Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Laser 3.14: Part 2

Remember my previous post on Laser 3.14? I've got more now.

Laser 3.14 has been busy around Amsterdam! I've been slowly collecting more pictures of his/ her art work. For simplicity, I'm just going to refer to him/ her as: HIM from now on.

Here goes...

I found it REALLY funny how he had a typo in one of his artworks. I should've taken a photo when I saw it. I was trying to figure out what he was writing about, but the next day or so when I walked past it again, I noticed he had fixed his typo!

YES! Ladies and gents! A PEDANTIC GRAFFITI STREET ARTIST! ...Or maybe the Spelling-Police got involved.

This is the piece in question. The word "Mattress" had been spelt "Matras" or something to that effect. You can see how he came back, sprayed over the old word and re-did just that word again. HAHAHA!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Busted Foot Practice & New Home

Yesterday, I had the most horrific practice. My foot is still busted, but I can put a little bit more pressure on it. So I figured "OK, let's try the primary series and see how far I get".

In the Surya's, I couldn't quite jump back properly. Or rather, while jumping back, I was putting more weight on the right foot. So... I really shouldn't have been jumping back at all. Turning my left foot in in B version was a little bit painful but I thought "my foot is just stiff. It hasn't moved in a while so let's just warm it up". When I got up to Trikonasana, it was OK on the right side, but on the left side, the muscles on the left foot arch were not happy. So then I decided I'd better just back off and don't be a hero.

I then went straight into the seated poses, but still had to modify quite a bit coz my left foot can't turn beyond a certain point. This led to a practice that was all about breath, bandhas, ow-my-foot, drishti, oh-I-need-a-pedicure-wait-where's-my-drishti-again, breath, bandha, oh-my-god-my-toenail's-falling-off... I was completely distracted, unfocused, and all over the shop. Only because I let my busted foot consume my thoughts rather than embracing the fact that "OK, my foot's busted. I know I have to modify so why am I whining. Get on with it."

In fact, I was so unfocused, I actually stopped mid-practice, got my camera out and took a photo of my baby toenail that was falling out. I couldn't wait until after practice coz "what if it falls off completely then I can't get the shot?"


You were warned.

(I am purposely covering the rest of my toenails coz I NEED A PEDICURE!)

And the whole practice was really short but it was so laboured it took me too long to finish... I mean I pretty much did a reverse half-primary. No standing, only seated poses... which shouldn't have taken me more than 45 minutes to 1 hour... But I finished it in 1.5 hours. Um... My usual full practice up to Laghuvajrasana takes me about that long (then another 15 minutes for closing). So... it was a super loooooooong, drawn-out, all-over-the-place practice.

Oh well. I got on the mat. HAHAHA! I kept thinking the whole time "This is when the real yoga kicks in..." Y'know... Having to do your regular practice with an injury, but still maintaining that same, steady concentration the whole time, unfazed. For me, it was... YOGIC APPROACH: FAIL!

When I was done, I checked my phone and a friend had invited me to a jazz brunch at the Hotel Americain (Yes, that's the "American Hotel" but spelt the French way. And it's in Amsterdam. HAHAHA.) It's a beautiful old Art Nouveau (or is it Art Deco?) hotel, and the architecture's just stunning.

When I got home, I was finally in the mood to take more photos, so here's the long awaited pictures of my "new" apartment. It's actually in an old Dutch gabled house... and because it's a really tiny house over 2 floors (they're usually about 4 storeys high), the entire house is MINE! I HAVE NO NEIGHBOURS!! :)

The ground floor is a parking garage that I have no access to - the landlord's daughter parks her car there.

It's so adult, but everyone has their names on their doors here.

Since the ground floor's the garage, my flat technically starts on the First floor (for my American readers, "first floor" is actually the floor up the ground floor, what you would call "second floor"). So when you open the main door, you're greeted by a flight of stairs to go up. I like that they're painted white. But this means everyone has to take their shoes off!

From the reverse angle at the top of the stairs:

So the First floor's an open plan living/ dining and kitchen area, and I've also got a small terrace by the kitchen.

I added some wall art with these flowers. And I like my little falling-man-door-stopper. Because I've got no time to look after a cat here, the next closest thing I've got is this grumpy cat timer.

Going up the white spiral staircase, there's a skylight. Important for grey & rainy Amsterdam!

The second floor is built right up into the roof, with exposed ceiling beams, and I love how everything's painted white. There's a bathroom at the top of the stairs. The loo is in its own separate room (very European!)... And there's a tiny room on one side of the house - big enough for laundry and storage, and the other room's my bedroom. On the side of the tiny room, there's another terrace that looks out into the nothingness view of neighbours' windows. From the top terrace, you can look down into the kitchen terrace. :)

I love how in the bedroom, there's another tiny skylight at the top and the landlord's put in a stained-glass picture. Thank goodness it's not The Crucifixion or anything religious. I think they're... Potato Eaters? (HAHAHAHA!)

And I put in more wall-art: silver dragonflies in the bedroom!

That's all... I'm really liking how I'm going more girly with this house. I guess after living with a boy for many years, my previous apartments were all kinda gender-neutral or bordering on the masculine (coz somehow masculine home decor seems more gender-neutral than putting up flowers and dragonflies on your wall! HAHAHA!)

I'm really liking the light and airy feeling of this new place. Feels like home. :)
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