never drink beer before a 3-hour bus ride

Last week was spent in various places around Hungary, Austria, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic.

Budweis (Czech Republic)Here are a few things I’ve learned:

  1. Never drink beer before a 3-hour bus ride.Budweiser Budvar, Czech Republic
  2. If I go to a classical music concert in a grand old historical European concert hall – I will fall asleep.Prague
  3. If you go around wearing a red hooded rain jacket with a friend wearing a blue hooded down jacket, all your photos together will look like an episode of South Park in Europe. (No, I’m not putting up a photo of that. It’s utterly ridiculous.)Český Krumlov, Czech RepublicI went on an all expenses-paid group tour with work, but I think a proper visit back to Budapest, Bratislava and various places around the Czech Republic is in order. Unlike western Europe, they are relatively calmer (in terms of not having the stampedes of tourists you would otherwise come across in the likes of Paris and London – but perhaps it helped that it wasn’t peak season) and so everywhere just appeared more relaxed, and the pace of life, even in the capitals, just seemed slower.

P1150264I’d love to spend some time just hanging out in the parks, sitting around in restaurants and pubs, and walking about just absorbing the atmosphere.  They seem to have a great beer and coffee culture and I’d just like another chance to slowly take it all in!

Schoenbrunn Palace, ViennaWhile on the topic of Europe, I still don’t get the obsessions of Asians with Louis Vuitton, Prada, Chanel, Hermes and all these other luxury brands. So they seem to be cheaper there, with tax refunds for tourists and all, but really, isn’t everyone using the same brands and touting the same handbags just boring? And it’s not like they buy just one once in a while. I’m talking about people who buy at least one HK$ five- or six- figure handbag each year, and I’m sure some buy more than one a year.

Hundertwasserhaus, Vienna, AustriaI guess each to their own. But not really, because they’re all buying and using the same things, so there’s really no “own” there. It’s weird because sometimes I feel like it’s a horde mentality. Somehow someone decided that all these luxury brands are just something you have to have as some kind of status statement, and so everyone’s getting one without thinking about what’s happening. I feel like I shouldn’t judge, because I’m sure more than one of them thinks I’m this cheapskate who uses this no-name wallet I picked up in some local boutique for less than HK$300 (and even that I had to think twice about), but I absolutely love it.

Shoenbrunn Palace, ViennaI mean, instead of running around trying to get into Prada in Prague, I was very happily sitting on a bench slurping a 2 euro ice-cream people-watching. Now THAT I really enjoyed.




2 thoughts on “never drink beer before a 3-hour bus ride

  1. I would love to go to those places, you must have a cool job :) I don’t have any kind of handbag, and never have, they hurt my back. Or something. I must admit though, I do know of a few places in the UK that sell those luxury brands that basically market themselves directly to Asia. It is a real thing.

    • Actually, I don’t. On the contrary, I’m plotting my exit from my job. A week of holiday does not compensate for 51 weeks of slavery.

      Yeah, I’ve also heard of these shopping outlets that tourists go to, though I’ve never been. They exist in the States too. I find them bizarre. Why would I travel half-way across the world so I can go to a bland outlet? :/

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