that Jason is selling would probably be more effective if he created 2000 lotuses and crash them and another 2000 for sale, to emphasize the death and rebirth, if the work revolves around Buddhism. And few also loved the sonic dome where they feel the tremors and the bass of the sound that they are experiencing. Many have dozed off to its meditative sounds, and many couples were caught coupling under those romantic lights. Haha.

It’s a worthwhile experience and we both are enjoyn ourselves so far.
Tomorrow: day off, we’ll be heading to Verona and Pardua for a day out of the city and probably island hop around Murano, Burano.

Catch u soon!
Ciao!
-ryf n debs

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The new interns signing in!



Hey guys, its ryf and deb here.

Its our first solo working day, totally independent and on our OWN.

Its been great to be immersed in the gorgeous scenic and densely tourist-populated St Marco. It seems that people of all cultures emerge and share with one another, creating a whole unique experience, you’ll never know what language the next person u meet, might speak. It’s a whole different atmosphere, where streets are indulged with cafes that patrons are enjoying and savoring their meals while basking in the company of people they love. Alleys that u’ll never know where it will lead you, drawn by the flicker of lights to the beautiful but melancholic sounds of buskers playing the violin. The lovely and obedient dogs that Deb absolutely loves. Oh… and not forgetting the abundant gelatos available…and what a wonderful selection too! And what wonderful picturesque scenes unraveling that aptly suits the romantic ambience.

Having settled here for 3 days, we quickly got adjusted to the environment, and the food. Basically we would make frequent trips to the supermarket to buy groceries and cook them ourselves. Pretty good stuff. We went out for our first dining with previous interns, Aparna and Arron. Food was great, although, needs a lil adjusting to. A bit of a drawback is that we do not drink, so we are missing out on the finer side of being in Italy. Oh well, theres always the gelatos!!

Working wise, its pretty straightforward, but its been a blast meeting new people from all around the world. Its amazing how sign language is an internationally recognized language. Haha. Lots of feedback, and many bravos were given for the exhibited works. Its so good to have this response from an international audience, resonating encouraging feedbacks. Truly amazing.

Well done artists.

Friday, September 14, 2007

usurpation

on wednesday the new interns, ryf and deb, arrived.
we've been overthrown!!

gracefully though...

today was their first day of work...
we showed them the ropes.
... and the view from the palazzo.

planning a big feast tonight.......siccilian sword fish with rigatoni.
...aaron is cooking.
i'm gonna bev it up...

and have crowned myself now the new pavilion drunk.

ciao venezia, till carnevale!

xxx

Monday, September 10, 2007

how sweet it is to be loved by you


yah it worked!
so this was the opening boat event...
i wanted to put a pic of aaron up watching from our balcony in the palazzo but he said he'll just take it down...
he's a little shy.

there have been some pretty big names in the pav...
likke the director of the Ufuim Museum in Japan...
and someone wrote in the guestbook that she's a princess...
>translated< (she wrote in italian)
"i am a princess of the city castelo.
very beautiful.
a kiss for everyone.
helena the princess"

... not so sure about the authenticity of this one..

there's quite an intense influx right now of french students i think....
will be back shortly.

xxx

Saturday, September 08, 2007

frozen fruit danger

... that was aaron's last search on google.
he's a little ridic.

we are in our last week of working here in the pav!
... the time has gone by ridiculously quickly..

last sunday was the regatt a storica!
it was just spitting images of how one would cariciture Venice....
the colours, sounds, an d throngs of people just added such grandeur to the whole experience!
becuase we had to close early,
aaron, Dawu, and I managed to have the balcony to ourselves!
...looking out onto the grande canal... quite spectacular...
aaron and I like to call ourselves the king and queen of the palazzo.
... we are quite appalled we are going to be overthrown soon.

... anyway, back to the regatta,

there was a private party downstairs int he garden of the palazzo...
where during quiet moments of the race.. aaron and i would casually stroll downstairs,
and schmoooze our way towards the drinks... juice.
we waited for about an hour for the canapes...
they finally arrrived with prosseco and rossinis (like a bellini but with strawberries... i love them)
it was the grandest entrance made in that party.
people ruuushed towards them.
aaron and i may have over done it a bit... we ate about 50 canapes each.
you knnow how one gets carreied away with things....

so the regatta lasted about 4 hours.
first was the big procession
with all these amazing ornate gondalaz with teams of people in matching outfits rowing down the grand canal in unison,
other gondolas had the gondoleer and then a couple dressed in victorian dresses waving to the crowds like the queen of england. ..
and then there was the odd regualar gondola with overwieght toursits.

it was really quite a sight...

something is up witht he websuite and i cant' upload a picture!
will do i t as soon as poss.

xxx