Looks like I won't make it in time to upload photos from Paris, before I go to Singapore. Oh well. I will just have to save those photos for a time when I have more time on my hands - perhaps after my Singapore trip!
I know I've been quiet lately, but it has been just a crazy rush to catch up on 3-full weeks' laundry and ironing, while not being able to sleep adequately over the entire week. Somehow I kept waking up 1-2 hrs earlier than the time I set my alarm clock to and wouldn't be able to fall back asleep.
It has been nothing short of a whirlwind of 10 days of city-hopping, followed by 6 days of having my brother over, 3 days with Dad and knowing that I have only 2 weeks before I go to Singapore again.
I think the excitement of going to Singapore and yet having to get back into the grind of work for 2 weeks, while getting my house back to an acceptable level of cleanliness, including a mad rush to clear my fridge and freezer so that we can switch it off during our absence, quadrapled the subconscious stress that I must have been feeling.
Been having a very upset tummy (shall spare you the details) and bouts of extreme tiredness such that coffee doesn't even do its trick on me. Mind you, I don't usually drink coffee, so usually one cup is more than sufficient to perk up my droopy eyelids. But today, I still had to fight off the z-monster when I taught my class at 9am.
Anyway, I must say that it was really cool that my brother came along for this trip to Europe. It was his first trip, fully-sponsored by Dad, sorta as a reward for him for completing his A-levels as well as 2-years service to his country.
It was the first time that we really spent quality time together as brother and sister after so many years. Oh gosh, I can start to imagine how to parents, their children will always be "kids". Somehow in my mind, my brother is still this young kid who I have to keep an eye on.
Once when we were going to cross the road in Paris, I remembered instinctively wanting to grab his hand, before I consciously stopped myself mid-way, when it suddenly dawned on me that my kid brother is no longer a kid, but a grown up and soon-to-be 21 year old now! - Who has handled guns and heavy machinery in the army!
Oh boy.... I'm beginning to sound old, ain't I?
Right: I got my brother to help in the cooking! :)
One of the best things we did together - sitting on the grass in front of the castle in Stuttgart and talking about life. His sunglasses are "special" because one can wear them on top of normal spectacles. I think I have got myself a really funny and cool bro!
Superb view of the Castle from the Art Gallery
I cooked some Italian pesto with salmon for my family while they were here. I must say that my Dad is the one person who has been faithfully visiting us every year since we moved to Germany! :) Of course, having family over is also a good excuse to go travelling...that explains our whirlwind 10-days trip.
The Mercedes-Benz Museum that I finally got a chance to visit with my family. Coincidentally, it was the museum's 4th Birthday and we all got in F.O.C!- Free of charge. Its really worth going! I'm not a museum fan but the history of the company that spanned more than a 100 years, intertwined with Germany's history, provides for a very fascinating and riveting read. As a matter of fact, many times I was just eager to read the captions under the photos than take a look at the real cars all around me!
Doesn't this look so futuristic? This is a car model on the ground floor of the museum. You take an elevator to the top floor, where you slowly walk / work your way down the many levels, starting from the development of the first car to the expensive, stylish Mercedes of today
All the older vehicles. There's this rustic charm of seeing colourful cars and buses!