Accidental blast from the past — in Rome!

Before sleeping, I was reading a thread on Reddit on old movies. Someone suggested Bicycle Thieves (Italian: Ladri di biciclette) of Vittorio De Sica.

It is a textbook and well known example of Italian neorealism, and considered one of the masterpieces of Italian cinema.

We have watched this movie back in college for our intermediate Italian class. It was quite a depressing film set in post-WWII about the working family man Antonio Ricci, his adorable son Bruno, and their search of their missing bicycle around Rome, which he needs for work.

I have rewatched it before going to Rome, and even visited Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II on our third day just to see the area. I’ve had a look again at the movie last night and got goosebumps exactly at this point on YouTube.

I realized we had been EXACTLY where this scene is at!

Scene from Ladri di biciclette around Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II

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Mulberry Ted from nowhere

Once in a while, something from the past suddenly pops into the present. Not something sinister, but it is something welcome.

It is a Mulberry Ted Messenger Bag!

Back in what may be around 2010 when Mon and I were browsing in a record store in Greenbelt 3 (I think it was in the now defunct Music One Record Store), I’ve seen a guy with the coolest leather messenger bag with a triple postman’s lock.

Triple postman’s lock

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Ready to settle… for good

It has been 10 years and a couple of months since Mon and I moved together in a small apartment in Makati. It was an oddly shaped 12 sqm apartment, which was enough for us at the time.

Fast forward to this year, 15 years together, and 4 apartments all in all, we started looking at a permanent place where we could settle down.

As the catastrophizing me who is afraid of what climate change would do to Metro Manila, I proposed we moved permanently to the uplands. And our search for that place enough for us and the three cats began.

We first spotted this 40 sqm townhouse and felt it was the perfect size for us.

Our first choice

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Celebration and more celebrations

This month was hectic in a good way for celebrations.

Then, boom, 15 years.

But compared to an almost last minute trip overseas last year, we stayed put this year. We just came from a trip with my sister and the kids to Hong Kong recently. So it was a no brainer that we’d rest our bodies and our wallets.

At 15, there was no need for the theatrics. So, we just went to Rockwell for dinner and a movie.

Our 15th year face

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(End of my) Bottega Veneta Era

And just like that (I felt like I had to start with these because of HBO’s season 2 of And Just Like That…), I officially ended my Bottega Era.

As soon as we decided that we’ll be going to Europe this year, I already began planning what bags to bring to the trip. I knew I’d go for those that are as discreet as possible, knowing how rife of pickpockets most areas in Rome and Paris (our major destinations) are.

I did not want to attract much attention, although I have not been using any bags with identifiable logos for quite some time. And so, I had Bottega Veneta in mind.

Inside the Colosseum with a bunch of Bottega Veneta goodies - Men with Bottega Veneta

Inside the Colosseum in Rome, Italy. Yes, I carried two bags because I was extra. LOL

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Here we go again

  • So it is that time of the year. Now, I have to face the comprehensive examinations.

I have been enrolled under residency for the past year, having decided that I’ll take a year off to have an idea what I wish to do with my thesis.

Since changing gears, I took my time traveling, which culminated with a vacation in Europe. But at the back of my mind, I knew that I had to eventually face schoolwork.

That time has finally arrived.

My personal promise was after the long-awaited vacation to Europe, I’d put my head back in the game. It was, however, too difficult to even think of my comprehensive exams and moreover, the thesis.

Translation: you are just lazy

Translation: you are just lazy

So I went back watching Angela Duckworth and her grit Ted Talk on YouTube: and I ouch.

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Eurotrip 2023: Day 15 – And just like that, bye Paris and bye Europe!

All good things come to an end, and our trip to Europe finally drew to a close. It felt strange that those days just went by, and we were about to fly home.

We were not sure when exactly we’d be back, but Mon and I are certain we’d visit again some time next year. We just had sole unfinished business in Rome and Paris. But that would have to be planned thoroughly.

We also already missed the 3 kitties at that point (just watching them play, eat and sleep from the CCTV).

Last look at our AirBnB in Paris

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Eurotrip 2023: Day 14 – Last night in Paris, Jardin du Palais Royal and Seine River Cruise

It was our last full day in Paris (and Europe!), and we have spent the entire morning packing our bags.

We brought one of those electric air compression devices, which helped a lot with the packing of our bags with the several souvenirs we bought since Rome.

On the other hand, we had our last surprise of the entire stay. We had some issues (again) with the AirBnB, that almost messed up with our last day. It took a while for us to move forward, and we eventually decided to move on and figure things out later.

We still had some exploring left to do in Paris.

At La Madeleine

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Eurotrip 2023: Day 13 – Le musée du Louvre et l’Arc de triomphe

While we had been around Louvre twice already in our last few days in Paris, we had our tickets only towards the end of our stay. It was exciting to finally see in person some of the most famous artworks in the world.Papa, on the other hand, was more than happy to stay back at the AirBnB. We had to remind him not to cook at all, rather just use the microwave to warm the food we got him from Le Merci the night before.

He’d watch Netflix the whole time, anyway.

Our timed entry for the Louvre is at exactly 10:00 am, and we got there at around 9:51 am. We just hoped we’d have enough time to queue. The line, however, was long as soon as we got out of the walkway.

Sun shining at Mama at underneath the Louvre Pyramid

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Eurotrip 2023: Day 12 – Versailles and Songs at Seine

Day 12 in Europe and our 4th full day in France. We have booked our tickets for Versailles was back in March, with Ikle advising it’d be best to arrive there as early as we can.

I still got the 10:00 am tickets. There’s no way we’d be there at 9:00 am considering the travel from Paris. In fact, for the Versailles day, even left at 8:20 am in Paris.

As most days we were with Ikle, I did not even bother opening the map and navigating. She’d be the boss on our travel to Versailles.

Waiting for the train to Versailles

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