vive the low-resolution turkey! what happens when you combine cmos image sensors with photo-taking excitement.

had a small gathering of the boys who happened to be in london, jr came over from mannheim, chan lek brought port from cambridge, alex provided the house and most of the ingredients and i provided an empty stomach. at least it was good, home-away-from-home stuff on christmas, where there's absolutely nothing to do. everything is closed. except the great west doors of st paul's cathedral where we attended evensong.

boxing day is a different story. most of the shops open and start offering massive discounts, and it's quite uncomfortable shopping with some of the crowds. covent garden was quieter because i was there insanely early so i could concentrate on buying teas and gifts. with only a limited budget, i had to settle for half-priced stuff from lilywhites. i've held the urge in for quite long now, but i really enjoy shopping now. bought a casual blazer from zara, 39.99. (details.)

26-29th was spent with my relatives in belgium, who showed us around pretty comprehensively (ok, flanders mainly). we were supposed to visit dinant in the ardennes for some hiking/scenery but it kept snowing in the south and it was difficult without proper chained tires. on the last day i had the fortune to be caught in a nice big snowfall in brussels.

so we visited brugge, antwerp, ghent, leuven and brussels. i stayed in a county home in st-lieven's esse, eating nice huge loafs of country bread with all sorts of spreads and the best pain au chocolat ever. weather was miserable, always below freezing, snowed across most of europe (they said it would snow over london too, though there was no evidence of that. it's supposed to snow today.) alex and jianrong tried 6 types of beer which leaves over 600 to go. even visited the headquarters of imbev, largest brewery in the world and the stella artois factory. highlights were the nice belfries, cathedrals and places in virtually all the medieval looking cities, the comic museum (tintin! asterix! iznogoud!), belgian waffles, belgian chocolates, and the university at leuven which is half-decent and looks a nice place to study. i will put up pictures soon.

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