Derelict Derivative

Thank goodness it’s Sunday. (Not.) Well, maybe. My cousins from LA are visiting so this means I get to see how the little runts are doing. They got me a gift, which I’ve yet to see. They haven’t eaten since 1pm and just arrived in Vancouver so they’re off to have some late night dinner with their parents.

It’s been a pretty wild couple of weeks, from jet setting, to bike rides, seasonal allergies, heat strokes, and some expensive ass coffee. Who drinks $15 coffee anyway? Alas, let me bemuse you by unfolding the chronicles of the past few weeks in the life of bcrdukes.

Bam! Eddie got a new job and is moving out of public practice. I’m happy for him. He marked this milestone with this beauty. I didn’t want to give it back.
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We grabbed dinner at Bambudda, trying out the new menu on behalf of the new team. The food takes on a real “modern” approach where I feel they’ve veered off the path of Curtis’ interpretation of the traditional dishes. It’s almost too “fusion’y.” On the flip side, they need some time to tweak their dishes. Drinks remain a hit care of Tarquin and Dom. They have a new bartender, but we didn’t catch his name.

There was a lady who sat beside us at the bar. We managed to chat, but she opened up later on where we learned she has a kid. We’re pretty sure she was hoping to get picked up or to meet someone. It was sort of awkward. She asked some weird questions and Eddie didn’t bail me out. Bastard.

I ended up in Edmonton on assignment for maybe a good 16 hours tops. I ended up on the wrong day and wrong week. The city was packed, we were stuck on the tarmac for God knows how long, and little did I know, there was some kind of conference for builders/developers in the construction industry. The city simply does not have what it takes to support a huge event. Parking was a nightmare, hotels were full, and restaurants were turning people away. I was lucky to even get a sandwich at Subway to which the guy behind the counter apologized to me and said, “We only have the honey oat bread left.” What a curse. And wanting to get some McDonald’s after a late night of work, every damn McDonald’s was on the other side of the road where you had to go out of your way in circles to get to. Fuck you, Edmonton.

Look at these asinine telephone rates from the hotel. What kind of third-world bullshit is this? I guess the oil and gas down turn hasn’t affected Edmonton.
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Tarquin suggested I check out Farrow for sandwiches and this was probably the only saving grace for this awful city. I met his friend Justin who ran the place like a boss. Food was great. Coffee was awesome. Check it out if you get a chance. Line moves quick. Bring a friend.
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westopher and HachiSix mentioned that the donairs at High Voltage were awesome. To my disgust, they were closed on Sunday. Fuck.
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The drive to the airport is as far as hell. I hate this city. Check out my private jet plane which I’m sharing with other people. I’m such a nice guy, right?
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Layover in Saskatoon. They no longer play 80s and 90s music. I am disappoint. Pretty sure the SOCAN lady shut them down.
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I finally landed in Calgary and was starving. Rather than check in, I ended up grabbing dinner at Model Milk where they have a Sunday Supper series. To my surprise, Madeleine was working behind the bar, and she lived up to her word of having a business card for me. Only this time, she’s been promoted to bar manager! A big congrats to her!
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Food and drinks were great, except my only complaint is that there was too much food. I had to pack most of it! Stellar service on behalf of Madeleine. If you get a chance, go see her. She’s got this awesome Tina Fey kinda look and a sassy sense of humour. I dig it. Would be rude of me to ask if she were single. She has blonde hair this time. Maybe it was brown last time I saw her. I don’t remember. She’s a cool cat so please tip her 20% minimum, okay?

Speaking of stellar service – the folks at the Westin Calgary sent me a “Thank you” card for my return patronage (apparently I’ve stayed there 6 times.) This is what I call service. Recognizing me for for my return patronage and loyalty. This is seriously, by far, the best Westin I’ve stayed at. All Starwood brands should take note!
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Tarquin suggested I check out Proof, one of Nathan Head’s new projects. I managed to meet the man himself this time where he made me a “Snicker” cocktail straight out of the Savoy cocktail book. Beautiful bar, wonderfully stocked. Amazing service, and excellent food and drink. Highly recommended. If you’re lucky, the sun will enshrine the bar only to beautify it to another level.
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I really should have stopped here. I was too full. It was embarassing to ask for a charcuterie board to be packed up.
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On the way back to the hotel, I pulled into a Mac’s to have one of their Frosters. Still by far, the best slurpees out there. I haven’t had one of these in a long time!
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Back at the Monogram Coffee @ Dada Art Gallery (is it really an art gallery?) They pulled an espresso using an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. That was a bold move and the result was a delicious, acidic espresso. Not many shops are willing to do this. That and they know how to make a cappuccino. Stupid Vancouver.
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A $176 copper kettle? Shit, son. Dem Alberta folk still rollin’ in money!
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A ‘smoked meat’ sandwich @ Spolumbo’s. I wished they had put the veggies on top instead but whatevs. It was cheap and satisfying. Managed to eat the other half during my layover in Edmonton!
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HachiSix – Age 48. Sorry, it just so happened to be a cabriolet.
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On the flight home, I was assigned a seat beside a Chinese Mainlander girl and her mom. They spoke little to no English. The mom sits in my seat, thinking it was 32F, but it was 32D. I told her hers was a window seat. Mid-flight, she reaches into the seat pockets thinking the barf bags would make great souvenirs. She takes them and puts her personal belongings in them.

Okay.

To top it off, she hears me asking for a coffee, just black and tries to mimic my request. She gets a coffee, but with no cream or sugar. She complains to her daughter about it and leaves the coffee untouched, followed by pulling out her canister requesting hot water. Fucking Chinese people, man.
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Back to Vancouver – we’re in the midst of a heat wave. I’m sick right now (or is it allergies) but I feel awful and I want to die. I met up with HachiSix, his wife and Eddie to try the rare and elusive Panama Geisha, only to be prepared via Hario siphon and the beam heater.

Upon smelling the ground beans, it smells like soy sauce. But the cup of coffee is a clean and delicious nectar of light acidity which tapers off, with nuances of mango and floral citrus notes. As the coffee cools in temperature, the acidity is more prevalent, but it is sharp and sudden which leave no after taste. This is the best (and perhaps last) cup of $15 coffee – ever. It lived up to its hype.

Only served on Saturdays. Get it while it’s hot.
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They serve the coffee in specific ceramic cups which have some kind of thermal dynamic property about it. Or maybe I’m just making this shit up.
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I brewed a cup of the beans HachiSix shared with me from Heart. It was pretty tasty and despite the 10 day period since roast date, it still yield a pretty delicious coffee and it bloomed upon pre-infusion. I used the goose neck kettle (not copper, sorry) this time. I felt like a pro. I should work @ Timbertrain with HachiSix and show em how it’s done!
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I read this tidbit in The Globe and Mail regarding US Judge Antonin Scalia. He chastised his colleagues on their take on gay marriage while he, himself, was against it. I had a good chuckle when I read this in the article.
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This professor clearly hasn’t met me. Good one, Jonathan.

As for the legalization of gay marriage – I personally don’t care. People do what they want and their personal lives are of no real interest to me. What I do have a problem with is the bandwagoning of this social justice (or is it injustice?) LBGT people don’t bother me. Again, I don’t care about what they do. What I do have an issue is when these people barge in for dominance and control, disrupting the status quo. I like to think of myself as being progressive, but the way this was handled isn’t my cup of coffee. Thank you China for not putting up with social bullshit.

A Historic Flashback

The weekend was amazing. I watched the 24 Hours of Le Mans race and witnessed the 1-2 victory of Porsche’s factory LMP1 cars and also Patrick Dempsey’s 911 RSR take second place in his race class. While it would have been amazing to see Porsche sweep the podium clean in similar fashion to the way they opened the race, we all would have been extremely spoiled and over the moon.

Nonetheless, Porsche has repeated history. They came back to prove to the world, yet again, they are leaders of motorsport, innovation, technology, and success. Looking forward to the upcoming FIA WEC races for the remaining season.

A side note: Audi did quite well, as did Toyota. Nissan tried to make their comeback but was not ready. This really adds to the excitement of WEC where the quality of racing is far superior to that of F1, sans drama. Just pure racing and seeing the best of the best duke it out for their claim to fame.

Porsche 919 Hybrid
That same morning, after witnessing the win, I decided to take my Jane out for a spin to grab a coffee. I ended up on Commercial Drive, only to find out the roads were closed for Italian Day. I managed to squeeze my way through after zig zagging the mean streets of East Van and ended up at the new Moja Coffee.

The shop looks nice but the staff – they could care less. “Good morning, how are you?” I asked. All I got was a blank stare. I placed my order in hopes I’d get my espresso from the beautiful Victoria Arduino lever machine. To my horror, they pulled it on the Nuova Simonelli. I was disappointed. They pull it upon request only. Fuck you.
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Espresso and cappuccino were weak. I had a much better experience at their North Van location where the staff actually give a shit. I would not recommend anyone to patronize this dump except for their North Van location. The Drive sucks. The people suck. Everything on The Drive sucks. Avoid like the plague.
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La bella vita (and cool Vespa to top it off.) How Italian.
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Omakase @ Sushi By Yuji! Spotted prawns were out. Will try again next week. Food and service was excellent as always.
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The Yuji Roll
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One of my high school friends came back to Vancouver for the summer. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen her and truth is, I was very nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. The whole time, I thought to myself, “Wow, Vi’s done so much. She’s been all over the place, is passionate about what she does and has so much experience in life.” Call it an insecurity or an uneasiness but I have always admired Vi for her tenacious outlook in life; her never-ending quest for injustice and salvation. If I could only become even a fraction of her, my life would be more than fulfilling.

We made plans to meet on Tuesday evening, coincidentally on Jane’s birthday (she’s a Gemini and I hope she’s reading this.) Vi said she was across the street and I looked up, saw her at the window and sent her a text, “This might sound creepy, but I see you.” And then she came down the stairs. A beautiful woman and her bright smile. I was no longer nervous, but happy to see her again.
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We caught up over drinks and food at Bambudda. She admits to me Vancouver’s too cool for her, but I digress. Vancouver can never be too cool for her. In the end, I’m glad we met up. I was happy. And I hope she was too. Little did I realize, I had missed her.

Try their wakame noodles. I think there’s crack in this dish.
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And despite my belief that friends come and go, I’m amazed that we’re still friends, no matter where we are in the world and no matter where we are in life.
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I came across the evil Facebook to see that Ling posted some pictures of her cooking. Here she is, the beautiful Ling Qiu, love interest (or rather life-long obsession) of my life. I am loving her milfness. Sweet Jesus. She makes me weak to the knees.
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Turns out she will be hosting a segment on OMNI TV this September on the housing market for foreign investors. This comes as no surprise seeing she is an ultra rich Asian girl, but so are her friends. She will always be a girl I can never have. I hate her for that, but still deeply, and madly in love (or obsessed) with her. Life is so cruel. And yet again, history repeats itself.

There was some nonsense of a local forum (which shall remain unnamed.) The McLobster is avaialble and some moron decided to compare it to fresh lobster. Are you fucking serious? Any way, me and my siblings decided to try it out, but it truly was a disappointment. But what can you expect? Fucking fresh Atlantic lobster straight from the tank served with a thermidor and butter and all the fixings before you? Get real!

Behold – the disappointment!
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Let me tell you – I wasn’t loving it.

On the cycling front, the Guru is up for sale. I still love the Cannondale and that bike kicks ass. 43km/hMA!

Coffee with Charlie and HachiSix. We bantered over coffee and thermal dynamics. How retarded. And the girl who sat in front of us – she was really pretty. Slender with a light blue blouse and grey pencil skirt. To top it off, she uses a Lenovo laptop and takes her time with her latte. I thought she was cute. HachiSix mentioned she looked Mainlander.

Maybe he’s right. Or maybe she’s Twanger. I don’t care. I saw her again on the way home on Expo Boulevard and Carrall. Maybe I like FOBs. But I think she was my type. And I hope she’s rich.

La Belle Province

Red-eye from YVR > YYZ > YUL. I quite enjoy the red-eye flights. Most people are tired and plenty of empty rows. Got an entire row all to myself to catch some zzz’s.

Breakfast tray. Tastes better than it looks.
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Stopover in YYZ. Volunteered to give my seat up. Scored a $400 voucher and a $10 meal voucher for a 2-hour inconvenience. Not bad.
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@ Place Bonaventure/Gare Centrale. Shitty Jetta rental. This was not the sport model. Fuck, it sucked.
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Microbrasserie Noire & Blanche. Here they infuse their sauces with their beers brewed in-house. Not bad! (And the waitress was very cute.)
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aLoft Montreal Airport. I love these rooms. So simple and comfortable. Took me a while to figure out the HVAC system since it needed to be reset.
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Le elevator
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The mean streets of Montreal.
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A quick espresso and dinner from Olive & Gourmando in Old Montreal. Great sandwiches. I also got the Caesar salad which was expensive as fuck but not pictured. Thanks to A and K for the suggestion.
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Station W Coffee. They use a Victoria Arduino lever machine. Excellent shot, but could use much more refinement. Still loving that level machine taste profile.
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That Montreal style bagel. OMG.
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RIP Fido
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Biggest regret – Having a smoked meat sandwich @ Dunn’s instead of Schwartz.
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Where to?
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Le Metro @ Place Bonaventure
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Patrice Patissier – The pastry chef opened up his own shop after his claim to fame working at a place in town called Newtown. And they had fucking Canales! Yes! The best! The folks behind the counter were so friendly, professional, and happy that I enjoyed them. These are, by far, the best I’ve ever had! Their other pastries were tasty too. I wanted an eclair but they forgot it so my co-worker gave me the banana cream puff she ordered.
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You can take baking lessons here too! Neat area this place is in. Down the street is the famous “Joe Beef.”
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Olympic Stadium Park – Monthly Food Truck Festival. The place was packed and it’s huge.

Dim sum. Really?
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Apparently, some really good donuts.
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Coffee cart featuring a lever machine!
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This was only the beginning.
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We ordered some food from Au Pied De Cochon. Got the sandwich dumpling, which really was an oversized, baked perogie. It was pretty awesome, but damn, expensive as hell.
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Pictured also are their in-house pork rinds and a local cola, 1642 Cola which the “secret” ingredient is maple syrup. Almost reminded me of Kofola from Prague. The box from Patrice Patissier sure got a lot of attention and was an excellent conversation starter with the pretty ladies.
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Ultimately, I missed F1. The purpose of my trip (professional reasons) were more of a win and I achieved what I wanted to do. Met my managers and directors and I’m confident of optimistic changes in the near future. It was a sacrifice to be made for some long term gains.

I met up with my cousins and their friends + their friends. Not sure I dig their kind of behavious (the annoying overly entitled American type) so fuck them to hell. That was an embarrassing moment. Never again. But alas, off to LA.

YUL
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Hello LAX.
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Coffee Commissary
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Grandpa’s back home but still needs to go back to the hospital for chemotherapy once a week.
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Went to pick up some goodies @ the HK plaza. The dim sum and foods weren’t bad for a mall food court (better than some dim sum I’ve had in LA – fuck.) Stopped by Klatch Coffee for a cuppa joe and a cold brew.
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In the parking lot, I see this. Congrads. Umm..yeah.
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See you soon, LA. I need to renew my passport as it expires next month.
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Dinner with the lovely Jane at Bambudda. I learned, to my horror, Curtis has left and started a new restaurant, Mission in Kits. The food isn’t the same and the kitchen staff is new.

The yuba tuna rolls were overcooked, not rare as they once were and the saucing was inconsistent. The “lo bak goh” was the same.
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The double fried eggplant is now roasted and plated all funny. You need to cut it open yourself and it was kind of bland until you mesh in the sauce. Sigh.
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My brother egged me on to ask Jane out. I do often but she never accepts my advances. She probably thinks I”m joking. I never joke around, Jane.

Someone lives here. I didn’t know until I came back after opening the parking garage door and he told me to keep it down. Sorry.
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The weekend begins.
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The Guru is at the shop, up for sale. Hope it goes to a new owner.

Won’t be travelling for a while. The little monsters are visiting for a week at the end of the month so that should be interesting. Looking forward to the Porsche Werks Reunion and Rolex Monterey Classics Race and Rennsport Reunion V.

As for current affairs – Vancouver: Shame on you. Getting all worked up over a yoga event? Why so serious? Yet it’s okay for the mayors council to spend $5.8 million on the “Yes” campaign over the transit plebiscite? Get bent.

As for other news, me and HachiSix met up for coffee at Timbertrain. The girl behind the counter asked how we knew each other. I can’t exactly remember, but I’m sure it was because of the MR2 as we both have/had one. She asked what it was, and I said to her, “Well, if you ever come across a guy who owns one, run the other way.” She laughed and says jokingly, “Oh wow, okay. So I guess, this mean you guys need to get girlfriends or something?” LOL!

Funny girl. Cute too.

Catch Up Catsup

The tail end of May was a wreck: My life was consumed by work, travel, and all sorts of other miniscule events of which I can barely remember. It’s now time to play catch up.

It was my co-worker’s birthday. I figure he best be treated to some nice whiskeys/scotches. Not pictured: Glenlivet Master Distiller’s reserve (or something like that) and Great King Street blended scotch whiskey. Looking to trying some of them Writers Tears!
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Me, HachiSix and Gerry @ the new Prado down the street. Man, this was so much suck, I don’t even know where to begin. The espresso was rancid. Nevermind the canales.
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Dinner @ Bambudda. Great King Fashioned.
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Pork belly lettuce wraps. OMG so good.
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Double fried eggplant. Delish.
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Dessert @ Soft Peaks. Nothing amazing. Bland softserve with some cereal or whatever you decide to get. Too many Asians here.
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Off to LA to visit gramps. Look at this last minute upgrade fee? (based on a Tango fare.)
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Yum.
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The Coffee Commissary on Motor Ave. It’s my new neighbourhood coffee shop. They do a pretty good job here, except for the Hispanic douchebag looking asshole. I don’t like his face and he pisses me off.
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The saddest view ever (@ LAC-USC Medical Centre.)
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The E91
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My siblings got me McNuggets. American ones suck.
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I’m back home, but where to next?
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Best co-worker. Ever. From Graz!
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Cold Brew @ Timbertrain
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Casual Sunday Funday
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A dog’s life
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My escape pod
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Oh, I also had dinner at Sawasdee Thai for the first time. Food was amazing and I normally don’t like Thai. As for everything in between, it all seemed like a blur.