Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Of bicycles & villes françaises fausses

Within the past month I realized that I have done more than my fair share of work , and perhaps I have as selflessly rewarded myself in the same manner! Let's see within the past month or so I bought myself a bicycle and started getting really irked at annoying drivers. It didn't occur to me until I saw a Calvin and Hobbes comic strip in the papers today when Calvin asked his dad what should his road safety poster say and he responded something in the likes of 'bikers have their rights on the roads too you ****** I hope gas goes up to eight bucks a gallon!'. Which makes me wonder why there isn't more campaigns to promote cycling. If the road conditions were safer I think I would enjoy it more. But anyway it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. I always thought I could cycle to PJ and back, about 50km at least, until I realize that cycling to my office itself is a challenge.

So we can scrap that idea. I also went on a trip to Colmar Tropicale. Its a quaint French themed resort in Bukit Tinggi. It was what I had expected it to be. Small and quiet. Well, quiet at times until a bunch of loud-mouthed students wreck the scenery. But choose to step away and you will be greeted with a fresh breeze of unusually clean air. Unusual because I live in the city, where you breathe in about 80% of smog the moment you step out of the house. Well...perhaps that is an exaggeration. Or perhaps a bus just happened by. But in any case, it was refreshing, although a little short.

Which incidentally refers to my length of stay, as well as the 'resort' itself, which is approximately a 400m stretch of buildings. It was far different from the Colmar in Alsace, France that you would be expecting. There is no church or the 'musee', or museum where a Frederick Bartholdi once lived. He was the sculptor who created such works as the Statue of Liberty. And while you're there you can choose to eat in any of the restaurants that are directly linked to the resort, meaning, there is no fast food, nor cheap food for that matter. But if you are prepared to go there, don't expect to backpack, however, expect to spend. I somewhat half-heartedly ordered a mediocre bottle of Gewurztraminer, paying prices not worth its value there. I had expected an exquisite selection of fine wines, but you would be disappointed if you even had an inkling of expectation. So, bring your own.

All else aside, it was a lovely place, scenic, but it gets repetitive after a while, and eventually you'll be reminded that you're in a 'fake' French town where they don't speak French, and retreating to your room for a relaxing sleep would be just the thing to get your mind off the hazards and pollutants of the urban jungle below.