Category Archives: Byq Trip

Museum Review: The Strangers’ Hall

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The Strangers’ Hall
Address: 4 Charing Cross, Norwich, NR 2 4AL
Website: http://www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk/Visit_Us/Strangers_Hall/index.htm

Review:
If I weren’t there with my soon to be sister in law, it would probably harder to find the place. The strangers’ hall was hidden between buildings in the charring cross road and you would have to climb up the stairs to get to the heavy door which you need to open yourself. It is not the usual kind of museum facade you usually see, you would never guess that this is a museum.

It is a museum indeed, and the only reason why it kept the facade like that is because they want to keep the old house as authentic as it was before. And it was amazing.

This is what you would see in this place: a lot of authentic items from 18-19 centuries. I could never tell the difference but if you are interested in this kind of things, a visit to this place is definitely worth the efforts. Even more if you are interested in the pretty things from victorian age, and wood works. You would easily feel the luxurious living of people who were living in that fancy house.

The people who works in the museum were very helpful. If you came to the strangers’ hall to learn something, you could ask people with the badge about things and they would tell you about the stuffs there and the history behind that article. If you came to this museum with kids and worried that they would get bored because the place was old and not the kind of modern museum like those in London, there were different kind of interactive stuffs they can do in this place.

There are three different activity rooms in this museum. One was empty when I was there and I am not sure what it was for. The other activity room is the drawing and colouring room and even I had fun in that particular area of this museum. The last one is the playing room; which probably was a playing room in the past as well, and there were a lot of toys to play with just in case you have a very young child which could not be bothered with history and the fun of knowing new stuffs (means: you have a silly spoiled little brat who you could just leave there with some unlucky fellow while you’re exploring the house). And in the middle of the reception area, you would find a kind of dining table with a man in a costume who would entertain your kids with informative game.

Yes, you need to pay to enter the museum. Unlike the museums in London, the museums in Norwich is not free, unfortunately. However if you are interested in seeing things in Norwich, this visit worth the £3. I would definitely bring my folks to this place when they come to visit me another time.

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The Art Of Solo Travelling

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I like solo travelling. It means traveling alone, not travelling around Solo (my hometown, fyi). I’ve done that few times and I enjoyed it a lot. Even more than travelling with companies. However apparently, this kind of travelling is not very popular among Asians. First Denise told me she doesn’t like travelling by herself, and Amy told me the same, and just few days ago Nuh, my housemate told me exactly the same thing. They don’t like travelling alone.

Actually I am not surprised why. Putting them into the same category, you can see that they belong to the “asian girl” type. Apart from their independent and modern lifestyle, they still have the same core. Denise doesn’t believe that women can’t fuck around without being emotionally involved, Amy desperately wanted a marriage and well… basically a family, Nuh even said that she restricted her contact with guys. All of them believes that one day in the future I would change my mind and want to have a family.

Of course I’m still in the rant mode. The “M” word bugged me like nothing else. I’m so tensed because of that. But oh well, I’m talking about Solo Travelling aren’t I?

What I like the most about travelling by myself is the carefree attitude I can have all the time. I don’t have to worry about someone else’s request. I can walk faster if I want, or slower if I wish. I can eat when I feel hungry, or just nibble some snack when I am drowned in too much fun. I can start early, and don’t have to feel pissed because some lazy bum wanted to lie in. I can sleep early if I want to and don’t have to argue with the party animals who wanted to hang out with the DJ.

I can get lost in the city without a crybaby begging to find a taxi because her leg hurts after walking all day. Oh yes I always prefer walk if the weather is nice. I don’t have to stop to shop, or feet rub, or toilet if I don’t want to. For me solo travelling is a fuck-yeah activity.

However like what I’ve said earlier, I am understand that for many of my friends who’s in the same “asian girl” category with me, this idea of travelling without company is a hell-no. I think it is cultural. You know…

Growing up in a collectivistic culture, I can understand how vulnerable it would feel when you have to be by yourself. Taking responsibility for yourself, no safety net. Making an individual choice, and not following the group decision. And plus they are girls, being alone became twice as annoying. It means no chit chat on the train, no gossiping while having lunch break, it’s like the social life is dead while travelling. Bad.

The fact that I like travelling by myself doesn’t make me less a woman than those ladies, okay! I’m just enjoying my trip without expected nuisance. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to travel In group one day.

If I can choose my travelling buddies, they would be my sisters. Yep.

It would be great to have adventures with them. They don’t fuss, they are practical, they like what I like and they wouldn’t make weird request that would piss me out. They would definitely make perfect travelling buddies. Don’t forget to add, they are organised and they travelled a lot before, so they wouldn’t bug me with unnecessary hassles.

So, for those who likes travelling alone, there are some things that helped me a lot during travelling:
1. Google map
2. Power bank
3. Money

What I always have in my bag: music player, ID card, a bottle of water, snack, notebook and pen. Note the important stuffs like the departure time and date, the ticket reference, or the hotel booking confirmation, it would always come in handy because no one would remind you about those details. Travelling solo would require higher responsibility too.

One more thing about travelling by yourself is that it would be easier for you to make new friends, if you want to. When you are travelling by yourself you would not be these guys who sit in group and talk and laugh loudly and not only drive away potential friends but also piss some people.

Some people told me that I was so brave for travelling alone. It is not bravery. It is being prepared and being aware with what happened around you. It teach you to be smart, to be organised, and to be able to make decision for yourself.

Are you a solo traveller?

Lost In York: Aftermath

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Waiting the train to come at York Railway Station gave me a chance to take a better look at this grand station. It’s not the same with Norwich which is smaller, and London which are more modern. It has arches, things that always interest me. Maybe two years studying architecture, and learning some of the history gave me this obsessive attraction towards the grand arches and buildings.

Train came and journey home began. It was never as exciting as the beginning of the trip. It even left a little bit of melancholy, the thought, the wonders, and hopes that one day I would be able to come back to this place of beauty. Of course I missed Norwich, but… You know. I’m a little bit romantic when it comes to places and memories.

One thing that I love about taking a train trip to the north is the amazing view which, if I was that sentimental, I would cry a little bit. The beauty was a torture to me. The sun went down and came the dusk before you. The best song to describe my feeling at that moment was either Karen’s Theme or any of David Lanz’s work.

Munib, my smoking buddies back home at Norwich told me that it was stormy there. So did Mr. Fix-It who decided that picking me up from the railway station was a good idea. Of course at that moment, I didn’t have energy to argue.

The moment you realised that the fun was over, all the enthusiasm was replaced with the incredible exhaustion. I started to feel the pain in my feet, I thought it was the open blister that stinging, and the stiff muscles after a crazy long walk I had for three days. I started to got sniffles, it might be the cold I got from the rain I had at my first day. Funny that you didn’t feel any of this when you’re doing all the fun stuff at York.

One thing I haven’t mentioned in all of my earlier posts was that I didn’t go to York by myself. I met Cal, a friend I made from playing Tribalwars few months ago. He’s a cool eighteen years old boy with some problems at home. This trip might mean to him as much as it meant to me. It was a good getaway.

It made me sad when he asked me if we can do another adventure, and I had to break the news that this might be the last time I can see him. You know, this country can kick me anytime, I am not safe yet.

So after few hours I was home. All tired. But heck, I had fun like a madman. It’s all worth it.

Lost In York: Day Three (part 2)

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I can’t believe that it was so much that this city could offer you in one day so I had to break the last day in two bloody long posts. That’s absurd, don’t you think?

So, I continue my exploration. And there was the York Minster. I had no clue what the heck Minster was until I asked around and found out that Minster has similar meaning to Cathedral or basically a motherfucking huge church. York Minster is a… Minster. D o h. When will I stop writing such a useless information for my readers?

It’s not as glamorous as Westminster Abbey, but it’s a gigantic building with impossibly high ceilings, huge archaic columns which makes me want to tie myself on it, and beautiful (and not to mention enormous) stain glass windows. And we have to pay to see the whole building. Hell no.

My mum couldn’t even pay for me to go to church, why the fuck I want to pay to look inside a motherfucking church? So I took what I can get. That’s how a thrifty poor student do when she went for a trip with a bloody tight budget. Away from home, love.

  

What I love about walking blindly and getting lost in the city is, not only it’s free (damn budget!), but you can find the interesting unexpected things when you’re doing it. You’d find some things that you would never find in the “Visit (insert a city name here)” brochure for tourists. And sometimes, only sometimes the best things happened when you least expected (most of the time shit happens, not complaining here).

So being lost, I ended up walking in a circle, and came back to the gallery. So, trying to be adventurous, this little Byq thought, heey, why not take that small path to nowhere, the sign board said it’s going to lead us to… York University. How cool was that?

You wouldn’t believe what I saw in the end of that small path?

If I was a fantasy fiction writer I would use words like: “gate to the elf’s kingdom”. But I am not. So I will just say that it was a vast land of green that we usually call “huge garden” with various trees, and other plants (please don’t ask me what they are, I’m not studying Botany). There were a lot of people having picnic there, young and old, very young and very old… I know I’m not too creative, blame my vocabulary limitation. And guess what? There was THAT!

The entrance to the Yorkshire Museum.

Oh there you are…

Bloody hell.

The Yorkshire Museum is nice. We have to pay, but heck, I’m more than willing to pay to enter a museum. But, IF you are a York University student, or anyone studying in York, you can have free pass. Norwich, Y U NO do the same?!!

Why I said it was nice? It’s well maintained, it’s clean, it has a fair amount of collections that… Well… Interesting, and some interactive stuffs that appeals little visitors… and me. One of them was this “make your own superbug”, which was ironically attractive considering how much I hate bugs. It just the way they used “superbug” that reminded me of this blog.

I prefer Superbyq… for an obvious reason.

However, you can’t compare this museum to British Museum in London, and Leeds City Museum, which has better and bigger collections, and was free.

The wall was the last place I explore. Can’t say much about the wall, I may just post pictures as they worth thousands words (which makes me wonder if it would be fine if I just posted 15 pictures instead of writing 15000 words for my dissertation). And here’s what you’d see from the wall…

  

Time to go home now.

Lost In York: Day Three (part 1)

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Okay. It was my last day at York. Still got a little bit disappointed because of the rain the night before. But let’s not make it spoil all the fun because we still have a bright blue sky, the wall to conquer, a gallery to enjoy and a museum to visit. Shall we?

The map was really helpful, it just didn’t say where the bloody entrance was. So my first destination was supposed to be the Yorkshire Museum. Failed. Because I couldn’t find the entrance. Instead I found the York City Art Gallery. It was fun being in a gallery, although being utterly honest, I don’t have any fucking idea what the shit I was looking at the display. I’m not that artistic. Especially when it comes to the contemporary arts.

Why the hell they put a bunch of colourful blobs on the canvas and named them with such poetic titles?

I like galleries because they’re quiet, and make you think you’re artistic and intelligent. And that’s what I feel when I was staring blankly at the blobs.

Enough with those. I went out, enjoying the beautiful city, while still in the quest of finding the museum entrance. But, well, being me, I gave up on that after 30 minutes. I decided to walk around, and guess what I found? Library 😀

We have city library here in Norwich. It’s just different. I knew that the Norwich library was once caught fire, so they rebuilt it with the Forum. It’s a modern building with metal and glass, which is pretty, but…

I love York’s library. It’s the old building, with books (of course. D o h). I am pretty sure I have mentioned quite a few times about how I like the vintage-ish stuffs? The library there was all about huge stoney column, arches and yellow-ish tiles, and even the smell of old books when you stepped inside were trying to tell you how ancient the knowledge they wanted to share. I felt like a true scholar when I touched the wooden bookshelves, even when I found out that all I could find at that section was the popular cook books.

I went around the city for awhile, mind you I gave up trying to find the Yorkshire Museum at that moment. And as I’ve told you the sky was clear and the sun was shining, so why not taking a walk and enjoy what the city offered. And guess what, it might be the best decision I’ve ever made in my life (of course I was exaggerating, you moron *rolleyes*).

I have obsessions, as you know it. The internet, Vintage stuffs, Noel Gallagher, Knowledge, Music, Good looking and talented people, my own blog, and drama. I can’t really remember if I have posted the picture of a faith-shaking-cute saxophone player that I sometimes fantasize about, that I saw when I was in Cambridge? Or the triple-guilty-pleasure playing music on my Thames River exploration? No? Then I haven’t tell you the Norwich hidden gem that hypnotised me with his “Calling”.

I’m a slut.

It felt like heaven when I was there. Not only one, I found THREE, yes three street musicians who made me flood my panties with happiness. If you see these pictures, girls you know what I meant.

  

The walk continued, of course I need to walk away from the site and dry my panties before I literally ask them to sign my bra. Anyway, I should stop being slutty, don’t you think?

Lost In York: Day Two

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I had the whole day, but of course it would be nice to start early with, of course, a good breakfast. My favourite breakfast every time I was in a trip is The Full English Breakfast. A sausage, a sunny side eggs, one or two rashers of bacon, and you can add it yourself: baked beans, flat mushroom, roasted tomato, black puddings, hash browns, and toast. Give you a lot of energy for a day’s walk.

The cunning plan was to go to The York Castle Museum and Yorvik on the day, return to the hotel to rest for few hours before go back to the centre to have the Ghost Walk. Shall we proceed then?

The York Castle Museum was a massive museum with two wings for different exhibitions, and a special section. The North Building was showing the life of the Victorian Era. Of course, the vintage stuffs which have always been my favourite things in the world. The reconstruction of the Victorian style living room, dining room, and even kitchen. Oh well, they have the exhibition of the evolution of kitchen. You know that I always have obsession about kitchen, don’t you?

One of the most interesting part of the North Building was the Kirkgate Victorian Street. They built a set of buildings in a place so called the Kirkgate Victorian Street, which imitate the situation of the crowded streets with a lot of shops at that time. They have the sweet shops, stationary, post office, the funeral home, the watchmaker, even public school and police station.

Welcome to Kirkgate Victorian Street

The South Building was less thematic. It consists of the war sections were we can find the weapons and armories from the civil war, and the world wars. However the collections were not as impressive as one I saw in Royal Armories Leeds.   Compared to the North Buildings, it’s less interesting for me. But the South building has the special outdoor area. The theme was the 60’s.

It was a very bright colorful and interesting place. Like the Kirkgate Street, it was a reconstruction of a street, only this time it’s in smaller scale. They had a clothing store, a pub, and a houseware shop. They had a lot of information about the 60’s British musics like The Who and The Beatles. Even when you’re their songs were played back to back.

 The South building also connected to the riverside. It certainly has a very great view. But this is the end of the York Castle Museum visit, so I walked to Yorvik which was not so far from the site.

Yorvik was also called the Viking Centre. There was a digging site of the Viking relics in this area, which told everything about the Viking’s life when they were occupying this area. The entrance fee was quite expensive for a small site like this place, but I think it’s because they have this simulation ride, which was very cool. Too bad we weren’t allowed to take pictures while we were in the ride.

We would be seated in a moving cab, to see the simulation of the Viking’s life. They have a lot of figures of the Vikings which they recreated from the images they had from the remaining skulls. You know, something like what we saw in CSI movie when those scientist made the visualisation of the unknown victims just from the remaining skulls. Got that? Yes.

The ride took around 15-20 minutes, but that’s all about Yorvik. They sell the Viking coins, and also some Viking related souvenir, but not very special, too bad.

When we finished with Yorvik, the rain started to pour… again. That was really disappointing because you can’t go for a Ghost Walk in the rain. The Ghost Walk is basically an evening walk in the alleyway at York City Centre. They will dressed up like a ghost and gave us an encounter to York’s supernatural experiences. And because this is an outdoor activities, it’s unlikely it would be held in the rain. Shame 😦 It means I couldn’t get to see Ghost Walk on this trip because I would have to go home the next day.

Lost In York: Day One

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Okay I should be honest I was a little bit lost. The rain didn’t help.

I couldn’t check in at the hotel because the receptionist would open after 3pm. The thought of having to drag my huge purple wheeled bag in the rain certainly destroyed my spirit. But the show must go on, and the blog should be written, and for the sake of my reader, I decided to stay strong. I decided that my first destination is the National Railway Museum, York.

I like train, I like using it. But I think people in England has a different fascination about trains. They have a really cute train models and the miniature of them, and give them cool name. I guess, it’s because train is still one of the most important public transport here in UK. People are still using it a lot in their daily life. In this museum, it is pretty clear how the trains developed from time to time. It used to be equipped with luxurious carriage. This is one of them:

The Vintage Train Carriage

The main hall was full of trains. Of course. They have trains for many colours. I don’t really know the name, but when I talked to my friends who live in England, apparently they are familiar with trains name and model. I can only remember three of them: The Rocket, The Mallard, and The Flying Scotsman. They even have the Japanese bullet train displayed in the main hall, where we can go inside and see the vintage-ish interior, and old video about the train.

The Rocket. I like its vintage-ish style, of course I think it’s quite an old train engine model.

However, to be honest, not being a fan of big machines, I enjoyed what I see inside the next room. One Flying Scotsman was there, specially displayed, and some info about it which I don’t really remember, because that’s not what fascinate me. But after a few step, there was that….

The pile of vintage ‘junks’. From the old rugged sign board, the antique ticket box, sets of tea cups and saucers which I guessed came from the old time when they still served the wealthy people only, and, of course, if you’re a fangirl/fanboy, you’re going to like this one:

Going to Hogwarts,anyone?

The next room is the reparation room… or maintenance room. I think it was the reparation. Well, we couldn’t really BE in that room, but we can see what’s the mechanics do with the trains. They will restore (aha! It must be the RESTORATION ROOM!! Clever me) the antique train so it would be able to work again. Trust me, Harry Potter fans, you don’t want to miss this. The train engine for the train to Hogwarts were in that room 😀

Walking around carrying bag isn’t fun. Especially if you have a lot in it. I was in a girly mode, so you might have some idea what’s inside my bag. I decided to stop being stupid and started to look for a place where I can deposit my bag so I could go for a walk outside without having to carry my luggage everywhere. Yes, you can use the service at York rail station, and it would cost you five pounds per bag (trust me, a broken spine will cost you more than that).

Taking a little walk before it was too cold and too wet to continue, and before I finally checked in on the hotel, I found out that this is a really beautiful city. It has a lot of grand archaic construction. I thought I might like this city.

 

Lost In York: The Byq Journey Begin

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So last week I decided to go for a 3 days trip to York. I think I haven’t gone for a trip for a long time and it was just the right time to have some good getaway. So as usual, I booked a room at a hotel which was the cheapest and the closest to places that I wanted to go to, and a train ticket. It was quite a journey from Norwich to York.

The train from Norwich left at 6.50. Being a stubborn Byq, instead of calling for taxi, I decided to leave earlier from my flat and WALK to the train station. As if waking up in the morning is not tiring enough. But what can I say, I was a very excited and I knew I would have a great adventure in York. So there I was, dragging my big purple wheeled luggage, walking for almost an hour to the train station early… VERY early in the morning.

I always like the train.

A lot of local people use the train to commute. Many of them live in villages, and work in the bigger town, and train was the easiest and fastest public transport they can get. Unless they have their own car, but the petrol price isn’t cheap anyway, and the insurance and stuff… Oh I just love the public transport.

The train was quiet, of course because it was early. From Norwich, every time I went somewhere up north, I would need to change train on Peterborough. It was a quite big station. The first time I was there, on my way to Aberdeen it was still on renovation, I guess it looks better now, or I stopped on different platform, I don’t know. Anyway, the train was on time, as usual.

Well, this is what’s different from public transport here. Why I like it here and why I think the public transport here is so much better than in Indonesia. When I said the train was on time, it was actually 4 minutes late. In Indonesia up to 15 minutes is not yet considered late. I think it is different because 15 minutes can make a lot of difference for people who has to change train on the next station. Or it’s just the culture -_-”

I arrived at York at around 9.40 (due to the 4 minutes late)

And it was raining.

You don’t know how disappointed I was looking at the rain. I brought my umbrella, of course, I was so prepared, but knowing that I had to use my umbrella wasn’t a fun feeling at all. Wasn’t a happy bunny, but I wouldn’t let rain ruin my big trip. Haha!

Happy Valentine’s Day (3)

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You know that I always save the best part for last. I kept the best part of the story for the closing. No particular intention, just an irritating habits 😀

Anyway, where should I start?

Ah… I think it’s time to actually tell you the story how I met your father Noel Gallagher, isn’t it?

Just like the day before, excitement made me a little bit crazy. Because I remember how crazy it was when we watched Coldplay for my birthday, I didn’t want the same thing happened again. And because I want to stand as close as possible to my god, so I came earlier.

A little bit too early I guess.

Yes, three hours before the door opened.

Come on, you can’t blame me for being too eager. It’s not just anyone. This is Noel Gallagher, the God himself.

But, bugger! It was too cold outside and smoking didn’t really help because I skipped lunch and didn’t have anything hot to drink. Standing there outdoor was killing me. So I left for a while to grab a cup of coffee. Imagine that. No eat. Drink coffee. I was trying to kill myself, don’t you think?

When I was back to the place I left before, there are some people are queuing. I asked one of them if they’re queuing for the door. The girl there said they were waiting on the backdoor for Noel Gallagher to come. Excited to that notion, I just queued along with them. And yes, we weren’t waiting in vain, because about an hour later he actually came.

Don’t ask me what I did. I was totally starstruck. I took some pictures. Bad ones. And didn’t even think of asking him signing my bra! I didn’t even ask him for a kiss. Stupid stupid stupid.

Should go to another concert so I can get what i want. 😦

While I was waiting I actually talk to three persons. One mother with her son. Lucky lad! If my mother brought me to the rock concert for the Valentine’s Day, it would be the lifetime experience you could tell to all your friends. And a platinum blonde pretty girl who smoked more than I did.

The door opened. The concert begun. Yes, I got the perfect place to see him and took pictures of him. Of course some of you already saw them on my facebook or my profile pictures. No worries, I will put one here too. But, you can choose which video you want to see 😀

Do you want those from his new solo album? Or you want the old Oasis classics? I can give you some options:

a. stranded in the wrong beach

b. broken arrow

c. don’t look back in anger

d. supersonic

 

Remember. Your choice will decide which video which would be posted here 😀