Friday, March 31, 2017
Day 1 was reserved for the Vatican, except that there really is no winning against the long tourist lines if you don’t have a reservation. If you just want to take a selfie at St. Peter’s Square, then you’ll be done in less than half an hour. If you want a more eventful Vatican excursion, then you are better off booking your reservation online. I arrived on a Thursday and still managed to get slots for the Vatican Museum for the next day. It all depends on the season. I also suppose that weekends are way busier.
Thursday, March 30, 2017
After giving up on the Vatican during our first day, we decided to just walk around Old Rome. You can always bring a map if you like. It’s a good idea for those who are OC, but if you want to be adventurous then I’d say just get lost in the streets. I don’t know. There’s just something exhilarating about that feeling of stumbling upon a certain tourist attraction instead of expecting it to be there because Google Maps said so. But having a true blue Roman touring you around is also cool, especially those who don’t go out that much.
Sunday, March 26, 2017
Saturday, March 25, 2017
I had no problem with immigration at Schoenefeld. The airport staff at the boarding gate was a different story. Reading from their computer screen, it clearly specified that one needs a Schengen D or a residence permit to be allowed entry to Romania. What I’ve read online is that you only need a valid multiple entry Schengen C visa. I had to step aside and wait for five minutes or so before the woman who took my passport came back and finally let me in. I guess we’re going to Bucharest after all. Hooray?
Sunday, March 19, 2017
Saturday, March 18, 2017
Visiting Poland became non-negotiable when I decided to move to Berlin this month. Poznan can be reached from the German capital in just three hours by bus, and some border cities even less than that. Going from capital to capital is also possible on the road, but I’m just not feeling a long road trip to Warsaw right now, which would’ve been another three hours of travel from Greater Poland’s capital. Booking a cheap return ticket via Polskibus, I left Deutschland on a Saturday morning for my Polish excursion.
Friday, March 17, 2017
France, 1700’s. A young and handsome prince indulges in life’s worldly pleasures. When an enchantress masquerading as a beggar crashes one of his parties and he turns her away, she curses not only him but his entire household. As his servants turn into inanimate objects, he himself is transformed into a hideous Beast (Dan Stevens). The only way to break the curse is for him to find a girl who will see beyond his appearance and offer true love, but can someone really love a monster? Years pass and memories of their existence are erased from the minds of Villeneuve’s townsfolk. Young maiden Belle (Emma Watson) is frowned upon by the villagers for her progressive beliefs and practices. War veteran Gaston (Luke Evans) attempts everything to woo her into marriage, but her reluctance is adamant given his narcissistic tendencies. When her father gets lost in the woods and ends up in one of the castle’s dungeons, she barters with the Beast for her to take her father’s place. As the unlikely pair spend more time together, they start to notice something about one another, sparking optimism for breaking the curse. But can love blossom fast enough before the last rose petal falls?
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) is a jazz pianist struggling to reconcile his dreams with his current reality. Mia (Emma Stone) wants to be an actress, but is stuck serving coffee at a Hollywood movie lot for more than half a decade now. Their love story begins with an antagonistic exchange of middle fingers as they deal with LA’s chaotic freeway traffic, but eventually blossoms into a promising romance as they attempt to find a common ground in spite of their differences. But a home full of dreams and passion can only do so much when real life comes knocking at your door. As his musical goals take the backseat to give way to everyday practicality, her acting ambitions take a nosedive with every unsuccessful audition she ends up with. In a shared life overflowing with aspirations but perforated with only failures one right after another, will there be enough room left for love to grow?
Monday, March 13, 2017
Michèle Leblanc (Isabelle Huppert) is assaulted and raped in her very own home in broad daylight. She cleans up the shards of glass and debris left from the struggle after her attacker flees, then takes a bath and moves on with her life as if nothing happened. She doesn’t even tell her son Vincent (Jonas Bloquet), who visits her that night asking for money for his new apartment’s rent. It is only days later during dinner with her ex-husband Richard (Charles Berling), best friend Anna (Anne Consigny) and her husband Robert (Christian Berkel), does she offhandedly mention the incident. They all think that it should be reported to the authorities, but she is reluctant. Instead, she exploits all available means to find out who her rapist is sans police assistance. Her eventual discovery of his identity marks the beginning of a twisted and risky relationship rife with revenge motives, a plot probably as dangerous as the premise of the video game she is spearheading in her IT company. Will she emerge victorious or is this Game Over for her?
Sunday, March 12, 2017
Ryanair canceling my flight to Bulgaria meant that I suddenly had a free weekend with nowhere to go. Saturday’s dilemma was solved by Potsdam, and I honestly thought that Sunday would be a rest day for me because Potsdam itself was already a visual overload. Surprise, surprise. The lazy Asian booked a return trip to Magdeburg on FlixBus, and there’s no saying no now. I mean, the ticket was rather expensive for such a short trip. And now we get to add Saxony-Anhalt to our list of German states visited. Hooray?
Saturday, March 11, 2017
Potsdam is the capital of the German state of Brandenburg. It is one of, if not, the closest state capital you can visit from Berlin. It’s so close to Berlin that zones A and B of its public transpo system falls within Berlin’s C zone. What that means is you only need a Zone C extension to get to Potsdam if you’re already in possession of a valid card for Berlin’s zone AB. That’s a meager EUR1.60 (~PHP85) one-way, if you are planning nothing more than a day trip. But what is there to see in Potsdam anyway? Palaces. Palaces everywhere!
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
The year is 2029 and old man Logan (Hugh Jackman) has aged a lot, what with his regenerative capabilities faltering through the decades. Retired and working as a limousine chauffeur in El Paso to make ends meet, he strives to earn enough money so he can take a now senile and uncooperative Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) with him to a more tranquil life at sea. Mutants have since been an afterthought, but that will change with the arrival of Laura Kinney (Dafne Keen) AKA X-23, a kid born as an experiment at Transigen labs in Mexico City along with other mutant children being raised as weapons. Developed with Logan’s DNA, she is biologically his child. Hesitant, he heeds Xavier’s advice of taking her with him in search for Eden, a mutant sanctuary in North Dakota where she believes her friends have been whisked off to safety. However, such a task will not be easy with the persistent pursuit of Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook), the enemy leader who will stop at nothing to recapture their investment.