Author of *Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration—and How to Achieve Real Reform* talks about why ending the drug war isn't enough.
Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts
Marina Bay Sands
An Everlasting Kiss in Guanajuato Callejón del Beso
Once upon a time there two Mexican lovers, Carlos and Ana, who lived in a little town called Guanajuato. They were in love but were forbidden to see each other, as Ana was promised to an old, but rich gentleman. To see Ana, Carlos moved into the apartment across the tiny street where Ana’s balcony and his balcony were so close, they almost literally touched. At night they would reach over and steal kisses until Ana’s father discovered them. In rage, he stabbed his daughter with a knife, and Ana in her last moments crawled to the balcony to kiss Carlos one last time. The legend says, you must go with your beloved to the alley and kiss on the third step to ensure eternal love. Apart from the romance, the city is quite charming, famous for its colonial architecture.
Your fear of heights is probably best left at home when it comes to this pool on top of Hotel Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. The pool is 200 meters above the ground, on the 57th floor, with a fabulous view over the vibrant city. As the edge of the pool unites with the sky, you should almost feel like you are in heaven surrounded by palm trees cocktails in the arms of your loved one. Perhaps not the cheapest, but definitely one of the most exotic getaways on top of one of the largest and most modern cosmopolitan cities in the world!
An Afternoon Tea of Class in London
Enjoy a fashionable Tea at the Berkley Hotel with your beloved. Each season, Prêt-à-Portea is served with cake shaped as the seasons collections, for instance from Jason Wu, or Stella McCartney. The tea is served in with love (lately on Paul Smith plates) at the Caramel Room between 13:00 - 18:00 o’clock. Of course a little shopping trip in London would probably be a perfect activity to end with a tea party. Drink to thee, with thine eyes, in style!
The Scandinavian Palace Grill does not exactly sound, or looks like a classy gourmet restaurant, but it is. This little humble but precious pearl serves delicacies of the highest class. There are drinks at the bar, and the wooden and slightly vintage style radiates a warmth perfect for couples. Although reservations are not possible as there is only space for 23 guests, this trendy restaurant is definitely a one of a kind and intimate experience to share with your better half.
Do people blog about disgusting and macabre dreams? I don't know. Here is something to cheer you up! My next book titled "Merchant of Macabre Dreams" is ready for writing. All I need is someone with the heart of little Alice, ready to be awed and terrified, someone who can't get up alone in the night for a wee. Curious? Dial M for Macabre Dreams.
It is really huge and crowded. I am inside some sort of a rail terminal with huge rounded roof but all very dark inside, amidst milling crowd of being who resemblance humans. Don't know if I am coming or going. Where to? Where from? No idea. Well, perhaps not much to write home about a dream. After all Chinese rail stations must be really crowded like anywhere in the world.
This is intriguing. I must be in a star hotel, in a lobby with high ceiling, heavily ornate wooden panels all around, smartly dressed hotel staff busily busying around amidst huge plants, greenery and fountains. Nothing unusual except I have no idea about which one it was. I have never stayed in a Chinese hotel or been to China.
This is the disgusting part. I am searching for something frantically. Though I feel being in a room I can still see the hotel staff and greenery around me. I am pulling off empty draws one after the other for whatever I was searching. Now you won't believe this. Suddenly, I am reliving myself in one of the draws I just pulled out. I can't believe it either. My very own s*** in a clean white draw with some of the hotel staff around me looking at it. I can't think of or remember their expression. Some of the girls were definitely giggling.
This is where it gets really exciting! I am in a bath room, standing under a really lavish warm shower. I look up and realise that there is no shower head. In fact the shower is pouring across from bath room next to mine, over a frosted glass wall. Suddenly, I notice through the glass the outlines of what looked like a female human body, covered in lather. Wow! Am I not lucky for a bonus gift from the hotel?
Well, not exactly. Suddenly the shower recedes and the body reaches out for a towel and wipe to reveal, what was more likely a male figure. Not very exciting, at least for me!
This is the macabre bit. All I know is that I am running down a hill leaving the tall building of the hotel amidst a lot of others, from a silhouette which looked like a busy down town. I have jumped inside a waiting bus. Now I look for an empty seat. This is where it gets really horrible. All I can see are strange human bodies with huge disfigured faces with waves of massive yellow wrinkles. Quite frightening! I move from body to body trying to jump out of the bus, with no success. Frankly there was nothing Chinese about this nerve shacking experience.
Perhaps my dream has very scientific explanation. I don't know. May be some one can throw some light.
If you ask me, the British country pubs can offer some of the best romantic experience of your life. Not theLondon pubs where you may have to jostle with a crowd for your pint of beer and then get in to a brawl with the barman over its head. Not even the Vic, where high drama of "EastEnders" plays out incessantly, not far from the Olympics venue.
If you are visiting the Olympics 2012 with the love of your heart, make sure to take some time out for a day or two to prom the British hinder land and stop by some of the numerous romantic pubs dotting its countryside. Who knows, you might even discover what love can truly feel like.
Imagine a sultry, wet and lingering afternoon in July in England when everywhere else the sun is shining. Hardly a time for romance. Yet if you walk in to a quiet country pub, you may be surprised how the ambience can be full of life and romance.
There is nothing unusual if you see a couple in their late forties or fifties enjoying the most loving of romantic moments, something you might have never seen in the best movies you can remember. The gentleman has turned his chair sideways and is sitting close to the lady, beholding her with the most ardent feelings of love he has ever felt. He is indeed oblivious of everything around him, even the glass of beer in his hand. The lady is quietly fondling his collar, ear or neck while still speaking some sweet nothing to him.
You may notice how the lady partner of a couple sitting across the table next to you, deep in some wild intimate conversation, ardently reach out to touch and affectionately fondle the forearm of her partner. You may feel yourself falling in to a romantic spell watching a younger couple on a corner sofa quietly stealing a smooch now and then in between gulps of their drinks. You may even be surprised how people in their eighties and nineties can still wear a lovelorn look.
Scenes, you might think, hardly ever to be seen outside the privacy of a living room. Scenes you won't certainly find in any American diner with their bus like seating style, often the background for famous movie episodes. Scenes far from the embarrassing and intimate sharing of 'huitre' and champagne in the crowded bistros of Paris, where you can find tourists who almost shout 'we don't care, we are on top of the world' while a female companion sucks out of an oyster shell held out by her lover.
It is difficult to say what makes the British country pubs so uniquely romantic. Perhaps it is the tradition of the pubs being managed by "land Lords" who also tend to play some pivotal role in the British social fabric. Often, the friendly and hospitable nature of the land lords and serving staff makes you feel at home, something which you definitely miss in the McDonald's or the restaurants of chain hotels attended by bearers in stiff uniforms.
The pub buildings themselves, most of which are preserved in original exteriors, in scenic settings, definitely help to build the ambience. But it is probably the interiors with their nooks and corners, and old style furnishing which break the monotonous ambience of large halls and offer some privacy, which must be appealing to most people. Though they weren't originally meant as meeting place for families, they are now the favourite places for a meal out with family and friends, especially with the gardens and play pens for children.
Quite a few of the country pubs also have acquired gastronomic and culinary status. In fact manye of the Michelin star restaurants in the UK are famous pubs.
In a land where Pubs are as much used as landmarks while giving directions as churches, they are part of the daily life without which life will seem almost impossible. But for visitors to Olympics 2012 games a visit to a old countryside pub can offer an experience they may not forget in life.