Aug 8 2010


A little town near Dublin.

It was Sunday, most shops closed but the Mall: Swords Central and Pavilions

an Internet café and a mens former wear shop: J. Rocliffe, the Wedding Specialists

We had lunch at Wright’s and watched hurling on TV.

the young owner or manager bouncily came to our table and sat himself down. We sure looked out of place.
“Where are you from?” He asked with that livelily Irish accent, full of enthusiasm.

“New York.”
“Are you here on vacation?”
“No, this is our layover because we missed our flight.”
“Oh ..sorry to hear .. which air line?”
“Aer Lingus.”
He gave us a funny look.
“They’re the worst.”
“Did you have to pay extra?”

On our way back to the airport, the cab driver had similar conversation with us and he said the same thing about their airline – stay away from it.
No more Blarney Stone fancy for me.

We got back on time, plenty of time. There isn’t immigration clearance.

Aug 6 2010

Steinernes Haus


Steinernes Haus
Braubachstr. 35
60311 Frankfurt am Main


We got there bit late due to prolong city tour, at 3pm and found the restaurant closed for lunch. It would reopen at 5pm or 7. Golfer and I had lunch there and really enjoyed it. Remembered there was an older couple sat across the table from us, the husband asked us timidly if we were from the States.

Aug 2 2010

Cash Withdrawal: debit card & credit card

Getting local/foreign currency has changed from traveler’s check era. Now travelers – at least I do – use their bank debit cards or credit cards to withdraw small amount local cash for incidentals, or where credit card isn’t accepted. 

Citi vs Chase

Citi Bank has few retail branches in London, surprisingly nothing in Frankfurt. I used both bank cards to withdraw cash: Citi is far more expensive to use than JP Morgan Chase. Citi charges US$74.1 vs Chase $69.9 for €50. On July 20, Citi’s exchange rate was 1.2932, Chase 1.29900, and Amex 1.2909. Credit card gives better FX rate with cheaper transaction fee.


American Express is widely used in Europe. Visa and Diners Club are accepted too. HSBC has a big presence in Europe. It’s the title sponsor at Wimbledon.

Aug 1 2010

Parks 公园

Central Park 中央公园 and Steppingstone on LI are my two favorites and I go often.

New York wiki

California State parks

DC and area

Estates, castles & gardens

National Parks 美国60个国家公园

Aug 1 2010

Alte Oper – Old Opera

The Old Opera House, like Tiananmen, 百照不厌.

The Old Opera House is built by Frankfurters; re-opened in 1981. In 2014 inside and outside


April 27, 1984






Aug 1 2010

China 2003

China July 7 – Aug 22

July 26-7 Changping .. tennis
July 28? Zizhu Yuan, activities at 紫竹园

July dinner with Fu
Aug 2, Tianjin, visiting Uncle Weizeng and his son in restaurant; Changde Dao 常德道 21号
Bitter medicine

Tianyuan Pickle shop 天源酱菜